Saturday, March 5, 2011

CD's - Not the Kind You Listen To

Cloth Diapers. There, I said it. It's out there, I'll let you process for a moment. For a lot of my readers, the concepts of cloth diapering (CDing) is not foreign by any means. In fact, many of you do it. However, since my family and friends are also readers, I'm devoting a post to this topic that seems to turn a lot of heads and gives many people a reason to stare at me like I just grew a third eye.

Yes, we will be cloth diapering our little one. I, too, at one point was ignorant of the subject and also thought it was completely insane, but I'm going to say what I say to everyone who asks the inevitable "Why on earth would anyone do that voluntarily?" question: why not?

Rob and I have been blessed with the opportunity for me to stay home most of the time with our baby. I will have to work part time most likely, but the fact that I will be staying home means we are going to have to cut back on some things and budget wisely. Which brings me to reason number one on my list of why we have decided to CD our baby. Cost. Folks, there's no getting around it, CDs are cheaper than disposables. MUCH cheaper.

Check out this handy-dandy cost breakdown.

Big reason number two has to do with the effects on baby. I'm by no means bashing moms who use disposables. I'm very much a "do what makes you happy" kind of person. If CDing isn't for you? Great! I think you're still just as awesome as before. But, I can't deny the facts that CDs have their benefits beyond cost. There are many resources that prove that diaper rashes are more frequent in babies who are in disposables. Also, CD babies are more likely to potty train faster because they can feel the wetness. That's a plus for everyone involved!

CDs being environmentally friendly is an upside as well. I'm not going to go off on some organic, tree-hugging speech about loving our earth. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not as "crunchy" as they come, but I don't deny opportunities to take care of this gorgeous planet that God has given us. I recycle everything I can, I make some of my own household cleaners, and try my best to do what I can. So, the fact that I won't be sending thousands of diapers into a landfill over the next few years does make me a little happy inside.

So, now that I've explained my reasoning behind it, I'm going to dive into the decision-making part. CDs are EXTREMELY overwhelming. I still freak out a little bit when I think about it. Let me just say, they aren't what they used to be. There are basically four types. Prefolds and covers (closest to what were used when we were babies), All-In-Ones (AIOs), All-In-Twos (AI2s), and Pockets. This is, in my opinion the most basic breakdown. There are definitely different sub-categories, but I think they all land in these four somewhere.

They cover a wide range in terms of cost with Prefolds being the cheapest and AIOs typically being the most expensive. We will be going the AI2 route. I truly hope we've made the right decision but I'm totally at peace with our choice. We will be using the BumGenius Flip Diaper system.

This system consists of an adjustable cover (can you see the little snap that's right in the center?), which means it will grow with baby, and an insert. You can use prefolds as inserts, the insert pictured (which also grows with baby) or they sell an organic insert. You can get this diaper with a snap closure or an aplix (velcro) closure and it simply works by laying the insert into the cover and snapping it on. Here's an video on how they work (not the best of quality, but it works):

We will be getting the snap closure simply because I feel like it will last longer and the pictured insert.

There are a few basic "buts" that I hear when I first go into the CD description.

1. "You realize you'll have to scrape poop, right?"

Yes, I do realize that. But, hopefully this won't be much of an issue in the beginning. We plan on exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months (if we are blessed enough that this works for us!) and breastfed baby poop is super CD friendly. It's water soluble, which means that there is no scraping involved! You can just throw the whole diaper, poop and all, in the wash and you're done! Now, when we start solids, there will be poo-scraping and, honestly, it doesn't really bother me. I'm sure I'll deal with much worse things than my own kid's poop and to me, it's a small price to pay. Also, did you realize that you are supposed to scrape poop out of disposables as well? Just thought I'd throw that out there.

2. "You realize you're going to have to wash them, right?"

This is kind of my penance for getting to stay home, lol. I'll probably do a load of diapers every 2-3 days, and I'm sure that won't even compare to the laundry that is going to be produced by baby in other ways. I'll deal.

3. "What about babysitters? Will they have to do CDs for you?"

We'll definitely be compromising here. My wonderful mom has said she's fine with it if she ends up watching the baby at times. But, I'll probably keep some disposables on hand for the occasion when someone is truly uncomfortable with it. But, if you really think about it, it's not that much more work for them than a disposable. They don't have to do anything with the dirty diaper but put it in a wet bag for me to take home and wash, and I think the Flip system is a pretty simple diaper to put on.

I think that's enough information to throw at you for now. I'm sure I'll have plenty to say in other posts (including what we'll be doing while baby is too little for the Flips and reviews on CDs), as this only scratches the surface, but, be honest, it's not as bad as you thought, is it?

Please feel free to throw questions out there and I'll answer them as best as I can!"