This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.
So, for the Natural Parents Network's Freedom of Cloth Carnival submission, I thought I'd talk about my journey to cloth diapering and finding what worked for me.
I used to be one of those women who was grossed out by the idea of cloth diapers. Then I found out more about them and while I wasn't grossed out anymore, I did think they sounded like too much work. I kept thinking, though, just how cute they were. Still, I couldn't see myself doing all that laundry.
Then came the test: a local mama was done with diapers and was giving away her stash. I decided to give them a try. I scored four free medium Fuzzibunz from her. None of the original inserts were with them, but some microfiber towels. I just got a bag of them and had no clue what to do. Or so I assumed--she had thoughtfully stuffed one with a tri-folded insert, which taught me how to do it.
I wanted to try them because my little girl was starting to potty learn and I'd heard that switching to cloth was supposed to help. I figured, at the very least, it would save me some money on disposables.
I had no idea what I'd gotten into!
So I started getting more.
At first, I stuck to what I knew: Fuzzibunz pockets. I used a bunch of internet deals and basically extreme couponed my way to a free small stash. The first I got was a pink gingham Fuzzibunz pocket diaper that was one of the softest things I'd ever felt.
As you can see, my daughter liked it, too. I also obtained a couple AIOs (all-in-ones: basically, the cloth version of the disposable diaper, only washable) and some Blueberry pockets. Finally, I got an AI2 (all-in-two, which means an insert that lies on top of the cover) by Cuddlebug Cloth, who was a WAHM (work at home mom).
Over time, I obtained all sorts of brands--BumGenius (I love OneSize diapers!), Kangababy, Haute Pockets, Kushies and a variety of different diapers made by WAHMs. There were several other brands along the way as I moved from one to two daughters (and my first totally potty learned shortly after her sister was born) and all of them had pluses and negatives (I really liked the one that zipped from the outside, so I never touched poop when unstuffing!). My second daughter started on cloth as soon as she was big enough to fit into the smallest diapers I had (BumGenius, actually!).
forever to dry. I think that AI2s were actually my favorite. No stuffing and the cover could be reused as long as the insert didn't leak through to it and she didn't poop.
However, I definitely still favor pockets. They are the type I look for first and the best diapers I had were pocket diapers made by a WAHM. I had one fitted diaper that I used as an insert, basically, in my AI2 cover and later in my gDiapers (which I'd call an AI2 if not for the third part--the little plastic liner). I never did use any flushable inserts with my gDiapers, but I enjoyed having the option.
A quick after posting add on: You'll notice I don't have woolies on here in my list of things I've tried. There's a few reasons (and refers specifically to sheep wool): 1. I despise wool. Touching it makes me have to rub my hands on as many things as I can to get the sensation off (much like some people feel about microfiber). 2. I'm allergic and a lot of handling will lead to me breaking out. 3. Finally, most harvesters are horribly cruel to the sheep--leaving them bleeding and injured after. Obviously, this is absolutely unnecessary and as a result, I won't support the practice.
As I look at building a stash for the baby on the way, pockets are high on my list, but I will certainly be looking for more AI2s.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants on the following themes. Articles will go live on the scheduled theme day:
- Sunday, July 3rd, 2011: Cloth Related Recipes — Writers share their best cloth-related recipes and tutorials.
- Monday, July 4th, 2011: Choosing Your Cloth Style — Today’s posts discuss parents' individual journeys to finding the cloth diapering "style" that best suits their families.
- Tuesday, July 5th, 2011: Cloth Diapering Must Haves — Parents talk about the most important items in their diapering “stash” and why they love them.
- Wednesday, July 6th, 2011: Wordless Wednesday, Inspired by Cloth — We asked parents to share their favorite cloth-related photo with us and turned them into a fluffy Wordless Wednesday photo montage on Natural Parents Network. Link up your own Wordless Wednesday post there!
- Thursday, July 7th, 2011: Cloth Through the Stages: From Infancy to Potty Independence — Today’s participants explain how cloth diapering has served their families throughout one or more stages of their children’s lives.
- Friday, July 8th, 2011: Cloth Troubleshooting and Laundry Day — Seasoned cloth diapering parents share their best tips and tricks for handling common cloth problems and tackling the diaper laundry.
- Saturday, July 9th, 2011: Inspired by Cloth — For today’s theme, we’ve asked writers to explore the ways cloth diapering has inspired them to become "greener" overall.