Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cloth Diapers

My husband and I have a 7 month old girl. Before she was born we talked about cloth diapers, mostly because it seemed like they could save us a lot of money. I did A TON of research and ended up feeling rather overwhelmed most of the time. Probably some of that was related to the anticipation of having our first child, but also the unknown void that seemed to encompass all things related to cloth diapering. We knew no one who had used cloth diapers and half the time I mentioned that we were thinking about it I received the knowing looks from experienced parents who told us that it was a hassle and besides, who wants to fold little white cloths and stick their child with a pin!
We weren't completely scared away from the prospect of cloth diapers, but not exactly ready to dive right into it either. When our daughter was born, we planned to use disposables during the adjustment faze, so that we weren't jumping into first-time parenthood with all sorts of other first-time things. Through the generosity of family and friends, we had a bunch of newborn disposable diapers that we were given, and during the 2 months we used disposables exclusively, I believe we only spent $10 or so ourselves.
After our daughter arrived, I continued to research, this time a little more seriously - it was for real now! And the research did help us out a lot. I was able to find out about several different programs that let you try cloth diapers on your child without having to buy them! This sounded ideal for us because we had no idea what was good or bad or anything! The program that we went with is through Jillians Drawers, a company that encourages all kinds of natural parenting techniques and is based in Ithaca, NY. We can say without a doubt that it is because of Jillians Drawers that we are such fans of cloth diapers!!
This program let us try 7 different kinds of (brand new!) cloth diapers for 3 weeks for just $10! And they have an 800 number that is basically an ask anything line because they want you to succeed with cloth! That was sooooo helpful for me, especially with not having anyone who had done this before. I remember when I got my diapers in the mail (the day after ordering) I looked at the different washing instructions and was COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I called Jillians Drawers and they talked with me for probably 10 minutes about the different ways to wash, how to take care of them, etc. Since my daughter was little, I thought my diapers were going to be too big and I wanted wait a couples weeks to start, and they said that was no problem - just let them know when I started using the diapers, and they would count my 3 weeks from then, not from when I got the diapers.
I could go on and on. We have been using cloth for nearly 6 months all day everyday. We use them out at the store and even on weekend trips away. The two times we've traveled out of the state (to Florida and Vermont) we opted for disposables. And both times we were so ready to get our daughter back in cloth! Our total investment in cloth has been about $250 for 14 diapers and a washable diaper bag. We've spent $10 for disposables for our week in Vermont. This is our 23rd week using cloth. Do a little math and we are just 2 weeks away from paying for ALL our cloth diapers supplies! Not too shabby. Actually, I would say that is rather thrifty!
More installments about our cloth diaper adventure in the weeks to come!

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