Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

Cloth Diapering – A Beginner’s Journey

on March 12, 2012

I began thinking about cloth diapering before my first child was born.  My best friend had decided to use cloth diapers with her firstborn who was born a few months before my daughter, and she told me a little about it.  I decided that I didn’t want to try to take on too much at once, so I planned to focus on getting a strong start with nursing and then could explore changes to our system.

Nursing went well, but I was still working at the time and had to go back to teaching about 10 weeks after my daughter was born, so I put the cloth diaper research on hold.

I continued to think about the possibility, though.  I read other blogs about moms’ experiences and recommendations.  I bought an e-book that promised to pay for itself in saving the reader from mistakes in purchasing or care.  I heard from other mothers at church about what motivated them to use cloth and what was required.

Still, I felt overwhelmed by the many options and powerless to make a decision.  Cotton, bamboo, hemp, wool, and more.  What material is best?  All-in-ones, all-in-twos, pocket diapers, prefolds, flats…  What were each of those exactly?  I read and reread, trying to figure out the terminology, requirements, and estimated costs.  Would it really be worth it for us?  I wanted to try, but I also wanted to be smart about the needed investment.  Chad and I had visited a local store that sold cloth diapers before our daughter was born, but the store had since gone out of business.

I reached a point of desperation earlier this year, though, that pushed me back to the cloth diapering question again.  My toddler is a heavy wetter at night, often requiring either a change in the night or a change of everything (sheets, blankets, pajamas, etc.) that is soaked through in the morning with disposable diapers.  Besides the extra laundry, she would wake up and cry from the discomfort of the wetness.  While this is not a huge problem right now, I didn’t know if I’d have the capacity and patience to deal with these additional tasks after Baby #2 was born. I wondered if cloth diapers could somehow provide a solution.

Also, as I recalled the diaper changes of the first few months for my first child, I remembered an aggravating number of “blowouts” that created additional laundry hassles that I was interested in possibly avoiding.  I’d heard that cloth could at least potentially “contain” these messes better.  Yep, with Baby #2 soon on the way, I was interested.

I e-mailed Coleen, the owner of Sweet Little Blessings since she was referred by one of my long-time friends (Amy at Raising Arrows).  She gave me a recommendation for night time, and, to my delight, Raising Arrows began a series on cloth diapering within days of my inquiry!  (You can see the first post here with links to the posts that followed.)  The timing was also great for me because Coleen offered a 10% discount at that time!  What a bonus!

I debated and re-read through the many options, and finally, after two years of thinking about it, I took the leap to place an order.  I started the adventure two weeks ago.  The next few posts will share what I’ve learned in that time and how I foresee this approach to diapering working for us in the future.



2 responses to “Cloth Diapering – A Beginner’s Journey

  1. Jenny W says:

    Dana – I cloth diapered both of my kiddos – and I loved it! Talk about a money saver! If I can be of any help, send me an email. I even did Henry as a newborn… I definitely think it helped with potty training later in the game. Good luck and have fun – and if you commit – don’t forget to check out the used diapers online through Craigs list or http://www.diaperswappers.com.

  2. yay for you, and your kiddos! I always wanted to, but due to moves, and apartments, and other factors didn’t cloth diaper my first two. After the arrival of my 3rd and his middle of the night pee-through-everything escapades, I revisted the cloth idea. Well over a year later, I am still so glad I did!

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