When I was pregnant with my first child, I wanted to do everything the most natural way possible. To that end, I took hypnosis classes, called HypnoBabies, so I could give birth naturally without any kind of drugs. I did yoga twice a week almost til the end to learn how to relax and channel my inner strength. As soon as we moved to Denver, I looked for a cloth diaper service so I could sign up and be ready for when my child was born.
But it’s not for nothing that they say that if you want to make God laugh, you should tell him your plans. (Or at least that’s what they say in Spanish.) In other words, you can plan all you want, but things are going to happen the way they are going to happen. And that’s exactly what happened!
While I was able to labor for a good nine hours without any medication, after pushing unsuccessfully for three hours, we had to make a decision to have a C-section in order for my daughter to be born. I was devastated. The hypnosis classes had worked wonders, but my daughter didn’t want to come out that way!
In terms of the cloth diapers, everything seemed to be going well for the first four months. I’m not going to lie here and say it was the easiest thing in the world because it wasn’t. But I believed I was doing something good both for my daughter and for the planet. In all honesty, I hated that it seemed as if I had to change my daughter every two hours, especially at night because it meant we barely got any sleep. I also hated that I had to scrape the poop out of the cloth diaper before I could throw it in the pail that I’d leave outside my door for the service to come pick up once a week in exchange for clean ones. The other difficult thing was going out. I found the cloth diapers utterly inconvenient.
I know tons of moms have done this successfully and I commend them for this, but after two back to back snow storms which were major and prevented the service from coming to pick up the dirty diapers and deliver the clean ones, I could do it no more. I gave up and went with disposable diapers and I haven’t looked back since.
I’m glad I tried cloth diapers because now I know that it wasn’t for me and whenever other moms try to talk me into it again, I can say no with conviction. While there are a lot of pluses to cloth diapers, it’s impossible to admit that there are lot of pluses to disposable diapers too. For me, especially now that I’m a mom who works full-time outside the home, it’s all about the convenience and the long-lasting power of diapers. I know I’ll be potty training my son soon, but in the mean time, I’m glad for the disposable diapers and the fact that he can stay dry all night means we all get to sleep through the night!
How about you? Have you tried cloth diapers? Which ones do you prefer?
Don’t forget that Huggies® is giving away a makeover with Disney Baby® merchandise! If you’d like to enter, all you have to do is share a diapering tip or experience in any of the following three ways:
1) Visit www.mamasquesaben.com and complete the online form along with your contact information and your experiences in either English or Spanish.
2) Call toll free (888) 333-6414 and leave your contact info and your experience in either English or Spanish.
3) Participate in any of the Mamás que Saben store events and fill out the official form on site. You can find stores and dates here.
One baby room makeover will be given away each week for 8 weeks. For official rules and more details please click here.
Disclaimer: I am compensated for my participation as a Huggies® Mamás que Saben blogger; however, all opinions, tips and stories are my own.
Good for you for trying cloth! A lot of moms won’t even give it a go.
We used cloth diapers with my son (prefolds and covers) and loved them. I nursed full time until 5 months (at which point we added solids), so I did not have to scrape the poop off before putting them in the pail since breast milk poop is water soluble. After that I installed a diaper sprayer beside the toilet and that made getting the poop off much easier.
We used disposables while out and about once he started eating solids, and I am sure the nursery attendants at church appreciated that – haha!
We went through a move when my son was about 18 months old and I used disposables full time because I wasn’t going to ask my mother or mother in law to wash diapers in their washers. Now my son is in the process of potty training and we wear cloth during the day and disposables at night and when we are out. I will definitely use cloth if we ever have another child Not for everyone, but I loved it!
Thanks, Victoria. It’s definitely not for everyone and God knows I tried, but things didn’t work out as planned and since I started working full time when my son was 8 months old, I know I couldn’t have kept it up with him anyway.
Glad to hear it worked out for you and when it didn’t, you didn’t have a problem switching to disposables.
I have used cloth for both my daughters. I have some prefolds with covers and some pocket diapers (fuzzibunz). I just wash them at home. Breastfed poo in the machine, solids get a rinse with the toilet sprayer. We use disposables at night while my daughters are nursing all night, and then switched to pocket diapers with the fleece lining when they weren’t wetting as much. It wicks away the moisture so they don’t have the wetness against their skin. It also helps to know others that are using cloth, that way if you run into problems, they can help you find a solution that works.
Hmmm… yes, knowing others using cloth would have surely helped. Looking back, there were a lot of things working against me. I was new in town, we experienced one of the worst winters in Colorado in the last several years and I’d only seen snow two or three times in my life, I was pretty devastated emotionally at not being able to birth my daughter the way I had envisioned it, etc…
Thanks for sharing your story with us!
Bummer that you post about this on your blog. It sounds like you didn’t have the right cloth diapers. As others mentioned you don’t have to scrape poop that early if it’s breastmilk and then you can switch to fuzzy bunz or a pocket diaper/ all in one which are super easy while out and about. I’d rather you encouraged folks to help the environment instead of talking about what a hassle it is. Our world is worth it, IMO.
Becca, I agree completely that our world is worth it. However, I can’t lie about the experience I had. I’m not trying to discourage anybody to do it. I’m sorry you felt that way. I think that for those who are looking to use cloth diapers, there is plenty of really useful information out there from those who have done it or are doing it successfully, so this post shouldn’t really discourage them.
As I said in my post, I applaud those moms who do it, but it was definitely not for me. Considering I tried it for almost six months (I breastfed my daughter exclusively for only 3 months and then I supplemented with formula, so yes, I had to scrape poop), I think I tried for enough time to know. It could’ve been the wrong cloth diapers or it could’ve just been that I couldn’t handle it.
I agree with Becca! While I appreciate the honesty, I do feel as if it gives those reading this who are interested in cloth diapering, a negative view of it. I’m not sure which cloth diapers you tried but my guess is if it was a cloth diaper service that it was just prefolds and covers. There are so many other cloth diapers out there that are just like a disposable except cloth (so better for the environment). I know others have mentioned the poop thing being you could use a sprayer, or even liners. Liners are especially great while out in public! Again, I’m not surprised that you wrote this about cloth being this is a sponsored post from huggies, it just is disappointing to those who are trying to make cloth diapering what it is-normal!
We do both at our house! Honestly I wish I could do it all the time but there is no way! My daughter is 21mths and her poop is a little too much on the reusable diapers. I use the reusables at home, wash them at home and they work awesome! I use cloth diapers that are awesome! I use several fuzzibunz some other different kinds I bought second hand and love that we save so much money and contribute a little something to the landfills! I definitely want to start potty training her soon! Reusable diapers are so expensive. Dont get me wrong so are reusable diapers and I believe that the reusable diaper company need to lower down there prices and not spike up the price because they are cute, etc. If the reusable diaper companies really want to help the planet not their pocket books they need to stop trying to make money off parents who really want to help the planet:).. I bought all mind (except for 1) second hand and just bought and made inserts and saved lots of money!!
I’m showing my age here, but I was an infant in the time before disposables were readily available, or really even very useful. By the time my daughter (age 19 now) was born, cloth diaper-services were a new thing, sounded ok but considering Ohio weather, services like that frequently get days overdue making it to the house (and you pay whether they get there the right day or not). But I did certainly want to use cloth diapers for environmental reasons. So I did the do-it-yourself approach. The equipment was not too easy to find but not expensive at all. You need diaper covers (although we called them training pants back in the day), in two sizes because you double the diapers at night (and/or use a cut-in-thirds piece of diaper extra in the middle). You need plenty of crib sheets that are easy to put on and extra jammies. You need a diaper bucket –with a VERY secure lid (otherwise it’s drowning hazard to the child)– that you can soak the diapers in with bleach water all day, then you just throw them in the machine at night & they do wash up really well. And yes there is the scraping thing especially after they start solid foods but it’s really more shaking and there is a technique to it, not any worse than the whole wet-wipe routine on the tushy, in my opinion. Plus- potty training time is easier because they do feel the wet.
In the end, however, my daughter had severe skin allergies and was allergic to ALL DETERGENTS. Yes ANY kind of soap. I bathed her with pure water and unscented mineral oil, and washed her clothes with no soap only white vinegar (except very soiled items by hand with ivory flakes and extremely well rinsed then run through the washer TWICE with the normal vinegar routine). Oh and before putting her clothes in I had to run the machine once with vinegar and no clothes in it, after washing everyone else’s clothes with soap, to get out the residue… I’m just saying, she was highly allergic. Plus she was extremely prone to diaper rash and with cloth you had to change her lightning quick (not always something that happens in even the best daycare situation). She needed totally unscented hypoallergenic disposable diapers and even at that there was only a couple specific brands which were ok. Disposables were simply the only way for her not to be miserable.
My son is 3 now and when pregnant with him I investigated the diaper service idea here in Houston. In the last couple of decades a lot of research has been done about all the water, electricity, gas and chemicals used in these services. So that’s not maybe so innocent either, and there is plenty of evidence on both sides. Then there’s still the do-it-yourself approach which would work but maybe in the 16 years between the two kids I figured out a few things and one is that I’m not doing this sort of thing with a full-time job. No organic home-made baby food either. And my family does truly depend on my income. So, disposables. Yeah I don’t feel great about it, but we can’t always get what we want.
I would recommend anyone who is not working full time and wants to do cloth diapers, except for the alllergy thing which my daughter had and is very unusual, it’s not necessarily that hard but you NEED to talk with some ladies who are about 65+ right now and they will give you all the tips like my mom showed me (back when!)
point is if you’re doing cloth, definitely talk to ladies 65+ and get their tips like my mom showed me (back when!)
Yikes! I made a comment and it disappeared, so I did it again! Now here it is twice! Sorry!
We can’t always get what we want — that’s for sure, Beth! And I surely learned it the hard way!
Thanks for sharing your story and I know exactly what you mean about figuring a few things out in the 16 years between your two children. In the end, I think each person has to do what works for them and respect the decision of others.
I struggled with this issue as well. I bought the cloth diapers and really wanted to do what was best for my son and the environment. At age 45 with my first I had a C section and I had no help at home while I healed from my surgery and my laundry room is in the basement 3 floors below! I gave up I couldn’t do it. I was exhausted from breastfeeding, the c sec pain and sleep deprivation. Disposables for me was a godsend
I often wonder if using cloth makes a real difference. I have read all the arguments for it but when you look at the environmental damage already done by the billions of us on the planet I sometimes feel what is the point?!
Everyday I see and read about how damaged the planet is and how on a day to day basis so much is wasted. For example tons of food thrown away at our public schools. How about those holiday parties where everyone uses plastic plates cups and utensils? What about that Gulf Oil spill and that nuclear blowout in Japan? What about China and all it is doing to poison its waterways and its air? What about all the destruction going on in the Middle East what is the carbon footprint after 10 years of war?
Maybe the real issue is stemming population growth. 9 billion people by the year 2050 can the earth sustain all of this humanity and all of its consumption?
It is overwhelming trying to be health conscious when everything around us is contaminated. From our soil to the air we breath to the food we eat all of it is contaminated. I just try to live one day at a time doing my share but down deep inside I know that it is a drop in the bucket.
That’s definitely a hard one, Tina. Yes, sometimes it does feel as if the little things we’re able to do are a drop in the bucket, but I guess the only way to look at them is that all the drops in the bucket of every one of us can fill up tons of buckets!
I’ve used disposables and I’m currently cloth diapering full time. The diaper sprayer is a very useful accessory for me and it has made the difference between sticking to it and giving up. I blog about cloth diapers and I always tell my readers that if they don’t want to deal with #2, then don’t have kids ’cause that comes with the tittle, I know it sounds rude but I’ve dealt with it while using disposables and even in the baby’s outfits.
I’m glad you tried it and like you said cloth diapers are not for everybody, but the same happens with disposable.. they are not for everybody, sometimes for allergies, sometimes for the lack of budget.
I like my cloth diapers and the only regret that I have is not trying them sooner.
First of all I want to say I love the page title and the little note “raising your kids bilingual”. I am also hoping to do the same. I am a first time mom to a now 1 month old baby boy. I have used disposable on my relatives in the past but I knew I wanted to use cloth since I first became pregnant. The main reason was cost. I hate to throw money away. On that note I must say the number one thing that will help a mom cloth diaper successfully is research, research, research!! I cannot say it enough. You need to see what cloth diapers fit your lifestyle. I use pocket diapers bum genius, fuzzibunz and Charlie banana. I also use prefolds with covers and flats. I am thinking you used prefolds and flats with covers because you had to change your baby every 2 hrs even at night. This is more than likely because you weren’t using the best cloth diapers for your needs. Here is what works for me… I use prefolds and covers when I at home and can change my baby more often. In my opinion these are not ideal at night. At night I use a pocket diaper with a doubler (that is two inserts). God blessed me with a wonderful baby that sleeps through the night since he was born. He only wakes up one time to eat and then goes straight back to sleep no fussing no crying. Its wonderful!! I do not change his diaper at night the unless he has gone poo. It is not needed. My newborn does not get diaper rashes and does not leak through.
(cont of my post I accidentally submitted incomplete)
If he has a poo I do change him but most nights he is only wet doesn’t usually poo until morning. If I noticed the slightest redness on his bum I use California baby diaper rash cream. The redness usually resolves by the next diaper change. When we go out which is pretty much everyday I also use pocket diapers with one insert. This usually is good for 2-3 hrs pretty much like a disposable. If its needed I change him just like you change a disposable. The only difference is I save the diaper. When I come home it goes in the dry diaper pail until wash day. It did take me 1-2 weeks to figure out what worked for us. I must say I also had a c section and my laundry room is down stairs. This did not discourage me from cloth diapering what I did instead was use nb disposables for the first week. These were given to me at my baby shower. So cloth diapering can be done and require little effort but you have to use what works. I do also think it’s great that you tried cloth but my suggestion is it sounds like you were using what I call old school diapers. It’s 2011 times have changed cloth diapers have to. I would not suggest talking to women 65 or older for tips when using new age clith diapers. The reason is new cloth diapers are different. They probably haven’t even seen pocket diapers before. They require special soap like rock n green not bleach or boiling diapers like the old days. That is why I said research is so important with cloth diapering if you do cloth and do it right it works!!
I work full time and sometimes I go ‘What was I thinking!?” I do cloth diapers full time, wash them at home, exclusively breastfeed, pump at work, we did BLW so I didn’t have to make baby food (although I did do it with my first). There has been days, especially right after maternity leave, when I felt so overwhelmed that I questioned my choices. But then I remembered the alternatives and I felt much better. I work very hard to raise my kids as naturally as possible. With my first, not everything went as planned and I did have to make some compromises, but with my second, I had learned from experience and I was more determined to make everything work and had back up plans just in case.
Something that also helps me is to remember that they won’t be in diapers forever, and changing diapers every hour or two although it seems like an eternity, doesn’t last very long. My daughter is now 13 months old and everything is so much easier and predictable. Yes, the laundering is still there, but now it has become part of my routine just like everything else we adapt with after having a baby.
We are fortunate that today we have so many options for cloth diapering that there is virtually one type for each family lifestyle and budget. I am grateful that our daycare was willing to use our cloth diapers and wipes so I didn’t have to use the disposables for that. Before we embarked on this cloth diaper journey, I invested in everything I could (withing reason) to make it go as smoothy as possible. We bought diaper pail (a big trash can), pail liners, wet bags for diaper bag, wet bags for daycare, diaper sprayer, fleece liners, spray bottles for wipes, enough diapers for every other day laundering. Going out has never been an inconvenience for us. The only thing that I do differently than when using disposables, is that I do not leave my diaper behind, it goes into the wetbag and into the diaper bag. Even my husband ( who had more of those “what were we thinking” moments than me) is a pro now!
Also, for those babies with allergies, fortunately today there are so many companies that are committed to the environment and to our health that it is so much easier to find a detergent that is free of all the toxic ingredients that make allergies worse. There is a number of soaps and detergents that are made with cloth diapers in mind and that are good for the entire family’s laundry as well. And for those sometimes unavoidable diaper rashes, there are safer alternatives as well.
However, I do have to admit, I am no super mom, I did use disposables at the hospital and for the first 2 weeks at home to give my body time to heal and adapt to life with 2 children. Fortunately, there are green options for disposables and that is what we used.
I wish there was more advertising for cloth diapering. Although there is a sea of information about them, this information only goes to those who are already considering going this route. It is scary to think about what we are doing to our planet, but if we all stop closing our eyes to it, then we will be encouraged to make different choices.