I have mentioned before that my family doesn’t cloth diaper, but I do love the idea of cloth diapering. It’s a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. Because of this, I asked several of my friends to write guest posts about cloth diapering. This is the second post in my cloth diaper series. It was written by my good friend Jessica who owns Top to Bottom Baby Boutique in Omaha, Nebraska. If you’re ever in the area, check out her new storefront! She’s a fun lady and a great businesswoman.
Owning a natural parenting and cloth diapering store usually garnishes a lot of questions: What started me cloth diapering? Why did we decide to open the business? And what do I find the most challenging? Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of stories from moms and dads on why they started or what stopped them. These stories, always intrigue me, because I love seeing what cloth diapering means to families. One of the most popular questions I get is “How in the world am I suppose to use cloth when both my husband and I work full-time”. This one always makes me chuckle, because it is my favorite topic!
Let me warn you, this always starts me on the discussion of laundry. And just so we are clear, I hate laundry. I’m not even sure that hate is a strong enough word. Luckily, early on, I was able to convince Justin that it should be one of his tasks! And I have dealt with shrunken clothes, things that have turned blue, etc in order to avoid laundry. But diaper laundry I will do! I love diaper laundry because I don’t have to sort, fold, or put away…though my good friend Maia does all of those for her diapers!
Justin and I have always both worked, and for the longest times we were on opposite shifts to avoid full-time daycare. It made it very hard to avoid laundry duty. When we began cloth diapering, we used a local diaper service. After a couple of weeks we were having issues with leaks and I started looking for other options. What I found was the wonderful world of fitteds, beautiful covers, and all around cute diapers. Cuter than Cadence was wearing at that point. As my research continued, we decided to move away from using the service and begin washing our own. Two kids and three years later we opened our own store because there were no local options that allowed me to play with diapers (and as my husband tells everyone, I’m just not patient enough to wait for the mail to arrive).
With both kids in diapers, we knew we needed enough diapers to get through about two days. Our diapers weren’t always pretty, but they were functional. I would throw them in the wash after the kids went to bed and then into the drier before I went to sleep. And inevitably, they ended up in a basket the next morning and that is where they stayed (I warned you, I don’t fold them!) Diaper wash, in case you are wondering, is easy peasy–throw in everything, rinse, add soap (I love Rockin Green) and wash on hot, toss in the drier (or like our partner Robyn, hang up to dry). I always warn everyone that it is a good idea to have a couple extra prefolds and a cover around for the inevitable time that you forget to do laundry until you put the last diaper on the kids (or when you are taking that last diaper OFF!). Justin and I once had to fashion a diaper out of his t-shirt because I had managed to forget to switch the diapers to the dryer. I’m not sure he found it as amusing as I did.
I’m sure at this point you are wondering about daycare. We used two different daycares during our last 3 years and numerous trips to grandmas, so I have learned a very important lesson–most people think prefolds and plastic pants when you tell them you are going to cloth diaper. We realized early on that it was easier to show them the types of diapers we planned to use then hope they knew what we were talking about. I always tell moms it is important to take a diaper with you when you go meet a new daycare. I usually also recommend using a Pocket or an All in One diaper because they are the most like disposables. I am not a big fan of pockets, because it requires stuffing the inserts in the diapers. I lose inserts like I lose socks (ie my hatred for laundry) so I tend to steer clear of these! If I could, I would redo my stash in Bummis Tot Bots and Itti Bitti Tuttos but at this point with 2 kids who are potty trained except at night I am having a hard time convincing Justin that I need all new diapers!
Natural diapering is an option for everyone, working or stay at home parents. Some parents go for the full cloth diaper experience, others use a mixture of cloth with disposable inserts (Gro-Via and Flip both make disposable inserts that can be used with the cloth covers), or the eco-friendly disposables (G-Diapers or Gro-Via bio diapers). All of these are great options for parents. There are so many options out there that everyone can find something they enjoy!