It took me forever to make my decision to go with cloth! I can give you every excuse in the book BUT the bottom line is that I was exploring unfamiliar territory so I was nervous! I have changed many diapers over the years ... my younger siblings, babysitting, teaching preschool, etc... but never had I ever been exposed to cloth diapering.
These were the MYTHS that I knew:
1. Babies who use cloth diapers have more diaper rashes.
2. You have to use harsh chemicals to clean the diapers.
3. It is a LOT of work!
4. It smells!
5. It is gross!
So with this 'knowledge' I ran right out and bought the best disposable diapers money could buy and went with them for baby number one! I was a clueless mommy trying to do all things right, I never thought twice about this decision. With baby number two life was about the same, I thought I was getting the hang of being mom but still was trying to do things right and by the book so disposable diapers were my choice ... the only difference is that I had realized that the 'best' did not mean the most expensive so with that in mind I found a generic brand that worked! When baby number three came along, I will be honest I was tired and trying to survive ... never gave diapering a second thought, it had been working, why change it!!!!!!
Somewhere between baby number three and baby number four (a four year gap) I made some changes in my life, honestly I am not sure where all the changes came from but I think they are for the best! The first change was that I became a stay at home mom, deciding to put my energies into my family. I also went back to school, meeting lots of wonderful people and building more confidence than I had ever had.
Baby number four was born at home surrounded by my family and two amazing midwives that helped me to see just how amazing birth and parenting can be and inspired me, by showing me that I could be a great mom! This is where many changes began ... but I still was not sold on cloth diapers. As a family we had challenged ourselves to become more 'green' and so the idea of cloth diapers crossed my mind but I still had the myths in my head that I just could not shake. Then I found gDiapers, a perfect balance between disposable and cloth.
We used gDiapers for baby number four, until he just could no longer fit into the gDiapers, which with my chubby little guy only took a few months. So I regressed back to all disposable ... but this time I maded the choice to to use Seventh Generation a greener choice!
When baby number five came along I was now faced with two children in diapers so I decided to give gDiapers a try again, once again my chubby little baby grew out of them really fast (only a few months). But this time I was feeling more frustrated and really wanting to make real changes, so I started researching ... now let me tell you this is where I became overwhelmed.
There are AIO, prefolds, pockets, one size, fitted, cotton, hemp, fleece, and on and on! My head was spinning and I felt trapped by more knowledge ... I honestly could not afford to buy them all to just try them. I asked around and everyone had an opinion ... I just did not know what to do! So in true ME fashion, I did nothing ... procrastinated some more!
Then we were surprised that we would be blessed with baby number six. So now I have baby number four who was going to turn three and had no desire to potty train, baby number five who just turned one and baby number six coming soon ... I made the decision that I was going to go all cloth by February 2009 when baby number six arrived!
In October 2008, I finally made the big change. I did not do it alone. I research, I asked, I found a lovely lady, Sunny over at Cutie Tooties Cloth Diapers, who has a store close by and agreed to assist me, answering my questions and letting me look, feel and contemplate for hours!
During this process there were a couple of things that became important to me ... if I was going to make the big change to cloth diapers then I wanted to make them 'right'. So I really spent a lot of time thinking about what was important to me and my family. This is what I came up with, which greatly helped me to make my decisions.
1. I wanted to avoid plastic of all kinds ... we have tried really hard as a family to use as little plastic as possible and there for it was very important to me to not have plastic in my diapering process!
2. I really wanted to go with organic or natural fibers ... fewer chemicals in the process. This too has been a family goal and figured if we were going to invest in the process then we should invest in what we truly believed was best.
4. We line dry everything, there are some brands that are better laundered with a dryer (according to some).
4. There was also the consideration of cost, although I was well aware that this was an investment that would pay for itself it is easy to get caught up and spend lots and lots of money. Now if I had started out with baby number one and knew I was going to have six children then I could have easily invested more and made my money back BUT in my heart I believe this will be the last baby so I wanted to try to stay reasonable!
So with these ideas and lots of information I made an investment ... one that I can honestly say was wonderful and I wish that I had made it earlier, it has been so worth it!
So stop back all this week to see more about our cloth diapering journey! Really I will share some real information with you this week: brands that I bought, what I like or not like so much, little tips that have made things easier for me, etc... Hey and if you have thoughts, ideas, questions, etc... please let me know. I also have started a resource list on my sidebar, if you have a good resource, some information, etc.. that I can link to leave your information and I will grab it!!