But how did my love affair with all things Fluff begin? How did I get past many of the outdated and all-too-common (and completely false) stereotypes about cloth? Well, it started with an unplanned pregnancy, a friend from the Carolinas, and my pocketbook. Let's face it. In today's world, every dollar saved makes a lot of difference for most one-income families. Mine is no different. We live paycheck to paycheck, and struggle to make ends meet. When our daughter, Sophie was born, we used disposable diapers. We thought nothing of it. It was just what people did...You run out and buy a case of Pampers and call it a day. (Or in our case, we would buy Luvs by the case online to save a few dollars and avoid the icky Dry-Max in Pampers.) And then when Lil' Miss Thang was about 3 or 4 months old, we found out we were pregnant AGAIN. This came as quite the shock, as we suffered with secondary infertility and tried for a baby for years before we were blessed with our daughter. But with another baby on the way, also came many more expenses....A double stroller, another crib, more baby food, more clothing, another car seat....and then there was the huge expense of diapers to take into account. I was faced with a crisis, oops, dilemma...How on earth were we going to comfortably afford to diaper 2 very different sized babies? A case of diapers costs roughly $40.00. I couldn't imagine spending double that every few weeks for 2 babies. I was more than a little bit stressed over this issue. There HAD to be another solution....
And then an old friend from high school introduced me to fluff. I must admit, when she told me she cloth-diapered her children, I had visions of stinky prefolds and giant safety pins and squeaky, leaky plastic pants. It did not sound at all appealing. Then they came to town, and I got my first glimpse of "modern" cloth diapers. They were all too darn cute! SO many different colors and prints, and some were even fuzzy! And to my surprise, they LOOKED like disposables! Well, made of cloth of course, and with aplix or snaps instead of the sticky tape used in disposables. I have to say, I was more than a little intrigued....
I then took it upon myself to learn more about the mysterious and often misunderstood world of cloth-diapers. The more I heard from other moms and read online, the more it made sense. And the fact that over the course of diapering 2 babies I would save my family thousands of dollars? I was SOLD! Not to mention, I was looking forward to my babies having the cutest little fluff-butts in town! So I talked to my husband. I broke it all down, since he was reluctant, and I explained to him the benefits of cloth. Once he heard how much money we would ultimately save making the switch, he agreed that it made sense for our family to jump aboard the fluffy bandwagon!
I have been using cloth for a few months now, and I must say the following things:
- They are NOT stinkier. They are actually less smelly than disposables, probably due to the absence of all those pesky chemicals. However, if you leave them in the diaper pail too long, they do smell. Duh. That's a given with anything that is covered in pee and/or poop.
- They are softer on my children's skin, and they seem to get rashes less. No, you cannot use conventional diaper rash ointments with cloth diapers, (BIG no-no) but there are cloth-friendly options, such as Grandma El's, that do the job quite nicely should your child experience skin irritation while using cloth diapers.
- They aren't at all difficult to put on and use. JUST as easy as a disposable once you have the hang of it!
- They aren't really much of a hassle to care for. Yes, you wash them separately in different detergent, and yes, you have more rinse cycles, but once you get into a routine, it's not at all bad. And really...We do tons of laundry anyway....What's a few extra loads a week?
- We are saving some serious money. Yes, really. We're still broke, but not AS broke as we'd be if we had stuck with disposables. It's really nice not having to buy diapers over and over and over again...
- Cloth diapers are stinkin' cute! There are sooooo many styles and colors and prints...so many fabrics.... Diapers are now almost a fashion statement in my house!
- Cloth diapers help me do my part for the environment, and we produce much less waste. I am all for doing my part to make sure the world we live in is just a little bit better off for future generations!