6.18.2010

Cloth on a Newborn? Part 1

When we first decided to cloth diaper, I was definitely not going to start right away. It sounded very stressful and I wanted to give my new-mom self a break. I thought I would be overwhelmed with everything else and didn't want to stress about "tricky" cloth diapers. And buying a whole set just for 6 weeks didn't seem financially worth it. I knew the infant prefolds would be too bulky and even pocket diapers that say they work for 8lbs+ don't work well with newborn chicken legs. Even bigger babies need a few weeks to fatten up first. And even many die hard cloth diaper lovin' mamas say to just use disposable at first.

But as time went on, I was less and less happy with the idea of using disposables. Finances were still a factor but health and not exposing my baby to chemicals was becoming increasingly important to me. So I calculated the cost, it would be about $80 for 2 dozen newborn prefolds and several covers. Plus two of the covers I was planning on getting anyway (Thirsties size 1). That is about what the disposable diapers I would have used would cost for 6 weeks so I figured we would break even on the first kid and since they would barely be used, they would still have lots of life left. I still worried that it would be too much for me to handle and I would end up buying disposables and wasting my money but figured it was worth a shot.

So the very first diaper we put on Lucy was cloth.
And we have never looked back. They aren't hard at all. Yes, we Craig does have to run a load of diapers every night but the machine does the work so it only takes 5 minutes. Then he leaves them to dry out in the sun or I toss them in the dryer. And I never have to worry about running out of diapers and having to send Craig to the store.

And we only had a leak issue one time, with the second diaper - apparently trifolding and meconium don't mix. But even then it didn't get out of the cover and after that we switched to the jelly roll fold and haven't had any problems. Even when the sounds coming from her abdominal area make me think that surely we will.

Speaking of meconium, I know that is one reason many people choose not to use cloth right away, but it really isn't a big deal. At first I used liners I had made by cutting up an old t-shirt. That was nice since I could pick up the bulk and just toss the whole thing but my milk didn't come in until later so we were dealing with meconium until day 8 and I got tired of that. So I just stopped using them and figured I would just have to live with stains. But I didn't have to because the sun works wonders on stains. A few hours laying out and they disappear. Even yucky meconium ones. And if you are left with a stubborn stain or two, is that a big deal? I mean, they are only diapers!

And yes, prefolds and covers are not the most advanced diapering system out there but with the aid of a snappi, it works well and they are not nearly as tricky as some would lead you to believe. I always hear the new systems say they are great for "grandparents, babysitters and dads" who can't handle prefolds. I get babysitters and grandparents because they probably won't be changing a ton of cloth diapers and you don't want to have to show them how every three months they come visit but if a guy can tie his shoes, he can master the prefold/snappi concept. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against pockets or all-in-ones. I have a few and am excited about using them when Lucy's a bit bigger but it seems a bit demeaning to suggest that men can't handle prefolds.

So if you are wondering whether newborn cloth diapering is worth it, I say yes!

1 comment:

Elaine said...

I was so proud (not sure if that's the right word, but I'm going to use it anyways) of y'all for putting Lucy in a cloth diaper right away!!! One of the reasons I hope to have a homebirth next time around is because I'm pretty sure St. Joseph's won't let me use cloth in the hospital and I don't want to procrastinate on switching.

The whole idea that Dad's need a simple diaper confuses me. Jason just wants me to use the same thing over and over so there are no surprises. I have a Fuzzy Bunz (thanks!), fitted diapers, and a wool cover, but he'd rather just use the prefolds and covers because he's confident that he knows exactly what to do with them.

Just a happy little thing I haven't been able to share with many people because they don't use cloth: We use the newspaper fold with a infant prefold and a Bummis cover. I realized that Zuzu didn't really need all the extra absorbency of a regular prefold because all the moisture was upfront anyways. So we just fold and cover and away we go. It's so much less bulky and crazy simple.

Hope everything is going well and thanks for the posts!