I Survived Cloth Diapers and Lived to Tell About It

Today I am so thankful to have Margot Potter on my site blogging about cloth diapers. Margot is a designer, author, TV host and freelance writer. She’s written 7 books on jewelry making and worked with most of the biggest companies in the craft industry. You can find her at her lifestyle site or her metal stamping site. She’s also on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, YouTube and Instagram. Please make sure to swing by her sites and give her lots of loving. If you know anyone who is expecting a new little bundle make sure you send this post to them. I think what you are about to read will inspire them to try cloth diapers. My little one is 6 months old and I am wanting to try the cloth (reusable) swim diapers. I am really considering trying cloth diapers to. Having to spend $40 every three weeks on diapers is getting very expensive.  Enough about me, let's learn how Margot survived cloth diapers and lived to tell about it.

This is Margot's daughter. Guess what she is wearing underneath that grass skirt?

My baby is 16 years old now, but way back when she was still in diapers we made a conscious decision to do things a little differently. She was born in a birth center with a midwife and a doula present. It was a peaceful transition into the world and one we were blessed to be able to experience. I was 34, the last year that a birth like this was possible. We brought her home four short hours later and began our journey as parents.
For the first six months of her life, we had a diaper service. Those months were a blur of feeding, changing, bathing, nursing and packing to move across state. The diaper service was a life saver. They provided us with a huge stack of clean cloth diapers each week and we provided the diaper covers. No dunking, no dumping and no soaking. The used diapers went straight into a diaper bin, were picked up from our front porch weekly and replaced with a freshly washed stack.
After we moved into our new temporary home, we started washing the diapers on our own. Yes, we dumped, dunked, swished and soaked in white vinegar before washing in hot water with a gentle laundry soap to protect our daughter’s sensitive skin. We had four dozen diapers and 2 dozen covers, which meant we washed about once weekly. Not a big deal, really. It saved us a lot of money and was a small thing we could do for the environment.
Our daughter stayed in cloth diapers until she began attending a pre-school and state laws required the use of disposable diapers. During school hours, we complied using organic and chemical free disposables while continuing to use cloth diapers at home. Only once was our daughter ever in a regular disposable diaper when a parent accidentally put it on her during school. That diaper was in our trash can during a rain and snowstorm and by the time the trash was finally picked up it had expanded to five times the size and a bright blue gel had oozed out of the edges. Eew.
When you calculate the cost of disposable diapers versus cloth the savings are considerable. We bought our diaper covers at Target and got the diapers at another site online. That one purchase of four dozen diapers lasted for the entire time my daughter needed them. Covers were replaced as they wore out and she grew, about twice a year. They had hook and loop closures that made it easy to change with a few folds of the cloth inside, no need for pokey diaper pins. There are a wide variety of options in the cloth diaper arena, I found the less expensive covers worked the best. Some of the more expensive covers that promised to “wick moisture” mostly made a mess of her clothing. Yes, there were a few leaks, but that happens with disposables too. If I had it all to do again, I’d do it the same way.
Don’t be afraid to try cloth diapers, especially with a diaper service. It’s a money saver and it’s great for your children and the environment. Our landfills are overflowing with plastic diapers that will never decompose. Looking at the options online, I think it’s still a viable and affordable alternative. It wasn’t that hard and it didn’t take any more effort than disposables. You can do this, I promise!

Margot Potter
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