Cloth Diapers, the attempt

Here’s what’s so hysterical about our “diapering” plans – neither my husband nor I have ever actually changed a diaper.  Not once.  Never.

And yet.  We plan to attempt to live idealistically (re: naturally as possible, within reason) and do the cloth diaper thing.  Now, you have to remember that while I’m the kinda girl that only has biodegradable chemicals/natural solvents for cleaning agents in my house, I pay a cleaning lady to actually use them most of the time, so this is no hippie, back to the land, “live intentionally” move on our part. 

No no – we plan to use a diaper service, because quite frankly the idea of putting a poopy diaper in my washing machine – the same washing machine I use to clean my designer jeans and unmentionables and table linens – just strikes me as gross in that completely suburban way that I’ll never fully overcome (you can take the girl out of Jersey…).  The diaper service, like my eco-friendly dry cleaner, simply picks up my dirty items once a week and replaces them with clean ones (granted, I rent the cloth diapers from them vs. actually own them, but the concept is the same).  No need to run to the store to pick up more diapers like conventionals, but no need to spend time de-crapping the small one’s undergarments like cloth diapering without a service.  I love it when people make it easier for me to do the environmentally right thing!

So the most recent adventure has been trying to pick the perfect diaper cover.  You see, unlike my grandparent’s day (I’d say my mother, but we were garbed in huggies and fed gerber baby food), you no longer just pin the cotton diaper to the kid, hope you don’t stab them in the process, and know all too well that if the child springs a leak while you are holding him, you will need to change your shirt as well as the diaper.  Nope, the cloth diaper has evolved.  Instead of pins we have these great devices called snappies that hold the cloth diaper in place without any sharp implements that might render it impossible to survive a 3 AM feeding/changing session without giving your kid his first body piercing. 

In addition to the new fasteners, the diaper cover is now de rigour.  Ranging in materials, these little pants are like a cloth diaper insurance policy – if your child is a veritable fountain, or has a tendency towards more explosive means of relieving oneself, the cover catches what the cotton diaper fails to hold in – saving you from changing the outfit (and sheets) every time your child goes 1 or 2.  The nylon ones can simply be hosed off in the sink, but it does feel like you just wrapped a garbage bag around your baby’s bottom.  The cotton ones are softer, but tend to be less helpful in the wetness prevention realm (which is really the point, isn’t it?).  So we’ve decided to go with wool – natural, breathable and soft, and also pretty damn impressive in the wetness/seepage protectionarena.  The only downside is the the gold standard of wool diaper covers, Aristocrats (yes, I see the irony in the name), are about double the price of the nylon or cotton varieties.  That, and I’ll be washing them by hand in the sink. 

Is it weird that the small one will have more expensive underthings than his mom?

By the way, here’s a great blog from some experienced cloth diaper parents.  Their posts helped set my mind at ease about attempting this lunacy.


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