Monday, June 9, 2014

Lauren's Experience with Cloth

I’m happy to be contributing to the SmartiPants blog, and am eager to share some of my cloth diapering background with you! Here are a couple of cloth diapering facts about me:

• I am a huge proponent of simple cloth diapering (flats, prefolds, and covers)
• I prefer using natural fibers
• I love helping people feel comfortable using wool (it’s a miracle fiber!)
• I am not a fan of pocket diapers
• My favorite diaper is a diaper you can’t purchase in the US (I came across it used)

When I began building our cloth diaper stash, almost three years ago, the driving force behind our decision to use cloth was primarily based in economics. We had moved to another state for my husband’s job, forcing me to leave my own career behind. I worked in publishing and the market was unbelievably competitive due to massive layoffs the previous year; I had multiple interviews with publishing houses, none of which turned into a position. Expecting a baby, and living off of one income, meant that we had to be extremely mindful about our expenses; cloth diapering was the perfect fit.

I was a cloth-diapered baby (flats, prefolds, rubber pants), so it wasn’t such a stretch to envision lots of fluff in our future. After researching all I could about cloth diapering, I decided that prefolds and covers were the best choice for us (economical and easy to care for). I built our stash gradually, hunting out cloth diaper sales, and adding some used pocket diapers here and there. When our son finally arrived, and we got into the swing of cloth diapering, we quickly realized that pocket diapers were not for us. I added more prefolds and, eventually, fitteds to our cloth diaper stash.

When my son was around 11 months old, he began fighting every diaper change; pinning Snappis proved a challenge, let alone trying to complete three steps in diapering (prefold, Snappi, cover). Since we were already using GroVia and Best Bottom shells as covers, I purchased inserts and began using them as all-in-one (AIO) diapers (single use). Over time, I added several AIO diapers and purchased many used diapers to get a feel for what worked for us. As a result, my cloth diaper stash is varied and versatile; comprised of over 75 prefolds (preemie to toddler sizes), 10+ PUL covers (sized and one-size), 5+ wool longies & shorties, 9 AI2s, and 20 AIOs.

If I could offer advice to new cloth diapering parents, I would suggest NOT buying a particular diaper in bulk (no matter how good the deal). In two years of cloth diapering, I’ve gone through multiple styles of diapers with my son, as what worked for him at a one [st]age no longer fit well or provided adequate absorbency at another. Being able to easily sell or trade diapers that don’t work for us is extremely helpful.

Lauren is a former publishing rep-turned-WAHM to a rambunctious toddler. When she's not playing Susie Homemaker, you can find Lauren blogging about all things natural parenting/living at, sewing or knitting woolen goodies, or scheming for companies as a freelance Copywriter, Blogger & Marketing Consultant.

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