Cecilia and I had some time one morning to go to Whole Foods, grab an orange for her, a muffin for me, and a Starbucks for the both of us. It was such a fun morning date with my baby girl. She proceeded to drop a bunch of Cheerios - which, to her delight, brought the birds over by us, but the Starbucks employees were not so excited to have a bunch of birds on their patio! Needless to say, we had a blast.
I just need to quickly vent to y'all. Today I was at the store, Zoolikins, and it was my first day that I worked by myself - it was really fun and actually went by faster than I thought it would :)
But while I was at work, a couple of older women with a younger woman (who was pregnant) came in to the store. They were browsing around and chatting about what the older women thought the pregnant woman should get (because they know best, obviously, because they've been through it all... note the sarcasm). They stumbled upon our cloth diaper wall - which is a huge wall full of all of our diapers right next to a table filled with our prefolds and all sample dipes. The older women then just started making fun of cloth diapers and how silly they are. They said to the pregnant woman, "Just recycle your bottles, don't worry about diapers. This is so much silly work."
Another woman came in with her around 10 year old daughter. They came upon the cloth diaper wall where she started laughing and telling her daughter how she knows someone who is planning on cloth diapering and how they were in for a "rude awakening." She went on to explain to her daughter that it was not a good concept as it is just so much work and so messy and disgusting. She said, "Disposables are just so much easier and more convenient."
Since when is anything about having and bearing children more convenient or easier? Since when did our convenience as mothers and fathers and families outweigh our responsibility to our children, to the environment, or to health in general?
It is more convenient for me to buy Cecilia a Big Mac, is that what is best for her health?
It is more convenient for me to skip mass on Sundays and Holy Days, is that what is best for her soul?
It is more convenient for our family if Mike works a normal job, but is that what the Lord is leading him to and is it for the betterment of the Kingdom?
It is more convenient to ignore the poor and needy in the world, but is that what is the humane thing to do?
It is more convenient to do a lot of things... but it has nothing to do with the betterment of our lives, of our children's lives, or the lives of our brothers and sisters in the world.
I hope that I never teach Cecilia that convenience is the most important thing in the world - but that she may understand sometimes in the struggle we find much grace, determination and success.
I hope that that mother, in her own way, will teach her daughter that life's journey is not about convenience, but about finding beauty and good in all of the ways of the world - and working hard for something that you truly believe in, that you know is for a better quality of life, that may be more difficult, but more fulfilling in the end, is what matters in the end.
A few people have asked about specific cost savings in regards to cloth diapering. I researched a bit online, and I found that on Diaper Pin, she has a cost calculator where she adds in $0.013 for energy usage per diaper, as well as $0.013 for cleaning (detergent) use per diaper. She also has a section where you add in any additional costs (liners, washcloths, etc.). After calculating all of those factors in, the total savings still came out to somewhere around $1,000.
There is also a site I found that did a great cost comparison between Costco Huggies diapers (bought in bulk, so less expensive then buying Seventh Generation at Whole Foods like I've been known to do) and cloth diapering. She also factored in that she wouldn't be using prefolds and covers the entire 2.5 years of diapering, which is very realistic and smart of her. She factors in that eventually she'll get some AIO's and Pockets eventually as her child grows.
Here is her chart - it is super easy to read and understand, but please, let me know if there are any questions in regards to the chart (and, as always, in regards to anything!). She factored in laundering, detergent, liners, doublers, cloth wipes, diaper sprayer - literally ALL of the accessories you would ever think of for cloth diapering! Her minimum savings for Option 1 (which is starting out with prefolds and covers and moving on from there) was $1,100!! Crazy!
Another (added bonus!) thing to think about is that you're not using a diaper and throwing it in a pail for the garbage truck. You are going to reuse that diaper on future children or resell it for a great resale price. Cloth diapers are hot commodities - and you will get a great return on the diapers that you use with your children.
I was really so surprised by the factors and numbers because I thought the accessories/laundering/etc. would lower the savings a ton - but you still save so much money! It's really crazy.
I'll be back tomorrow to talk about my recommendations and favorites for everyone!
Recently I've been asked (especially at work when I'm asked A LOT) why I wanted to start cloth diapering. First off, it wasn't a decision based on my carbon footprint or of my concern for our landfills - although it has become more and more evident to me how much of an impact disposables dipes really have on our environment. Not only do disposables greatly impact the environment, they also have a huge effect on the children wearing the dipe, as a recent study found that diapers release volatile organic chemicals. Yuck. Not only that, disposable diapers often contain dyes and dioxin, which is formed as a by-product of the chlorine bleaching process. Dioxin is a carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Yuck again and again and again.
Those are plenty reason enough for me to start doing anything to better the life and quality of life for my children - but the real selling point for me was the huge factor of cost. Many many places cite that using disposable diapers on your baby up to the age of 2 and 1/2 is at an average cost of up to $1,300 a year. Holy crap! That's a ton of money! You can easily cloth diaper your baby up to 2 and 1/2 for under $400 TOTAL. Here is a great site (don't be overwhelmed by her lingo - but she has the cheapest option as the first box and the most expensive option - disposables - as the very last box) that outlines all different types of diapers and their totals for diapering your baby until 2 and 1/2.
Anyway, that was what really intrigued me about cloth diapering. Cost, chemicals, the environment and, of course, the cute factor. I mean, seriously, I haven't seen a cuter bum than one in a cloth diaper.
Cloth Diaper Systems Explained
I've really been trying to figure out a way to explain cloth diapers in a way that people can understand - because I remember how overwhelmed I was when I started looking into CDing. So I'm going to lay out cloth diapers in a three system layout:
All In One: The name says it all. This is a cloth diaper that resembles a disposable diaper the closest. You literally put it on baby, baby wets diaper, you take diaper off and throw it in the diaper pail. This diaper is all sewn together so nothing comes apart and it has the waterproof outer as a part of the diaper so baby will get no wetness on clothes. This diaper is available in velcro (like a disposable) or snaps.
All In One Diaper
All In One Diaper Description
Pockets: This is a diaper that, like the All In One, is just put on and taken off of baby like a disposable. The only difference between a Pocket and an All In One is that there is an opening at the front/back/both ends of the diaper that allow for an insert to be put into. This insert is what forms the absorbency of the diaper. This diaper already has the waterproofing outer as part of the diaper, so nothing is getting past the dipe onto the clothes. This diaper is available in velcro (like a disposable) or snaps.
Pocket Diaper Description
Prefolds with a Cover: This is the most economical option for CDing. A prefold is a rectangular piece of cloth divided into three sections where the outside layers contain 4 layers of fabric and the middle contains either 6-8 layers. The middle layer is the absorbent layer. (This can be described as 4x6x4 or 4x8x4.)
A prefold requires a diaper cover, which is an outer waterproof cover that goes over the prefold to waterproof the system. A prefold can either be trifolded into a diaper cover or it can be "Snappi-ed" onto the baby. A Snappi is like an Ace Bandage that adheres the diaper to the baby for a snug fit so no leaks occur inside the diaper cover. If a leak were to occur inside the cover, the cover stops the leak from getting onto baby's clothes. The diaper cover is available in velcro (like a disposable) or snaps.
Prefold Diaper with Snappi
Prefold "trifolded" into a Diaper Cover
Within these three basic systems, there are many more options and decisions that can be made (in relation to the kinds of fabrics that touch baby, snaps or velcro, a fitted diaper instead of a prefold diaper, kinds of inserts/doublers, laundering, etc.) But I wanted to outline the three basic systems that exist in the CD world.
I'm really hoping this helps some of you out. Please do NOT hesitate to ask any questions and I will be better about looking and answering comments or questions.
Mike and I are looking forward to the moment when we are 100% exclusively cloth diapering, but during the transitional period that is our life right now - we haven't yet asked our generous babysitters to be a part of this adventure with us. I am so excited for the moment when my kids never wear a disposable again.
I will then feel proud of how cute they look, how chemical-free their bodies will be, and how much money we are saving for our family.
Cecilia and I went to Old Navy and got some goodies for spring/summer. Of course, I got her the wrong sizes of stuff and so I have to go back and exchange some! But, if you know me well, you know I don't mind this AT ALL because returning/exchanging/store credit/gift cards are my favorite things in the world!!
Anyway, Happy Fat Tuesday to you and yours :)
"I can't believe it, now the time has come." ~needtobreathe
As Lent is just a couple of days away, I figured I would put a Lenten resource on here for anyone who is looking for something to help them delve deeper into this most sacred season. I really love Lent more than any other time in the liturgical year - I think because of the changes in mass and solemness of the season, I am forced to acknowledge and be aware of my journey.
I implore you to really think and pray about your Lenten sacrifices and changes... in case you haven't thought about it or in case you've been so busy you didn't realize that it's already Ash Wednesday this Wednesday, please do so now.
"Sometimes it is in the desert where the words of love are heard again."
Cecilia has been so patient and loving while Mike and I have been in and out of the house with our crazy schedules. She has been watched by many (extremely generous and kind) family members and friends the past couple of weeks - and for Mike and me, we are so incredibly grateful. It is so comforting to know she is in good and loving hands. I have missed her though every single minute I'm not near her. However, I'm realizing sacrifices must be made - especially now for when I want to spend even more time with her in the future. Please keep us in your prayers during these transitional times in our lives.
Thank you all :)
“Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.”