April 15, 2014

FIAO 2.1 - Diapering the Twins

Even BTT I knew I wanted to cloth diaper. In the last few years we have made a lot of changes in our lives including our diet and environmental impact. We strive to eat as clean and healthily as possible by meal planning, examining ingredients and buying organic when we can. We also abide by the 80/20 rule and don't deny ourselves what we want or need as long as we have made good, healthy choices for the most part. C loves his steak and beer and I love my cheez-its and wine (when I'm not pregnant of course)! We have changed the way we use all of the "things" we have and how we consume products. We use all-natural and, when we can, homemade cleaning supplies and toiletries. In short we have worked to become more aware of how what we eat, do, wear and buy affects our lives, our budget and the world at large. We feel better and we believe we are better for it.

As convenient as many baby products may be, they can be incredibly wasteful and expensive.  It's so amazing how these staples of childhood can draw dramatic lines in the parenting community. It starts with breast vs. formula feeding, then making your own vs. buying baby food and of course cloth diapering vs. disposables.  I can honestly say five years ago I was definitely in the convenience camp. The thought of breast feeding made me anxious, making my own baby food sounded exhausting and don't even get me started on how I felt about cloth diapers? ICK!!!  Then, when we began this journey to living better and I started to hear about how cloth diapering was easy, budget friendly and, dare I say it, fun! I learned about "fluff" and how many mamas love to collect these adorable accessories for their babies' bums.  Upon seeing the year by year breakdown offered by FuzziBunz I was completely convinced. Not to mention I have been a professional diaper changer (child care provider) for 13 years, I have seen (and smelled) it all! An extra minute or two rinsing a diaper before tossing it in the wash did not seem worth the cost to me.  This rang even more true when we found out about the twins.  C was a little harder to convince until he realized that the idea of spending nearly $5000 a year on GARBAGE that just further pollutes the planet is insane and directly violates our new, greener, way of life. So our decision to cloth diaper was made.

THEN came the hard part! Which cloth diapers do we choose!?! These aren't the days of your mama's white cloth, safety pins and rubber pants. People always seem surprised when I tell them that nowadays there are nearly half a dozen types, all made by many different brands with loads of style options. I really had no idea what I was getting into. But after doing hours of research I think I finally have a good handle on how it all works and I'm ready to start choosing what we use for our girls. I will create my own cloth diaper 101 post soon but for now there are so many amazing posts out there that I recommend everyone check those out for more info. Like all our other decisions I came up with a list of my personal considerations and learned as much as I could about the different products.  I made the decision and will update in the future with the results!

Cloth Diaper Considerations:

Ease of use - Since I can change a disposable diaper in less than 1 minute and I will be staying home with the girls I am pretty flexible about how long it takes to change a diaper and I'm not worried about the wet-storage/laundry factor. This was mainly a factor for us because we will be doing twice the work and need twice as many diapers. I think All-in-Ones are fantastically convenient but I'm pretty confident I can master pre-folds and pockets with all those adorable covers, even with twins.

Initial cost - I want to start stocking up before the babies are here but when I started doing research I saw that one All-In-One (AIO) can cost at least $20. While I understand this is a one-time cost that could last 3 years, I also want to make sure we DON'T receive disposables at the shower and I could not see family or friends (some of whom are already questioning our choice) dropping that on a single diaper.  I feel like despite being less convenient I would rather ask people to give us a bunch of pre-folds and some covers and then purchase whatever else we want ourselves as we go along. This also won't force our family and friends to delve into the confusing world of cloth!

Real-Mom opinions - This was the most time-consuming aspect of my research. Due to the fact that there are so many choices I was having a hard time getting actual user recommendations on the websites where they would be purchased. I found that the best sources of knowledge were my local cloth-diaper swap group on facebook and the wealth of natural-mama blogs and YouTube videos that are out there (see links above). I no longer trust store websites when it comes to things like this. I want details!

The Unknown Factor A.K.A. every baby is different! - At the end of the day there is absolutely no way of knowing what will actually work for your family until your babies are here. Because of this I have added at least three different brands of pre-folds, covers, pockets and AIOs to my registries in sizes NB to 6 months. I made sure to register for them at every store as well since I have not heard great things about online-only cloth diaper registries. The plan is to test them out as we go and then stock up on the ones that work best and sell or swap the ones that we don't like. One thing I like about pre-folds is that if they don't work great as diapers they make excellent burp cloths and rags so it's not a total loss if I don't like using them.

Side note: Since our girls will be born at 35 weeks I am aware that I will probably need to use disposable preemie diapers. I have yet to find a cloth diaper that gets good reviews and is budget-friendly enough for the short period of time the girls will be wearing them. I just say that this goes along with our 80/20 lifestyle!

I will update after the shower with the results of my registry items and again after the girls are here!

20 Weeks tomorrow! Although I haven't grown too much I think I am ready start taking weekly bump update pics!


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