first things first! i know that cloth diapering isn’t for everyone. having had two babies, i’m well aware of the multitude of barriers that keep people from doing it. before having kids, i really thought i’d be one of those crunchy mamas with babies in cloth diapers. my mom cloth diapered me and my siblings, so i kinda just assumed i would do it, too. but as adam’s birth drew closer, i just didn’t take the plunge. i was worried that just taking care of him would be enough work. i was already overwhelmed and i didn’t want to add to the stress i was experiencing. i lived in an apartment without a washing machine. then, after he was born, i gave it half-hearted try, and of course, it didn’t work out. i thought maybe i’d eventually try again, but before i knew it, he was out of diapers.
then edie was born. i stocked up on our “eco-friendly” disposable diapers and water wipes, and didn’t even consider cloth. i did all of the other eco-conscious things with her like i did with adam. exclusive breastfeeding, babywearing, avoiding plastic, using organic textiles and products, wood toys, all that crunchy stuff. but i didn’t try cloth diapers. until i started chatting with a local friend who recently launched squeaky cheeky, a new cloth diapering service here in town. i had never heard of such a thing before, and it sparked a little glimmer of hope for us. i was especially intrigued because it was the perfect way for me to give it honest-to-goodness try without sinking-in all of the up-front costs of buying a ton of inserts, covers, supplies, etc. that’s a huge barrier because the up-front cost is kind of high when you don’t even know if it will work out for you!
the way the service works, you pay a monthly fee (similar to that of an eco-friendly monthly disposable subscription) and all of the supplies are dropped off at your doorstep. in our case, we got prefolds, covers, snappis, and cloth wipes. then each week, you leave the bag of dirty laundry out on your doorstep and they swap them out for clean supplies. we tried it for a month to see how it would go, and the verdict is in: we’re now officially cloth diapering part-time.
what we learned right off the bat, is that we couldn’t go full-time because we have too many caregivers helping with edie. that’s great for me, but not so great for cloth diapering. not everyone is comfortable learning how to use them, and you certainly can’t send a baby to most daycares in cloth diapers. so we’re using cloth diapers during the hours when i’m watching her, but we use disposables when she’s being watched by someone else. edie also sleeps through the night, and i can’t stand the idea of waking her just to clean-up a diaper, so we’re using overnight disposables so she can stay comfortable and dry without being disturbed.
another thing i learned is that i’m terrible at using pre-folds. i know with time, you get better. but there are also other options. we got to try out an all-in-one diaper, and i really like that you can pretty much change them just like you would a disposable diaper. they’re a little bit more expensive than pre-folds, but they work for us. on the flip side, i’ve now switched over to cloth wipes! i didn’t even know that they existed before, but i like them so much better. for those who aren’t familiar with how they work, you use water or bum spray first, then wipe things up with the dry cloth. wet wipes are awesome for cleaning up dirty hands and faces, or picking up small messes around the house, but i know adam hates them because they’re cold. and those wipe warmers are notorious for getting moldy and gross. so this is the perfect option if you’re ok with a bit of (admittedly gross) extra laundry.
as far as the service, i’m no longer using it because i’m able to handle the extra laundry, but i think it’s a really great option for households who want to go green, but don’t have a washing machine. and it’s an especially great gift for a new family who is on the fence about cloth diapering because it gives them a chance to try it out without making any up-front investment. i know it was a great learning experience for me.
our top drawer set-up. prefolds with bum spray and clippis, covers, cloth wipes.
don’t worry, we lowered her crib right after taking these photos! she was 6 months in this photos, so she had literally just started standing on her own.
the supplies arrive in this laundry bag, and the service provides a laundry bin for the nursery.