Friday, June 24, 2011

A Little Experiment: Why Cloth Isn't For Us

**Today is our last day at the beach, and it's RAINING! We've already been to the outlet mall (twice), so we're kind of at a loss about what to do. I decided to go ahead and write this post about a little "experiment" I did a few weeks ago while I had some extra time. Sorry it got a little long.... like I said, I had some extra time! ;)**

A few week ago, I got the idea into my head that I wanted to try cloth diapers. Yes, you read that right.

[I now need to pause here to say a few things.]

If you know me, you probably think it's hilarious that I even THOUGHT about trying cloth diapers. Honestly, I think it's a little funny myself. Maybe I do have a little "crunchy" side of me that is trying to make itself known?? Haha! Also, I was a little hesitant to write this post, because I do NOT want it to seem critical at all! (I guess you can figure out how the little "experiment" went now...) I think cloth diapers are so cool, and that's why I wanted to try them in the first place! If you cloth diaper your child - wonderful! However, I had no trouble at all finding multiple blogs about how amazing cloth diapers are, but there aren't as many (that I found) of people who tried them and didn't like them.

I'll be honest -- I didn't have any deep or meaningful reasons for wanting to try cloth other than the fact that I thought we could probably save lots of money, and I think they're SUPER cute! See, I told you it was nothing deep ;) However, I do know that we could have potentially saved money, and so I figured why not give it a try? I do laundry all the time anyway! So, I ordered a sample pack from HERE and decided to give it a go!

I'm SO glad I ordered that sample pack! I had no clue if I would like cloth, or what type of diaper I would end up wanting to use, so that was a great way to try them out without investing a lot of money into something I wasn't 100% committed to yet. I was so excited to get all those diapers in the mail.... like I said, they really are SO much cuter than disposables, in my opinion! :)

Well, I washed all the diapers, and then we started our little trial period. The washing wasn't a big deal at all to me. Like I said, I'm pretty much doing laundry all the time anyway. Even dealing with the dirty diapers didn't really phase me. I wouldn't want to deal with another child's poop like that (sorry if this seems a little crude), but taking care of my own child's dirty diapers doesn't really bother me.

There WERE a few things that I didn't like about cloth diapers, and these things ultimately led me to decide that cloth diapers weren't for us. First of all, I didn't like that the diapers were SO bulky compared to disposables. The diapers that I was using and would have wanted to go with if we had decided to cloth diaper were the all-in-ones or the pocket diapers. I just felt like they were HUGE. I literally would have had to go up a pajama size if we had used those. Jude sleeps in footie pajamas, and I just about could not get them snapped up over those diapers. His little booty also looked slightly comical to me when he was dressed with one of those diapers under his clothes -- it was just SO BIG. Ha! I could have gotten over that, though.

Another thing that didn't work was that Jude did NOT like sleeping in cloth diapers. I think this was just because we were trying them out when he was older and not used to being so "wet." If we had used cloth with him from day one, I'm sure this wouldn't have been an issue at all. When we tried to use a cloth diaper on him overnight, he ended up having an awful night. He would NOT stay asleep. He just kept waking up fussing, and we couldn't figure out what the problem was. We finally changed his diaper to see if that would help, and we just put a disposable on him. He went right to sleep and slept like a rock after that. I think this is something that Jude could have gotten used to, and I know I could have gotten different kinds of inserts for overnight use, but I just hated the thought of him laying in a wet diaper that obviously bothered him. (Again, I'm SURE this is just because he's an older baby -- I'm not trying to say that babies who wear cloth are uncomfortable!) I knew cloth was less absorbent than disposables (DUH!), but I guess I just didn't realize how wet he would feel every time he tee tee'd. I felt like I had to change him EVERYTIME he went or he was sopping wet.

The last thing that I didn't like, and the thing that was really the deciding factor for me, was that I felt like Jude smelled like urine all the time. I have a strong sense of smell, and I just couldn't handle that. When I would walk into his room after he woke up from a nap, or even when I would just pick him up when he was wearing a cloth diaper, I would smell tee tee. I don't know if this just means I needed to change him more? I was changing him OFTEN, though. He was not sitting in soaking wet diapers, y'all. Again, there are probably solutions to this that I just didn't know about, but smelling urine all the time was enough to make me feel like cloth wasn't for us.

If I had had any deep or strong reasons for using cloth, these little issues are all things that we could have gotten past. If I really felt in my core that this was best and something I needed to do, I would have stuck with it. But since I didn't have any strong feelings like that, I didn't feel like it was worth it [to me] to stick it out. I had already decided that if we went to cloth diapers, we would still use disposables when we were out and about. I wasn't going to take Jude to church in a cloth diaper, and I didn't want to have to worry about transporting a dirty cloth diaper home if we were out running errands or what have you. So, since we would still be buying some disposables to use while we were away from home, and since Jude didn't like sleeping in cloth diapers, I didn't think we would end up saving enough money to make investing in the cloth diapers worthwhile. We really aren't at home with Jude awake enough to make it worth it. So, after our little experiment, we decided to send the cloth back and stick with disposables.

I have to say that even though we didn't end up switching to cloth diapers, I'm still glad I tried them. I honestly do still think they're great, and I know a lot of people REALLY love them. I also always want to stay open to trying new things. I think it's easy to get into a rut (in parenting and just life in general), and not even have good reasons for doing the things we do. I had never even thought about WHY I use disposable diapers other than the fact that almost everyone I know does. I think it's easy for me to just think (subconsciously) that because I'm not "crunchy", I don't [use cloth diapers, wear my baby, co-sleep, extended breastfeed] without even trying any of these things to find out IF they would work for me or WHY I don't do them. I think we can all learn from people who do things differently from us, and I'm trying to keep an open mind :)

One thing that I'm really upset about is that I didn't get a single picture of Jude in a cloth diaper! Can you believe that one of my reasons for being willing to try this is how cute cloth diapers are, and then I didn't even get a picture?! Ughhh. You will just have to take my word for it that I didn't just make all this up, and that Jude DID look adorable in a cloth diaper! Ha!


Sarah Denley said...

I'm glad you wrote this. It was really interesting to me. Of course, you know how super self concious I can be and I just had a TERRIFYING thought- that my kids stink to you. Ha! I guess they're hardly ever in cloth diapers around y'all anyway, but still, ugh, I would feel so bad.

Also, your previous post- I literally laughed OUT LOUD about y'all bring Aubrey's bed. So funny! I'm glad you'll be back next week!

Genevieve said...

What a great post!! I am glad you tried the trial, it seems like a great way to see all the different options! I think that they definitely work for some people and not for others, but it probably feels nice to know you tried them out.

I totally relate to your feelings about them being bulky, they definitely are a lot bigger than disposables and Parker's jeans definitely don't fit him anymore because of it, haha.

You are brave for trying them out at night, we still haven't! Disposables work great for us at night so we are still sticking with them and using cloth the rest of the time. Basically, you have to do what works for your family. :)

Anyway, I really enjoyed this post, it is nice to see a different look at cloth diapering.

P.S. I love that you wrote about being sad that you didn't get a picture of Jude in one of them, they are super cute!!

The Niemeyer Nest said...

I am proud of you for trying them. We received one as a gift and I am scared to even try it. I gag in the morning when I go in Evie's room in the morning - 12 hours in a diaper is a lot.

Anonymous said...

I love that you tried them out, Carrie! Even if they didn't work for you, glad you got a chance to see what it was like. I can relate to the bulky thing - doesn't really matter anymore, but when Isaac was smaller, we had to buy pants in much bigger sizes cause his little bum was so big in cloth dipes. :)