I had just given birth to my fourth baby and had no intention ‘whatsoever’ of ever messing around with cloth diapers. To some degree, I consider myself a pretty “crunchy” mom and I strongly adhere to an attachment parenting mindset, but after raising three babies in disposables, I was sold! I liked the convenience and the “no mess” factor. Cloth diapers seemed scary and well, rather, weird and old-fashioned.
But when my new baby was just one week old, a dear friend dropped by my house with a big bag of cloth diapers that she wanted to loan me. I took one look and laughed! I shook my head and told her she was barking up the wrong tree! I wasn’t even remotely interested in taking on that kind of an adventure. I told her I couldn’t keep up with all the regular laundry as it was and that there was no way I was going to add to that disaster!
She firmly set the bag on the floor beside me, looked me square in the eye, and said “You’ll use them. I know you will,” and then went on her way.
Over the next few days, I occasionally glanced over and looked at that bag sitting there, mocking me. I didn’t feel like I could do it…I didn’t even want to. How could a pile of fabric be so intimidating? Surely I had faced harder challenges before!
[bctt tweet=”“You’ll use them. I know you will.” #momlife #newmom” username=”losethecape”]
Finally, I ran out of all the disposable diapers that had been gifted to me and I had to make a choice. Do we purchase more or dig into that bag of cloth diapers? The frugal part of me screamed for attention and I knew in good conscience that I could not afford to waste money on something I would end up throwing away (literally!) when I had a perfectly good alternative. With money being tight anyway, I knew it was the only logical choice.
The first few times, I felt awkward fumbling around with them…and baby’s bum looked huge and kinda silly in them. But soon with several rounds of practice, I became a pro. I even figured out how to rinse them neatly in the bathtub without making a mess everywhere. I realized that it wasn’t so hard.
I learned that by putting a 5-gallon bucket, with a little water in it, on the floor beside the washing machine that I could easily drop the dirty diapers and inserts inside it. When the bucket was about half full or when I ran out of clean diapers, I would merely turn the bucket upside down over the washer and drop the contents inside. It was such a simple solution that I never even felt the extra “load” of laundry.
Within the first few days, I began to worry about the stains my baby would leave on the borrowed diapers and spent far too much time and energy scrubbing them clean. When I mentioned this to my friend, she laughed and told me I was “way over-thinking it!” And then she explained that all I needed to do was put the clean diapers outside on the clothesline to dry and that the sun would bleach them white again.
She was right (for the second time!). I used those diapers until my baby grew so big that I couldn’t squeeze her into them anymore. I’m sure I saved hundreds of dollars. I’ll always be thankful that I conquered my fear and I hope that if you need to, that you can, too!
Melanie is mom to five energetic kids, including a sweet new baby. She enjoys homeschooling her children from a peaceful parenting perspective and traveling with her family whenever she can. Her hobbies include playing the guitar, gardening, and relaxing with a hot cup of coffee. She freelances in her spare time and loves to write about this crazy journey called parenthood. She also is an author at BabyGateExperts.com, a blog which helps parents unravel the mysteries of baby-gating.