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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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The 10 Surprising Benefits of Fluff

I started cloth diapering for all the predictable reasons: I wanted to save money and save the planet. When we make the jump into cloth diapering, we do so knowing that there will be benefits. Hello! Why give up the assumed convenience of disposables without getting something much better in return. After a year of fluff, I'm happy to say that I have saved a ton of money and drastically reduced our household waste, but there have also been some surprising benefits. Here are the ten benefits of fluff that I wasn't expecting.

  1. Cloth diapers allowed me to bridge a generation gap. Suddenly, I have something in common with a grandmother who sees the world very differently than I do. Cloth diapers have strengthened my relationship with not just my grandma, but with many older women.
  2. I finally learned to sew! Many a good woman has tried to teach me to sew, and many have failed. While I will probably never make my own diaper from scratch, I have learned to sew wipes and doublers. Cool!
  3. Our family is better prepared for emergencies. With all the storms in the current news, many of us are wondering how we can better prepare our families for natural disasters. Having cloth diapers and a washing bucket on hand help my family be better prepared for inclement weather.
  4. Cloth diapers have increased my confidence as a parent. I was really apprehensive to take the plunge into cloth, and I remember feeling genuine fear when we used our last disposable diaper. I had been using disposables for over 2 years with my first child, so it was natural to have some trepidation. After a year of cloth diapering, however, I've realized I'm much more resourceful than I ever gave myself credit for.
  5. I've been inspired to “green-up” my life in other ways. My husband jokingly calls cloth diapers my gateway drug into green living. Reducing our waste by using cloth made us look at other wasteful practices in our home and seek better solutions to everyday problems.
  6. For the first time ever, I feel hip. Cloth diapers are popping up everywhere! Cloth diapers are quickly becoming the new “it” trend in parenting, and I'm on the leading edge of that movement. That has never, ever happened to geeky me before.
  7. I'm better organized. All that beautiful fluff has to go somewhere, and it has to be cleaned on a schedule. Our diapering routine has helped me to be more organized, even though there was a learning curve at the beginning.
  8. I have the best dressed kid. Cloth is cute. Period. I defy anyone to look at a fluffy butt and not think it's adorable. In our house, we have prints and patterns and bright colors and a whole plethora of cute fluff. Even my friends who are skeptical of cloth think my baby's butt is the cutest.
  9. I've learned to love the mail again. When you're a kid, the mail is a magical thing that brings cards and birthday presents. As an adult, my mail mostly consisted of bills, which are pretty much the opposite of magical. Now, my mailman brings me fluff packages, which I look forward to with a ridiculous level of enthusiasm.
  10. I've found a like-minded community. I love other cloth diapering families! We may not do everything the same and we may not cloth diaper for the same reasons, but most of us share some common values. Participating on cloth diaper blogs and forums has helped me make friends and build a network of parenting support. It's cool to belong to such a fun community.
I'm such a fluff-addict. I never thought that cloth diapering would be a lifestyle choice for my family, but it has certainly changed our family for the better. It is so easy to get pulled into this whole cloth diapering community; everyone is so welcoming and supportive of each other. If you're just starting out on your cloth diaper journey, seek out help from experienced families and become a part of the movement. If you're an experienced cloth diapering mama or dad, share the wisdom and the passion with those who are just starting out. There is a place and a need for all of us.

Bio: Heather is a fourth-generation Montanan, mom to two crazy-boys, and wife to one amazing husband. You can follow her eco-sensible lifestyle at

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