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Sunday, March 22, 2015

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A Cloth Diaper Addict’s Dream: Starting a Stash from Scratch

I cloth diapered both my boys. When my eldest, Sullivan, was born, we discovered he was allergic to the chemicals in Pampers. After dealing with horrible chemical rashes, we decided to take the plunge into cloth diapering. My husband was deployed, but he was on board with the move, and happily indulged in my new-found obsession. I spent the bulk of Sully’s babyhood buying and selling cloth diapers by the dozens to find, what I believed to be, the perfect stash. What resulted was a hodgepodge of work-at-home mama diapers, hybrids, all-in-ones, pockets, fitteds, wools, flats, prefolds, covers. Basically, any type of diaper you can imagine, we had it in some form or another. I was a happy camper, but everyone else who helped us with my son including my newly-home-from-deployment husband and my extended family found my diaper drawer a confusing maze of cloth and PUL.

When Arlo was born a mere twenty months later, I continued my cycle of buying and selling. Picking up some new diapers here, selling off ones that I had grown jaded with there, and once again, my stash resembled a patched together quilt of colors and fabrics. Apparently, I had trouble settling, and my family was once again annoyed at my eclectic array of choices. When Arlo potty trained, we decided we were probably done with babies and gave away the vast majority of our diapers. I sold the ones that had a bit of life left, but most were looking less than perfect, but were still useable with a bit of fixing up. They were donated or given to mama friends who wanted to try but not commit to cloth.

Fast forward two years, and SURPRISE! Baby number three is on the way. I have to admit, having been done with diapering for some time, I looked at disposables briefly. Many “eco-friendly” companies are on the market now, and I considered them for a moment. My addiction to cloth had seemingly faded. I have started my Master’s degree program. I’m coaching CrossFit at my local box four or five days a week, and my boys are involved in activities and school that keep us running. However, the pull of pretty patterns brought me back in, and I realized I get to do something most cloth diaper addicts only dream of doing; I get to start a stash from scratch with the experience of diapering two babies behind me. Having truly tried most everything, I knew right off the bat what I wanted to do. I purchased a twelve pack of Grovia All-in-One Newborn diapers, six OsoCozy bamboo blended prefolds, and twelve AppleCheeks size 1 diapers for the newborn stage. I plan on exclusively breastfeeding, and I remember how often diapers have to be changed during that newborn stage. I plan on using the AppleCheeks as their All-in-Two system, and I will be alternating between the AppleCheeks Bamboo 2-ply inserts, and the OsoCozy prefolds. It may not be the most “practical” newborn stash. For practicality, I recommend some nice covers, prefolds/flats, or a newborn rental. But, it’s fun and pretty, and I cannot wait to see a fluffy bum dressed in these diapers.

For the infant/toddler stage, I have revamped my Rumparooz stash (a huge favorite around here), invested in Grovia hybrids with some extra soakers, some Smart Bottoms organic cotton All-in-Ones, and a handful of bumGenius Freetimes that we received with our Kelly’s Closet orders and some Elementals.

So what were my stipulations?

1) Retail only: I refuse to pay over retail for diapers. Additionally, I almost always order from Kelly’s Closet to get the rewards points and to earn the free diapers with certain purchases. I rarely buy used. There is absolutely nothing wrong with used, but I’ve found that everyone’s versions of “excellent used condition” are slightly different, and I am a little particular about the quality of my diapers.

2) A little bit of everything…but stick to what you love: Babies are all sized differently, which means sometimes your favorite diapers won’t fit great for a couple months. They usually fit again once baby grows again. But I learned the first couple times around that having a variety is nice for those awkward growth stages. Additionally, I like having the option of hybrids, all-in-ones, and pockets. I don’t love a stash that is entirely one type of diaper or another, but I also don’t love a stash that is so much of everything that it overwhelms fellow caretakers.

3) Large rotation: As this will definitely (most likely…I think) be the last baby, I wanted a large stash to help the longevity of my diapers. I have about thirty-six newborn changes and thirty-six one-size changes. You can get by with far fewer, but these diapers take a beating. The less they are used, the better quality they maintain. I wanted to have a good quality stash left over when baby is done to donate and sell so that I can get back a great deal of my investment.

And that was that. Some people collect baseball cards or beanie babies. I collect diapers! I love this new stash, and I can’t wait for baby three to arrive in May/June.

Bio: Sally writes at Exploits of a Military Mama. She is wife to a military man, mother to two crazy boys, and expecting a third baby in May/June. She is a CrossFit Level 1 trainer, is currently working on her Master’s degree in Library Information and Science, and stays-at-home with her babies. She loves all things crunchy, Diet Coke, good music, wine, and her family time.

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1 comment:

Julie said...

I don't inders why people who cloth diaper buy tons of brand new diapers and create (and brag!) about they're "stashes." If you want to be green, it's better to REDUCE and REUSE.