Hi, my name is Chelsea, and I'm a first time parent.
Why does it feel like I've just stepped behind a podium and am about to confess the last time I had a solid night’s sleep? Probably because I'm addicted to chubby cheeks, wiggly toes, huge grins, and various other wonderful baby attributes - even the less cute ones.
Aaaand speaking of poop. Seriously, you must be baby junky if you go so far as to share stories about the colour and consistency of your baby's poop, while chatting leisurely over brunch with a child-free friend, like my husband did on a recent Sunday.
Figuring out how we were going to harness our baby's waste was a topic of much discussion in the latter days of my pregnancy. We knew we wanted to cloth diaper in order to save money and to partially make up for inflicting another rampant consumer on the world. What we didn't know was where to start. Engaging a diaper service in the early days was the easiest way to get used to cloth diapering. That way, we wouldn’t have to worry about the laundry learning curve on top of all the other new parent adjustments. The downside was, if we have a second child, we would have to either re-engage a diaper service or get newborn diapering supplies for a newborn. Our work around was to buy...time. That way we saved a bit on the diaper service and had covers to use for any future children.
Here are the things we did in our first eight weeks of cloth diapering:
We engaged Sweet Peach for a four weeks of diaper service and purchased 8 diaper covers, rather than renting them. Their diaper service offer two types of diapers: fitted and prefold as well as wipes and soakers - for overnight. We opted to try out both types to give us an idea of what works best for us and for baby, before going out and investing in them ourselves.
We bought a wipes warmer, in spite of making fun of such a concept only a few months prior. When you’ve got a baby who abhors the cold, and an old home who’s pipes are slow to deliver warm water, you do what you have to in order to solve the problem.
We bought four more covers three weeks in, so that we didn't have to do laundry every day. Who knew newborns needed so many diaper changes, not me!
After our four weeks of service were up, we bought in for an additional three. Sleep deprivation meant we weren't ready to make a decision about what kind of diapers we were going to invest in yet and it really is very convenient to have someone else taking care of that laundry.
When it started getting close to go it on our own, we decided to go with seven bumGenius pocket diapers at night for their wicking properties, 12 bamboo squares for day time and a few Sweet Peach Side-Snapping Fitteds for their trim fit and adorable prints. This should be enough diapers so that we only have to wash them every other day. We also invested in a diaper pail, two waterproof laundry bags, and a small travel wet bag for our diaper bag, along with a stash of cloth wipes and two snappis to help fasten the squares.
Ultimately we transitioned to washing our own diapers mid-way through the last week of diaper service to test everything out and make sure we were ready to go it alone.
All in all we're set for the rest of our daughter's diapered life, except for needing to invest in a half dozen more covers when she grows out of the first size.
Stay tuned for future posts on diapering options and costs, frequently asked questions, and detailed information on cloth diaper types and accessories.
Next up: What I'd do differently during the early days if I could have a 'do over'.