Saturday, February 23, 2008

Diapers. Yes, diapers.

In the past, when I wrote a blog entry, I liked to really take my time with it, play with the words, mull the ideas around in my mind for a few hours before clicking that "publish post" button. Having a five week old baby, however, somehow robs one of that luxury. I still love blogging and writing, so I want to keep it up, but I am finding it necessary to warn my readers that my thoughts may seem remarkably unpolished and/or scattered compared to my pre-baby days. My mind no longer enjoys long stretches of uninhibited freedom. Case in point: this first paragraph was already interrupted by 20 minutes of soothing and changing baby. My creative writing pursuits will never be the same again...

So, where's my head at today? Well, this week we have been making the painstaking transition to cloth diapers. Oh, I could go on and on about the joys, the simplicities of a disposable diaper. Stick it on. Then, a couple hours later, roll it up and toss it. Never think about it again. Keeps your baby so dry she's happy to sit in her own stench for hours. Wonderful! Never mind the million gazillion diapers sitting in garbage dumps around the world. Or the thousands of dollars you shell out for this convenience.

Yes, that was our mistake. We did disposables for the first month. So we know their joys. But for matters both environmental and economical, we decided to make the switch. It's been an interesting week.

First of all, with most of the world choosing to do disposable, I didn't even know where to begin: how do I even find out where to find cloth diapers? So I started with an ad in our local Kijiji... Wanted: cloth diapers. Anyone have them? Anyone know where to buy them?

After getting some replies, I continued my research. I looked into two local suppliers: Motherease and Peekaboo Bottoms. And I quickly discovered the not-so-economical side of diapering: beautiful, fitted disposable-esque diapers with velcro or snaps, made from your choice of wool, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, even luxurious velour. Each diaper costing you a good 15-20 bucks! Yikes! And don't forget the covers... another 15-20 bucks a pop.

It costs a lot to be environmental sometimes. It's like, ya, I'd love to drive a Toyota Prius, but till you find me one for the same cost as my shitbox 2001 Cavalier, well, it's the Cavalier I'll drive. At least, for now...

So we turned to the prehistoric world of pre-folds. What your momma used to use. Take a cloth, do some fancy folds, and voila! Diaper. There was a definite learning curve involved in this process. Luckily, Amy from Peekaboo Bottoms helped us with this. We learned the "bikini twist" is most suited to girls, while the "newspaper fold" works best on boys. A dozen pre-folds and a few covers later, we were off to the races.

If only it were that easy. We soon realized that Kaiya does NOT appreciate sitting in her own stench when it is not sucked away from her skin by the fancy technology of disposables. She soon developed a sad, soft cry that we learned meant, "I'm wet, and this is gross." We also realized that leaks were now a much more frequent part of our life, leading to a marked increase in the number of diaper changes a day. And finally, we realized that Kaiya literally seems to pee all the time, a fact that was somewhat obscured by said technology of disposables. In fact, she often feels so much relief at being changed out of her wet duds that she likes to go and pee just as you're trying to slip on the dry duds. We've gone through a lot of clothes and diapers this week.

But you know, it's still worth it. I feel immense satisfaction at the massive reduction of trash going to our curb. I no longer have to tell Jeff to take out the garbage every day. Plus, it really is a cheaper option, especially since we've received some hand-me-downs and bought some used covers. And we're getting better. We've learned that a quality cover goes a long way. And we've even had a couple of leak-free days in a row now. I still have a couple of kinks to work out in our laundry system, but it's all good. That's nothing compared to the learning curve I've just come through.

So if you ever want to know about cloth diapering, especially in the Niagara region, just ask me! I'd gladly pass on my hard-won knowledge.

Oh, and this post wouldn't be complete without an adorable Kaiya picture:



Karen said...

What a sweetie! I enjoyed your entry today. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts - even the "unpolished" ones, though they sound pretty good to me.

James said...

Wow. That picture almost knocked me out of my chair. Beautiful. Can't really put more words to it.

Oh, and glad to hear you've made the switch to cloth, of course. Well done. And I can't agree more with the environmentally friendly is often more expensive bit. We can mostly afford it though, right?

Nate said...

Alright, I guess you can have a tie for the cutest baby... she's adorable!
We'll join you in the diaper switch soon enough.

medea said...

Kaiya's gorgeous!

Congrats on joining the world of cloth diapering. It's dangerous for the pocket book, though!

What I did for Julian when we first switched (to flats!) was cut up a fleece blanket into strips for liners. The fleece wicks the wetness away. I'll be taking them away soon as we go on to potty training.