I very much miss feeding my chickens and planting my garden. I feel like since the feeding and watering chores have gone to the husband, the animals are less happy. Perhaps I'm a narcissist, but I think they know I love them more. And they should, I pet them and sing to them and carry them around.
In the mean time, I am growing farm baby. This baby promises to be the farmiest of them all owing to its being nursed and cloth diapered. Now this is by no means a parenting blog (Lord help you if you are asking parenting advice from me!) but I am a parent and so there is definitely going to be some bleed over. I think cloth diapers is a great place for that bleed to happen.
So first, if you considered cloth diapering but your mom scared off with her talk of safety pins, diaper services and plastic pants, fear not. While those options are still out there, cloth diapers have come a million mile since your mom used them (if she used them....) Now a days most people opt for an All In One (AIO) or a pocket diaper.
I myself prefer the concept of the AIO. This is essentially just like a disposable diaper. You put the baby in it, you snap it closed and you are good to go. The difference is, when you take it off you don't toss it, you put it in a wet bag or pail until you are ready to wash it (probably that day or the next unless you have waaaaay more diapers than me!)
The pocket diaper is similar except its padding it stuffed into a pocket rather than being attached. The benefit to that is that your diapers dry faster when you can remove the padding (think if you had two towels intertwined vs being separated, how much longer would it take to dry the twisted up towel?) the down side is that you have to re-stuff every time you wash. Some people are ok with that.
Below is a pocket diaper. This is a one size fits all so all those snaps you see can make the diaper smaller. I find them to be too bulky on tiny babies, that's why I have chosen a sized option. This cute lady bug one will be used when farm baby out grows her tiny ones!
So when I first looked into the idea, the logistics terrified me. Honestly how does this whole things look in practice? And of course the age old question: "WHERE DOES THE POOP GO?!?"
The way I described the AIO should help with the practice of things. It looks the same as disposables, just with washing. You do have to have special soap for diapers but you are able to use it on your regular clothes too if the idea of two types of detergent is upsetting to you. Most people have two types anyway with a baby cause of the "dreft"stuff (I believe that to be something you only buy a few times with your first baby before you wise up and wash everything together.) and its recommended that you hang your diapers to dry rather than put them in the drier, but they will be ok in the dryer if that's your only hang up.
When you are out in public you use a fancy contraption called a wet bag. Actually you can use it at home too. It's a water proof bag with two pockets, one for clean diapers and one for dirties, you just keep that in your diaper bag.
The Poop. Oh the poop. For the first six months, while your baby is breast fed it will have non-smelly poop. Seriously. Breast milk poop doesn't smell, usually you find it when you look in the babies diaper. You just throw those, poop and all, into the wash. Its water soluble. its ok. don't freak out. Now if you choose to use formula or if your baby is on solids, you're getting into some funky poop. Here's where it gets interesting. You can purchase liners if you want, thin sheets that go over your diapers so you just lift out the poop and flush it. Some people love them others not so much. You can get a little sprayer to attach to the back of your toilet that lets you spray off diapers into the potty. They run about $50 and I'm told they have a pretty strong spray. I'm registered for one on amazon, if you wanna get me a gift. I promise I'll write you a full review! But the easiest option is to hold the tab of your diaper as you dip it in your potty and flush. The swirly water will take the poop with it and then you just have to throw a very wet diaper into your pail. No big deal.
Washing instructions are on the side of the soap container, but its worth noting you need to wash new diapers a few times (3ish) to make them their most absorbent. You also have to double rinse since residue buildup causes leaks. See? Don't panic.
But honestly, that's it. So what scares you about them? Why wouldn't you do it? Just for some good old fashion wiifm (what's in it for me) ill tell you I bought all of farm baby's diapers used from a friend for about $200. I am choosing to go with sized diapers which means I'll need a set of bigger ones after about six months. However if a baby under six months uses about 6 diapers a day on average (conservatively. Probably more), and a month is thirty days, and you only buy the Costco brand size 1-2 diapers (which have 216 per box, although if you need a bigger size you get less) at $54.99 a box you are still paying $75.95 cents more than I did for mine. Ask for them for your baby shower and your our of pocket expense goes WAY down. And also you can't sell your used Kirkland diapers to anyone when you are done with them, that money is just gone. Whereas with cloth, you can pay it forward.
All this without mentioning the environmental benefits. Some people will say things like "you use so much water washing them that you don't save the environment at all." That's just factually inaccurate, but if you want to make sure you are welcome to grey water harvest. Most diaper soaps are environmentally friendly so you can collect the water and use it on your plants. If it were me, I'd stick to flowers.... For some reason, even though the garden grows in manure, the idea of pee/poo water on my veg grosses me out. But if you don't wanna do that and you just want a witty retort you can say something along the "ya cause using the toilet is waaaay worse for the environment than diapers." Toilets use a lot of water. And you flush them EVERY time you pee, unlike diapers that get changed every few pees.
Now this next part is not part of my sales pitch I just think its too cute for words. Even that AIO I showed you ill be big on a new born, but for the most part, new borns cloth diapers are not cost effective. Your baby will not be that tiny for as long as you think. Buuuuut, I found these cute little g-diapers at my favorite new/used/handmade baby store here in town and I bought them. ($15 for three, used). G-diapers are a whole different thing. Essentially you buy a shell and you fill it with disposable liners. You only wash the shell and you can use the shell all day. To be more Eco friendly, I bought prefolds to put in the shell so I can wash them. But look how tiny and cute!!
Side by side with my AIO so you can see how tiny! Ps, prefolds are the diapers your mom used, except not used the same way here. That's it folded up in the middle of the diaper there.
Ok. That's all I have for you on cloth diapers but I hope some of you are considering them for your next baby. They are waaaaay cuter than disposable, they cost less long term, and they are friendly to the farm. :)
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