Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hump Day...

Today is a busy day for this Domestic Diva & soon to be mommy.  First, I am excited this week because I have been feeling our son "drop."  They weren't kidding when they said it would feel like a bowling ball between your hips or legs!  My waddle has gotten more obvious now, BUT I CAN BREATHE!  : )

I told you ladies I would tell you about some of the choices I made over the past few months.  So, today is the day I was able to get to the computer.  (reminder that when you are pregnant & have a day of energy--don't over-nest your house!  You pay for it for days later with exhaustion!)  I will start today with my decision to cloth diaper & my diaper choice.  For reference, I am not one of those "all natural," grow-it-yourself all the time divas.  I like to cook things from scratch but there is a limit:  like I buy the spaghetti noodles but make the sauce from basic ingredients in the store & spices.  So, this choice is coming from someone who likes to have their pizza once in a while (and a stray chocolate glazed doughnut too!) and isn't opposed to making macaroni & cheese with hamburger & broccoli for a dinner in a pinch.  I eat healthy but I don't go overboard.  I also am not "all natural" with my cleaning products or personal care items.  I read labels but I'm not going to spend $45 on something "all natural" when the cheaper stuff is just as good.  Heck, I have Johnson & Johnson's Naturals baby wash (that's what I do!).  So, trust me when I say, that I'm making this decision from an "everyday" Domestic Diva.

One of the things that scared us about being new parents was the added expenses that were going to be put on us one the little guy arrives.  You see, we aren't in a horrible position--I can stay home here & not need to work part time or from home--yet, we were starting to see all the monthly expenses being typical "American" new parents could place on us.  There's disposable diapers & wipes plus special shampoo & wash, doctors visits & some expense to feed him.  We were doing all the math for diapers & wipes & found that we could end up spending $150-$200 on just the diapers!  WHEW!  That was something that we knew could hurt our ability to have good finances.  We were thinking there had to be another way that was less expensive.  Plus, I started reading what's in most disposable diapers (chemicals that are on the top most cancerous chemicals list from the EPA-- HELLO!!!  Why would I want only a small flimsy, biodegradable paper cloth between that & my sons parts!)  All the stories of parents concerns  made me wonder--what is the benefit of just disposables.  I know traveling they are easier to use & wipes are especially easier to use in the car (now there are more "natural" wipes available, thank goodness).  But this using disposables at my house when I'm already having to do more laundry with baby coming & knowing that using disposables diapers every day plus all the other expenses added on to us could cause me to have to go back to work!  Not cool...  Besides, with my degree, quick-to-find jobs open to me would barely, if at all, cover child care costs for us.  Not a good choice.  Again, there had to be a better way.

We started hearing about cloth diapers from a friend of mine in Florida & got to see her diapers.  I thought they were cute but I wasn't sure about using them.  Then I hunkered down for some research...Cloth diapers are less of a monthly cost.  You buy all the diapers & inserts you need.  The only expense  is the detergent $15 for a 90 load supply in an HE Front loader washer!  If I do a load every day (which I won't) that's $15 every three months! Let's get down to the nitty gritty though; the upfront cost can seem demanding, but remember you would be spending that in the first 3-6 months of disposable diapering alone!  This is a large "ONE TIME" purchase that can last you through all your kids!

We spent $608 on all the diaper supplies (well, we spend $150 of our own money, the rest was gifted by family: THANK YOU!!).  This included:  24 one size diapers with 48 inserts (plus some I won), 2 PUL lined diaper pail bags, a PUL diaper tote, a bag of detergent, diaper sprayer, 18 cloth wipes, cloth wipes spray, lavender essential oil, special cloth diaper rash cream (just in case--most babies don't get a rash from using cloth diapers), plus 20% cash back!!  Which I have used some of the cask back for:  6 more cloth wipes, 2 PUL & fleece changing pads, 4 pair of nursing pads, an XL PUL diaper bag for day trips, & biodegradable liners!  So, I've gotten a great deal & spent well less than a year's worth of disposables & I have diapers that will be fully adjustable to my son from birth through potty training!  Imagine all the money I am going to save as a mommy! 

I'm not going all crazy though, if we are going on a trip...I will probably decided to use disposables (both diapers & wipes).  Unless my son gets a rash from them, then I will use the cloth diapers instead & deal with it!

My choice for Cloth diapers was FuzziBunz one-size.  They are know as "pocket diapers" meaning you have an insert between the fleece & PUL layer that you remove before washing & add before diapering.  You put them all together after the wash & have them ready to go.  The insert absorbs the "wetness" & wicks it away from your baby.   The nice thing about a pocket diaper, that I've been told, is that you can always add another insert if your baby is a heavy wetter or for overnight sleeping--once your baby is doing that!  I have heard great praise of the diapers I have chosen but I hope to snag a few others to try sometime so I can have an educated, personal opinion of which diaper I like the best.  I went with Fuzzibunz because they are called the "gold standard" of modern cloth diapering & were the first new cloth diaper available.  I decided to go with them due to their reputation among cloth diapering mommies.

Oh!  And who can ignore the fact that I'm not buying something I'm just going to use as trash a couple hours later!  For those of us concerned about how much we do throw away (its really one of the few "environmental" things I AM concerned about), cloth diapering is being a lot more responsible.  Its like a win/win situation.  OK, yes, there is more laundry as a trade off, but using an HE washer & buying enough diapers to last 2 days is a way to lessen using all that water everyday!  And, you are going to be doing more laundry anyways with a new baby...I can deal with a little more work at home so I don't have to find a place to work outside of it & pay for disposable this & that. 

If any of you are soon to be mommies or already are mommies, I hope this is an interesting read for you.  I want you to know you have options if you want to stay at home or simply work from home instead of working outside of the house to pay for all the things that cost so much money.  Before you stress about having to "return" to work, do research & see if there are better options out there!