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Cloth Diaper Story: RealMom of NJ

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RealMom of NJ

I have two super cool and reasonable kids, RealGirl (3.5 years) and RealBoy (14 months). RealDad and I call them decoy babies because they're so good that they trick people (ourselves included) into thinking having kids is easy. RealBoy is cloth diapered but his sister was not.

About RealMom of NJ
I'm an editor who has a passion for all things green, holistic, and natural (hence the cloth diapering). I work full-time but moonlight as a mom blogger. RealDad works full-time too. The kids spend their days at day care, which we absolutely love, especially because they're on board with cloth diapering!

How long have you been cloth diapering?
Thirteen months. The cloth diapers were too big for RealBoy when he was born. It took him a month to grow into them. It took me awhile to "grow into them" too---I cheated with disposables a lot in the beginning, like when we were on the go or when diapering overnight. But I've totally got the hang of it now, and I love it.  

Why did you choose to cloth diaper?
Because I couldn't stand the idea of the extra waste and landfill space occupied by disposable diapers. I wanted to do it with RealGirl, but RealDad did not want to participate. So I caved and never even tried. It was my only regret about her infancy, so I swore that I'd do it for my next kid with or without RealDad's support. The fact that it saves money was a bonus incentive.

What diapers are in your stash?
bumGenius 4.0 and Flip diapers, all used with standard cotton pre-folds (much cheaper than the fancy inserts that are sold separately from the diaper covers). My bumGenius diapers have snaps, but the Flip diapers have Velcro. I was told to go with all snaps because the Velcro will wear out and I didn't listen. Totally wish I did.

Favorite diaper in your stash?
bumGenius 4.0 in Noodle, with snaps

Biggest cloth diapering challenge?
Finding a cloth diaper-friendly diaper rash cream. RealBoy gets bad diaper rash because he eats a ton of fruits and veggies and poops a lot (and sometimes it's acidic because of the produce). Because he eats such a natural diet, his poop doesn't smell as strong and we can't tell he needs a change until he has been sitting in the poop for awhile and has a terrible rash. Because you can't use regular diaper cream with cloth diapers, we often use disposables until the rash clears up. I hate that. I recently made my own cloth-friendly diaper cream with coconut oil, beeswax, and lavender essential oil, and so far it's the answer to my prayers...

Favorite thing about cloth diapering?
Knowing that I'm not filling landfills with non-biodegradable disposables. So much baby-related garbage cannot be avoided, but diaper garbage absolutely can be. I feel a lot less wasteful using cloth diapers than I did with disposables so I don't mind the minimal extra work of cloth diapering for the major relief of helping the environment. 

Least favorite thing about cloth diapering?
Rinsing out poop-splotion diapers from day care that have been sitting around for a day or two. I try to deal with the diapers every night, but sometimes I don't have the chance. So, sometimes the diapers marinate for awhile in their waterproof bag, waiting for me to dump the poop and give them a rinse before washing. When one of those diapers is a poop-splotion diaper...yeah. Gross.

Favorite piece of parenting or cloth diaper advice?
Just do it! Yes, it seems like you'll be making unnecessary work for yourself if you cloth diaper, and it seems overwhelming and hard, but it isn't. Figuring it all out in the beginning is a challenge (especially if you don't have any friends to guide you), but once you do, it's really not much different from or time consuming than using disposables. Really.

Anything extra you'd like to share?
There are a lot of Web sites that offer "gently used" diapers or trial programs so you can see if it's for you without spending all the money to set yourself up completely. Even if you're unsure about cloth diapering, take advantage of these programs and at least try it. You will be surprised by how easy it is, and by how much cash you'll save in the long run.

To read more from RealMom of NJ check out her blog!

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