Monday, September 27, 2010

Squishy Tushies

There are some days I'd really like to be plugged back in to the Matrix.

Now that I'm really paying attention to our habits and lifestyle, there is so much potential for guilt. While there is much internet discussion about slacktivism and people easing their consciences with quick band-aid fixes, I think the converse is true as well. Sometimes there's so much I want to do, I'm almost paralyzed by the guilt/difficulty of doing it all. I don't want to be a slacktivist, I want to change the world.

My favorite writer, Anthony Doerr, recently wrote a somewhat depressing and frustrating article about how little awareness really changes things, and extreme technological fixes might just be the only viable solution. He also seems to be saying that even on the path to extinction we can stop to smell the roses.

I can't decide if I feel admiration or anger.

But enough of this intellectual codswallop! I'm a stay-at-home mom, I shouldn't be reading or thinking. I should be talking about baby bowel movements and diapers.*



In an earlier post I fretted about the expense and complications of cloth diapering vs. my huge guilt over the number of dipes Girl 2 is generating. The internet is CRAZY confusing when it comes to cloth diapering, even though there are 80 gazillion sites that claim to have an easy explanation. I gave up and decided that diapering was the one area I was just going to have to remain a wasteful Earth killer. Maybe I could potty train Girl 2 sooner, to reduce the number?

A friend of mine read my blog and shot me an email about how she cloth diapers. She was straight-forward, she was simple, and she told me what I really need in practical terms. Here's what she said, in a nutshell:

  • I need a minimum of 3 diaper covers. She recommended Econobum   
  • I need a stack of pre-fold diapers. Each of the diaper covers comes with one, plus you can use a good, absorbent flannel to make your own. Basically it's a 30 inch square, which you fold thusly. (first set of pics). I can use old receiving blankets.
  • Then you just have to make sure you wash them sans fabric softener, and check to make sure your detergent works well with them. She recommended washing with baking soda.
Here's my math, once I understood what I really needed:
           I spend an average of .18 on a disposable diaper. (coupons!)
           If I do 5 changes a day, that's $0.90 a day in diapers.
           One econobum cover costs $9.95 on Amazon (free shipping since it'd be over $25)
           I can get by with 3, which would be a total of $29.85
           I have lots of flannel receiving blankets I'm not using, so the insert part is basically free.

          $29.85/.9 = 33.16, so basically in 34 days, I'd have broken even. 

One month. Seriously. 

So I talked to the man, and we decided to go for it. I bought 3 Econobums, folded all my old receiving blankets into diapers, and then the sweetest part, my cloth diaper mentor sent me this care package:

My econobum purchases with lots of adorable prefolds from my cloth diaper guru. 

Girl 2 has been wearing cloth diapers since Saturday afternoon, and it is going great. 

The relief I feel from eliminating disposable diapers is HUGE. I didn't realize how heavily it was weighing on me every time I rolled one up and pitched it in the trash. We still have a big stash of them, so she'll be wearing  one a night since she sleeps so long. That should give me a little wiggle room with laundry too. I can do the wash at night.


  1. this gave me goose bumps!!

  2. Super cool! Those numbers work out really well. I would add that we use 1T of Tide Original powder form in our non HE washer and it works great. And we run a normal cycle (no soaking or extra rinses). I have a homemade detergent recipe that I use when I have time to make up a batch but excess time is so rare...

  3. I'm past the diaper stage, but good for you for making the change. Hope it works out for you!

    Stopping by from the green blog hop. Stop by if you have a chance -