Without being dramatic I can absolutely say with confidence that cloth diapering changed my life! That one decision I made while pregnant over 5 years ago has paid dividends for my family and not just because we saved a few thousand dollars over the course of diapering two children. You’ll be surprised at how drastically my life has changed simply due to cloth diapering.
1. The most obvious change was the money savings from diapering two children. I would estimate that after the cost of my diapers and accessories I saved $2,740 dollars! And since my youngest still needs diapers on occasion at night we are still raking in the savings by him wearing reusable trainers instead of disposable pull-ups. When our family was brand new we needed all the money savings we could get. The money saved was able to go to our rent and other expenses, making it easier to have a baby and be young parents fresh out of college.
2. I started cutting down waste in other areas and became more conscious of household wasters like napkins and paper towels. I ordered unpaper towels and a reusable kitchen wet bag to store the dirty ones in. It hasn’t made us cut them out completely but every little bit helps. It also helped me think before buying certain products. Buying items that use less packaging cuts down on our household waste overall and buying products sold in glass is something I prefer to do.
3. I became aware of the chemicals in disposable hygiene products for babies AND women. That propelled me to switch from tampons to the reusable menstrual cup. That one decision has changed my quality of life tremendously! I can get through one menstrual cycle with only changing a cup 6-8 times versus changing a tampon that many times in ONE day! I stopped having strange cramps and I haven’t had to buy any more boxes of tampons in over a year since using the Lunette!
4. Babywearing was suddenly a word I knew the meaning of! Cloth diapering moms also liked babywearing so I saw the term, learned what it was all about, and tried it myself. It made parenting my needy baby boys much easier. Truthfully, I don’t know what I would have done with my velcro babies without my Ergo, my wraps, and my Maya Wrap Sling!
5. I gave birth- at HOME! Again, being involved in the cloth diapering community introduced me to the concept of homebirth. It was not love at first sight but as my second pregnancy progressed the idea was more and more appealing to me. Late in my pregnancy I made the switch to a homebirth midwife and at 41.5 weeks my second baby boy was born in my bedroom into an inflatable pool. That moment is one I will never forget- it healed me from my first bad birth experience and my son was born healthier, more alert, and better at breastfeeding.
6. Extended breastfeeding was normal in my circle of support, not gross. I had the support I needed to make it through tough times and the inspiration to pull through in order to do what I felt was best for my sons. With my second we made it to almost 3 years and I wouldn’t have even known this was acceptable and NORMAL without my new circle of friends and acquaintances.
7. I have a surprising career thanks to cloth diapering. While the 1-5 are probably common among all of you, I loved cloth diapering so much it also became my job. At first it was just a hobby blog, then it started earning ad revenue, then I started being hired by other companies for various jobs (like video editing/filming, social media or twitter parties, or consulting) and it allowed me to stay at home for with my young children and supplement our income. Cloth diapering led me to learn how to edit videos, how to use social media, and do it all from home (or Starbucks.) Instead of going back into the workforce when the boys are both in school I plan to keep working from home.
How has cloth diapering changed your life?