So there's really no reason not to tell you. We spent this past weekend in Memphis, TN touring the local optometry school there (it's nice!) and eating yummy food and hanging out with my generous cousin and her family. They were kind enough to let us stay with them and feed us and taxi us around all over. (Thank you!)
While we were there, I noticed something about my cousin's littlest boy. He was wearing cloth diapers. I spent the weekend peppering my cousin with cloth-diaper questions and by the time I had brought it up again the morning before we left, she finally just brought out two different brands they had (G Diapers and Bum Genius) to show me the differences and tell me what she likes/dislikes about each of them. She also showed me how they store the soiled diapers and explained how to care for them. And then she told me how much money they were spending on disposable diapers opposed to the one-time purchase of cloth diapers. Wow. I was totally sold.
I've been interested in cloth diapers since before Olivia was born. (Oh, and let's get this straight. I'm not talking about the cloth diapers that our moms and grandmas used. I'm talking about the kind of cloth diapers that act like disposable diapers and have fancy-shmancy veclro closures, but happen to include the nastiness of cleaning out poo, and also happen to be re-usable.) So anyway, I've been interested in cloth diapers for quite a while. But I was afraid about the gross factor. And--let's face it--it doesn't get any easier than disposable diapers. Also, we don't have a washer and dryer in our apartment, so in order to use cloth diapers we'd have to wash them in the laundry mat here at our complex. So I used that as my main excuse. But after talking to my cousin about how often they do laundry and after Bryan and I figured things out cost wise, I really don't think it's a big deal anymore.
So, we have big plans to buy some Bum Genius diapers this weekend. I'm not so excited for the gross factor, but I'm pretty stoked about the idea of buying diapers ONCE and being done. Maybe later I'll get into the math of it all, but basically we've calculated that the Bum Genius diapers will pay for themselves (as opposed to using disposable diapers) in about four months. Awesome.
Unrelated to all this (well, related, but not connected) one of my good friends taught me how to make homemade wipes (using paper towels) yesterday. Super simple recipe. And even with the initial cost of the tupperware (to store the wipes in) and the baby shampoo and baby oil that goes into making the wipes, these wipes end up costing about the same as the Costco brand wipes we've been buying. Awesome. But even more awesome is that after you've bought your start-up supplies, these wipes end up costing about half as much as the Costco brand wipes we've been buying. Super awesome. Now I know some people have preferences about diaper brands or wipe brands and to you I say--cool. I will not be trying to convince you that you're evil and destroying the planet. Because you're not. I just don't happen to really have any preferences thus far (and neither does Olivia, so far as I can tell), so I figure, why not do what's cheap?
Yesterday when we were out on a walk I was explaining the whole thing about making your own wipes to another friend and I wasn't explaining it very well because she stopped me part-way through my explanation to ask what the point was of making your own wipes. "Are they better for the baby? Are they reusable?" she asked. "No, they're the same. They're just cheaper," I said.
But then later when I was thinking about cloth diapering and making my own wipes, I got to thinking about something a little gross. What about making my own reusable cloth wipes? After all, would there be much difference in washing the wipe if it has the same thing that's on the diaper? I mean, it all goes through two or three wash cycles--both cold and hot and both with soap--anyway, so why not give it a try?
I called my friend who taught me how to make the homemade wipes this morning and ask her if she thought it would work, if the solution would soak into fabric the same way as it does in the paper towels. She told me that she didn't know and confessed she thought it all sounded a little gross. I definitely agree with her. But she said she wanted to know how it worked if I gave it a try. And now that I've been thinking about it I'm really curious too. I mean, that is what people used to do before disposable wipes, right? Yeah, I know, they did a lot of gross things back then and people got sick a lot more too. I know, I know. But wouldn't it be great to be done buying diapers and wipes? We spend around $80 every two months on diapers and wipes. Stuff we just throw away. I can think of quite a few things I'd rather spend the money on.
Anyway, we have plans to buy some Bum Genius diapers this weekend. And I have an old flannel blanket that's thin and soft that I picked up for free (someone was giving it away) that I think I'm going to cut up and edge finish to use for my trial run of reusable wipes. Although when I mentioned this to my wipes-making friend this morning she said that flannel might not be good because it doesn't absorb water very well. And she may be right.
Any input? Thoughts? Suggestions? On any of this? I'd really like to hear what you think.
Even if you just think it's all gross. :)