(~~~This whole story is a bit embarrassing~~~)
When I was pregnant with our first child, I read about cloth diapering and felt that cloth would be best for my baby. I couldn't get my husband to be enthusiastic about cloth, so I didn't feel right about spending money on buying cloth diapers if I was the only one who would diaper the baby with them. I searched the second hand stores and came up with quite a few contour (shaped) diapers and some old covers. What a disaster! It seemed as though I'd proved that cloth diapering doesn't work. So we went to disposable diapers full time. When our daughter was about 7 months old, I bought some covers from a large mail-order baby catalog (it was 1995, before online shopping was available), and tried those contour diapers again. It was an improvement, since my covers were new, but still pretty lousy. The hook and loop closure scratches on her legs looked painful, the diaper shifted all around and poop invariably got on the covers, and those contour diapers just were not absorbent enough. I had a very hard time getting them on her, too, since she was wiggly and the little diaper just wouldn't stay aligned in the cover while I attempted to put it on her.
We've come a long way since then, and tried just about every diaper out there. We've made the switch from full time disposable diapering to part-time disposable, part-time cloth, and then to full-time cloth. We didn't go full-time cloth until we actually bit the bullet and spent some money on good cloth diapers and covers. Now I can't believe we ever used disposable diapers! Cloth is sooooo much better and nicer. Put a cloth diaper up to your face. Feel the softness. Breath in. It smells clean and fresh. Now try that with a disposable diaper - no don't - really, that's just too, um, just don't do it.
What did we learn?
You can't be successful using cloth diapers if you don't own good cloth diapering supplies! That seems obvious, but it took us quite some time to figure that one out. It was hard to spend a chunk of money up front to buy good stuff, especially when all my peers, and even my husband, were very negative about the idea of cloth diapering. It was easy to buy another pack of disposable diapers for $20.00 because it was a relatively small amount of money each time. But those $20.00's really add up! Now I cringe to think that I could have good cloth diapers for that money. The cotton all-in-ones are really what changed my husband from a disposable user into a cloth user. I wish I had had a few of those those sooner for him to use. If I had had 2 cotton all-in-ones at the changing table just for him to use, I think we would have gone full-time cloth sooner.
My Sensitive Son
Although I had a tough time getting the right diapers to make cloth diapering work for my daughter, she was actually easy to diaper. She had no rashes or sensitivities. Then a few years later along comes my son. He really gave me real diapering challenges. He was sensitive to everything, it seems. It's a good thing we used cloth, because there was no way his sensitive skin could tolerate disposable diapers. It took me a while to figure out that he was sensitive to polyester, but once we did, we made tremendous improvement in his skin condition. I got rid of my 10% polyester based diapers left over from my daughter's diapering days. They were cotton wrapped around a polyester base and he was sensitive to the poly content or perhaps fact that the polyester is just so hard to get fully clean. We stopped using our brushed polyester covers, too. The only covers he could wear without reacting were nylon and wool. That's just they way he was. There are more options available now, though.
At some point well into the diapering years, a mom I met at a La Leche League meeting showed me how to pin a prefold diaper. I tried it. It was so much easier than I expected! And it gave such a nice fit, too. This was 1998 and pre-YouTube videos. Before long, I wondered why I had struggled for over a year with those contour diapers trying to avoid pinning when pinning was so easy and so effective. Always get a pack of good pins, even if you have no intention of pinning. It's worth it just to try it.
Diapering your baby can actually be a pleasure with cloth diapers. It's a special time to play with and talk to your baby, while you do something basic, but very caring and important for your child's health. You can be proud of your child's rash-free, chemical-free, cotton covered, super-cute bottom.
If God blesses us with another child, here's what I would use: 2 cotton All-In-One diapers in size newborn, plus 24 prefolds and 12 fitted diapers. I'd have a pack or 2 of 6 Birdseye or muslin flats on hand because they are just handy for lots of things and good spare diapers too. I'd have 4 or 5 packs of Cotton Wipes and 2 Pail Liners. But, then again, I also love wool, so maybe... I guess I'd probably use some of everything, since I can!
The above was written a while ago. Since then, we did have another baby, who is now already growing up - time flies! and I did not actually use many all-in-one diapers on her, but instead loved pinned prefolds and wool. Back then when I wrote that, the lovely Cloth-eez diapers in sizes that work had not yet been invented, so having the much better prefolds, ones that actually fit, really made a big difference so I could love the inexpensive, easy-washing prefolds. I love the simplicity of prefolds. I really enjoy them more than anything else. So I'd change the setup to 24 prefolds and 12 fitteds instead and use almost all wool for covers. I really do love natural fibers best.
Green Mountain Diapers was born in early 1998. Our mission is to communicate information about cloth diapering and provide the very best of today's wonderful cloth diapering products focusing on natural fibers. We've grown in the recent years to be one of the leading natural fiber cloth diaper retailers nationwide, and have blossomed into Green Mountain Diapers Corporation. We moved the business out of our house to the nearby Cotton Mill in 2009 and we now have 6 employees, plus Karen and Doug. Now GMD is a team of 7 people serving your cloth diapering needs. We are still a very small business dedicated to quality service and natural fiber diapering. You can buy with confidence from us.
We desire to honor the Lord in all we do by operating Green Mountain Diapers in a manner consistent with biblical principles. We are closed on Sundays.
Mission Statement: We purpose to honor the Lord in all we do by operating our company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
Elizabeth (black shirt just off the edge of picture), Mary Lou (Karen's Mother-in-Law), Pete, Karen (with the baby), Doug (Karen's husband) and Nick.