I don't know how this will all come out, but I've been thinking about how much my perceptions/thoughts (and I'm sure Aaron's, too) have changed on a lot of things in life. I still find it somewhat humorous that I homeschool, use cloth diapers, have a compost bin, and have become somewhat "crunchy" when it comes to what I am willing to feed my family (Anna isn't very happy about no Rice Crispies for breakfast!). Once upon a time, I saw families who did those very things as "weird" or "out there"...even *gasp* hippies! It makes me laugh. I suppose that's what I get for being judgmental! It has been a learning process for me, all of these changes we've made in the last couple of years.
First up, cloth diapering...I am SO GLAD I went for it, took the plunge, and did it. I'm kind of an all-or-nothing person. When we made the investment, I was really looking forward to not EVER buying diapers again...never running out of diapers and having to pay an arm & a leg to buy a 10-pack at the gas station (or worse, driving all the way to Hutch to get some)...never running out of wipes. I am so glad that I found Go Green Pocket Diapers!!! I love that they are "one size" meaning they will fit a baby from birth to potty training because of the adjustable snaps (for hip as well as waist). So I won't have to buy a bigger sized diaper...ever! I have been using them for over a year (I can't believe it's been that long!) and I am truly impressed with the quality. I cannot recommend them highly enough. I actually like them much better than the Bum Genius and RumpARoos diapers I picked up at a garage sale. They are easy to use-even my Dad would be able to use them (he's the one that has been putting clothes on babies backward for 31 years...no offense Dad!)!! And the savings...wow! We spent around $200 to get 20 diapers. When Isaac was smaller and went through more diapers in a day, I had to wash every other day. Now I can wait 3 days, sometimes 4, before washing. So 20 was plenty for me. Even if you can get all your diapers on sale, there's no way to diaper one baby all the way to potty training for $200 (especially if you include the cost of wipes!). And if you can use them on more than one baby, even more savings. Even if we don't have any more babies, I should still be able to sell my diapers for about half the cost and recoup some of my money. I calculated that I would save well over $1200 on diapers, just for Isaac. Now, you can make cloth diapers cost you more than they save...if you go crazy and buy tons of diapers because they're "cute"! It's tempting!! :) I also don't use any fancy cloth wipes. I simply bought a couple packs of baby wash cloths at Dollar General and Walmart for a few bucks. I mix water and a bit of baby oil in a spray bottle and use that to wet the wipes when I need one. Let's talk about the nasty part...cleaning them! It's not as bad you think. If you can handle changing a poopy diaper, you can handle taking care of a cloth diaper! You can attach a basic kitchen sprayer to your toilet (for under $20) that makes clean up a snap. You don't touch any more poop than you would if you were changing a disposable. I admit that the ammonia smell from the diaper pail gets me if I don't remember to hold my breath when I open it!! And speaking of diaper pails...I use a stainless steel trash can with a foot lever for the lid. I have a giant wet bag (that I got at a garage sale for like $2) that I use as the "liner" so I don't have to worry about cleaning out the inside of the trash can. I just throw it all in the wash together (and dry it in the dryer when I can't hang it on the line). If you just aren't sure about it, I'll let you borrow a couple of Isaac's diapers and you can try it out! :) It really has been so great-saving so much money. It takes very little extra time to use cloth instead of disposables (the 30 seconds it takes to rinse off a dirty diaper instead of just throwing it away...the 30 seconds it takes to throw them in the washer every couple days...the 5 minutes it takes to hang them on the line (or inside)...that's it!). Any questions? Feel free to ask! If you're looking for a way to save serious money with a baby, cloth diapers are a real, simple way to do so!
(okay, I need to take my nap now since all 3 kids are sleeping after 5:30am & 6:30am wake ups! I'm beat!!) Part 2 coming sometime...about homeschooling!