OK, you may all balk at this suggestion/idea initially (I know I sure did), but there's an alternative to building up a huge stash of cloth diapers and doing loads and loads of laundry (and no, I am not suggesting disposables either!). And before I hear protests, we used cloth w/ dd, and we love cloth - it totally fits in w/ what I am going to say:
Have you considered trying the very ancient, very gentle art of infant potty training (aka IPT - it's literally the "other end" of breastfeeding - BF and IPT are amazingly similar in practice)
. You can certainly (and many families that do IPT do) use diapers w/ IPT, but it's a matter of using them/looking at them differently. Instead of waiting for babe to go in the diaper, then cleaning off your baby and throwing the diaper in the laundry, you and DP can simply learn your baby's cues & frequency and just hold them over a little potty BEFORE they soil themselves and the diaper. Does this sound wild to you? I laughed it off, too, at first - and I mean I *seriously* laughed it off. I even called my husband at work (we were both working full time at the time) to laugh heartily about how ridiculous it sounded to me. Months later, I ended up eating those words (ah, life has a great sense of humor)!
But think about it: just as you learn to know signs of hunger (rooting, sucking, crying) and how often your baby generally needs to nurse, you can just as easily learn to tell their signs & frequency for needing to pee/poop - it's truly not hard!!!
Babies are amazing, and their communication skills are FAR more sophisticated than our western society gives them credit. Plus, with IPT, you are saving a ton of cash by having a low-key/very frugal cloth diapering system & doing less laundry. Just getting some one-size diapers or a simple prefold+cover system instead of investing heavily in a large (in number of diapers), costly, multi-sized fitted diaper system. Hey, if you got the cash and love to clean poop out of baby creases/crevices and do diaper laundry, be my guest! But if you prefer to keep things simple/rely on less stuff, be kinder to your environment, your wallet, and most importantly, your baby, I say give IPT a try!
Even though I had heard about IPT while pregnant, I completely dismissed it ("hoo, that's funny! NO WAY would that work! too difficult!"). But months after dd's birth, as I was buying the next size up CDs for my dd, I finally decided to just give IPT a trial run ("I can stop anytime if we don't like it or if it's too difficult"), and within my first 3 offerings, my teeny dd peed for me in a little potty with the biggest, most satisfied look on her face! It was as if she was saying, "Ahhhhhh. Whew, mama! FINALLY you clued in to what I was trying to tell you!" Truly, after that moment, we never looked back. DH was hooked. Grandparents soon followed. And it's been a gradual, fabulous experience - very similar to child-led weaning w/ breastfeeding.
ANYWAY, just wanted to let you know that while cloth diapers defeinitely rock (remember, we used them w/ dd, and will again when we do IPT w/ #2 due in January), there is another option of doing modified cloth diapering + IPT
. It is such a wonderful opportunity for:
* bonding with your baby
* treading more gently on this earth
* simplifying your life/buying less stuff
* saving $$$ (fewer dipes, less energy, less water & detergent)
* PLUS, you will never, ever
have to go through un-diaper training (aka current western potty training) your very willful toddler who, at 2 or 3 yrs old (after years of being told to go in the diaper) is so resistent to having to make such a huge change that he/she refuses to poop anywhere but in their diaper -- and I'm not making that up (search MDC forums for moms whose toddlers are in size XXL diapers because they're scared to go anywhere else but there)
Um, no fun for anyone involved! IPT completely bypasses trying to introduce toilet learning during the already very spirited toddler phase (it's just a normal, everyday part of life by then!).
Sorry soooo longwinded - just had to say something when I saw that no one else had suggested IPT yet! It's a really viable option if you actually give it a try (sounds far more complicated than it is -- just like moms who initially think breastfeeding is harder than formula feeding -- give it a sincere effort and get past that initial learning curve, and it's smooth sailing from then on)!!!
Congrats on your new arrivals, and have fun getting together your stash of cloth (whether simple/frugal or large/elaborate) -- at the same time, try shaking off some of this ridiculous western culture that tells us we must diaper our babies until well into toddlerhood! Hmmm, how did our species make it all of these thousands & thousands of years without diapers (and formula)??? By reading/responding to our babies' signals!!! If you're planning to breastfeed, take one more small step and consider learning more about the very similar, loving, healthy practice of Infant Potty Training/Elimination Communication.
For any who are interested, here's more info on and support for IPT/EC:
Local playgroups & info/support meetings --> http://www.diaperfreebaby.org/
Online support --> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eliminationcommunication
One mom's journey --> http://www.freewebs.com/freetoec/index.htmMothering Dot Commune EC board