I started out on my cloth diapering journey using regular disposable wipes even though I was using cloth diapers. I had heard about cloth wipes but wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. Eventually I got tired of having a diaper pail and a trash can for the disposable wipes in the nursery and decided to try some cloth wipes so I could just throw everything in the same pail. I started using cloth wipes and they are awesome. Seriously. I think I like cloth wipes more than I like cloth diapers. I can use only one wipe where I used to have to use multiple because they work so well. I got the Osocozy flannel cloth wipes and they are the perfect size. I make my own cloth diaper solution for the wipes because my baby’s butt is pretty sensitive and I like to control what is in it. I was having some problems with different types of disposable wipes making my baby’s butt break out into a rash so cloth wipes have really helped with that. I make the solution in batches and pour it over about a days worth of wipes each day that I keep in a reusable wipe container. This works well for me as I can just reach in a grab an already made wipe whenever I need one.
DIY Cloth Wipe Solution Recipe:
3 cups of water
Chamomile tea ( 1 tea bag)
1 tbsp oil per cup of water (I’ve used almond oil and olive oil and both work well, one time I used coconut oil and it did not work well because the coconut oil turned solid and just kind of floated there in the container)
1 tsp per cup of water of the baby soap or shampoo of your choice
1 tbsp per cup of water of witch hazel
1-2 drops of tea tree oil
Bring water to a boil and add the tea bag and let it seep until the water has cooled. Remove tea bag and add in oil, witch hazel, soap, and tea tree oil. I make a bunch at once so it lasts a few days.
I have tried a whole bunch of recipes and tweaked mine until I came up with this one. I love this one because it uses the chamomile tea base, which is very soothing and good for your skin. I included oil to moisturize and help the wipe glide across the skin. The soap helps to get the baby clean and witch hazel is a natural astringent which also helps prevent mildew on the wipes. I include tea tree oil because tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial, plus I like the way it smells.
Make sure to clearly mark whatever container you put the solution in as wipe solution if you make a batch for a few days at once. I put mine in an old juice container and my husband was eyeballing it to drink until I told him what it was. Now it has WIPE SOLUTION in big letters on the bottle.
I hate disposable diapers. I had always thought that the concept of cloth diapering was kinda cool as a way to save money and to reduce the amount that we are throwing away, but I wasn’t really sure I was up to the whole cloth diapering thing. Then when I was pregnant, I had an experience that changed my mind. We were at someone’s house for a dinner and their toddler was running around in their diaper. The diaper was wet and it had the the telltale droopy butt, the wet soppiness hanging like a pendulum between their little baby legs as they toddled around. I imagined the tiny crystals inside the diapers expanded with urine and chemicals. Being pregnant as I was, I had never been more disgusted in my life. I said to my husband that day that I wanted to cloth diaper our baby. That experience sparked a hatred of disposable diapers that has only grown with time.
I share this experience because I want you to understand that my reasons and motivations for cloth diapering are a little bit different than most people’s. I went into cloth diapering simply because I hated the alternative.
There’s Gonna be Poop Everywhere Anyway
One of the biggest reactions/objections I hear about cloth diapering is “But what about the poop?”. Yes, what about the poop? This is a valid concern. People seem very concerned about the fact that cloth diapers contain poop and that you have to do something about this said contained poop. But that is just it. IT CONTAINS THE POOP. When my baby poops in a cloth diaper, the poop stays in the cloth daiper. Which is AMAZING. No blowouts. Ever. Whenever I use a disposable no matter the brand, no matter how expensive or nice it is supposed to be, the poop escapes the diaper a bit too often for comfort. Then you have poop on the baby’s clothes which means you’re washing poop out of fabric anyway. Also you might also be cleaning the poop out of your clothes/the rug/the carseat/the floor/you/the baby’s hair. Really, the possibilities of where the poop can go after it escapes the diaper are endless. From my perspective, I would rather wash a diaper that contained the poop then everything else that now has poop on it because the disposable diaper didn’t contain the mess anyway. If you have a baby, you’re gonna be cleaning up poop. No denying it. Just sayin’.
It’s Supposed to be Cheaper
There’s lots of articles all over the internet breaking down the cost of disposable diapers and comparing it to cloth diapering. Really, I don’t think any of them are really that accurate because there is so many ways to diaper your baby that these breakdowns could never account for how you diaper your baby. With disposables you can buy name brand fancy eco diapers in small packs from your local swanky store and end up paying A LOT for disposable diapers. Or you could only buy them with mega discounts/coupons in the huge value packs and save a nice bit. Or anything in between. Also with cloth diapers, you can spend upwards of over $30 per diaper and get all the fancy accessories (wet pails, wet bags, spray pals, bidet sprayers, drying racks, 2 dozen types of inserts, doublers, extra wool covers, lanolin, detergent, liners, diaper cleaning services, oh my!) and have that quickly add up. Or you could cloth diaper for less than $100 dollars total using secondhand diapers or flats with covers. Also it really depends when your kid is potty trained, how many kids you use the diapers for, and if you resell them at the end to get some of the money back. It really just depends on what you do.
In general, most of these analyses agree that you can save money by cloth diapering. I hope to one day look into this more. They certainly aren’t cheaper up front. You pay all the cost up front for the diapers and then over time you get your money back and then some. I think that it definitely saved us money though since we would have been buying the fancy name brand chemical free and clear diapers that are more expensive if we had gone down the disposable route fulltime.
Saving the Planet?
Most people say that cloth diapering is good for the environment because less trash is ending up in the landfill. Just like the cost breakdown, there’s a lot of debate around this one. There’s the argument that with the transportation and materials and the washing and drying of the cloth diapers that really it isn’t any better than disposables for the planet. They also argue that now disposables are coming out that are biodegradable. (I would like to point out that if you use these biodegradable daipers and then throw them away inside a normal plastic bag then it kinds defeats the point because they can’t biodegrade inside that bag). Then there’s the whole microfiber shedding conundrum where cloth diapers that are made up of or contain microfiber shed tiny filaments of the microfiber into the environment when they are washed. (This is why natural fibers are better!)
Overall I find the claims that cloth isn’t better for the environment a little far fetched. The average baby goes through about 6,000 diapers from birth to potty training. That is a lot of diapers! Any way you look at it, if you cloth diaper that is a lot of trash that is not being generated and sitting in our landfills until god knows when. I guess there are ways to do cloth so that its isn’t as good for the environment but the way I do it (wash at home with HE washer, hang dry, use as many natural fibers as possible) I’m pretty sure the environment is getting a net positive. I hope to look more into this at a later date also.
Gentle on Little Baby Behinds
Several years ago I made the switch from disposable period products to using a menstrual cup and reusable menstrual pads. And let me tell you, I ain’t ever going back. They are amazingly comfortable and convienent. Commercial disposable hygiene products are full of all sorts of chemicals and materials that I don’t want anywhere near my reproductive parts. And diapers are the same way. Disposables always have that weird powder smell and are full of all sorts of chemicals. (I know that you can get special diapers that are unbleached and free of a lot of those chemicals but they cost a lot more.) I don’t want that wierd plastic stuff on my butt and I want my baby to be as comfy as possible. Plus, with cloth diapering my baby never gets a diaper rash! The only times she has started to get irritated on her butt was when she was in disposables. I told my Pediatrician and he seemed surprised that she has never had a serious diaper rash EVER.
They are Cute
Cloth diapers can be cute. Really cute. I love seeing my baby crawling around with blossoms on her little butt. There are so many colors and patterns that there really is something for everyone. In my collection I have ducks, woodland scenes, stripes, beautiful solids, flowers, fruits, desserts, spots, dragon scales, elephants, stripes, leaves and more! Plus, when you put them on your baby it makes their butt really fluffy, which is adorable.
I thought I would write down what to pack in my hospital bag next time (assuming there’s a next time) I have a baby. Last time I definitely brought a lot of stuff that I never ended up using and then there was a lot of things that I wish I had had.
Lotion for me. Hospitals have dry air.
Toiletries. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, toothpaste. People will claim that the hospital provides this, but mine didn’t.
Condiments for the hospital food. Especially butter. And whole fat everything because they didn’t have whole fat anything and it was gross. I really, really wish that hospital food was nutritious. But it wasn’t. At least not my idea of nutritious. And it didn’t taste that great either. I follow a mix-up of paleo, Weston Price diet, and the Specific Carb diet and let me tell you, none of the food at the hospital was what I usually eat at all.
Slip on shoes. Hospital floors are gross.
Breastfeeding pillow. Everyone said not to bring it and just use the hospital pillows and it would be fine. Well maybe it was fine for them but for me I need a breastfeeding pillow to help hold my newborn in the correct position. Definitely bringing next time.
Pillow for my head. The hospital pillows suck. Also bring a colorful pillowcase to distinguish your pillow from the hospital pillows.
Hair ties. You want lots of hair ties to pull up your hair during labor and for postpartum. The last thing you want to be dealing with during labor is your hair.
Robe. I ended up not using the robe last time because we never had any visitors because we weren’t allowed visitors because of Covid-19 but if I did have visitors I would want a robe I could put on quickly and feel more put together and covered. Hospital gowns just aren’t that flattering or modest.
Water cup with straw and lid. Last time I brought my own big water cup with a straw and a lid and it was great. It was much larger than the cups at the hospital and having a straw and lid made it easier to drink while I was in bed.
Birth plan and other documents. I had my birth plan and other details for the birth all written out before I went to the hospital. I also had all of my insurance information, personal history, allergies, doctors office contact info and the info for my pediatrician all written down. This was great because I could just hand it to them when they asked questions and I was too tired/ distracted to answer coherently.
A really long phone charger cord. Sometimes the outlets aren’t in the best spots and you want your phone charged.
Clothes for going home in. Yay going home outfit. I just wore a dress with a cardigan over it. It was comfy and easy to put on. I wouldn’t want to put on jeans right after delivery because your crouch is kinda sore. If you end up with a cesarean you want something that won’t irritate the incision. Also keep in mind that you will have big bulky maternity pads on so don’t wear something too tight that they might show through (unless you don’t care).
Clothes for your hospital stay. I thought I might want to wear these. Turns out I didn’t use them. During labor I ended up tearing all my clothes off so no clothes for that. I would have liked to have worn a sports bra or something but that didn’t work out. Afterwards I felt content wearing the hospital gown. It was nice that it was some laundry that I didn’t have to wash.
What to Bring For the Baby
Bring clothes for the baby to go home in. They kept the baby swaddled in a blanket most of the time in the hospital so I really didn’t need anything for the baby to wear until we were going home. I also brought a little pink hat with a bow for my newborn to wear because it was so much cuter than the hospital supplied hat and was great for all the pictures we sent out to family and friends. I will definitely be doing that again if I have another little girl.
Baby blankets. They supply blankets in the hospital but you want some blankets for the ride home too.
Lotion and coconut oil for the baby. The hospital has really dry air. Like seriously. My poor baby’s skin was cracked from all the dry air and that was with us not giving her bath instantly at birth.
Something to handle razor sharp newborn nails. They are born with these sharp little nails that they scratch themselves ( and you! ) with. Bring socks or mittens to cover up their hands and feet to keep them from scratching themselves. Or you could tackle the nails head on and bring nail clippers/ nail file to trim those sharp tiny tallons back. I liked the electric manicure set for newborns.
There are a lot of lists that say to bring a lot more stuff. For instance they will say to bring something to entertain you. I don’t understand that. Boredom was the last of my concerns when I was in the hospital having my baby. Labor was such an intense experience that I never felt like I needed something to do. This would probably be different if I had an induction and there was a lot of waiting around. And postpartum I spent every minute staring at my baby, nursing or trying to rest when someone wasn’t in my room wanting something (to check on the baby/ check on me/delivering food/taking my blood/doing tests/lactation consultant/etc.)
The list certainly isn’t comprehensive and I’ll probably end up bringing more stuff than this as I did last time. But I definitely need these items. What items did you think you would need that you didn’t end up using and then what items did you wish you would of had that you didn’t?
The newborn phase. Also known as the phase where as a new parent you just don’t sleep. Or practically don’t sleep. The nights are long, the days are too and to be honest, its hard. But there are just some things in the newborn phase that I miss now that I have an older baby. Let’s get to it.
Things to Love About the Newborn Phase
The smell. Oh. My. God. The smell. Newborn baby smell is the best smell in the whole world.
They make the cutest little squeaking sound. (When they eat, when they sleep)
Just pure adorableness.
They’re so cuddly. I remember I called her my little peanut.
How they grab your finger. (I miss this so much)
It is temporary. One day you will sleep again.
How tiny their clothes are.
How tiny they are. So much easier to carry around with one arm.
They will go to sleep anywhere. In your arms, on the floor when they are supposed to be having tummy time, in their stroller, in their carrier… but mostly in your arms.
Things to Not Love About the Newborn Phase
They can’t hold up their own heads. Always obsessing about supporting the head when both of your hands are already busy is not fun.
So much laundry. They throw up and spit up and drool and poop on so many outfits.
How helpless they are. I know I was always so worried about my baby when they were this small because they were completely helpless.
How utterly exhausting it is.
The witching hour.
They eat just about constantly. Seriouly, I know they say you’re supposed to feed them every 2-3 hours starting from the beginning of the last feeding, but what if the feeding itself took over an hour?
Overall, the newborn stage is sweet and short. It is hard when you are in the trenches of it but it is temporary. I wish had said to me how much easier it got. Because, though rewarding, the newborn phase is a lot of hard work.
I wrote the following several years ago and never published it because I didn’t want anyone from my job to realize how I felt. Reading it now it goes to show how unsuitable the job I had at the time was. Later, I switched to a different job at the same company and my outlook changed drastically. I will write about that sometime. Hopefully.
I always read a bunch of FIRE people online saying that they don’t hate their jobs and that this is more about having the freedom to choose. I am not like those people. Its time for real talk. I do sometimes hate my job. I find times when I’m sitting at my desk staring out the window that I would rather be anywhere other than at my job.
I hear other people talk about the fulfillment they find in their work, that they feel that they get something from work that they cannot get other places. I just don’t feel that way.
I find myself during hour three of the meetings that I know will basically last all day completely zoning out to another world. I fantasize about standing up and screaming at the people who are arguing about whatever topic that probably doesn’t even matter. Or at least I don’t think it matters. I find them mystifying. My coworkers seem genuinely concerned and engaged in their jobs. That’s seems such a foreign idea to me.
I wonder if I fit in with them. Do I look defiant from the outside? Or do I mask it as well as I try to? I try to be a good little worker. A good little slave. Because that’s what working is. Its slavery. I try to be a good slave, and not let on that I am plotting my escape.
Because I am. I’m counting down the days until I am free.
Maybe I am not like most people. Maybe most people do not feel like ill-fitting cogs in a giant machine. But I do. I read this article entitled “An employee is basically an “obedient, housebroken dog.”” at LinkedIn recently and it deeply resonated with me.
As long as I am working I will be a dog. I have a good job. I am a pampered spoiled little lap dog but a dog nonetheless.