Friday, January 6, 2012

Dad's View: The Truth About Cloth Diapering


Confession: I’m a dad and I’m a cloth diaper junkie.


It’s shameful, I know. It’s perfectly acceptable for moms to go through a phase of “nesting” for their babies where they select the perfect shade of cupcake for the nursery or a particular brand of stroller- car seat carrier combo. As I dad, I’m expected to tolerate that stuff, lovingly get a little involved, but restrict my fretting to the pragmatic details of making sure all the insurance stuff is ironed out and opening college savings accounts for the future lawyer-firefighting astronaut. Real men don’t get tittered about all the cute Cabbage Patch stuff that comes with having a baby. And that was me.

For example, I knew there would be a huge financial bomb approaching of diapers. Like a “real man” I figured it would be a good move to stash up on the disposables throughout the trimesters and chip away at the accumulated supply once the baby was born. My scheme worked for a while, but once our son started crawling we were tapped out and now had a surplus of space in our little apartment. Heroically, I was ready to perform another big card swipe on disposables and repeat the process. It was then my wife convinced us to spend the same amount of money my anticipated horde of disposables would cost on investing in twenty or so cloth diapers. Half-reluctantly, I agreed. We chose to invest in the one-size bumgenius diapers—meaning our son (and future children) could wear the same diaper and we didn’t ever have to worry about having the right size. This was a huge reason why we ended up loving bumgenius and the whole cotton babies family of diapers.


**photo by cottonbabies, our favorite cloth diaper brand


I’ve since shed my grizzled manly exterior and shamelessly get just as excited about limited edition colors and prints as my wife.



Above are some of the limited edition Easter colors I (embarrassingly) couldn't pass up.



You can check out all their current cloth diaper offerings at http://www.cottonbabies.com/ and pick the style that is just right for your family (freetime, bumgenius, flip, econobum). You’ll thank me later.

This fluffy excitement stems from three fronts. First, there is the obvious (and manly) financial advantage. Once we got our stash of cloth, we calculated the cost of each disposable and kept track of each cloth diaper we washed. And by washed, I mean hand washed. We at the time were living in an apartment and that was the easiest, best, and cheapest way to wash them. Within ten months the diapers were “paid off.” Since our first son was 7mon old our family has been exclusively a cloth diapering family. We are now our third son and we’ve saved all that diaper money five times over. We have also since starting cloth, have bought a house and happily toss our diapers in our HE washer and hang to dry.


Here is our original cloth diaper chart I've kept stashed in a keepsake box: Second, like all manly men I like the idea of “roughing it.” Telling folks I cloth diaper makes me feel there is just a little more stubble on my chin. (Of course with the functional and aesthetic designs of cloth diapers these days “roughing it” is really an illusion but I don’t tell people that.) Styles- like the bumgenius- make cloth diapering as easy as 1-2-3. Stuff, wear, wash. Not much more work than a disposeable. (Important note: Diapers can easily be stuffed while watching a James Bond movie, I've discovered.)



(Background noise compliments of the big brothers.)

Finally, and I can’t link this to manhood except to the concept of just sharing a common enjoyment with your wife, cloth diapers are just so darn cute. Every time I see my sons scamper around with a wink of navy blue or hunter green peeking out of their jeans (instead of a raggedy looking disposable) I feel all warm and cozy inside. On the rare occasion we put them in a disposable, I feel like I’m wrapping their bum in newspaper rather than a sturdy and stylish undergarment. Above is our first son, Parker sporting one of his first cloth diapers.




Here is our second son, Carter happily doing his part in saving the planet and Daddy some cash.





They were both in diapers for a while. Glad we picked the one sized bumgenius. (ChaChing)


And finally, above is the newest son- Anderson rockin' a hand-me-down diaper.



I try not to proselyte too much about my diapering fancy with my sons. My wife has done a great job of this herself converting many families. I don’t want to seem too invested in the girly sides of parenting. Heck, only fifty years ago a man wasn’t even expected to change a diaper let alone think critically about one. My grandfather would have called me a disgrace. Thankfully, times have changed, and I know other young fathers have the cloth diaper bug and still find time to slay zombies on the video game console and do an oil change. I still have time to do all those things.... Right after I hang up the most recent clean cloth load.




Disclaimer: I wrote this blog after my wife informed me of a contest run by Jenn Labit, the owner of Cotton Babies. I was not compensated in any way to write this- by her or by Cotton Babies. I sure do hope that I, err I mean SHE, wins 12 bumgenius diapers for her AND 12 for a friend. If she wins, she will get to pick a person who comments on this blog to win the other 12!


What a blessing it is to be a blessing.


74 comments:

The Kent Family said...

oh i'm definitely commenting!!!! very convincing post...going on our 4th baby....would be something to make the switch at this point....i'm more interested in them now that i've read this!!!

emfungi said...

I wish so badly that we could cloth diaper. I did the math (I've got quite the spreadsheet to prove it) and with the washing cost we can't afford it. We've got one out of diapers (thank God) and a new one now in them. Who knows if there is going to be another. I cringe at how much money we could save in the long run, but does that really matter when you don't have the money now?

Barbara said...

I really think when I get to that time in life I am going to do the cloth route. I plan to ask for them on my registry lol.

Kate said...

Hahaha! Hilarious! My DH and I have stuffed several cloth diapers while watching Bond movies. ;)
Our house loves cloth. And subsequently your wife! She converted us and I'm forever grateful!
Definitely loving looking at pictures of our boys running around in nothing but a fluffy bum. Versus the pictures of our daughter in a saggy gross disposable.
Love the cloth diaper chart! That's really sweet that it's a keepsake!!
Off to go hang up my own diaper laundry. ;). Great post!

Jessica H said...

We LOVE cloth diapers too! We have another one on the way and we look forward using the one's we've used for the past 16 months AGAIN. We have never bought disposables and pride ourselves on that. Not one penny wasted. My husband also likes to use prefolds a lot to prove to anyone who doubts him, that he can use them. But Bum Genius are our go to diaper for daycare and grandparents and just an overall quick change...as you proved on your video! I love in the summer seeing all those diapers hanging on the line. Just beautiful.

Krystyn said...

Just loving seeing a daddy perspective. I'll have to share with my hubby, who is actually very supportive of our CDing #3. Better late than never, right?

Anonymous said...

What a great article Brian! I couldn't agree with you more. We have been doing cloth diapers with Kaelyn since she was born and the savings is incredible. We also feel good knowing that we are not putting the chemicals that are in disposable diapers on Kaelyn's skin and we aren't throwing all of the disposables into a landfill to pollute the environment that our children, grandchildren and future generations will be living in. I hope that your article will help a few more parents make the decision to go cloth!

Melissa Hockey said...

This is Melissa Hockey. The annonymous comment is from me.

Laura Kolanda said...

I used cloth diapers with my first baby 20 years ago but switched to disposable for my second baby 15 years ago because of the convenience. I wish I had the option of Bum Genius with my girls. I would have used cloth for both of my girls thus avoiding a lot of outfit changes needed because of the rubber pants used with the original cloth diapers on my first and a lot of the diaper rashes and infections with my second. I would recommend Bum Genius diapers to any and all new or soon to be parents.

caedmen said...

Love to hear a dad's point of view! I use cloth on both my babies too, ages 24 months and 7 months old. Love saving money and I love that they can both wear the same diaper and I don't need to purchase different sized disposables.

Jenny said...

I've never really given much thought to cloth diapers before because I figured they weren't worth the hassle. But this article makes me question my previous thinking. Maybe using cloth diapers isn't as complicated as it seems? And I know my husband would appreciate the money we'd save. Thanks for the fresh perspective!

Mom M. said...

Who'd have thunk that you would love cloth diapers so much! Must be the savings over disposable. Now you can invest that money in their future!!!

Wendy said...

Love it! We cloth diapered our 3rd child and I'd never look back! We also used elimination communication and he was wearing undies full time at 16 months! Looking forward to CD's another baby, good Lord willing.

crystal said...

Great to see a dads support of the cloth diaper. I know that is one challenge a lot if women face. Luckily my husband was on board from the start. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah honeysett said...

My husband loves our cloth diapers too. Not sure if he cares about all the cute prints I've lovingly picked out, but he loves the savings

Erika said...

great post! one thing you forgot to mention is when you are eventully 100% done with those diapers you could sell them to re-coop some of the cost, or donate them to several ordganizations that help families who can't afford the up front cost of starting a cloth diaper stash get a head start on cloth diapering

Nicki said...

I really enjoyed reading your post! It's nice to find another dad excited about cloth. My husband is pretty excited for us to start, we have three CD's (bum genius, even!) and just have to wait for the tax refund to get the rest of our stash. There's no shame being excited about CD! :) again, great post. Thanks for the dad insight :)

Liz Petrone said...

Great post! Great blog! When I was pregnant with my first I dipped my toe into the cloth diaper pool but I wanted a diaper service (we didn't even have a washing machine then) and there wasn't any at the time I could find. If we have more, I'm going to try these out. You've inspired me!

Rory and Melissa Peterson said...

I love to hear a daddy perspective. It is so worth it to cloth diaper!

Beccamazing said...

Just saw this on the cloth diaper swap after picking up my first package in the mail of blue BumGenius diapers for our boy due in May.
Love it! My husband and I are so pumped about cloth diapering and this made him realize how cool it truly is!

Good luck in the contest!!

Abby said...

I love this post. It's great to see dads enjoying cloth diapers too. We also use bum genius and I love them. Our son is 5 months old and we have cloth diapered since day one. I didn't cloth diaper with our daughter but now I wish we would have. I feel like its so freeing to not have to worry about buying diapers. I actually LIKE buying them which is a big change from when my daughter was in diapers. I remember dreading when I had to go get more. I am so glad you and your family have enjoyed them as well.

Jeanie said...

I'm on my first baby, and trying desperately to get the stash up to 25 so I can also rid the space of disposables. However at my baby showers, everyone knew I was CD'ing and didn't buy any disposables for me, but also didn't buy any cloth OR give me giftcards to websites like amazon or cotton babies! I even had a cotton babies registry! ACK! So, yeah, Walmart and Target don't carry cloth yo, so I was forced to spend the $200 I had in gift cards on clothes instead.

But, I'm at 21 dipes and I had my daughter in Bumgenius extra small all-in-ones from the time her cord fell off till just a couple weeks ago :) She's 9 weeks now. Score. Good diapers! Never leaked.

shayla trentman said...

My husband just read this wife me and said u took the words out of his mouth! He loves the bgs because he loves the Velcro, he also loves saving money! Mice to know other dads are on board!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the story! I just started cloth diapering acouple months ago.We were amish and not allowed dispossables or rubber pants so the modern way makes it all the more fun!

Amber Lee said...

I remember the day that my doctor broke my heart, she told me I couldn't have kids. Then about a year later I was pregnant. It just goes to show that science only goes so far and then comes God. When I heard about clothes diapers I immediately thought "Yeah they would save us money but we live in a apartment complex and we can't afford to wash them" For some reason I never thought about hand washing them. Right now with the way the economy is my fiancee nor I can find a job. Currently I'm going back to school starting January 23rd so I can run my own daycare. Everyday I pray to God that my fiancee will find a job. God gave me my son and I know that God will give me and my family everything we need to succeed.

Heather said...

Love it!!! We are currently cloth diapering our third child. Our first was 100% in sposies, our second switched over at about 14 months, and our third has been 100% cloth diapered. My husband tells everyone he meets about cloth diapers: they fit better, they smell better, they cost less, they're cuter, fewer rashes, fewer blow-outs, etc. He is much more gung ho about it than I am. And, like you, still very much a manly man :)

igpizzaprincess said...

I love this post! I know a lot of moms who want to try cloth but the husband isn't convinced. This is great! We started CD'ing 16 months ago and hit the 'break even' point around 6 months ago. Now we are gearing up to diaper our next baby in the same 'free' diapers. My DH is a cloth-diapering-daddy too. We occasionally use sposies but when he asks which type of diaper I want on our DS, he asks 'regular or disposable'. I ♥ that our cloth diapers are 'normal' to him!!

Bekah said...

We started cloth with our third and I wish we had started sooner. Now that we are expecting our 4th and quite possibly our 5th (can't wait to see if baby b is going to make it!) I can't imagine going back. My little girl is currently sporting a retail therapy and we couldn't be happier. Great to hear a dad's perspective.

Shelby and Brian said...

What a wonderful blog! I love it when dads get really excited about parenting topics, especially ones that make an impact on home life and the environment. I did cloth diapers part time with my first son and plan to exclusively cloth diaper my twins when they make their appearance this summer!

(Loved seeing all your sweet boys in their cloth diapers <3)

Unknown said...

My baby girl is due any day now! I found out that I was unable to have children so my sister offered to be a surrogate for us. My husband and I could not be more thrilled!
I have always wanted to use cloth diapers and I love doing laundry, so it is a win/win situation.
Thank you for your blog.

The Redmons said...

What a insightful post from a Super Dad. It is such a blessing to see a man post so pasionately about his family. I have never used cloth diapers after my mom had her share of complaining to do from trying them on me 28 years ago however through the years I have learned to try new things. Going to school to be a CNM I would love to try these diapers especially after such a sincere post. I am always a fan of word of mouth and what better way than to try them =)

Brittany said...

Wonderful post! I love the cloth diaper chart! DH and I are very grateful that we cloth diaper, and are looking forward to continuing with our new little one in September.

Ivy said...

We love to cloth! My husband and I made the decision with our first daughter before she was born to cloth to save money and do our part for the planet. We wanted me to stay home and needed to cut the budget down some.
We used BG's with our first two children and now I am due any day with #3! My husband loves our cloth as much as I do. He loves the cute prints and their fluffy buts. He tells all his expectant dad friends that they should do cloth as well. I love that he even does diaper laundry. I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful husband.

Sarah Smith said...

First off, I cannot wait for Todd to get home to have him read this! He always gives me the hardest time when I tell him I want to get cloth diapers! Thank you for sharing this with me!! If Todd still gives me objections I am sooooo having him call your hubby! LOL ;) And by the way I can't get enough of those cute boys, So dang cute! I love having boys!!

Mrs. S said...

I need a washer and dryer before I can even consider cloth diapering!

chambanachik said...

We have cloth diapered for a few months, and it's been a life saver, money-wise!

ObomsawinGirl said...

I love this! My husband loves cloth diapering but probably not as much as you :) I wish he would want to get new colors...I always have to convince him that we "need" more colors!

Kim said...

This turned out to be a VERY great read. I always enjoy reading a father's point of view on cloth diapering. It is insane to think I met you for the first time 3 years ago when I bought some of my first bumGenius 3.0's from you. Then again when you photographed my homebirth!

Your boys are adorable. What a lovely family you have! Thanks for spreading the cloth diaper love!

-Kim R
www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com

Brandi Elam said...

It's always fun to read a dad's perspective on cloth diapering! Thanks for sharing!

boyzrule said...

Cloth diapering dads rock! I wish my hubby liked to write. Great post! I like to see that you have cloth diapered 3 awesome boys. Cloth is addicting...we need to spread that word, huh?? If people knew of the savings and benefits, then maybe we could sway a few of those naysayers. This teacher is loving your tally sheet! Thanks for entertaining me. :)
debbie m
dmoretti1967 at yahoo dot com

Catherine Bedford said...

I was thinking about having my stay at home dad hubby write this contest entry, but after reading this, I realize we can't compete! This is a great dad viewpoint. We are currently cloth diapering, but our story is more unusual because our first cloth diapered baby is 16 years old. She wore old school prefolds with pins and vinyl pants. We still have those diapers, but would love to win 12 modern ones. I figure we maybe have a chance if you pick a random comment to win the friend dozen :-)

Erika. said...

I made my husband read this because we've had arguments about cloth diapering when the time comes. I think it's a great idea, he thinks it's weird! I'm not giving up on the idea just yet though!

Hilary Moore said...

I love this!! I wish I had been more informed about cloth diapers when I was raising my daughter during infancy up through potty-training days. I always thought of cloth diapers as being white rag-looking things that you had to pin (not safe) and slide a plastic cover over. How unappealing!! I thought they were messy and difficult to keep on the baby. These, however, look more sturdy and absorbent than disposables!! My sister's first baby is due in a month and I think I'm going to try to talk her into these :) Thank you, Brian!

Summer said...

I will so have to get my husband to read this. We are having baby #3 this summer and I have been wanting to try cloth since our first 6 yrs ago but he keeps vetoing it saying it costs to much, the only cloth I have managed to try is the kushie cloth swim diapers and I love them. Maybe this post since written by a guy will help my case lol.

barbara said...

I think it is great to have a male's opioion and what a beautiful family. Cloth was the only option years ago and baby's bottoms were healthier. Keep up the good work and save the planet from more wate if you use cloth and they are cute diapers too

TBEmommy said...

Well said Brian!

We are going to try and conceive baby number 4 soon and our stash is something that is less than desirable. I know that I will need a new stash and 12 free would be an awesome start!!! Fingers crossed for us both!!

Mindy said...

This is such a fantastic post and absolutely one of my favorite entries! I wrote a post as well and I'm linking up to other entries (including yours) on my facebook page! Thanks for sharing this unique perspective!

Jill said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hi and what a great post! We too got hooked on BG's and love all their different styles

andrew and chandra walton said...

Great to see a dad who's into cloth diapering! My husband was on board from the beginning. He doesn't do any of the laundering, but that's ok. :)

nicole buffington said...

I would love to be your friend hehe my daughter is 18months and I have always wanted to cloth diaper! I kept saying once we move from my small apartment and do not have to go do laundry at the laundry mat or my mil house I was hoping to start and hopefully by my second child which I hope is soon :) be a fully cloth diapering family! We just moved into our own home and am proudly able to say have our own washer and dryer lol

Ariana said...

I love this! My husband also loves cloth diapering. He is a Marine, and at least once a week comes home with a story about someone he told about cloth diaper. It seems we are both on a mission to convert other to the CD world!! I love seeing dad's get excited about cloth diapers!

MrsMc said...

I love it! I barely got my DH on board (I think all the pestering did it) and it took a matter of days and he was changing the diapers too! I was amazed to be honest. He still refuses to pull the inserts out of our pockets but oh well, its a small price to pay. I have a very small stash for now and I can't wait to order more!

stephk said...

so cool to see a dad who is not only on board with cd'ing, but also gun-ho about it!

ladyshepp07 said...

Love this! We cloth diaper as well. It'a addicting, all the cuteness!! We do prefolds and gdiapers, and hubby is slowly getting more into prefolds. Hehe was taking him some time to figure out, would love to try others though! I wish we would've cloth diapered our first daughter but we also lived in an apt with no washer and just didn't know much about it then! It's super great seeing a Dad's perspective!

Bree said...

Very well written! So nice to see a man' s perspective. You should keep writing about other things! We are loving cloth diapers!!! Cute, safe for baby and the environment, and cheaper!!!

KittyKat said...

I grew up helping change my siblings' cloth diapers. I've used cloth on our kids because it's so much cheaper. I actually made my own flannel prefolds out of a used sheet this time, because many of the prefolds I had were worn out. Apparently after 4-5 kids worth of use, they do wear out.

My husband tolerates the cloth diapers, but seems to view them more as a "necessary evil" than an Awesome Thing. :)

Ginny said...

Very well written and my husband would funny agree! We currently have 2 in diapers (21 months and a 6 week old) and use mostly one-size as well! :)

Would love to get more BG dipes for our stash (we only have 3 of those and they are definitely a favorite)!

zaraphel said...

Excellent, I can not wait to cloth diaper with my next child. I wish that I had with my daughter but at least we are going to with number two. :)

Lynn said...

My hubby also has gotten into CDing! I think it is partly to humor me, but he was the one who insisted we buy the Blueberry dino print once it finally restocked. He also got the BG Albert print in his stocking for Christmas! Glad to see another supportive husband in his wife and children's lives!

zaraphel said...

Excellent I can not wait to cloth diaper our second child. I wish that I had with our daughter.

The Stephenson Family said...

Excellent post! We cloth diapered our first, but I've been lazy with our second and REALLY want to get back into it. This post gave me the motivation I need!

Ashton said...

Love our cloth! Love how much we've saved (we've more than broken even at this point, even using disposables at night and when we're out), and it's awesome! And it hasn't really affected our water bill, which mystifies me but I'm going with it. Hope you win some diapers! And since W is growing out of his gdiapers....shall I say we're in the market for some bigger ones? C has a ways to go with the ones we have. They were just too small for the OS 6 months ago when we started. Skinny babies! I love a shirt with the diaper. it's the best. Cute chubby legs with the cloth diaper on is so cute!

Lystrup said...

Man, Anderson really is a mix of P and C! Great post!! Totally makes me want to try for #4 and use those super cute cloth diapers!

Renee J. Weinberger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KelliSue Kolz said...

I made the switch at my 2nd baby, and in fact we're still using some of the diapers from her, but well hidden under a cute bummis super whisper wrap because the outer layer isn't cute any more. And we're on baby #6! I'm sold on pocket diapers, but I stuff them with prefolds at night, on occasion. They rock,and my husband says that he prefers Syracuse orange, for a diaper color.

KelliSue Kolz said...

I made the switch at my 2nd baby, and in fact we're still using some of the diapers from her, but well hidden under a cute bummis super whisper wrap because the outer layer isn't cute any more. And we're on baby #6! I'm sold on pocket diapers, but I stuff them with prefolds at night, on occasion. They rock,and my husband says that he prefers Syracuse orange, for a diaper color.

Missy Hudson said...

Oh gosh I adore this post!! I need to get my hubs (who hasn't touched a CD) to read it! I switch to cloth for the arrival of our first and will NEVER go back. Thanks for offering the "daddy" perspective! amazing.

Jen Huey said...

My husband isn't as gung Ho about them as you are and the way I got him to try was to give him the cost comparison then he was sold. We "part time" cd because we haven't built up our stash big enough to do it full time. We hope to in the next few weeks though.

Congrats dad (and mom) on making the leap!

Jim Hartmann said...

Couldn't have put it any better myself. The big deciding factor for us was this: How good of quality can a product be if it's made to be thrown out 3 hours after use? I would not want disposable socks, underwear, or shirts. On the other hand, I've contemplated taking my daughter's flip inserts when they are no longer needed and getting a nice blanket sewn together. It would be perfect for drunken college kids with poor bladder control and older adults alike.

goroni girl said...

i am making my husband read this :) i want to give cloth diapering a try but he's very hesitant... hope this article helps! it definitely made me much more interested.

mehera said...

my main reason for choosing cloth was because i think it is more comfortable and it would be what i would want to wear if i were a baby (and it was what i wore as a baby). I have only found positives to cloth diapering and am so glad that i was able to give my son (and future children) a clean healthy start at life. i love it so much and have never looked back (or gone to the store to buy disposables!)

Bekah said...

I just saw cotton babies said you won 3 diapers for this. Congrats! Awesome job :).

Rachel said...

This was a great blog post! It's nice to see a dad's perspective.

I initially convinced my husband (who didn't really need convincing) by explaining the cost benefits as well. And now, he's a total cloth advocate. Right now he does the diaper laundry, and even changes more diapers than me.
That will all be changing soon, once he gets a job... but with both of us around the house, it works well.
He first reaches for the BumGenius diapers (we have some small all-in-ones that fit our one month old at the moment) because they are just so easy.

TrueBliss said...

So glad to have come across this blog. Had your wife not won and had a link to her blog poste I would never have found it. Both your writing is fantastic and makes me feel like I'm your next door neighbor. What a wonderful blessed family!