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“I’m sorry, you do what?”

July 16, 2010

“Hrm, yeah, we cloth diaper, breastfeed, co-sleep, and use family cloth.” Strange look from person I’m talking to at the time. “I’m sorry, you do what?” Because clearly, I fell off of a different planet from the person I am talking to and the items really aren’t self-explanatory, well, aside from the family cloth aspect.

“Cloth diaper. Prefolds and covers. Breastfeed, as opposed to formula feeding. Co-sleep, as opposed to having a nursery down the hall. Use family cloth, as opposed to going through small mountains of toilet paper with 2 kids under 5 using it as though we’re not on septic.” Now it starts to get weird, and people generally start to ask questions and say things that one generally doesn’t say or ask in polite conversation.

“Well that’s nasty. You must be a hippy.” And the list goes on and on for miles. Now, for those who aren’t familiar, cloth diapering has come a long way since rubber pants and pins, although I do actually own both. It’s easier and far cheaper in the long run, especially when your children turn out to be allergic to every brand of disposable diaper currently manufactured. Yes, really, their skin falls off, quite disturbing actually. You can easily get by with less than $200 for newborn to potty learning, and I am extra fortunate as my kids potty learned at 18 months. They really hated wet nappies.

Oh then there’s breastfeeding. The responses for that statement vary from outright disgust to a very depressed, “I tried that, but it didn’t work out.” At one point, our eldest was very ill and we were faced with Neocate (a very insanely expensive hypoallergenic formula which runs a few hundred dollars a week), and I cannot tell you how happy my spouse was that I was still breastfeeding at the time. Our daughter was well over a year. The nutritional and emotional benefits to breastfeeding far outweighed the financial savings it provided, which were surprisingly high!

Co-sleeping. Something that is never admitted in public surroundings, because apparently it is some secret shame that parents have of nurturing their offspring at night. Well, no, I don’t espouse that particular belief. We co-slept until this week, when the velcro twins just got the better of me and at their ages I honestly needed some time apart from them. We still actively parent them at night and care for their needs, it’s just now we walk down the hall to do so, but that’s acceptable to us at 3 and 5 years of age. When they were substantially younger, it would not and did not work. We tried. Regardless, they are well adjusted and they aren’t at college and calling home to find out when we will come snuggle them to sleep.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that family cloth is a bit out there. When I first started keeping a household, a case of toilet paper at Costco was $9.99. It now comes in at $20.00. Ouch. Factor in 2 small children with a fondness for flushing and a septic tank. I bought a lot of small flannel diapering washcloths and those are used in place of toilet paper a large majority of the time. In place of disposable menstrual pads, I use organic cotton sherpa and hemp ones that I had custom made. They’re great. I have long hit the break even point on those and they’re just thrown in with the diaper/family cloth washcloths without any problems.

So there you have it. But, how on earth did we come to this point? Well, my spouse and I are fairly cheap people. I know, cheap is an ugly word, but it’s true. We decided to go the cloth diaper and breastfeeding route when I was pregnant with our first child after we looked at the cost and pros/cons of formula as well as the cost of disposable diapers (we went through 100+ very expensive disposables in the first week and a half after our daughter was born, rang in around $80+, ouch). Once she grew into the preemie sized cloth diapers, we never looked back and people were shocked we cloth diapered.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2010 1:43 pm

    That sound’s so easy if you think about it.

  2. internetroulette permalink
    July 21, 2010 7:33 am

    Well, life can be so easy, man must have just chuckling.

    Tja, das Leben kann so einfach sein, mann muss nur gluck haben.

  3. July 23, 2010 9:34 pm

    First time I’ve EVER heard of family cloth. Brilliantly simple idea to ponder.

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