Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mom Did Know Best, About Diapers At Least

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we're writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

As the phrase goes, I was such a good attachment parent... before I had kids. The entire time I was trying to conceive I imagined myself as the type of mom who wore her baby everywhere and breastfed in public like it was no big thing. I wanted to do it all: cosleep, child led weaning, positive discipline, etc. The the twins came and everything I thought I knew about parenting went out the door. I forgot to figure in that my kids would have their own ideas of what they wanted and that those wants wouldn't always mesh. Breastfeeding in public? That was the easy part. Being so exhausted from breastfeeding two infants that I just wanted to sleep for an hour straight even if it was on another planet from my kids, that was the reality.

I guess it isn't surprising that the AP philosphies that have worked for me the most are the ones my own mom practiced. My younger sister came when I was six so I was old enough to see her breastfeed. I never thought I would do anything different. It helped that almost every mom I knew did the same. At this point I feel like breastfeeding is the mainstream, at least in some form. But the other thing my mom did, cloth diapering all three of us even after disposables were common, that is still considered kind of weird. It's often where the greenest moms I know draw the line.

I admit that sometimes I feel slightly smug about cloth diapering. It's my cred card, the thing I can bring up when other moms talk about how they breastfed until two, when they are still Ergo-ing their toddler at the park, when they talk about how their kid has never seen TV or eaten sugar. It's a shortcut to friendship with moms I meet out and about. I see the telltale bubble butt on their kid and instantly have something to talk to them about. And it's the one thing I feel totally successful at as a parent. Sure my kids are hellions, I let them watch two hours of TV a day, and my daughter still takes a paci but hey I cloth diaper so I am totally preserving the earth for my girls' future every single day. I am obviously the most awesomest mother ever.

My dirty little secret about cloth diapering? It's actually really easy. Don't tell all the smug alpha moms, but yeah it's super simple. I actually find it easier to deal with than disposables. Diaper changes go faster because I am not wrangling those devilish sposie tabs. I keep them in a dry pail and wash them every other day then fold then while I watch my trashy TV. Done.

And it is amazingly cost effective, especially with twins. Even with having used a diaper service for the first six months (provided by my MIL and generous friends), going through three separate systems, and the extra money on our water bill a high estimate of money spent on cloth diapering the girls is $600. And I will probably make back about $150 when I sell our current stash of diapers and covers. My quick figuring of the cost of disposables for the past three years goes something like this: store brand diapers, $8 pack for 35. At least a pack a week times 52 weeks is $416 times 3 years is $1248, more than double the cost of cloth diapering. It's amazing to me how people manage to even afford disposables for their kids.

So go on, give it a try. At the very least it will give you several victories a day. It's not just poop, it super poop that's saving the world.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Code Name: Mama and Hobo MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.

(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • My Momma Was a Hippie — Jessica at This is Worthwhile is continuing her Earth Momma mother's way of honoring nature by taking her child outside every day. (@tisworthwhile)

  • Mom Did Know Best, About Diapers at Least — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has a dirty secret about cloth diapers: They're easy. (@guavalicious)

  • The Force that Drives the Water Through the Rocks — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest remembers her first spiritual connection with nature, granted to her through her father's care for the spirits of the earth.

  • Confessions of a Cabbage Patch Kid — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma learned about landfills and recycling through gardening. (@kitchenwitch)

  • Seeing My Grandmother Through Green Colored Lenses — Michelle at Seeking Mother was raised by a grandmother who wouldn't let anyone throw out used clothing — ever — and who believed baths were water enough for two or more people at least. (@seekingmother)

  • Through Green Tinted Glasses — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis realized her family didn't so much choose green as it chose them, since not being green would have cost a lot more.

  • Green or Die! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing remembers berating her family for not turning off the faucets — and notes that her efforts to save the planet for another 20 years must have worked.

  • Natural Parenting Carnival: Green Living — Sarah at Natural Parenting is doing more to make her children's generation green than what she had as a child.

  • Natural Parenting Carnival: Vintage Green — pchanner at A Mom's Fresh Start used to fill her own water bottles from a spring — before doing so was cool. (@pchanner)

  • Getting Dirty — Molly at Molly's Place is inspired by her mother's camaraderie with nature. She's going to get back in touch with the real food cycle, as opposed to the "shrink-wrapped nutrition" you can buy. (@KPMolly)

  • My Vintage Green Raincoat — Mama at Maman A Droit is wearing her brother's bright green raincoat — 16 years later! (@MamanADroit)

  • Vintage Green — Darcel at Mahogany Way hasn't realized it yet, but she is slowly turning into her parents. ;) (@MahoganyWayMama)

  • Vintage Green — mrs green at littlegreenblog reminds us that children can be green simply by being kids. (@myzerowaste)

  • March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Lauren at Hobo Mama was eco-chic before it was en vogue. (@Hobo_Mama)

  • Growing Up Green — Chrystal at Happy Mothering honed her green instinct from an early age. (@HappyMothering)

  • greener pastures — The Grumbles at Grumbles and Grunts has a list of ways she's transitioning from green living as a novelty to green living as a lifestyle. (@thegrumbles)

  • Vintage Green: The Hot Water Tank Is Not Sexy — Zoey at Good Goog had to go green when moss started growing around her feet. (@zoeyspeak)

  • We Walked Softly — Starr at Earth Mama wrote a beautiful post about how her parents instilled a love of and respect for Earth and nature in her, and how she is passing that gift on to her own children.

  • Save the Mermaids! — CurlyMonkey is learning from her daughter how to keep the mermaids happy. (@curlymonkey_)

  • March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Dionna at Code Name: Mama sees glimpses of her mother's greenness frugality in her own life — but she draws the line at pantyhose soap. (@CodeNameMama)

  • I Thought I Made Them Green, But Really They Made Me — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! thought she made her parents green — until she took a closer look. (@bfmom)

  • A Culture of Less — Alison at BluebirdMama explained why homebirth is the green childbirth choice. I love this thought! (@childbearing)

  • 5 Ways to Embarrass Your Children While Going Green — Acacia at Be Present Mama shares some of the embarrassing things her parents did to her in the name of being eco-conscious.

  • Ending Is Better than Mending? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is teaching us how to darn socks armed only with a light bulb. (@babydust)

  • There and Back Again: A Green Girl's Tale — Lactating Girl offers a gentle reminder that certain eco-conscious practices shouldn't be "ideals," but realities. (@LactatingGirl)


  1. Super cloth diaper mom saving the earth one poop at a time. I love your post. We all know the benefits but You make cloth diapering sound delightfully fun.

  2. I totally agree that cloth diapers are so easy and affordable. I wish everyone believed me!

    Your writing is hilarious, by the way. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Let's hear it for cloth diapers! They are pretty simple. One of my points of pride so far is how I've yet to retain a stain in any of mine. I still use disposables though but cloth is certainly my friend.

  4. Even cloth diapers have come a long way since I was a kid and my mom was cloth-diapering my siblings. I mean, gosh, we still used pins in those days. ;)

    I didn't know about all this until my baby was older, and now she's 1 1/2 and I guess I always thought it wasn't worth the switch to cloth b/c she'll "potty train" soon. But lately I've been thinking that maybe cloth diapers would be the way to go now, so that she can feel herself wet and learn when she needs to go in the potty. She already pretends to go in the potty, so I know she's starting that way...

    Anyway, thanks for the food for thought! I might actually make the switch! Which diapers do you like?

  5. Molly- for pure simplicity, go with fitteds and a cover. They are the easiest to care for and I think the simpler the better. A few companies make cloth trainers if your daughter is showing interest in the potty already.

  6. I love your honest and humorous writing style! Ah yes, cloth diapering as a cred card to counter all my perceived failings as a natural parent - I am entirely too familiar with it.

  7. Couldn't agree with you more! I recently finished up a guest post series for Go Green Street on the big reasons we chose cloth. They are more awesome in just about every aspect!

  8. So I have a couple dumb questions, because I know nothing about cloth diapers and have never seen one in real life. How do you wash them? Do they stain (cause basically all Baby's pants are poop-stained despite wearing diapers and my best efforts with soap to de-poop-ify) How do you know what brand to get? Lol sorry for the barrage of questions-I am just pretty clueless on the matter!

  9. I am a one of the green mamas who struggles with cloth diapers! Your post has inspired me to try a little harder at it though!


  10. What a great funny honest post. I look forward to reading more of your blog.

    And yeah, we love cloth diapers too. My son was cloth diapered using a diaper service but we uses disposables at night and when we travelled. My daughter is 20 months and has never had a disposable on her cute little butt. Love the green cred of cloth dipes. Nice post!

  11. Cloth diapering really IS easy. I honestly don't know why people wouldn't do it.

    Really, if you think about it, all natural parenting things are easy. There's sometimes a learning curve, but after you get past that it's so much easier than the non-natural parenting things.

    Not to mention that disposables STINK!

  12. I have loved my cloth diapers too. I just recently realized that I'm done with them. My 34 month old only wears one to bed now but it's been dry more than wet this past week so we're on our way out. Bye bye cloth diapers. Wow, I wasn't sure I'd ever seen the day. Now I wonder how much I'll get for them....

  13. Can I create a time machine, go back to being pregnant, and have my husband read this post? :) We are not cloth diapering at my husband's request. He's the at home parent so he trumped my choice on that one. I wish I had fought a little harder. If I could have gotten him to TRY it I'm sure he would agree with you!

  14. Hurrah for cloth diapering! I was so happy that my husband was on-board with the idea. I completely agree that it's easy and fast and less expensive than disposables. But I don't think anyone believes me. Except you know it too! CD-ing mama's unite! ;-)

  15. I'm curious - how did you handle drying them? This was the biggest problem during my brief and unsuccessful foray into cloth diapers. I found that if I hung them up they dried really rough, but they took FOREVER in the dryer.

    BTW, Paige - if it helps, I was in that exact situation except that I did persuade my husband to at least give them a try. So how did it turn out? He wasn't keen on them even after he'd tried them, so we used disposables and the money I'd spent on cloth diapers was wasted. So, who knows - maybe it didn't make any difference and your husband would have hated them even if he had tried them (don't know whether that helps or not!)

  16. We are the opposite of what most people here are saying- my husband is totally pro cloth and I have been putting it off. But I think you've convinced me to get on board full time, finally. Or at least try.

  17. Great post...and a great list of other people's posts, too! I'm enjoying reading them.

    And yes, I am sure an arranged marriage can be set up ;)

  18. Super poop saving the world. I love it! I am so glad we cloth diaper. It's so much fun, and great for the environment.

  19. Oh great post! I love the super poop saving the world!