Tuesday, 17 November 2009
I Parent By Nature
When I signed up for this parenting ‘thing’ I’m not sure I really knew what I was getting into. Sure, I knew there would be crying and diaper changes. I looked forward to the smiles, the giggles, the cuddles and the cute little feet, but I’m not sure back then what I really thought parenting would be like.
I certainly don’t remember anyone telling me I’d be this tired. Still, when I picked the Sprout up this morning he gave me a big gummy smile and my heart melted. The bad, sleepless night forgotten, I kissed his sweet smelling chubby cheeks and tears of happiness started to well up in my eyes. Seriously, I’m like a drippy tap these days.
He let out an unholy noise. Before he even finished filling his diaper I groaned inwardly. Okay, maybe a little outwardly too, because, really, who enjoys changing poopy diapers? At least I knew, taking off his PJ’s, that I wasn’t going to find any surprises waiting for me. We’ve never had a blow out with cloth diapers.
I remember people telling me we were nuts to cloth diaper. However, we always knew we were going to use cloth. It was actually my husband that said it first. For us it was an environmental choice, a cost effective choice, and one that we knew would limit the Sprout’s exposure to chemicals and dyes. Something we were concerned about since my husband and I both have problems with skin allergies and eczema.
However, cloth diapering didn’t start out so smoothly. When the Sprout was days old I found myself standing in the diaper aisle at the local store staring at the wall of plastic wrapped disposable diapers. I was feeling incredibly lost. We hadn’t expected to have a miniature 5lb baby that didn’t fit into any of the cloth diapers we owned. But what brought me to this place? I had never stood in the diaper aisle before because I never intended to use the products here. I had no idea what to look for in a disposable diaper. What was the difference between the yellow and the blue packaging? I remember thinking to myself, what am I doing here? It was a moment of panic (I needed to find something to put on his bum!) that led me there, and five bewildered minutes before I realized I didn’t belong. The next day we went to a cloth diaper store to buy a dozen prefolds and we have never looked back.
I now have fun telling people we cloth diaper. It’s worth it just to see their reactions. We intimidate a lot of people until they see me change the Sprout’s bum. “That’s it?” I guess they are expecting to see me perform advanced origami and have diaper changes take 10 minutes. When we tell them how much we’ve spent, total, on cloth diapers their eyes tend to bug out. “That’s it?” Yep, that’s it. The thing is, we could have spent about half of what we spent and still outfit our baby in cloth.
So, do I think we’re nuts to cloth diaper? Nope! All it took was a bit of confidence in what we wanted to do to make it work – and a desire to prove the sceptics wrong. I certainly wouldn’t change anything. I love his great big bubble butt.
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