This post is contributed by Smart Bottoms' guest blogger, Amanda Rowley.
Our diapering journey started three years ago when our first foster baby came home with us from the hospital. A year prior I was the only one that brought cloth diapers as a friends baby shower gift. For some reason I didn't even consider it for us. Disposables (aka sposies) weren't a big stretch for our pocketbook, the store brand diapers were just 10 cents each. The nursery was piled high with boxes I'd pick up every time there was a $20 off $100 sale enhanced with store coupons.
The same sposies worked for our now adopted child that came as a newborn... Until one day the store brand changed their material contents, and we had rashes. So, on to boxes of diapers from a bulk chain.... I was always good at estimating sizes and bought ahead when they were on sale, still buried in boxes of new diapers that would one day be buried in a landfill for decades! Then, we got a call one day from someone who asked, 'Do you know who can take your foster child's newborn sibling tomorrow?' "Um, us," I said excitedly! Once we had two in diapers the monthly cost became noticeable. I ran across a post in an online foster parent group mentioning the non-profit organization Giving Diapers Giving Hope. If I showed them the kids' WIC and Medicaid paperwork, they would send me diapers for free. I couldn't turn it down!
At 18 months our kiddo wore cloth diapers for the first time. A medium pre-fold pad-folded in a fully unsnapped cover. Just the thought of that set-up makes me chuckle as it was a huge, bunchy, leaky mess! I didn't want to ruin the diapers so I asked my cloth friend how to wash them. She gave me an outline and I searched for just the right detergent. Then, I drove an hour round trip to the nearest Walmart that had water softener in stock. This was going to be nearly as expensive as sposies! Soon after, my friend gifted me leftover pockets and a brand of detergent at our adoption party which was toxic and gave my newborn a diaper burn. Yikes! I was so thankful to learn in an online baby community that it was okay to use normal detergent and really get my diapers clean. Meanwhile, I realized the pockets were way better than pre-folds but they still leaked. Searching for the right solution, we finally decided that natural-fiber All-In-Ones (AIO) were best for our family.
One AIO I picked up was a Smart Bottoms "My Sweet Caboose" print. I wish I could say it was a match made in heaven but it didn't fit the needs of my oldest perfectly and I didn't like the print for the baby so I sold it. A year later, I regretted it big time and found myself buying all the Smart Bottoms 3.1's despite the oldest being potty trained. Smart Bottoms now make up over half of our stash because they fit the youngest like a glove. My husband, who wasn't initially on board with cloth, now tries to match our beloved Smart Bottoms to the baby's outfits. Bottom line: Save your baby, save your money, save the planet- and use cloth!
Hi, my name is Amanda Rowley. I received my Bachelors in Accounting in 2002. My husband and I married in 2007 and started our family in 2014. I like spending time on family walks outside, volunteering in the community and buying diapers.