I hate waste.
If you were to ask my children if I hate anything, that would be in the top three. It would be right up there with whining and licorice. I hate paper plates, paper towel, plastic forks and spoons, plastic bags, junk mail and wrapping paper. I obsessively use up leftovers and chicken bones, and compost what I can’t turn into food. Throwing things away just bugs me.
And yet, I used disposable diapers. I cowered behind my excuses through 4 children. It is embarrassing to admit, and not because of any outward pressure. My sister, mom, friends all used disposable diapers without angst. But I was having trouble facing myself, not the peer pressure, not the social pressure, nor even the environmental pressure. I felt that stewardship, for me, meant not throwing away-literally- 50$ a month for two years. I just knew, that if I didn’t unload this particular form of waste, I would always feel guilty about it. (Anyone who has had 2 or more children in diapers at once knows exactly what I mean.)
So, during pregnancy #5, I made a goal. After the meconium stage was over, only cloth for this baby. No more diaper waste in my house if I could help it. I had dabbled in cloth diapers, (that sounded so much better in my head) but always made excuses for not sticking with it. I shall conquer my fear of cloth! (Full disclosure: my cloth diapers did not arrive until two weeks after meconium stopped so I didn’t quite accomplish the goal.)
Now, for me, the trick to doing something awkward and unusual consistently is to:
1. Give myself no other choice
2. Give myself no excuse.
Therefore, I bought a set of 20 diapers, 20 bamboo inserts and 24 or maybe 30 cloth wipes (should I go count them?) online. This meant that I was already out the money and to keep from wasting that too, I had to use them. Buying the whole lot at once kept me from using the, “not enough diapers” excuse and the “I don’t have time for washing the few I have” excuse.
So, this is an experiment in changing a long term habit. It should save money in the longish run, even if I only use them on Fifth. As of this week, Fifth has been in the cloth for 3 months. That means I have NOT bought diapers at least 6 times. According to my calculations, I broke even on the cost of the supplies last week. So from here on out, it’s all gravy….or rather, all poop.