Before having a child, the idea of cloth diapers gave me visions of a patchouli-scented, dread-lock sporting, braless, hairy-pitted mama – hunched over a dirty toilet, rinsing out her ‘crunchy’ baby’s dirty diapers – and that wasn’t for me.
Yet here I am – a PROUD cloth diapering mama who is sharing what gravitated me to cloth diapering and one unpredicted benefit of cloth diapering in a multi-level home…a tight ass.
My past vision does not match my current reality – no patchouli; no dread-locks; a sports bra holding together all that it can and more; a good chance one or both of my armpits is shaved; and a firmer butt than I had in my twenties.
So how did I get to this point? Especially my posterior – everyone needs to know how it got to this beautiful, glorious point.
As with most things in my life – it began with yoga. It was through my prenatal yoga studio, Blooma, that I first saw the flyer advertising a free workshop on cloth diapers and beer. Since I love free learning and my husband loves beer, we attended the class which was sponsored by Do Good Diapers – a cloth diapering and laundering service here in the Twin Cities.
I learned 3 reasons that individually could sway me into cloth diapering – but collectively propelled me into it with a force of a million hippies.
Comfort and Health. Diaper rash was essentially non-existent until the advent and explosion of disposable diapers. I believe this is due to the fact that disposable diapers are composed of materials that extend far beyond cotton to include dyes, perfumes, plastic and chemicals.
Conservation. It takes up to 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose and disposable diapers are responsible for up to 4% of the solid waste in our landfills.
Cost. Having a baby is expensive – especially when you spend big money on fertility treatments BEFORE getting pregnant (we like to joke that my daughter’s college tuition is already spent on her creation via IVF). And who doesn’t want to save money? Cloth diapers can save $1,000 – $2,000 over a three-year period.
We were blessed with donations towards a cloth diapering & laundering service for the first 27 weeks of my daughter’s life. Each week we would place a bag (or two) of soiled diapers on our front stoop and the service would pick them up and leave clean prefold inserts as well as the rubber pants that go over them. I know that without this service – especially the first three months of figuring out an infant and the weird shit (literally) that comes out of them – I never would have stuck with cloth diapers.
After those first 27 weeks, that’s when that the ‘real’ cloth diapering experience began – and so did my improved posterior. We live in a Cape Cod-ish style home with my daughter’s room (this includes changing table and diapering supplies) on the second floor, and the diaper sprayer and laundry facilities in the basement. The majority of our time is spent on the first floor. This means that when my daughter would need a diaper change it would go something like this:
Notice dirty diaper.
Carry child upstairs to her room/changing table.
If only #1 – toss dirty prefold into laundry bin, carry child down one flight of stairs to main floor and continue on.
If #2 —- carry child and dirty prefold wrapped in dirty rubber pants down TWO flights of stairs.
Use basement bathroom with diaper sprayer attached to toilet to rinse out the prefold and rubber pants.
Carry child UP one flight of stairs to main floor and continue on.
With this whole process, my daughter eats and poops – a lot. Therefore I was traversing more stairs than the Empire State Building (okay that’s exaggerated-but how it feels when there’s a baby and poop involved with the journey). Hence my tight ass. Thanks to cloth diapers and our multi-level home.
If I was able to do it over again, I could have had a changing station on the first floor or moved the diaper sprayer to the second floor, but the truth is the only thing I would do different if given a choice – I would have worn an activity tracker. That way once the cloth diapering is over, I could keep up with the amount of steps from cloth diapering that gifted me this tight ass.