Cloth Diapering in a Modern World

When I had my son, I was not living in a modern world. I assumed cloth diapers were rags and pins, and it seemed like a whole lot of work. At the time I had no internet, and resources in the community were limited (they have since grown).  We got the internet when my son was 2 months old. I started researching cloth diapers, and by the time he was 6 months old I was part time cloth diapering.

I was so completely overwhelmed with all the choices and I had no idea where to start. Cloth diapering to start is a bit expensive, but over time you save a ton of money.  My first assumptions about cloth diapering were that it would be a lot of hard work, and not worth saving the money. I was wrong. Cloth diapers are cute and they make ones you treat just like disposables they just go into the diaper pail and washer instead of the trash.  Once you find a good wash routine, cloth diapering is simple to do.

I prefer to use diaper covers, and flats folded inside of them. They dry quicker, and just work well for us. However, I do have all in one diapers too since those are more dad friendly. Getting dad on the cloth diaper bandwagon was a chore when I had my son. I went about it differently this time. Instead of trying to convince him how great cloth was, all I did was make sure that I changed the baby for two weeks. I didn’t make a fuss of it, I just used cloth diapers.  Living paycheck to paycheck, during the second week my boyfriend couldn’t figure out how he had an extra $20 in the budget. Ever since then he has been hooked.  At first he’d only use the AIO’s , but he’s starting to get the prefolds and flats down.

I am refusing to give opinions on brand of cloth diapers, detergents, and wash routines, because it is truly something you have to find out for yourself. When my son was in cloth diapers, I swore by two brands. They worked, and worked well. I never had any problems with them. When my daughter was born I figured I already knew what I liked, so I’ll stick with it. Wrong! It was a disaster. They didn’t fit her right no matter what I did, and they leaked all the time. She is just over one year old now, and I’ve finally found diapers that I like, and work well.

My advice to people going into cloth is research. Talk to people, and be ready for a lot of work in the beginning. It took me over a month to get a wash routine down that works with my front loader washer, and keeps the ammonia smell away. If you don’t have a large chunk of change to start up, check consignment stores. When I started with my son and daughter I went to a few consignment stores, and shopped craigslist for very little money. It’s a great way to get a feel for what’s out there.  Keep an eye out online at the baby stores. If you need to buy baby equipment check to see if the stores are having any deals. When I bought my front pack, every order over a certain amount of money came with a free one size diaper.  If you have a local baby store, check to see if they have cloth diaper classes. I attended one and it was great to hear other people’s tricks and tips about cloth diapering, and having a strong support system.

About the Blogger:

I’m Renea P. I’m a stay at home mommy to a one year old girl and three year old boy. I love spending time with my family, couponing, crafting, and doing fun activities with my kids.

Living On Limited Income

My family of four has been living with a limited income for over three years (ever since I had kids) and I would like to think I’ve become a bit of a pro at it. On our single income we have managed to pay off all my medical bill debt, buy a new house, a new car, and take the family on a nice vacation each year. It was hard work, but these days it seems so simple. Prior to becoming a one income family my boyfriend and I were both working full time and had no debt whatsoever.  Daytrips to Seattle and Portland were normal, and buying new clothes for myself with each paycheck was a must.

The hardest thing for us was building a savings account for emergencies.  We are still adding to that fund, but we have a full mortgage payment, and car payment saved up. Most importantly we need some extra money for medical bills. We are not married, so I am not covered on his insurance. Thankfully I’ve only had to go to the doctor once, but for strep throat it was $120, plus another $40 for the prescription!

 I started out couponing when my son was first born. I was completely overwhelmed with all the coupons, and had no clue what I was doing. It took me a year before I mastered it. I’m no “extreme” couponer, but most things I buy are on coupons. I found it easiest to find a few blogs that follow coupon deals and every few days check in on them to see if there are new deals posted. I’ve managed to cut our grocery bill in half this way. We started shopping at the bread outlets, and buy a few loaves at a time and stick them in the freezer. I buy meat when it’s reduced for quick sale and package it up for the freezer when we get home.

One thing that took me a long time to understand was just because it’s a really good deal, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Do my kids need every single little people play set just because I can get them for $5 at a consignment store? No.  I am just now getting rid of all the unnecessary toys in my house. It’s hard! I have made lists of what the kids will need, and how many presents they will get for Christmas, and I stick to it. I shop the Target toy clearance, usually in August, and in late January/early Feb.  I buy clothes a season ahead of time when stores are starting to clear out merchandise for the next season.

Since we have become a one income family my priorities have really changed a lot. No more fancy coffees for me.  If I don’t need new clothes I don’t buy them.  We cut down our cable bill by getting rid of the extra add on package we don’t need.  We switched to a pay as you go cell phone, since we don’t really use it on a regular basis. This has allowed me to use the extra cash on more important things such as: Preschool for my son, Tee Ball, and our family vacations.

Living on a limited income has been a challenge, but I’ve managed to control my spending, and budget the important things in with a little work.  Anyone can do it, it’s hard to get started but I think it’s important.

About the Blogger:

I’m Renea P. I’m a stay at home mommy to a one year old girl and three year old boy. I love spending time with my family, couponing, crafting, and doing fun activities with my kids.