Posted by Natasha on 1/27/2017 to Diapering
We began our cloth diaper journey just over 5 years ago. Approximately 6 years ago, while pregnant with Kinzley, a friend of mine was also pregnant and was telling me about how she was going to use cloth diapers. I thought she was crazy! She showed me some Kushie diapers she found and they were HUGE and bulky and I thought they were ridiculous! I questioned her about washing and what she'd do with the POOP! Our conversation was sidetracked to something else, and the cloth diaper thought was gone from my mind.
We had Kinzley in June 2011. For 4 months we did a load of laundry every second day of JUST poop clothes. Poop-splosions were a common thing. Up the back, down the legs, you name it! She was bathed so much due to all the newborn poop going everywhere BUT staying in the diapers. We also were filling a diaper genie every day, and had a "sausage link" of dirty diapers to hit the trash pick up. I started getting disgusted by the amount of trash we were creating. I bashfully started looking in to cloth diapers, scared to hear the teasing words of my friend I had ridiculed just months prior.
I spent hours googling, did as much research as I could find online, but there wasn't a lot of online forums as there is now. I had a consult with a sales rep for a cloth diapering company and got to see and feel all the different options. She schooled me on types - pockets, all in ones, covers, prefolds, fitteds. I asked her the telltale question "what do you do with the poop?". I told her not a chance in hell I'd ever have a sprayer, and made sure to order liners. She convinced me to trying a couple of each type and brand, so I could see what I'd like. I placed my order for 12 different diapers and anxiously awaited their arrival! She warned me, as I was picking colors/prints, that cloth diapering was addicting & fun, and how alot of mom's end up "collecting" them. I smiled politely but in my head though she was a lunatic, who would collect cloth diapers?!
FLUFF MAIL!! They arrived and we jumped right in. Well, I jumped right in. Hubby was NOT on board. He was grossed out by it, didn't think it would save money (even though I calculated it over and over), figured it was more work than the extra "poop laundry" I was already doing. AppleCheeks, BumGenius, Rumparooz, Fuzzibunz, Flip and AMP made up my first diaper stash. Trials and tribulations for a few weeks and we were in a new cloth routine. I quickly learned what I liked, what fit Kinzley best, and joined a plethora of Facebook cloth diapering groups. A few more weeks in and I was selling the ones I didn't like and buying up a storm. New and used, I was collecting my stash! About 1 month in I quickly realized liners weren't doing the trick for every day use, and I ordered and installed my sprayer. I did it like a champ - I sprayed that poopy diaper with a silly grin on my face remembering how I told the consultant I'd never spray a diaper.
Fast forward about a year and I had a large stash of a variety diapers. I was following brand pages to see the next new releases, joining the Facebook events for the reveals. Stalking WAHM Etsy & Hyena stores for their stockings (getting butterflies as the count down was on to when they'd go live to purchase). I loved the colors, the patterns and actually enjoyed doing diaper laundry to stack them all up and take photos of them. I quickly realized the cloth consultant was right. It was fun to cloth diaper (ok, and maybe slightly addicting)!
Kinzley potty trained relatively early. Around 18 months she showed interest. We were moving so I didn't push hard, but once we were fully settled in our new place, we helped her potty train. I ventured in to cloth trainers for when we were out and about, and for night time for her. I didn't have to give up my cloth diaper stash yet! By 20 months she was potty trained, and I only got to admire the odd cloth trainer.
We had Maverick in July 2013. I was so excited to cloth diaper a newborn as I missed that phase with Kinzley. In the months prior I collected itty bitty newborn diapers, as well as expanded my stash as I wanted to try a few new types. At only 1 day old he was in his first cloth diaper. At this point I was still using a variety of brands and styles. And at this point, hubby was still not on board. We had a stash of velcro closure all in ones for day care and for daddy to use, but daddy didn't use them very much. In fact, majority of the diaper changes were done by me and I didn't mind all that much. It was fun picking out which one would go on next. Around a year I slowly sold most of my odds and sods of diapers and transitioned to using AppleCheeks diapers as an all in 2. We still had our velcro all in ones (Tots Bots) for daycare, but they truly didn't get much use as I only worked 3 days a week.
I followed AppleCheeks on Facebook, joined the Peace.Love.AppleCheeks group on Facebook. The PLAC group is a community like no other. The friendships and bonds created online have helped shape me to be the mother I am. (Now as a retailer I have joined the brand focused groups as well, and have found so many amazing online communities full of support and love!)
In the summer of 2014 my interest to the cloth diaper world changed a bit. I started thinking about how wonderful it would be to help spread the word about cloth diapers, and help families make the transition to cloth. I silently started looking into the opportunity to have my own store. Come winter I started looking a little more seriously and told my hubby about my thoughts and ideas. Just like that, out of the blue, a bit of an opportunity came our way. I was approached by a local who had a business and she wanted to know if I'd be interested in buying/taking it over. The particulars on the brand didn't suit us much, so hubby said "why not just start your own". I put out some polls/questions on some online forums, getting feedback from other mom's on various things. And again, out of the blue, I received a message from Stephanie, the owner of The Baby Footprint. She wanted to know if I was looking to start a business, or purchase one. A few months later.. and The Baby Footprint moved from Ontario, to Alberta. In April 2015, I went from just a crazy cloth diapering mama, to a retailer! Just like that I was thrown into learning an e-commerce website, having inventory, shipping orders, and still maintaining the position of "mom of 2". To top it off, I also worked at my part time job! Time seemed to fly by, but I was having fun!
In the fall of 2015 we built a shop and my "studio" inside the shop. A space for me to spread the inventory out - put it on display so local customers could comfortably come shop, and a place for me to easily ship the orders. It was completed in the winter of 2015/2016 and I couldn't be happier with my space!
January 2016 we welcomed Elliana to our family. Having a newborn, 2 year old, 4 year old, and a business proved to be slightly chaotic, but kept me out of trouble ;) Cloth diapering a second newborn was more fun this time as she was much smaller than Maverick at birth, so I got to try all the adorable newborn diapers for much longer! From being exclusive AppleCheeks with Maverick, to now trying every diaper we sold in our store for Elliana! 1 year later and we're still enjoying trying on new diapers we bring in. Doing "otb" shots (on the bum), and still getting "fluff mail", even if its a slightly different way than 5 years ago.
I still enjoy doing diaper laundry. I believe I've done close to 450 loads of diaper laundry so far in my life time, and I'm ok with that. It is a approximately 10000 disposable diapers that have not hit the landfill, which to me is a GREAT accomplishment! I still have a few of the diapers that Kinzley wore when she was a baby, and they were used on Maverick, and if Elliana grows a little - she'll wear them too. Oh, and hubby who wasn't on board to cloth diaper? He loves our little store, tells friends who are having babies they should come talk to me about diapers. AND he changes Elliana without hesitation and without complaint. We don't have a single velcro diaper in our stash, he has mastered snaps like a cloth diapering pro ;)
I enjoy meeting other mom's who cloth diaper, its like a little secret code or club we're all in. But I also love meeting moms who have NO clue about cloth diapering and helping answer questions and busting the myths they have heard. Helping families switch from disposables to cloth, like I did 5 years ago, is so rewarding!