I am blessed to have one daughter, Audrey, who is almost three years old. If you would have told me three years ago that we’d be using cloth diapers and I’d working at a cloth diaper store I probably would have said you were crazy. I am a registered nurse and worked in the neonatal intensive care unit. I returned to work full time after Audrey was born, but then slowly began cutting back my hours. I eventually decided the thing I wanted most was to take some time off and stay at home with my daughter while she was little. So what is a registered nurse turned stay at home mom doing working at Green Bambino?
When my daughter was born we started out using disposable diapers. At the time I thought diaper options meant Pampers vs. Huggies. I didn’t know anyone who used cloth and Green Bambino didn’t exist yet. As my daughter neared her first birthday she began having horrible diaper rash. She’s always had sensitive skin, but we’d never had any problems with diaper rash. After trying several brands, and a couple of visits to the pediatrician, we determined she was allergic to the dyes used in traditional disposables. I did some research on our options – dye free disposables (a little pricey for using all the time) or cloth. I was really hesitant to try cloth because I imagined it to be really messy. I’m a nurse – I can do blood, but my gag reflex when it comes to other things is really quick! I honestly wasn’t sure cleaning cloth diapers was something my stomach could handle, but in an attempt to save a little money I decided I’d get just a couple of cloth diapers and give it a try. I figured if it didn’t work out I hadn’t lost much and at least I’d tried.
I didn’t have the challenge of convincing my family to switch since my daughter’s allergy was the reason for the change, but I decided since everyone was used to the convenience of disposables, my cloth choice needed to be very easy and user friendly. My first cloth diaper purchase was 2 GroBaby (now GroVia) shell sets along with a pack of their biodegradable disposable inserts. It quickly eliminated all diaper rash and I was shocked at just how easy cloth was. For me, tossing a load of diapers in to wash was easier than running to the store to buy disposables or constantly taking diapers to the garbage. I built my stash with user friendly all-in-ones and hybrids like GroBaby (GroVia) and Flip, and later added a few Rumparooz pocket diapers.
My daughter’s allergy inadvertently opened up a world of really great options. I never imagined cloth diapers to be so easy or that I would care enough about them to work in a cloth diaper store. It felt great not to be going out to buy diapers every month that just ended up in the trash. One of the reasons I love being a part of the Green Bambino team is so I can share my family’s experience and let other families like ours know about their options and just how simple it can be.
Since we started using cloth diapers, my family has explored other ways we can be environmentally friendly. We also started line drying clothes. Do you know about the magic stain lifting powers of the sun? It’s amazing! It wasn’t until I had a child that I fully understood the need for stain-lifters and it wasn’t until I started drying cloth diapers outside that I learned the sun could be a stain-fighting superhero! Just place your clean wet items outside in direct sun, and by the time they are dry the stain are gone! Not only will the sun help keep your diapers looking white, it works wonders on baby and toddler clothes too.
We also use energy saving light bulbs and appliances when possible along with greener cleaners and detergents. We now use reusable shopping bags (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Chico Vita Bags) and food containers (Plantwise Sandwich Wrap & Lunchskins). Another green move for us was eliminating buying bottled water and using a filtering pitcher instead. The result was very similar to our switch to cloth diapers – “This is so easy! Why didn’t we try this sooner?” We still have lots of room for improvement, but we feel better about doing our part with each small step.