It feels like a lifetime ago that my husband and I made the 200km trip to Regina to shop for baby supplies. My cousin had given us their crib and all her gender neutral newborn clothes, as she has girls and I was certain I was having a boy. (At this point I was under the impression that a mother just knows what sex her baby will be, and I was full of worry that if I was wrong it would mean that I was an emotionally detached parent…Yes, I realize how demented that sounds now, but this was at a time when I still thought it was possible to be a perfect mother and was putting great pressure on myself to be such. Even my dreams were filled with all the horrifying possibilities of parental failures…picking up a baby who’s sleeper was soaked in urine because I had forgotten to change it’s diaper all day long, chasing a baby who was determined to get into the swimming pool and not being able to catch it despite the fact that it was crawling and I was running, and even a dream of driving a truck with the baby just lying on the passenger seat beside me while I shot a gun out the window laughing maniacally. Rest assured, none of these events ever transpired in real life.)
Back to the story at hand, all we really needed to buy was a car seat and stroller, a crib mattress and a few sheets, and cloth diapers. I had opted not to get a change table, thinking if my grandma could raise 11 children without one, I would be just fine without one too. I used the money-saving benefit to convince my husband that we needed cloth diapers, although for me it was definitely about the health and environmental benefits. I knew I wanted Canadian-made diapers, and I had found a boutique baby store specializing in just that. We left the store with 1 Infant size and 1 Baby size Bummis Certified Organic Cotton Diaper Kit and 1 Mother Ease Sandy’s bamboo fitted diaper to try for night time.
We used disposable diapers for the first month or so, until our baby reached 8lbs and fit into the Infant sized diapers. I immediately fell in love with cloth diapers. Yes, it takes longer to put on a prefold diaper than a disposable, but this became valuable play time. While I was preparing a clean diaper I would sing songs and play games with my baby. Usually the diaper changing routine would last 10-15 minutes, so the fact that the actual diaper change took a minute longer than with cloth diapers was irrelevant to me.
I loved everything about cloth diapers. I loved the fun, colourful prints of the diaper covers. I loved that they were made of organic cotton, and I loved hanging them out on my clothesline to dry and watching the sun work its magic as it bleached out any stains. I really loved not having to buy diapers every week. I’m sure nobody likes buying diapers, but it would have been especially inconvenient for us. At the time we were living in a village where the store didn’t even sell diapers, so if there had ever been a time when we forgot to buy more diapers and were about to run out, it would have been an hour and a half round trip back to the city just for diapers.
I especially loved that there are almost no poopy blow-outs with cloth diapers. I learned under very unfortunate circumstances that disposables are very prone to blow-outs. I was traveling to Alberta for a cousin’s funeral. I decided to use disposables for this trip because I thought it would be one less thing to worry about. I was mistakenly under the impression that disposables are more convenient. About half way through the funeral service my three month old had BM that blew up the back of his disposable diaper, soaked through his clothes and leaked onto my dress pants. I spent the rest of the funeral in the bathroom getting the two of us cleaned up. Since then I have loathed disposable diapers.
I joined a local cloth diaper group on Facebook where people could ask questions and sell their used diapers. I spent too much time “researching” different brands. I discovered that AMP diapers are manufactured just one province away from me, so I started adding AMP prints to my diaper stash. I have never tried a pocket diaper that is as leak-proof as a prefold or fitted, but they are easier to put on and it is nice to have a few in your stash for when you are away from home or have a babysitter
After my second baby was born I bought five more second hand Sandy’s fitted diapers and a few more AMPs. I discovered All-in-Two diapers and thought they seemed like the ideal diaper system. I bought a Lil Helper charcoal diaper and Mother Ease Wizard Duo cover with a few inserts. These have become my favourite diapers. My larger sized prefolds were getting pretty worn out (the smaller size were still in perfect condition as they weren’t worn as long and were line dried more often), so I bought another dozen prefolds to replace my original 18.
I had been trying to think of a business I could do from home, but I’m not especially artistic or particularly good at making anything, and there wasn’t any direct sales companies I loved enough to go into people’s homes and sell products for. Then the idea of starting an online cloth diaper store came to me. It was a perfect fit. I loved cloth diapers, I knew a lot about them, and I wouldn’t feel bad trying to sell them to people since it would save them money in the long run. Cottontail Tushies was born.
When my third baby came along I decided to use newborn cloth diapers for the first time. I got a dozen Bummis newborn prefolds and four Bummis Super Brite wraps. Prefolds are a great choice for a newborn diaper as they make the best boosters later on when your baby is bigger. Twelve is not quite enough for full time cloth diapering, so I did have to keep a package of disposables on hand for the odd time I ran out of clean diapers.
We are currently working on potty training our youngest, but she is the most stubborn and really we have made no progress. Before this I would have thought I had some great potty training advice to offer, but children are wonderful at proving all your theories wrong. So for now I continue to enjoy my cloth diapers, but I hope to have some potty training tips to offer soon.