The Family Focus series allows us to spotlight a cloth-diapering family that makes our online community so strong. This month's Family Focus is on the Martin Family!
Martin Family Stats:
Maggie 24, Paul 28, Robert 3, Heber 9 months
Years married? 4.5 years
How many diapers are in your stash?
Hmm that I use? 24 flats and 7 covers that I use all the time. 2 swim diapers. I also have some older covers that I keep around just in case of emergency but they never get used anymore. I also have 30 newborn prefolds (that are obviously too small now. lol) and 15? or so large prefolds that I used with my son. I used to have medium prefolds but I wore them out so now they're rags. I also have like 5 pocket diapers and inserts but I don't use them really.
My favorite diaper and why?
Well this is an easy no brainer. Flats and covers. I LOVE them so much! I love simple, basic things. They are so incredibly absorbent, easy to use, very easy to clean, natural fibers, versatile (so many uses besides diapering) and CHEAP! Plus they don't stink! And they air dry so fast. I can hang them out on the line and they will be dry in under an hour. If it's cloudy it's a little over and hour but usually under 2. They are just so so easy. Prefolds actually use to be my favorite, again basic, easy, cheap, etc. And I had wanted to try flats but never got around to it. And then this year I participated in the Dirty Diaper Laundry Flats Challenge and I totally fell in love with them and I'm never going back to other diapers. Although I may use the prefolds in a pinch if I need to. Oh, I almost forgot. My other favorite thing is that flats can be made from so many things! t-shirts, towels, sheets, a flat is just a large single layer piece of natural fiber fabric (usually). My current flats are Diaper Rite Birdseye Flats and Flour sack towels from Target. And yes they work so well!
How many kids do you have? What ages?
I have 2 kids. Boys ages 3 and 9 months.
What is the thing about Motherhood that came the easiest for you?
Honestly? I would probably say Breastfeeding. It was so easy and they both caught on really well. I know not everyone is lucky that way but I was. And it's not even really something I could control really, I mean my boobs did all the work, I may as well be a milk cow. lol Loving them is really easy too.
What has been the hardest thing?
I would say everything about Motherhood is the hardest. My biggest thing is just feeling like a crappy mother and wondering if I'm totally messing up my kids. Learning how to help them learn and grow is hard. Especially with more than one child because they are so different from each other and you have to start all over every time they experience things. And patience is hard. Really hard. But we're all still learning. There is no manual for this and even if there were we probably wouldn't be following it anyway. haha.
Are You a SAHM, working mom or WAHM or does your spouse stay home?
I'm a SAHM. It is definitely a challenge but I can't imagine doing it any other way, especially with little kids at home.
What issues are important to you that led you to cloth diapering? Environment? Cost? Natural parenting?
I would say the biggest thing was cost, and I had just always wanted to do it. I wasn't able to start until my oldest was about one. But cost was definitely a huge glaring factor. We seem to have what I affectionately call, gigantor babies. lol They just grow so fast which also means larger size diapers. My son was in a size 5/6 diaper at a year old. Now, I don't know about you, but I did NOT want to spend that much money every month or few weeks especially since the amount of diapers in each pack goes down as size goes up. So I started cloth, with the help of my good friend I was able to start. I suppose environment played a small role. And I fully admit I have a bit of crunchy momma in me, not a lot, but still. .. .And plus, disposables are just nasty and stinky and nasty. lol
Has Cloth Diapering made me "greener" in other areas?
I'd say yes, I recently got a Diva Cup, tmi? lol I'd never even heard of them before cloth diapering and if I did I had no idea what it was. I also use cloth wipes (they are so freaking amazing!) and I've actually been folding cloth wipes and putting them in my bra for nursing pads. They actually work quite well. I also line dry as much as I can. Even non diaper stuff, like clothes, towels, blankets, sheets etc.
Does your family have any summer vacation traditions? Do you cloth diaper on vacation?
We actually have a big family reunion every year around the end of July/beginning of August. We go camping for a week at the best place in the world (no I'm not telling where I don't want it crowded lol) We've used cloth for part of it before but never made it the whole week. Mostly because I didn't plan well and didn't get all the diapers washed in time so I had a huge load at the beginning instead of a small load and that was kind of discouraging. Plus my family wasn't very supportive and made fun of me and my mom convinced me to use the disposables she brought with her. BUT, this year I am totally doing it all the way. Especially now that I use flats so it will be so fast and easy for cloth diapering while we camp and drying time. My trusty camp style washer bucket will get me through it! And I think that I'm way more confident in my decision to cloth diaper and I won't take crap from anyone about it. I've become quite passionate about it actually. I do use cloth every time we visit people and stay over for a few days. Those are usually our "vacations," going to visit family.
Camping Update: Camping was awesome! The cloth diapers were so easy! I had 24 flats and only had to wash 2 times for the week I was there. So easy. I loved it and so did my wallet and my baby's butt. We had a blast swimming in "The Hole" as we call it. A river with a huge swim hole and giant boulder in it to jump off of with rapids up stream to body surf down.
So what about you? How is your cloth diapering journey and have you ever camped and used cloth diapers?
Kim H Date 8/15/2013
I have never camped with cloth diapers, but have lots of respect for those who do! We break down & buy disposables for our camping trips instead of hand washing because we don't have a travel washer.
Maggie Martin Date 8/16/2013
A washer is super easy to make. I made the bucket washer pictured above from this tutorial from Dirty Diaper Laundry: http://dirtydiaperlaundry.com/flatschallenge-how-to-make-a-camp-style-washer-instructional-video/
It's super easy and cheap to make. It also washes the diapers really well.