From Huggies to Fuzzis: My Reusable Diaper Journey
Giving birth to Benjamin began my journey into motherhood, one of the most trying experiences of my life. Motherhood meant sleepless nights, breastfeeding, lots of crying and of course, piles of dirty diapers. I recall a funny story about how my friend, whose son grew really fast, gave me a box of Huggies she bought but her son quickly grew out of. She told me the box would last a couple of days! Little did I realize that she would be right. Some days Benjamin went through double digit diaper changes. The dirty diaper pile seemed never ending.
Fast forward to a year later when I met a cloth diaper advocate and mother of three. She told me that there are modern diapering options that didn't clog the landfills and are convenient and easy to use - plus she said Benjamin would be happier and frankly, adorable, in what she called, "new age reusable diapers." She introduced me to FuzziBunz®. I liked what I saw. I was intrigued.
I went home that night and did some research. First, I researched the ill effects of disposable diapers on our society. It made my head spin. While I never thought of myself an environmentalist, I did think of myself to be globally conscientious. I care about being a good steward of the world and want to make it a better place for Benjamin.
I next researched the world of FuzziBunz®. I read user reviews on the Diaper Pin, where FuzziBunz® diapers are top-rated. I investigated the patented pocket style, the soft microfleece and the removable absorbent insert - these diapers were ingenious! I wish I had known about them before the birth of Benjamin.
While I was sold on FuzziBunz®, I still wondered if I could actually make the switch to reusable diapers after using disposable diapers for so long. Disposables were a part of my routine. They worked for my family. Could I actually change? Also, I thought back to how stupidly I reacted when my pregnant neighbor told me she would be using cloth diapers for her baby. I thought she was crazy. And now, here I am, considering cloth diapering options too. I guess, like most mothers, I have the right to change my mind at any time and about any thing!
So begins my FuzziBunz® journey. I ordered 20 FuzziBunz® online, enough to get me through three days. The up-front cost was a lot; however, I reminded myself that while I will save money in the long run, I'm not doing it for the money. I'm doing it to make a difference in the world. In a society of disposable products, using FuzziBunz® was my attempt to make this world a little better and a little greener for Benjamin. Here are the details of my journey from Huggies to Fuzzis.
I was excited when my FuzziBunz® arrived. I had lots of fun colors that I couldn't wait to try on Benjamin (baby blue, sage, aqua, green, orange, and yellow). My first task was to wash the diapers before wearing. I read the washing instructions three times to make sure I did it right. I also didn't have the recommended detergent, so I used the brand I had in the house. It seemed to do the trick. The diapers were in perfect condition after washing. I could tell that FuzziBunz® were quality diapers.
Before bed, I put the baby blue FuzziBunz® on Benjamin. He strutted around the house as if he was a new man with new underwear. The soft diaper, the cute color and the fun snaps resulted in one happy, smiley and absolutely adorable baby boy. What a great endorsement from Benjamin!
Little did I know that our first FuzziBunz® would begin Benjamin's week long bout with stomach flu. At 3:00 am, he woke up. His crib was a mess; I was not a happy camper. I quickly put on a disposable diaper, changed his pajamas and sheets (all which were poopy) and put him back to bed.
After much contemplation, I decided to continue with the FuzziBunz® experiment despite Benjamin's illness. I thought about how my grandmother changed my mother's diaper with pins and plastic pants. She had no other options. FuzziBunz® diapers were nothing like those old-fashioned options. I was using a modern diaper built to stand up to anything a 20-pound toddler could put it though.
Benjamin's explosive poops throughout the day were quite difficult to manage. While this illness got my FuzziBunz® journey off to a rocky start, I doubted that even my Huggies would hold up to these explosions.
On Day 2, my husband changed his first FuzziBunz® after a quick tutorial from me. My husband has been very supportive throughout this transition to reusable diapers. He calls this eco-friendly test my new cause. I actually think he likes the way Benjamin looks in the FuzziBunz®; plus, my husband is a good steward of this world too. He understands that we have to sacrifice a bit to make this world a bit better for Benjamin.
While Benjamin still has the stomach flu, his fever has subsided and he's doing much better. This morning we attended a brunch at our friend's house. This was the first time we were taking the FuzziBunz® out of the house. I brought two extra diapers with me and a couple of plastic bags. Benjamin went easy on us that afternoon. Only a wet diaper; the diaper change was quick and easy. Our friends looked on with much interest, as they, too, have a young baby. Perhaps if they see that I can do it, it might inspire them to try it too. It was okay carrying Benjamin's dirty diaper back home with me - but I wondered if I'd feel the same if it was a poopy diaper. Would I want to stuff that back in my diaper bag for an afternoon? The question made me wonder if there is a time and place for disposables in my life.
I did my first "dirty" FuzziBunz® wash. No staining. They looked as good as new! The only gross thing is I found a piece of food in the washing machine. I need to do a better job of rinsing the diapers before laundering. Gross!
Benjamin woke up really sad this morning. Because he is still a bit sick, he woke up with a monster poop in his pants. While all the poop was contained in the FuzziBunz®, which I now call the workhorse of all diapers, Benjamin managed to soak the diaper so much last night that the top of the diaper was wet and subsequently, the top of his PJ pants were wet too.
I put Benjamin in a disposable diaper before daycare (daycare doesn't allow reusable diapers). As soon as he came home, I changed him into his FuzziBunz®. He frolicked around the house happy and giddy in his bright orange FuzziBunz®.
Day 5 was our best day yet. Benjamin is feeling better and we're getting used to his new underwear. Before bed, I used two inserts inside the pocket of the FuzziBunz®. The diaper was a bit bulky, but it was fine for sleeping. While he woke up with another surprise in his pants, everything was contained in the FuzziBunz®. There was not even a drop of leakage in his crib or on his pajamas the next morning. Whew!
I put Benjamin in a disposable diaper before daycare this morning. I almost felt guilty for doing so. I started to wonder if Benjamin was looking forward to coming home to his FuzziBunz®. I think that the disposables are uncomfortable - after all, who likes to wear paper pants all day? Plus, thinking about how I put my baby's bottom in a load of chemicals makes me cringe. I'm excited for Benjamin to come home and put on his baby blue FuzziBunz®!
After daycare, Benjamin and I went to our Wednesday afternoon playgroup to show off his new duds to his friends. I got a lot of curious questions from the moms in the group. I think I may have inspired some of them to consider reusable diapers for their babies too.
I made it through my first week with FuzziBunz®. It's a great feeling. I saved 56 diapers this week from the landfills.
Today Benjamin and I cuddled on the couch. He has recovered from the stomach flu. I have to admit that using FuzziBunz® diapers gets easier and easier each day. Just like learning something new, like breastfeeding, the process of switching to FuzziBunz® takes time and patience.
FOUR WEEKS LATER
I can safely say that four weeks after the start of my Huggies to Fuzzis experiment, I'm still going strong with FuzziBunz®. And now that Benjamin is healthy, we have absolutely no problems with leaks.
I guess you could say that I've officially "converted" to FuzziBunz® and plan to use them for my next child too. While I get some strange looks when people realize I'm using a "cloth" diaper, what I've found is that I mostly get a lot of questions from truly interested (and perhaps, inspired) people.
My best piece of advice is to invest in a mini shower. It can make your journey into cloth diapers a lot easier, as it makes rinsing messy diapers (the ones that don't just plop into the toilet) a breeze. We spent two weeks at my parent's house in Colorado and we were able to hook up the mini shower and continue using FuzziBunz® with no problems. My parents, although a bit skeptical, have come to respect our decision to use reusable diapers. In fact, my mother brags about the diapers and has asked me on several occasions to pull out a diaper to show her friends. A handful of my friends are seeing how easy it is for me and they, too, are trying FuzziBunz® on their toddlers and newborns. Who knows, maybe reusable diapers will soon become the norm in our society. I hope so. But for now, I wouldn't give up my FuzziBunz® for anything in the world. And, I would venture to guess that Benjamin, who loves to dance in his FuzziBunz® to the tune of "Bust a Move," wouldn't give them up either.
Jennifer Finke is a freelance writer in Chicago.
This article was paid for by Mother of Eden. All information is of the opinion of Jennifer Finke and not of Mother of Eden.