Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Stash

Let's talk about the one thing just about any cloth diapering mama seems most eager to discuss: the stash. Well, okay, the truth is that we seem eager to discuss just about anything about cloth, but bear with me here. The stash is our pride and joy. You have no idea how fervently I wish that any of my other new mama friends were using cloth-- just so we could compare our stashes. For real.

Building up a stash of cloth diapers was, at least for me, not really done intentionally. I didn't place a massive order of diapers all at once and declare my stash complete. Instead, I started out by doing one of those newborn cloth diaper trials-- and keeping the diapers instead of sending them back for a refund. Then I bought a few AIOS-- before realizing that I really prefer AI2s. Then a couple of Best Bottoms, then a few pockets, then... oh, I don't even know where I went from there.

My eagerness to try out all the different styles and brands does drive my husband a little crazy, I'm afraid. He  is on board with using them, but he doesn't really get my obsession with cloth, nor understand why I don't just pick a brand I like and stick with it. I can't really tell him why myself.

It's true that buying my stash one or two diapers at a time probably cost me more money than if I had just bought all one brand all at once, since many retailers offer discount on bulk purchases, but I feel like it saved me more money in another way: what if I had bought 20 diapers of one kind-- and then discovered that they didn't fit the Snush quite right? Or that I hated how they were put together? Or, worst of all, if I ended up hating the colors?! Such a tragedy doesn't bear thinking about. But it would have meant I'd need to just end up buying more diapers of a different brand, still with no guarantee that these diapers would work perfectly for me.

So, here's my very mix-and-match stash:

I also have about 20 generic unbleached cotton prefolds, infant size, that I actually bought mostly to use as burp cloths, before I had any idea how many burp cloths I would need, as well as maybe 20 more prefolds in a slightly larger size that were a hand-me-down from my one and only friend who used cloth with her kids (who are now out of diapers).

Plus, I may have two more packages on the way...

Everything in my stash, except for the prefolds and the Thirsties covers, are one-size-- meaning that they're adjustable to fit the Snush as he grows, so I won't have to buy more to fit him as he grows out of smaller diapers. Some parents feel that one-size just doesn't fit as well as sized diapers, but I've been very happy with them so far.

Also, everything except the Thirsties covers and the bumGenius 4.0 pocket, has snap closures instead of hook and loop. Snaps vs. hook and loop (aka aplix, or Velcro, but that's a brand name so it's usually called H&L) seems to be one of the great dividing lines in the cloth diapering world, but I am very firmly on the side of the almighty snap.

I've also opted as yet not to experiment with wool. This is partly due to a slight turnoff at how much more expensive wool covers seem to be, and partly because I live in freaking Texas. I'm worried if I ever put wool on the Snush, he would immediately burst into flames. I might give it a try at some point though-- maybe, if I ever pick up my crochet hook again, I might try my hand at crocheting him one, just to test. Don't count on it, though.

Then, let's talk color: if you look back at the colors I mentioned, you'll see that a whopping 7 of the 25 diapers are various shades of blue. That's not a surprise; blue is my favorite color, after all, not to mention that the Snush is a boy, so I guess blue is expected. What did surprise me was that another 6 are green-- I'm not really into green. But the Snush just looks so adorable in green, I seem to keep reaching for them. Oh, let's be real, the Snush is adorable in everything. But boom, half my stash is either blue or green. The other odd thing was that I only have 2 black diapers and 2 red ones, which are colors that I love and personally think both my husband and son look amazing in. Guess I'll have to correct that imbalance. More diapers? Oh, darn...

I realized the other day that this is way more diapers than I really need for the Snush-- I'm not even getting close to using them all up between washings. Which I suppose is a good thing, since I'd hate to be completely out and need to wrap him in a towel or something until the laundry's done. Still, I can't shake this lingering guilty feeling at having acquired so many.

Until, that is, I browse some of the other cloth diaper sites out there and see other mamas talking about having 50+ diapers in their stash. Suddenly having 25 (counting up all the PUL only) doesn't seem so crazy. Whew!

So, since we've determined that I'M not crazy at least, how about you? Does your stash make you look crazy? Does it expose you as a hook & loop partisan, or a devotee of sized diapers? Obsessed with a color you didn't expect? What does your stash say about you?

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