In this blog, we’d like to remind you that living a healthy, simple life doesn’t stop at the food you eat. From time to time we remind you that physical fitness is a big part of wellness (no surprises there!). What we haven’t talked about as much yet, but do believe, is that wellness and balance have opportunities to shine in nearly every facet of your life. We believe in strong, healthy relationships, reasonable budgets, balanced family and work time, and following your moral or ethical compass. That’s why I thought it might be appropriate to talk to you about one step I took to make my life more balanced—choosing cloth diapers for my baby (and babies to come). When I was younger I never pictured myself using cloth diapers, but when I became pregnant, it was almost a no-brainer for me and my husband. The thought of throwing away 10+ diapers a day felt wasteful, and sounded expensive! We’re both still paying off student loan debt and live within a pretty tight budget, so the best choice for us was to make an investment that would pay for itself in the long run, rather than throw money away monthly. The budget is one reason to claim cloth diapers as a balanced choice, and the other big reason would be that I’m taking action towards preserving our environment by limiting my trash output. Now, I’ll dive into the potentially difficult task of convincing you that you can actually use cloth diapers in your own home! In our anti-bacterial embracing, sterile society, I understand that it can be tough to get over the initial “ick factor” of cloth diapers, but please trust me when I say it is not that bad. There are so many fancy, high-tech options out there right now for cloth diapering, and you barely even need to touch them when they’re dirty. Your washing machine and a decent eco-friendly detergent or stain remover should take care of the dirty work for you (I really like Stain Solver for stain removal—it works miracles, seriously). I know, I know—you’re interested in the idea but totally swamped with the details. That was me too, especially once I started doing a little digging and realized there are hundreds of search results for “cloth diapering.” I’ll give you a little head start though, by pointing you to the most helpful article I found about the different types of diapers at parenting.com. It lays out the differences nicely, and if you continue to click “next,” you will find several informative recommendations on brands. My personal stash includes 18 Charlie Banana pocket diapers, 2 Bum Genius 4.0 pocket diapers, 1 Bum Genius Freetime all-in-one (AIO) diaper, 1 GroVia AIO diaper, and 1 Marvels AIO diaper by Kissaluvs – all of them “one-size.” I got the Charlie Banana ones because they were on clearance for 50% off regular price, and then did some research and got a few samples of the others to see what works the best for me. There are pros and cons to each diaper and like almost everything else we recommend, you’re going to have to just see how the product works for your body, or in this case, your baby’s body! Basically, you can pay anywhere from $2 to $30 (or even more if you go the designer route!) per diaper. Keep in mind that with a higher cost you’ll usually find an overall “easier” diaper. One recommendation I received when doing my own diaper research was to make sure I had at least 18 total diapers on hand, and I would say that this is definitely the minimum unless you commit to doing laundry every single day. I now have 23 and this is much more comfortable since I’m allowed to slack off a little here and there if need be. There are so many different ways to do cloth diapering and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. A slick way to ease into the practice is by hiring a diaper service. Some of these services provide absolutely everything you need for a monthly fee, and some will simply pick up, wash, and deliver your diapers as needed. I personally haven’t used a diaper service, but I’ve successfully trained myself, my husband, my mother and mother-in-law in cloth-diaper use at our home—it really isn’t as difficult as it might sound. If anything, I hope this serves as an encouragement to those of you who have been considering reusable diapers. There’s just too much to get into when it comes to the logistics of how to start up and maintain this particular lifestyle in one blog post! I would love to hear from you and can try to answer any questions you may have, so leave any feedback or inquiries in the comments section! Happy diapering!