64. Minimal & Sustainable Postpartum: How I got into minimalism and started living more sustainably, even with a baby (Hint: I started with cloth diapers!) - new mom tips
Are you tired of Pinterest lists and baby registries telling you that you need ALL THE THINGS?
Tired of spending money on brand new things that your baby will just grow out of in 2 months?
I was tired of these things, too, which is how I got into minimalism and living more sustainably by first diving into the world of cloth diapers.
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTION:
Hey there friends. Welcome to the better postpartum podcast. I’m your host Angel Swan, crunchy mom, coffee addict and postpartum doula turned new mom coach. This podcast is your audio guide to not just surviving but thriving during those early and newborn days. If you want to care for yourself, your household and your baby with confidence, grab your earbuds because this is the only podcast that you need. So what do you say? Should we get started with today’s episode? Let’s do this. Hey, friends, thank you for tuning in today. Before we get started, I just wanted to read this lovely review submitted by cumin year. She says love the variety of topics covered on the show. Even though my child is four. I enjoy listening to the tips shared. I wish I had this advice four years ago. Thank you so much for that review. If you’ve been loving this podcast and learning from it, please go to Apple podcasts subscribe, leave me a five star rating and write a written review. Just tell me something that you’ve learned a message that really stuck with you. Or let me know what your favorite episode has been so far. Leaving a rating and review is really the best way to support the show. And it helps other new moms find this podcast so they can learn from it too. So thanks again acumen year. Now let’s get into today’s episode. Something that I am really passionate about is being a minimalist and living sustainably. And as a new mom, I feel like all of the different baby registries and Pinterest checklists, it all just kind of sets us up to be maximalists. When it comes to how we care for our babies. Like you need all of these different products, and it’s just super overwhelming. And then you have stacks and stacks of like toys and clothes and baby products is all over your house. And in reality, newborns, even older babies like they do not need so many things in order to be happy and well cared for. They just don’t need all the things they don’t. And then on top of that, they definitely don’t need all of the shiny brand new things like fresh out of the box with let’s face it, your baby is going to grow out of whatever these things are, they’re going to grab the clothes, they’re going to outgrow the toys, they’re going to outgrow everything and like two months, right. So that’s the first thing to think about. The other thing is, these products are super expensive. And they can be overpriced because these companies know that you need their products so they can charge you whatever the heck that they want. So I it’s just kind of annoying, like some of these, these things that are like mainstream baby products that are like the top rated whatever, like, I get it like your top rated, you get to charge a higher amount because you are top rated however, like some of these people are really feels like they’re like price gouging truly. So I mean, overall, like, yes, you do need baby products, right? You need stuff. That’s true. But do you need all of the stuff now? You’d really don’t? And do you need everything to breed to be brand new? Also know? For sure. No big hard? No.
And I know a lot of you guys listening to this podcast may be living on a tight budget, and maybe you can’t afford all the fancy new baby gear. And that’s why I wanted to do a little podcast series. So over the next couple of weeks, we’re gonna be talking about minimalism and living sustainably with a baby. Because, man, like I know like some you guys are on a tight budget like I talk to you. I hear from you guys. Like when you come and DM me on Instagram, like I’m checking it out. I’m talking to you. And I get it like I’ve been there. Right, I did not become a minimalist by choice really. When Jenny was a baby, we definitely had to adopt the minimalist lifestyle, especially because of COVID. Like, both Eric and I were out of work for a long time. And there was even a point where we were basically surviving on rice and beans because we simply could not afford anything else to eat. We really could not. So in all of that, I discovered minimalism, and I’ve always been interested in sustainable living too. And those things really go hand in hand. And so when we were at that point where we could barely afford the bare necessities, you know, we couldn’t buy the fun food that we used to eat. We could barely afford toilet paper we could barely afford paper towels, stuff like that. That’s when I really just embraced minimalism and started buying reusable sustainable products. So I don’t have to to keep as many things on hand and I just I buy something once and I never have to buy it again. So, throughout this podcast series, I’m just going to go over some basics about you know how you can live more minimally sustainably. It save a lot of money in the process, even when you have a baby. Because having a baby is expensive, I saw this pin on Pinterest that was like babies cost how much like it’s meant to really get your attention like whoa, wait, I didn’t know babies were so freakin expensive. So I feel like this is this is more important like now like more than ever is finding ways to live minimally and sustainably. So we’re just we’re gonna break down a couple of different categories of like the essentials, the minimal baby gear and postpartum gear, we’re going to go over that too. And how you can opt for, you know all of those sustainable options as well. So the first thing that we’re going to cover is drum roll. Okay, there is no drum roll. I don’t have that sound effect. But we’re going to cover diapers, specifically cloth diapers. So, with Jenny, we did use disposable newborn diapers for about two weeks. And we tried our one size cloth diapers that we had already. But Jenny was too small to use them. You know, newborns have like those little skinny legs. So it like fit around her waist. But her legs had these massive gaps. There’s no way those diapers were going to hold anything in there. So we used up all of the disposable newborn sized diapers that were gifted to us at our baby shower. And I remember when we ran out of those, we had to, you know, run to the store to buy some more of the newborn sized diapers. And that’s when it really hit me like whole Lee moly. These diapers are expensive. We cannot continue buying diapers like this absolutely not like when thinking about how many diapers we had already gone through and just like those, I don’t know, probably like a week and a half because we only did it for like two weeks. I I could not even imagine having to continue buying more and more disposable diapers. Like I said, we did not have money. We we could not afford to have a baby according to these articles, like babies are how much like we we could not afford a baby? Absolutely not. So we truly could not afford to keep buying disposable diapers.
You know, didn’t have a lot of money and we wanted to save as much as we could to try and buy a house. So like the thought of buying diapers instead of buying a house was not my favorite. So we ended up we just bought one more pack of disposable diapers. And then I immediately like we got home I went on Amazon and I bought some newborn size cloth diapers. Because I guess I didn’t realize that there were newborn sized cloth diapers that you could buy. So we started we started using cloth diapers with Jenny right away like as soon as that Amazon package came in, and I only bought about 20 of the newborn cloth diapers. And we did have to wash them like every day because we went through I want to say we went through about 12 Diapers a day with all of the pooping. She just so much pooping. But we saved so much money on diapers like the initial investment for cloth diapers is definitely more than a pack of disposables. But we never had to buy diapers again, like you guys, I’ve only spent $200 on all of my cloth diapers ever. I have saved literally hundreds, actually probably 1000s of dollars just by using cloth diapers. And then on top of that it’s super sustainable. Like I’m not tossing diapers into a landfill every day. That’s something that also was really important to me was you know, I saw the waste being created by these diapers. You know, you open up a diaper. You change them, right? You put on a clean diaper and they poop in it like two seconds later and you can’t leave poop on their butt. So what do you do you have to change their diaper. And then it’s like they barely wear this diaper for like five minutes and I’m already throwing it away like that just really that bugged me because it just felt wasteful. And I felt like I was just throwing my money away really So all that is why I went into it. That’s why I went into cloth diapering. But I also like cloth diapering, because it’s very minimal, at least the way that I do it is very minimal. So, and I say that because like a lot of moms do get sucked into buying a bunch of cute cloth diapers, you know, they follow like, cloth diaper maker, and they come out with new patterns. And then the moms like, I need that new pattern. It’s so cute and they buy it. And then they end up like, I’m in a couple cloth diapering groups. And these ladies, I’m not even kidding. You have like 100 200 cloth diapers, which is way more than any baby would ever need. So that’s fun for them. Right? That’s, that’s what they want to do. That’s fine. But for me, I wanted to save money. And I wanted to save my planet. Like I wanted to do my part. So I bought exactly as many diapers as I needed. It. I never bought any more. I bought exactly as many as I needed. So I had, let’s I had 20 of the newborn size. And then the one size diapers we had 36 We still have the same 36 diapers that we started out with the exact same diapers. I actually did have to replace a couple elastics on them on a couple of them. Because we’ve been I mean, we’re two and a half years in now that’s kind of to be expected. But yeah, cloth diapers are great. So the other thing that I switched out with cloth diapering was I quit buying disposable wipes. So that’s another thing that I feel like a lot of people don’t really think about when they think about cloth diapering. So I did not use up all of the wipes that we had been gifted or baby shower. We had way more wipes than we ever needed. We got more wipes and diapers, I think. So, I looked online for like how to make cloth wipes or how to use cloth wipes with cloth diapers. And I found a couple solutions. And so what I ended up doing was I went to my local thrift store I bought for fleece swaddle blankets for about $2 each, and I cut those into little squares. And those have been my wife’s ever since what’s $2 times four blankets eight, I spent $8 on wipes you guys, and I’ve never bought more. What?
Anyway, that’s crazy. I kept an old like, you know the the hard plastic wipe container that you know the Pampers will come in or whatever. So I kept one of those containers and I folded my cloth wipes in such a way that you could put it in the wipe container and it’ll pull just like the disposable ones will. So you pull one wipe out and then another one is just sitting there ready to go. So I fold it like that. And I would just pre wet that folded stack of wipes, I’d bring out the extra water and I’d put it in the white container. So they were always ready to go. I always had wet wipes ready to go. And then as Jenny got bigger, like now that she’s toddler, I don’t pre wet the wipes anymore, just because we weren’t using them fast enough. And then like every now and then I would see a little spot of mold because we just did not like we didn’t need the wet wipes anymore, because she’s potty training. So now, we just fold the wipes the same way as we did before. And then if we leave them dry, and if we do actually need a wet wipe, you know for a poop accident every now and then. We just wet like five or six wipes we use those. And yeah, we just wet them as needed. So I just love using cloth diapers in cloth wipes. It’s sustainable. It’s minimal, minimal. It’s minimal by nature. Like if you just think about how many times you’ve like bought packs of diapers and wipes, these big boxes of them and you stuff your closets full of these boxes is just diapers and wipes just taking up space like with cloth diapers, you just buy as many as you need. And you make your little stash of your diapers and that’s it like it takes up so little space. We have a dresser for Jenny and her cloth diapers took up the top one of the top drawers of the dresser and that that was it. Like we didn’t have to have a closet full of diapers. So if you you know if you want to switch to cloth diapers, I promise you it is totally doable. I actually have a whole podcast episode that I dedicated to teaching you how to start cloth diapering and then like all of the things that you need in order to really stick with it. So if you want to listen to that episode, go back to Episode 15 and give it a listen. I think that’s, that’s like a very old episode. I think that’s before I rebranded. So if you hear a different business name like postpartum companion that’s probably why I’m now just Angel Swan LLC. But anyways, Episode 15 is really great if you want to dive into cloth diapering. And I also have a checklist of all the essential items that you need to start cloth diapering and stick with it. So if you want to grab that link will be in the episode description for you. Or you can go to Angel swan.com/freebies. And you can find it in there. And I think that’s all I have for you today on the cloth diapers, make sure that you subscribe to the podcast so you can hear the rest of this series. I think it’s really going to be a game changer for a lot of moms like I really want to change the way that we think about what we actually need when we have a baby. Because like I said before, all these companies like selling their baby products, they tend to charge way too much. They make you feel like you can’t live without our products. And that’s just not true. So, I want you to stay tuned subscribe, because we are going to save you a lot of money with this series, we’re going to save space in your home by not cluttering it with excessive baby gear. And we’re going to save the planet because we’re not just going to go and buy everything brand new if we don’t need to. So make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss the rest of the series. And you know if you like all the tips that I give on my podcast and you want to work with me one on one so you can find balance in your new motherhood journey. Prioritize self care, manage your home and care for your baby with confidence. Go to Angel swan.com/work with me and you can choose either my group coaching program, which I highly recommend, it’s awesome. People are loving it, or my one on one program. So the link was will also be in the episode description for you. And as always, don’t forget you can hang out with me on Instagram at Angel dot Swan grab my free resources on my website Angel swan.com. And of course, don’t forget to go on Apple podcasts rate review and subscribe. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll
talk to you soon. Buh bye. Thank you so much for listening to the better postpartum podcast. Here’s what I want you to do next. If you loved what you heard today, would you do me a giant favor and leave me a written five star review? Those little love notes that you leave are the perfect way to thank me for putting out these episodes just for you. Seriously, it would mean the world to me. Next, take a screenshot of the episode you’re listening to right now and share it on your Instagram stories and make sure you tag me at Angel dot swan. That’s SW o n so that more moms can find this podcast and hopefully you get the advice and encouragement they need to truly thrive with their babies. And don’t forget to come back every single week for more nuggets of wisdom and truth bombs about the early motherhood journey. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye bye