Melissa Smith and Jeniffer Smith are sisters-in-law and co-bloggers on Sisters in Cloth, a guide to cloth diapering, breastfeeding, babywearing, frugal and green living. Melissa, a mother of four, began cloth diapering her third child and eventually, inspired Jeniffer to do the same when her first baby was born. Together, they are passionate about living and parenting as naturally as possible — from homemade detergent to breastfeeding to…of course…using cloth diapers!
Q: How have cloth diapers changed your life?
JS: Using cloth diapers has made me realize how much I depend on companies to provide things I could make at home. I’ve become much more “green” since switching to cloth, and I’ve learned a lot of ways to keep my family healthier. Cloth diapers have been my “gateway green!”
MS: With my first two children I spent so much money on disposable diapers, even buying the “cheap” diapers that didn’t work as well. We were a young, struggling family, and there were many weeks where the money I had to spend on diapers made me wonder how we were going to buy basic needs like groceries. It is so freeing knowing that no matter how tight the bank account gets, my babies have clean diapers, and that I’m not taking money from our food budget or electricity to provide them.
Q: The first thing I do when I wake up is….
JS: Because I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy, I use the bathroom and then get breakfast and coffee made for me and my daughter.
MS: Normally nurse the baby next to me! As soon as my feet hit the floor I am on my way to brush my teeth, or I feel gross and can’t think. After that it’s time to start the coffee pot!
Q: No matter how much time it takes, I always….
JS: Spend way too much time online. The only way I’ve found to curb it is to stay off completely. That leads to me tweeting and checking emails more on my phone than online, but it’s easier for me to get off of my phone than for me to get off the Internet!
MS: Nurse my baby when he asks for it. At eighteen months this isn’t as often as it used to be, but it still happens a lot, and I still sometimes feel like all I do is nurse all day long!
Q: The most unusual thing in my diaper bag or purse is…
JS: I have a sample of laundry detergent in my purse. It was put there after I opened some fluff mail at the post office, and I haven’t used it or moved it since!
MS: At the moment I think it’s a matchbox car. My three year old loves to hand me random toys while we are out and about and they end up living in my purse forever.
Q: If I could live in one outfit for the rest of my life, it would be…
JS: Jeans and a t-shirt. I go for comfort most days.
MS: I’m really not picky about clothes. I love flowy skirts, but I’m just as happy in jeans and a t-shirt. The one wardrobe item I absolutely wish I could wear every day of the year are my flip-flops! I wear them as far into the fall and winter as I possibly can, and at the first sign of spring they are back to full-time use.