Monday, June 1, 2009

Why Cloth Diapering Rocks My Socks

It's not as bad as you're thinking. I promise.

I'm kind of the least organized person I know and I can do it, so believe me when I say that you can too! There are many ways of doing it, and you can choose which way fits your lifestyle.

When I was pregnant with Kitt I had a 'cloth diaper' baby shower. I asked each person to bring one Fuzzi Bunz diaper and gave them a link to wildflowerdiapers.com. One high end cloth diaper is about the cost most people are looking to spend at a shower anyways, so it worked out very well. We got about half our collection this way, and got the other half of our first set gifted to us from my parents. Initial cost to me - zero. My MIL was pretty sure I wasn't going to stick with it and gave me a bunch of disposables for when I decided to call it quits, but I'm a little competitive, so maybe having someone say I couldn't/wouldn't do it made me all the more determined to make it work!

Kitt outgrew the small size within the first three months, which was not so cool. I didn't realize I'd have an off the charts baby (I'm 6' tall, I should have known!!) and so had to scramble right around Christmas time to get a set of mediums for her. This was probably the worst part, having to buy a whole new set with each growth spurt. For that reason I switched to Bum Genius diapers when I needed to replace all the pink and purple diapers for Mac.

The great news about cloth diapers is that they have excellent resale. If you think buying used diapers is kind of gross - eh, okay, but for those of us who are okay with a little bit of second hand it's a really affordable way to get into a new size or try out a new diaper. And, I was able to resell my old pink and purple diapers at about 70% of the original cost. I used craigslist.org and diaperswappers.com for that. For new diapers check out the sales at diaperpin.com, an online resource for online cloth diaper retailers and consumers.

Okay, so, to break it down - here is why cloth is easier and better that you think:

1) You don't have to actually spray out the poop. I never have! When they're breastfed it's too watery to worry about and when their poop gets more substantial you can get disposable diaper inserts. I LOVE disposable diaper inserts, they look like dryer sheets, and are totally flushable, they SAVED me from quitting on cloth!

2) There really aren't many extra steps. I mean really, have you ever made that late night run to the store because you were dangerously low on diapers? How about never doing THAT again? You change the diaper just like normal - wipe (with disposables, or get the reusable flannel kind), just like normal and then drop it in a covered bucket until you do a load (every day or two). On wash day, you dump the bucket upside down (I keep a trash liner in mine or you can use a reusable one like -this-) in the washer and set it once for cold with some oxygen bleach and fragrance free detergent (I like Allen's) and then give it a hot rinse. Dry it in your dryer or out on the line.

3) It's so much cheaper for the long haul. Disposables are about $60/month, that would buy you three high end cloth diapers that would last you kid after kid. Need I say more?

4) It's really okay to use disposables when you want to. Really. No one will judge you if you don't want to carry around smellies in your bag while you're on vacation or out shopping for the day. Or not caught up on laundry. Or using a babysitter that isn't comfortable with cloth. I've been there, most people using cloth have been there.

5) They're made better than disposables. The only time I've ever had a blow out poop was in disposable diapers. The cloth ones are made with much better materials and hold in your baby's poo like a diaper should. It's like the difference between paper plates and real plates. Even good paper plates shouldn't be used for spaghetti sauce.

6) They don't clog up landfills. I don't live in a metropolitan area, but I'd still like to do my part to keep our landfills light. It's estimated that it takes 250-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose (I got that from realdiaperassociation.org) and they're made from all sorts of nasty materials that you don't really want your baby snuggling up to 24/7.

7) They're oh-so cute! I mean, have you seen them? Bright solids and prints, you won't want to dress your baby all summer long :)

8) They double as a swim diaper. You need one of those for summer anyways, right?

Now, for a little bit of honesty on the cons for a fair and balance article. Diapers, cloth or disposable, are still smelly, you'll have to find a good place to keep them. I keep mine dry in a covered pail, but you can get some little oil scented tabs to drop in water and keep them wet until you wash them. They will wear out eventually and you'll have to replace them, they don't last forever, but they have lasted me through 2 kids so far. My daughter had a problem with not having enough breathability because she had a naturally occurring overgrowth of bacteria on her body so we had a little bit of a rash problem that was cleared up with tea tree oil and switching her back to disposables, but I've had no such problems with my son.

Even after that though, I really recommend trying cloth diapers for your baby's bum! I hope this helped you out, f you have any questions about my personal experience, feel free to ask me!

4 comments:

Jen@born2impress said...

I am still need to decide what way to go whenever i go for my second baby.
Thanks for sharing!
Coming from MBC.
Come visit when you have a chance:)

MommaYoung said...

I should have done that with my shower.

I love cloth diapers, can never seem to have enough of the right size.

Jeff9 said...

The best way to clean cloth diapers is to pre-rinse them off in the toilet using a Hand Bathroom Bidet Sprayer. So convenient and if you are trying to help the environment (and your pocket book) you can give it a double whammy by virtually eliminating toilet paper use at the same time as you benefit from using it on the diapers, by using it on yourself. I think Dr. Oz on Oprah said it best: "if you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn't wipe it off with paper, would you? You'd wash it off" Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com they come in an inexpensive kit and can be installed without a plumber. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. One review: http://jonathanandandrea.blogspot.com/2009/04/spray-it-or-scrub-it.html

Angela said...

Yay! I'm following from the MBC, and yours is one of the only other "green" (color) blogs I've ever seen.

I used cloth diapers too...made em myself, lol. Then I resold them (yes someone bought them used...) for the same cost of materials.

You can see my "greenness" at http://thesuburbanjungle.blogspot.com