Wednesday, July 13, 2011


James and I have decided to cloth diaper. I know, I know. You think we're nuts. Trust me, I hear it all the time. Why the hell would you cloth diaper when disposables are so much more convenient? Think of all the laundry you'll do! GROSS!

I wanted to explain here why exactly James and I have decided on cloth diapering. As with all things baby related (and most others, too), we did our research. And here are a few reasons why we decided on the fluff:

1.) I'm frugal. There's no way you can deny that cloth diapering is cheaper than buying disposables. The average child will go through anywhere from $1600 to $3000 in disposable diapers before they are potty trained. Cloth diapering, on the other hand, can be accomplished by spending a few hundred dollars. Now, there are certainly ways to spend much more on cloth diapers...fancy all-in-one diapers with cute patterns run about $15-$20 apiece. But, even if I spend $500 on a cloth diaper stash, I will be able to use those diapers with multiple children, so it's a one-time cost. And I freaking LOVE saving money!

2.) It's better for the environment. This is the primary reason that James is totally on board with cloth diapering. I'm married to somewhat of an environmentalist. We recycle, have a rain barrel, compost our food scraps, and generally try to reuse and repurpose whenever possible. We create only one bag of trash each week between the two of us. The thought of all the additional trash we would create on a weekly basis with just the disposable diapers, plus the fact that those diapers will sit in a landfill for god knows how long (some estimates are over 200 years!!), well, that was enough to convince my tree-hugging husband. And it makes me feel good, too.

3.) It's better for the baby. Honestly, this is not my number one reason for wanting to cloth diaper, but it does carry some weight. Disposable diapers contain all kinds of harsh chemicals that help with absorbancy, which is what makes disposable diapers so great. But those chemicals can be harmful and dangerous to a baby, and can cause or exacerbate skin rashes. Think about it: it's recommended that parents use a dye and perfume -free detergent to wash babies clothes in, but we put diapers on their butts with chemicals that are carcinogens.

Now, I certainly realize that by cloth diapering, I am creating more work, i.e., more laundry. But since all the parents I know have told me that once you have a baby you'll be doing laundry all the time anyway, I don't see this as a big deal. Plus, I'm one of those weird people that actually doesn't mind laundry. It just isn't one of those chores that bothers me. James and I both are pretty regimented people by nature, so if diapers need to be washed every other day religiously, then they will be.

And yes, I realize there is a bit of "ick" factor. But isn't handling any dirty diaper icky? So dirty diapers will sit in a bin for a day before they are washed. I wonder how often other mothers take out their dirty disposable diaper trash? Every day? I doubt it.

Lastly, neither James nor I has ever diapered a child before, cloth or disposable. So cloth will be our normal. We won't know any different. What we will know is that we are doing the right thing for our little family, regardless of what others think. And plus, we're not the type to really give a shit what other people think!

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