Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cloth Diapers - Yes, here's why...

I have gotten a few questions as to why we chose to try cloth diapers for our little one. I do my best in terms of recycling, but I’m far from “green.” For us, there were many reasons and the "better for the environment" was just one!

Cost. I didn’t list this one first by accident. Bill and I actually pride ourselves on sticking to a budget - we avoid debt as well as unnecessary costs or waste. There is a reason we aren’t driving brand new cars and our Baby’s nursery is being pieced together through flea market finds.

The cost of Baby’s cloth diapers will be about $300 - give or take. We will have increased water/heating bills with the laundry, but it doesn’t come close to the thousands of dollars we’d spend on disposables and wipes, plus the added garbage fees to dispose of them.

So functional! Cloth diapers have come a long way. No more boring, white, cotton, pinned diapers from our youth. There is Velcro and even better – snaps! They have all-in-ones that are as easy to put on as a Pull-Up. Many even swear they have less “blowouts” with these diapers. Hey, I’m all for that! Then there are the accessories! They make diaper sprayers to attach to the toilet to spray down the real messy ones before you toss them in your pail for washing. They have cute little bags for washing to take with you. You can even use cloth wipes and just tuck them in the dirty diaper for washing. Works for me!

They're so cute! Again, have you seen cloth diapers lately? No more crinkly plastic pants. There is a nothing cuter than a little one in their little patterned or pastel cloth diaper. Simply adorable. Let’s not pretend this didn’t help make cloth diapering more appealing!
Better for baby. Disposable diapers contain chemicals that in some studies have been found to be harmful. I have extremely sensitive skin and it is likely Baby will too. I have never officially identified the source of the hives I struggle with every day and it is likely they are caused by chemicals and other allergens I come in contact with. I can only imagine that cloth against Baby’s skin is going to be a much better option against her skin than a plastic diaper.

Better for the environment. I won’t go on about this. We still use Ziplocs and yes, we have plastic garbage sacks too. We're far from perfect in our eco-friendly world, but little steps in the right direction do help right? Statistics say over 90 percent of the 6,000 diapers used in a baby’s first two years will end up in a landfill. We’ll do our part by Baby starting with six dozen diapers that will grow along with her.

Now, no choice is perfect. I am sorely aware of the downsides of cloth diapers… 
  • Having to spray down a messy diaper in the middle of the night when I’m already exhausted.
  • More laundry – enough said!
  • Purchasing specialty products (like you can’t use normal diaper cream because it isn’t good for the microfiber in the diaper inserts).
  • You have to use certain types of detergent – some detergents break down the diapers more quickly.
As I mentioned, we’ll have disposables on hand and would never force a friend or family member to use the cloth if they weren’t comfortable when watching Baby. And, no... we won't be purchasing a separate washer just for diapers (Lisa!!). Yes, some of you are a little squeamish at the thought of poo in the washing machine!

There is a store near us called Simple Cloth that ships diapers worldwide. They offer gift registries and will help us with all the ins-and-outs of our questions (mainly, mine revolve around laundry!). I also have a friend who has done it for a couple of years. She has already been very helpful. For instance, telling me to NOT to purchase a bunch of one type. She said to buy several varieties so we can figure out what works best for us. Then, there are the slew of websites that explain everything you ever need to know.

We plan to take advantage of all of these resources. We’re really excited about it. I’m already curious to know how it will work for us. Particularly, when I go back to work - hehe! I’ll be sure to let you know!


Seizing My Day said...

I tried cloth diapers with my baby girl ... and sadly... she had horrible diaper rashes with them!! I was shocked! we used disposables to rid her of it.. and tried again later when she was a bigger baby... but I just couldn't seem to keep rashes away with them?! I later read that b/c they are wetter on the skin than disposables?! I hope they work well for your baby!! =) I wondered if I just didn't try hard enough?? welcome to mommyhood! =)

luckyrufus said...

I am so excited for you! I wish I had tried cloth diapers with Carson.

Courtney said...

Jenn, I have heard it go both ways with diaper rash, but we'll give it a whirl! I absolutely plan to use that store downtown as a resource... I am admitting now that it might not work for us, just committing to trying. We'll see! :-)

Thanks, Keri!

Chelsi said...

I can't wait to try these!!! My SIL did with their little one and found it easier once he was a bit bigger... but I just have to talk Hubbs into it then I totally want to try! :) I'll be looking forward to reading about your cloth diaper journey! I haven't gone into Simple Cloth and I've known that its downtown but I just saw it the other day when I drove by so I'll have to stop by someday!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) I will probably have questions for you about your job. I'm not sure what I want to do yet... But, I'm in the Organizational Leadership program at Chapman University in Hawks Praried. I've had a loooong journey with school and I landed there and I actually love it. I will graduate in December and I can't wait to be done!

Kathryn said...

Hi, my name is Kat, I'm a friend of Ann Mitchell, we race together on Olympia Orthopaedic. She said you might like to hear some stories from an experienced cloth diapering momma. I have two boys and the second is in diapers. I use bumGenius 3.0 one-size diapers. I started using these on him when he was 10 lbs. A few things to say, first use Viva select-a-size paper towels as liners. They are really thick and can hold the poop, just dump the liner and poop into the toilet and flush! Voila, clean wet diaper to put into your pail. Try it with breastfed poo, it might not leak through and keep your diapers cleaner. If your diapers get stained, just lay them out in the bright sun to dry and the sun bleaches the stains out. You won't need the sprayer. These paper towels also work really well as wipes when on the go, just keep a water bottle with you. My son has really sensitive skin and can't use wipes as they make his skin bright red.

Kathryn said...

Hi there, my name is Kat. I'm friends with Ann Mitchell, we race together on Olympia Orthopaedic. She said you might like some friendly advice from an experienced momma who used cloth diapers. I have two boys, the younger one in bumGenius 3.0 one-size diapers. There are definitely a few things I can tell you that will make cloth diapering much more enjoyable for you and your husband. Also, I know quite a bit about breastfeeding as I breastfed both boys and had to use fenugreek with the second. Last, I'm trained as a doula through DONA, but not certifed. I've attended one birth. Shoot me an email and I'll send you my cell number since it easier to relay all the diaper info over the phone. My email is

Kathryn said...

If you plan on making your own baby food, I did that too if you have any questions about it.


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