Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why I Cloth Diaper

I am asked time and time again why I have chosen to cloth diaper, so I decided to write a post to explain my reasons.

Personally, I love cloth diapering. I think it's fun. Do you ever go "window shopping" for clothes, either online or off? I know I do. I love looking at stuff for my kids as well as for myself. With cloth diapers, they have such cute designs and patterns now that it's like clothes shopping, but for your baby's bum. And when diapers come as cute as this one, who could possibly deny themselves the fun?

Photo courtesy of Nifty Nappy Diapers

But really, it's not just the looks that drew me in. Cloth diapers are really economically sound and when you live from paycheck to paycheck like my family does, cost cutting is necessary. Since December, our family has spent $200 on diapers and diapering accessories. At the rate we were buying diapers, wipes, etc, we've saved ourselves just in the last 7 months $300 or more. To us, that's a lot of money.
My stash includes 17 diapers of varying brands, cloth wipes and washcloths, a spray bottle and wipe solution, and a wetbag for travel.

Aren't they cute???
As well as being economically sound, they are also ecologically sound. Did you know that for one disposable diaper, up to 2/3 cup of oil (you know, that nasty black stuff spilling out into the ocean right now? Thanks again, BP.) is used? That's right. Pretty gross, huh? Also, did you know that it is illegal to dispose of human waste in a landfill? What that means is that even when you are using disposable diapers, you're still supposed to scrape the poop off into the toilet before throwing them out.

Which brings me to my next point: laundry. People ask me questions about diaper laundry all the time:

What do you do with the poop?/Isn't dealing with poop gross?

Well, like I said above, technically you're supposed to do the same thing with the poop whether you're using cloth or not: dumping it in the toilet. (Side note: If you are exclusively breastfeeding, the poop is water soluble, which means that it completely dissolves and washes away in water, so you don't have to start dumping the poop until your little one starts solid food.) Dealing with the poop can be a little gross, but this is how I look at it: before I started using cloth diapers, Kairi had poop blow-outs at least every other day, so I was already having to wash poop out of something quite frequently. Unfortunately, a lot of the clothes that she got poop on got stained regardless of how much I scrubbed. Since starting cloth diapers, I have not had to deal with one blow-out and I am much happier washing poop out of something that is meant to hold it than getting angry about washing it off of my favorite new jumper that my mother just bought for her. No matter how you look at it, when you have a baby, you're going to have to wash poop out of something at one point in time or another. It's just a fact of life.

Well, aren't you spending all your time doing diaper laundry now? Don't the laundry and energy costs add up to equal the difference you'd be spending on disposable diapers?

Nope. I do one extra load of laundry every other day. Granted, I have to buy special detergent for my diapers (the scents and additives in regular detergents cause build up that makes diapers lose their absorbency) but it costs a little less than a bottle of Tide and I only have to use one scoop every other day so it's not like I'm buying it very often at all.

What do you do with your dirty diapers while they are waiting to be washed?

I have a small trashcan that I keep them in. I rinse out the poopy diapers before putting them in the can. It's just as easy as keeping a small trashcan for disposable diapers.

Isn't cloth diapering harder than using disposables? Doesn't it take more time?

I don't think so. A lot of people ask about the time it takes because of the rinsing and the laundry, but really if you average out the amount of time that you spend driving to the store to shop for diapers, I'd bet it's about the same. Plus it's a lot more convenient because I never have those times when you forgot to buy diapers and you're down to the last one and have to rush off in the middle of the night so your baby will have a clean diaper in the morning. And rinsing the diapers doesn't take that long anyway - maybe 30 seconds per diaper.

I really do love cloth diapering. Like I said above, it's fun. And Kairi looks so cute in them.

Doesn't she look happy?
<3 Cloth Diaper Link Love <3

Little Squigglers is my absolute favorite place to buy cloth diapers and more! They've got the best brands and the most awesome accessories! The best things I've bought there so far are my Nifty Nappy pocket diapers and my Wee Essentials cloth wipe solution soap bits.

Speaking of Nifty Nappy Cloth Diapers, you should definitely go check out their page. They've got pocket diapers, fitted diapers, swim diapers, wool diapers and woolie covers that are made with some of the best craftmanship I've ever seen!

While you're out, go look at LuvYourBaby Products. They've got some great pocket and AIO (all-in-one) diapers for those of you on a budget.

And if you're really in a financial bind, The Cloth Diaper Foundation is for you! They are a cloth diaper "loaning" service. They only charge a small shipping fee of $15-30 (depending on what package you choose) and they just ask that you take great care of the diapers they send you and return them when you're done with them. They are also nation-wide and will be re-opening their services on July 16th so get ready to go fill out those applications for this wonderful service!

Link disclosure: I am posting these links of my own accord because I really do love and recommend these companies. I am not being paid or otherwise rewarded for mentioning them.