Disposable Diapers Gross Me Out
I hate disposable diapers. I had always thought that the concept of cloth diapering was kinda cool as a way to save money and to reduce the amount that we are throwing away, but I wasn't really sure I was up to the whole cloth diapering thing. Then when I was pregnant, I had an experience that changed my mind. We were at someone's house for a dinner and their toddler was running around in their diaper. The diaper was wet and it had the the telltale droopy butt, the wet soppiness hanging like a pendulum between their little baby legs as they toddled around. I imagined the tiny crystals inside the diapers expanded with urine and chemicals. Being pregnant as I was, I had never been more disgusted in my life. I said to my husband that day that I wanted to cloth diaper our baby. That experience sparked a hatred of disposable diapers that has only grown with time.
I share this experience because I want you to understand that my reasons and motivations for cloth diapering are a little bit different than most people's. I went into cloth diapering simply because I hated the alternative.
There's Gonna be Poop Everywhere Anyway
One of the biggest reactions/objections I hear about cloth diapering is "But what about the poop?". Yes, what about the poop? This is a valid concern. People seem very concerned about the fact that cloth diapers contain poop and that you have to do something about this said contained poop. But that is just it. IT CONTAINS THE POOP. When my baby poops in a cloth diaper, the poop stays in the cloth daiper. Which is AMAZING. No blowouts. Ever. Whenever I use a disposable no matter the brand, no matter how expensive or nice it is supposed to be, the poop escapes the diaper a bit too often for comfort. Then you have poop on the baby's clothes which means you're washing poop out of fabric anyway. Also you might also be cleaning the poop out of your clothes/the rug/the carseat/the floor/you/the baby's hair. Really, the possibilities of where the poop can go after it escapes the diaper are endless. From my perspective, I would rather wash a diaper that contained the poop then everything else that now has poop on it because the disposable diaper didn't contain the mess anyway. If you have a baby, you're gonna be cleaning up poop. No denying it. Just sayin'.
It's Supposed to be Cheaper
There's lots of articles all over the internet breaking down the cost of disposable diapers and comparing it to cloth diapering. Really, I don't think any of them are really that accurate because there is so many ways to diaper your baby that these breakdowns could never account for how you diaper your baby. With disposables you can buy name brand fancy eco diapers in small packs from your local swanky store and end up paying A LOT for disposable diapers. Or you could only buy them with mega discounts/coupons in the huge value packs and save a nice bit. Or anything in between. Also with cloth diapers, you can spend upwards of over $30 per diaper and get all the fancy accessories (wet pails, wet bags, spray pals, bidet sprayers, drying racks, 2 dozen types of inserts, doublers, extra wool covers, lanolin, detergent, liners, diaper cleaning services, oh my!) and have that quickly add up. Or you could cloth diaper for less than $100 dollars total using secondhand diapers or flats with covers. Also it really depends when your kid is potty trained, how many kids you use the diapers for, and if you resell them at the end to get some of the money back. It really just depends on what you do.
In general, most of these analyses agree that you can save money by cloth diapering. I hope to one day look into this more. They certainly aren't cheaper up front. You pay all the cost up front for the diapers and then over time you get your money back and then some. I think that it definitely saved us money though since we would have been buying the fancy name brand chemical free and clear diapers that are more expensive if we had gone down the disposable route fulltime.
Saving the Planet?
Most people say that cloth diapering is good for the environment because less trash is ending up in the landfill. Just like the cost breakdown, there's a lot of debate around this one. There's the argument that with the transportation and materials and the washing and drying of the cloth diapers that really it isn't any better than disposables for the planet. They also argue that now disposables are coming out that are biodegradable. (I would like to point out that if you use these biodegradable daipers and then throw them away inside a normal plastic bag then it kinds defeats the point because they can't biodegrade inside that bag). Then there's the whole microfiber shedding conundrum where cloth diapers that are made up of or contain microfiber shed tiny filaments of the microfiber into the environment when they are washed. (This is why natural fibers are better!)
Overall I find the claims that cloth isn't better for the environment a little far fetched. The average baby goes through about 6,000 diapers from birth to potty training. That is a lot of diapers! Any way you look at it, if you cloth diaper that is a lot of trash that is not being generated and sitting in our landfills until god knows when. I guess there are ways to do cloth so that its isn't as good for the environment but the way I do it (wash at home with HE washer, hang dry, use as many natural fibers as possible) I'm pretty sure the environment is getting a net positive. I hope to look more into this at a later date also.
Gentle on Little Baby Behinds
Several years ago I made the switch from disposable period products to using a menstrual cup and reusable menstrual pads. And let me tell you, I ain't ever going back. They are amazingly comfortable and convienent. Commercial disposable hygiene products are full of all sorts of chemicals and materials that I don't want anywhere near my reproductive parts. And diapers are the same way. Disposables always have that weird powder smell and are full of all sorts of chemicals. (I know that you can get special diapers that are unbleached and free of a lot of those chemicals but they cost a lot more.) I don't want that wierd plastic stuff on my butt and I want my baby to be as comfy as possible. Plus, with cloth diapering my baby never gets a diaper rash! The only times she has started to get irritated on her butt was when she was in disposables. I told my Pediatrician and he seemed surprised that she has never had a serious diaper rash EVER.
They are Cute
Cloth diapers can be cute. Really cute. I love seeing my baby crawling around with blossoms on her little butt. There are so many colors and patterns that there really is something for everyone. In my collection I have ducks, woodland scenes, stripes, beautiful solids, flowers, fruits, desserts, spots, dragon scales, elephants, stripes, leaves and more! Plus, when you put them on your baby it makes their butt really fluffy, which is adorable.