cloth diaper week

After last week, the topic of cloth diapers will hopefully be a lighter topic and we can all take a collective breath and leave behind the tough stuff for now.  Not that cloth diapers aren't a bit of a hot-button issue themselves; they certainly are.  Those of us who cloth diaper tend to be very passionate about it.  We believe in it as a community.  We all have our reasons, we all have our methods and our preferences, and we all have people who doubt us, challenge us and laugh at us. 

This week, I want to talk about my reasons for using cloth diapers, how to choose and buy them, how to store and wash them, how to be an on-the-go parent while cloth diapering, as well as how to navigate the vast online cloth diapering community.  I am going to tell you things that apply to me and my personal experience.  They may not match your opinions or methods or whatever, but this is my space and I'm choosing to share my thoughts for anyone who may be interested.

I would love to create a discussion and hear all opinions, but I do not want to foster the divisive bickering that often breaks out in the cloth v. disposable wars.  I am not here to judge or criticize, and, for this week, I intend to keep it positive about cloth diapers as opposed to negative about disposables.  Everyone knows already, I think, about the billions of disposable diapers, collecting in landfills every year, which by most estimates will not biodegrade for at least 200 years.  I will leave it at that and try very hard not to bring up the negatives, as that is always a trigger for nasty diaper wars. 

I always figured I would use cloth diapers.  I knew I would be staying at home with my children if at all possible, and I was vaguely aware of the fact that cloth diapers did not involve pins and rubber pants anymore.  I had not thought it all the way through, but as luck would have it, my cousin Maresi began using cloth diapers on her daughter about six months before I got pregnant with Emmett.  She found a cute, well-made, easy to use diapering system (bumGenius), which I will discuss later this week, and it made my decision even easier. 

For me, choosing cloth diapers was a no-brainer, and I just figured since I was going to be home anyway, I might as well not be tossing diapers into the garbage.  After using cloth for almost a year now, my opinion has evolved and changed.  My eyes have been opened, my reasons have expanded and I would never, ever give up cloth diapering, no matter my work situation.

Cloth diapers are stunningly easy to use.  Aside from changing diapers, it takes me 15 minutes of work (not including the wash cycle itself, obviously) every other day to wash and fold them.

They are unbelievably cute.  The various colors, patterns and styles available are countless.  They can be coordinated to outfits, worn with just a t-shirt on hot summer days, and all the cute fluff just makes me happy when I'm folding them all clean and fresh out of the dryer.

We have had fewer than ten poop blowouts in Emmett's 11 months so far, and nearly all of those happened when Emmett wasn't wearing his cloth diapers due to traveling.  Emmett has some really sticky, powerful poop that can reach every last far corner of his diapers and yet it is always contained.

Cloth diapers will save money.  They will save you even more money if you decide to use cloth before you have a baby and you let other people buy you cloth diapers as gifts, which is what we did.  We didn't register for baby gifts (we weren't planning to anyway; we wanted people to do whatever they wanted to for the baby), but we did spread the word that we were planning to use the bumGenius cloth diapers.  We got a good part of our stash that way.  Either way, though, there are lots of different options, running the full gamut of price, depending on what you want to use.  All of the options will save significant amounts of money in the end. 

Cloth diapers are good for the earth, as are cloth wipes, which are even simpler to use than disposable wipes when using cloth diapers.  I have heard it argued that the detergent used negates cloth diapers' positive environmental impact, but I challenge you to visit Rockin' Green and learn about their environmentally friendly detergent which has kept our diapers fresh and perfect and (nearly) stain-free for almost a year.  We like it so much we use it for all of our household laundry.

I truly believe that the reason more people to don't use and appreciate cloth diapers is because they simply aren't aware of what modern cloth diapering is like.  I'll do my best this week to share what cloth diapering is like in our house, as well as the tips and tricks I've learned along the way so far.  I hope that you'll join me and share your own opinions, tips, tricks and sources for information.


maresi said...

Yup, lots of people are shocked to find out how easy the diapers are. Once I've explained them to all of Maria's caregivers, I've never had one not willing to use them, even when she was in an official daycare.

Anonymous said...

I loved cloth diapers and they were the OLD style. The "rubber" pants coverings were really plastic and not very durable but in those OLD days, they were what we had. Pampers were new and expensive and useful for travelling. I had a pulley clothes line off our former and very small deck and loved the line full of white diapers drying in the sun. The old style required a diaper pail, had no "odor free" bags or containers. Diapers with "gifts" were rinsed in a clean flush. Having a tall stack of clean diapers was something to smile about!!! Glad that the new styles are so user friendly and cute! I would choose cloth again. gossip girl

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