Okay, here it is… my first controversial blog. One of the things I am very passionate about as a parent is cloth diapering. I know, I know. I get the crazy looks all the time. There’s the huge smile “Oh really? That’s so cool!”, while the person’s really thinking “Seriously? Reusing diapers is gross.” Or what about the nose wrinkle with a “How’s that going?” (“How long until you do disposables?”) And occasionally I get a “I never even considered that… how do you like it?”, which gets my motor mouth talking fluff, something I never dreamed I’d do.
Let me give you a bit of my history. When I found out I was pregnant with C, I didn’t really think too much about what I’d put on his bottom. Pampers, Huggies, or generic? Who cares? But, a wonderful friend and my cousin were CDing their two munchkins, prompting me to think that it would probably save money (the ever-frugal side of me kicked in). I got an email tutorial from my friend and started researching. There is SO much information available, and there are too many options when it comes to cloth diapering!
Yaaaaaaaaaay! I was having such great thoughts of my future self cloth diapering. According to numerous posts online, cloth diapering was easy–I’d have no problem getting into a routine! I’d also be saving LOADS of money by cloth diapering! In addition, I would be such a good steward to our Earth. Smiles all around. But then I stumbled across information that sealed the deal: my future baby’s health.
Although I knew that disposables were bad for the planet, I never realized how bad they are for babies. There is an incredible amount of research available online about the toxins and chemicals in diapers that make me absolutely cringe. Although I didn’t bookmark any of the original articles I read, this article really provides information in a reader-friendly manner. So, no matter how hard the routine actually was, how awful the process went, I was sticking to it. I knew too much, and there was no turning back.
Flash forward to my sweet lil’ boy at 16 months. Has he ever worn a disposable? Yes. For the first two weeks of his life, we used disposables for that nasty poop. Do I hate that I made this commitment? Absolutely not. This has been one of the easiest routines of motherhood. I get a few common questions when people find out I cloth diaper…
How did you get your hubby on board?
I did very little work in getting Jay’s help. When I first told him I wanted to do CDs, his eyes bugged out of his head. I was persistent, telling him I’d wash them, and he wouldn’t even realize that we used them. In C’s first two weeks of life, Jay kept track of how many diapers we used. After two weeks, he was sold. It was so aggravating to him when we would put on a fresh diaper, only to hear the telltale squirt of a new poo. After those two weeks, I remember him asking, “When do we start those other diapers?” Since then, he’s been amazing. I typically do all the washing (dumping diapers from the wetbag into the washing machine and adding soap), but he helps me hang them on the rack to dry, and he is great at stuffing them!
Isn’t it nasty rinsing diapers out?
I have never once rinsed a diaper. For the first 6 months, C only had breast milk, and all that poo is water soluble. After he started solids, I knew I had to get the poo out somehow. I use toilet paper and scrape as much as I can out. After he was on solids 100%, his poo tended to plop out, so I rarely need to scrape anymore. TMI, gross, I know. But did you know that on packs of disposables, it states you are supposed to empty solid waste? You could actually be fined for throwing away poo in disposable diapers. I never knew that, which makes my poo emptying much more tolerable.
Don’t you ever get sick of diapers?
Of course I do. What mom doesn’t? And yes, I get sick of the washing routine. But I’ve never had to run to Target for an emergency diaper purchase, and I am not racking up diaper dollars.
What do you do when you go on vacation?
We bring the diapers with. We haven’t been on huge, long airplane trips, but we go to the cabin and we’ve been to Kansas City. Our cycle is wash every 3 days. When we go to the cabin longer than that, I use the laundromat. It’s a nonissue.
How high has your water/electric bill gone up?
For us to wash diapers, we haven’t even noticed a difference in the water bill. If anything, we *may* pay 5-10 dollars more for three months of water on our bill. As for electricity, it didn’t go up noticeably here either. However, we do try to hang the diapers to dry them, therefore using the sun’s energy!
What kind do you use?
In the beginning, I had a wide array of diapers. However, we liked Thirsties Duo Diapers the best. If you are interested in learning more, I’d be happy to talk fluff with you. It is too complicated to blog about.
What do you do at daycare?
Our loving childcare provider lets us use our cloth diapers. Since they are exactly like disposables, she had no problem with our decision. Some daycares prefer certain kinds over others for ease of use, but I am sure that if you go out of your way to explain that they are no hassle, you should be able to use them, too!
Every parent makes decisions as necessary. I don’t want to make people feel bad or angry or anything about the decisions they make. If I hadn’t had two great people in my life shed light to the CD world, I probably would be using disposables. However, the knowledge has been presented. What you decide to do with it is up to you.