thoughts on cloth
First of all. . . I just want to say about this post and other posts I write about choices I am making in parenting- I in no way think I have things figured out. Not at all. I want to share what works for Evie and I- but I am absolutely not saying this is something you should be doing – or even committing that everything I do now will look the same for future kiddos of ours. I really don’t want to enter into the cloth vs disposable debate. . . but get asked about this a lot. A lot. So I am writing out all my thoughts to share with those who want to know.
That being said. . .I really kinda love cloth diapering. There are definitely low points (some are obvious like laundry, but I will share them all) but the highs really outweigh the lows for me.
And. . .I want to say up front. . .I am not a staunch cloth diaper-er. Evie wears disposables when we go to church, sometimes on vacations (however I have started using cloth on vacay’s where there will be laundry available and it’s no big deal) and when I didn’t get diapers washed before I ran out of cloth among other times. I buy a box of 80 diapers and it lasts usually until Evie is into the next size of diapers so at least 3 or 4 months. Evie also wore cloth for the first 2 weeks until I was ready to face cloth.
Why I love cloth:
1. WE SAVE SO MUCH MONEY. I am a stay at home mom. . . and I consider it part of my job to make our money go as far as it can. Assuming your child is potty trained between 2 and 3 years old, you will spend somewhere between $2,500 and $3,000 on disposables. Eek! Are you ready for it. . . I spent $400 (you can spend less if you chose a different type of diaper, more on that later) on diapers, wipes and wetbags that will last until Evie is potty trained. Even if I don’t use them for future babies (which I plan on. . .think of the savings adding up) I am saving tons. Now. . . I do use diaper liners and will talk more about them when I talk products, but the cost under $12/roll and I go through a roll in about 2 months. I also use some disposable wipes as well as cloth and after mucho coupons spend about $10/month on those. I would add those into the cost of the diapers for ya, but wipes are not included in the disposables number either.
2. These are not your Momma’s diapers. Seriously. If you haven’t seen a cloth diaper since your Momma was sticking pins into your little sister. . . . you need to check out today’s diapers. There are a lot of options out there. You can still go for the good old pre-folds if you would like (they are by far the cheapest) all the way up to all-in-one diapers that grow with your baby. Diapers now are snazzy people. I planned on doing cloth from the get go. . . but when I started researching diapers online I was shocked. Once Evie’s diapers are laundered and put together (again, you can get all-in-one’s and skip that step if you so desire) it is no different that putting on a disposable. Velcro is a beautiful thing. Not only my husband, but my DAD changes Evie’s diapers.
3. Blow outs. If you are not a momma. . .ask one. Blow outs happen. And they are not pretty. I will never forget when I woke up to get Evie on a Sunday morning and had to yell for Jonathan because I was in shock. Poop had come up the back of Evie’s diaper and was all over. It was through her pj’s, sheet, mattress cover, and well soaked into her mattress. Yuck. She was wearing a disposable. In fact, I can’t think of a single time this has happened in a cloth diaper. Evie’s diapers have fabulous elastic especially around the back that doesn’t let anything out.
4. They are cute. Here’s my model:
5. They are eco friendly. Diapers take a long time to decompose and although you use more water washing. . .cloth diapers win out in the which is better for the Earth argument. No way around it. While this was not a deciding factor for me (cloth diapers had me at CHEAP) it is a definite plus.
6. Evie has a lot less diaper rash in cloth. She has had diaper rash just a few times. Two of those times has been while cutting teeth. Evie get’s diarrhea while cutting teeth which has given her diaper rash. Bummer. Outside of cutting teeth Evie has only gotten diaper rash after wearing disposables for a few days in a row. Evie’s diapers wick away moisture pretty stinking well and are gentler on her bottom when compared to disposables that have chemicals in them to help absorb and wick.
The less than fabulous part of cloth diapering:
1. Laundry. I don’t like laundry anyways so this is my least favorite part. I will say though, it’s a lot less bad than I thought it would be. First of all, I was working full time when I bought Evie’s diapers and committed to washing diapers a couple of times a week. What seemed overwhelming then is not a big deal now. Again, this is a thing where it works for me, but I can see how it might now for you and your life :) I have to wash diapers every 3 days. I have 18 diapers total. I used to have to wash diapers more often when we were changing Evie over night. I will say, diapers motivate me to keep up on laundry in general because I am already standing in front of the washer, might as well throw in another load after I take the diaper’s out so that is a real plus for me (no more 2 weeks worth of laundry piled in the basement).
2. Pooh happens. If you breastfeed, pooh is not really any big deal until your babe starts solids. When a baby is breastfeeding exclusively the pooh can go straight into the washer. If you formula feed that will sound really icky, but trust me, it’s very different from formula pooh. Once you start solids it’s a whole nother ball game baby. And that doesn’t matter if you are using disposables or cloth-pooh is gross. There is a misconception that if you cloth diaper, you have to get way more up close and personal with the pooh side of things than if you use disposables. Not really true. If you are basing your information on your Momma’s diapers. . . things have changed my friend. As I mentioned in the cost I use diaper liners. They look a lot like a dryer sheet (but don’t use a drier sheet) and you lay them inside of the diaper before you put the diaper on your baby. When you change diapers you just dump the liner into the toilet (they are flush able and if they don’t clog our broken sewer they won’t clog yours) and flush it away. That’s it. The only extra step to your diaper changing experience. You could even dump the liner into a trash can but I wouldn’t recommend it because it’s tres stinky. Just sayin.
3. Cloth diapers hold a lot more pee than disposables which is nice because you don’t have to change as often. This is nice. . . but. . . when Evie gets a diaper rash it is a downer to me because cloth diapers don’t get squishy and stink as soon as the baby pees like in disposables so it sometimes takes me a while to notice she is wet. Keeping a baby’s bottom dry is the key to healing diaper rash so that stinks. This might seems to contradict my #6 above, but it really just means that I have to be on the ball and checking Evie’s bottom more often.
There it is. . . why I do it. I don’t think it’s for everyone, but I do think it is worth considering. This post is pretty long. . . so I am going to follow it up with another post sometime in the next week with what diaper’s and products I use.
Today I am thankful for fantastic weather.