Everyone thinks I’m crazy. Well… they pretty much did anyway, but now that I’m going to go the cloth diaper route, they actually come out and SAY I’m crazy! It’s okay – being crazy is kinda fun most of the time…
But this begs the question of why do I have to defend my diapering choices? Other people might find it inconvenient to cloth diaper – that’s fine – they don’t have to do it. But since so many have asked (questioned might be a better term!), I feel the need to state for the record the various and sundry (love that phrase) reasons I am TRYING OUT cloth diapers. (Note, I am merely in a trial phase – we shall see how it goes! But I suspect more cloth diaper entries will be forth coming!).
Benefits of Cloth Diapers
1. Cloth diapering is not foreign to me – perhaps this is why I list it as my first reason. I am very comfortable cloth diapering, because I used to babysit for a family of Quadruplets that were all cloth diapered – and we’re talking double diapered with PINS!). I babysat probably 20 hours a week from the age of about 14 and had to cloth diaper all of them regularly. So I feel at home with the idea of cloth diapers; in fact, had I never had the experience I probably would not have thought to go cloth in the first place. Which leads to reason #2…
2. New cloth diapers are extremely easy to use – these days you don’t need safety pins, as the new cloth diapers come with velcros or snaps. Even if you choose to go the old fashioned Chinese prefold route – you can get these Snappi things that make safety pins a relic from the 70s – or whenever cloth diapering was de rigour!
3. Cloth diapering is more cost-effective. Okay, okay, I will use the word CHEAPER! Yes… I purchased all my cloth diapers for about $350. When you consider that these diapers will last me the two years of diapering my baby, PLUS can be used for our next child, that is a huge cost savings. Estimated costs of disposables vary but fall within the $1600-2000 ballpark from web research I’ve done (for two years). Cost of laundering cloth diapers is negligible.
5. Convenience is key – if I run out of disposables, I’m up a creek. If I run out of cloth – I just run the washer/dryer. No need to tote the little one out to a big box store in the rain, snow, or waste a sunny day with that unnecessary errand!
6. Cloth diapering has health benefits – disposable diapers contain harmful chemicals – I don’t want those against my baby’s skin! Also, studies show the higher temperatures in disposable diapers can damage my baby’s little man parts (no, I am not typing the medically accurate terms on this blog!).
7. And lastly, yes, there are environmental benefits – I am pretty much a Save My Baby, Save My Wallet person BEFORE I am a Save The World person. I’ll be honest that the desire to cloth diaper NEVER stemmed from a naive hope that I am somehow saving our planet as a result. But it is a slight fringe benefit. It does feel good to know I am not dumping trash bag after trash bag of smelly plasticy poo into landfills. It takes more water, oil, wood pulp, etc. to create disposables than for me to just wash my diapers myself and reuse them! Not to mention the cost of trucking around dumpsters full of stinking diapers. Yuk.
On a side note, I heard Seattle spent a year trying to recylce disposable diapers in an attempt to save the world… can I ask you – WHAT product made from recycled disposables would anybody use? I’m sure we’ll see it on Fashion Week – “This year’s hottest new look -the Recycled Diaper Dress!”