Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cloth Diapers

It's been awhile since I've mentioned our cloth diapering journey. So that's where we're headed today. I don't think I've ever explained how we decided to use cloth. We used disposables with the kid and never really had any problems. I hated the waste we were causing, though, knowing that those diapers were going to be around for the next thousand years. But I didn't know that there were any other options.

Enter A. A, you may remember, was also the reason I knew breastfeeding children who were adopted was possible. She also opened my eyes to cloth diapering. Before her and her husband, my only frame of reference of cloth diapering was my aunt, who cloth diapered all 3 of her kiddos. And I thought it was cool - those diaper pins were flipping scary, but it was cool. Especially since she had a diaper service, you know, to deal with the nasty things.

When A told me of their intent to cloth diaper, I quickly asked about a local diaper service. Imagine my shock that there was no service, so they would be laundering the diapers themselves. It suddenly seemed much less attractive. But I started researching. I found several great blogs and websites that convinced me that cloth was the way to go for us. Here were the reasons we came over to the cloth-side:
  • Environment: the short of it? No nasty, plastic diapers filling up the landfill = awesomeness.
  • Money: We've spent about $600 on the cloth diapers (and covers, cloth wipes, snappis, etc...) and though we will likely need to buy a few additional covers as he gets bigger, we're otherwise done with the financial commitment. If you figure you'll spend around $70/month on disposables, I figure about 2 months from now we start saving money.
  • Cuteness: You must look at the diaper covers, most are simply adorable, though, of course, there are many more cute girls' than boys' diapers. I can't wait til it's good and warm outside and we can let baby E crawl around in just a cute diaper and adorable Baby Legs!
  • Health: there are some nasty chemicals in disposables and they've been linked to fertility problems, headaches, diaper rashes, allergic reactions, liver and kidney problems (Here is a good short explanation/description).
  • HERE is a link with some additional info about the benefits of cloth
And, as for the laundering, it's no big deal whatsoever. It ends up being 1 extra load of laundry every 2-3 days. Thus far the diapers - poop and all - just go straight into the washer. We throw in just a tiny bit of detergent, turn the washer on hot/heavy duty, and out come clean diapers. Easy peasy.

If you're interested, here are some of my favorite cloth diaper sites:
29 Diapers - a great blog. She talks about differences between diapers, related products, etc... I also really like her explanations of how to most effectively launder cloth diapers.
Mother Nurture - the most awesome natural parenting store around! The owner, Cerise, is knowledgeable. enthusiastic, and very patient with never-ending questions (which I *may* know from personal experience).
Bummis - great informational blog, one of my favorite diaper covers.
Green Mountain Diapers - the purported best prefold diaper around. It's what we use and I'm a fan!
Cotton Babies - We've bought stuff from here; it's about the most affordable place I've found. Good customer service, and they have an informative blog too.

There is a huge variety of kinds of diapers and I won't go into that today because this post is already more than long enough. Also, you can get a good idea on the above sites. However, in case you're interested, we primarily use prefolds and either Bummis or Thirsties covers.

Today's lesson - A prefold diaper+a contoured diaper+a snappi does not a leak-proof diaper make. But, when your baby has a blowout on the road, and all your diaper covers are already poop-covered, it's better than nothing. Even if he doesn't look at all convinced about it...


SuperMommySometimes said...

I LOVE cloth diapering, for all of the reasons you mentioned above :) I certainly spent a little less though ($160), and usually tell people that a good size stash will run them around anywhere from $200-$400, depending on how often they wish to launder and how addicted they plan to get to the super adorable fitted diapers out there! LOL I wash daily myself, but if I were back working, I would definitely need more dipes. Good info!

Becky said...

WOW!!! I would love to know how you only spent that amount!! We have 3doz prefolds, about 10 contours, a couple packs of snappis, probably 10 covers (NB, small, and med), I think that's it? Now I'm wondering how I spent $600...maybe it was less than that...???