When I first learned that I would be bringing a baby into this world, I started thinking about the kind of parent I wanted to be. After very little thought (because it just seemed to be obvious to me), I decided that I wanted to be a "natural" parent. I immediately started reading all that I could about cloth diapering, attachment parenting, and home births. All of this new information was very exciting to me, so I wanted to share it with everyone!
When I started telling people about my pregnancy, the conversation always seemed to lean toward one subject: diapers. I heard everything from horror stories about rogue diapers, to how much money I'd be spending every month on them. I would usually casually mention that I was thinking about cloth diapering, and the reaction was always the same: an open mouthed stare. With eyebrows askew, I was asked, "But, why would you ever want to do such a thing?"
I guess that people forget that disposable diapers haven't been around all that long. According to diaperjungle.com , disposable diapers were introduced in the 40's, but weren't the design we know until the 60's. Even so, the environmental concern arose soon after, and many cloth diaper companies were up and running again in the 90's. According to behealthyandrelax.com , a disposable diaper takes 550 years to decompose, and a cloth diaper can be washed and reused until it's ripped to pieces!
People still argue about whether or not global warming is a reality, but with the idea that one (out of about 7000 disposable diapers that the average baby goes through) little diaper takes that long to disappear, I just don't understand why anyone would want to do anything other than cloth diapering.
When I spoke to my friends/family/coworkers about my excitement for cloth diapering, they were all concerned about time. For some reason, they were all under the impression that changing a cloth diaper took at least twice as long as changing a disposable diaper. Not true. Just as with "normal" diapering, it takes practice. Once you have the routine down, all is well (except for the occasional pee incident, or farts that are a little more than gas).
So, enough about all the skepticism I received. Why do I love these things so much anyway?
1. They're colorful! Everyone loves to dress up a baby, and cloth diapers make it so much more fun. My diaper of choice is Gdiapers. They make many basic colors, but also have many limited/special edition patterns available. One thing about cloth diapering is that you get addicted to them. I find myself constantly searching on ebay for these diapers, even when I have more than enough
2. I feel responsible for every little bit of my baby (yes, i'm talking about poop). I know that I am not taking up space in a landfill with my baby's waste. There's something about that that makes me feel nice and fuzzy inside. I am doing my part to make sure that Arlo isn't leaving a big, crappy footprint on Earth. It's important for me to teach him how to coexist with every living thing on this planet. Plants, animals, and elements.
3. I don't have to worry about the cost of disposable diapers. I bought about 70 diaper inserts (they fit all size diapers) when I started, and buy the diaper covers as Arlo grows. When my diapers are dirty, I toss them in the diaper pail. When the pail is full, I take the bag out and toss everything into the washing machine/dryer. In the summer time, I can hang my diapers up to dry in the hot sunlight, saving even more money! On average, I spend about $25 a MONTH on diapers! AMAZING!
4. When I'm done using them (when Arlo grows out of a size, and when he's done using diapers all together), I can either keep them for baby #2 or SELL THEM! That's right. Sell them. I usually buy my diapers on ebay, or a diaper trading/selling website. You won't make all of your money back, but you'll definitely make more money than you would trying to sell a disposable diaper.
5. They're safer for my baby. I love the fact that cloth diapers have no chemicals other than those in the detergent on them. If you're like me and you use an eco-friendly detergent, then there are no harmful chemicals at all on your cloth diapers! Most disposable diapers contain ingredients such as chlorine, sodium polyacrylate (this chemical was removed from tampons b/c it was linked to TSS), and TBT. Some argue that many of these chemicals aren't harmful to babies, but why take the risk?
So, there you have it. I could really go on all day about how much I love cloth diapers, but I'll spare you for now.
chelsea, arlo, and olive