Monday, August 16, 2010

Eco Monday- #1 of 12 New Things- Why do I Cloth-Diaper? Getting Past my Misconceptions & Reservations

Aww, where to begin? When choosing my 12 Eco-Endeavors, I kind of felt like talking about cloth diapers was cheating because it's really not new to me, but then I realized although I have been doing it since Little Man was three months old (he's currently 10 months), I really hadn't been that vocal on sharing my experience. So I thought that I would start out by sharing with you all why I choose to cloth diaper.
Big Boy was not cloth diapered. I researched it when he was about six months old, but felt overwhelmed by all of the lingo, makes, models, and money that it would take to start my stash- so, cloth diapering went on the back-burner. Plus, I really didn't have any friends or relatives with experience beyond the old days of Dreft, wet soaking pails, and bleached cotton pre-folds. It just seemed, well, inconvenient. Yet time and time again, I kept coming back to the idea of cloth somehow bothered about all the chemicals in the disposables.
Then Little Man was born. He nursed like a champ from day one which was a HUGE blessing and answer to prayer, however, all that nursing led to a whole lot of poo :) Along with the frequent diaper changes came a HORRIBLE rash! I tried every type of disposable and rash cream out there to no avail. It would start to get better, but then flare up again- I felt so awful for him and frustrated too. Hence I was finally kind of "thrown-in" to cloth diapering, but I'm glad I made the switch (Little Man's rash was gone within 24 hours of putting him in cloth- never to return)!
SO now I had to get past the reasons to NOT use cloth. Do you have reservations? What's keeping you from using cloth? Below are some common misconceptions about cloth diapers (fact taken from The Real Diaper Association has a * next to it. See their page for references):

Misconception #1- Cloth Diapering is too expensive to get started with.
Truth- The average child will cost about $1,600 in disposables if he or she is potty- trained by the age of two*, while an entire stash of cloth diapers can be purchased for under $500 (more or less depending on what type you buy). I spent about $500 altogether and I have enough for two in diapers and all of mine are one-sized which means that I will be able to use the same diapers should I have any future children.
So while you may have to invest a little upfront- you could technically cloth-diaper 2 or 3 children for $500 saving you a TON in the long-run. Also, consider buying used for additional savings!

Miconception #2- Cloth Diapers stink.
Truth- As long as you are washing appropriately, cloth diapers do not have any odor to them! In fact, my cloth diaper pail smells far better than my disposable "Diaper Champ" ever did!

Misconception #3- I will have to touch poop.
Truth- Have you heard of diaper sprayers? They will be your best friend :) Exclusively breast fed poo doesn't even have to be removed prior to washing (it dissolves in the wash). Solid poo does need to be dumped in the toilet, however, even disposables have directions on the packaging telling you to dispose of solids in the toilet prior to putting the diaper in the trash! Did you know that? Go read for yourself. And with the help of a trusty diaper sprayer- no poo should touch you :)

Misconception #4- Cloth Diapers will cause too much laundry
Truth-I have two in cloth and only have to do one diaper load every other day! It really has not caused much extra work at all.

Misconception #5- Cloth Diapers are too hard to use.
Truth- Today's modern cloth diapers are not tricky at all! There are many kinds of
user-friendly makes and brands (I will go into detail about types in future posts).
I use mostly pocket diapers which are shaped just like disposables and very easy to
use. Sure, some types might be a little harder to use than others, but with the
wide-variety on the market today, there truly is a cloth-diaper for everyone!

Misconception #6- Cloth Diapers are too bulky.
Truth- While cloth diapers do tend to be a bit more bulky in general, there are some
that I have found to be very comparable to disposables (FLIP by Cotton Babies is my current fav).

The above statements were all things I worried about, but got past after researching
and trying out the cloth diapers on my son. How about you? What's holding
you back? I'd love some honest feedback. Not so I can judge or try to convert
you, but so that I can consider where moms are coming from when I start my Cloth
Diaper Circle in January(a support group for mamas that choose to cloth-diaper, or
that are considering cloth).
Now to the reasons why I DO cloth-diaper:
Consider the cost!
Consider your baby's health!
Consider the environment!
Consider how cute they are!

Please visit here to learn the facts for yourself about the first 3 "considers."
And of course the last one is just my opinion, but seriously, what could be
cuter than this?


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