Hello, my name is Emily, and I cloth diaper my baby...
Of all the new parent questions I get, this is the subject that is asked the most of. Why do you cloth diaper? Isn't that gross? Is that with the pins and the plastic underwear?
I thought I'd do a quick post about it to all of my friends that think I'm nuts (or that are having babies and may want to consider it).
I think people assume I cloth diaper because I'm some sort of eco-freak. While saving the earth from more and more piles of poo and pee stained plastic diapers is a huge benefit, that's not the only one for me. It was actually my husband's idea to cloth diaper. He argued that with cloth diapers, the babies never get diaper rash. I still wasn't convinced. I dreaded cleaning poo out of diapers, doing laundry all the time, and having to carry dirty diapers with me no matter where I went. So I went to my local cloth diaper boutique (Top 2 Bottom Baby, for those readers that are in my area) to get more info. I was quickly initiated into the new world of modern cloth diapers. No longer is cloth diapering a thing of pins with little plastic duckies on them, plastic underwear, and cloth squares that get turned into cleaning cloths once the kids are grown. There are many, many brands of cloth diapers- do a google search for an idea of how much of an industry this is. I settled on FuzziBunz- these are referred to as pocket diapers. At $20 bucks a piece, they can be a pricey initial investment (the store owner recommended 20 - 24 for a two day supply).
Which brings me to my next big perk of cloth diapering- I rarely spend money on buying diapers anymore. I know that people that exclusively cloth diaper are saying "Why do you have to spend money at all on diapers?" We'll get to that later. When I started thinking more and more about cloth diapering, I listened to my parent-friends and their horror stories of realizing at 2 in the morning, or 2 days before payday, that they used the last diaper and were scrambling for new diapers. Or about how much money they spent on diapers. I buy one package of disposable diapers every few months. That's really nice, considering how much I spend on formula...
And it's true - you rarely deal with a diaper rash with a cloth diapered baby. So that is another big perk.
And I'm not exclusively cloth - I do use disposables (or sposies, as they've cutely been dubbed in the cloth diapering community). If I know I'm going to be out for a long time, I'll use disposables. And you can be sure that on my first road trip with the little one, I'll be packing a bag or huggies, rather than worrying about finding a place to wash diapers on the trip. This is where I get a lot of condescension in the cloth diaper community as well. I also use them overnight - my baby is a heavy wetter and is able to sleep through the night longer in a disposable because she doesn't feel quite as wet in an overnight cloth diaper. People who exclusively cloth diaper think that this is inexcusable. Too bad! I'm tired, and to me, getting a full night's sleep is worth it.
So here are my commonly asked questions and their answers:
Isn't it gross?
Nah. You're already cleaning the poo from the baby's butt, what's adding another step to rinse the poo off in the toilet? Also, you get to attach a sprayer to your toilet, which also aids in cleaning the toilet and bathroom later on - an added bonus! Plus, it's like having a redneck bidet (really just kidding here - that toilet water is COLD and I would not recommend it for human-rinsing purposes).
But isn't it gross to clean diapers in your washer and dryer?
Again- nah. Is it any worse than cleaning the clothes that the baby spit up on or peed in? You rinse all of the "solids" off in the toilet, so there's not that much waste going into the washer. And there are cleaning services that will pick up dirty diapers and drop off clean diapers for those that are just too squeamish for this task.
Are you doing laundry all the time??
Every 3 - 4 days, yes. But really - doing laundry really only consists of the 5 minutes it takes to load the washer, the 5 minutes it takes to move from washer to dryer, and then 15 minutes to stuff the diapers again. Less of a time commitment than running to the store to pick up diapers, if you ask me.
Why does your baby have a J-Lo butt?
Now we come to the one big drawback- cloth diapers are bulky. They will make your baby look like she/he is getting ready for a hip hop dance video. But I got used to it.
So there's my lecture on cloth diapering. It's not for everyone, and I don't judge people that say it's not for them. I'm certainly not a cloth diaper or die kind of person! I'd like to thank Erin for turning me on to much of this knowledge and telling me about T2B Baby. If it's something you'd like to think more about, I'd recommend going to your local cloth diaper retailer and start asking questions.