|esther at 28 days old sportin' the cloth!!|
so, here are some of my thoughts about my experiences thus far in the CD world.
the good - i LOVE cloth diapering. love love love it. yes, there are some drawbacks (see below) but over all i much prefer it to disposables (and i have plenty of experience with those too).
the main reasons that i love cloth are:
1. we are saving *so* much waste from the landfill by CD'ing
2. we have saved so much money in the past few years by using CDs (like i said... FOUR kids in diapers... thats a lot of diapers!). this site estimates that you save $20 per month with cloth. that means if you use one set of cloth diapers for two children two years each, that means a total savings of almost $1000!! i'll take that kind of money any day!!
3. fewer harsh chemicals next to our babies' skin.
4. less diaper rash.
5. fewer "blow out" diapers (i feel like just about EVERY messy diaper with disposables is a blowout).
the bad - some people ask me if CD'ing is a lot of work. i would say that it is more work than disposables, but it has become so much a part of my routine that i don't even notice it. in practical terms, it means that i do an additional load of laundry every week and diaper changes take a bit longer (because you have two layers to put on baby... absorbent diaper layer and diaper cover) and every once in a while swish a dirty diaper (more on that below).
another drawback is that sometimes babysitters/husbands/grandparents or other care takers can be nervous about cloth. fortunately we haven't had much resistance from people in our lives about cloth, so this hasn't been an issue for us. it also helps if you use a type of diaper (such as an all-in-one or pocket diaper) that are very similar to disposables.
another drawback (this one is pretty minor in my opinion) is that most baby clothes these days aren't made to fit "fluffy" bottomed babies, as disposables are much more trim. i have found that often times babies pants will have to be a size larger than their shirts to account for the extra padding.
the ugly - some people are nervous about CD'ing because you come in closer contact with unwanted bodily fluids. this is a valid concern. but lets be honest, with babies, there is no avoiding bodily fluids, whether you use cloth or disposable. in fact, when it comes to these things getting on babies' clothes, cloth actually does a much better job at containing mess than disposables. any time one of our babies has had a messy disposable diaper, i just automatically assume it will mean i have to change their clothes as well. this is rare with disposables.
exclusively breastfed babies' poo is similar to yogurt, and doesn't need to be rinsed. but the diapers of formula-fed babies or babies eating solids do need to be rinsed briefly in the toilet before getting put in the diaper pail. this is one of those things that is so routine to me that it doesn't even phase me. i don't love doing it, but i also don't mind it. just one of the many tasks of motherhood. if this is a concern to you, you could look into diaper liners. we used these for about a year. they are basically really thing pieces of papery cloth (hard to describe... kinda like a dry disposable wipe?) that you put in the diaper and when the baby messes, you can just throw the liner in the toilet and flush. it does make it easier (and like i said we did use them for about a year) but right now esther has most of her bowel movements on the toilet, and its just too much work to remember to put the liner in every time we change her diaper, so we don't use them any more (and baby girl is still exclusively breastfed).
so that's the good, the bad and ugly of cloth diapering from my experience.
what are your experiences with cloth diapers? what do you love and hate about disposables or cloth?
[read the next post in this series here]