Friday, May 23, 2014

Learning as we go...cloth diapers!

In my last post from Learning as We Go I talked about some of the things we did differently with our third child.  We really rocked the boat in all aspects of parenting and one of those is the way we diaper.

I NEVER thought I would use cloth diapers, let alone enjoy using them.  But after potty training my daughter, and washing out countless pairs of My Little Pony panties, I started to wonder if it wasn't such a big deal. So, of course, I took to the internet and started to do some research.

I found several great blogs devoted to nothing but cloth diapers. I found sites that sold nothing but cloth diapers. I found You Tube videos detailing the ins and outs of cloth diapers. There was so much information to sort through.  Pockets, flats, prefolds, all-in-ones, covers, wet bags. There was so much to learn!

After reading through everything I finally decided that this was something I could do.  Now it was time to convince my husband.  I thought this would be difficult but in an effort to appease the large pregnant woman sleeping in his bed he agreed right off the bat.

So I started to build my stash. I bought a diaper here and there, taking advantage of sales and getting as many free diapers as I could (thank you, Kelly's Closet).  Before I knew it I had a good collection of adorable, fluffy cloth diapers.

When Charlotte arrived, we started with the cloth diapers as soon as we came home from the hospital.  It took a while to find our groove and decide what worked best for us, but before long we were slapping cloth on that little booty like it was nothing.

So what are the benefits of using cloth?

  • Cost! We spent about $300 on our cloth diaper stash.  We didn't spend all that money at once but, rather, spread it out over the course of several months. We were also lucky enough to get some hand-me-downs from a friend which made a big difference. It's estimated that from birth to potty training, a family can spend around $2000 on disposable diapers. Since the diapers we bought will last through potty training, we saved $1700. That's HUGE!!
  • Environmental impact.  I read recently that a disposable diaper takes up to 550 years to decompose and that Americans use 18 billion disposable diapers a year.  Blech! I always felt guilty when I would drag that trash bag full of dirty diapers out to the garbage.  It's nice to know that I'm no longer contributing to that waste.
  • Baby's Safety.  Did you know that disposable diapers contain chemicals like dioxin (a highly toxic carcinogen), xylene and ethylbenzene (neuro- and respiratory toxins), styrene (a suspected carcinogen and respiratory toxin), and ispropylene (a suspected neurotoxin)?  And these chemicals go right up against your sweet baby's skin.  I feel much better have pure cotton up against my baby's bum!
  • The cute factor.  Today's cloth diapers come in limitless colors and patterns.  I love that I don't have to worry about diaper covers when Charlotte wears a dress...I just find a matching diaper! And who can resist that big fluffy bottom?
Of all the changes we've made with baby number 3, I think the switch to cloth diapers is the best decision we've made.  I always thought cloth diapering would be a lot of work and, quite frankly, gross. But nothing could be further from the truth.  Today's cloth diapers make it easy (and I actually think our disposable diaper pail smelled worse than our cloth diaper pail).

So to all my friends and readers who are about to have a baby, I suggest you do some research.  Read a blog, watch a video on You Tube, talk to a friend.  You may just find that cloth diapering is easier than you thought!

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