I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts for months, and rather than spend my evening writing about Ben’s foray into the world of food (we’ll save that for tomorrow evening!), I thought I’d finally dust this one off before he’s practically potty-trained, and give it a go. Hooray, procrastination. I’m a go-getter, can’t you tell?
When I started writing this, it was total word vomit, so I’m going to break it up into a little mini-series, starting with why we chose cloth. Enjoy!
We used disposables for a few months in the need-a-diaper-change-every-hour newborn phase (CD’ing a newborn is not for the faint of heart!), but started moving to cloth when Ben was 2 months old. Lots of people think I’m totally bucknutty when I tell them we’re using cloth diapers, but there are 4 reasons why I’m not a complete looney for making this choice!
1. Better for Baby
I hated the thought of chemical-y diapers on Ben’s skin – even if you buy “natural” disposables, it still seemed questionable. I just found out that the Seventh Generation diapers (our fave disposables) were DYED BROWN so they looked more natural. Redic.
See? He loves them!
There are a whole host of health concerns linked to disposables, including male infertility (WOWZA) – they keep the “business” too hot. I’ve heard about babies getting chemical burns from diapers like Pampers with Dry Max (Pampers no longer advertises Dry Max on their packages due to all the controversy, but it is still used in their diapers), and read about all the crazy chemicals that go into disposables. We tried Pampers when Ben was a newborn, and he ended up with the worst rash in all creation. Seriously nasty, and painful I’m sure. Overall, cloth is better for preventing diaper rashes, which Ben is super prone to.
There are a few great articles on the health concerns of disposables here: http://www.nickisdiapers.com/health-concerns.html
2. Better for Planet
Disposables take freaking forever to decompose, so they’re pretty icky for the earth too. Did you know you’re not even allowed to throw poop away in your regular trash (I had no idea!)? You’re supposed to flush the ickies, then toss the diaper. WHO KNEW?!
Every child in disposables adds about 6,500 diapers to our landfills (Holy CRAP. Literally.), and they can take up to 500 YEARS to decompose. I’m jonesing for three children, so that’s almost 20,000 diapers sitting in a landfill for hundreds of years.
Some say the energy needed to wash and dry cloth diapers negates the environmental savings, but – think about how many babies are born every day, and how most people use disposables – and how the population is growing rapidly – and well, I’m not sure about that argument! It’s like saying that paper plates are better for the planet because dishwashers use too much electricity.
There are a few other articles on disposables’ impact on the environment here: http://www.nickisdiapers.com/environmental-issues.html
3. Better for Wallet
We use Seventh Generation disposables as backups, which are about $40/case. Benjamin was growing so fast in the early months (who am I kidding, he’s still growing fast), that I couldn’t buy bulk cases because he would grow out them too fast. Multiply that by how many diapers you go through in a week, and that’s a lot of flippin’ cash! Now that we are on a tracking-to-the dime-budget at the Cookies for Breakfast household (ughhhh), we are really appreciating the savings here. Wahoo, maybe I’ll splurge for a Starbucks. Probably not.
There are expensive cloth diapers, and inexpensive cloth diapers, but either way, you’ll save money. I probably spent about $18 per cloth diaper, which will last forever (well, last through multiple children with proper care), and you really don’t need *that* many. Most brands recommend 24, but just multiply by 3 the number of diapers your child goes through a day, throw in a few extras, and you’re good.
4. Better on the Eyes!
Apart from all that, cloth diapers are just stinking cute! Ever notice how in newborn/baby photos, babies are wearing diaper covers over their disposables or wearing cloth diapers? Because they’re freaking adorable!
Now that we’re moving into solid foods (banana poop… good lord…) , my joy of cloth is not the greatest love of all (It’s easy to achiiiieeeevveeeeee…. come on… Whitney?!), but I do still have much love, and we’re powering through.
Next Cloth Diapers 101 installment: GEAR.