Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cloth Diapers, Part 1: Why We Chose Cloth

I'll go more in depth into our actual experiences with different brands of cloth diapers in a separate post, but here I wanted to hash out our thoughts on cloth in general.

I can't remember if I had ever considered cloth diapering until I read this post from Ryan of Pacing the Panic Room. I don't think I even knew that people used anything BUT disposables in this day and age. We were just starting to get pregnant, and I hadn't given one thought to what would be going on R's bum until that point. Ryan further elaborated with this post, and then I was certain that cloth was the way to go. I mean, Senpai and I already recycle, use cloth grocery bags, and compost. Cloth diapers just fall right in line with that mentality, right?

I used to babysit, so I know first-hand the disgust that comes with disposables. The disposable diaper is on your baby, baby starts smelling stinky so you go ahead and take the dirty diaper off, and then you can't get rid of that diaper fast enough. The closest trash can isn't close enough. Why is that? Dirty disposable diaper = instant trash. I hate that feeling. Was it trash while it was still on your little shnookums? Does baby flesh have magical trash-nullifying properties? I know, I know, I'm making a stupid argument here, but you can't say you don't know the feeling I'm talking about when disposable diaper leaves baby bottom. Now enter cloth into the equation. Take the example I gave before: cloth diaper is on your baby, baby starts smelling stinky so you go ahead and take the dirty diaper off, and then you think how nice it will be to wash it and use it again. Not, "OMG get this out of my sight/touch/smell radius NOW." Instead your thoughts are along the lines of, "This may be disgusting at the moment, but it will be nice and fresh once again after a quick wash. [Insert sigh of relief]" I personally find that change of thought to be refreshing.

I asked Senpai to add some of his thoughts about using cloth, and he agreed about the mental attitude that comes with cloth as I stated above, and he also pointed out the aesthetic appeal: they're just so darn cute! I certainly appreciate the ability to match a diaper to my baby's outfit. Maybe that would make some people's heads spin, but I enjoy it. A fun example is when I put a pink onesie on R over an apple green diaper, then she has a watermelon butt, lol!

Cloth certainly isn't for everyone. Case in point is my friend who lives in Las Vegas. She had tried gDiapers on her little boy at one point, but did not continue with it. Cloth diapers do increase your water usage, so her reasoning was that cloth is neither economical nor earth-friendly when you live in the desert. Definitely something to think about if you live out West. Another family cloth diapers would not work for is my brother and sister-in-law. Their little girl is turning 1 this month, and they're expecting twins in March! They will have waaaaaaayyy too much to think about besides laundering cloth diapers, so disposables are definitely the way to go for them.

But for Senpai and I, cloth diapers work. Here in Illinois, R's diapers only add $20 on to our monthly water bill; not a big deal at all. And I don't mind the extra laundry. I was a massage therapist before R came along, and every night I would wash the sheets from my appointments that day. Now that I'm not massaging at the moment, I just replace those loads of sheets with baby diapers! So this was the right choice for us, and we are very happy to use our cloth diapers.


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