Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Diapers? Nappies? Either way cloth rules!

I have to thank Michele (MLDB) again for bringing us the topic of today and tomorrow's post. See readers, here is a lady who is unafraid to ask for what she wants. She uses those comments to get info she needs, and you can too!

So Michele is expecting her second (CONGRATS!) and asked me to share my cloth diapering knowledge and experience. Upon thinking about it, I realized this topic is quite extensive so I am going to spread it out between two days. Today I am going to cover why someone might choose cloth diapers over disposables. The answer might seem obvious, but hear me out.

Reasons to choose cloth diapers (or nappies for my UK readers, you guys always have much more charming words):

1. It's better for the environment.

I know that some of you may have seen some controversy over this. The truth is that as long as there are people to debate, the debate will rage on. Some skeptics argue that the production of cloth diapers uses precious resources, that the water and detergent used to wash them are bad for the earth, etc. But disposables take energy to make as well, and as long as we do full loads with non-toxic detergent (which I know you earth-lovers are doing anyway), I think cloth is coming out on the more earth-friendly side of it. Besides, if you buy used and sell your used diapers (see #2) that's even less diapers that have to be made.

2. It's more affordable.

The critics would have a really hard time debunking this claim. While cloth is definitely an up front investment, the more you use them, the more cost effective they become. This means that the more kids you use them for, the more you save. Or if you have kids like me that take a long time to potty train, you will be thanking your lucky stars for cloth. And there are many different kinds of cloth nappies (sorry, I like it better) which I will go into tomorrow, that come in every different price range. In addition, you can buy used nappies. Believe me, it's not nearly as gross as it sounds. You can buy clean nappies from people on Diaper Swappers, EBay, or Craigslist, and get them for a lot less, sometimes less then half the cost of originals. And really, why do you need them brand new if they are just going to poop in them anyway. I was not hip to this money saving advice and bought mine new (I would buy used if I had it to do again) and even spending $17/diaper up front (for about 20 diapers each size), by the time I resell them I estimate that I will have spent about $80 total to diaper both my boys for their entire time in diapers! What is that for people who use disposables, about 8 months worth?

3. It's better for your baby.

I know, that's a pretty bold statement and I may have raised some hairs. Sorry, but this is my blog and that is just my opinion. Disposable diapers still contain Sodium Polyacrylate Crystals (which makes them "more absorbent") which was outlawed from tampons years ago. Those are wrapped in layers of plastic, dosed in fragrance (remember "fragrance" is a no-no). This site has more on those dangers. But I think you get the idea.

4. These aren't your grandma's diapers.

When someone first suggested I use cloth I said "Are you crazy? Pins and cloth and screaming kicking babies sound like a bad idea to me!" And then I saw today's cloth diapers. No matter which kind you choose, these are not the kind your grandma used. Even with pre-folds, there are no pins (unless you want them) but rather these Snappies. And the fancier versions are easier to put on than a disposable and totally day-care/babysitter friendly.

5. They are CUTE!

Ok, this may not be a good reason to put your kid in cloth, but it was definitely one of mine! What is cuter than this?

I hope that was helpful. Tomorrow I will delve into some of the options that are out there, including the nappies I chose and how I liked them. Now I know some of our readers are cloth mommies. Why did you choose to cloth diaper? Why are you considering doing it now? What questions do you still have?


Slice of life said...

This is a great post, when and if we are eventually blessed with a child I would hope that we will use cloth nappies. Like you say, I worry about the chemicals that are used and sit next to your childs skin, leaching out and then into your child.

I will come back to this one I think and look at the links. thanks

Emilie said...

you know we <3 fluffy butts at our house--i'm CDing for the third time!

ExtraordinaryMommy said...

We no longer have use for regular diapers...but I love what you have to say about these cloth options. Great info!

theresa said...

Willo rocks! A butt in cloth diapers is a happy butt.

And CD kids often potty train faster--my James went to underwear right at 2 and only used dipes at night. :)

Willo said...

Slice of life-I hope you are blessed soon! And when you are I am glad you are going to use cloth nappies...check back tomorrow to bookmark that info too!

Emilie and Theresa-You two are my cloth diapering inspiration. And Emilie, you more than anyone can probably attest to the savings on your third! Do a lot of people cloth diaper in Germany?

ExtraodinaryMommy, thanks for stopping by and reading a post you didn't even need :) I really appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

Great post. I use cloth nappies and find them simple to use and very cute!

Re the debate about which is better for the environment. A recent study by the UK's environment agency (Life Cycle Assessment of Disposable and Reusable Nappies in the UK) found the initial study that found there was not much much of a difference between cloth and disposables had some major faults. Cloth wins hands down - and you can maximise the environmental benefits of cloth by washing in cold water and line drying.
Cheers, Tricia

Emilie said...

CDing is the norm here :)