To those of you who took the survey, oh how I loved reading your answers! I laughed through a good part of them, marvelled at how similar we all are in one way or another, and reaffirmed my belief that mothers truly need community. Some of us had strengths that were others’ weaknesses, and some weaknesses’ that were others’ strengths. No one confessed they had it all together, which to me, is very encouraging. You are not alone, mother, and you are not behind, we are all on the journey to where we want to go.
We recently converted to cloth diapers with the birth of our third child. I had always been a little interested, but we moved overseas when my firstborn was 6 weeks old and just didn’t get around to it with our second. After I started crunching numbers I realized we’d probably save a little money cloth diapering, even more if we had another baby or two. Then I read this book and was totally convinced.
My husband was fairly easy to convince, though I have to say that he still wonders if it’s the best choice since there is an extra step or two you don’t come across with disposables. Personally, I love them and am very happy we made the switch! I do not think, however, that it is for everyone. Here are my thoughts for those of you who are considering it.
1. Saving money… maybe or maybe not.
I think if you buy top of the line disposables and do a lot of laundry using hot water already, then converting to cloth diapers will save you money. We bought medium price disposables and only washed in cold water to save energy, so I’m not so sure that we are saving any money. Sure, I think we’ll eventually end up saving, particularly if we have another baby or two that can use the diapers, but I think at most we’ll end up saving only $20-30 a month. Essentially, we’ve added between 10-15 hot water cycles to our electricity bill that were not there previously, and we get our energy bill quarterly so this bill will tell. Having said that, I didn’t switch only to save money so this fact doesn’t distress me. My husband, however, isn’t as laissez-faire about it.
2. Consider the laundry routine.
If you have a hard time staying on top of laundry then cloth diapers will probably prove quite challenging. I’ve posted some great tips to help solidify a good laundry system, so if you are already on top of laundry then cloth diapering is simply one more step. I use these diapers and there is no soaking required! You simply do one rinse cycle, wash in hot water, do another rinse cycle, and dry.
3. More than one child in diapers.
I currently have two using the cloth diapers and only purchased around 25. I wash every 2-3 days and we do pretty good. I think we could probably have went ahead and bought another 10 or so, but I was trying to be frugal. We may still add to the stash, but we are doing okay. Another bonus that I love is how cute they are. It’s very hot in the summers where we live and our air conditioning doesn’t do the trick so the little ones are usually in their diapers only. So, for purely aesthetic purposes I am a fan.
4. Green and hygienic.
Obviously they are more environmentally friendly. As I began to calculate how many diapers our three babe in disposables had gone through, I imagine I could fill up a large room with all our dirty diapers. I like that with cloth diapers you just flush the waste and store them until washing. However, you could always do this with your disposable as well and that’d cut down on the actual human waste going to the landfill. I know it’s biodegradable, but in our hot climate I found that nothing short of immediately taking dirty diapers outside to the trash could keep the smell contained. You do, however, have to handle the waste a tad more with cloth diapers so that is a factor.
5. Up to the hype?
I believe there is sort of a cloth diaper community out there saying everything short of cloth diapers finding a cure for stupid people. People say children potty train sooner and that diaper rash is less common. I’ve found diaper rash to be even more common than before for us, however. Whether because it’s very hot here and cloth diapers don’t breathe as well, at least the ones we have, so I’ve had to combat diaper rash without the most potent creams since those aren’t cloth diaper safe. Our diapers don’t have a problem leaking and I can’t say they’ve helped with potty training yet because we haven’t got to that stage. However, I do think they are fun, effective, less wasteful and worth the effort.
I would recommend them if you’re on the fence. Though they are a little more effort I don’t find them daunting nor does the extra contact with bodily fluids bother me. They are cute and cozy and I feel just a tad more self-sufficient. If you are on the fence I’d definitely suggest reading the Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert ebook because it’s quick, easy, and honestly will answer everything you would want to know. I’ve referred to it time and again and would consider it a definitive guide.
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