A new mom dives into parenthood. Will our heroine survive?

Friday, November 2, 2007

I LOVE Cloth Diapers, Part ONE

Before my son was born 9 weeks ago, I was skeptical on the business of cloth diapers. Would I rather put my baby in disposables and be on my merry way? Sometimes..... But do I crave a penny saved? YES! Am I a frugalizer? YES! Do I even have a couple thousand dollars lying around somewhere to pay for this convenience? Uh, NOOOOO!

It is for these reasons we decided to use cloth diapers. I was planning to stay home with my baby and that meant all extras were to be cut out of the budget. For us, cloth diapering was born out of necessity. But "if I had a million dollars" (as the song goes) I would STILL choose cloth now that I know how good it is not only for the budget, but for baby's bottom AND the environment. Plus - it's WAY easier than I ever thought it could be.

Most of my traditional cloth diapers, the ones you fold and pin, were given to me by loved ones before Goose was born. So my continued investment has been minimal. I have spent around $150 to date on cloth diapering. That money was spent on diaper covers and a few nicer diapers for outings and overnight. That $150 is a one-time investment. Had I been using disposables I probably could have blown through that in a month, two at best, on diapers that just got thrown in the trash.

What originally scared me about cloth diapering, I have found to be completely false. So I want to take a minute to shatter these myths for anyone who might be hesitant about cloth. I'd love to sway your opinion over to the "cloth" side!

Myth #1 - They are WAY messier than disposables

FALSE. Whether you are changing a cloth diaper or a disposable - you are still engaged in hand to hand combat with POOP. No matter how you slice it, if you have a kid you are going to touch their poop at some point. It really doesn't matter if you get to throw it in the garbage or not. The difference with cloth is that the diapers get washed. I honestly thought I would have to manually scrape poop into the toilet with cloth. But I was (Thankfully!) wrong. I had read online that many parents just throw the diaper straight into the wash. This is what I do and it works great. My diapers come out clean and fresh. It really is just like doing an extra load of laundry.

Myth #2 - The money saved will be wasted on the water and electricity used to wash the diapers.

FALSE. My water bill is only $20 dollars a month and our electric bill has actually gone down. Granted we DO use more water and electricity than a family NOT using cloth diapers, but that cost is minimal compared to the money spent on disposables. Plus, you can hang your diapers to dry on a rack or a line and your electric cost will be almost nonexistent. Even if the total of our water bill each month was from washing dirty diapers, that would STILL be cheaper than buying new diapers each week.

My drying rack and diaper basket

Myth #3 - It's time consuming and I don't have the extra time.

FALSE. Once you get the hang of it, it only takes a minute or two longer to change a cloth diaper. I think its kind of fun. Goose is usually at his sweetest when getting changed, so I don't mind a few extra seconds spent watching him smile and listening to him coo.

Here's a few more good reasons to use cloth:

1) Bye bye Diaper Rash. Goose can only wear disposables if you cake his butt with Desitin. With Cloth he has NO problem.

2) They actually make cloth diapers that work just like disposables, with velcro tabs and such. Only difference is you don't have to buy MORE.

3) It's a really nice thing to do that makes you feel good! I feel great just knowing I did not throw another dirty diaper into a landfill. Every little bit helps right?

So there you have it. I LOVE cloth diapering! Check back next Friday for Part 2 where we'll highlight different types of cloth diapers and how to tailor it to fit your lifestyle! For more frugal tips go to http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/blog.htm


Debbie J. said...

You make a good case! I would cloth diaper too IF I had a baby!

Jes said...

We just switched to Cloth too! I love it. Although my baby seems to have the opposite effect everyone else's does, she hadn't had a diaper rash at all in the 14 months of disposable diapers, and as soon as I switched her to cloth she got one. I started using fleece in her diaper and that seems to have helped.
The only thing bad about them is my husband doesn't want to change them :) especially the poopie ones! But it's way worth the money!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I came over from Crystal's!

We just made the switch to cloth a month ago on my 7mo daughter. I am so IN LOVE with them! I am only sorry that we didn't start sooner, and also use them for my older boy. You are exactly right - they are MUCH easier than I ever thought. And it is so nice to know they are not a recurring expense! :)


WesternWarmth said...

I just blogged about the exact same thing, without realizing you already had. Sorry!z

Rosemary said...

Wow, you are amazing! I think one day when my husband grows up enough to have a baby of his own, we will try cloth. In the meantime will you give me some pointers on changing his diaper??? He's a big baby!

Kacie said...

This is really great! We have no kids (and I'm not pregnant) but I plan to use cloth diapers someday.

A few months ago if you asked me, I would have said "no way!" I think it's because outside of the blogging community, I haven't heard of parents using cloth diapers on their children.

You see TV commercials for disposables, see coupons for them, and see moms changing disposable diapers all the time. Ya don't see the cloth diapers getting that kind of exposure.

Louise said...

Can you still get diaper liners??? Thin gauzy like strips of paper that you lay out on the diaper to catch most of the poop.
I used those all the time because I don't know what kind of Poop your kids do but my goodness there is no way I'd be tossing poopy diapers into the washing machine.... My kids pooped sticky pasty goop that I used to have to SCRAPE off until the creator of diaper liners came along...
Of course, I didn't have running water back then either so maybe if I had babies in this day and age I might toss poop and all into the washer.
Louise from Alberta

Samara said...

You are right on about the negative cloth diaper myths being untrue! I knew that they were a success when my husband started touting them to all of his friends as a much better alternative to disposables. His MALE friends. His SINGLE male friends even :)

What convinced me to try them in the first place (we've been using them almost exclusively since our 10mo was 3 weeks old) was that the folks who use them were so enthusiastic about them. I suppose we've joined the club.

Littlepenpen said...

Very good post! If they had made the velcro diapers when my kids were babies, I definitely would have used them!

M. Stevenson said...

I'm trying to figure this out because I've been tempted to try cloth diapering myself. But here's my question: Once the diaper comes off, does it go directly into the washing machine, or do you have a pail that you toss it into and then wash one load of the day's dirty diapers every night? Or are you washing a small load every time you change a diaper?