We cloth diaper our son, Declan, and I have become somewhat of an advocate for cloth. We prefer cloth diapering the old-fashioned way, using prefolds and covers, but have a bunch of pocket diapers in our stash (I think we’ll be using the pockets closer to potty training time). Since cloth diapering has seen a bit of a revival in recent years, I’ve decided to share some of the reasons why I love cloth diapering (and hope to convert some nonbelievers):
If you’ve ever had the desire to become ‘crunchy’, or even just a tad ‘granola’, cloth diapering is a great way to start. Not only will you sleep better at night, knowing that you’re not contributing to the massive amount of disposable diaper waste in landfills, but you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint (thereby earning the right to call yourself a little bit ‘crunchy’).
2. Healthier for Baby’s Sensitive Skin
Disposable diapers contain chemicals that are, in my opinion, not healthy for sensitive baby skin. I use natural fibers, so there is no chance for bleach or other stripping agents to be in the diapers and irritating D’s skin.
3. No Smell
Honestly. Disposable diapers have a yeasty urine smell to them when dirty – yuck! Cloth diapers smell like buttered popcorn when wet. No really, they do! I recently visited my best friend out-of-town and she and her kiddos did the smell test --- buttered popcorn!
4. Fewer Blowouts
I can count on one hand how many explosive breast milk poo blowouts we had in those early days, each attributed to the position Declan happened to be in at the time. Other than that, cloth diapers, and diaper covers, do an AMAZING job at containing those messy poos! Speaking of which:
4a. Cloth Wipes
One wipe can clean up even the messiest of poos! For the wannabe ‘crunchies’, cloth wipes reduce your carbon footprint even further. Also, repeat number 2 – no chemicals going onto baby’s sensitive skin. (Early on I used a homemade wipe solution, but now just use water)
5. Little to No Diaper Rash
Yup. I don’t know why it is, but since 3-4 weeks old, Declan has not had a trace of diaper rash.
6. It’s Inexpensive
After your initial investment, you’re done. No more spending money on something that you’re throwing away. No more last minute store runs because you’re out of diapers. We’ve spent under $400, and we have everything we need to diaper Declan until he potty trains. AND, the diapers we have now will diaper any other children we might have. Too good to be true, right? Nope!
7. Cute Designs
Nasty rubber pants are a thing of the past. Nowadays, there are a TON of cute and funky prints to choose from. I recently came across this super cute “Hungry Caterpillar” one: http://hyenacart.com/Greenbumkin/mt/2940/27278/Hungry-Caterpillar-Scrappy-AI2-All-in-Two-Cloth-Diaper-
8. Fosters Creativity/ Ingenuity
I was running errands early on (when I was changing diapers every hour) and was out longer than expected. We arrived at my husband’s office for a visit and had no more clean diapers! This could have been a catastrophe if I didn’t cloth diaper, but I was able to fold a receiving blanket into a makeshift diaper and secure it in his diaper cover – crisis averted!
It’s interesting to reflect upon how the decision to cloth diaper has affected my philosophy of childcare. I breast feed Declan and was a baby-wearer early on (he’s a little big to do it now). I make all of his food so that I know exactly what’s going into his body. This, in turn, has caused my husband and me to eat even healthier (no packaged food!). I try to use only natural and organic products for him (i.e. he’s currently fighting a cold, and we’re using a vapor rub made of organic essential oils). The best part? By cloth diapering I am a member of a community of like-minded individuals that provides a great deal of resources regarding child-rearing. If you don’t cloth diaper, then I hope that I’ve at least encouraged you to consider it!
I've recently moved. You can now find me blogging about typical, semi-crunchy mom things at: TheMedianMommy.com.