3.23.2011

We're going to Cloth Diaper!

**Before I get to the point I forgot to mention here that I passed the glucose test done last week. Woo Hoo! No gestational diabetes! My iron wasn't too bad either which totally surprised me being a pregnant vegetarian.**

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm very type A. I put a ton of thought and research into everything I do. When it come to our baby it's no different. With that said, we have decided to cloth diaper! I always knew this was something I wanted to consider, even before pregnancy but when it came down to it I wasn't sure Joe would be completely on board. I really didn't want him to have any excuses to get out of diaper changes so I avoided the subject for a while and just assumed we would use disposables. Then, I really got to thinking about it...poop is poop, nothing makes it glamorous. Even with disposables it's not always easy. He's going to have to get used to it either way (the guy who gags while taking out the trash). Why not do what I think is best because really in all reality who's going to be dealing with the majority of diapers? Exactly. We get used to what we know anyways. Right?

What a lot of people don't realize is that cloth diapering has really evolved. It's not your Grandmas cloth diapering with pins anymore. No toilet swishing or line drying required. I do plan to hang dry when I can.

Benefits of Cloth Diapering...

Better for baby- Disposables contain chemicals that can lead to irritation in some babies.

Cost- new babies use up to 12 diapers a day. As they get older, 6-8. A CD stash runs in the hundreds (yes it's more up front and can range depending on your system) but you're all set after that, no diaper trips! Disposables+wipes for the life of a baby cost upwards of 2k!! That's a savings of at least $1500 for the diaper life of one baby (I'm being modest too because I know I would still shop around for the best prices if we were to use disposables). Times that by two babies if you continue with your same stash and you save upwards of $3000! I have no qualms with doing an extra load of laundry every couple of days and hope to hang dry them when the weather permits. Cloth diapers can also be resold with great resale value to make some stash costs back while also recycling! We will also use cloth wipes. Why not when we can just throw them in the wash with the diapers? More savings.

Style and Prints- they're so cute! This is a big part of it for me. They come in fun colors and prints and are just so cute.

Faster potty training-Many parents will tell you that they spent less time trying to potty train when they used cloth diapers. The child is more aware that they are wet and actually want to potty train sooner.

Comfort- Personally, I think they would feel much more comfortable for baby vs. being in disposable "paper".

Better for the Environment- Disposable diapers, aren't all that disposable. The 18 billion being dumped on the earth's surface in landfills each year will be there for centuries, after your grand kids are gone! Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposables for one baby EACH YEAR. Then there's energy used to produce them and for their transport. They have to get to the stores, to your home and then to the dump...all causing pollution. One diaper may not be a big deal but it all adds up. That sure tops the waste from a load of laundry every couple of days that cloth requires. Yes, cloth goes through production too but think about how many times one diaper is re-used vs using about 300 disposables a month! A cloth stash has about 24-40ish diapers in rotation and like I said, they are often used for multiple children. New energy efficient washers and air/line drying help the situation even more.

Common misconceptions and concerns...

I have to actually deal with the poop? When you have a baby, coming in contact with a poo is inevitable. Everyone is going to have to clean up a mess on their baby at some point in time. With CD's, you can use thin flushable diaper liners if you'd like to easily flush poo. If it's pee, the liner can go in the wash with the diapers to be re-used until it does get a poo and is flushed. Breast fed babies diapers can actually go directly into the wash since it's all water soluble and rinses away easily. A lot of the times once the baby starts to eat solids the poo can be easily plopped into the toilet. If it does end up being messier they make a sprayer that attaches to the water system behind your toilet to rinse it down. Some choose this option, some do not. The main concern is just getting solids off. The rest can be taken care of in the washing machine. It's really not a big deal.
**Note-Technically you are always supposed to dump fecal waste into the toilet. When your disposable diaper waste ends up in landfills it is re-absorbed in the land and contaminates our water systems**

What do you do when out in public? Change the diaper just like you normally would! You put it in a "wet bag". It's zippered and lined to keep smells and liquids in. When you get home, throw it in your diaper pail. Easy peasy...

But won't they stink up the hamper/room until they are washed? There are enzyme sprays that are optional and can be used on CD's to avoid stink. Typically they are cleaned every other to three days. They also make a bigger "wet bag" for your diaper pail. Our plan is to put a covered pail in the garage right by the door since that entrance leads straight into our laundry room. Then for laundry time we'll just throw the diapers and wet bag straight into the washer. No dirty hands.

Does washing really get them clean? Yes. You want to do a rinse first to wash away the nasty and an extra rinse after to make sure all the suds are out.

But you are still using energy/money to wash them. Read above, the "better for the environment" part and see the energy used for disposables. When you buy them you are paying for all of that. Production, transport etc. The cost to do a few extra loads a laundry a week doesn't even compare. If you are able to hang dry, it's even better. Yes, cloth has production and transport...but, how many cloth diapers will you use vs disposables?

Seems like a lot of work. I'm too busy for that. It's not really. Cloth diapers come in many varieties, some just as easy as using a disposable. The changing process is pretty much the same except if there's poo it's flushed. Instead of throwing the diaper in the the trash you throw it in your diaper pail. On laundry day they all are washed.

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I have yet to come across a cloth diapering parent who regrets their choice to use cloth diapers. They are usually enthusiastic about it and fully stand behind CD'ing.

If you are interested in cloth diapering there are many on-line resources to buy them and tons of information to figure it all out. It can be a bit overwhelming but with the wealth of information available, it doesn't take long to get a grasp.

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Our plan is to do a mix of prefolds with covers and pockets. The pockets are easier for a lot of people so we'll use them when Joe is home or when we go out of the house. The prefolds with covers will mainly be for when I'm home with her during the day doing all of her changes. I have pretty much ordered our full stash this week. It is enough to allow for 29 changes (around 2ish days, possibly more). I plan to start out washing every other night. Once we get the hang of it we'll know what we want to add to the stash and order some more. I'm guessing more pockets. I want to try out the ones we have to see what works best for us.

I've ordered mainly all one size (OS) adjustable pockets and covers that last for the diaper life of the baby. CD's do come in different sizes but I didn't want to have to deal with buying her new sizes when she grows so the one size option seemed like the best and most cost effective plan for us. Yes, they can cost a bit more initially but once you have your stash, you're set. This means that we'll have to wait a bit of time for her to grow into them most likely. OS's run big on most newborns. They are listed from 8-35 or 40 lbs but I hear it's a little more than that.

I originally planned on using a few packs of disposables until she fit into her OS diapers but I have since ordered four Thirsties Duo size 1 covers. These only come in two sizes and are adjustable . I hear they're a pretty good fit on smaller babies. We have some disposables on hand just in case so we'll just play it by ear. I don't want to throw too much at us right off the bat.

Today we got our first shipment of fluff mail in! Pretty sure orders are going to be rolling in all week and longer :) As you can tell I find it all pretty exciting. lol. You've got to agree, they're pretty cute.

I've been trying hard to buy gender neutral in case our next baby is a boy but it's so hard with all the cute gender specific diapers. If need be later on we can always re-sell the girly stuff online to recoup costs and buy new I guess.

I'm sure I'll be posting more CD stash later on when new diapers comes in but I just wanted to share the first shipment of new goodies!
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