......Making the Switch
"Wait a minute, you CLOTH diaper?"
"Yes, I DO and I Love it!"
"Wow, you are really brave!"
I think the most important thing about parenting is that you find what works for you and your family. That's part of becoming a family, making your own decisions based on what's best for your situation. As parents we all want what is best for our kids, but I believe that looks different for everyone. I am the type of person that once I get excited about something, or interested in something I dig deep and research and explore all the options. When we found out we were pregnant, I just knew I wanted to cloth diaper. I didn't know anyone who was cloth diapering, or even have some big reason to do it, I just knew that's what I wanted! So started 9 months of frantic and in depth research! My poor husband, always put on a brave face trying to act interested in my newest discovery, which was a every day occurrence for a while. Once I dove head first into this amazing world I was reassured a thousand times over on my decision!
In my first days of pregnancy excitement I stumbled across a Baby Cost Calculator (check this one out: http://www.babycenter.com/baby-cost-calculator) Wow! Maybe everyone else is more in tune with how much a baby costs, but I wasn't totally prepared. We had been saving up some money and had most of our bills paid off, but babies are Expensive! And working with a farmer's salary (I'll get into my rant on this some other post!) we weren't going to have much to play with. The biggest cost on this calculator that I zoned into immediately: Diapers! And as I continued to research the same numbers kept appearing. The average cost to diaper your child to potty training (2 years) is around $1800!!! What!?! I am going to spend $75 a month for something that my child is going to use as a toilet? I haven't even spent $75 on myself in a month for a long time!
Now the cost of cloth diapering can vary widely depending on what system or combinations of styles you use. The cheapest system, prefolds and covers for birth to potty training, runs in the $250 range. Where as a big enough stash of one size all in ones will run you around $600. That's a $1200 savings!
In this day and age we really can't afford to not think about our planet. And there are always daily reminders of ways to be greener. Cloth diapering became the ultimate easy green thing for me to do. And I got a big push to do it for this reason when I learned that the average diaper takes 500 Years to decompose!! I was shocked to learn this! That means that the decision to use disposables will affect at least 5 generations! I can only hope our planet is in good enough shape for my great great great Grandchildren and I will do anything to help that. Plus diapers are the #3 biggest contribution to landfills! Yuck!
We used disposable diapers for about 2 weeks, during the time while we waited for our son's cord to fall off and completely heal. I came to completely hate disposables during this time! Not only did they seem to leak all the time (I think we had more leaks with them then we ever have had with cloth, and that's 6 months worth of use!) but they also smelled horrible! I honestly thought they smelled like petroleum. Makes sense considering that super absorbent "goo" in disposable is just a whole jumble of chemicals! Including Dioxin, which in some forms has been linked to health problems including cancer. Dioxin is the by-product of bleaching the paper in diapers, so they can be that pretty white. No Thank You! I would much rather have fluffy soft fabric next to my little ones sweet bottom!
I could probably go on for quite a while about all the benefits I have discovered in my cloth diapering journey, but here are just a couple more. No diaper rash, seriously none! I have yet to need to treat any sort of break out to my little one's bum. And talking to others who cloth diaper, they say the same thing! With disposables I have heard horror stories of having to slather on creams and try everything under the sun to clear up painful bleeding rashes. They are super cute and fun! There are so many color and print options out there, they truly make diaper changes fun! I will be able to use my cloth diapers for more then one child which increases my savings even more! And cloth diapered babies are known to potty train earlier!
Cloth diapers can work for any budget or lifestyle. If anything at least consider making the switch to CLOTH!