Warning: this will be long and uninteresting for many. Feel free to skip reading this and the others that may follow.
Those of you who know me know that I will sing the praises of things I love loudly and to all who will listen (please see: Macolyte). My latest proselytizing is directed at cloth diapers, or “CDs” to those who get tired of typing the rest of the letters. Obviously, the target audience is select, since only babies get to wear them (yes, I am jealous, actually).
Luckily, we live in a place where cloth diapering is actually pretty accepted, and we even have multiple stores selling CDs and CD accessories within a 30 minute drive. So far, I’ve never had a negative comment, although I have had many curious questions (which I love!). We also are lucky in that both Peter and I happened to be born to hippie-ish parents who cloth diapered us as well, so even the grandparents have been on board!
I’ve made a few cloth diapers for Emmie, and have plans to sew some more after the holidays (all my sewing time has been spent making presents, which I’ll show soon, after they all are in their new homes!). It’s so fun and rewarding to have something cute, functional, and personalized for my little babe. Plus, it is a lot cheaper to make my own than to buy them (although my homemade ones aren’t nearly as good as the ones I buy!).
Reasons I love CDs (in no particular order):
- WAY cuter than disposables. The same designer fabric I buy for my projects, only on my baby’s bum! I think this is actually what suckered me in at first. Also, they are SO SOFT. Super comfy.
- Cheaper in the long run. Yes, the upfront cost is more, but it’s way cheaper in the long run (one comparison, but it doesn’t take into account for one-size diapers, which we use, which is even cheaper). I bought the majority of my stash gently used, on clearance or as seconds, which brings the cost down even more. However, this argument only holds water if you don’t get addicted to buying them, like I have, but I comfort myself with the knowledge that the resale value is quite good. I can probably recoup at least half of what I paid for most of them.
- If we have a second baby, he/she is diapered for free!
- Fewer chemicals. Ever since I was diagnosed with cancer, I’ve been avoiding unnecessary chemicals when possible (basically impossible, I know). There may not be a known specific link, but it just seems like there are SO many suspected (and KNOWN!) carcinogens or other harmful chemicals in disposable diapers that I just didn’t feel comfortable with them. To be sure, the newfangled cloth diapers aren’t perfect either (there is some concern about PUL, a common fabric for waterproof covers), but overall it seems like a better choice for us.
- Less trash. Living in a second floor apartment, I HATE taking out the trash. I seriously can’t imagine how much I would hate it if we had all those dirty diaper to toss too. When Emmie was a newborn, I never minded it when she peed on a clean diaper the INSTANT I put it on her. I loved tossing it into the dirty pail, knowing I could just wash it and wasn’t “wasting” anything. I think I would have been really frustrated if it was a disposable that was on her bum for 20 seconds and I’d had to throw it away.
- Emmie prefers them. Crazy, but true. She has never cried about a wet or dirty cloth diaper, but the few times she has worn disposables, she has screamed BLOODY MURDER when she had a poopy diaper. It took me a while to figure out she pooped, since she literally NEVER cries about her cloth diapers.
- Fewer blowouts. When we were still expecting, we heard many horror stories about how many outfits a baby could go through in a day. After we had Emmie, I was really confused because she could have worn the same outfit for a week, since it never got dirty. Why? Part of it is because she’s never been a spitter-upper, but the other part is that we’ve had a grand total of TWO blowouts. EVER. And both times were our fault (not changing her when her diaper was soaked or got getting a good fit on a diaper). Cloth diapers have more and WAY stronger elastic than sposies, which keeps runny newborn poops in better, plus they have elastic in the back, which disposables do not.
- We actually touch LESS poop. Weird, right? But since all the poop is contained IN the diaper, and none of it gets on her clothes, blankets, toys, etc., all I have to touch is the clean outside of her diaper (or just the diaper pail liner) when I toss the load in the washer. If the poop gets all over clothes, blankets, toys from a poo-splosion , it’s a lot harder to avoid touching it. And sorry parents-to-be, you will be dealing with poop in some way, whether or not you toss it in the laundry or the trash can.
- Diaper laundry is satisfying. Again, weird. But it’s satisfying in the same way that Tetris is. I take this jumble of fabric and nonsense, and match up the right soakers with the right diaper bodies, stuff the pockets, snap in the snaps (my fav part) and when I’m done, I have these neat little bundles of cute diaper goodness and everything looks orderly and pretty. Very satisfying.
- It’s addictive. Sure, you can buy enough of one kind of diaper to make it from one wash day to the next, but that’s not challenging enough for me. I love the thrill of finding a great diaper at a great price, plus there’s always more cuteness out there and more WAHMs to try (handmade diapers by “work at home moms”).
- It’s just fun. I can’t really explain it and it doesn’t make sense to other people, probably, but having the different styles and different patterns to choose from and being able to pick the right diaper for the right setting (trim for out and about, super absorbant for overnight, bombproof cover for long car rides, etc.), it’s just very satisfying in a way that reaching for a disposable never is.
This list isn’t meant to convert anyone, it’s just a listing of why I like (LOVE) cloth diapers. And I’m sure there are more reasons, but this post has been long and boring enough as it is!