The subject of today probably doesn’t surprise many of you who read my ramblings. I decided very early on that I wanted to use cloth with W. My mother used cloth on my sister and that was back when it was all prefolds/flats, pins, and rubber pants. It was never a big deal and once I started researching it, I got even more excited! Not only were there a number of options (an overwhelming number!) very few of them even used prefolds and I could also get diapers in great colors and cute prints!
I know there are many arguments for and against the use of cloth. Of course, there are those who claim that it is better for the environment. This makes a lot of sense to me! But I have read articles claiming that there isn’t much of a difference in the environmental impact between disposables and cloth based on the additional energy and water used to wash cloth. For us personally, we have not seen any increase in any of our utility bills since we began our cloth adventure and we wash once a day despite having enough diapers to wash every other day. But this is just one of the many arguments I’ve read in the great diaper debate!
I will admit that while I like the environmental side of using cloth and knowing I’m not throwing as many diapers into a landfill, I’m not completely green in this area. We have gone back to using a disposable at night despite having found a night time diaper solution that didn’t leak. After a few nights in cloth over night, W started to get very red so we went back to the disposables at night. I need to try a few stay-dry options for night soon and hopefully we will get him back in cloth at night. I also fall victim to the ease of using disposables if we are going to be out and about for a long stretch during the day. I have done cloth when out and W never fails to go through every cloth diaper I have with me and end up in a disposable by the end of the trip! It’s like he knows!
While I originally planned to use cloth exclusively, I’ve learned to be flexible in this area. It’s one of those things that hasn’t gone exactly as planned as I don’t want to cause W to get a rash if I can work to prevent it. My formula for motherhood is definitely proving to be a mesh of many different approaches. Above all else, I think each parent and each family has to figure out what works best for them. While I was pregnant, I definitely thought that cloth was the way to go but now I understand that to be the best parent you can be, you have to figure out what works for you, your baby, and your life!
There are a number reasons I enjoy using cloth as much as possible:
1. We will save money in the long-run, especially when #2 comes and we have an entire diaper stash. I have reserved the right to buy a few pink/purple/cute diapers if #2 is a girl!
2. I like knowing that W does not have as many chemicals touching his skin all day long.
3. I also like knowing that I’m not throwing as much into the landfills. We purchase about one pack of disposable diapers a month to cover our nights and in case of emergencies when we are out and about.
4. I like to see W wearing colored diapers and cute prints (we only have 2-3 prints) more than I like seeing Sesame Street or Winnie the Pooh characters. I realize that this is a completely superficial reason, but it is true!
For us there are some drawbacks to using cloth:
1. It’s like an addiction! I just want to buy more and more diapers!
2. The night time diaper issue is challenging me but I continue to work on it. I will prevail!
3. Some pants and most of W’s shorts don’t fit very well with his chunky monkey tummy and his fluffy bum. I am learning to buy up in size or to skip the shorts and go with a different approach. Too bad I purchased some things before I realized that we would have this issue! I didn’t realize he would be quite so chubby!
4. My diaper bag isn’t quite big enough to carry a lot of cloth with me. I really like my diaper bag so I haven’t looked into getting anything new yet, but that may be a real possibility in the future!