Ahhhhh, the first post in a shiny, brand-new blog. So full of promise, good intentions, and…blank space. I’m going to jump right in and remedy that with a nice, meaty post about something I get asked about a lot: cloth diapers.
Yes, I cloth diaper my 18-month-old son, and have been doing so since he was a wee, squirming, 8 pound infant. And no, I’m not a crunchy, tree-hugging hippie (though I count a couple among my circle of friends.) I’m just a normal mom who wants to save money, avoid contributing to landfills, and keep excessive nasty chemicals off my baby’s skin. It doesn’t hurt that today’s cloth diapers are just absolutely adorable in comparison to ‘sposies!
To dispel some common myths:
- They’re hard to use. Diaper pins are a thing of the past, and today’s cloth diapers go on pretty much the same way as a disposable, with hook & eye closures or snaps. Prefolds (the flat, cotton cloths your mom probably made you use to dust the furniture) are still around, but are not as popular after the baby fits into one-size diapers (at around 10-11 pounds.) When they are used, there’s no need for pins – stretchy hooks called Snappis close the diaper without the danger of stabbing your precious little one!
- You’ll be doing laundry ALL THE TIME! Realistically, with one child in diapers, you’ll only be doing one load of diaper laundry every 3 days or so. And since we’re not living in the 1850’s, your washing machine does most of the work for you. Cloth diapers (in my experience, and that of others I’m told) leak less than disposables, so at least you’ll be washing fewer tiny pants and onesies!
- You won’t stick with it. Quite the contrary. Once you find the diapers that work best for your baby, the thought of switching to disposables is very off-putting. For some, it becomes something of an obsession – finding more and more cute diapers (prints! colors! new styles to try!) can be habit-forming! Plus, being forced to buy a Costco membership to afford diapers – and then running out at 3 in the morning to buy more – is a great deterrent.
- You have to change cloth diapers more often. Ok, this one is actually true. But wait! Here’s why it’s not all bad – your baby will likely potty train much earlier than a child in disposables. The chemical gels in disposables wick wetness away from the baby’s skin – nice for their skin, but not so good for learning when they need to use the potty.
Of course, there are drawbacks to using cloth diapers too – but I’ll save that for another post. In the meantime, here is a great primer on using cloth diapers. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but sort through the info if you’re interested. I’m always open to questions – I’d like to think that the vast, encyclopedic knowledge I’ve acquired on the subject is actually of some use!