Before you read on, please know that this post is in no way meant to sound preachy or critical of disposable diaper using parents. Would my child die if I used disposables? Of course not. Do I think that parents who use disposables are incompetent or bad parents? Definitely not. I'm slowly learning that we all make choices about what is most important to us. For Michael and me, cloth diapering is important. I'm also learning that sometimes people do what is easiest in order to survive; I get that too.
I wanted to write about our decision mostly because so many people ask about and are surprised by our choice. My guess is that because the cloth diapering revolution is rather new, few people know about why and how people do it. If nothing else, I hope this post answers some of your questions and leaves you asking some too. :)
Top Ten Reasons We're Cloth Diapering
#10--Cloth diapers are CRAZY cute!
This is the most superficial reason, thus it is number 10. If all the other reasons didn't exist, I still might have gone this route just for the adorable factor.
#9--Cloth diapers have more padding.
There's more cushioning for our little one as he takes toddles and topples while exploring the world.
#8--You can't beat the convenience.
We won't have any midnight runs to Walgreen's because we're out of diapers!
#7--Potty training is easier.
When it is time to get our buddy out of diapers, he's more likely to train faster since he'll know that he's wet. (Chemicals in disposables/Pull Ups keep the baby dry, so he's less likely to realize that he's had an accident.)
#6--Being a leader is much more fun than being a follower.
All I mean by this is that I'm not about to do anything as a parent simply because "everybody else does." I get that most Americans use disposables. Most Americans don't vote either. In fact, there are A LOT of things that most Americans do that I you'll never catch me doing.
#5--Cloth diapers are more reliable.
When tested against disposables, cloth diapers are more likely to contain leaks and blowouts! Less mess? Count me in!
#4--These aren't your grandma's cloth diapers!
When I tell people we're going to cloth diaper, after the shock and awe face has subsided, one of the first questions they ask is, "Like with pins?" No, people. There are no pins involved. A majority of our "stash" consists of pocket diapers (they go on like disposables) that are VERY user friendly. Here's a little diagram:
#3--I want our great-great-great-great grandchildren to live in a clean world.
The average child will go through as many as 8,000 diapers before being potty trained. These diapers end up in landfills (accounting for 3.5 million TONS of poop and plastic going into our ground) that are not created for human excrement. This waste ends up in our groundwater and can cause a variety of problems. (Disposable diaper packages instruct users to dispose of feces in the toilet...when was the last time that happened?!)
#2--It's cheaper. (If Michael were writing this post, it would probably be his number 1!)
So far, we've spent about $300 on cloth diapers. By the time our stash is complete, we may have spent $500--TOTAL. These diapers will not only be used for our first little guy, but can also be used for any children who join our family after him. If we were using disposables, we'd be spending a minimum of $800--A YEAR! (Yes, we'll be doing more laundry, but a couple extra loads a week won't even touch the money we'll be saving!)
#1--It's healthier for our baby.
I've done TONS and TONS of research on this, and here's what it boils down to: disposables have crazy chemicals that I do not want on my child. In extreme cases, children have sustained chemical burns from these toxic elements. I know that I will sleep a little easier at night knowing that our little guy's bum is resting comfortably against soft cotton sans chemicals. In addition, the fact that we are having a little guy makes me want to cloth diaper even more; there have been studies connecting the use of disposable diapers on boys to lower sperm count as adults. I'd like grandchildren some day.