I’ve been avoiding this post for a while, even though it was one of the first things I thought of and my wife has been encouraging me to write it for just about as long. I’ve got no problem explaining our decision to use cloth diapers, but figured it would wind up being a lengthy and involved post. So, to make things a little easier on myself, I decided to break it down. We’ve used no less than four kinds of reusable diapers since Lucy was born plus a few disposables here and there plus homemade cloth wipes. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on what I want to write now, so let’s jump in.
Like nearly every baby-related topic, my wife brought up the idea of using reusable diapers while she was pregnant. Environmental concerns were a bit of a factor, but the real reasons we wanted to go with cloth were two fold. First, we weren’t sure about all those chemicals put into disposables and second, cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run.
I’d like to expand on those points a little bit. It might seem better for the environmentally friendly to use cloth diapers because it makes a lot less garbage, which is true, but you wind up using a helluva lot more water washing them. I’m sure there’s some equation to see which is actually better for the world, but that’s not something I’m interested in. Besides, that kind of math would take me way longer than all these posts put together.
The chemical thing is pretty self explanatory. They put a lot in those diapers to make them absorb a ton of liquid. Again, I’m not sure about the details here, but I’m sure you can do a quick Google search and find whatever information on either side you’re looking for.
The money aspect is a little more tricky. See, reusable diapers are expensive to purchase in the beginning, so I understand why people might be scared away by them, but in the long run they wind up being a lot cheaper. Again, math isn’t my strong suit, but you can surely compare the cost of diapers that actually get larger for your kids as they grow to package after package of disposables.
Once we decided on using cloth it was a matter of figuring out exactly how. We looked into using a diaper service, but that wound up being super expensive, especially if you wanted to keep using your own diapers. If you’re unfamiliar with diaper services, the idea is that you put your dirty cloth diapers in a bag and the company picks them up and leaves you some fresh ones. One option allows you to always receive your own, previously used diapers while a less expensive one meant you were using diapers from a pool used by other people. I’m sure they wash the heck out of the diapers, but that’s just too much for me. It wasn’t really an issue because the cost was way prohibitive and we wound up buying our own.
Like with most aspects of child-rearing, I originally assumed we’d be going along with the norm, which would be disposable diapers. But after talking about it and analyzing the cost, I was sold on the idea. I just had one caveat: my wife had to deal with the poopy laundry. I’m pretty averse to gross stuff and almost lost my lunch when our parenting class teacher passed around a series of color photos of what the different stages of newborn poop looks like. I knew I’d be changing diapers, but I didn’t want to be digging through a dirty diaper pail to get them into the laundry. Everyone said that would change–which I absolutely hate being told, no matter how true it is–but I knew myself.
As it turns out, my baby’s poop doesn’t bother me too much. It’s still pretty gross and was especially gross in the first week, but I have gotten used to it. I don’t do the laundry quite as much, but that’s because my wife is just a lot better at keeping track of the last time we did laundry. I’ve done it a few times and it’s not a huge deal. So far I’ve been really happy with our choice and the diapers we’ve used over these four months and will continue to use as Lucy gets older. To find out about our early diaper days, tune in tomorrow!