Monday, September 26, 2011

Choosing Cloth in a Disposable World

If someone would have asked me a year ago if I were going to use cloth diapers on my soon-to-be-born baby girl, I would have laughed in their face.  Ewwwww.  Cloth diapering meant that I would be a lot closer to my daughter’s, um, poo, then I felt necessary.  Also, it just seemed like way, way too much work. 
I had several friends that were choosing cloth for a variety of reasons.  Cost effectiveness, environmental concerns, etc.  I had figured out how to get some great disposable diaper deals with some online stores, so cost really wasn’t an issue for me.  As far as the environmental factor, well, we bring our own bags to the grocery store, line dry most of our clothes, and drive a hybrid for crying out loud, so I felt like I was compensating for our disposable choice. 
Or was I?
When my daughter was about eight months old, I started doing a little research, and I was appalled at what I discovered.  Disposable diapers are taking over our landfills, and sticking around for centuries.  The waste was leaking into the soil, causing further damage, and I was contributing to the disaster at a rate of about 6 diapers a day! 
After reading some testimonials and discovering that some parents actually enjoy cloth diapering, well, I decided to try it out.  And by “try it out”, I mean I just jumped right in.  I had enough disposable diapers left to diaper my daughter for about a week, and I challenged myself to be full-time cloth diapering before I ran out.
I decided to start off with pre folds and covers because they were the more economical choice, not entirely realizing that they were also the more “difficult” choice.  Only they weren’t that difficult.  They were a little more time consuming than a disposable, yes, but I got the hang of them pretty fast.  I also discovered rather quickly that I would be saving money with cloth diapers.  A lot of money.  Especially since I can re-use the diapers when we decided to have another baby.   
The longer I did it, the more I found that I loved about cloth diapering.  I loved that each time I purchased a new cover or diaper, I was making an investment in something that I could use for a second child down the road.  I loved knowing that my diapers won’t be taking up residence in my city dump.  I loved that my daughter’s bottom was being surrounded by soft, fluffy material instead of horrible chemicals.  I love the conversations that arise when people see my daughters diapers, and that she can‘t “help“ me take them off herself.  Also, (and I know this shouldn’t be so important, but still…), I love all of the colors and designs that are made!  I can coordinate my daughters covers and diapers to her outfits if I want!  So much fun!
I’ve learned in the last five or so months that cloth diapering isn’t difficult at all, no matter what type of cloth diapers you choose.  It was a little intimidating at first, but now I really have a lot of fun with all of it!  Making the switch to cloth diapers has been one of the best environmental and health-conscious decisions I have ever made.

By Summer DuPree

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