I write this post in time for this year’s GCDC, where I will join legions of moms all over the world who will all change our babies’ diapers simultaneously for the environment and to popularize the use of cloth diapers. (I will also blow a hole in my pocket when I acquire more diapers at the venue)
I’m new to cloth diapers, but cloth diapers per se are not new. Back in the olden days before disposable diapers became affordable, my parents and grandparents used lampin or cloth to mop up my poo and pee, wash and hang them to dry. Rinse and repeat. Then disposable diapers became a lot more affordable and easier to deal with – no need to see that poop explosion again. However, the lampins of old have been given a fresh and attractive new look, and have become an attractive alternative to disposables.
Cloth diapers are beneficial for some key reasons:
1. The system itself is costly upfront but economical (cheaper) in the long run. (Says the mom who has almost 30 cloth diapers on hand and almost 10 in the mail) However, the fact alone that you can reuse the diaper til the baby is old enough to potty train, or pass on the diapers to another baby will already count towards your savings in the long run.
2. It’s good for the environment since it’s not wasteful. (Disposable dipes comprise a significant chunk of landfills and are not biodegradable. They will survive long after the rest of the world has been wiped out. Imagine millions of tons of baby poo of all colors, textures and persuasions taking over the world)
And the most compelling reason of all:
CLOTH DIAPERS ARE JUST SO DARN CUTE!!!
Let me add though that CDs are really daunting for any new parent handling a newborn. I only tried out CDs around the time the Bear turned 3 months old.
Here are things to consider though, based on my experience, to see if the Cloth Diaper system will work for you:
1. Who will do the laundry? You need to commit time to this or work out a system that will fit your busy schedule. In our case, we have househelp who wash the diapers by hand every day. If you plan to do it yourself you need to devise a system that will work for you. Take into consideration the rainy season and if you have adequate space to line dry your nappies or a dryer/spin dry function.
2. Know your limits. I don’t. The potential for new and exciting designs is limitless. Please, for the love of God, make sure you have a safeword of your own. Maybe it could be: BROKE.
3. If your baby has sensitive skin or you have a history of skin sensitivity in the family, cloth diapers might minimize the risk of getting diaper rash since cloth diapers are said to be more breathable for the bum. I have not felt the need to put diaper cream on her since I started using CDs. Plus when you’ve done both systems, you will feel the bum noticeably warmer or slightly hot when in disposables.
4. Cloth diapers are sometimes confusing and difficult to put on (especially if you have a super squirmy and active baby) but are generally adjustable and will grow with your baby. In the newborn stages, CDs might save you the trouble and expense of trial and error when choosing disposable diapers (as in our case where we tried and blew money on different DD brands).
5. If you fall into the very addictive habit of looking for a matching set, then you can show off your baby’s new clothes wherever you go.
6. People sell (destash) when they don’t need the diapers anymore. At least you get some of your money back, versus disposables which is basically money down the drain and in landfills.
To be honest, the single most compelling reason for me still is the fact that CDs are just so cute. The environmental benefits are just a bonus but once in a while, it’s good to have your cake and eat it, too.
In a separate post, I will post lots and lots of pics of the cloth diapers that I have and love to use, as well as some practical advice. You have been warned!