Diaper Decisions

First of all, I have to pre-empt this by saying that I had not changed a single diaper before the birth of my daughter.  Even then, her dad changed all of her diapers except for one in the hospital!  So, my experience with diapers before the age of 32 consisted only of a stuffed bear I used to practice on while pregnant.  Seriously.

I do like to weigh all of my options and do some research before making decisions about things, including talking to those I know, and there was no more controversial subject than cloth diapering.  I had already decided I wanted to try it, especially since I had no preconceived notion of the ease of disposables but I did have first-hand experience with the mountains of disposables that sit in a landfill for 200+ years.  Every human activity has environmental impacts on resources, so I had to weigh out my own somewhat obsessive conclusions.

Cloth Diaper Pros

  • cost less, by up to thousands in the long-run
  • less waste – in landfill as well as less smelly garbage for me to haul out to the curb
  • less contact of potentially irritating or carcinogenic (i.e cancer causing)  material with baby’s skin
  • no more diaper runs to walmart or target
  • adorable and extremely varied to fit individual needs
  • Choice! Choice! Choice!  colors, patterns, materials like organic cotton or sustainable bamboo, supporting work-at-home moms, some will even custom make sizes and patterns for you

Cloth Cons

  • Larger up-front investment
  • Can be overwhelming amount of choices
  • Require washing and can be temperamental to wash
  • Require energy and water to wash, or a washing service
  • Most baby clothing is made for the fit of disposables

No one I personally knew had tried this.  Most of my friends were supportive but I did encounter very vocal opposition about how it was either unsanitary or ridiculous and that I would not be able to do it.  Before long, I stopped telling people.  And I gave myself permission to not feel like a failure if it didn’t work out.

While pregs, I found The Great Cloth Diaper Hunt and spent the entire month of November perusing the many sites to familiarize myself with the mechanics, terminology and pricing of cloth diapering (CD) products.  Plus, there’s puzzles, riddles and prizes to win.  It was fun, and I wasn’t aware that anything that had to do with diapers could be fun.  (I was NOT a fan of that candy-diaper game played at baby showers!)  I would see that diaper-hunt icon in my sleep, though.  I was like a pregnant internet pirate searching for treasure, but more importantly I learned many things and made my first purchase for my baby girl: an adorable diaper!  It was a Baby Sweetbottoms orange newborn-sized pocket, and it was my favorite for the 3 months it fit!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by tracysday on July 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    I appreciate that you pointed out that baby clothing is made to go over disposables. I feel like there are certain outfits that have never fit my daughter because of her cloth diapers. Usually the diapers are so cute though that I can just skip the little pants that go with the dresses and show off the diaper.


  2. I agree – the diapers are so much cuter than those bloomers! I’ve heard that Under the Nile makes clothes designed to fit over cloth diapers, but I haven’t tried them yet. Right now I use the next size up, but it’s often loose in the neck.


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