Thursday, June 11, 2009

My daughter wore her first cloth diaper today

Everything is coming together for me to finally try out cloth diapers. I happened to see Gabrielle's post at Couponing in Critical Times today and am now immersed in reading about cloth diapering at thanks to her link.

I remember a new friend once saying to me that she was shocked I didn't cloth diaper. I was a little more shocked, I think, by her shock. Anyway, no, I don't cloth diaper, and here are the reasons I've had so far:

1) Cloth diapers seem inconvenient, whereas disposables are very, very convenient. This is an obvious reason for their use of course. For me personally, I do NOT like to do laundry. At times, I might only do it twice a month (I have lots of clothes for this reason).

2) She hasn't had problems with rashes that won't heal, and so on.

3) She's small. While some parents are lamenting on how much diapers are costing them, I'm still paying for size 3 at 19 months.

4) I don't change her diaper every three hours for two reasons: it doesn't bother her, and I feel that the diaper should be full so as to use it and produce less waste.

5) It hasn't been expensive so far. I attribute this to her small size and that she uses about four diapers a day. What have I spent? I have no real way of knowing, but if I factor what I'm paying per diaper now at her age and size (when she was tiny, she used more diapers, but they cost a little less), it comes out to 18 cents/diaper for Pampers Cruisers and if factored at 5 diapers/day for 365 days, it comes to $342/year. I'm guessing that's far less than what some parents are paying, and it's much less than what many cloth diaper proponents try to say disposables cost.

6) Though I'm concerned about waste, I'm trying to minimize it while using a more wasteful choice.

7) From what I have seen, cloth diapers are horribly expensive to get started on. Some are $25 each, so I had no interest in spending that much only to find out I didn't want more kids or didn't want to cloth diaper after all. (I realize now that I was mostly seeing moms who wanted to reduce their waste and had plenty of income to do so).

8) I don't believe the claims that cloth diapers are not also pollutants and are free to use. Water, water and time. Though it's not adding to the landfill, washing poop & pee does contribute to pollution. Also, water costs money. When I was doing a lot of tie-dying a few months back, I really noticed the increased cost in my bill, so I become annoyed when cloth proponents conveniently "forget" that extra loads of laundry do cost more money. I'm guessing I'd need to consider the costs of about 10 loads more/month since they should be washed at least every three days. Finally, time--I don't have much money, but I do have a little time--that's what the first woman who got me into couponing told me. But, do I have a little more time for cloth diapering?

Well, I'm hoping to find out soon! My first impression so far, just while holding the two cloth diapers I received yesterday from a friend, was that these were like clothes. Use them, wash them, use them again. It would be insane to just throw away an outfit each day. My second thought today was an image of a pile of diapers in a landfill. I was pondering just how big my contribution has been? How big is my pile? Is it 10 x 10 from floor to ceiling? Is is really that much smaller than anyone elses? Does it even matter since fact is, no matter how small, it does bother me?

My friend told me to change it every two hours. I waited until about four hours to see how her skin would respond. She had two small red areas, but the diaper wasn't completely soaked all the way from front to back, etc, though it was definitely full.

I liked it.

Another friend may also be giving me some diapers, so once I get a day's worth, I can really see how this might work out (or not) for me.

In the meantime, I'm reading up and discovering some of my biases, confirming and dispelling preconceived notions, etc... It will be interesting for me to see how my opinion changes as I learn more and actually try out cloth.

So, today is day one of a possible change at my house. We'll see!


Breeze said...

I do have those diapers in the trunk of my car. It was either 6 or 7. They aren't as cute as the picture you added, but there's something to be said for a diaper that has made it through a kid or two. Each has been worn hundreds of times and is still in good working order. Think of the pile of disposables each has outlasted!

I don't do a whole laundry cycle at this point since poop is no longer an issue. My washer has a soak cycle, and I do a hot soak of our night time diapers once a week. Amonia's effects on my diapers be damned! Then I toss in some towels or something and wash a regular sized cold load that I would have washed anyway. Since a soak cycle doesn't refill, diapers have cost me half as much water as a regular wash & rinse cycle. Diapers do better with less detergent (and no fabric softener, obviously), which means I add even less than I would have to the load of towels, and line drying is optimal, so that really is all they are costing us at this point. I figure I'm more than making up for that level of water usage with our rain barrel, and diapering for free as a result. ;)

Mamabelle said...

The two diapers she gave me are fitted ones and I have one cover to go with them. She's taking me to cutie tooties for a field trip, so I'm looking forward to seeing what's out there.

That's a great idea on the soak; in fact, it's exactly what I did when my daughter still had the lovely liquid poo that got all over everything. When I washed her clothes, I just put them in a soak overnight, then continued teh cycle as usual, no extra water or manual scrubbing needed.