Much debate swirls around on the Internet about whether you should cloth diaper or not. For some people it’s a very easy yes or a very easy no.
But I think for at least a select few it’s not a glaringly easy decision to make. For myself, I was really interested in cloth diapering for a variety of reasons. It wasn’t to be the greenest mama on the block, but part of my motivation was definitely eco consciousness. I also liked the idea of an investment in diapers that I could reuse and the potential for saving money in the long run. And after all I was raised in cloth diapers. If it’s done been done before it can be done again!
But, the convenience of cloth diapering, or lack there of, also ended up playing a role in where I ended up. For some rural areas like my own, diapering services are not available. But for the record, there are some really great ones out there! You can even rent the diaper covers and not have to put in a big upfront investment in the cloth inserts too. But as I mentioned, this was not the case so I knew going into cloth diapering, if I chose to do so, I would be the one scraping the poo and washing the diapers.
Also I knew that my husband was less than thrilled at the idea of scraping poop and dealing with stinky diapers and washing them. So going into it I also knew that it would be one of the solo jobs for mama. I decided to go for it. My sister-in-law had done cloth diapering and she encouraged me that it was totally manageable. She’s not a total green freak either. And she did mix in disposables. I was not opposed disposables as an occasional use.
To really answer the question about whether you should use cloth diapers or not should be based on a few things.
One: Are you super ego conscious? Are you interested in possible money savings?
Two: Are you OK with dealing with stinky diapers on a daily basis? Or is there a diaper service near you?
Three: Will your daycare provider deal with cloth diapers?
Let me back up to number one, is it really eco-conscious to cloth diaper?
To be completely honest I’m not so sure. On one hand landfills won’t be filled with diapers that won’t probably ever biodegrade. Also, manufacturers these days are making things more responsibly and sustainably than they have in the past. But those sustainable diapers cost more and if it’s important to you, you have to be willing to shell out the dough. Also, some diapers do great not using harsh chemicals like chlorine or nasty fragrances but guess what, those cost more too.
Additionally there is the use of natural resources, like water, to launder these diapers. Any cloth diaper requires at first they rinse and then a wash with soap. That also uses energy, which you pay for but may not attribute to the cost of cloth diapering. The question could really be argued either way.
For me it really boils down to the possibility of cost savings and using the least toxic most gentle thing on my baby’s skin. I like to think I was being green but as I said I’m not 100% sure that’s true. I did feel better about feeling less landfills.
Eventually I got lazy. I only ended up clothe diapering for about 6 to 7 months. My daycare did work with me. I provided them a wet bag every day to put the papers in and I took them home every day and scrapes the poop out every day. It really wasn’t that bad. But it got to the point where I felt more strained for time. Did I really want to spend the time to process diapers on a daily basis? The answer after about 6 to 7 months was no.
I have saved all my cloth diapers though. If, and hopefully when, my husband and I get pregnant again I do plan to use them at least initially. I admit it is easier to process them when they are exclusively breast-fed and not yet eating solids.