This is not a parenting blog, but I do have kids. After having my first child, it became more important to me to make changes to my lifestyle to ensure that I was leaving her a clean and happy planet. I therefore made the decision to use cloth diapers.
I know what you’re thinking: Gross! And also: That’s a lot of effort when I could just be throwing these things away. Yes, it is more effort, but trust me – if you start out with cloth diapers, it eventually becomes part of your routine (and therefore easy!)
There is a certain ick factor to cloth diapers, but, if we are being honest, there’s really an ick factor to ALL diapers. You’re dealing with poop anyway. In fact, you’re supposed to flush all poop in the toilet and not just toss it in the diaper pail. So if you’re already doing this, there’s just the extra step of using a diaper sprayer to get off what’s left and then tossing it in the hamper to be laundered later.
Speaking of laundry – everyone has a different routine, but now that my kids are a bit older (and not going through SO many diapers a day), I’ve found I only need to do diaper laundry three times a week. Yes, it’s extra laundry but I’m already doing so much now that I really don’t notice three more loads. And, yes, this means that I’m putting dirty diapers in my washer, but, as a parent, you’re already washing very dirty clothes, so it’s not really that different.
Another benefit of cloth diapering is the cost-savings. It’s a big upfront cost, but, although I have a 14 month old and a 3-year-old (potty trained now, except at night), I have not bought any diapers in two years. My son wears my daughter’s old diapers. We will then pass his on to his future cousins or resell them. I’ve also never had that middle-of-the-night panic that I’ve just used the last diaper. No emergency store runs for us! (In the rare instance we’ve been down to our last, it just means we have to do laundry right then, but that’s only happened once in three years. Part of the benefit of sticking to a strict laundry schedule.)
One final benefit – no blow-outs! I’ve been around poor parents who have suffered a blow-out while out in public, therefore needing to deal with it in a tiny public restroom. This can drive practically any parent to tears. I have never experienced this (except the one time as a very new mom that I forgot to put an insert in the diaper, causing my child to pee on a friend. Whoops!). I’ve heard that cloth diapers are better at holding everything in, and this is true, in my experience.
There are a ton of brands out there, but I’ve fallen in love with gDiapers. gDiapers offer the best of both worlds. There are three parts to these diapers: the diaper cover (called a gPant), the plastic pouch (gPouch) and the insert. The insert can either be cloth or “disposable” You can flush the disposable insert or just throw it away. We use these when we are going on a long outing, so that we don’t have to haul around a dirty cloth insert for several hours. The best part about gDiapers though is that they are super cute! They have great prints and patterns and put out new ones every spring and fall (with some seasonal prints as well.)
I definitely get why people use disposable diapers (and don’t judge – really!), but if you’re thinking at all about cloth diapers, I’m here to tell you that it’s doable. Feel free to share in the comments why you love (or hate) cloth diapers.