Monday, February 08, 2010

A Cloth Diaper Rant

We are going on a trip tomorrow.  And by we I mean just me and the girls (I have 3 under 5).  We will be gone for a month.  I have opted to use disposable diapers while gone.  In the past I have done these trips both ways (cloth or disposable, usually disposable for sort trips and cloth for long) and really cloth isn't  that big of under taking.  But this go around there are more children, my husband can't come, and I am not well going to visit family members that are even sicker.  So we are doing disposable.  I hate disposable.  They are flimsy and leak and cause rashes.  Does it seem at all right to anyone else that food products have to list all of their ingredients but not diapers?  I mean these are chemicals that we are putting next to the most sensitive  parts of babies for 24 hours a day for something like 3 years.  Shouldn't we get to know what those chemicals are? And what chemicals are going to the landfills for that matter? And if you are advertising your product as "natural wipes" all of the ingredients you use should be pronounceable by people even if they don't have chemistry degrees.

This is the third baby I have cloth diapered.  I didn't hate disposables with the first.  In fact, if we had had more money I might have never tried cloth.  But my husband was in grad school and cloth seemed like a great way to save money.  And it was.  By my last estimate I think I have saved about $4,000 these past 5.5 years.  (More than paid for that fancy washer and dryer that are downstairs).  With each baby I have fallen more and more in love with cloth diapers.  And I have also learned with works well and what is worth spending your money on and what isn't.  I wrote a review of diapers a while back and "reviewed" a brand that I hadn't tried but really wanted to.  Unfortunately they didn't work well at all.  And they were expensive to boot.  So first piece of advice- don't buy boutique diapers.  If they are so cute you can barely stand to put clothes over them chances are they don't work very well.  Any diaper that has cotton on the outside of the water proof layer (PUL) is prone to leaking, some more than others but they all have this design flaw.  Same with diapers that take ordinary material and convert it to waterproof.  They will be fine for awhile but you will have problems later.  If you want super cute diapers find a pattern online and make them yourself.  You will have the same design problems, but at least they will have  been inexpensive.

For the newborn/small infant stage pre-folds and inexpensive covers are my favorite.  You are changing their diaper so often that you don't need a bunch of bulk for absorbency.  In fact the first few weeks I use a baby washcloth and a piece of fleece for diapers.  After that my favorite (and the ones that have stood the test of time) are Mother Ease.  I have used both their one size diapers and their All-in ones.  Both have lasted through an amazing amount of use and have proven themselves as working incredibly well.  In fact I am still using the ones I bought when my first was a newborn for baby number three.  They are just now starting to lose some of their absorbency.  Which is to say they still work, but I have to change them more often than I used to.  Next month when I return from our trip I am buying more to replace diapers of a different brand that my little one has out grown.  (They were a gift and much appreciated, even if they don't work quite as well as motherease.) And from here on out I will never buy any other diapers except prefolds and motherease.  There simply is no point when they work so well and are so economical.

I wish more moms would give cloth a try.  You save so much money, you cut down on diaper rashes, your baby is exposed to less and it is better for the environment.  Basically, every one wins!  Yes, they are little more effort, but not that much.  And no chance of ever having to make a late night run to the store because you are out of diapers! Just toss them in the wash.  So if you are on the fence about this, give it a go.  You don't have to use them very long in order to break even and  then you can sell them and actually come out ahead, so even if you hate cloth diapering you are out nothing but a little time.  And I can pretty much guarantee that if you go with motherease diapers, you won't hate cloth diapering.


At February 08, 2010 10:12 PM, Blogger Leigh Ann said...

Oh, thank you so much. I am going right now to check out motherease.
I hope you have a safe trip and get to feeling better soon.

At August 14, 2010 9:09 PM, Blogger Mommypotamus said...

People told me cloth diapering was so difficult I didn't even attempt it until my first was ten months old. They were SO WRONG! I totally agree that cloth is easy and saves money. We're starting on day one with our new baby (arriving any day)!

At August 14, 2010 9:42 PM, Blogger Tiffany said...

People told me the same thing. That I wouldn't save any money because I wouldn't do it for long enough to break even. Well, 6 years later still going strong! Although my littlest seems to be getting rashes too easy in the cloth. I am hoping it is just a soap build up in the diapers or something. It is new, but definitely seems connected to the cloth diapers, which is very odd.

I loved starting on day one with cloth! The hospital staff thought I was nuts, but a bunch of things I did made them think that, so nothing new there I guess.

At May 15, 2012 10:15 AM, Blogger Jay said...

Cloth diapers are good for the baby and the pop art canvas environment!

At May 30, 2012 9:53 AM, Blogger said...

Great article, I really enjoyed the banksy wall art stuff here.


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