Thursday, October 13, 2011

three good reasons to have a fluffy bum

yesterday i talked about how we're potty-training and why my friends object to cloth diapering. if you're still not convinced to make the big switch, here's a couple more reasons:

1. cloth diapers are better for the environment. the cost example i used yesterday assumes 7,280 disposable diapers used over 2.5 years, the diapering life of MY child. that's a lot of diapers. according to the epa, it takes 450 years for a conventional disposable diaper to decompose... but that's just a guess, because disposable diapers have only been around for about 80 years. those 80-year-old diapers are still around, unfortunately. cloth diapers don't fill up landfills.

cloth diapers also don't leach contaminants into the ground. in addition to unflushed (and untreated) feces, disposable diapers are full of synthetic chemicals and materials. if/when those disposable diapers ever do decompose, those chemicals will be in our ground. the same ground that your water comes from, the same ground used to grow your food. ewwww.

2. cloth diapering supports responsible consumer practices. when you purchase cloth diapers, you are choosing to support a company committed to environmentally friendly practices. additionally, the choices for cloth diapers are pactically endless... whereas the choices for disposable diapers are largely limited to big corporations. you can support work-at-home mothers like myself, small businesses, or purchase your diapers from a local creator.

3. cloth diapering is cute. how can you resist this little bottom?

(see more cuteness at!)

*please note, this is not an advertisement for gdiapers, nor am i affiliated with them in any way other than as an exceptionally satisfied customer. i haven't been compensated in any way by gdiapers... i just love them. there are tons of adorable cloth diapers on the market - choose your own cuteness!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

four misconceptions about cloth diapering

we're potty-training at my house, which strangely has me thinking about diapers and how i'm (oddly) going to miss them. probably because hannah's are so ridiculously cute, because we cloth diaper (CD). we're only one of a very few of our local friends who have CD'd "hardcore" for almost all of hannah's life - since she was 3 months old. our friends have many objections to cloth diapering, but they pretty much all boil down to these four.

1. i don't want to have to deal with poop. i don't either, but it's pretty much part of parenting. if you have a baby you are practically guaranteed to get pooped on and/or peed on at least once. it's pretty much a given that your baby will poop in the bathwater, and you'll have to fish it out. dealing with poop is part of parenting.

yes, i know that what parents are really saying is, i don't want to have to deal with poopy diapers. what they don't realize is, they still have to deal with poopy diapers. feces should not be disposed of into a landfill - it contaminates groundwater that way. a baby's poop should be disposed of in the toilet just like an adult's. and it's not like i'm grabbing poop off of my daughter's diapers with my bare hands. i have a diaper sprayer with which to spray off poop, so i don't ever have to "deal" with it. those poor disposable diaper parents, they don't have that tool.

2. cloth diapering is too much work. i've never understood this. when a disposable mama changes her baby, she takes off the old diaper, wipes the baby, puts on a fresh diaper, and drops the soiled diaper in the pail. my changing routine is exactly the same. the only difference is that my diapers get washed and re-used.

3. i don't want to do extra laundry. i don't want poop in my washing machine. cloth diapering is dirty. yes, cloth diapering does create additional laundry. at my house it's one additional load per week. and as i mentioned above, poop gets sprayed off the diapers and into the toilet... so i don't have any poop in my washing machine.

and by the way, because of all the rinse cycles and enzyme detergents and hothothot water, hannah's diapers are probably the cleanest things in our house. underwear doesn't get thrown away every time it's worn, but i guarantee your panties are not as clean as my daughter's diapers.

4. cloth diapering is too expensive. yes, cloth diapering is expensive... but disposables are more so. consider a sample diapering outlay over the past two and a half years, assuming 8 diaper changes per day:

- 6 small gdiapers at $17 each (new) - $102
- 10 medium gdiapers at $17 each (new) - $170
- 10 large gdiapers at $17 each (new) - $170
- 40 homemade soakers at $1.79 each - $72
- 30 cloth wipes at $12 per set of 10 - $36
- 2 diaper pail liners at $12 each - $24
- 2 wet bags at $12 per set of 2 - $12
- detergent, electricity, gas, and water usage for one additional load per week for 2.5 years - $75
total diapering cost - $661

this can be greatly reduced even by buying diapers used, if you're so inclined. for example, if you purchased all your gdiapers used at $10 each (instead of $17), your total diapering cost would drop to $479.

compare that to disposable diapers for 2.5 years, averaging 32 diapers per package (smaller size diapers have up to 40 per package, larger sizes around 27) and 70 wipes per package:

- 91 packages of diapers per year (8 changes per day = one package used every 4 days) at $9 per package (times 2.5 years) - $2,050
- 45 packages of wipes per year (one package used every 8 days) at $4.49 per package (times 2.5 years) - $505
- 10 boxes of diaper pail refill liners at $14.99 per box - $150
- waste disposal service increase at $5 per month for 2.5 years - $150
total diapering cost - $2,855

when we have a second child, our total diapering cost for that second child will be... $75. all we will have to pay to diaper our second child will be to run our washer and dryer, because we don't have to buy diapers, wipes, or diaper pail liners. if we had a second child in disposables, we would have to pay $2,855 again over the diapering life of the child.

additionally, i can resell my cloth diapers when we are finished with them. if i resold them all for only $8 each (half of the cost new), i'd make back $260. my total diapering cost for two children would have been my $661 initial outlay + $75 for my second child - $208 resale value recouped = $528.

you can't resell a used disposable diaper.

is all this enough to convince you to use cloth diapers? if cleanliness, ease of use, sanitary-ness, and cost savings aren't enough to convince you, i'll give you a few more reasons tomorrow.