Friday, October 05, 2007

DIAPERS, AND WIPES, AND BABIES, OH MY!*Boo Bear Buns diapers from www.slingsandsacks.com

I have ordered several more cloth diapers. To my complete surprise, I actually really like cloth diapers. Well, let me rephrase that. I really like using cloth diapers on nursing infants who haven't started solids yet. :) There is no way in H-E-Double hockey sticks that I am using cloth diapers on my two year old. I am hoping that by easing into this gradually, by the time my 4 month old is well into solids, that I will be used to it and it won't be a big deal. The difference between cloth and disposable is huge. And not just with diapers. I find that using cloth over disposable is much better in almost every situation. Towels, wet wipes, napkins, diapers, nursing pads. When did we become such a disposable culture? Cloth is much more environmentally friendly, less expensive, feels better on skin, more satisfying to use, etc.

I can't really think of a good way to verbalize the difference. The best analogy I can think of is a house. You know when you walk into one of those cheap, cookie cutter, contractor-grade houses that are made of the cheapest vinyl siding, linoleum, fake wood floors, hollow core doors, and the like? You know how they just don't have that satisfying presence about them? And then you walk into a home that was custom built with brick, hardwood floors, solid wood doors, crown moulding, and tile? It just feels more substantial? More RIGHT? That is how using cloth feels to me. It just feels right. With a baby, using cloth isn't much of a hassle anyway. It isn't a big deal to throw the diapers in the wash and they look so sweet hanging on the line. If anyone who is reading this has a baby, I highly recommend buying a cloth diaper or two and just trying it out.
I haven't posted about my diaper experience sooner because I didn't want to jump the gun and act really excited about it only to have the novelty wear off after a few days and go back to disposable. I have used cloth while out of the house, at home, and overnight, all with great success. They launder easily and fit well on my baby.
I still am not completely sure which brand I want to use though. The first diaper I bought (and which I just ordered more of) is easily the easiest to use. It is called a one size all in one. The great thing about this diaper is that it is one size fits all...newborn to potty training...so you can really stretch your investment. The other great thing about it is that it has a built in liner, so you don't need a diaper cover. It is much less bulky under clothes because of that and is also much more hubby-grandparent-babysitter friendly because it is just like a disposable diaper to use (except for the throwing it away part).
On the other hand, I really like the other diaper I bought, which is pictured above. These diapers are organic, unbleached hemp/cotton blend, one size fits all, and they feel sooooo good. I love their natural color and how soft they are. They are very absorbent and are very easy to use. I don't even like to put baby B's clothes on because he looks so sweet in just his little diaper. However, the downside is that these need a diaper cover, so they are more expensive (and if you put a cover over them, then you can't see how cute they are!). These are actually faster to use than the other diaper, because you just lay the doubler in the diaper, rather than stuffing it in the pocket with the other diaper. So, I am not really sure what I will end up using. I might do a combo of the two.
As for my two year old, I am in a bit of dilemma. On the one hand, I am grossed out at the thought of cleaning cloth diapers at his advanced stage of eating. On the other hand, I feel really badly about using disposable diapers and clogging up the landfills. Did you know that it supposedly takes a disposable diaper 300 YEARS to decompose?!!! I have already dumped thousands of diapers in the trash with my three kids...multiply that by millions of babies...I shudder to think!

So, I thought that maybe biodegradable diapers would be a good compromise. While that would be better, environmentally, it still has some major drawbacks. On the eco level, there are still lots of materials, packaging, work, transportation, and fuel that go into making those diapers. While they may not be rotting in a landfull for the next umpteenth years, they stiil aren't the best choice. Also, they are almost twice as expensive ($0.52 apiece, compared to $0.28 apiece for huggies supreme) and I would have to order them online. So, my question is: Where do we draw the line with doing what is easiest for us, or best for the world as a whole? Where do we make the sacrifices in our everyday life for the good of future generations and where do we say enough? Some go so far as to live without a fridge and air conditioning while others just do a little recycling now and then. Do you go buy the expensive Prius because it is better for the environment, or do you keep the 8 year old Volvo that runs fine and is paid for?
Obviously, this isn't a cut and dried thing. There isn't one answer that works for everyone across the board.

I am struggling with that answer for my own family right now, in little ways. Should I spend more of our money on biodegradable diapers that are less harmful for the environment but less financially friendly?
Of course, the cheapest and most green choice would be cloth (or Elimination Communication/Potty Training).
So, the real question is: do I care enough about the earth to get over my squeamishness of changing cloth diapers on a grape and peanuts loving two year old? I hope the answer is yes, but honestly, I just don't know.

3 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you are enjoying the cloth diapers! I'll just have to live the experience through you cause I just can't see myself going there. I'm just hung up on the sanitation issue. But, I'm glad it's working for you - I'd love to see pics of the little one in them! :)

    When are you planning the potty training for L? I'm considering soon for Nathan. We'll have to wait till his cast comes off, but he's dry in the mornings and that's a good indication that he's ready!


    Anyhoo... glad you are feeling better - I've missed you posting.

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  2. I've been thinking about this lately and it might be a bit gross, but we're talking diapers, right?!

    Maybe for L you could put the cloth on him after he does his business in the disposable. If he's like Nathan, he goes around the same time each day. Maybe plan around that? At least right after he goes, you'd be pretty safe?

    Just a thought (which you've probably already had...) ;o)

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  3. I stumbled on your blog in a search and I have enjoyed your posts. I too use cloth diapers and totally understand your comments. We have a ton of AIO (all in ones) in our diaper basket as my husband prefers their ease of use. I love fitteds however under wool covers. Good luck to you on your cloth diapering journey - and kudos to you on your committment to being a good steward of what God has given us.

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