Monday, June 9, 2008

Cloth diaper update...I'm going green!

Some of you know that I have been contemplating switching to cloth diapers. "Whaaaa?" you say. Well, cloth diapers have come a long way. I mean, a LLLOOONNNGGG way. No more pins and crinkly, stiff rubber pants, although I'm sure you could still find those somewhere if you wanted to. My midwife asked me at one of my prenatal appointments "have you thought of cloth diapers?" Inside, I was saying, " we go!" It fit midwife/ natural birth stereotype. In my mind, switching to cloth diapers was only one step away from long skirts and offense to you long skirt, Birkenstock wearing women out there. It just isn't me. Or so I thought...

For the sake of humoring my midwife and being able to say, "I checked it out and its really not for me", I visited a website she recommended. I was astounded that not only had diapers come a long way, but there were TONS of moms choosing cloth over disposable. I was frankly quite overwhelmed by the number of choices available. I decided to give my friend, Carole, a call. I remembered that she used cloth diapers. We talked and she thought I should email her sister, who used a lot of different cloth diapering systems, whereas Carole used the more traditional "prefold" cloth diapers and covers. I emailed her sister (who was due for a baby only 2 days before I was!) and she was really helpful with ideas and what worked for her, etc. She even offered to let me see or borrow the different styles she had so I could decide what I liked best.

My research visiting different sites gave several reasons to switch to cloth. Some of them are:

:: The cost factor. I had two different numbers thrown at me. $1300 and $2500. These are estimates on the amount of money it will cost you to buy disposable diapers for ONE child until they are potty trained. Yes, ONE read that correctly. I suppose it all depends on what types of disposables you buy and how long your child wears them for.

:: Health and wellness factors. I learned that regular, disposable diapers are loaded with tons of chemicals. Some of which are frankly quite harsh and probably not what you want next to your baby's skin for 3 years straight. I'm not a chemist, so I really don't know the science behind it.

:: The environmental factor (thus the green color of this entry!). Yes, disposable diapers end up in landfills and we all know our landfills are filling up quickly. I should know...I live less than a mile from one, and I can attest to how high it has grown since we moved in 8 years ago. I have to be honest and say that this reason was not as large a factor for me as the financial and health reasons of switching to cloth were. Just keeping it real.

I didn't want to invest a ton of money only to find out that I really couldn't stand using cloth diapers. I found a website that offered free shipping, and bought a "package". It included 18 high quality cloth diapers and 4 covers. It was enough to last at least 2 days before having to wash, and would give me a good taste of cloth diapers without a huge investment. Incidentally, I chose the more traditional method/style of cloth diapers and used the prefold cloths diapers and covers. The covers are cloth on the outside with a nice waterproof lining. They look very much like disposables on the outside. My other options were endless...AIO, or all in one diapers, where the diaper and cover are one piece and the entire thing gets thrown in the washer together. Or, there are contoured diapers, inserts, pocket style name it, they make it!

Friday was the first day I started trying these diapers out. Matt laughed at how excited I was to try them! Hey, I'm a stay at home mom surrounded with little ones all day. SOMETHING has to excite me! I am impressed with how much these diapers hold. MUCH more than a disposable diaper. My Gracie likes to nurse, and therefore pees and poops frequently and heavily. She would often, as in at least once a day, leak out of her disposables. I was buying Pampers and Huggies diapers, so not the cheap stuff, but they still could not contain her. Also, she had a very bad diaper rash. She had had it for 2 weeks and nothing was helping. I tried numerous creams and ointments and was even contemplating making a Dr's appointment for her. The only reason I didn't was because she seemed totally unbothered by it. Well, from friday to today, her rash has completely gone away! Her hiney looks great and is no longer bright red! I purposely did not use any creams or ointments the last 3 days other than 2 applications of Lotrimin as her rash was starting to look "yeasty" as well.

All I can say is, "I'm a cloth diaper believer!"

More updates on this matter in the future...

1 comment:

Carole said...

Good for you! I'm sorry I didn't get back to you about the diaper butt syndrome. You are probably doing everything right - the diapers may just be a bit bulky on her for now.


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