Sunday, February 19, 2017

Why I Used Cloth Diapers and Why I Ditched Them (The Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers)

When Heidi was a baby, I was determined to be all crunchy-granola type mom.  I do extended breastfeeding, make my own baby food, avoid unnecessary medications, natural remedies, natural childbirth, baby wearing...the whole she-bang.  Part of that is cloth diapers, of course. Except when Heidi was a baby, we lived in a apartment and didn't have a washer/dryer, so I didn't use cloth at first.  However, when we moved into our own house with a washer/dryer when she was around 20 months, I eagerly invested in cloth diapers and used them ever since. Until I stopped.

I used them because they were cheaper, cuter, environmentally friendly and more natural. I even belonged to this whole cloth diapering playgroup.  Why there was a whole playgroup centered around cloth diapers, I will never know.  But, I did meet some nice moms through it. 

And I kept using them through the rest of the kids. Until I stopped recently after using them for several months with Annika.  Here's why. 

First the pros:

Cloth is cheaper:  Cloth diapers can definitely save money, especially if you use them for more than one child and pass them down.

Cloth is more natural:  I mean, I'm not really sure what is inside disposable diapers, but whatever it is it is not natural because it can hold a ton of pee and not smell and still keep the baby dry. That's gotta be some weird chemical stuff. 

Cloth is cuter: Honestly, I think this is what draws a lot of people towards cloth.  Cloth diapers come in all sorts of cute patterns and colors.  Mommy likes to place dress-up with the baby. 

Cloth is better for the environment: Probably anyway.  They say disposable diapers end up in the landfill for like a gazillion years.  So even with the extra washing and energy, it still probably comes out ahead of disposable diapers. 

Now the cons:

Cloth is more work:  And, I don't just mean the work of washing diapers.  Although there is that.  But the work of changing diapers.  Cloth diapers need to be changed VERY frequently. As in as soon as the baby pees in it one time.  For some babies (like mine) that could be just about every 30 minutes.  Two hours is probably the maximum. This can be rather annoying, especially when you are out and about.   And forget about overnight.  You have to put SO MUCH CLOTH on a baby to last overnight (especially if the baby is nursing all night).  SO MUCH.  As in the diaper ends up being SUPER THICK and probably uncomfortable. I gave up night-time cloth diapers very quickly.  For years, I had a happy compromise of using cloth during the day and disposables at night and when out of the house. I did that for most of my kids. 

Even still, I would say that I would change on average 10-12 cloth diapers a day as opposed to 5-6 disposable diapers.  So that's about double the number of diaper changes.  

Cloth leaks: I've never had a disposable diaper leak pee.  I have had a few blow-outs in disposable diapers, but never really had one leak pee.  Cloth diapers on the other hand leak frequently.  And since my babies basically nurse all day long, they also pee all day long, which means each day usually involved at least 1 outfit change due to diaper leaks because I would forget and go longer than 60-90 minutes in between changes.  Sometimes I would change 2-3 diapers an hour.

Cloth stinks: When I used cloth, I had enough diapers to last several days between washing.  I could easily go 4-5 days...that's how large my stash was.  However, that also meant that the dirty diapers were sitting around for several days in the diaper pail.  It just didn't smell good.  It wasn't that there was anything wrong with my diapers.just that any pee-soaked cloth is going to stink after a day or so, especially when you are talking about an older baby.

Cloth is more complicated:  This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a factor. There are many different types and styles of cloth diapers and different people have different preferences.   Sometimes it can take a bit of experimenting to see what you like.  Plus, different types of inserts/diapers go with different covers/pockets.  Over the years I had accumulated quite a large stash (mostly given to me by other cloth diaper drop-outs).  It was all fine when I was changing the baby because I knew what goes with what, but if someone less familiar tried to change the baby.  Well, let's just say there were a few times the baby was dressed in two fitted diapers and no cover or some other mishap that resulted in diaper malfunction.

Cloth is bulky.  When she's wearing cloth, the answer is yes.

Why I ditched the cloth: I just recently stopped using my cloth diapers and went all sposie with Annika.  The main reason being the leaks and increased number of diaper changes. I just couldn't deal with it anymore.  I figured I had done my dues to save the earth and I just needed a break from changing diapers every hour.  I was also tired of dealing with the stink from the diaper pail.   And I no longer feel like we are in a place where I feel so financially strapped to stretch every single penny.  So, I'm giving myself a break for awhile. 

I will likely bring the cloth out again when it comes time for potty-training. I'm a fan of doing it early and i find that cloth does make potty-training easier. 

What about you?  Do you use cloth diapers?  Have you tried them? Did you stick with it?

Any hey look, it's Sunday.  So I figured I would link up with Rosie for My Sunday Best.

It's in the 60's today, even though it's February, which is why Elsa is wearing a summer dress. Here is what Elsa, Annika and I wore today. 

Then Ben decided to get in the picture, so now we have a nice family picture minus the three older kids, who are much less cooperative when it comes to picture taking,


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