Monday, November 2, 2015

Why We're Trying Cloth Diapers For The New Baby

When I was still working, there was someone I worked with someone who really liked working from a hard copy.  It wasn't unusual at all for this person to generate 2 reams worth of paper in any given week. (I wish I was exaggerating.)

I tried to show him how to adjust the printer settings so he could print out double-sided copies, but his unfortunate response was, "I don't believe in global warming."

To which I would always, always respond, "That's no excuse not to be a good steward of what we've been given."

When I was pregnant with Pitter Patter, we really thought hard about cloth diapering with her. I loved the idea, but because I was still working, I had a lot of doubts about whether I could realistically do cloth diapering without crashing and burning spectacularly, spending the average cost of $500 for a stash of awesome diapers, and throwing them away after the first six weeks of using them because I just couldn't keep up with the extra laundry. ... and then spending the average cost of $2500 to diaper a child to 2.5 years anyway.

I sought advice from a LOT of people that had done cloth diapers before. A lot of my friends were cloth diapering their kids - of course, all my friends at the time had boys, and I knew I was having a little girl. Little girls and little boys are different, so I wasn't super-confident that it would be "exactly the same." (Sounds silly, I know.)

I consulted with the person who would be keeping Pitter Patter (for at least a little while) when I went back to work. She was cloth diapering her own son, and she was willing to help us do it full time for a little more money.

The person whose opinion affected mine the most (because this was a team decision - my husband and me together) was my Grammy.  She'd used cloth with - if memory serves - four of her five, and said that the diaper rash with disposables was not nearly as bad as the diaper rash with cloth.

If I was going to have to work (and at the time it looked like I was), I did not want to be constantly fighting diaper rash.

But, the longer I've had Pitter Patter in disposables, the more I've really considered making the switch.

Now that she's growing out of the sizes of cloth diapers that are readily available, the more I'm saying that it would be better if we just went ahead and started potty training her instead. (Just have to find a good week to do it!)

Here are some of the things that made us decide that when the new baby comes will be the time we make the switch!

(1) Cloth diapers are better for the environment.
Did you know that it takes like four hundred years for a disposable diaper to break down in a land fill? Yeah. Four HUNDRED years.

(If you're not a parent, don't laugh. In the process of researching this post, I found out that plastic grocery bags take even longer.)
Image from Used under Creative Commons License 3.0.
(2) Cloth diapers are cheaper. (A lot cheaper.)
$2500 > $500

For a lot of families, it really is that simple.

Right now, we're figuring that even if we do crash and burn on this experiment, we still have the fifty dollars in the budget that we're spending on disposable diapers right now.

(3) Laudato Si'.
The more I've thought about it and thought about it, the more I've felt convicted by how I used to talk about paper, and the obvious double-standard I applied when it came to diapers.

Why? Because diapers are icky? I'll buy some cleaning gloves. No big.
Paper gets icky, too, after it spends four or five weeks in a landfill.
So, there you have it. Why we are trying cloth diapers for kid #2.

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