Sunday, May 24, 2009

Why I love cloth diapers (and why I dont)

Oh cloth diapers. How I love you. And for so many reasons.
1) I don't have to run to the store at (insert inconvenient time here) to buy more. My dirty pail fills up faster than my clean stash empties, so there are always clean ones to be had. I have never actually run out of clean diapers. (Clean covers is another story entirely!)
2) They are relatively cheap. If you go super duper cheap when you buy diapers, you can diaper your child for about $200. And you can diaper subsequent children for a minimal outlay (I would guess you might need new covers.)
3) You get to learn diaper origami! Well ok, but you do get to learn different ways to fold the diapers. Unlike disposables, which all go on one way, you get to figure out which fold works best on your child and when. Some people may see this as a drawback. I see it as a challenge. I've recently discovered that the one diaper cover that I previously disliked the most, actually works pretty well when I put the diaper on differently. It's also a lot easier to put the diaper on the new way and it works amazingly well for wet only times. It still works pretty good when she is off her schedule and poos in the "wet only" configuration. I'm considering purchasing another of these covers in a larger size, just because they are so good at wet only. And she wets only A WHOLE LOT!! (Like once an hour. Seriously.)
4) I don't worry about it if I can't decide or remember if the diaper that is on the changing table (or found randomly throughout the house) is clean or not. If I have any doubts, I toss it in the pail, no skin off my nose.
5) I can use the diapers as: burp clothes, nakee bummy time protectors, lap protectors, crib protectors, cleaning rags (after being retired from diaper commission of course), and plenty of other things (mostly being concerned with the containment or clean up of messes).
6) I have to change her just about every hour. Some days, it's annoying. BUT, I know it is healthier for her. When she is in disposable, I find myself thinking "it's only a little wet. She can wear it a little while longer." How would I feel with wet drawers? Not too comfy. (If you've ever experienced your water breaking WAY before the child exited, than you can kind of understand.)
7) There is no stinky perfumed disposable diaper scent in my baby's room. I cannot abide that smell. So I have to buy unscented diapers (luckily, the cheap ones are unscented. Except Luvs. Ugh. I'll never buy them.) When you use 1 or 2 disposables a day, smell isn't a problem.
8) I don't have to deal with diaper genie refuse, or any other buildup of disposable diaper trash. (I've heard someone call the diaper genie bag a "sausage of poo" which is hilarious and disturbing.)
9) When the diapers seem a little dingy, an afternoon in the sunshine gets them nice and like new again. (Try that with a disposable.)

Things I don't like about cloth:
1) They are a little bulky. I think it's a cute bubble butt, but if we go out with her in cloth, I have to make sure that I have extra covers, extra diapers, AND disposables (just in case!). They take up a lot of space in the diaper bag. And if you haven't seen my diaper bag, it's stupid. It has this belt around the top that prevents the bag from opening all the way. I can't quite bring myself to cut it off yet.
2) The smell. They definitely give off a... unique odor. Not necessarily bad, mostly like wet cloth (duh). The smell I have a problem with is the bag when I am dumping them in the washing machine. It reminds me of the smell of the rabbit cage on a warm summer's day. (Mom, Amy, and Teene should all know what that smells like.) I guess it is probably just ammonia. But, this smell thing is a good thing too. I wash more often (which is better in general) so that we can avoid the smell. Though I noticed that the clean diapers had a bit of a funk lately, but I think I have solved that with the addition of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to the wash routine, as well as some time in good ol' Mr Sunshine.
3) I have to change her immediately after waking and about every hour during the day. A little time consuming, but again, it's better for her bum anyway.
4) I can't put her in cloth for night. Ok, lots of people do, but she wakes up soaked from a 2 hour nap. I imagine MAYBE 4 diapers, stacked together, MIGHT keep her dry over night. Not happening. Sorry cloth, but sposies win for nighttime.
5) I don't have enough covers. Sometimes I have to put her in sposies because she has soiled all of her covers, which I can't really blame on her. Most of the time this happens, it's because I have been lax in changing her quickly enough to prevent soakage of covers. (It takes time for the wet to get through the diaper and soak into the cover.

Those are all the reasons I can think of for now. As you can see, the likes far outweigh the dislikes. And I feel like I am doing something good when I use cloth. Disposables make me feel sad. I couldn't explain it if I wanted to. I think I just imagine the quarter that I spent on the diaper going down the toilet (figuratively of course). And I don't know about you, but I don't have many quarters hanging around right now.

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