Saturday, June 19, 2010
I'll be the first to admit that when I thought about cloth diapers, I thought they were hand towel looking things that you held together with safety pins. I had always thought about using cloth. I heard it was the best for babies and of course I only wanted the best for my little ones. However, when I did become pregnant, my husband didn't want the extra laundry work load and I couldn't blame him. I quickly agreed to go with disposables and called it a day. After all, when you're pregnant you don't have much energy for anything, much less for arguing. At least that's how it was, for me.
Here's some of my misconceptions and the real truth about them!
Cloth diapers are expensive! It's estimated that on average people spend around $800, per year, on disposable diapers. $800, per year, on something that will be used once then thrown into the garbage. Cloth diapers are different. Depending on the type and style of cloth diapers you use, you can spend anywhere between $200-$600 on a system that will last from birth to potty training as well as for subsequent children. That's a savings of approximately $1800-$2200 in savings! Not to mention if you use them for more than one child! That, alone, speaks for itself!
Cloth diapers use massive amount of excess electricity and water! Not true! While cloth diapers do use water and energy to clean think about the comparison between your average washing machine and the factory machines used to create disposables. The washing machines these days are designed to use minimum amounts of both water and electricity to clean the average load of cloths, diapers, etc. Machines that are used to create disposables are not designed to save on water, electricity or anything of the sort. They're used for mass production. Period. Also, think about all the forests that are saved from being cut down and turned into paper pulp to create disposables. Thus reducing carbon emissions and reducing our fossil fuel usage.
Cloth diapers leak! Not necessarily! Depending on the type, size or style you use, it doesn't have to be that way. Cloth diapers have held in WAY more messes than disposables ever have. The inserts are designed to hold in quite a bit of liquid and the design of the diapers are meant to hold in quite a bit of mess. The idea, however, isn't to hold in more liquid. If a diaper is soiled or wet, it needs to be changed, period. If a diaper is changed soon after it becomes soiled or wet then the chance for leaks is slim to none.
Cloth diapers smell and are unsanitary! I, personally, will tell you that as long as you care for them properly, they are neither. A diaper thrown in a diaper pail is no more offensive then a disposable thrown into a garbage can. However, I've never had my nursery smell once the diaper is in the pail. Once washed in a cloth diaper safe detergent (such as RnG) the diapers will smell fresh and clean after every wash! No stink! On the other hand cloth diapers don't need to be sanitized!! Think about it, do you sanitize your underpants or the underpants of your older child who has an accident in their pants? No. You simply throw them in the washing machine and call it a day. Cloth diapers are the same! Simply remove the excess poo and throw it in the washing machine with an approved detergent and either line dry or dry on low heat in the dryer. Simple as that.
Cloth diapers are hard to care for! There aren't many more steps to cloth diapering than there are to disposables. Removing of excess waste in the toilet then throwing it in the pail has been proven just as effective as removing the waste, rinsing/spraying, then putting it in the pail. There's no need to take the extra steps if you don't want to. Cloth diapers only add 1-3 loads of extra laundry, per week, depending on the size of your stash. Washing is generally the same as any other type of laundry and shouldn't pose any more trouble on laundry day.
So if you have been considering cloth diapering and had the same common misconceptions that I did, I urge you to reconsider the thought and at least try it out. I am sure that once you do, you'll realize that it's not anymore work than disposables and it's much safer, cleaner and cheaper!