It seems to me that every cloth diapering mom blog I’ve visited has had nothing but good things to say about their choice of washable diapers. They share how eco-friendly they are, and how much money they save in the long term… but never have I read a single complaint.
Well, I for one feel the need to set the record straight. Cloth diapering is not fun. It is a chore, and is definitely not the easy option. However, it is something that is so worth the extra effort in my opinion. So here is the world of cloth diapering, from my point of view…
I have never been able to cloth diaper my newborns. They simply wet way too often. My little ones seem to have super sensitive skin, ’cause it doesn’t take much at all for them to break out in a terrible rash.
I try to rotate cloth and disposable diapers as my baby gets a little bit older, just to save money.
Once my babies are around 3 months old, I begin trying to cloth diaper exclusively. When Xia hit six months old, I refused to buy another disposable diaper. Freebies are always welcomed though!! My reason for cloth diapering has nothing to do with saving the planet (though it is nice to know that I am not creating more waste), for us it is all about savings.
Cloth diapering is not always convenient. Carrying a soiled cloth around in your diaper bag until you are able to get home and wash it isn’t fun. They do make cute waterproof bags you can zip your wet ones up in… but it’s a plastic grocery bag for me. Not exactly odor proof.
I don’t have a huge stash of cloth diapers, so it’s a load of wash every day. My 8 month old baby girl is going through about 18 diapers per day.
To fight diaper rash, I’ve found that Almond Oil works really well at protecting baby’s bottom from the moisture in soiled diapers. I’ve also noticed that rinsing the diapers in 1/2 c. of white vinegar before drying them works wonders at removing the ammonia in the cloth which causes the irritation. I don’t use store bought baby wipes either. No matter how “gentle” they say they are, they always cause a rash.
Other people are not so willing to help change a diaper when they see that it’s a cloth one. It’s not that bad, people!
The urine smell in the nursery can be hard to disguise. I put my wet diapers in a diaper pail, but if they sit there for a few days the smell gets very strong. Washing daily helps tremendously.
Once baby starts eating solid foods, the poops are not as easily washed out. No longer can you simply toss the diaper into the washer. First, you have to dump and swish in the potty to get all of the solids off. So not fun. A diaper sprayer attachment is very helpful though!
Oh, and you can forget about those adorable little flare leg jeans you got for baby. They are NOT going to fit over that bulky diaper. Trust me. It’s not happening.
But even with all of these inconveniences associated with cloth diapering, I am still glad we do it.
There is something about wrapping your delicate baby’s bottom with something soft and natural, as opposed to crinkly paper and plastic, that feels really nice.
Cloth diapers are convenient in that you never run out. You won’t have any uh-oh-I’m-out-of-diapers-and-can’t-get-to-the-store moments. You might have to wash one up, but you won’t ever be completely out of luck. This is especially helpful in emergency situations.
And you just can’t beat the savings. When we were rotating cloth and disposables, it was costing us about $40/month to diaper baby. It would have been double that had we not used cloth at all. Now that we are exclusively cloth diapering, that’s money in our pockets! I realize that one extra load of cloth diapers a day adds a little bit to our power bill, but I haven’t noticed a huge difference.
Anyways, that’s my take on it! Yeah, they are messier, a bit bothersome, and a little more work, but cloth diapers have been a blessing to our budget.
What about you? Do you cloth diaper? Why or why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!