I know this is one of those “touchy” parenting subjects. It seems like mothers get all indignant over their decisions regarding breast v bottle, cloth v disposable, cry it out v comforting and co-sleeping.
I hope you don’t get irate and go all Mom-ster on me, I do not endeavor to tell you how to contain your own kid’s excrement. I’m just sayin’ we love these diapers. They work for us. Maybe they won’t work for you and that’s completely cool with me. . .But here’s why we love them.
1. I’m Lazy, Remember? I never have to worry about buying diapers. So long as my husband does the laundry, we have diapers.
2. They Function Just Like A Disposable Diaper – They close on the waist above the baby’s leg with snap (or velcro) tabs. There’s no folding or pinning onto a squirmy baby. They are user-friendly for baby sitters, day care providers, and grandparents.
3. They Don’t Explode Those Little Dessicant Balls All Over Your Kid’s Rump Ewwww. I’m sure they are perfectly safe and non-toxic but it takes work to get all those little balls wiped off. See also, 1 Lazy.
4. They Seldom Leak – and once the child gets older, they come with an extra cloth insert you can use for extra absorption.
5. They are ONE-SIZE FITS ALL – They come with a snap system on the outside cover of the diaper and on the inserts that allows them to fit children weighing between about 7 and 35 pounds. We started using ours as soon as Mac’s gross belly button nub was gone.
6. They Wear Like Iron – We positively abuse these things. . .the snaps, the occasional laundering in super hot sanitary rinse cycles – The elastic and snaps and cloth are holding up beautifully. And if you plan to use these for multiple children, you can purchase kits to easily replace the elastic in the legs should it happen to deteriorate after years of use.
7. Cloth Diapers Aren’t Nearly as Gross or Cumbersome as You’d Imagine. When we have a wet diaper, we pull out the insert and un-snap it and toss it in the laundry hamper. When we have a dirty diaper, we dump the contents in the toilet first. Then we just wash everything with regular laundry soap and some white vinegar. We don’t have a staining problem, but if you do, I’m sure you can bleach them sometimes too. Every few washings, I wash them all on the super-hot sanitary cycle to keep them extra fresh. When we are traveling or hiking, we use a lined cloth zip top bag to put the wet diapers in until we get home.
8. Crunch the Numbers: I haven’t actually done the math, but it appears by all accounts, you can save approximately $1000 over the course of three years by using a cloth diapering system. Certainly, if you plan to have multiple children, that can add up to a modest initial 529 investment.
9. Maybe They Are Slightly More Environmentally Friendly – Yes, you aren’t putting mounds of solid waste in a land-fill. However, you are likely doing laundry more frequently. I’m not sure how the environmental benefits actually shake out, but hey, at least you don’t have to take out the stupid trash so often.
10. Some Folks Say. . .A cloth diaper allows the child to realize when she’s wet thereby making toilet training a little easier. I haven’t tested these claims yet. There might be some truth to it?
There are disadvantages:
When we travel, we either need to pack an ample supply or make sure we have access to laundry facilities. So far that hasn’t been an issue.
They are not cheap initially. I believe they are upwards of $15-$20 per diaper. Depending on how many diapers you purchase, you might be doing laundry very frequently. We have 36 diapers – figuring that was plenty for a 3 day supply and it’s been entirely adequate.
Speaking of laundry, sometimes you need to plan for a problem at home. Last fall when the remnants of a few hurricanes blew through our area, I purchased some disposable diapers just in case we lost power for an extended time. We were fortunate we never lost power.
They are bulky – They are light-weight but they are bulky. So they take up more room in your diaper bag, luggage, laundry, storage and the kid’s pants!
We really do love this particular brand. Although, there are many similar versions/brands on the market. A Google search will offer more information than you probably ever cared to know about the subject!
Here are two more possibly useless and potentially gross blips:
1. We didn’t purchase one of those crazy sprayer attachments that hook to your toilet. And I’ve never once wish I had it. Mac almost immediately alerts to the fact he has a dirty diaper so he’s never really um, squished the contents onto the diaper so badly that we would need a sprayer to remove them. A little shake is all it takes.
2. These diapers often come with an option for snap tabs or velco tabs. While the velcro seems slightly easier to use, I opted for snaps because I didn’t want the velco tabs sticking to inserts or other laundry and creating a big jumbled mess in the dryer. I am very pleased with the snap up kind.