Monday, December 06, 2010

Making Peace with Cloth Diapers

Before I even got pregnant, I wanted to use cloth diapers because they were supposed to have less of an environmental impact.  And, it wigged me out to think of Anthropologists in the future finding my kids' poop in a landfill.

Once pregnant, I registered for a bunch of different kinds so we could find the one we liked best and then invest.  I got one cloth diaper (thanks, Hilleri!).  So, I bought a bunch from a consignment store, not realizing that the diapers and covers did not go well together.  I tried to use them with Aggie, but every-time she wore one, she'd pee right through them.  We were already using disposables, so we stuck with those.

When I became an F-TP, I decided to try again and had the same results.  I consulted my cloth diaper gurus (thanks, Becky & Maralea), who shared some diapers with me.  They said they change diapers every two hours (yikes!), have about 24 of them and wash them every other day.  Now, most cloth diapers cost about $15-20 a piece, so buying 20+ of them is a big financial commitment.  Yes, yes, disposables are too, but I pay $14 every two weeks, so laying out a huge chunk of change at once is a big decision.

I kept hemming and hawing.  Disposables are so darn easy.  Cloth is sustainable and will likely not cause a diaper rash.  We're used to disposables and we're very lazy.  Etc., etc.  Back and forth.

Until.  Until I read about how you have to wash cloth diapers - one wash cold, one wash hot, one rinse hot, line dry.  Despite being the main laundry doer in the house, I know I would mess this up.  Ask Jason how many of his clothes I have shrunk.  And when you mess up with the cloth diapers, you can ruin them.  Yes, it seems like it would be a relatively easy thing to teach myself, but I know me.  And with a second baby zapping my energy and memory, proper wash-age so would not happen.

Plus - all that water!  We live in an arid region.  With giant landfills that no one can find - out of sight, out of mind, right?

I'm still plagued my nagging doubts about using disposables but I'm trying to block them out.  And trying to make peace with the fact that I am taking the easy way out and there's really no good justification for it.  Sigh.


Anonymous said...

We can only do so much! Your husband talked me out of using cloth. I am so glad that I did not stress after he did.

Nanimal said...

dude... I am still working on that one. We used disposables with the boys.
but now... we hang dry all our clothes and I am toying with a hybrid plan. (and we can't really screw up the diapers with no dryer)

We are on the move a lot and I don't want to have to cart dirty diapers home with me. hmmm.

carmen said...

I feel you. I used disposables only with both kids and I never felt much more than a twinge of guilt. My son was in day care when he was little and by the time my daughter was born I was running all over town with a pre-schooler and I was not interested in making my life more hectic and poop filled than it already was. I think cloth is great if you are home all the time and want to to do it. Otherwise, follow your heart and what is going to make your days pass joyously.

sunnywave said...

i'm with carmen...there's enough poo to go around at the F-quadrupled household...the laundry portion alone sounds daunting. go with your heart and i *heart* you, and please don't add on more guilt for yourself...we have enough as mommies! so yes, i struggle and feel guilty, too, but i still vote for joy!