Well, I've been tinkering with the idea of cloth diapering for several months now... and we've finally taken the plunge!
This makes almost one month of full time cloth diapering Samy (by the way, we just celebrated his 2nd birthday!!). It's sweet, because in the beginning, when we put the first cloth diaper on him, we made it a little too bulky and he just walked around the room with his legs bent in a wide stance- just like a sumo wrestler! It was hilarious :D We could not stop laughing! I want to remember that forever.
Well, since then, we've kinda figured out what we're doing...
annnd using a lot less padding ;)
We mostly decided to switch to cloth for 2 main reasons and 1 smaller reason.
First, Sam will be starting school again this month, and we'll be on one income again. That means, we're doing what we can to cut costs so that we will hopefully not have to touch savings. Cloth diapering, especially with another little love on the way, will save us a TON!! Not to sound all cloth diaper commercial here, but I'll just share a few bits of information that helped us make the switch.
It is estimated that the average cost of diapering a child, newborn to potty training (average 3 yrs old at potty training) using disposable diapers is $2500-$3000. I've read some sources that estimate as high as $4000, but I think that's a little high. Either way, that's a lot of money to think of throwing down the toilet, haha! The cost of a modern cloth diaper stash can vary greatly, but most people can get a fully stashed popular brand of reusable cloth diapers for about $500.
So, the first and biggest reason we're switching to cloth is the savings. We've got at least another year of diapers for Samy, and the cost of that alone will more than enough reimburse what we've spent on our cloth diaper stash. The best part is that we'll save money there, but we'll also be able to reuse these diapers with the little one on the way, and maybe make it through one more child (if God chooses to give us more children). In the long run, it will save us at least several thousand dollars. And I'm definitely okay with that!!
The second big reason, is that the more reading I've done on cd'ing, the more I've become grossed out with how disposable diapers end up in landfills and sit there for YEARS without breaking down.
Here's a quote from the Real Diaper Association (I know, weird name, but whatev):
"No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone."
"Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills..."
Now, we're really not big environmental type people- not saying that that's a negative thing at all, in fact, I kind of wish we were, but I think that cloth diapering is a really easy way to do our part, even if it's just a little bit.
And lastly, the third, and smaller reason, we are now CD fans is that I've been reading about all the harmful chemicals found in disposable diapers that didn't already know about. Again, disclaimer: I'm not a super green type person that recycles and knows about/avoids every harmful chemical. I'm just not. Don't want to be either, except maybe learning how to compost and start recycling. That's why this is on our lesser important reasons why we started to cloth diaper, although for many people, it is the biggest reason whey they do.
Not trying to trail off here, but Sam and I use natural family planning for trying to conceive/postpone pregnancy. The reason I bring this up is that one of the reasons we use NFP is because birth control is so harmful to a woman's body because of the carcinogenic chemicals in it. Well, disposable diapers have dioxin in them. Here's another quote on dioxin from the same link above:
"Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S."
I don't know a lot about the chemical aspect of disposable diapers, but I'm slowly feeling that cloth diapers are better for our family.
And I know I only listed 3 reasons earlier, but there is one tiny fourth one... they are stinkin' cute!! (Sorry for the cheesy puns, haha.)
Here are some pics of the diaper systems we use. I'm posting these pics, because some people I know only have the idea in mind of the old "nappy" type cloth diapers that you use safety pins with. Some people, in fact a lot, still use this system, but I just don't think that would be for us. Anyway, here are the pics :)
This is the Flip Diaper System by Bumgenius. They're versatile and create less laundry. We like these a lot.
The second style of cloth diapers we're using are pockets. We just started using Bumgenius 4.0s, and while they do create more laundry than the Flip system, I like the convenience that there's nothing to assemble at diaper change time. I get everything ready right out of the dryer, and they're all done until diaper laundry again :) These diapers are also very nice for grandparents, babysitters, and daycare.
Anyway, that's just a quick little update about our newest adventure. Next post, hopefully I will write a little about making our own laundry detergent that is cloth diaper safe, and hopefully will save us money along with cd'ing!
Happy start of the new week to everyone! Feel free to ask any questions :)
Post Script: Like I mentioned already, this is just me sharing about our newest adventure as parents. I hope anyone who reads this who uses disposables doesn't think I think they're a bad thing. We've used disposables for 3 years with no ill effect, and I'm sure we'll keep a few on hand just in case. I'm just excited about sharing a new way to save and make our little ones' bottoms look even cuter, as if that were possible ;)