SO, as most of you know I'm super passionate about being good stewards of Gods magnificent creation...
NO I'M NOT PREGNANT AND AM NOT PLANNING TO BE FOR A GOOD LONG WHILE (just in case this post title sent off any alarms). BUT when that time comes I am VERY interested in doing the cloth diaper thing! Hey, if it was good enough for my bum it's good enough for my babies' bums too!
Ahem, AS I was saying before I was so RUDELY interrupted by my nosy readers. There are many benefits to cloth diapering and TONS of resources out there for moms and dads (present or future) who are interested but totally intimidated by the idea.
Cloth diapers have evolved to be JUST AS CONVENIENT as disposables, if you are willing to do an extra load of laundry every 2-3 days (and the cost benefits alone can motivate someone to do that). If you don't want to mess with the "old fashion" prefolds and covers, you can opt for the super Dad/Grandparent/Childcare Worker- friendly pocket diapers or all-in-ones. For those road trips, overnight stays, and outings where you just can't do cloth, there are always the biodegradable disposables.
ONE: God's Green Earth. That's right, we're riding on it. It gives us life, air, food, water, a place to put our loved ones, and some pretty cool hiking trails to boot! Anywho, a conservative estimate, according to the numbers in this article (8 diapers per day for first 4 months (newborn), 6 per day from 4-24 months, assuming potty training by age 2 (which these days is unheard of), a baby will go through 4,560 diaper changes. That's the CONSERVATIVE number. Assuming that a child is closer to 3 when potty trained, that conservative estimate would grow to 6,720!!! That's a bunch of diapers (that contain lots of nasty chemicals) to put in our landfills.
TWO: Money, money, yeah, yeah. According to this article, the estimated cost per disposable diaper is $0.29 and rising. Using our above conservative estimate, it costs AT LEAST $1,322.40 to diaper a baby in disposables for 24 months, maybe more depending on the sales tax where you live and your diaper changing habits. If your child is 3 before s/he is potty trained, the cost is at least $1,948.80. These estimates don't include nighttime trainers after the daytime transition to undies. WOW. This article at SunshineDiapers sites a cost of around $400 to set your FIRST baby up with cloth diapers all the way to potty training (it also has TONS of good facts). YEP, that's about A GRAND in savings (or more) for your first baby. I say that because many parents are able to reuse their cloth diapering system with their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on children (if you plan to have the dang VonTrapp family that is).
THREE: Baby's Bum. Do you really want all those chemicals (chlorine, perfumes etc.) on your little one's precious tushy?? Cloth diaper babies have fewer instances of diaper rash, AND drumroll please... potty train MUCH sooner than disposable diapered babies.
CASE STUDY: MY precious baby tushy. My mother only used cloth diapers on my precious bum. That is, until we took a beach trip (I think I was about 9-10 mos. old at the time). My virgin-to-disposable-diapers booty broke out into a horrible rash that my mother proceeded to clear up by ripping it off and putting me straight into the salty ocean waves once we arrived. I'm surprised I don't remember this special form of abuse and torture even to this day. She says "you screamed about it, but your rash went away." CRAZY LADY!
And really, really, cloth diapers are not as scary as they used to be. NO PINS, SEE??
SO, are you curious? Wanting to know more?? Feeling guilty?? >;-) For more great reading about reasons and benefits of cloth diapers, use the links previously given in the post. They are great resources and articles. For information and reviews on modern cloth diapers from a REAL CLOTH DIAPER MOM, go to this post by the Simple Mom. She's having a giveaway of a cloth diaper package for some lucky folks, which inspired this post on my blog!! (giveaway now closed, I didn't win) :(
Remember my sweet friend Lara? She and her husband Bryan were going through the adoption process when she found out she was knocked up. >:-) Well, being Mother Earth incarnate that she is, she is planning to cloth diaper BOTH babies (SO amazing)!!! If I happen to win this diaper giveaway, they will be hers (goodness knows she will need them)!!!
So I felt bad about not clearly laying out some resources for you all. Plus, I've found lots of good stuff since I wrote this!
The REAL CLOTH DIAPER MOM sited above did an entire week of blog posts all about cloth diapering as part of an ongoing series. She answers common questions, has videos demonstrating cleaning and changing cloth diapers of all kinds, plus the type/brand review that are fabulous resources. An earlier post she wrote defines the different types of cloth diapers, with pros and cons of each! The Cloth Diapering 101 series of new and older posts by Simple Mom is the most in depth and extensive resource for cloth diaper how-to that I've found. She even talks about all the other stuff you need to have (not just the diapers) to make life easy.
If you are interested in cloth diapers and want to learn more about products AND start an online registry, go to www.kellyscloset.com. I mean, the initial investment upfront for cloth diapers is definitely worth it, but it can get pretty steep (about $400 or so)! If you want help from friends and family, this online registry is great. They also have all the associated products that you need like a diaper sprayer, washable pail liners, wet bags and the like. They also have a good CONCISE fact page on products, care and how to.
If you are interested in 2nd hand cloth diapers as a MOST echonomical choice (other than free gifts from a registry :-P), head on over to www.diaperswappers.com. This is a network of moms that swap and sell new and used cloth diapers.
Another great website as a comprehensive resource of facts and how-tos is www.cloth-diapers-made-easy.com.
Those desiring a cloth diaper system that incorporates recycled wool soaker diaper covers can find a plethera of cottage industry businesses over at www.etsy.com who specialize in them. Just search for "cloth diaper wool soaker cover." I hear that these are especially useful without the cloth diaper under for potty training. They are easy for little one to pull on and off, and can catch and hold accidents better than undies.
SO THERE!! You have my MOST exhaustive post on cloth diapering with TONS of helpful links. So, if you are a mom, mom-to-be, or even a mom-in-waiting interested in switching to or using cloth diapers, bookmark this blog post. Or do like I do and email the link to yourself and sort the email into a subject folder like "Mommy Resources" (not that I have a folder called "Mommy Resources" in my email account, that's just a suggestion) ;-)