Sunday, August 23, 2009

I promise we are not hippies!

In July I blogged about our diaper service and how we had chosen to cloth diaper Connor. Well, our diaper service ended last week and we began it ourselves this past week. It has been far easier than Mr. Howard and I thought it would be. In fact, while we thought we'd move to all-in-ones when we started it ourselves, we've continued with the prefolds and covers. We've decided to move to the all-in-ones when we have enough to send to daycare. People have a very antiquated view (and love to share with us why they think we're crazy) about what cloth diapers are like and I thought I could address some of those in this blog. Let me first say, however, that I don't think I'm somehow better than any mom who chooses not to cloth diaper. Some moms are able to make decisions that are good for the environment in other departments (composting, recycling everything in the house, edible gardens, green homes, solar energy, shorter showers, etc.). This was simply the way that Mr. Howard and I could contribute to the environment.

Things people have tried to tell us:

(1) Cloth diapering requires pins which are annoying and difficult to figure out. Cloth diapers no longer require pins. In fact, there is an entire line of something called "all-in-ones" which look exactly like disposables. It is one diaper, which you put on and take off just like a disposable with velcro, except they come in the most adorable colors. See here for the bumgenius ones we have.

(2) Cloth diapering requires plastic pants, which are gross. Even if you choose not to go the all-in-one route, diaper covers are no longer plastic pants. They are laminated fabric with Velcro or button snaps. See here for the covers we have.

(3) You'll be doing laundry for days or you'll actually break your washer and dryer. I have only added two extra loads into my weekly routine, which includes washing Connor's clothes. I'll admit that at first the idea of washing diapers in my OWN washer and dryer freaked me out, until I realized that breastmilk poop is 100% water soluble and literally washes right off and CERTAINLY would never-ever break a washer/dryer. And I'll also admit that I'm frightened about doing it when I have a toddler who is consuming solid foods. But, at the end of the day, I am more frightened about what the earth is going to be like when Connor is older. I'm a mommy; I can tackle a few poopy diapers.

(4) Disposable diapers aren't really that bad for the environment, are they? In the US alone, 18 billion disposable diapers are used a year, which adds up to 82,000 tons of plastic a year and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp -- 250,000 trees. It is estimated that each disposable takes somewhere around 300 years to decompose and sits in a landfill for the remaining time.

(5) Cloth diapers are expensive ($18 each). This is actually true. But, the part that people fail to mention is that they last the life of the child. Just ask my mom (who cloth diapered all three of her kids) to show you her prefolds that she still uses for her cleaning chores (26 plus years old).

(6) Because cloth diapers are less absorbent, they cause more diaper rash. Actually, most find this to be the opposite. Because disposables are so absorbent, they tend to be left on longer and lead to more rash. Of course, every child is different and I have talked to moms who've switched to disposables to temporarily clear up a rash.

(7) They are HARD to fold. This is one of the biggest misconceptions I've heard. Actually when I was recovering after having a baby, Mr. Howard took on the cloth diaper challenge. He figured out the best folds after only a few diaper changes. He will tell you that he wasn't a diaper expert or someone who had even changed a baby before Connor came along and he had mastered cloth diapering in less than a day!

Everybody has to make their own choice about diapers and I certainly would never judge someone else for using disposables (heck, I used them when Connor first came home from the hospital and I even used them on our recent mini-vacation), but it is tiresome for Mr. Howard and I to have to defend the choices we have made. I thought maybe this might clear up some of the confusion about our choices and answer some of the questions/false comments we hear daily! :-)


Sabrina @ Twiggles and Trunks said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

amen Sister!

Jen said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love that you are using cloth diapers and that you helped inspire me to take on this cloth diapering experience as well. I wish we would have known more about it all when Mason was born, but better late than never. I love what we are doing for our kids and our planet.

Courtney said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am totally bummed you have heard and been told negative things about your choice. We never heard anything negative about it when we cloth diapered Megan. Now, go to eBay and buy some diapers from the mom's on there who make really cute ones! Help another mama out! =)

I personally am really proud of you for keeping up with the breastfeeding and the cloth diapering.

Katie Taylor said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I find it so interesting that people have negative responses when someone tells them they are using cloth diapers! Especially because most of the people that are negative that I've talked to haven't even tried cloth diapers themselves. I mean if you want to do something good for the enviornment then good for you, so what if it's a little bit of a hassle at first. My favorite is, "oh well we'll see how long that lasts", and I just respond with, "well clearly you haven't met my sister. If she says she is going to do something, you better believe she is going to do it!" I am so proud that you are using cloth diapers! You and Luke will be pros by the time Denny and I have kids so you can help us and give us tips. And good for you for still breastfeeding, usually the hardest path is the best path.

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