I’m writing this blog post, mostly out of a favor to a woman named Barbara. I met Barbara at a Jamaican Pizza Joint that sells the best Vegan jerk chicken you’ve ever dreamed about… but that’s another topic.
Barbara’s the mom of a beautiful little baby girl that almost made me consider having another… then I remembered that I like sleep. While I was loading my four children into my hand-me-down minivan (ain’t family awesome!), Barbara walked up and asked if my 2 year-old was wearing a cloth diaper.
Why yes, she was.
Remember my post about chemicals in my hair.. well, I’m even more freaked out about chemicals on my butt. And about the same time I decided I was done with relaxers, (at least the first time) I also decided my babies would wear as few Pampers as possible.
Here are three facts about Disposable Diapers:
- They don’t leak. That’s thanks to not good fabric, but straight up chemicals. The same chemicals that are linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome (in tampons). Seems reckless to expose your baby (especially baby girls) to that risk.
- You just throw them away, along with everything else. Disposable diapers make up 2% of waste nowadays. They are typically not biodegradable, and are 70% trees. At least you can recover the energy from the 30% petroleum that is left over.
- They don’t stink up your house. Instead, they stink up the landfills with poop. Hey, it’s not like the Pamper people didn’t warn you, they clearly say flush the shit down the toilet… yet who does that?
So now that you know the facts, here are some truths about Cloth Diapers.
They are cute
If your idea of cloth diapers is something like this:
You’ve got it all wrong.. Cloth diapers actually involve a cover, the diaper, and possibly a liner and look more like this:
They Can Be Simple
Everyone always asks me if it’s hard to deal with cloth diapers… The answer is ‘not really’. First thing, forget about the safety pin.. That’s only used at baby showers to scare pregnant moms. Real cloth diapering moms use Snappis.
Modern cloth diapers can be all-in-one or even pre-folded so that you don’t have to do any work. Pre-folded ones are the ones you’ll find in stores like Babies-R-Us and Walmart. You’ll need a cover and some Snappis to go with them.
I indulged and bought these… working on kid#2 and year #3
You don’t have to touch Poop
C’mon now, that shit is gross. Try getting flushable liners that make it super easy to go cloth. Tear off the flushable liner, place in a diaper, baby poops, lift dry part of liner, flush it all down the toilet.
If you do not want to waste paper, you can also use a diaper sprayer… it’s like a personal water hose in your bathroom.
My final cloth diapering advice is laundering. Do not make it more complicated than it needs to be. Seriously. You can either wash as is in your washer or pre-soak in 10% bleach water (not recommended on bamboo diapers). Some people recommend against that, especially if you buy the high-end diapers, but that’s what I do when they are particularly soiled.
Here is a pretty straight forward guide to washing cloth diapers.
If you absolutely don’t want to wash diapers, or you are a new mom, and could use some help…. Hire a diaper cleaning service – It’s surprisingly reasonable, especially when they provide the diapers, soap, and labor. Yeah, I cheated and used them for the first 6 months of two of my children – don’t JUDGE ME!!
Got more cloth diaper questions? Ask away – I’ve got 8 years of poopy diapers under my belt.