I have to confess, my latest obsession is cloth diapers. I've read that it can become addictive and indeed, I'm totally hooked. There are some pros and cons but so far the pros out-number the cons.
- Cute, Cute, Cute - seriously, a sweet little baby bottom covered with fluffy, bright colored diapers - serious cuteness!!!
- No diaper rash - truly, since starting cloth diapers with T Rex Princess at around age 1 month, not a stitch of diaper rash except for the one day we were out running errands and I opted to have her wear disposables. By the end of the day, she had horrible diaper rash - the skin was actually broken after only 8 hours of disposables.
- Economical - even if we purchase the highest end cloth diapers at $25/diaper - we'll still only paying half what we would pay in disposables. Some are one size so they fit newborn through toddlerhood - one time purchase. Being a graduate student, funds are limited. Saving money was probably one of our biggest reasons for going cloth.
- Depending on the kind of diaper you get, some are unbelievable soft. T Rex has been asking to wear his baby sister's diapers. I actually purchased a couple for him for night time wear as he occasionally has accidents.
- Decreasing landfill burden - I have to be honest, this was not my main reason for choosing cloth but once I read that one baby will produce a ton - literally - of disposables in his/her lifetime, I was blown away. And it takes 450-500 years for them to decompose in landfills. Yes, the diapers I wore as a baby are still in the landfill.
- Cloth diaper babies potty train about 5-6 months earlier than those in disposables. And there are some cloth diapers that convert right into training pants.
- Cute, Cute, Cute!!! It makes me want to buy more than I really need or to have to accessorize accordingly.
- Cost - there is an initial start up cost. We were fortunate to have our first sets given to us. There is also the added energy/water costs. However, we have purchased a drying rack to avoid running the dryer. And T Rex Dad says our water usage has increased only slightly since we have a high efficiency washing machine. (He tracks our utility usage.)
- More laundry - I do an extra 3 loads of laundry per week.
- Extra time - there is a little extra time involved with having to do laundry and rinsing #2 diapers. I would say it adds maybe an extra hour per week to my schedule.
- Sitters can be adverse to the idea but once I've demonstrated how easy they are to use, most are more than willing to comply.
- Dealing with #2 diapers - yes, I do have to get a little more involved with handling #2 diapers as I rinse them, but it really doesn't bother me, especially since Little Girl is still exclusively breastfed and those #2s really don't smell.
Seriously, if you have never considered cloth, now is the time. It is easier and more economical than ever. I warn you, if you go cloth, you'll never go back. Yes, this is the voice of temptation - once you start you won't be able to stop - addictive...
Here are some of my favorite cloth diapering websites:
Cloth Diaper Whisperer - this was my first real introduction to opinions about cloth diapering - and this is where I get most of my diapers from (Kelly's Closet).
Dirty Diaper Laundry - some excellent reviews of the different diapers as well as "how to" videos.
Bummis - I totally have a soft spot for this company - they are awesome and make high quality products. She is wearing a Bummis wrap in the photo above. Love these.
Cotton Babies - I've purchased some of my diapers from here and have been very impressed with their shipping policy (free) and the timely arrival and condition of my items.
If you've ever had any experience with cloth diapering, leave me a comment and let me know what it was like or if you ever considered it, why you did or did not try it.