|Practical advice for first time parents|
The below photo shows about how many diapers your baby will use in the first 2 1/2 years (average of 6 diaper changes per day). Each stack represents 25 diapers and that's a 9 month old baby girl at the bottom corner of the photo.
I don't know about any one else's babies, but mine go through far more diaper changes in a day than this. During the early days my kids generally soiled about 20 diapers a day (ages 2-4 weeks). Then it decreased to about 12 per day and held steady for many, many months. Then around age 1 it dropped again to about 8 changes per day by then we were potty training. At the moment, my 14 month old is also doing elimination communication (EC). We started around age 2 months and because of it, we see days where we only use 2 diapers a day. However, if we don't do any EC, then she's still at about 8 diapers a day. My point in saying all this - the below photo is a very conservative estimation.
You have two major options: cloth or disposable. There are a huge variety of options within each as well. With disposables, you may choose from chlorine-free and regular. With cloth, there are even more options. Prefolds, flats, pockets, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, fitted, and probably a few other types I am forgetting. Basically, the options and combinations are endless with cloth.
If this is your first baby, then as much as it pains me to say it, it's probably best to hold off on cloth for at least the first 2-4 weeks. Unless you've had experience with cloth diapers at some point, dealing with it while also dealing with a newborn and first time parenthood will set yourself up for a higher likelihood of failure.
You need to know though that not all disposables are created the same. The ones the hospital sent home with me smelled like baby powder. As a health care provider, I don't recommend anything for my patients that has an added scent to it. I've seen women in the clinic who come in with areas on their bottom that are red in the shape of a pad and it's caused from using "deodorized pads". If you go the disposable route, please, please, please, consider using chlorine-free diapers for your baby. There are so many chemicals added to disposable diapers to make them the way they are. Some of those chemicals are carcinogenic meaning they can cause cancer. This is a fact. If you'd like to read more about this, visit the Real Diaper Association's fact page. This is where you can read about dioxins, TPT, and SAP. Chlorine free are definitely more expensive but if you order in bulk you might be able to ease some of the cost burden.
But, if you'd like to avoid those late-night runs to the grocery store when you find you've run out of diapers unexpectedly, are tired of paying thousands of dollars on something that is going to be thrown away every day (or maybe you're tired of the stinky trash can of soiled diapers), want to avoid the scary chemicals of non-chlorine free diapers, if you find that your child has sensitive skin and you are constantly applying diaper ointment for chronic diaper rash, or you just think cloth is softer on your baby's bottom, then cloth diapers are the right choice for you.
My opinions on this topic are biased because we watched for months as we put disposable diapers on our son and his bottom was endlessly raw from constant diaper rash. We used to go through tube and tube of rash cream. One day he begged me, "No more paper pants, Mama." His rash, and pleas were big reasons we potty trained him so early. However, I was completely unaware of modern cloth diapers when we had him, and I had never even seen one. If I had any idea then what I know now, our little guy would never have had diaper rash. (and he MIGHT not have ended up with asthma plus endless allergies). If you'd like to read more about my experiences on cloth diapering, you can read here.
But before you decide which option is for you, consider which is better for your baby. I find if I put my kids first, then I can generally rise to whatever challenge is presented before me. Whether it be re-budgeting the household expenses so that you can spend a little more on chlorine-free diapers or you decide to invest in some cloth diapers (and the sooner you start with cloth, the more money you will save), you need to choose an option that both works for you and is healthy for your baby.
|Kids in their ChubbieBums diapers.|
Giveaway #3: If you'd like the opportunity to win a gift certificate to one of my favorite Etsy shops that sells fitted cloth diapers - ChubbieBumsHeirlooms, then leave a comment with your thoughts on diapering (mandatory for giveaway entry). There are other opportunities for more entries - like Chubbiebums on Facebook
and/or comment on another Live and Learn posting. Giveaway ends April 15, 2011 at midnight MST. Only topic related and constructive comments will be accepted.