My toddler is a fluff butt. While I was pregnant with her, I learned about the benefits of cloth diapering and realized that it was the right choice for our family. I did a lot of research on which brands are preferred and how to clean them. I browsed the cute patterns and read reviews online for hours until I finally bit the bullet and ordered several. As I placed them in the dresser drawers, I felt great joy at the thought of minimizing landfill waste and exposure to toxins found in plastic. I even ordered a couple dozen cloth wipes and a delightful wipe storage bin that keeps them warm.
I was all in!
When some relatives found out about my plan, they playfully expressed their resistance to it. They saw cloth diapering as a regressive and revolting practice. There was a time when parents had no choice but to use cloth diapers, and it was a struggle to find the time or resources to get them clean. Many people viewed the advent of disposable diapers as a sign of progress – it was seemingly more convenient to toss the soiled diaper into a pail whose contents would magically ‘disappear’ forever in a few days. Gone were the days when you had to haul a repulsive bucket of smelly diapers into the laundry room or have a costly laundry service pick it up. It was a no-brainer, right? Why would anyone want to fuss with bodily waste a few seconds longer than necessary?
I had my reasons, and I kept my explanation concise. These were well-meaning people who weren’t trying to sway me. They were genuinely perplexed. When I gave them a brief rundown, they seemed understanding. They were overjoyed for me and my husband as my pregnancy progressed, and they never brought it up again. I guess I can consider myself lucky for not having any busybodies informing me that I was doing things all wrong. I have heard some stories!
Today, another relative broached the topic in a non-threatening way. He joked that he “could never mess around with poop like that”, and I took the opportunity to educate him about how easy it is to manage soiled cloth diapers. I didn’t feel defensive, and neither did he. I explained how my diaper sprayer quickly gets the poop off the diaper and into the toilet. Whoosh! Done! I told him about wet/dry bags, and how there are no odors once you zip them. I explained how it only takes me one minute to transport a full wet/dry bag to the washer, and only ten minutes to place the liners into the diapers once they are out of the dryer. Our water bill has barely gone up since washing diapers three times per week, and the detergent cost is negligible compared to the cost of replacing disposable diapers. With another baby on the way, we will continue to get our money’s worth out of our fluff stash. We spent around $350 on thirty diapers and supplies. Not all of the diapers are of the same quality, but that’s ok. I have found that you get what you pay for, and I would advise parents to buy the expensive, top-brand diapers. The nicer diapers leak less, and I will probably be able to sell them eventually. Imagine that! Selling used diapers! There is a market for them.
I know that many cloth diapering families choose to use disposable diapers while they’re out running errands or traveling. I have used them sparingly. I still prefer cloth, and I always have a small wet/dry bag with me when we’re out and about. Cloth diapering isn’t as scary as many people imagine. It’s becoming more popular as newer generations discover the environmental and financial impacts of one child’s constant use of disposable diapers. Many parents adore the cute patterns of the diapers, and they cherish the diaper laundry routine in their households. Toddlers can divide liners and covers into piles as they start learning about how to be a helper. I am struggling to think of any downsides to cloth diapering. Let me think…nope. I got nothin’!
It has been a joy, an absolute breeze!