Guest Author - Allison Welch Tannery
This is the question. Well, maybe not for you. It may be a very simple decision. You know what you want to do, and get prepared. I knew what I wanted to do. I got prepared. Ordered the diaper service, smugly thought how organically superior I was to my landfill-filling peers, and waited for the day Iíd change my first, soft, organic cotton diaper, on my sweet newbornís wittle bum.
I didnít know at that point, Iíd have a c-section, my husband would spend nearly five days in the hospital learning for the first time to change any diaper, which there, was definitely disposable, and upon our arrival home, would find nothing but horror in figuring out how to fold and cover a wad of fabric on a screaming, shaking, peeing baby boy.
He marched straight to the front door with the kit of cloth nappies, and the bin in which to store them, left them on the porch, and sent my mother to Kmart for Huggies and a Diaper Genie. That was the end of our cloth diaper era. It was over before it started.
Why consider cloth, and is it for you? It may not be. I make no judgments. Thereís probably a landfill out there, named Tannery in our honor. The Tannery Disposable Diaper Honorarium Landfill. Weíve done our share of disposable eco-destruction. It seems it takes 500 years to break one down. And then thereís all thatís in them, breaking down into our soil. eeewwwww.
But then, there is an argument from the other side concerning the fuel and exhaust from the trucks that make the cloth diaper rounds, if you have a service. Or if you donít, the water and energy used to wash and rinse, and sanitize the cloth diapers in your home.
The choice is strictly yours. I think, just based on the ability to reuse the materials, and the money involved, I would consider cloth again, if we ever had another baby. According to several sources I found, a disposable is about 20 cents per. A cloth, 12 cents. After the initial purchase, it will be about 3 cents to wash each. If you calculate the average child is in diapers for nearly 3 years, then with a diaper service, youíll save about $500 per child, and if you wash your own? $1200. I know people who actually feel they canít afford more children, because the disposable diaper bill each month exceeded $60. Itís not cheap.
Then thereís just the warm fuzzy argument. Sweet, soft, organic cotton against my babyís sweet, soft, organic little bottom. Until, of course, the thing leaks out all over my lap. But thatís just the thing. Newer cloth diapers are pre-folded, Velcro-d, and come with covers that nearly eliminate leakage as much as any disposable. Face it, if you have a baby, any diaper you choose will eventually seep all over you. Babies just have blow-outs.
I kind of like the cloth diaper argument. And if the idea is new to you, most families I know who do use cloth swear after the first few times, you get the hang of the difference, and itís just no biggie. There is one family, who love and believe in cloth so much, they built their own business based around just that, and a great sense of fashion. Very Baby. Mr. Very Baby quit his job to run this operation full time. Mrs. Very Baby creates and produces a great cloth diaper product, and licenses others to do the same. And they have 3 Very Babies that wear, or wore, their product proudly.
I donít get a thing from this, I just like Very Baby very much. At Very Baby, you can purchase fabulous products to cover your babyís bum, and even purchase patterns to make your own. From fabrics and materials youíll love to see crawl or toddle across the floor. If youíre contemplating cloth, check them out.
(edited to add)
From the Natural Living editor, I wanted to pass it along, as I am not experienced with cloth diapers, and she clearly is. She makes a couple of great points on the merits of cloth, over disposables. And hey, any nappy holding more poop, I'm all for!
Hi..I enjoyed your cloth diapering article but wanted to make two
comments. Your cost comparison for cloth vs. disposable didn't include the
fact that you use the same cloth diapers for subsequent children. For
example, I have a friend who has been using the same 20 diapers for almost
3 years now. She used them for her first and then used the same dipes for
her second. If she has another, she'll use them for her third. So you
might want to add that into the equation when looking at cloth vs.
And one other thing..Cloth diapers hold messy poop SO much better than
sposies. :) I used sposies with my first and always had blowouts.
My new baby is 14 months old and has always been in cloth, and I have
never had a mess on her clothes, back, etc. :) Just had to share!!
There. That's the point of BellaOnline. Sharing information to make the best decisions for our lives, possible. Thank you Natural Living Editor!