Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hidden benefits of cloth diapers

I have to admit, I'm a little surprised at how well this is working out.  We even just got back from our mini vacation in Midway, and didn't use a single disposable diaper!  There are some things that never occured to me about cloth.

1.  Fewer leaks.  We have had exactly three leaky diapers since we started with cloth, and they have been caused by not putting the diaper on correctly, diarrhea, and forgetting to change Elspeth for way too long, respectively.  With the disposables, we had small leaks more mornings than not.

2.  Less smell.  We do not use the lid on our diaper bin.  Because it does not smell.  We aren't doing anything special either -- it's just a five gallon bucked, with a trash bag in it, and a little baking soda sprinkled in the bottom.  I guess if you stuck your face in it, it might be smelly, but just being in the room with it, you don't even notice.  Our disposable diaper trash, on the other hand, REEKED.  Even with the special sealing mechanism that was supposed to keep odors in, when that thing started to get full, you could tell by just smelling, and when you opened the lid, hoo boy!

3.  Have I mentioned the incredible amount of money we're saving?  We're talking, like, thirty dollars a month, and I was buying the cheapest diapers I could find.  The initial investment seems like a lot of money, but seriously, by this time next month the things will have paid for themselves.  And I never run out of diapers.  Goodbye emergency Sam's runs!

4.  Fewer rashes.  Aside from the hives Elspeth was getting because of her allergy, she is getting a lot less of the regular kind of diaper rashes too.  I've come to discover this is pretty usual... more than half of babies in disposables have chronic rashes, while only about 10% of babies in cloth do.

5.  The laundry is oddly satisfying.  I have been line drying, and it feels really useful to put those diapers up there.  Maybe I am the only person on the planet who feels this way, but that big fluffy stack of freshly washed prefolds just says "good job mom!" to me.

So seriously, I think that everybody should consider cloth diapers.  Of course they aren't right for every situation (disposables are wonderfully convenient things), but if more people knew how easy cloth is, I think a lot more babies would wear cloth diapers, at least some of the time.


Anonymous said...

Cloth diapers were my first line of defence when I had kids. I wanted to do the same as my own mother did, so I bought diapers-- the flat kind, pins, and rubber pants, and I went to work diapering. It was the best thing I ever did!


Jenna said...

I know this post is almost a year old (!), but I wanted you to know you aren't alone. :-)
"I have been line drying, and it feels really useful to put those diapers up there."
I totally agree! I love line drying when I can. Plus, I think they look cool.