As a mom of 2 small children in diapers, I was concerned with the cost factor and the impact it has on our earth. My concerns prompted me to take a cloth diapering class at Be By Baby in Chicago. The instructor was totally gung-ho about cloth diapering-it was almost scary. She made it seem like moms who use “evil” disposable diapers are as bad as those moms who put pop in their baby’s bottles. I did learn a lot though and it prompted me to take the plunge and invest in those colorful sacks for poop. Here’s the real scoop on how cloth diapering works and you decide if it’s worth it for your child and the environment.
PRO- They are super cute! My 2 year old daughter loves all the fun colors. We enjoy hang drying them together and we discuss all the colors as we hang them – a good learning lesson!
CON- It’s not so fun scraping the poop off the diaper and let me tell you, my son has a lot of poop! I’m talking 4 times a day. I say I have a very close relationship with my kids’ bowel movements. In fact, I found a googly eye in his diaper this morning.
PRO- The new cloth diapers are pretty easy to use. They come with snaps or velcro – no need for pins like the oldies.
CON- They do have a tendency to leak if you leave the diaper on 20 minutes too long. It can get pretty inconvenient if we are hanging at the park or the museum.
PRO- Gotta love the diaper sprayer that helps deposit the poop into the toiliet. This is a must. I cannot imagine this whole process without it.
CON- Sometimes they smell funky if they aren’t washed well enough, e.g., not enough water in the machine, which I tend to do often.
PRO- No more stinky diaper pails hanging out in the room! Man, my hubby and I hated that thing. We were elated when we realized we didn’t need it anymore and chucked it (actually recycled it)!
Sure some of the pros look like cons masked nicely, but what really assured me was the positive feedback from other moms who cloth diaper. They were all really positive about it. In fact, they all LOVE it. I think it’s great too but it’s not so glamorous when having to change 10+ diapers a day. On the flip side, the peace of mind you feel from knowing you’re not contributing to the smelly diaper mountain, er…landfill., makes it worth the effort. It makes me happy that I could help this Earth stay cleaner. I just wanted to give you the real low-down on this process. It’s not always fun and exciting but it’s helpful for our children and for our earth.
Here are a few more facts I learned from the class:
-Every baby produces approx 4000+ pounds of disposable diaper waste that ends up in our landfills (whoa!)
-It costs between $2500-$3500 for disposable diapers for one child vs $700 or less ( I spent less than $400 for both of my kiddos), and many can be reused on siblings
-It can take 500+ years for a disposbale diaper to biodegrade if it ever will
-Dioxin, Tributyl-tin and Sodium Polyacrylate are all toxic substances used in disposable diapers
-Washing cloth diapers uses the same amount of water as flushing the toliet 5-6 times per day
Now you tell me, is it worth it?