Warning: I am probably going to use the word “poop” a few times in this one.
Being able to bathe in a bathtub full of money is, of course, a great incentive to change your diapering ways. I know, however, that when we’re discussing something that involves touching poop, some people need more than financial motivation.
So I’m going to just get that whole issue out of the way. You don’t actually have to touch poop. Well, no more than the accidental poop-contact that we are all at risk of encountering, regardless of whether we use cloth or disposables. (When a baby slams his/her foot straight onto the diaper in the midst of a mid-change wrestling match, no one is spared.) There is this great invention out there called a “diaper sprayer.” It’s a little contraption that you hook up to your toilet. It uses a high-pressure spray that obliterates anything in its path and, more importantly, keeps your hands clean.
There. No more excuses. Save money, keep your hands clean.
Here’s another good incentive for all you vain mothers out there.
Every mom (or dad) has some kind of vanity-based hang-up when it comes to her (or his) baby. At first, mine was the ‘baby ghetto booty.’ What I’ve noticed, however, is that my initial hang-up has actually morphed into something I am quite happy with; very stylish half-nudity. I’ve got plenty of half-naked pictures of Charlie, and I’m pretty excited about the fact that he looks totally stylin’ in all of them. (Now, remember: I am not dissing anyone who is doing disposables; I am simply trying to show people what they’re missing by not using cloth.) What looks nicer in pictures? A baby butt cutely wrapped in an apple-green, fleecy shell? Or a butt wrapped in Mickey Mouse paper? I’ll let you answer that one.
Do you buy organic food because you don’t want things like toxins, chemicals, and dyes entering your body? What about your baby’s skin? You think Mickey Mouse magically appeared on the front of that diaper?
Cloth diapering is no longer a fold-and-stab-your-finger-on-giant-pins kind of endeavor. There a bazillions of different options, but I’d like to show you what we use.
The first diapers we invested in were the “Flip System” by Cotton Babies. We ordered our Flips from the Cotton Babies site. This is a really helpful catch-all website, as it features about every version of cloth diaper, and is great if you’re just starting out and want to explore your options. The Flip System is a one-size-fits-all system that uses inserts and shells. In this particular case, we opted out of buying the inserts and buying pre-foldsinstead. A pre-fold is the “old-fashioned” version of a cloth diaper, but we don’t use pins or rubber pants. The pre-folds were less expensive than the inserts, so we voted for the cheaper option.
Note Do NOT be fooled by the Flip disposable/biodegradable inserts. They are too narrow and a poopy situation would just obliterate the insert, I think.
All you do is fold up the diaper and stick it in the front and back flaps. Since Charlie is a boy, we fold it in the front-flap area; you would fold it in the back for girls. Notice all the snaps: you can modify how you snap up the diaper in order to change the size.
What’s awesome is this: if it’s simply a wet diaper, or a fairly-tame dirty diaper, you just throw it in the Diaper Champ and hang the shell up to dry. We bought 6 shells and about 36 pre-folds, and end up washing diapers about every 2nd to 3rd day.
Each brand of cloth diaper has its pros and cons. The pro for the Flip is the need for only about 6 (you could probably even get away with 5) shells to get you through a couple days. The con: there is nothing between your baby’s skin and the actual diaper, so you have to change a little more frequently in order to avoid discomfort.
We finally decided to upgrade to a one-size-fits-all brand of “pocket diaper” calledFuzziBunz. We got ours from Nurtured Family, because first-time customers get a 10% discount. This system involves microfiber inserts and fleece pocket diapers.
Pros: Moisture is wicked down into the inserts, leaving the fleece almost completely dry. This means you can keep the diaper on the butt for much longer.
Cons: Since the inserts go under the fleece, you have to wash the whole diaper, meaning you will need to purchase more diapers than you would if you were using the Flip system.
Both methods have their perks. You might only buy a few pocket diapers and reserve them for overnight or travel use, and use Flips for the rest of the time. Like I said, these are only 2 brands out of a bazillion. We chose the one-size-fits-all diapers because it seems to be more cost-effective. If you use other kinds and love them, please leave a comment!
Finally, something that can’t be ignored is the environmental impact of disposable diapers. Landfills are overflowing with them, and hundreds of thousands of trees are being chopped down to accommodate the thousands of babies that are being born each day. The time it takes you to rinse a few diapers in the toilet is about the same as the time you spend running a bag out to the trash.
So what do you say? Save money? Have cuter baby pictures? Help save a few gagillion trees?