Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cloth Diaper Q&A #1 - Why do you use cloth diapers?

This is the first in a series of 10 posts all about cloth diapers.

While I'm not an expert in all things cloth, I've certainly learned a lot in the past 2.5 years and want to share my knowledge in hopes that I have just one convert to the school of cloth diapers.  

If you use cloth and disagree with any of my claims, please leave a comment and let me know!

If you are considering cloth or just curious, ask your questions!  I am here to serve.

To quote Henry, 
"Let's doe".

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Cloth Diaper Q&A - Why do you use cloth diapers?

1. I like knowing what my babies sit on all day long.  With cloth diapers, I don't have to worry about exposing their delicate skin and private parts to the chemicals that make modern disposable diapers freakishly absorbent.  

2. Cloth diapers are better for the environment.  You nay-sayers might ask about energy and water used to wash the diapers but I really don't think that can compare to the carbon footprint left by disposable diapers.  After considering the manufacturing, the materials, the transportation and distribution of disposable diapers, my personal washer and dryer are small ticket items in the scheme of things.


4. Why not use cloth?  I am a stay-at-home mama.  We have a washer and a dryer.  We are on a tight budget.  I hate going to Wal-Mart and that is where diapers are the cheapest.  Ding.  Ding.  Cloth wins.

5. My babies look so flippin' cute with fluffy cloth butts!

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Why do YOU use cloth diapers?

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Upcoming Posts in my Cloth Diaper Q&A Series:

Q&A #2 - What diapers do you like the best?

Q&A #3 - What is your wash routine and what type of detergent do you use?

Q&A #4 - Where do you buy cloth diapers?

Q&A #5 - How much do they cost?

Q&A #6- How many diapers do I need?

Q&A #7 - Tell me about wool!

Q&A #8 - Do you you like sized diapers or one-size diapers, velcro or snaps?

Q&A #9 - WAHMs diapers or brand name diapers?

Q&A #10 - What are the drawbacks to using cloth?

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If you are interested in writing a featured post on any of these upcoming posts, let me know!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thank you for your post. My name is Kari Fanguy and I read your blog often -- actually we are from the same hometown -- used to be Kari Street. Anywoo, I have 3 children - 5, 22 months, and 9 wks. I was using cloth but am having trouble keeping up with the laundry :). I checked into a diaper service in my area - MT. They do use bleach on the diapers while laundering (has to do with a state healthcode) What are your thoughts on this? I have tried reading about the danger in the residue that may be left -- but can only find literature on the danger of chlorine in disposables -- bc it is not rinsed off. I am new to "all things natural" and thought you may have a better understanding.

Thank you
Kari

TheDearmanFamily said...

Hey, Kari! I used your cheerleading uniforms in high school. Congrats on your new baby!

I can imagine you are having a hard time keeping up with the laundry. You are a busy mama.

Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about bleach. The smell scares me and the fact that it is toxic terrifies me. But, I used a splash just last week on Henry's diapers to kill whatever germs might be lurking in his diapers after he was diagnosed with an infection.

Let me do a little research and I'll get back to you.

Kaitlin @ More Like Mary said...

I'm only commenting to subscribe to the comments :) Great idea!

MamaMulder said...

We use cloth to lesson our carbon footprint. And to keep harmful chemicals off of our babies skin.

TheSandersFamily said...

Fun! I want to play!

TheSandersFamily said...

Dang, I forgot to subscribe on my first comment ;)

I'd love to write one if you'd like.

Rebecca said...

alrighty laura, still trying to decide what I will do. At the moment I am going to go disposbales for the first few months. so many moms I talk to say that they didn't start until around month 3 or the first few months the cloth diaper didn't fit well and they would have waited? So, maybe you can change my mind....maybe:)

TheDearmanFamily said...

Kari, I did some googling and some asking on a few facebook pages. Nobody seems to worry about the bleach with the baby. It's more of an issue that it's not as eco-friendly as washing at home.

Why not see the diaper service as a short-term thing until you get back into your groove?

Also, when Henry was a baby and I only had just enough diapers, I would wash his diapers at night when I got up to nurse. It was no big deal to stumble across the house in the middle of the night to put the washer on rinse, etc.

Hope this helps!

Mandi, I already mentally signed you up to write about wool......

TheDearmanFamily said...

Rebecca, Henry and Liza both started in cloth right around 1 week old - infant size prefolds and extra small Prowrap Classic covers.

It's a little bulky at first but it didn't bother me with Liza because she wore gowns most of the time so you didn't notice the bulk as much.

And, you make big babies so I have a feeling one-size diapers would be a good fit pretty early on :)

TheSandersFamily said...

Wool! My favorite! ;)

We cloth diapered both from the beginning and I just don't understand why a lot of people say to skip the newborn period. It was no big deal at all. We used prowraps and preemie prefolds (sometimes doubled up) and I also had some newborn fitteds and aio's that I loved (and would have more of if I had a large budget. Those preemie pfs and newborn diapers are tiny and the fit is just perfect.

Plus, I like newborn poop a lot better than older baby poop ;)

Laurin said...

I bought cloth diapers but haven't used them yet... I'm scared! ha. I know you use prefolds but I bought all in ones and pocket diapers b/c I thought those would be easier since I'm not a SAHM. I don't know what detergent to use though. I read a few websites that recommend Tide regular powder then others said no to Tide. A long time ago you mentioned that you use free & clear... I use All Free & Clear on our other clothes but some of the websites don't recommend that for diapers either. I am thinking I should order country save... our stores don't carry it. What do you think?

TheDearmanFamily said...

Laurin, I'm going in depth into laundry detergent and washing in a post soon......

I used All Free and Clear for a while but have since learned that they add a brightener and that is why my diapers stunk when they clean and dry. Not good.

I've heard good things about Tide Original powder. That is a definite option considering you aren't going to get the fancy detergents where you live.

But, ordering Country Save, Charlie's, Rockin' Green, etc. shouldn't be dismissed because you use VERY little detergent when you wash diapers and it would last for long time. I bet you can get free shipping on Amazon.

Don't be scared! If they don't seem to be working out, you can always change up your routine until you figure out what works for you.

Does this help?

TheDearmanFamily said...

Rebecca, I agree with Mandi. The reason to wait until the baby is bigger has never made much sense to me either. Covers and prefolds are pretty cheap and you can always reuse the prefolds as doublers once you've moved on to other diapers.

You are welcome to borrow our size small Prowraps covers for Baby Girl, if you are interested. They are tiny and don't last too long in the beginning.

Laurin said...

Yes, thanks Laura. I think i will order some Country Save since I didn't see any negatives (except accessibility). I could run over to Whole Foods after work but it is the wrong direction. Thanks for the info on All Free & Clear too... I don't want stinky clean diapers. I have enough stink in my life!

TheDearmanFamily said...

Laurin, good! Please let us know on these cloth diaper posts how it goes. I think you'll be happy with it!

Imogen (alternative-mama.com) said...

Ooh i would love to write a post for you for this series :) let me know if you'd like me to!

Cloth is DEFINITELY better for the environment. That reasoning about laundry costs and water use etc is the excuse i used to use when i was too lazy to use cloth with my oldest :P

I am new to cloth but am quickly becoming rather addicted....

Bethany said...

I love point number two!! I always consider The Story of Stuff (http://www.storyofstuff.com/) when I think about why we use cloth diapers. I hate buying things that were designed for the dump!