image taken from everythingbabything.com
MY REASONS TO USE CLOTH DIAPERS:
* baby comfortability
* no harmful chemicals on babies bums
* fewer diaper rashes
* potty training sooner because they will feel the pee right away and associate that with emptying their bladder and recognize the sign
* economically and environmentally sound
* CHEAPER!!!! Yeah for us working folk!
When I had my first daughter, I knew that I wanted her to wear cloth diapers. I thought that it would be ridiculous to throw out diapers everyday and I felt like super mom and wanted to do EVERYTHING natural! So our parents purchased a starter kit for us and presented it to us at the baby shower. I spent hours cleaning them with natural dishwashing detergents, folding them meticulously and placing them on a shelf under a change table. They sat waiting to touch the newborn bum.
But when I placed Charlotte on the pad, I took one look at the flat cotton fabric and weird little snappy thing, and I freaked out. For 8 weeks we used the disposables, until one day, on request by my husband (the ever-so diligent environmentalist), convinced our natural parenting neighbours to come over and show us the ropes. And that he did.
The folding was simple, the snaps super easy and surprisingly the entire process was quick. We continued to practice (mainly out of necessity than desire - as any parent with a newborn can attest to). I loved it and became a master.
On one occasion, I was at my sister's and freaked out because we didn't have any more cloth diapers. She had only the disposables and they scared me. I seriously had no idea how to put them on.
So....The Cloth Diaper Debate. There are many arguments both for and against this practice. Those against cite, surprisingly for some, environmental reasons. Some believe that cloth diapers consume more water and energy thus contributing to atmospheric emissions and waste water (these consultants were hired by Proctor and Gamble a company that covers $3.2 billion of the diaper market). Others believe that is nonsense and maintain that all components of the diaper and the process it takes to create, transport, manufacture, sell, consume and then dispose of those diapers is definitely more detrimental (CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE by the SUSTAINABLE INSTITUTE about the GREAT DIAPER DEBATE).
There is tons of information on the web. Do your research, make your decision, but remember to note who is sponsoring or producing the article. Does the author or contributions have any sort of gain, financial or otherwise, for their findings?
For those of you who do decide to use cloth diapers I am here to help you out a bit.
FIRST Choose which style of cloth diaper you would like to use.
Head on over to Green Mom, Happy Mom for an overview of the types. She has done most of the work for you. And consider these four questions she has posted on her website when buying:
1. How often do you want to do laundry?
The more diapers you have, the less you have to do.
2. Who is going to change the baby?
This question refers to ease of use for all parties who will be helping clean baby bum.
3. What is your patience level?
4. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET?! - A Key Factor
SECOND buy them or receive them as a gift and clean them.
Don't worry if your cloth diapers shrink after the first wash. They were designed to accomodate the shrinking factor. Use a hypo-allergenic (and environmental) soap that will be gentle on baby's precious skin.
THIRD let the Poop Shoot and start changing.
Most diapers will come with folding instructions and the staff who sell them are very knowledgeable. Some places even have workshops. But the folds vary with design.
Please head on over to the Ottawa-based store The Extraordinary Baby Shoppe or the Perth-based store Sweet Peach for all your diapering needs and questions. These lovely ladies also have blogs to follow.
FOURTH is cleaning
Use the "Dry Pail Method". This method consists of placing the wet or soiled diaper into the pail without water (which is a drowning hazard). If really soiled shake of the solids in the toilet and rinse in the toilet. Breastfed poo has a yogurt consistency and washes out easily.