There was once a time when the mention of a cloth diaper would be thought of as a joke. Cloth diapers are what some of our mothers used for us, so why would we turn to older times when diapers these days are so great!?
The last few years have seen a rise in cloth diaper popularity and they are now taken into serious consideration by many expecting families.
So how do you decide if they are right for you?
Let’s get one thing straight. This post is not meant to guilt anyone who uses disposable diapers. There are families who use cloth and disposable. It’s not a one way street if you don’t want it to be. I’m a huge fan of cloth diapering, but I’m an even bigger fan of doing what works for your family and doesn’t add stress. My goal is to talk about cloth openly and honestly. If you decide it’s not for you, no big deal but at least you have some more information.
What you need to know
–The Real Diaper Association is a great place to start your search for all things cloth related. They have statistics on the impact that disposable diapers are having on our environment and information about the cost difference. Wondering about rashes? Check out the RDA, they have information on health as well.
-There are several types of cloth diapers, it can take some trial and error to find the perfect one for your baby. I recomend visiting your local baby store (big box stores are now carrying them) or baby boutique. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the various types and see up front what you’ll be handling for the next couple of years. Some local stores might even hold Cloth Diapering 101 classes.
-It can be overwhelming. Washing, storing, traveling, diaper cream, overnight solutions? There’s a lot to consider and depending on who you talk to, you might just want to drop the diaper and walk away. Talk to multiple sources. I found the best advice from people that had already cloth diapered. They went through it all and could tell me what worked and what didn’t.
-Do you hate laundry? Do you not have a washer/dryer in your home? Then I suggest you look into diaper laundering services or find out washing routines from others in your position. Squeemish? Hey I get it, there are products that can ease your squeemish worries. I highly recommend the Spray Pal.
-Some people choose cloth to be ‘green’, others for the money saving aspect. There are also those who cloth to collect (yup people collect them) all the cute prints. If you look into collectables and personalized diapers you’ll find that they can get pricey. Don’t get intimidated! Not all diapers are expensive and there are organizations to help you access diapers if it’s not in your budget. Check out Share the Love and The Rebecca Foundation.
-It’ll lead you down a long green path that you might have not known exists. While some people don’t cloth diaper for the environmental worries, the ones that do tend to live a lifestyle where cloth diapers are just another earth friendly thing they do. Stick around cloth diaper mamas enough and you’ll find yourself chatting about reusable paper towels, mama cloth and other alternatives for mass marketed products.
If you’re a new or expecting mom I suggest you at least give cloth diapers a look. I also invite you to join us at our first big event for new and expecting moms: BLOOM! We can chat more about cloth diapering there.