I get asked “Why do you do it?” when people find out I am cloth diapering. Sometimes it’s condescendingly other times it’s simple curiosity. Our original reason for choosing cloth was simple: cost. Why pay $30 per large box of Huggies diapers which were the only brand our Fuss didn’t have a reaction to per week and sometimes twice a week, when I could pay $40 for 2 covers and 6 inserts I can use “forever”? Yes, we would have to do a couple extra loads of laundry per week but that didn’t even increase our water usage enough to increase our bill!
Secondly, we like the idea that we’re not throwing away our money and creating a ton of waste. As a newborn, our girl went through about 80 diapers a week. Yes, that decreased over time but at 15 months we still go through around 40-50 diapers a week. Even though I still use disposables occasionally for family and friends or when I have to use prescription creams on my overly-sensitive-skinned child, I have cut back to less than one 36 pack a week (sometimes 2 weeks!). I will also admit that I don’t always dump the poop from my disposables into the toilet like you’re supposed to. Think you’re not? I currently have a bag of disposables sitting beside me and it clearly states: “IMPORTANT: Shake soil into toilet. Wrap diaper inside its back sheet before discarding.” And just in case you didn’t know, it’s actually illegal to throw ANY untreated human waste into the garbage. It’s not really something we think about, in general. After all, how many times have you seen someone dump poop from a ‘sposie into the toilet before rolling it up? I don’t think I EVER have! It does, however, keep the nursery from smelling badly when you do it!
In all honesty, I don’t consider myself a “hippy” by any stretch of the imagination. I have become quite passionate about my fluff! I really enjoy cloth diapering. There have been a few hiccups along the way that made me wonder if I had made the right decision. One example: Ammonia. Overnight diapers would smell terribly of ammonia when I took them off in the morning. It took some research and pooling all my resources (mostly internet friends) to figure out that I have hard water, needed to rinse the nighttime diapers before putting them in my pail, and make sure to use enough water when washing. I also added a few drops of tea tree oil to my wash routine. I really don’t mind the plopping and rinsing. And the benefits far outweigh any inconveniences. A major development recently that I can attribute to my use of cloth diapers is that Fuss is starting to potty “train”. She knows already understands the difference between clean and dirty, can tell us when she needs changed, and likes to try to use the potty. We aren’t pushing her to potty learn/train, but we figure as long as she’s showing an interest it’s not our place as parents to hinder her progress.