A few months before having my second child, I decided to decrease my landfill input and start cloth diapering. My rules for it were this:
- If I could do just three-to-five diapers a week (which would be about one day’s worth, not counting nap time or overnight), that would be worth it to me. Every bit counts, right?
- I would not make my husband participate, since he is adamant against cloth diapering.
- I would not spend over $200 on the investment, since my reasoning was for environmental impact rather than financial impact. And really, come on. $200 is a lot of money!
- I can talk about cloth diapering and be excited about it, but try to limit the Crazy.
So, I researched and researched and researched, and finally bit the bullet. Strangely, the person who encouraged me the most to go ahead with the purchase? My husband (see bullet point #2).
Here’s what I bought:
- Six FUZZIBUNZ One-size Pocket diapers in gender neutral
- a really awesome wet bag
- hemp baby wipes (because if I’m going to put dirty diapers in a wet bag, might as well throw in the wipes as well!)
- flushable liners (they’re gauzy strips that go over the diaper to make waste disposal easier and less messy)
- a spray bottle and witch hazel (to wet the cloth wipes)
- a giant bottle of Seventh Generation free and clear laundry detergent
So far I’ve used the cloth diapers about 20 times, which comes out to about $10 a diaper. Insane, I know. Getting the fit to work on an active toddler has been a challenge, but other than that, the process is not much more different than using disposables (TMI here, but I empty disposable diapers into the toilet to avoid stinky trash cans). I think once the second baby is about 3 months old, I’ll be using them more on her than on Jasper.
I’ve been really happy so far, with just two cons being the challenging fit for a toddler, and they don’t hold as much as a disposable, so I have to change them every 2-3 hours as opposed to every 4-5 with disposable. But since I’m using the washing machine for diapers only during that particular load, I’d rather fill it than run it with just a couple inside. Washing them isn’t a hassle, but it does take a while (rinse first on cold, then wash on hot, then rinse and spin, then dry on low).
A grainy iPhone photo of J in his first cloth diaper experience.
I’ve always been an “Earth-Day-is-Every-Day” kind of gal, but having children really put things into perspective more. The environmental impact of kids is insane, and I want to make sure they have enough resources growing up, as well as their children, and their children, and on and on. So while I could probably be doing more, I’m glad I’ve made a small impact with cloth diapering, even if it is only a few a week.
Next step: Potty Training. Awwwww yeaaaahhh.