It starts innocently enough, usually by someone asking if I've signed up for Amazon Prime to get my diapers shipped to the apartment every month. When I respond with, "No, we're actually planning on using cloth diapers," with a smile and purposeful air of nonchalance, all hell breaks loose.
"You're doing WHAT!?"
"Oh hon, cloth diapers are bad for your baby!"
"Do you WANT your baby to have a rash all the time?"
"Haha! you'll never follow through with that."
Why on earth this news is so upsetting to everyone, I don't know, but because I'm rarely given the opportunity to explain myself in these conversations, I'm going to do so here.
Then maybe the next time someone cuts me off to educate me on the absurdity of using cloth, I can hand them a pre-printed business card with the url to this post and be done with it. Also, as a side note, there are plenty of benefits to cloth diapering that I didn't mention here. These are just the few that mattered most to us. If you're considering cloth, it would be worth it to do some research into the ways they help the environment and support small businesses, too.
I know a lot of parents choose cloth because of the environmental/health benefits, but to be honest, that wasn't our motivation. When D and I talked about trying to conceive, a big concern for us was how we were going to afford the first few years. D was an E4 and I was stuck in an internship that was bringing home just enough money to cover gas to and from. We didn't have much cash to spare. We took a good hard look at our budget, and after rearranging quite a few priorities, realized a baby wouldn't break the bank. However, it also left us almost no wiggle-room. When I did more research into why all of the "baby cost" estimators I was using gave us such high numbers, I found that a huge chunk of that money was going towards disposable diapers and formula. Because I plan on breastfeeding, we got to knock the number down a bit, but I wondered if there were any more areas we could save on. A few hours and a Google search introduced me to cloth diapers! D was on-board almost right away, and knowing we wouldn't be (quite literally) throwing our money away made us both feel much more comfortable about being able to support our baby.
While not the deciding factor, this sealed the deal for me. My family has a history of chronic illnesses, and so far, science hasn't figured out what caused them. Before we get any further, let me be clear, I am not in any way saying disposable diapers made my family, or anyone else, sick. Reread that. Okay? Great, we're on the same page. What I am saying is that my husband and I both hold the belief that our society is not nearly careful enough with what it exposes itself to. There are far too many times in the history of the human race that we have put a product or medication out on the market and realized too late that the chemicals and ingredients involved had disastrous consequences. As soon-to-be-parents, we feel it's our job to protect our child from chemicals and substances whose safety is not guaranteed, and for us, that made cloth diapers look all the more appealing.
Something cool about cloth diapers? They're reusable. Which means that even after Baby J is done with them, they won't need to be thrown away. If we decide to have another child, we can keep some of the diapers from our first baby (assuming they're all still in good shape) and reuse them later. This will save us even more money! If we decide after potty-training that one kid is quite enough, we can resell them to other parents and get some of our original investment back. Either way, it's less money coming out of our pockets and fewer diapers stinking up a landfill.
This one is totally self-serving but I think cloth diapers are the cutest. We already have a few pockets, some covers, and three all-in-ones in varying prints and colors. There are so many different styles to choose from that I don't think we'll ever get bored, and Baby J will be stylin' from day one!
How about you? What made up your mind to cloth diaper?