Cloth Diapering, is it for Everyone?
On a different topic altogether, one of the decisions we make as a new mom (and dad) is what we are going to put on our baby’s bum! This post will talk about different options, what I’ve chosen and why it works for us, so that others can be armed with more information when they are making their decision. My good friend, Janice of the Fitness Cheerleader, mentioned that she would have liked to have used cloth diapers with her first (she now has three beautiful daughters) but that she just didn’t have the information at the time. Thanks for the post inspiration, Janice!
Option #1 – Full time disposable diapers
Regular disposable diapers and disposable wipes. Pros: diapers can be very inexpensive and often go on sale, as do wipes. Diapers can be purchased almost anywhere and fit nicely under clothing. Diaper Genie keeps soiled diapers from smelling! Cons: Diapers will spend more than your child’s lifetime in a landfill and the solid waste is untreated (as opposed to waste that is treated through laundry or toilet). Some children are more prone to diaper rash due to the chemicals used to bleach the diapers.
Alternative to #1 - Full time disposable Free & Clear Diapers such as Seventh Generation brand. These are chlorine free, with no dyes or perfumes (they are brown), have a smaller environmental footprint, are hypoallergenic and are better for baby’s skin. They also make baby wipes. There is a higher cost for these diapers though, in fact they come close to the same cost as a competitive diaper service. This is what we used for the first week of Celine’s life, since meconium tends to stain cloth diapers. Plus, we had to spend two extra days at the hospital, so it was a necessity.
Option #2 -Cloth Diapering
There are MANY options for cloth diapering and that is beyond my scope, so check out this link instead for all of the different types of cloth diapers. The choice to be made with cloth diapers is whether you will be laundering the diapers at home or whether you hire a diaper service.
Laundering diapers at home: This involves a higher up-front cost, as you have to purchase the diapers and/or diaper covers (depends on the kind you choose) and have enough to last you several days, as you probably aren’t going to have the time to do laundry every day. The advantage is that once you have bought the diapers, they are yours for all of your children. Furthermore, the soiled diapers are properly treated and of course, no diapers end up in the landfills (at least for now). The disadvantage can be that depending on the type you choose, you may have to invest in several different sizes, which can add to the overall cost. And of course, you’ve got a lot of extra laundry on top of all of the baby laundry.
Diaper Service: This is the option that I have chosen. It is important to take a look at the different services in your area before you choose, as chances are they have different kinds of diapers which may alter the cost. I am using Comfy Cotton Diaper Service, based in Markham. The advantages are that I put a bag of soiled diapers outside my door every Thursday and a bag of clean diapers is delivered in its place. I have two sets of diapers that are used exclusively for us, as long as we are customers. One set is cleaned while we are using the other set. I can use up to 80 diapers a week for the same cost. The disadvantages are that I did have to buy diaper covers, and those I clean myself in the sink several times a day. Also the diaper pail is SMELLY when I have to open it! And of course, I don’t own the diapers (only the covers) for any future children. The cost is reasonable, but will be more than purchasing cloth diapers for several children in the long run.
Option #3: Cloth diapering with some disposables
This option works well for many people, cloth diapers at home and disposables when you go out or overnight. This also makes it easier if your child is in some kind of day care and you can send them with disposables. To make it easier to go out with cloth diapers, I have a dry bag from Bummies (which are the diaper covers I use as well) to keep soiled diapers while out. And for overnight, I am using the next size up in diaper covers, with 2 prefold diapers and a fleece liner from Bummies, which actually keeps her dry (even though the diaper is soaked).
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