Disposable diapers are pretty amazing. They've really made the butt-wiping experience easier on today's moms. We're so fortunate to live in the times that we do, that there are so many products available that make taking care of babies easier and more convenient.
Based on my personal values system, I can't justify myself purchasing a product that is used for only 2 to 3 hours, pooped in, then thrown away. For you, maybe convenience trumps affordability, and that's okay. Chris and I have decided to use cloth diapers on our kids. Originally, we committed (and it really is a commitment) to cloth to save money. Or rather, to have more money to pay off loans, go on dates, kitchen remodels, etc. After using them for the last 6 months, I am can honestly say that I prefer cloth diapers over disposables for reasons other than money. Here's a few:
--With cloth diapers, poop goes in the toilet and is flushed away, where it belongs, and you never see it or smell it again. With disposable diapers, poop (probably multiple poops) sits in the trash inside your clean house all day long. That's too weird for me.
--Less diaper rashes. When we go out of town for the weekend or on vacation, Ada uses disposable diapers. Towards the end of the trip, it is guaranteed that Ada will get a bad diaper rash. When at home and using cloth diapers regularly, Ada rarely gets a diaper rash. I haven't confirmed this with other moms, but for us consistent disposable diaper usage means diaper rashes.
--What would you prefer to wear? Soft cotton that smells like fresh laundry, perhaps still warm from the dryer, or crinkly papery-plastic? I take great pleasure in knowing Ada's precious tush is wrapped in soft cotton.
--It's earth friendly. Let's be good stewards of the world God created for us; this is a way to do that.
This post isn't about converting you to cloth diapers, you should make the decision that works best for your family. If you are on the fence about it, considering it, or maybe fearful of it, I want you to know that cloth diapering is easier than you'd think. If we can do it, so can you! Here's how I do it:
1 cloth diaper (Gerber Prefolded Birdseye. $10.98 for 12 pack at Walmart or Target. I have 36 total), 2 pins (could only find at Babies R Us, $1.99 for 6), 1 diaper cover (Gerber, about $5 for 3, could only find at Babies R Us).
Put the diaper on your super cute baby. You're probably thinking, those pins look sharp and dangerous! They are. So be careful. I've only poked myself 4 times, and Ada once. Don't cloth diapers look so cute?? They remind me of cupid.
If the diaper is poopy I spray the poop off with this high-pressure squirt bottle (Walmart $3) into the toilet. Some poopy diapers get rinsed by hand in the toilet. Pee-pee diapers don't need any rinsing. Then I put the used diaper in the diaper bucket. It's a Kingsford Kaddy for storing charcoal (Hyvee, $10-$14). I love it because it can hold up to 30 used diapers, has a handy easy flip lid, and is air tight (no stinkies!).
If it is a pee-pee diaper, then I rinse out the cover with warm water and hang it to dry. Yep, that's a hanger with 4 wooden clothespins. They dry faster if I hang it outside. If the cover has any poo on it then it gets rinsed and thrown in the diaper bucket.
This is what makes cloth diapering so easy. Once a week I plug my nose, hold my breath, and open up the diaper bucket and throw the used diapers into the washer. I wash with Dreft baby detergent and bleach, and do an extra rinse and spin. My high-efficiency washing machine (Frigidaire Affinity, bought on clearance at Lowe's) has a 2 hour sanitary cycle which gets my diapers very clean. In fact, none of Ada's diapers have stains. NONE! When I take them out of the dryer you would think they were brand spanking new.
All in all, remember that poopies, sharts, and pee-pee will always be messy. Caring for a baby is a dirty job. Regardless of what kind of diaper you use, you will get poop on your hands, clothes, and maybe the carpet, you will have diaper explosions that forever stain those brand new onesies, the smell will make you gag at times, and you will get grossed out. But you will live. And you will focus on how much fun you're having snuggling with your baby, hearing her giggle, and getting lost in her eyes and smile. And you will remember that all the hard work is worth it, and doesn't seem that hard when you are in love.