If you answer YES to even 5 of the following questions, maybe cloth diapers really are for you.
1. Do you have a baby or are you expecting a baby? Have you ruled out infant potty training?
Maybe you'll be able to skip diapers all together. If not, cloth diapers are one of your options!
2. Does your baby leak through her nighttime disposable diaper practically every night?
Dealing with leaky diapers at night can drive you crazy, especially when you are already sleep-deprived. I co-sleep with my babies, so they nurse (and pee) A LOT at night. I tried nighttime disposables (so expensive!), 2 disposable diapers (one on top of the other), changing diapers during the night -- nothing worked consistently until. . . cloth diapers! You have so many more options with cloth. I found something that worked for me, and now we enjoy dry nights every night.
3. Do you feel like you are flushing money down the toilet every time you change a diaper?
Cloth diapers are cheaper and can be WAY WAY cheaper depending on what kind of cloth diapering system you use and how many children you diaper. Financial considerations were not enough to get me to switch to cloth, but I remember well the day my toddler pooped 5 times before noon (he likes fruit a lot). I was calculating the money lost in my head as I changed his diaper.
4. Are you able to change your kid's diaper without feeling ill?
When I was pregnant, I had to use a swimmer's nose plug to change my kid's diaper because the smell grossed me out so much. But usually, poop is just poop. That being said I never and I mean NEVER volunteer to change another child's diaper, because I really do not enjoy changing diapers. And yet I can handle washing cloth diapers. If you have changed over 100 diapers, then you are familiar enough with poop that removing the poop from a cloth diaper and putting your cloth diapers in the washer shouldn't be too traumatic. My mother-in-law washed cloth diapers by hand, and that makes me believe that most people can definitely handle putting cloth diapers in the washing machine.
5. Do you want grandchildren?
One study found that the scrotal temperature of baby boys was higher in a disposable than in cloth. Some researchers think disposables might partially explain the increase in male infertility in the last several decades. One hot day (no A/C) I opened my son's diaper and literally felt a wave of heat come out of it. That's when I really started thinking about using cloth diapers. How comfortable can it be to have impermeable plastic wrapped around your bottom on a hot day?
I have. If you are a bit concerned about all the chemicals in your child's world, then the known (those gel beads are SAP - superabsorbant polymers) and unknown (fragrance) ingredients of disposable diapers will give you pause. If you are going to pay attention to the ingredients in any product, it might as well be one of the products that comes in contact with your baby's private parts potentially all day or several times a day (for example, diaper cream, wipes, and diapers).
7. Do you own a washing machine?
Some folks are so dedicated to using cloth that they do so even though they have to lug their cloth diapers to the laundromat or the apartment building's laundry room. If I were in that position, I do believe we would still be using disposables. But if you do have your own washing machine, than using cloth diapers can be even more convenient than disposables. Oh no! Are you out of diapers? Just throw a load in the washer instead of packing the kids into the car and driving to the store.
8. Do you feel a little guilty about dumping gallons and gallons of non-degradable plastic as well as poop that could seep into ground water into landfills?
A little known fact is that all disposable diapers packages have instructions that tell you that you really are supposed to remove the poop from your disposable diapers and flush it down the toilet (rather than putting it in the garbage). Poop belongs in the sewage system, not the garbage dump, because human waste can create issues. Also, you know those disposable diapers aren't going anywhere for millions and gazillions of years, maybe forever. Some folks think the environmental impact of disposables versus cloth is a wash. If you take a few simple steps (don't do 4 rinses, use cold/warm water instead of hot, occasionally line-dry, purchase some used diapers, use diapers for multiple children, resell your diapers), I think you can be pretty sure you are leaving a smaller footprint by using cloth diapers. Although I care about the environment, these considerations honestly weren't enough to motivate me to switch.
9. Are you daunted and confused by the choices out there for cloth diapers? In fact, is this one of the MAIN reasons you haven't committed to cloth yet?
Have no fear. I plan to explain the options in cloth diapers to you in simple terms that any disposable diaper user can understand. In addition, I will point you toward additional resources by people who are even more expert than I am. I also plan to address how to convince the reluctant spouse. . Stay tuned.
10. Do you think it is so darn fun to dress your kids in those tiny little clothes and hats and hair ribbons?
Some moms go nutso over all the cute prints and colors of cloth diapers. Some moms (not me) actually have to control themselves from spending too much money on DIAPERS. If you love dressing and accessorizing your child, you might love this aspect of cloth diapers. They are WAY cuter than disposables. I do think the Target polka-dot disposables are pretty cute though.
What do you think? Are cloth diapers maybe for you?
This post is part of Top Ten Tuesday.