Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cloth diapers?

This weekend I have explored the world of cloth diapering. I have ricocheted from feeling averse to brimming with enthusiasm. I have called friends across the country who use them; have explored websites (see cotton babies and keen bambino); have called & texted Jen, borrowed diapering items from her and dragged her to Target with me (where -- who knew -- they sell a credible brand of cloth diapers); I have strewn various diapering paraphernalia about my house as if I already use and love it; I have bought a pink cloth diaper, had Eden pee in it and laundered it in hot water -- but it's hard to have a real taste for what using cloth would be like owning only one.

My motivator in this whole ordeal -- chemicals, chlorine and plastics aside -- is to avoid plastic diapers that will sit and sag on the earth for decades to come. I read that each year, one baby's dirty diapers weigh HALF A TON. Come on. So cloth, though not perfect (and not helpful in the water arena) seems a friendly option. I do have some reservations though:

1. These diapers have to be laundered every 2-3 days once in cold water and then in hot. I tend to abandon at least 2 out of 5 loads of our laundry in the washing machine and then find them wet and mildewy a few days later in need of being washed again.

2. The smell of a trashcan full of cloth diapers -- would it be any worse than a trashcan full of regular diaper?

3. Leaving the house usually looks like this for me: I am holding Eden, some stray blanket that is still half wrapped around her, a bag over my shoulder, 4 toy trains Silas has pleaded to bring along, a cup of something caffeinated (actually, I usually forget that on the kitchen table), some letters to mail, and am reaching for Silas's squirmy hand so we can walk through the garage together. Adding 4 pounds of bulky cloth diapering supplies including a bag to zip up heavy wet diapers doesn't sound too appealing... especially for someone who is most happy when carrying nothing.

4. I am all for being organized and planning ahead, but I like the freedom of leaving with no diapers, wipes or change of baby clothes, banking on wipes in the car and a crumpled diaper in the glove box. Cloth diapers would be a whole other ballgame.

All of that said, I know I could rally and embrace this new lifestyle -- I could carry many things and join the world of follow-through laundering, I would just need a few weeks to learn and slip
into routine.

Ben isn't on board right now (which is fair considering the above reservations) -- but I figure I have a couple of years of diapering ahead of me and have time to work on him. Until he's convinced, I have found two decent options: SeventhGeneration and Nature Babycare. They are both "biodegradable" (which I have learned means nothing when diapers are going into a landfill -- only helpful if we were composting), but at least they are made with fewer chemicals and oil-based plastics, and no chlorine. The Nature Babycare ( or Target) are corn based and so far so good.

Silas votes for disposable so we can continue wearing diaper hats (if you have never worn one you should try it):


mMc said...

have you looked into the "g" diaper - alonsa used it on pierce for a while - bad diaper rash tho. (as i think all cloth-ish diapers might give...)
good luck!


Zack Newcott said...

Diaper hats may very well be the best idea I have heard this week, maybe even ever. I must wear one.