Sunday, May 24, 2009

Like Tweet

Cloth? Why? That's too much work!

I am surprised over and over at how people react to the fact that both of my daughters are in cloth diapers. It's so normal for me now. But people, and moms in general say "Oh, that is so much work", "I didn't realize they still made cloth diapers", "I don't have time to worry with washing diapers", "Do you have a diaper service?", and other such incredulous statements. My personal favorite comes from my parent's peers- "Wow! I haven't seen cloth diapers since my kids were babies. I remember how much work they were. I don't envy you." My perspective is so much different. Like anything else I do, I researched first. I didn't want to jump in on the end of a fad, nor did I want to be different just for the sake of it. I needed valid reasons why I should spend lots of money up front, and then do something (yet again) that was not status quo. (Everyone already thinks I'm a little on the nutty side for birthing my two girls at home.) After going to many different websites, speaking with other cloth diapering families, and reading up, I found that using cloth not only helped save the environment, but also would save on our diapering expenses over the course of our daughters' "diapering careers". I read one stat that showed that families spend an average of $2600 per child on diapers. What?!? Do you know what I could do with that kind of money? So, after many hours of researching and discussions with my husband, we decided on cloth. Now, which kind to use? There were so many options available. We chose to go to one website that had diapers ranked on many different aspects, and went with the most popular. I am satisfied with my choice.

My family thinks I am a bit on the "granola" side of things, but have been very supportive of our decision to use cloth. My parents keep disposable "back-ups" at their house, just in case. But they seem to appreciate our desire to be good stewards of our money and the earth. The only dissenters seem to be my sisters without children. They screw up their faces at the thought of having to "dump" out my older daughter's stinky diapers, and sometimes they make gagging noises to which I tell them that they are ridiculous- one is a doctor and the other is going to medical school. I mean, seriously, cleaning out a poopy diaper is grosser than dissecting a cadaver? I think not.

When I show up at church and drop my girls off at the nursery, I have to give specific instructions, like, "I just put a fresh cloth diaper on my child. You won't need to change it over the next hour unless she has a stinky. In the event that she does have a stinky, please do not throw her diaper away. It is not disposable. I have a little bag (and I show the little bag) and you can just put it in here." For those who have never kept my girls, a little conversation about using cloth diapers always starts. First, the obligatory statements listed above are exclaimed, and then they say things like, "Awww! They are so cute." "Look at how easy they are", "They look just like "real" diapers", and "If I had babies now, I might try these." I deliver my standard response about how much less expensive they are over the long term and how my laundry time has really only increased by about 5 minutes per load. I explain that I do 4 extra washes each week and stuff and fold them (I have pocket inserts) during the commercials while I watch "Jeopardy" in the evenings. It's not much extra work and the savings are worth it. Then I point out the fact that my girls' little bottoms are rarely chapped and rashy- something that even the older kids in diapers seem to have issues with. And finally, I offer to let those with little ones try out some of my un-used diapers, just for a test ride... to which the majority make up excuses and kindly refuse. If only they could see it the way that I do. If the stats are accurate, then I will have saved over $4500 on diaper expenses and two tons of non-biodegradable waste in our local landfill... and that is definitely worth my time!


- By Mary K.

37 comments:

Brena said...

We get all the same comments. Especially about using a diaper service. The one around here though only does the prefolds, you still have to wash your diaper covers and wipes yourself. (And they only pick up once a week!!) I don't see why anyone wouldn't just save the money and wash them themselves!

The Soldatke family said...

We love our cloth, too. I don't actually see any extra work...and I love the smell of clean diapers straight off the line!

Lynn said...

I think this entry is one of my favorites!

*~*a.l.s*~* said...

i agree with Lynn--i love this post! I am soooo intrigued by homebirth and want to do it for the next baby...whenever that is!

momof3munchkins said...

We get some of the same comments too, but I think that a few extra loads of laundry a week is much easier than hauling 3 kids to the store to buy diapers!

Lauren said...

I hvae been pleasantly surprised by how easy it is to cloth diaper! I don't know why everyone doesn't do it!!

Sam-a-lama said...

UGH...tell me about it. My sister gave me the lecture about how tough cloth diapering is. My sister is 16 years older than me. When I was born my mom cloth diapered me and my sister said it was so hard and that there are no cost savings because of all the water you use from washing so many things because of all the leaks and I tried to tell her that things have changed in 27 years but she wouldn't have any of it. Right now we are working on getting out cloth diapers...unfortunately the money i had saved to get a bunch had to go to fix the brakes on my car...BOO

Jackie said...

I love our cloth diapers as well and get some of the same reactions as you do. But before I had kids I also had some stereotypes of cloth diapers. I never thought I would use them until I had a DD that always got a diaper rash. Now that I tried them out over a year ago - I would never go back : )
Great post!!!

dannyscotland said...

People are always shocked when they find out I use cloth, too. I tell them the same things you do. I keep trying to explain that they aren't any harder than dumb disposables. It makes me sad to see sweet little babies in those nasty things now!

Anonymous said...

I get looks too. cloth is so easy people think its hard.
ravin8137

Upstatemomof3 said...

We get the comments too. My favorite coming from my MIL who said, "If you cannot afford diapers we can buy them for you." UGH!! She just didn't get it - and still doesn't but I am totally against sposies now. :) Only cloth for us.

Heidi said...

We get the goofy comments about cloth diapering too! A friend of mine told her neighbor that I cloth diapered my daughter and I guess she about threw up when she heard that I wash diapers in the same washing machine as our regular clothes! I couldn't help but laugh. I wonder what she does when her kids have an accident and poop gets on their clothes? Maybe she just throws them away like she does with the disposables!

Tara K. said...

Kudos to you for staying the coarse! This is very well written. Aren't you glad you don't use "real" diapers??? lol

Kelly said...

I always have people asking me if I use a service when I mention that I use cloth. I give a very cool "nope, I wash them" and then prepare for the comments. I don't really see them as much extra work and I never have to run out for diapers. The other night I was out with some other mommy friends and one lady mentioned how she needed to stop for diapers on the way home, but she was so tired and didn't want to. She was trying to calculate how far into the following day she could get with the few she had left. Never have to worry about such things with cloth!

Stacy said...

I agree - we live in a small town and people are always commenting on our diapers when they notice - mostly positive comments, but a lot of "I've thought of it, but never really seriously!)
I don't actually find it that much work either and I love not dealing with smelly disposables.

Thrifty Mama B said...

Way to stand for what you believe in. Love this post! In the beginning for us CD'ing we got comments too but hey have slacked off here lately. Maybe more people are wising up.

JustForMommy said...

I think the odd comments come with the territory. We have been using cloth for 6 months now and some of my friends still don't get it at all. I love my CDs and wish that everyone had the chance to see just how easy it really is. I will never go back to sposies. It's so rewarding knowing that I am doing something great for my baby, and the planet!

Amanda said...

Great Post!!! I love doing cloth and telling anyone who will listen all about it. :)

I'm really intrigued by doing the Bradly Method of birth w/ our next baby.

Anyone curious about natural home births should watch "The Business of Being Born" produced by Ricki Lake....AMAZING documentary!

Amanda G.

Nikki said...

Ah, the wonderful comments. I get them all the time too. The funniest one was actually from my sister, who said to my Mom...Did you know Nikki actually makes her own baby wipes and the solution to put on them? I didn't even know you could DO that! I don't know what she thought people did before disposable wipes! I think it's hilarious when people tell you how much better disposables are. Only cloth for us! Great post.

Trish M. said...

This is great! It's so nice to hear that other moms get the same treatment! It's funny, I get weird looks for just about everything I do (I can't believe you don't feed your baby Gerber!)...but the best is when I had a friend say about cloth diapers, "Eww! Don't they get stained?" I replied, "Not usually, but when they do you can just sun the stain out." Her reply..."What does that mean? Is it some kind of detergent?" Back to the basics, ladies!

Ally said...

Great post! I dont have people question me but I get the looks. We love using cloth and I also dont mind doing the diaper laundry. =)

Senior Family said...

we have gotten alot of the same comments .. my oldest just potty trained and it is kinda nice to only have one in cloth again , only for a bit though ;) since #3 is on it's way !! i love the pics of your lil girls playing with the diapers :)

KuryKidsMommy said...

I really do love my cloth diapers (I wrote this post :) and am so excited to have just bought some Rocky Mountain COW PRINTS!!! So cute. No disposable diaper can touch cloth, much less cow print. And Amanda, I think that the Bradley Method is the way to go for natural birth... it all seems to go hand in hand. My students (I teach Bradley) typically end up doing cloth because they see how easy it can be. Thanks for letting me share my story with you all!!

coconuts said...

Friends like you are wonderful. Its so nice when someone is willing to offer some of there stash for test rides so new to cloth mommies can see its not hard and get to see what works!!!

Jenney said...

I get the same comments...but people at church are not so nice...at all! Ok, the head of the nursery is, but the other workers drove me to buy Seventh Generation for Sundays.

Tiffany said...

I got negative comments about cloth diapering, also. I'm happy we made the decision to CD, as is my husband, and that's really all that matters.

A Psych Mommy said...

I get the same comments, too. I love the "They look like 'real' diapers" That one always cracks me up!

Suzy said...

My MIL was excited about me cloth diaper, my mom freaked out. And the comments are the best. At first most of the was hesitate but but know my SIL is cloth diapering and the rest think it is cool

Day to Day Tripper said...

I am always asked if we use a diaper service..."you mean you clean them yourself?" I love cloth and think it's easy to wash and take care of...when a diaper is only worn for a moment I'm always glad it's cloth instead of wasting a disposible.

Chrysanthemum said...

My family and friends are surprisingly accepting of cloth diapering. Several of my friends have decided to go this route with their forthcoming babes, as well!

Megan R. said...

I get these types of comments, too. I'm happy to discuss it. I have actually helped turn a few friends on to cloth diapering, which I think is great! I don't really think it's much extra work, either. I don't mind doing the loads of laundry, because I never have to do last minute/late night runs for disposables!!

Ashley said...

I hear all of the same things you do, but love my cloth. I will never ever use disposables again, and will do my best to spread the cloth word.

Man, your kids are CUTE!

momof3dolls said...

I get the same comments from my sisters, who also have little ones. They can't believe I "touch" poopy dipes. I enjoyed my CDs!! It's now a new "hobby" for me :)

Valerie aka Mamalovelock said...

I have had many of the same comments. I used to be one of those people who made such comments, but I have been converted and I truly love cloth diapering. I also love all the money I am saving and waste that we are not producing. It's great all around.

Tiffany said...

I am getting these kinds of comments from so many people...including my husband! It is getting hard to convince him to do cloth diapers for our unborn son (due July) and he is totally concerned about all the "work". For me it is just laundry....but he doesn't see it that way. He is all about convenience. I really, really want to do cloth for my baby.

Key West Girl said...

Everyone on the outside thinks it's such a drag to have cloth...but I actually have a lot of fun with it-even the laundry! Nothing better than fresh diapers! When I have felt a disposable with my hand, it's just sooo rough compared to soft snuggly cloth!

KuryKidsMommy said...

Tiffany, my husband wasn't sure about them either, but once he saw how easy they are and how inexpensive they are- no spending $50 a pop for a box of disposables, he is definitely on the bandwagon. In fact, he actually takes the initiative to wash them if the basket is full!! If you had asked him 2 years ago if he'd be doing diaper laundry, I'm sure his answer would have been "NO WAY!!" and now he's a pro. There's hope!!! Just keep on showing him all the money he'll save and how easy they are... it's like anything new, it just takes time to get used to. Best wishes!