I’ve never been someone that you’d look at and say, “Wow, she’s a hippie”. In fact you’d probably say the opposite. Conservation, natural products and things of that ilk have intrigued me but in the past I’ve written them off as too expensive or time consuming. I’m a path of least resistance kind of girl or at least I thought I was. When my daughter was born I found myself wanting a drug free birth so that she’d be totally alert for breastfeeding when born. I found myself making my own baby food. When my son was born I continued in the same vein. Not because it was easier, though. I did it because I thought it was what was best for my child. And guess what else? IT WAS CHEAPER! Breastfeeding is free. Making your own baby food- way cheaper than buying it. I felt like my choices were benefitting my family and our bottom line. My “path of least resistance” didn’t seem to matter as much in light of the health benefits and cost savings.
People brought up cloth diapering to me when I was pregnant for my first two kids. I can remember literally making fun of people who did it. I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept. Why would you want to do all that laundry? Why would you want to touch poop? Why would you want pee covered anything sitting in a bucket in your nursery? No thanks man, I’ll keep my disposables.
Here’s some facts I’ve learned from my experience thus far in the realm of cloth diapering. (Yes, I turned to the other side after all.) Laundry- it’s not that much more. About 3 extra loads a week. Big deal. Poop- Honey, if you’re changing diapers, you’re going to touch poop. I don’t care what kind of diaper you’re using, poop will be touched. I wear gloves when cleaning poop diapers. Diaper sprayers are also great tools for no-poop touching. Problem solved. Pee covered anything- There are antibacterial liners, sweet smelling/all natural pail fresheners and lots of tricks to keep your pail from stinking up the place. Just do your wash ever couple days and no worries. For real.
Anyway, you may have noticed in that last paragraph that I’m cloth diapering. Yes me, the hater. I’m not even sure what prompted it really. I mean the super cuteness factor is definitely there, that’s a given. I think that was the initial hook. But there’s that bottom line thing again. Saving upwards of $2,000-$3,000 from birth-potty training is pretty enticing. (I think that’s what sold my husband.) But I feel like there’s more to it, something lying underneath all of that. Yes, I feel like I’m doing something better for my baby. Yes, I’m doing something good for the earth. I also never have to worry about running out of diapers in the middle of the night or fret about the chlorine and other chemicals in my baby’s wipes, not even to mention the chemicals in the diapers. (I never even knew there were harmful chemicals in diapers!) Once I dipped my toe into the information pool of cloth diapering, I ended up diving in head-first. The resources and support for this lifestyle are amazing and overwhelming at times. Moms and dads who cloth diaper are passionate about it and now I know why- it feels good to do something good. It might not be the easiest way. It is definitely the cheaper way. You might come into contact with some poop every now and then but seriously it’s worth looking into. I wish I had allowed myself that much three years ago when my daughter was born. I’m so glad I did now. Better late than never, right? The hater became a full-blown believer, much to the chagrin of some family and friends who think I’m nuts. I’m not nuts. I’m just saving money. And the helping the earth. And keeping chemicals off of my kids’ tender parts. What’s nuts about that?
Amber Spadea is a mother of three and a freelance copywriter/graphic designer. She has a passion to spread the word about cloth diapering and natural parenting choices. Her blog, The Cloth Diaper Convert explores her journey of “Going Green & Keeping Bottoms Clean”. www.theclothdiaperconvert.com