I bought cloth diapers for my first child. That was as far as it went. We were moving. We had been given disposable diapers as a gift at a baby shower. We got used to them. Disposable diapers were convenient for us. We lived in an apartment complex where there were no laundry machines or facilities for a little while. Disposable diapers were a better choice. Right? Wrong!
Perhaps it was a bad batch. Perhaps my son just had an extra full bladder that night. All I know is that when I opened his diaper at his next changing, all the stuffing that was supposed to be inside the diaper lining was outside of it. The seams at the legs had unsealed. I had a Chicken Little response. What if he had taken the diaper off himself? He had done that before. What if he had put some of this in his mouth? After I calmed down I figured I had over reacted. What was in this diaper anyway?
A cloth diaper holds cotton or another filler inside it. Usually it’s a natural plant based filler. A disposable diaper can contain chemicals that trap wetness. Potty training diapers have a chemical that delays wetness absorption in order to train a child to use the toilet. There are even more chemicals in diapers that change color when wet. I had been putting these chemicals on my little one along with his nice new diaper. I wasn’t even sure what these chemicals were or what effect they may have on my son. It’s not that didn’t care. It’s just I had never thought about what made a diaper work as a diaper before.
The cost of diapers for us monthly was about $50. In a twelve month period that was $600. This was money that could be saved up for my son’s education, or used for his medical care, or saved in case of emergency. The least expensive cloth diapers (the plain white ones where I would have to use safety pins) were 12 dollars for 10. If I chose to go with the fancier pocket diapers it was thirty dollars for 6. They would last longer, could be adjusted to fit my child as he grew and would save us money.
I’m not the most Earth friendly citizen, but I do want to do my part for mother nature. I recycle. I reuse things. Those cloth diapers I had bought during my pregnancy had become burp cloths rather than garbage. While all that is good, I know I could still do more for our planetary home. Disposable diapers aren’t the best option out there when it comes to saving resources. They take up a good deal of space in landfills. Cloth diapers are both gentler on our children and on our world.
All of this is why with my second child, I’m going to use cloth diapers.