I got this question over and over again when I decided to switch from disposables (‘sposies) to cloth diapers. My mom remembers using cloth–the old-fashioned kind. She hated every minute of it, but did it to save a little money. The only praises she had for cloth was that it was the only kind of diaper that could contain a poopy blow-out. From other friends who are in the same age range, I heard similar reviews of cloth diapering. “It was so frustrating!” “Wet pails are gross.” “They looked silly on the baby.” On and on, not much good to be heard. From friends in my age group, I got a different set of concerns. “You mean you’re actually going to use diapers where you’ll have to deal with the poop??” Umm… I already deal with the poop. It’s smeared all over his bottom no matter what kind of diaper is containing it. “Why would you want diapers you need to wash?” “‘Sposies are cute, too! They have Disney characters on them!” So, aside from some online-only relations, there really was no one who thought cloth was a good choice. I took the risk anyway, mostly because a couple of my online friends were so enthusiastic about theirs (and I owe them a debt of gratitude to this day)!
So, why did I choose to switch? I actually had a lot of reasons. I really liked that they were cheaper to use. For the first several months of Isaiah’s live, cost wasn’t an issue because I’d been given diapers in various sizes as gifts at my baby shower and my grandparents had been buying them whenever they were on sale. When I started having to get my own, though, I realized just how much they were costing me. I hated that, without fail, when I put him in a clean diaper, Isaiah would poop within a matter of minutes. That meant he only wore the diaper for a few minutes! It seemed like such a waste of money. With cloth diapers, no matter how many Isaiah used in a day, I didn’t have to pay any more. I just wash every two or three days and we’ve got enough diapers to last a couple more days. Running the wash cycle for a dozen or more diapers costs me about the same as just a couple disposable diapers. That equalled huge savings!
Another thing I love about cloth is how they look. They come in so many cute prints! I got my pocket diapers from a work at home mom who makes custom diapers with any print imaginable. Isaiah never wears the same print twice in one day! Something else I like about the appearance is that they’re “fluffy.” The size of cloth diapers are what earned them the nickname “fluff.” Since cloth is thicker than the paper and chemicals in a disposable, they’re bigger on a baby’s bottom. Isaiah moved up an entire size in pants when we switched! That was ok, though. I still thought it was cute that they gave him a big butt. I have known people who didn’t like this aspect of cloth and actually chose to give it up because of it, so this part is just a matter of personal taste. I must admit, though, that I’m guilty of letting Isaiah run around in just a diaper every chance I get and I hate onesies because they cover his cute diapers. I’d much rather put him in a regular shirt that shows off his diaper.
Isaiah has some mild allergies. I’m starting to really see them as he spends his days outside more. He appears to be allergic to some chemicals that are sprayed on plants and possibly to some plants. He has reactions to cheap ‘sposies, too. He’s alright in Huggies and was fine in the smallest size Pampers, but when he moved into “Cruisers” there was something different about them that had his little bottom covered in a rash. His rashes never got too horrible because I immediately started treating whenever one would start to show up. If I forgot to put vaseline on him even once, though, every part of him that touched the diaper turned red. I’d been told that cloth diapers are better for babies with sensitive skin or allergies, so I was hoping that the cloth would clear that up. It did! Just a few days into cloth and his rash was gone. Every once in a while, thanks to our hard water, he’ll start to get ammonia burn, but that’s easy enough to fix by stripping the diapers.
There are lots of other great reasons for using cloth, but for this post, I’ll leave it at what my reasons for the initial switch were. I’m so grateful to my friends who told me about cloth diapering and taught me how fun and easy it could be! To all those skeptics out there, who didn’t think I’d last very long, I just wanted you to know that, while I’m not a fan of diarrhea in any diaper, I actually don’t mind dealing with poopy diapers and washing them every few days isn’t that big a deal to me. I always know when to do it because I only have three night diapers! When the last one comes off, all the dirty diapers go into the wash. I have every intention of using cloth for every future baby. I also hope to try out other styles of cloth diaper. Since I was new to the whole idea, I only bought pocket style diapers. If I had the money, I’d try out others now. I’m just dying to test out fitteds! I’d kind of like a little experience with prefolds before trying them on a newborn, too.