This following post was an entry in our Blog to Inspire contest. The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and not necessarily those of Eco Baby Steps or Parenting By Nature.
Blog to Inspire entrant Thifty Mama B’s is Shanaka B. She is a West Virginia coal miner’s daughter-in-law. She and her husband have two boys. She’s a stay-at-home mom. She started coupon clipping, cloth diapering, CVS’ing, and saving where she could in August 2008. Call it cheap, frugal, thrifty or whatever. Doing what she does has made it easier for them to be a family of four on one income.
If you’ve read my posts before y’all know I am obsessed with cloth diapers and the world that is cloth.
Why cloth diapers? I can give you a bunch of reasons why we chose cloth diapers but will only highlight a few. And just so you all know we were a disposables household, so I have nothing against parents who choose that way of life, I’m just making my case as to why we switched to cloth. I knew I wanted away from disposable diapers but didn’t know where to start.
There was so much info out there about cloth, it is a lot to take in. I can say that switching to cloth diapers is one of the best things I have ever done (seriously). If I can help just one person understand and accept cloth diapering into their life I would be really happy. But I do understand that it is to each their own and I am not trying to push my lifestyle off on anyone. Really, though, cloth diapers are awesome. I’m about as girly girl as you can get and I have no problem washing cloth diapers. We are also a one income family of four and we could afford to buy more than half of our stash. If you truly want to make the switch to cloth you can do it! I’ve even given away 8 cloth diapers just so one person could start their diaper stash. Thats how strongly I feel about using cloth diapers.
- They help save our environment. Every child that uses disposable diapers adds a minimum of about 6,500 disposable diapers (30% which are non biodegradable) to our landfills and in all those disposables are many lbs. of raw fecal matter that can spread viruses to our water supply should a crack show up in a landfill. The manufacturing of disposables also poses another threat to the environment. They require large amounts of wood pulp (aka trees) and dangerous chemical substances which can leave behind harmful byproducts. It makes me feel good that I know I’m doing my part to help save the Earth for my children.
- They help you save money. Yes, when you look at the initial cost of a cloth diaper you may feel that it is a bit much. I did at first. Then I sat down and did some number crunching. On average you can spend $2,000 on disposable diapers per child. That compared to the average $700 spent on cloth diapering your first child. A good thing about that $700? You can use it on the children you have after your first. Making the cost of diapering even less than disposables. The $700 mentioned may even be less than that depending on the cloth diaper system you choose to use.
- They are easier on the skin (babies and mine). They don’t contain any of the chemicals that disposables do. They are made of natural, chemical-free materials. Most babies have less to no diaper rash when using cloth compared to disposables because the cloth diapers are more breathable than disposables. I have hand eczema, and disposables made my eczema flare up badly.
- They are easy to use. These aren’t your grandma’s cloth diapers with rubber pants and diaper pins. You have a plethora of options when it comes to cloth. Velcro or snaps and your done. You can show your fashion taste on your little one’s bum. I’ve been asked, “Isn’t washing cloth diapers nasty?” My answer? “No!” Washing our cloth diapers is no different from washing clothes that got poo on them from a blow out disposable diaper or washing clothes that your little one has thrown up on. It’s all the same to your washing machine. Use the flushable diaper liners and you don’t have to mess with much of the poo. Cloth diapering can be adapted to fit any lifestyle even if you aren’t a stay-at-home parent. To me the added effort of doing a couple extra loads of laundry a week (I wash our diapers twice a week) is worth the multiple benefits to your children, the environment and your pocketbook.
If you already use cloth diapers then you agree with my points, yes? If you don’t cloth diaper and are interested or are intrigued to make the switch, you can contact me and I can do my best to answer the cloth diaper questions you have or direct you to someone who can answer them if I can’t. I’ve already converted a family member to cloth and four friends, so I’m confident I can help you, too. Why would you not want to use cloth diapers? For every reason you have to not use cloth diapers I can give you a reason why you should. Using cloth diapers has also opened my eyes to other eco-friendly things.
Being green has never felt so good!
Read about the Blog to Inspire contest and read posts by the finalists and by the rest of the entrants. Forty-four bloggers reached out to inspire on the topics of cloth diapers, babywearing, breastfeeding, and natural parenting.