Blog to Inspire: I Parent by Nature, that’s why I choose cloth diapers

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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.

Wonderful World of Nikki profile

Blog to Inspire entrant The Wonderful World of Nikki is Nicole Bergman, is married and has a beautiful 1 year old baby girl. She cares very much about the environment and does her best to treat the Earth with respect. She enjoys DIY projects, crafts, and spending time in the kitchen.

My husband calls me a hippie. Maybe I am, I don’t really know. What I do know is that becoming a Mother has inspired change in my life- it has sparked an awareness and a desire. I am aware of the way things are in this world and how needlessly complicated things can be. I desire a simpler life. I want to live and parent as nature intended. That is why I choose organic food to feed my family. That is why we reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible. That is why I had a natural, unmedicated birth. That is why I breastfed my daughter. That is why I chose cloth diapers.

I was curious why other parents chose to diaper the way they do, so I asked 75 parents the same questions. Of the parents I asked, 73% use disposable diapers, which leaves only 27% as cloth diaper users. The main reasons why people don’t use cloth diapers?
“They’re inconvenient.”

Really? I totally don’t think so. Diapers have come a long way since the days of folding fabric, pins and rubber pants. I use one size pocket diapers- a waterproof outer layer that is stuffed with an absorbent inner liner. The only “inconvenience” is having to stuff the liner into the diaper, but that is hardly any work. I also found that many people said that having to wash a diaper was not convenient for them. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t wear disposable clothes, so if I am having to wash laundry anyways, then what is one extra load every couple days?
“They’re gross!”

Handling a cloth diaper is no different than handling a disposable diaper. Most people seemed to think that the solid waste would be the issue. Did you know that with a disposable diaper, any solid waste should be disposed of in the toilet? 85% of the disposable diaper users I asked said that they throw the diaper and the solid waste into the garbage. Human waste should not be untreated. The bacteria from fecal matter left in landfills can create public health hazards. That is gross. If you can remove a child’s diaper and drop it into a garbage can, you can remove a child’s diaper and drop it into a diaper pail. From there it goes into the washer once the pail is full. My house does not smell of dirty diapers, nor is my washer full of residual poop.
“They’re very expensive”

My husband was not on board when I first told him I wanted to use cloth diapers. Like many others, he thought they were gross and too much work. I showed him the Parenting By Nature website from which I wanted to order the diapers. He absolutely could not believe that I was willing to pay $22.00 for a single diaper. It might seem expensive at first, but do the math.

I spent approx. $400.00 on 18 pocket diapers (keep in mind, this is a one time purchase).
I change my baby approx. 7 times each day.
I will do this for approx. 2 years which works out to roughly 5110 diapers.
My cost: $400.00.

A person spends approx. $21.99 on a box of 100 disposable diapers.
A person will stretch this box of diapers approx. 2 weeks ($11.00 per week).
A person will do this for approx. 2 years. There are 104 weeks in 2 years.
Their cost: $1144.00.

Cost difference: $744.00

Note: This calculation was based on a package of newborn diapers. With each size, the diapers increase in price. My cost does not increase because my cloth diapers have snaps so the size can be adjusted as my baby grows. Keep in mind that some children are in diapers longer than 2 years, which means even more money.

Now, lets not forget the environmental impact of disposable diapers. Over 4,000,000 disposable diapers are discarded daily in Canada. Wow. Four million. Per day. Disposable diapers are made of paper, plastic and sodium polyacrylate. These materials do not biodegrade well. They will just sit there for hundreds of years.

Babies health? Think of all the toxic chemicals found in diapers- traces of dioxin, tributyl-tin, sodium polyacrylate… babies are in diapers 24 hours hours a day for a couple of years. I don’t want my child wrapped in chemical filled plastic. We choose soft cotton undergarments for ourselves, why wouldn’t we do the same for our children?

The cloth diaper myths have been debunked, the good and the bad, laid out for you right here. We all want what is best for our precious children.

Go ahead and call me a hippie! I have chosen to follow my heart and my instincts— to be lead and to parent by nature.

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