Have you thought about using cloth diapers for cost, environment or health reasons on your baby, but never got around to it? Or perhaps a friend of loved one, maybe even your own husband, doesn't seem to be as interested in cloth diapers as you are? Do they seem like too much work? Too much laundry? Too confusing with all the different brands, or styles? Maybe you have visions of diapers soaking in the toilet, or pails of bleach water, saggy ill fitting plain white vinyl diaper covers, or stinky messy poopy diapers having to be washed out by hand. Honestly modern cloth diapering has changed so much from our mother's day, they are so much different.
First off, diapers today are CUTE!!!! They can be so much fun, even for families on a super tight budget(are there any families that aren't on a tight budget anymore?).
Don't even look at the price tag of cloth diapers. We'll get to that later.
Just look at the pictures to begin with. Pictures say a lot, especially on the bums of happy little babies!
You can see lots of pictures of babies in cloth diapers if you just google images cloth diapers.
Start with just looking at colors, and patterns that you like best. There are so many fun things out there for babies, and cloth diapers can be one of them. Just like a new outfit, or a pair of tiny little baby shoes. These are a justifiable buy for your infant because you have to put something on their butt!!! Why not make some of the diapers cute!!
Okay, see lots of pictures, now what's next?
Buy a diaper or 2. If you don't have a store near you that stocks more than Flats, Prefolds or pull-on cover, and you probably won't because there aren't that many, just do what we all do, and order one from the internet!! There are literally thousands of brands of diapers out there. It's a good idea to buy most of your diapers from a reliable, well known or well reviewed diaper company. Unless you are just buying 1 or 2 to play with that is. If you just see a hand-dyed bamboo velour fitted diaper that you know nothing about the company or diapers, but you are in love with the look of the diaper, go ahead and get it! You never know it might be a tiny WAHM (Work at Home Mother) diaper that is not well known yet, but makes fabulous diapers! Start with just 1 or 2 to play with, even if you don't have your baby yet.
Don't go overboard with this experimenting, you're not really ready to be a great judge of a good quality diaper yet, and you don't want to spend tons of money finding this out the hard way.
Now that you have your little fluffy treasure in-hand, it's time to do some research.
First you need to be informed of the benefits of cloth diapering. Mostly so you can defend yourself against every do-gooder who decides to inform you on the how hard, messy, leaky, waste of time they will be. Once you have a few lines like: "Well, it's not like I'll be at the side of the river beating them clean against a rock, we DO have a washer", you'll be set!
Cloth diapers are clean, safe, and healthy for you, your baby, your washing machine, family, and especially the EARTH. There are plenty of facts and figures out there to prove this, but not that many really good studies. That's because there is a lot more money behind disposable diapers than cloth. There have been some studies though by independent sources. http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/ is a great place to start for facts and figures on this.
Cloth diapers are super super easy. No lie! We are so busy at our household, I wouldn't be able to handle them if they weren't! Waterproof washable diapers have totally changed the way we can cloth diaper our babies. And it keeps getting cooler all the time with new innovations, and new high tech fabrics!
Cloth Diapers are WAY cheaper than disposable diapers. The numbers for disposable diapers really really range depending on how many you use each day, what brand you use, and when you'll potty train your baby. Disposable diapers are supposed to be changed every 2-3 hours(unless sleeping), but many parents leave baby in a dirty diaper for 4 hours or more regularly. That's not very sanitary, or safe. Babies can get such bad rashes from this practice that can get raw and even bleed. Plus we don't yet know of the long term effects leaving chemical laden disposable diapers on a developing infant for 24 hours a day, for 3-5 years of it's life.
The average number of diapers a baby goes through in their lifetime is 10,000. Multiply that by however much you spend per diaper(luvs are .25 ea, huggies supreme are .37 ea, Seventh Generation are .47 ea). Make sure you add the cost for an extra trashcan, tax and driving to and from the store to buy all these diapers.
That's about $4000.00 average cost. No cloth diapering system, no matter how complex will ever come close to that figure. And many cloth diapers can be re-used on a second baby, saving even more money.
For Cloth diaper costs from birth to potty training it's pretty easy to figure out the cost. You just have to know how many diapers you'll need, sizes needed, how often you want to do laundry. Prefolds, one-size-fits-all All-in-2's are about $500, one-size fitteds or pocket diapers are about $700, Sized(when you have to buy 3 sizes, sm, med and lg, it's called sized) all-in-ones, pockets or fitteds are about $1400-$2200, and more custom made, fancy diapers are about $1200 per size. This is all variable of course, and you can add laudry costs in too for about .37 cents per load. Most people wash about every 2-3 days depending on how many diapers they own. And detergent lasts forever with cloth diapers because you only use about 1/4 the recommended amount per load. So one bottle will last about 6 mo or more.
For all the "What do you do with the poop?" questions, check out the FREE Diapering Book online at www.softbums.com
It's also got lists of pros and cons of different styles of diapers available now, and how to use them all, with bright colored pictures!