I started researching cloth diapers a few months before my son was born. When I learned there were modern cloth diapers, through a mommy forum, a light bulb went off in my head. Ding! I knew I would use them. I started on my long journey of research.
The number 1 reason I wanted to cloth diaper was environmental. While I would never have called myself an environmentalist, the sheer number of disposable diapers a child goes through made me a little sick to think about. Once I realized there was a way around that I jumped in feet first. I told my husband we were cloth diapering. He said he wouldn’t change them, but I did it anyway. I chose diapers I knew he could change if he decided to. He did right away. (This is why I tell moms looking into cloth to just do it, the men almost always come around eventually)
Money savings was how I convinced my husband to fund our stash. This was my number 2 reason. I presented him with the research and told him that for 300-500 dollars we could diaper our child. No having to buy disposables. And, these same diapers could be used on the next baby. I don’t know how much I have actually spent on my diapers since I did get a little carried away. Still, the savings will add up to the thousands by the time we are done having children.
My third reason came about after my research. I started learning how many chemicals disposable diapers contained. Dioxin (the same ingredient that has been banned from tampons for causing toxic shock syndrome), SAP (Super absorbent polymer gel), and various other nasties that have been shown to contribute to asthma and reduced male fertility are in disposables. I had no clue, and most likely, the majority of other mothers have no clue either. There is a mentality that exists (and I am guilty of this in many ways as well) that if a product has made it to the mass market, it is safe for use. Why else would it have passed all of the tests that big companies are surely putting them through? (the Pampers Dry Max outlash and the current Similac recall is another example that we need better quality control, and need to think about what we are giving to our children)
Well, if I have learned anything in the past 2 years, it is that the vast majority of consumer products are less than safe. I have made a lot of changes in my life since cloth diapering. I am by no means living a 100% organic lifestyle when it comes to food, clothing, or household products. I have reconsidered the soaps I use on my son, the sunscreen I put on his body, and the food he eats. I switched over to unpaper towels. I buy environmentally friendly laundry detergent and fabric softeners. This all started thanks to cloth diapers.
I am not perfect. My son has worn disposables before, he will again. I can’t afford to buy everything organic. But I do my best and I am so happy to be using cloth diapers for these reasons and more (like how adorable they are). I get hit with challenges like everyone else. When I get discouraged I remind myself of all of the reasons I started and the reasons I should continue.
Don’t forget to join me and other experts on Twitter tonight (Sept 23) at 9 PM EDT for a cloth diaper party hosted by Healthy Child about the “Do’s and Don’ts of Cloth Diapers.” Use #heatlhychild to join. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/tpegddd
What about you, Why do YOU Cloth Diaper?