Using cloth diapers was a no-brainer for me. However, I wasn't really up-to-code on cloth diapers when I had to start thinking about it (last spring). Because what seemed like no one used them, I didn't really have a clue where to start. I looked around at the local colossus chains, but they didn't have much - it left me wondering if my options were extremely limited.
Now, some of you might be saying to yourselves, "Why didn't this dipstick just look online?" And you're right - why on earth didn't I look online? The answer: I didn't have a computer at home at the time, and I didn't feel comfortable spending time online at work researching it. I could have gone to the library. But...
Fortunately, I had one friend who was using cloth diapers. It was unbeknownst to me, because 1) she lives in Indiana and 2) at the time, I wasn't interested in discussing diapers, poop, bath time, and other baby things. (These are some of my favorite subjects now!) So, my pal, Nelly, gave me the low-down on everything I needed to know about cloth diapering. Before I talked to her, I was even prepared to use *gasp* diaper pins. I'm telling you - I was really out of the loop. I found that my options weren't limited at all, in fact - I had a lot to choose from.
Today, with $300 in supplies and a little bit of time to wash diapers every other day - we will have saved thousands just this first year alone. Multiply that by the number of children I might have: remember, they can be re-used! Over the stretch of our child-rearing days, we will have saved a load of $$. Not only are they economical, but they are the superior choice environmentally, as well. Yes: we will have used water and gas and soap to wash them, but how much less of a strain is that to our world than all the energy, materials, and landfill space that disposable diapers use? Again, a no-brainer.
Many people argue that disposable diapers are easier, more convenient. I just can't see that. When we are in public, instead of looking for a trash can to toss a diaper, I just slip it into the water-proof tote. We've never had to make an emergency trip to the store to pick up more diapers: if we're running low, we just wash them. Washing them, by the way, isn't a big deal at all. Throughout the course of the day, it is: soak, rinse, wash, hang. Cake.
One last note: We line-dry our diapers year round. Outside in the summer, inside in the winter.
Please see my next post: Cloth Diapering: Part II
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