With Easton's due date fast approaching I thought it'd be a good time to get everybody on board with the stinky situation that is DIAPERING! I made the decision a loooooong before I even knew I was pregnant that I would be cloth diapering instead of using disposable diapers as the primary form of diapering. Since the majority of you who read this blog are likely to see (or maybe even help with a diaper change once or twice ;) the cloth diapers, I figured I'd give you a heads up on why we chose to cloth diaper, why they are different from diapers of the past, and the differences in using cloth vs. diaper.
1) Doing what we think is best for baby - I hate the thought of chemical filled diaper up against his sensitive skin and most private parts for 23 hours a day for 2+ years. And now that huge improvements have been made in cloth diapers, the decision to cloth diaper is easier than ever! Babies in cloth diapers also experience less "blow outs" and diaper rash. Cloth diapered babies also tend to take to potty training earlier and easier.
2) Environment - Did you know that the thousands of diapers that Branch and I wore still haven't decomposed and are sitting in a landfill somewhere? No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years. Over 300lbs of wood, 50lbs of petroleum feedstocks and 20lbs of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby each year! While cloth diapering does use water for washing and resources for production, the environmental repercussions pale in comparison. I should note that they have recently come out with eco-friendly disposable diapers but they are prohibitively expensive (at least for us). Which leads us to reason number 3...
3) Cost - While the upfront cost of cloth diapering is much higher than going out and purchasing a single box of disposables, it definitely pays off in the end. From what I've learned, most people are fine with 12 but prefer 18 cloth diapers. Those same 18 diapers should get us through the entirety of Easton's diapering days and can be used for Baby #2 - whenever we choose to go down that road ;) The cost for those 18 diapers is about $350. This might seem like a lot until you compare it to the $2,400 the average parent spends on disposable diapers over the course of 2.5 years.
After hours of research, I've narrowed down my cloth diaper arsenal to a combination of 3 types of cloth diapers. The diapers we chose all use snaps closures instead of velcro. The snaps apparently hold up much better in the wash. The size of the diaper is also adjusted with snaps (but once you set the size, you don't have to readjust until baby grows bigger) and elastic bands inside the waist band.
1) BumGenius Freetime Cloth Diapers
These are "All-in-One" diapers. All-in-One means that there is no absorbent insert, you just toss the whole thing in the wash. Solids need to be rinsed off in the toilet before going in the washing machine (with a special hose attachment that you connect to the toilet's water supply). As we learn Easton's routine, we'll be able to add in liners, which look a lot like dryer sheets. Instead of having to rinse off the diaper, you just pop the liner (and solids) into the toilet and the diaper is ready to go in the wash!
These are pocket style diapers which we plan on primarily using at night. One complaint about cloth diapers is that they don't do a good enough job of wicking moisture away from baby's skin so they wake up more frequently at night because they feel wet. This is no good for parents trying to maximize precious hours of sleep! With pocket style diapers, the lining is moisture-wicking fleece and additional liners can be layered inside the pocket in case Easton is a heavy wetter to keep him dry (and asleep!!).
3) GroVia Hybrid (a.k.a. the caregiver's favorite!)
GroVia is a "hybrid" diaper system. It is made up of the shell and two different types of inserts that snap into place - a cotton soaker or a biodegradable soaker which makes it perfect for day care and trips to the store. Just pop out the soaker and replace with a fresh one. Most moms say you can use the outer shell 3-4 times before it needs to be washed.
One thing to note: we will be using disposable diapers the first few weeks. Since cloth diapers are meant to last until your baby is a toddler, most people complain that they just don't fit newborns well. They do make newborn size diapers but newborns with newborns needing a diaper change every 2-3 hours, there's just no way to keep up. We also plan on using disposables for longer trips/vacations since it's pretty hard to do laundry on the road.
Now that we know how we're planning to cover his bum, I just hope the little guy gets here soon! So anxious to meet him!