Disclaimer: Before I begin, I want to reiterate my general parenting perspective. However you choose to diaper your baby is up to you! I don't care what you choose, as long as it works for your family. I have chosen to use mostly cloth diapers - but I've used disposables for periods of time, too - and there's no wrong choice here. That being said, I'm going to go into some of the reasons I and other families have chosen to use cloth diapers, so yes - this is going to sound like a pro-cloth post. Just know I'm not judging you if you don't want to use cloth diapers!
I honestly can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I'm a cloth diaper mom! I started researching cloth diapers before I got pregnant with Shep, so this journey has been years in the making. My mom cloth diapered my older sister, her firstborn. Back then, cloth involved flats and pins and plastic pants. Of course, my mom (and a whole lot of other folks) said we'd never stick with it. Two years later, and I just bought thirty more cloth diapers so I could cut it down to laundry once a week instead of twice.
We chose cloth mostly for financial reasons. It's cheaper in the long run but an initial investment up front. You can even sell "pre-loved" diapers and recoup some of that investment, which adds up to lots of dollars. Trust. Diapering a baby with disposables from birth to potty training is going to run you a couple grand. What's worse? Some families can't afford this expense and have to choose between paying the heat bill or buying clean diapers. I've heard of parents drying and re-using disposables in an effort to stretch their budget. Diaper need is real, people.
As a sort of side bonus, I've discovered that cloth diapering is also super eco-friendly! In the last few years, some sources have claimed that cloth diapering is actually less environmentally friendly than it might appear. Yes, it takes water and detergents to clean the diapers - and those have an impact. But disposables, in my opinion, cost us far more. Disposable diapers clog our landfills and become a disease vector when human fecal matter contaminates the ground. Each disposable diaper takes 9 gallons of water to produce - and that doesn't include the packaging or the shipping. The same cloth diaper can not only fit one child from birth to potty training, but multiple kids. Not to belabor the point, because it's not the hill I'm trying to die on today, but suffice to say: cloth is cool!
On a more superficial note: they're freaking cute, guys. Yes, they make their butts look all puffy. You get used to it and then you learn to actually love it. Not only do I love the look of cloth, so does my husband. I may have justified a few new cloth diapers because they're Star Wars or Spiderman themed. Shep likes to help me pick out his cloth diapers - he even brings me one when he needs a change! Of course, I coordinate cloth diapers with events or outfits. Why not?
It's been two years since we started using cloth diapers and we're still going strong! I've taken a few breaks - sometimes for a day, sometimes for a few weeks. But we're still a cloth family at heart. Sometimes people ask me if it's gross to deal with poop. Allow me to let you in on a little secret: whether you use disposables, cloth, or elimination communication, you're going to deal with crap. It's going to be messy and stinky. You might not believe this, but cloth diapers are actually less of a stinky mess than disposables! Cloth does a better job at containing blowouts, and the dirty pail is not nearly as wretched as dirty cloth diaper trash. That's just my opinion, of course. There's no shame in any diaper game!
Have you ever used cloth diapers? Why did you choose to diaper how you do? Have you considered trying cloth diapers in the past but feel overwhelmed. Tweet at me and I'll be happy to walk you through it! @pi3sugarpi3