Generally speaking I like being green – I compost, I drive a pretty fuel efficient Honda Fit. But I tend not to go overboard or try to be too preachy, and a lot of the time my greenness stems from my own selfishness (composting = free fertilization for my yard and better fruits and veggies, driving a fuel efficient vehicle = saving on gas).
So a couple weeks ago I did a ton of research on cloth diapers. Friends had been touting the benefits for a while so I thought I’d see what all the hype was about (admittedly other friends had been horrified by the idea that I would attempt such a thing). The initial thought was that cloth diapers are clearly better for the environment – duh. The thought of hermetically sealing (using a diaper genie) all those non-biodegradeable diapers and then throwing them into a landfill I find rather appauling. The biodegradeable ones aren’t much better since they get covered with other trash and the chances then of decomposition become slim to none. Yes, I generate trash, but I liked that in this instance I had a choice. Cloth diapers are also supposed to be better for your baby. No absorbent dry-feel chemicals that trick the baby (and you) into thinking the diaper is dry or can go a little longer without changing. Hence, less diaper rash and a baby that is much more aware of when it needs a change. This is also beneficial when potty training later on down the road.
Originally I thought I’d go with a cloth diaper service (We are lucky in LA that this still exists in the form of Dy-dee Diaper Service). Back when we were babies over 30 years ago, many parents still used cloth diapers from diaper services. Our generation was on the cusp of the change to disposeables. A service seems handy because you don’t have to worry about washing the diapers yourself and my logic was that their washers and driers must be must more efficent than my dinosaurs from the 80s. But after doing more research, one of the main benefits of cloth diapering and washing yourself is cost (and remember, money is one of my main motivations for being green). After an up-front investment in one-size re-useable diapers you’re pretty much all set except for the occasional disposeable swimmy or disposeable travel diaper (yes, it’s hard to go on a trip and carry around a whole bunch of soiled re-useable diapers). I read Young House Love’s post about cloth diapering, and after that I was even more convinced, granted, they made it sound like a dream.
So I began my research. Who knew that the world of cloth diapering was so vast? There are diapers with the traditional foldable cloth insert plus a water-proof cover, various washable inserts, semi-all-in-ones, and all-in-ones. People have opinions on velcro, snaps, leakage, softness, you name it. And who knew that the technical name for velcro is aplix? I found Diaper Pin to be the most comprehensive site when it came to reviews of the different brands. And the names of the brands are pretty amazing in and of themselves with the likes of Fuzzibunz, BumGeniuses, Bummis, Whammies, and Wet Happened. In the end I’ve decided to try the Kissaluv’s Mavel One Size All-in-ones.
I can’t say that I’m looking forward to changing diapers, but I am kind of excited about the idea that these diapers come in multiple colors that I can select to match TBD’s outfits.
Also, this little magic wand will come in very handy. You attach it to your toilet water feed and use it to rinse off the diaper (especially the solid stuff) prior to putting them in your hamper / bin (and yes, hampers are next on my list of items to research). We actually have our Toto washlet hooked up to the water on our toilet, so ours will now be a wonder toilet that washes diapers, as well as heating, spraying and drying your tush.