Friday, October 10, 2008

Cloth Diapers - Finally!!!

I am finally going to make the switch. I have tried to for my last two children but it just never fully happened. But I have committed myself to be completely switched and ready for the new baby in February.

Why I am making this change ... for some of you I am sure you know all the reasons and are wondering why it has taken me so long to figure it out. But for others who are asking why, here it is (and as The Diaper Jungle has said it so well, I am going to borrow some quotes):

1. They are healthier for our children ...
"What should be of serious concern to all parents are the toxic chemicals present in disposable diapers. Dioxin, which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, skin diseases, and genetic damage, is a by-product of the paper-bleaching process used in manufacturing disposable diapers Trace quantities may exist in the diapers themselves! Dioxin is listed by the EPA as the most toxic of cancer related chemicals. Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. Disposable diapers also contain sodium polyacrylate. If you have ever seen the gel-like, super absorbent crystals in a disposable, than you have seen this first hand. Sodium polyacrylate is the same substance that was removed from tampons because of its link to toxic shock syndrome. No studies have been done on the long-term effects of this chemical being in contact with a baby's reproductive organs 24 hours a day for upwards of two years. Studies have also been done to show that the chemical emissions from disposable diapers can cause respiratory problems in children. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are free of the many chemicals contained in disposable diapers."
2. They are better for our environment ...
"According to the Sustainability Institute, eighty percent of the diaperings in this nation are done with disposables. That comes to 18 BILLION diapers a year, just in the US. They require thousands of tons of plastic and hundreds of thousands of trees to manufacture. After a few hours of active service these materials are trucked away, primarily to landfills, where they sit as neatly wrapped packages of excrement, entombed or mummified, undegraded for several hundred years. The idea of a "disposable" diaper is a myth; the ramifications of which will stay with us for centuries to come. They are the third largest single product in the waste stream behind newspapers and beverage containers. The urine and feces in disposable diapers enter landfills untreated, possibly contaminating the ground water supply. When you consider the unnecessary depletion of our valuable forests, the huge volume of garbage created, the toxic air and water pollution, and the potential health risks to children, it is very difficult to comprehend how washing and reusing cloth diapers could ever be considered an inconvenience. They are a rewarding investment all around. A financial investment, an investment in our children’s health, and an investment in our planet."
3. And then there is the cost ... I have read that over a three year diapering of one child you will save approximately $1200. That is a lot of money, no matter how you slice it! Now considering that in February I will have a newborn and a one year old in diapers and who know where we will be at with the three year old and potty training, this could really be a huge savings.

Okay so why have I not switched before now, I know all the reason why I should. I think because I have just been overwhelmed with options and opinions. When my three year old was born I had decided to use g-diapers and bought the kits and it went well for a bit. Then his fat little legs and round belly just would not fit into even the largest size they have and he was only a few months old. I would like to say that I like the g-diapers (although I use cloth inserts instead of the flushable ones) and do still use them some for my one year old BUT they still just do not fit properly. Besides there is still the plastic liners that I would like to avoid.

Now I have spent many hours researching what I want and I find it just mind boggling. I could spend lots of money on all these very fancy items. What I really want to know is what can I do to be efficient, not have plastic, user friendly for even chubby little legs, and not spend millions of dollars.

Well, it just so happens that I may have found someone to rescue me. Sunny, a cloth diapering mom to triplets, is also the owner of a store called Cutie Tooties (which is just down the road from us). She has offered to guide me through, so here I go ... today (Friday) I am heading over there to make my decisions. So wish me luck and I will report back soon!!!

Oh yeah, and if any of you have some advice, please leave it! I can use all I can get!


SAHW said...

I can't wait for the follow-up post! I am researching it and thinking through it right now, and honestly, it is a little overwhelming, b/c there are so many choices! I'm feeling that way right now about every parenting decision and all the "stuff" that must be bought (though I am really not into that much stuff, but even for the essentials, the choices are practically unlimited.)

ThisGrandma said...

Well, ThisGrandma is VERY HAPPY to hear you are 'making the switch' !! The reasons are very strong for abandoning those toxic waste '(non)disposables !! I'm sure you already do daily washing, no change there. I am glad you have found a local resource and support person in Sunny! I think if Moms start really looking around, they can find others locally who are making these same choices. Perhaps start or join in a business as Sunny did.

Homesteader's Wife said...

Yay! I can't wait to see how it goes! You're doing the "guinea-pigging" for me! I want to use them when we have kids and this will make it to where I'm not so scared to!

Tricia said...

Good for you. I know you've wanted to do this for quite a while and I'm sure you'll make a great success of it.

Lisa~Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Yay! Congrats!!!! :)

HeatherPride said...

Oh my goodness, you are a brave woman!! I admire the heck out of you! I still feel a little guilty about all the disposable diapers we go through - but I don't think I want to make the switch just yet. I don't know, keep us posted on how you're faring - maybe you'll convert me!

Amy said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and the support -- after two hours in the diaper store, we are on our way. I am hopeful and excited! I will say that I decided that buying ORGANIC materials were very important to me so that limited my choices which was good!

SAHW - there is so much out there, I had more for my first child then I do for number six. So much was not needed! I will post about diapers soon!

ThisGrandma - thanks for the support and maybe your knitting/crocheting skills to help make wool soakers!!!!

I will follow up soon, once I can really say how it is going!