Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cloth Diaper Ramblings... What To Do With #2

Be warned, this is a long post just for me to process 
what I am learning about diapers!

Diapers & babies go hand in hand... well, maybe bums instead of hands, but you know what I'm trying to say. Being environmentally conscious, I have done a lot of thinking about diapers now that I will have a brand new baby arriving in roughly 22 weeks!  I found this short clip from a documentary done by National Geographic regarding the consumption and waste in our country, specifically disposable diapers.  Some noticeable statistics were:

  • In the U.S, each year approximately 3,796 diapers are thrown away for every child under 2 1/2  
  • It takes 1/2 pint of crude oil to make the plastic waterproof diaper lining on one diaper alone
  • In 30 months, the total amount of plastic in one baby's diapers totals over 715 lbs. of plastic 
  • The soft padding of diapers requires the pulp of 4 1/2 trees per child 
  • 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown away per year, enough to stretch around world 90 times!
  • Disposable diapers linger in landfills for 500+ years before biodegrading, perhaps longer because scientists aren't completely sure how long this will take.

I have been wondering about the impact of water usage for cloth diapers and have found that although no type of diaper is without environmental impact, cloth diapers are obviously a better option, so that's what we're going with.  Other than being more environmentally friendly, other reasons I've found that support using cloth diapers are:
  • parents who use cloth diapers report that their children are potty trained faster than those using disposables
  • they are more cost effective (although expensive initially)
  • many parents who use cloth diapers report less irritation & diaper rash (fewer chemicals come in contact with baby's skin)
I know there are some critics out there (busy moms with a million+ things to do) who will "poo-poo" (sorry, had to) the notion of a naive new mom talking about diapering without having experienced life with a newborn (and 8-12 diapers per day) but I'd rather think proactively & positively and do my part to try and be more eco-conscious than not try at all.  I know there will be times to use disposable diapers because of their convenience, especially if we're traveling or just away for the weekend, but we're committed to doing our part with cloth diapers.  

So, the cloth diaper brands I've heard of 
am looking into are:
(you can click on them to visit their websites)

            Fuzzibunz                             Thirsties                     Grovia
                  Flip Diapers                    Happy Heinys            Lovely Bums

             G Diapers                          Raga Babe                BumGenius
                 Charlie Banana                Bummis                Kissaluvs
                                  Swaddlebees                    Rumparooz
So far, I have had glowing recommendations from friends for Charlie Banana, BumGenius, Raga Babe (although I've heard they are the pricier option) and also a tip of using Fuzzibunz at night.  Now, I just need to do my research to figure out:

  • Which brands are the best (& most affordable) 
  • Which style/brand is best for newborns (don't rise high enough to irritate a healing umbilical cord)
  • Which style: all-in-one (AIO), pre-fold & flatfold, one-size, fitted & contour, pocketstyle, etc... WOW!! There are a LOT of choices!
  • How many to buy initially (in which sizes, if applicable)
  • Are there brands that are size adjustable so baby can use them until potty training time?
  • What kind of swim diapers to buy?
  • Where to buy them: online, retailers... (etsy, hyena cart, diaper swappers, etc...)
  • What's the best way to wash them (diaper sprayer, is that necessary?)
  • Whether to buy now or wait until Baby C arrives so we know what works for him/her
  • What kind of detergent works best?
  • Which diaper creams are cloth diaper friendly, etc... 

There are so many things for expecting mamas to think about!  Any one with any advice about cloth diapers, feel free to leave a comment below and share your wisdom with me!
"I love these all natural diapers!" 
This makes me laugh because I am 
craving watermelon ALL the time!


Amy said...

I'd love to learn with you! We're due at about the same time (July 12th-ish here) and somehow cloth diapering seems more overwhelming than any other aspect of parenting! I will say that a friend of mine was part of a cloth diaper testing group so she tried many different brands and swears by Thirsties. Luckily, she's just finished needing them and is sending some my way!

Luv2Teach said...

Amy, I would LOVE to have someone to try and navigate this with and I totally agree, it is overwhelming, probably because we have so many options available to us! I have heard great things about Thirsties too, it's great that she's sharing them with you, what a money saver! Thanks for your comment!