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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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Saving the World, One Diaper At A Time

When I had my first child, I never saw myself as a cloth diaperer. I had the same thought process that a lot of people do; it’s too messy, I’ll never be able to keep up with it, I can’t afford the upfront investment, just plain EWWWW, the list goes on..

Flash forward five years. My third child is seven months old and I’m officially delving into the world of cloth diapering. My non CD family and friends think I’m nuts.

“But Jill, you work full time and have three kids! How are you going to find the time?”

“Isn’t that super expensive to start?”

And, my favorite, “Oh, I have a friend who cloth diapers and she spends all her time over the toilet, rinsing poop. BLECH.”

Despite these naysayers, and a hesitant husband, I’ve decided to fully commit to cloth diapering my daughter. What’s more, I’m ridiculously excited about it.

So, what caused such a drastic change of heart? Money, of course, is always a factor. After doing tons (no, seriously, TONS) or research, I found that, even though I’m starting pretty late in the game, I’ll still be saving at least $1000 over disposables. Who doesn’t want to save a thousand dollars?

The biggest motivator, though, wasn’t the money flying out of my pocket book. It was the bags upon bags of dirty diapers going into my trash can.

We all know that having children changes everything. Suddenly life isn’t all about you. You become keenly aware that these little people are going to inherit the world someday. You watch as your words and actions mold the people they become. And you wonder what things will be like when they grow up and have children of their own.

I’m putting everything I have into raising kind, compassionate people. I want to teach them to treat the Earth with respect. Afterall, it’s the only planet we’ve got. Just teaching them, saying the words over and over, isn’t enough. It’s my duty as a parent to lead by example. How can I tell them to do everything they can to protect the environment when I’m not doing it myself?

Disposable diapers last up to 500 years in landfills. Five HUNDRED. That means, someday, when archaeologists are learning about our culture, they’re going to be sifting through thousands of pounds of diaper sludge. It means that all of the chemicals that go into the creation of disposables are leaching into the ground every day.

I looked into biodegradable disposables, just for the sheer convenience.

The cost was high, but I thought, I only have one in diapers, it might be worth an extra $20 a month. When I mentioned it to my husband he said, “Umm, but then you’re putting those diapers into plastic trash bags... that go into a landfill.”

It was then that I seriously started looking into cloth. I bought a FuzziBunz OS Elite at a local retailer and tried it on my little munchkin. Not only was her diaper butt the cutest thing I’ve ever seen, she was also ridiculously happy in them! I swear she could feel a difference. That sealed the deal.

So now I’m a cloth diapering, breastfeeding, baby wearing Mama. The ideal vision of parenthood is an ever changing thing, unique to each individual. For me, taking better care of the planet my children will inherit is a big part of that vision. Cloth diapering is just another step to becoming the best Mama I can be.

BIO: Jillian is a mother of three who works full time outside the home. When not wrangling small children or doing the corporate thing, she enjoys writing, running, and doing what she can to make the world a better place.


Janine (Alternative Housewife) said...

Garbage is the same reason I wanted to cloth diaper. It makes me sick to my stomach to take out our trash sometimes - Just thinking about those piles sitting somewhere for centuries. It's not out of sight out of mind for me! The idea of adding diapers to that really grossed me out. I also have enough experience with them to realize that I'd be taking out the trash even more often as those diapers SMELL. We've used 'sposies a few times and I'm always struck by how much more a wet disposable smells than a wet cloth dipe. We keep our dirty cloth in a small trash can lined with a wet bag (always open on top) and there is almost never any offensive odor.

My other reason was chemicals against my son's skin. None of us have sensitive skin, but I liken it to wearing a maxi pad every single day. Can you imagine?

Alysa Gregory said...

As with most items today, buying in bulk is cheaper. A large pack of 12 or 18 costs less per diaper than a three-pack or single. For those Mom planning ahead, this is an economical option. A set, or stash, of 30 to 40 can last through potty training at about age 3, depending on the type, size and style. Choose the most practical way just like what offers, they give you a full variety of quality and trusted cloth diapers.