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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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Why Do People Think Moms Will Give Up Cloth Diapering?

“You’ll never stick with it.”
“I give it a month, max.”
“It’s too much trouble.”
“You won’t like it.”

How many moms have heard things like this from well-meaning friends and family when they made the decision to cloth diaper? How many were discouraged enough by those statements that they chose not to cloth diaper after all—even when it might well have been the best decision for their baby? How many others waited long after they wanted to start cloth diapering, working up their courage to take the plunge?

And why do so many people think that moms won’t stick with it, anyway?

It’s inconvenient (and they’re misinformed). In many cases, when the general population pictures cloth diapers, they picture the old pins and plastic pants method. Those who are aware of the advantages of modern cloth diapers may not be aware of just how easy it is. For example, do they realize that with cloth diapers, you never have to make a quick run out to the store because you’ve run out of disposables? How about the fact that you never have to deal with the composition of the diapers changing, or throwing away half a pack of diapers because your baby outgrew a size sooner than expected? (Is it just me, or did other people’s disposable-using babies always outgrow a size right about the time they bought an extra pack to have on hand?) Really, cloth diapers are just as easy as disposables in many respects. Sure, there’s a learning curve on prefolds and flats; but if you want to cloth diaper your baby without ever touching either one, you can.

The laundry is overwhelming! Oh, my goodness—three more loads of laundry a week in a household that already has a newborn! Whatever will a cloth diapering mama do? Sure, some moms will find diaper laundry downright overwhelming—but those are the same moms who are already struggling to keep up with the addition of baby laundry. Others will realize that “having” to do diaper laundry will force them to get their other laundry done faster—I make myself put in a load of clothes before the diapers go in, so I keep a little bit more on top of the laundry.

What about the poop? Poop is poop. You’re going to have to deal with it whether you cloth diaper or disposable diaper. Is there a bit of extra “dealing with it” in cloth, especially if you ignore recommendations to dump poop in the toilet before throwing away a disposable diaper? Sure. After a while, though, it really just becomes part of the routine. My ten- and eleven-year-old children know how to properly dunk and swish a diaper, and do so regularly. They’ve even stopped whining about it.

You’re going to have more leak issues. I beg to differ. Some babies are going to be harder than others to find diapers for. My son never “fit” right in disposable diapers. We had regular pee leaks (and yes, I know which way his boy parts are supposed to point) and even more regular poop explosions. Do I have occasional leaks in my cloth? Sure, usually when he’s outgrown the absorbency or the rise setting—just like parents of children in disposables have leak issues when their child outgrows one size.

It’s unsanitary! Are you going to throw out every outfit your child ever pees or poops on? Of course not (especially if your son is like mine and anoints every outfit in his closet at least once). How about the sheets that are inevitably anointed? Changing pad covers? No—you just wash them, just like you will cloth diapers. They come clean in the washing machine, just like anything else would.

Is cloth for everyone? Of course not—just as breastfeeding, baby wearing, and co-sleeping are not for everyone. It is, however, a valid choice for more parents than might initially think so. Look at it this way: if you try it and hate it, you can always sell your diapers. A lot of parents get a large portion of their original price back.

Bio: Emily L. Goodman is a homeschooling, breastfeeding, baby-wearing mother of three (and one on the way!) from Tennessee. She has been cloth diapering for eighteen months and wouldn't go back for the world.

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1 comment:

Erin @ Isaboo Designs said...

I loved cloth diapering my kids. Even more when I was only CDing one. We generally had to quit once they reached about 2.5. Both of my were late to the potty training party and heavy wetters so at a certain point no diaper would contain it. I loved it while I did it though and would do it again in two seconds. People tend to criticize what they don't know and most people know nothing about CDing. Now my kids hated babywearing and my daughter thought breastfeeding was torture so like you said, not everything is for everyone.