Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: Cloth Diapers

let me start out by saying this: we are not hippies.

not that there's anything wrong with hippies... i'm just sayin', we're not.

however, my mom, who swears she doesn't stereotype people, tells me once a month (at least) that we should live in Austin. or Oregon. in other words, she thinks we're kind of modern-day hippies.

i didn't exactly help our case by switching to cloth diapers.

but we didn't make the diaper change because we're hippies. want PROOF? here are 10 {good} reasons we switched from oh-so-convenient disposable to old-fashioned cloth diapers. read 'em and weep, hippies.

1. cloth diapers are better for my baby's health. we're getting better about not using chemically produced materials, and disposable diapers contain potentially harmful chemicals like dioxin, which has been linked to cancer, birth defects, liver damage, genetic disorders and skin diseases. disposable diapers also contain chemicals like TBT, a toxin and absorbent polymer like that found in tampons, which you may have heard about causing Toxic Shock Syndrome. some studies also link disposable diapers to male infertility and asthma. yuck. anything i can do to keep my kids healthy, sign me up.

2. cloth diapers are better for the planet. some fun math calculated reasonably here found that in the first 2 years of life the average baby uses between 4,500-5,000 diapers. think about it. nearly 20 billion disposable diapers are tossed into our landfills each year where they sit undegraded for several hundred years! yuck. yes, there is an energy, soap and water argument attached with washing cloth diapers BUT we own high-efficiency machines and use environmentally-friendly laundry detergents. i like the thought of not contributing to those nasty landfills.

3. cloth diapers are less expensive. estimates are out there that say disposable diapers and wipes cost approximately $2,500-$3,000 per child depending on when she potty trains. this is not one of the reasons we switched but it does go in the "PROs" column. i know i was spending about $40/month on diapers and wipes. and now i'll be tracking how much i spend on cloth so i can see for myself.

4. buying cloth diapers can help a work-at-home-mom. lots of sewing/crafty mamas make their own cloth diapers. if i knew how to work that Singer contraption upstairs i would put it to good work making my own diapers. in the meantime, i will buy from or trade with WAHMs.

5. cloth diapers are back to basics. if our goal is to eat purer, whole foods, to treat our bodies like temples, and to honor God by taking care of His creation (us!), then wouldn't He want us to use basic, natural hygiene products? probably.

6. ultimate goal: potty trained! it's common knowledge that cloth diapered babes potty train faster. i was thrilled when BigGirl was *easily* potty trained by age 20 months. but she set the bar high for Bubba! come on cloth diapers!

7. cloth diapers are fun. yep. i said it. they involve hand-washing, poo-dumping, ripping and swishing, but it's an adventure. it's fun. it's something new and exciting because it's good. fresh is good. healthy is good. good is fun.

8. it's addictive. please tell me i'm not alone on this one. we officially started cloth diapering 6 days ago and it's been on my brain 24/7 ever since. it's changing the way i think about lots of things in our life, too.

9. i am not a hypocrite. i do my absolute best to keep my kids from eating HFCS and foods laden with artificial ingredients and preservatives. we garden and compost to reduce our carbon footprint. i breastfed. we don't take lots of medication, we skip and delay vaccines. we drive an SUV but we drive it less. we strive to be as next to natural as possible in nearly every aspect of our lives. using disposable diapers has always felt hypocritical to me, because of the lifestyle we want to lead.

10. we're borderline hippies. maybe.  

helpful articles for switching to cloth diapers:

i'd love it if you shared your favorite cloth diapering resource! thank you :)

ohAmanda hosts Top Ten Tuesday each week and she is not a hippie either.