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On cloth v. disposable diapers

28 weeks pregnant 32 weeks (6)

My, what a difference a month – and six pounds – makes!

 

Here’s what BabyHTP is up to this week: “By now, your baby weighs 3.75 pounds and is about 16.7 inches long, taking up a lot of space in your uterus. You’re gaining about a pound a week and roughly half of that goes right to your baby. In fact, she’ll gain a third to half of her birth weight during the next 7 weeks as she fattens up for survival outside the womb. She now has toenails, fingernails, and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz). Her skin is becoming soft and smooth as she plumps up in preparation for birth.” (Source)

32 weeks (5)

Here’s Week 32 in a nutshell:

 

  • Total Weigh Gained: Official weigh-in at the doctor says that I’m up 28 pounds. 
  • How I’m Feeling:  Great but tired.  No sleep is enough sleep.
  • What I’d Up To:  Decorating the nursery!  It should be done in a few weeks.
  • Name Debate: We’ve added a third boy name to the list, but said name reminds me of a dog’s name, so I’m not sure that it’s a definite contender.
  • Workouts:  At this point, legit workouts seem to be giving way to ‘just survive the day’ workouts.  I’ve gone walking a few times and hit up the gym once, but stuff like cleaning the house and carrying baby stuff up the stairs leaves me feeling so sore.
  • I’m Currently Reading…:  The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which I highly recommend.

 

This week’s discussion is cloth diapers v. disposable diapers.  Which to choose?

Diaper-debate

(Source)

 

I had never heard about modern cloth diapering until I started to read blogs and then, suddenly, it seemed like everyone did it.  Fans of cloth diapering say it’s cheaper in the long run, not that messy, and better for the environment.  If they love it, they love it.  In fact, I’m not sure that prior to preparing this post, I’d ever read a post in which a blogger said she prefers disposables (I’m sure there are more out there because 95% of parents choose to use disposables!).  Since the practice is so widely popular in blogland – heck, even Young House Love does it – I figured that there had to be a reason.  Right?

 

Before I get into my plans for diapering, let’s briefly look at two very important aspects of the diaper debate – money and the environment:

 

  • A baby will go through thousands of diapers before being potty-trained, and a parent can expect to spend $1,500 to $2,000 on disposables. If you opt for environmentally-friendly disposables, as I would, the cost would range from $1,600 to $2,500. (Source)
  • Cloth diapers have higher start-up costs than disposable diapers, usually costing about $18 or so per diaper.  Consumer Reports argues that, even with the cost of laundering the cloth diapers at home, cloth diapers will cost ‘hundreds of dollars’ less.  (Source)   This website breaks down all the costs of different cloth diapers; most cloth options cost around $1,400 – $1,600 total.
  • If you opt for a laundering service to clean your cloth diapers, the price between cloth and disposables will be roughly the same, based on my own research of such services in Charlotte (rates vary from city to city).
  • It takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone. Although some disposables are biodegradable, it can take several hundred years for the diaper to biodegrade because it is rarely exposed to enough oxygen in the landfill.  (Source
  • Although it would seem that cloth diapers are always the most environmentally-friendly option, some people believe this is up for debate.  One large study by the Environmental Agency concluded “that disposable diapers have the same environmental impact as reusable diapers when the effect of laundering cloth diapers is taken into account.”  The study states that a cloth diaper uses six times as much water to launder it as a disposable diaper requires to be produced, and that this water usage is environmentally equal to the landfill impact of the waste.  Opponents say this study is seriously flawed. (Source)
  • And lastly, as a side issue, there is evidence that babies who are cloth diapered suffer from fewer diaper rashes and allergic reactions (one reason: there are fewer or no chemicals in cloth diapers, especially when compared to ‘conventional’ disposables).

 

When I mentioned last week that I really needed to order some diapers, I know some people were surprised.  I got several e-mails that said, “Really, Caitlin? You’re going with disposables?! You’re the one who told me to stop using conventional tampons and switch to the Diva Cup, for goodness sake!”

32 weeks (12)

But.. yes.  I have no immediate plans to cloth diaper.  I’m not opposed to the idea – there are clear money, environmental, and health benefits to the practice – and, as someone who works primarily from home, it’s logistically possible (daycares often won’t allow cloth diapers).  But I’m just not sure that it’s the right fit for my family. 

 

With parenting, it’s really easy to get sucked into the Superwoman Syndrome.  Not only do you have to be an awesomely healthy and fit pregnant momma, but you need to read a ton of books, carefully research every baby purchase, and interview dozens of midwives and pediatricians…. oh, and most of us are working full-time, too.  Plus, there’s a lot of pressure (at least in the ‘holistic’ world that the Husband and I operate in, both professionally and personally) to deliver naturally, breastfeeding exclusively, make your own organic baby food, and cloth diaper.  A lot of these ‘musts’ I want to do… but there’s still a lot of pressure to be that Super Mom.  And I know that I don’t have the time or energy for it all.

 

Basically, I realize that I need to choose my battles.  Despite all the benefits, I honestly just don’t want to deal with cloth diapers.  Our plan is that we will both continue to work at 75% capacity and provide 100% of the childcare (the details are here); I am very nervous about how this will work because we are both already so busy.  I have spoken to so many people who say it’s really not that time-consuming or inconvenient, but I really struggle to believe this.  I hate doing laundry and the thought of washing poop off a diaper every day, multiple times a day, makes me want to hurl.   If I can make just one aspect of my life easier, I’m all for it.  And that, for me, means disposables.

 

As a side note, I know I’m writing as if I would be solely responsible for the cloth diapering.  Of course, with the Husband at home with the baby twice a work week, he could be responsible for it.  He is actually really behind the concept of cloth diapers, so I told him that I would agree to cloth if he would take on all the responsibility associated with it… and then he admitted he would rather not, for all the same reasons that I don’t want to do it.  Hah!

 

That being said, we’re open to changing our mind down the road.  I realize it may seem easier – and worth the effort – when the baby is bit older.  So I’m not saying “never, ever!” to cloth diapering, but I am saying, “Please, let me just get a grip on my new life” for right now.  Smile 

 

Since I can only present one side of the argument, I collected comments from readers and bloggers who are pro-disposable and pro-cloth.  Read on!

 

PRO-DISPOSABLE FEEDBACK

 

When Babies Destroy the Planet by Fit-Bottomed Mamas

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(Image from the baby shower I hosted for my friend Jen)

“Being a parent is tough stuff, as is keeping your house from being a totally drooly, Cheerio-filled disaster area. If paper towels and disposable diapers and wipes can help keep me sane (and drool and spit-up free), I’m willing to have a slightly larger environmental impact until we pass the diaper-and-wipe stage.”

 

Thoughts on Disposables by an HTP reader named Melissa

7th generation

(Source)

“For my family, disposables were the best option.  We both work full time – my husband returned to work 2 weeks after my son was born, and I went back at 12 weeks. For us, it’s not so much that disposables are wonderful (though they aren’t bad – we use mostly Huggies or Pampers and have had relatively few problems with leaks or diaper explosions), they are just a better option for us time-wise.  We have so little time with our now 6 month old son, and with each other and our pets, that I would hate to spend more time than I already do on laundry or stuffing diapers.  I have quite a few friends who invested in cloth diapers and then found them so time consuming that they ended up using disposables.  We’ve also never had issues with diaper rash or skin irritations.  When I was pregnant, I felt like there was a lot of pressure to plan on being the "perfect" mom, which included doing things like breastfeeding exclusively, cloth diapering, babywearing, having the perfect nursery, etc.  I had to figure out what was actually important to me to do and not what I "should" do.  Breastfeeding was important.  Babywearing wasn’t necessarily important but it was convenient, and both my son and I ended up liking it in small doses.  When we really thought about cloth diapering, it just didn’t seem like something we would have the time, energy, or wherewithal for and I think we were right.  I am happy with my decision to let it go and do what was right for us, even though it might not be the popular choice right now.”

 

Disposables CAN Be Budget-Friendly by an HTP reader named Lauren

“One pro is that disposables can be VERY cheap.  If you use coupons and buy diapers while they are on sale @ places like Walgreens, CVS, or Target, then they cost next to nothing.  My husband and I picked up two jumbo packs of Huggies for less than $3 at Walgreens yesterday.  Very budget friendly.”

 

The Less Body Fluids, The Better by an HTP reader named Jessica

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“I will give one disclaimer about why my husband and I are pro-conventional diapers: we are both scientists (he studies immunology and virology and I study cancer), and both of us have extensive experience in microbiology (bacteria, viruses, infectious materials).  I am not saying that cloth diapering is less sanitary, only that our work has influenced our perspective on germs.   In our minds, our family will be safer the less we have to handle any human fluids.  We have used conventional diapers from day one with our son Henry.  There would be days where we would easily go through 20 diapers (and nearly as many outfit changes).  Those two weeks helped seal the deal on conventional diapers for us.  I couldn’t imagine the additional laundry or ick factor (personal opinion) that cloth diapers would have added to those weeks.  We also live in a 2 bedroom condo so we have a tiny, stacked washer and dryer that can only fit about half of a traditional load of laundry.  Cloth diapering never seemed to fit into our daily routine.  Like anything I think there is a compromise to choosing either style.  There are more environmentally friendly and more inherently natural disposable diapers available than ever before and cloth diapering has its environmental impacts as well.  Convenience also must get weighed in to the equation.  I work full time outside of the home (my husband does, too) so the thought of devoting my free time to laundry is not enticing.”

 

PRO-CLOTH FEEDBACK

 

Adventures in Cloth Diapering Part I and Part II by The Concrete Runner

“Cloth diapers were the one thing I was looking forward to most about having a baby, but also the thing I feared the most.  I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers even before we decided to have a baby.  However, there are so much things to know about cloth diapers since they’ve changed so much in the last 30 years.  I actually had to teach my mom how to use them, but I assure you, they are much easier than the diapers of cloth diapering past.”

 

Lots of Pros (and a Few Cons) of Cloth Diapering by a HTP reader named Julie

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“I actually ENJOYED doing laundry for the first time ever.  I liked folding little baby clothes, but I loved stuffing cloth diapers back with their absorbent pockets and getting them all ready to be worn again.”

 

How to Pay Less for Cloth Diapers by Baby Cheapskate (thanks to Jennifer for passing this along!)

“Cloth diapers run you $18 to $20 dollars new, and it’s pretty rare to find them on sale for more than 15% off at retail stores. That doesn’t mean you can’t cut the cost of cloth diapers by more than that, though. Far from it.”

 

Suggestions for Those Who Are Pressed for Time by HTP reader named Ali

Freetime1

“For people who are really busy, the diaper I would see as a good fit would be the bumGenius Freetime. It is an all in one diaper so it is as simple as a disposable, just in cloth form. No pockets to stuff, no prefolds, no separate covers and inserts. I have about six of these diapers and LOVE them. Like, slightly obsessed with them. They are my husband and grandparent diapers. :) There are a million other kinds and I’ll tell you all about them if you want, but maybe it isn’t necessary.  Breastmilk poop is completely water soluble. No rinsing needed. As gross as it seems, it’ll all wash out. You just do a pre wash in cold with no detergent, then a hot wash with a tiny bit of detergent and an extra rinse. Hang all the diapers to dry (saves the waterproofing for future babies) and they are completely dry in the morning. Once solids enter in the mix, you either need to rinse off the poop or use flushable liners. Some people swish in the toilet, I love my diaper sprayer because solids mixed with breastmilk is more of a peanut butter situation than and actual piece of poop. Sorry, things just got gross.   To store the dirties, just put in them a trash can with a lid and use a pail liner or use a hanging wet bag. Both options get washed with your diapers. And when you’re out, you just keep a smaller wet bag in your diaper bag and when you get home, open it up and the whole thing goes in the wash with everything else.”  (Heads up: Ali works for CottonBabies.com, which she linked back to in her response.)

 

gDiapers: The RMR System by Run Ma Run

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A really helpful and informative post.  Kelly says, “I believe this process might be too overwhelming to try to do with a newborn.  We actually waited a few weeks after Lula was born before we began using cloth diapers since we did not want to purchase a newborn set and then a small set, plus we had no idea what we were doing (in any capacity).  Most days, we still don’t know what we’re doing, but at least we’ve got a system down for diapers!”

 

We Tried it Both Ways by an HTP reader named Juliene

“I am a first time mommy and have used both cloth and disposable diapers.  We started with disposables mainly because we got a ton at my baby shower, and I didn’t know if taking on cloth diapering would be a good idea if I worked full time.  I loved the ease of the disposables with a newborn because you will go through a ton of diapers at first, and since you are pretty sleep deprived, it is definitely easier.  The other perks include the ease of toting them in the diaper bag (they take up less space than cloth) and being able to travel for more than a day without the worry of lugging diapers, covers, a wet bag, and diaper wash with you is nice.  However, that being said there are downfalls.  First: my son developed sensitive skin and we could only buy Seventh Generation or Earth’s Best. Now that I have done the research, that’s all I would buy knowing the chemicals that are in the others.  Second: Disposables do leak, a lot, especially with newborn poop blowouts.  There is nothing worse than having to change the baby’s clothes and yours because of a blowout (we haven’t had a blowout in cloth yet).  Third: The smell! Disposables have so much perfume that when they mix with poo or pee they reek! Even if you change your garbage in the nursery everyday, there is inevitable smells that will happen.”

 

Cloth Diaper Series by Mother of Ambition

“My husband was not really excited about my decision to use cloth but he’s a total convert now and can use pretty much any type of diaper we have in our stash. We got a lot of diapers used or on supersales (BOGO) so we’ve spent about $300 for a diaper collection that will be enough to have two children in diapers in just a few weeks!! I don’t even want to imagine the cost of diapering two kids with disposables! We also never struggle with diaper rash and the smell from cloth is much easier on my pregnant nostrils than the chemical burn smell of disposables.”

 

Whew!  What a post.  I would love to hear your feedback on diapering options – what worked for you and what didn’t.  Feel free to link to blog posts or resources that helped you make your decision.

32 weeks (2)

Until then… I’ll just keep growing this baby, grateful that I don’t have to deal with his or her poop quite yet. Winking smile

{ 154 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Stefanie April 18, 2012, 2:55 pm

    http://www.amalah.com/amalah/cloth-diapers/

    Check out amalah…..she has tons of advice on cloth diapering…without her, I would have done disposable!!!!

    Reply
  • Catalina @ Cake with Love April 18, 2012, 2:58 pm

    I love your attitude before because so many people use cloth diapers you don’t jump on buying them since you have to see what works better for you! I would do the same thing! I am 25 now, but when I was born there were no disposable diapers in my country, I don’t know when they appeared in US, so my parents HAD tu use cloth diapers and from what they said they weren’t very excited :)

    Reply
  • Lissa April 18, 2012, 2:59 pm

    Caitlin, I can’t tell you how much I LOVE your honesty! It’s refreshing and you are so right — pick and choose your battles. To be honest, I never even considered cloth-diapering. I think every pregnant.new mom blogger out there seems to be talking about it and I can tell you, it’s not something I ever even thought about. Being a new mom is hard enough without having to add one more duty to the list. I focused on breastfeeding and C-section recovery.

    Reply
    • Lissa April 18, 2012, 3:01 pm

      Oh and we use the Huggies overnights now; started that at about the one-year mark. Maya slept through the night (12 hour stretches) beginning at 11 weeks but as she got older, she would pee in the morning more so instead of doing mounds of laundry, we just switched to a night-time diaper.

      Reply
  • Jessica April 18, 2012, 3:01 pm

    We used disposables for about the first 6-8 weeks or so, by that time Grace was down to pooping once a day or less so the switch sounded much easier. I hadn’t even actually considered cloth diapering before I had Grace, but then all of the moms at my breastfeeding moms support group did it so I thought why not? After the poop with every diaper phase I think it gets WAY easier. Grace now poops like 2x a week and I wash diapers every 3 days or so (I have 18 diapers). I would definitely recommend it, but think that even with my next baby I will use disposables for the first few weeks until things get settled and they start pooping less, lol.

    Reply
    • Katie April 19, 2012, 10:26 am

      I agree. We cloth, but waited until about 6 weeks. I wish I could say that Liv started pooping less, but she still poops 2-3 times a day at 6 months old. I’m doing more baby laundry now (clothes, sheets, burp cloths, so it doesn’t bother me to add a load (a few times a week) at night when I get home from work. Plus they are sooo cute!

      Reply
  • Anne @ strawberryjampackedlife April 18, 2012, 3:01 pm

    For all three of us kids, my parents used a diaper service. When my friend had her twins five years ago, I got a glimpse of the newer versions of cloth diapers. They are now so much more “user friendly”. We don’t have kids yet, but I plan on doing cloth diapers (with maybe some disposables for traveling). I’m glad someone finally mentioned that blow outs were much less frequent with cloth.

    Reply
    • Anne @ strawberryjampackedlife April 18, 2012, 3:02 pm

      FYI, my mom used cloth back in the 1980′s. Not sure how popular they were back then.

      Reply
      • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat April 18, 2012, 3:06 pm

        I think they were popular then for one of the same reasons they are now, the cost savings. My mom used them with me too :)

        Reply
      • Amy S. April 18, 2012, 9:11 pm

        Same with my mom, she swears by it. She also used a diaper service, would be worth looking into. I want to cloth diaper whenever babies happen for us.

        Reply
  • Erin April 18, 2012, 3:04 pm

    I cloth diaper my 18 month old and have since we brought him home from the hospital. With the exception of out of town trips (I’m just not THAT dedicated). I would actually say newborns are 100% easier to cloth diaper than older babies. Sure i had to change him a lot more but since he was breastfeed I didn’t have to rinse out poop before washing and his pee wasn’t so smelly. He’s always peed a ton, so no change there. Just wanted to say that if I hadn’t done it from the beginning i wouldn’t do it (or start it now).

    What I would urge you to consider is cloth wipes. Those are a real budget saver, and can easily be thrown in the wash with towels as long as you pre- rinse. I always hate using disposable wipes when I’m out of town. They don’t clean as well and you have to use so many! I’ve only spent $35 on cloth wipes for a year and a half of use and those are still going strong. Just something to think about, best wishes to you!

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:08 pm

      Okay, this is awesome. I can definitely do reusable wipes. I can handle that. I bought a bunch of seventh generation wipes in bulk but when we go through those, I will switch to reusable wipes for sure.

      Reply
      • julia April 18, 2012, 3:47 pm

        but then you’re still going to have to run separate loads, no? and the loads would have like nothing in them except for a few wipes…? plus do you have to rinse wipes like you would rinse a dirty diaper? I feel like it would be too much extra work and a huge waste of water if you aren’t cloth diapering at the same time. i don’t have kids yet, so I’m not talking from experience–just seems like it wouldn’t make sense.

        Reply
        • Marissa C April 18, 2012, 4:00 pm

          How do the wipes clean? Are they moist?

          Reply
          • Erin April 18, 2012, 5:40 pm

            I just wet them with water and put them in a wipes warmer. (His pediatrician said straight water is best and better than the chemicals in commercial wipes.) They can only stay in there day and a half, two days tops or they get that musty smell.

            I wash mine with the diapers, but would feel fine throwing them in with towels. And you only really need to rinse the poop ones and since it was just wiped on there and not pushed with force and hasn’t sit anytime it comes off easily. Besides they don’t really absorb like diapers, so it’s not like it sinks in. They rinse really easily.

  • Lara April 18, 2012, 3:05 pm

    We’re in the middle of this debate, too. One pro that is a big one for me is that cloth-diapered kids are more likely to potty train early (cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposables, therefore more motivating for both parent and baby, I guess?).

    Reply
  • Verna April 18, 2012, 3:06 pm

    We cloth diaper part time. I made some of my own, and we found some pretty affordable ones to purchase too. I really like the system we have now, it took a little while to find one that works for us. Especially now with two kids. I like doing it, it really isn’t that much more work. You’re dealing with poop either way, and I don’t mind laundry too much. But it is a hassle. I sort of wish I’d never gotten any of them. But it saves money. I’m a full time SAHM, I don’t work outsid of the home at all, nor work from home, so I sort of feel like it’s my contribution to the finances. Like I said we only do it part time. Naps, bedtime, outings, travel we always use disposible. Plus anytime we are having a high stress situation, preparing for the birth of our 2nd child and that adjustment period, and now we’re moving so we’re strictly disposible now too.

    Reply
  • kelly April 18, 2012, 3:06 pm Reply
  • Kristen April 18, 2012, 3:09 pm

    I applaud you for making your own (informed)decision on this. While I am pro-cloth (I’m completely opposed to disposables), I always respect anyone who has done enough research to form their own opinion, especially when it comes to parenting. It seems to me that all these HLB’s are “choosing” to do certain things (exclusively breastfeeding, cloth diapering, baby-led weaning, etc.) because that’s what everyone else is doing or they feel they have to or else they’re a bad mom. It’s nice to see someone with their own honest opinion because there is always two sides to every argument, even if some refuse to see it.

    Reply
    • Kristen April 18, 2012, 3:12 pm

      It was supposed to say *NOT* completely apposed to disposables….whooops!

      Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

      Thanks! So, I’ve been living in the HLB blog world for about five years (as a reader and then as a blogger) and I can attest that, just as with any group, there are ‘trends.’ Amazing Grass comes to mind (anyone remember that? people – including myself – were OBSESSSSSED! and now no one eats it). I think some trends are a good thing because it opens up peoples’ minds and encourages them to try other things. I do think that every HLBer who does one of the mentioned ‘parenting trends’ DOES do a lot of research into it and then decides they want to do it because, for most of these things, there are good reasons to do these things. In my eyes, it’s less than people feel like they HAVE to do certain things v. they read and learn about new things and want to try it too. That being said, I do think there’s a lot of pressure to NOT talk about making alternative choices if it does go against the trend. I know, for example, a few HLB moms who haven’t posted their birth stories because they chose to be induced or get an epidural, which is silly because lots of people do this and their birth stories are still totally worthy of being told! As a reader of many blogs, I feel like I should always compliment a blogger who goes ‘against the grain’ for doing so, even if I don’t agree with their opinion, just because I want to read more opinions and learn more sides! When you’re a blogger, bashing comments can be very scary (“OMG YOU GOT INDUCED?! YOU ARE HORRRRRIBLEEEE”). Hah. So I love comments like YOURS! Even though you did something different, you can see and appreciate the alternative side. Very powerful for promoting discussion! Anyway, rant over. Just my observations.

      Reply
      • Kristen April 18, 2012, 4:24 pm

        I totally agree…they are all very good things and it’s a great way for people who do not know about them to get informed. It just worries me that some women are making choices based on, like you said, fear of judgement from the blogging community. The negative comments from readers is always so confusing to me – it’s not their life or their choices, so why do they care so much?? And if you don’t like it – stop reading!

        Best of luck to you!

        Reply
  • Meagan April 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

    We’re not even ttc yet and I can already tell you that we’ll be using disposables. I just can’t get over the idea of poo in my washing machine. Plus I’ll be working full time and my office daycare doesn’t allow clothies.

    Reply
  • Rachel April 18, 2012, 3:16 pm

    I love this post!! I am kind of surprised that you guys aren’t cloth diapering, but honestly, it makes me happy to see one of the big bloggers go this route.

    Before I got pregnant I just assumed I would cloth diaper. But now that I am actually pregnant, I’m interested in it less and less. The environmental impact arguments are there, but like you said, there is another argument about how much WATER is being wasted by all of the added laundry diapering can cause.

    And how you feel about dishes is how I, personally, feel about laundry. I fucking HATE washing/folding/putting away clothes. So in our family, it probably makes sense to just go with disposables as well.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:17 pm

      I also fucking hate putting away the laundry. :)

      Reply
      • Marissa C April 18, 2012, 4:02 pm

        I used to enjoy it. Not anymore.

        Reply
        • Crystal April 18, 2012, 4:43 pm

          We cloth diaper and I never ever put it away. On a good day I’ll shove the pile in the bathroom closet and on bad laundry weeks it stays in the basket in the living room. I refuse to put away something that’s going to be completely used up in 36 hours.

          Reply
      • Megan S April 18, 2012, 9:57 pm

        Is it weird that I feel a sort of visceral relief when I see people swear in blog land? Makes it feel more like regular life:)

        I loved Emily’s (from daily garnish) post on cloth diapering but can’t find it because I’m on my phone. It was kind of my first introduction to modern cloth diapering. Whenever anyone mentioned it I still pictured the 80s diapers with the white cloth and pins. I had no idea they’d changed like that!

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP April 19, 2012, 10:14 am

          I swear like a sailor in real life, if it’s any consolation.

          Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 18, 2012, 3:18 pm

    I think doing whatever is right for you is the best choice! No need to live up to a standard or worry about people judging you!

    Reply
  • Kimberly @ Healthy Strides April 18, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I swore up and down that I was going to use cloth diapers … until I got pregnant. And, like you, the idea of cloth diapers seemed like so much work. And not just for me. My husband and I work full time, and our son is at day care 4x a week and with my MIL on Fridays. Our day care is cloth diaper friendly but it seemed like a lot to put on my MIL.

    The startup was also overwhelming. As if we weren’t paying enough for crib, stroller, car seat, etc., we needed to spend hundreds on cloth diapers AND get that fancy sprayer. It just didn’t work for us.

    At times I feel guilty but I know that we made the right choice for us.

    Reply
  • Sana April 18, 2012, 3:24 pm

    O0o0o! I love the dark look with the hair :)

    Reply
  • Emily April 18, 2012, 3:24 pm

    We decided to use cloth. I’d say 99% of the reasoning for it is the cost savings. For cloth diapering twins, we’ve spent about $700 on diapers. We spend very little on detergent since we use so little. We also would like more kids and we won’t have to spend much at all since we can use the same diapers. I think it’s been worth it, the cleaning and drying is really no big deal, you’ll be doing more anyway haha once you get in a routine with it, it’s no big deal at all. My husband will only use the ago or pocket diapers though, prefolds are too messy for him he says haha but good luck with the decision! You’ll figure out quick when the baby gets here what works for your family :)

    Reply
  • Jen April 18, 2012, 3:27 pm

    I have nothing to add about the diapers, but I’m curious if baby boy name #3 is Morley? Cuz that makes me think of Marley and that now makes me think of dogs.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Hahah no but Morley does make me think of a dog, too. I didn’t want to say what the name was because obviously it’s a human name too, and then everyone who named their kid said name would be like HEY!!!

      Reply
      • Jen April 18, 2012, 9:12 pm

        Totes understand, but thanks for letting me know cuz it was bugging me, lol. Morley Boyle just wasn’t working, ya know! So I guess this means we can also cross Scruffy off the list? lol

        Reply
      • Liz April 19, 2012, 12:34 pm

        when I read that in your post, I immediately thought of Cooper. it’s cute. I know a few humans AND a few dogs with that name.

        Reply
  • Ellen April 18, 2012, 3:29 pm

    Actually, in my experience the EASIEST time to use cloth is before 6 months old, when the baby is solely breastfed. Then you don’t have to wash poop off of the diapers, you just throw em in the washing machine. After that, it does get decidedly more yucky. The difference between breastmilk poo and solid poo is no joke.

    Reply
  • Lauren April 18, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Thank you for this totally refreshing and honest post. We use disposables, pampers at first and then as my son got older we moved to the target brand which have worked out great. With both of us working full time it is already a struggle to find time in the day to get things done, for ME, I couldn’t imagine throwing another thing into the mix. But, that’s why there are options, right?

    Reply
  • Alison April 18, 2012, 3:32 pm

    We cloth diapered, but I didn’t start (or even know much about it) until Baby #1 was about 6 months old. There are SO many new things to learn and get accustomed to for first time parents, the learning curve that comes with cloth diapering feels pretty steep and intimidating. I was eager to embrace cloth diapering when I felt like we were finally in a groove.

    Glad you’re reading the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding! Have you looked for a LLL group in your area? It’s great to start attending meetings when you’re still pregnant and to get the phone numbers of your local leaders to call when/if you’ve got breastfeeding questions when baby is here. In my experience, the mother-to-mother support LLL provides is wonderful!

    Reply
  • Hilary April 18, 2012, 3:37 pm

    First, just wanted to say I really enjoy your writing! All your thoughts come across so clearly and well thought out. I’m jealous! I always feel like my point never comes across like I mean it to.

    Anyway…I love my cloth diapers. We use prefolds and covers and they really are easy. It seems like most people who blog like the AIO or pocket diapers (which are more expensive), but my husband and I think the prefolds work better. You don’t have to fold them or stuff them, I just lay them in a stack and put them somewhere they can lay flat. A quick fold in thirds before you put it in the cover and you are done! We do use bum genius pocket diapers for overnight, but one or two of those with each load is pretty easy to manage.

    The biggest reason I decided to cloth diaper was because of the chemicals used in disposables. I just do not want that up against my baby for years upon years. Even the ‘natural’ ones have chemicals for absorbency and I’ve heard that even though they are chlorine free, they have been dyed to look a natural color! I’ve also noticed that disposables smell so bad! My son can have a soaked cloth diaper and I can hardly tell, but put him in a disposable, and the first tinkle makes it smell awful. We also do elimination communication, which further cuts down our diaper use, but that’s another story!

    Ultimately, do what is right for you! No one can do everything.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:40 pm

      Thank you SO much for the compliment about my writing.

      Reply
  • Johanna B April 18, 2012, 3:39 pm

    I used 100% disposables but then cloth diapering was a different story in 1987-1989 when my daughter was that age. I honestly don’t know what I would decide if I had to diaper a baby now.

    Reply
  • ColleenS April 18, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I thought about cloth diapers with my first, but like you said the thought of washing, folding, and sorting them wasn’t something I wanted to add to my list. Plus the husband wanted no part in additional steps – especially cleaning poop. Even now, if our little girl, who is stilling learning to use the potty, goes poop in her training pants the husband is more likely to through them out them deal with the mess.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:41 pm

      BAWHAHAHHAHA. I am like that too but about tupperware that sits in the fridge for too long and the food gets moldy! It gets tossed, not washed out. I can’t stand to do it.

      Reply
      • Marissa C April 18, 2012, 4:03 pm

        Every time my husband would change our baby, she would end up in a disposable. See my comment below.

        Reply
      • Natalie April 18, 2012, 7:20 pm

        Hah! I do this too. If it gets too gross I really can’t stand the thought of washing it. It’s why I can’t bring myself to invest in nice containers.

        Reply
  • Regina April 18, 2012, 3:41 pm

    I like the idea of cloth diapers in theory, but I would not re-wear a piece of clothing that had been pooped on, even if it had been through the wash. Would you?

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:41 pm

      I literally just laughed so freaking hard.

      Reply
    • AshinMT April 18, 2012, 4:37 pm

      I dont even have kids but…WORD.

      Reply
  • Katie H April 18, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! When I was pregnant, I was convinced I would be a supermom who would birth naturally, breastfeed like a champ, cloth-diaper, puree homemade organic baby food, and keep a perfectly organized house, all while maintaining my full-time, work-from-home job. HA! My birth wasn’t natural, cloth-diapering never even seemed feasible, my daughter refused to eat my homemade purees, and my house is never completely clean. I used to feel guilty about these things, like I had failed at motherhood. But you know what? Even though things didn’t go as planned, I had a healthy birth, I did breastfeed like a champ, and miraculously, I am a work-from-home-stay-at-home mom. I think that’s supermom material! All loving moms are supermoms in their own rights!

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 3:44 pm

      :) you are a super mom to me!

      Reply
    • Earthy Nicole April 18, 2012, 8:27 pm

      I agree! I’m not out to impress other mom’s… as long as my baby thinks I’m the best, I’ll know I’ve done my job!

      Reply
  • Janelle April 18, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I’ve done both – one baby entirely on disposables, and baby #2 is currently in cloth (fuzzibunz). I bought them totally on a whim when they were on sale on zulily one day (I paid around $180 for 18 diapers, which has been plenty for us) and I was having a particularly horrible bout of mommy-guilt.

    My husband and I both work out of the home full time. I was worried that cloth would drive us crazy or that I would end up doing ALL the work (husband doesn’t do poop), but we’ve been doing it since November, and it honestly isn’t much more work than disposables. I love never having to make a trip to the store to buy diapers…I used Target brand so they weren’t terribly expensive, but how often do you go to Target and buy just diapers? NEVER! My bills have honestly dropped because I make less trips to the store!

    I always felt guilty that we weren’t using cloth diapers with baby #1. Yes, we’re busy and work full time, but we have a good washer and our daycare is OK with it…the only excuse was that it was “one more thing” on our plates. Now, I’m so glad we made the switch. I no longer have that twinge of environmental guilt every time I change a diaper. For me, the switch was worth it, and I wish we had done it sooner. Then again, perhaps sooner it would have been too overwhelming…

    I definitely think that you have to choose your battles – with anything in life, but in particular with a new baby. If cloth diapers feels like too much for you, then it is certainly an easy thing to take off the table in the beginning, and re-evaluate when life seems to have settled into a rhythm. Or not. 

    Reply
  • Hannah April 18, 2012, 3:47 pm

    Thanks, as always, for being so REFRESHINGLY open & honest. I feel like too many (blog) moms are trying to do it all, and it usually makes me feel sadness for them as opposed to admiration. Balance is key, right? You’ve done a great job picking and choosing your battles. That’s what parenthood (and life, really) is all about!

    Reply
  • Marissa C April 18, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Count me among those who felt the pressure, tried it, and just cant do it right now.

    I felt really bad about disposables due to the environmental factor and thought gDiapers with disposable (biodegradable) inserts would be a perfect fit. We also have a stacked washer/dryer that doesn’t work all that well and only fits small loads, so full-on cloth diapering didn’t seem like a good option.

    It wasn’t bad, but it was too much. One big reason is my husband wasn’t really into it, so I was doing the diaper washing and stuffing. I also had our babysitter use reg. diapers because I didn’t want her to have to deal with it. Then we started using disposables when we left the house because changing the gDiapers out and about was a big PITA. Then there was the cost–I spent about $150 on gDiapers…USED. And she was about to go up a size. And the inserts aren’t cheap.

    That was the last straw. We just finished up our last package of inserts and I’m selling my gDiapers on a very helpful yahoo group (or if anyone here wants them, let me know).

    I spent an hour folding laundry last night without gDiapers…I just don’t have the time in my life to add one more thing. I care a lot about going “natural”–I plan to make my own baby food, I breastfeed, co-sleep, etc. But somethings gotta give with a full-time job and a husband in med school, so I’m giving the diapers the boot.

    Reply
  • Meghan @ CarmanClan April 18, 2012, 3:57 pm

    I can see your point and applaud you for talking about it. My son is 8 weeks old and we finally started cloth a few weeks ago. I love it but if I was still working I am not sure I would stick with it. We chose cloth because we both have sensitive skin and I think they are cute. Grossness hasn’t been bad but I realized after TJ stayed with my sister in law and mother in law that I need to give them a diaper fastening lesson, and explain the cloth wipes. Yep I make my own butt wipe stuff too. As for being the perfect mother, well that will never happen. The other thing I doubt I could handle if I still worked is breastfeeding, it is time consuming and I hate the pump (I have to pump every morning).

    Reply
  • joey April 18, 2012, 3:59 pm

    I love your posts because I always learn something. I feel like your choices are always so well-informed. I feel like I’ve done a lot of things differently since reading your blog & a lot of that is because your posts open up a side of things I had never considered before. You are going to be such an awesome mama! Thanks for another great read :)

    Reply
  • Kim @ girlevolving April 18, 2012, 4:00 pm

    We do cloth diapering and love it. I work full-time (mostly from home but also in the office) and our son is with us all but 1 day of the week. I found them to be pretty manageable – just toss a load of diapers in every other night – and really not messy. Both of us have been thrilled with them. (I wrote a post here: http://girlevolving.com/2012/01/11/dipes-and-wipes/)

    That being said, it’s definitely a personal choice, so I don’t fault anyone who doesn’t go that route! I do think it’s easier than it seems… you get into habits with it that make it just as easy as a disposable, I think. In the end, a happy healthy baby is what counts – NOT what’s on their bottom!

    Reply
  • Angela / Hey Emitt! April 18, 2012, 4:02 pm

    While I was pregnant, I was completely gung-ho about cloth diapering. I went to a class, read everything I could about the process, and registered for (and received) almost all of the supplies we’d need to cloth diaper. Then our baby arrived, and although he was totally average-sized, he was seemed so little! And so new! So we didn’t start right away. And I got used to disposables, and started to fear the cloth. Eventually (maybe a month after he was born), we started using the cloth, and I kept it up for about two months, while I was still on maternity leave. But to be honest, I never loved it or felt totally comfortable with it, and even though I was off work at the time, I still struggled to get all of the laundry done, hang them out to dry, etc etc. As my maternity leave of 12 weeks was coming to an end, I started to feel really anxious about returning to work and keeping up the cloth diapering routine. I couldn’t imagine how I’d feel after working a full time job and keeping up on the diapers when I barely felt like I was staying on top of it, being home all day. I was mostly worried about letting people down who’d purchased cloth diapers for us. I didn’t want them to think their generosity went to waste. But I also needed to think about my own well-being and what was important to our family, and in the end, I decided that the way I wanted to spend my limited after-work hours with my son wasn’t tied to the washing machine and clothesline, and I ended up selling the cloth diapers on Craigslist, and breathing a HUGE sigh of relief. I took ALL of the money from selling the diapers and bought nearly $1000 in savings bonds for my son, so the gifts that were given are still going to him, one way or another. Now, we subscribe to the Honest Company for our diapers. We receive a shipment every month of diapers and wipes, and they are completely plant-based, biodegradable, with no harmful additives. We love them, they have been wonderful–no blowouts or rash at all, EVER.
    This was long—but I guess the point is, you’re making the right decision, as only you know your schedule, routine, tolerance, and overall situation! I knew in my heart what was right for us, and although it took a while to get there, I’m satisfied with the decision 100%.

    Reply
  • Laura April 18, 2012, 4:08 pm

    I have been using Honest Company disposable diapers for the last month for my 5 month old son, they are much more environmentally friendly so I feel better about using disposables now, and they are super cute and very absorbent!

    Reply
    • Angela / Hey Emitt! April 18, 2012, 4:10 pm

      I like them too! I bought the half-off starter package on Zulily, thinking I’d cancel after the first month, but I liked them so much, I’ve kept the shipments coming for three months now!

      Reply
  • Sarah April 18, 2012, 4:09 pm

    I want cloth diaper my future babies just to convince my husband I need a pretty new washing machine.

    I have no shame.

    Reply
  • Dana April 18, 2012, 4:09 pm

    I don’t have kids, but I babysit a LOT so I’ve diapered babies with cloth, regular disposable and enviro-friendly disposable. From a babysitting standpoint there’s not a lot of difference.
    I give you HUGE props for knowing ahead of time that you need to choose your battles and for knowing that each and every family is different and you need to do what works for your family.
    Sounds like you’re well on your way to being a fabulous mom!

    Reply
  • Jen April 18, 2012, 4:10 pm

    I am a cloth diapering failure. After days of every cloth diaper leaking all over us, we’re on team disposables.

    Reply
  • Jessica M J April 18, 2012, 4:14 pm

    We have a 10 week old daughter and we cloth diaper. We still have disposables available if we aren’t in the mood or laundry backs up, but it’s pretty rare now. We have 2 baskets one for my husband and my mom that’s all Velcro and I have a basket with snaps. We use pockets, AIO’s, prefolds, and flats. We really like it, and laundry doesn’t bother me. Plus I am excited for summer with her big butt and dresses!
    Cotton babies was a good source for me but so was green mountain diapers. She has some great guides!

    Reply
  • Jenny April 18, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out on the baby cheapskate link! Even though our daycare required disposable diapers, we chose them for largely the same reasons as you and the other readers in favor of them. I can’t be super mom. I spent far too much of my pregnancy crying and putting way too much pressure on myself to be perfect. My husband and I have chosen to focus our parenting energy on the things that are most important to us and provide some fulfillment. Happy parents = positive role models.

    Reply
  • Army Amy* April 18, 2012, 4:17 pm

    I totally thought you were going to say that you wanted to use cloth diapers! It stinks that there is pressure to do it all (I guess that exists with or without blogs), but good for you for going with your gut.*

    Reply
  • Kendra April 18, 2012, 4:18 pm

    We are a disposable family. We picked our battles too and went with what worked best for us. I am very impressed with all of the resources and information you included in this post. But… what I am the MOST impressed with is how honest and candid you were about how you came up with your decision. You are right about the Superwoman Syndrome and often times we are left feeling guilty about our decisions instead of content because it is best for our family. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  • Michelle April 18, 2012, 4:27 pm

    WOW! Great post and I commend you about the Superwoman comment. YOu’ll see when you become a mom that there’s so much pressure from society to be super mom. Educate yourself (as you have!) and do what you think it’s best for YOUR family. Being a parent is stressful enough!! Good for you for choosing what you think it’s best for your family. Keep that attitude!

    Reply
  • Ashley April 18, 2012, 4:28 pm

    I really wanted to try cloth diapering, I even have 3 fuzzi buns diapers. But I just couldn’t commit. The thought of doing extra laundry scared me away. And neither my husband or any of our extended family were really on board, just me, so it would have been tough to stay motivated to do it.

    Our daughter has been in Pampers since day one. Having worked in child care for four years, those were always my favorites… leaked the least, seemed the most comfortable on the kiddos. We rarely ever had leaks (maybe a handful of leaks or blowouts, seriously), and if we did have a leak, usually buying the next size up solved the problem. We do try and stay away from the ‘baby dry’ line of Pampers. They seem to be the least effective/cause more skin irritation. But we have never EVER had a serious diaper rash unless our daughter was sick. I’m going to fault that on the amount of poo exiting her body, NOT the diapers.

    I will say, I read an article (I wish I could find the link for you!) about using just three cloth diapers a day. How using just 3 a day could do this or that for the environment, wouldn’t create a TON of laundry, and just seemed more manageable. If you ever get the urge to try cloth out, maybe that is something to think about.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 18, 2012, 4:31 pm

      Good point – it doesn’t have to be all or nothing!

      Reply
      • Amy Q April 18, 2012, 5:27 pm

        Wait til right after the regular poops to use those three cloth diapers! LOL

        Reply
    • Adrienne April 18, 2012, 5:38 pm

      I love the idea of cloth but wasn’t sure about the practicalities for us. So I bought a few different types of cloth diapers so we could experiment with different brand and types and see how the laundry and ick factor were for us. We started experimenting this week (he’s three weeks old) and are only using them on days that we’re at home. Disposables at night time for now.

      But so far, we love them!! It is only one extra half load of washing each day which I put on before bed and hang up in the morning when I take the dogs out. I was worried that they’d get all poo stained – but giving them a few hours of sunlight sorts that out!

      I wanted to wait a few weeks before trying cloth as I felt we had enough to process with a newborn! My priority was breastfeeding and we had lots of issues initially – so getting this sorted was our number one. It’s only now that we felt ready to add something different to the mix. Superwoman Syndrome is alive and well, and totally agree that it’s best to focus on one thing at a time!

      Reply
  • Jen April 18, 2012, 4:29 pm

    We’ve used disposables with both of our kids (5 years old and just turned 1). With our 5 year old we primarily used Seventh Generation diapers, and that’s what we started with for our 1 year old. We’ve recently switched to The Honest Company diapers and we are REALLY happy with them. An added bonus is they are delivered to your door and they come in really fun designs! Good Luck!

    Reply
  • Danielle April 18, 2012, 4:31 pm

    I’m just so happy to see a blogger that is going with disposables. I was beginning to feel like the only mom in the world who didn’t embrace cloth as the best thing ever. For me as a first time mom, if I had to think about laundry on top of everything else, I surely wouldve lost my mind.

    Reply
  • Julie April 18, 2012, 4:39 pm

    I didn’t even consider cloth diapers for the same reason you chose to go the disposable route. I just knew it was absolutely not for me! You are also right on about the fact that everything in your life is about to change & if you can make things a little bit easier for yourself, you definitely should! It is going to be a huge adjustment just getting used to Baby HTP – no need to aspire to SuperMom status right off the bat. Take it easy on yourself & just enjoy your new addition. :) You’re gonna do great! You make really smart, well-informed choices.

    Reply
  • Beh April 18, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I cloth diaper my almost 11- month-old and I have been very happy with the experience. I used disposables for the first six months, because 1) I couldn’t find a daycare that would cloth diaper, an 2) there were no local stores that sold cloth. I didn’t want to spend the money and not be happy. After being convinced by a friend who sent me six Bum Genius diapers, I totally regret not starting sooner. I believe cloth diapers would have been even better for my son at 0 to 6 months. His thighs are rather large right now and he gets a rub spot between his groin and leg at times while weing the bum genius free times. I like the treehouse or overnight or tuning errands; however, when I can predict a poop, I prefer using an insert. I daw the g diapers on Today this morning and I think I might rotate a few into my stash. Cloth diapers make me feel better financially, environmentally, and let’s not forget, the are way cuter than disposables. Last thing, I don’t know why so many daycares are opposed to cloth diapering. A full poopy can be tossed in a wet bag and washed at home. Am I missing something?

    Reply
  • allison April 18, 2012, 4:49 pm

    I LOVED reading this entry. This is truly an example of finding balance in parenting—doing what you can to ensure that your baby is healthy, and knowing when and where to draw the line. The pressure involved with being an environmentally friendly, organic, holistic, can be too much sometimes. If you feel like it’s not for you because it’s just another thing on the list of things to learn when the baby comes, and it sounds like a hassle, by all means use disposable diapers!

    Reply
  • Elisabeth April 18, 2012, 4:49 pm

    You’ve obviously done plenty of research to determine that disposable diapering will work better for you & I think your decision should be respected. It’s great if people want to go with cloth, but we should not be berating people/giving negative comments to people who choose not to do so. I was cloth diapered as a baby (born in 1982), but only because I was allergic to disposable diapers. I know that if I have a child someday, I probably won’t be too thrilled with cleaning poop out of diapers (nor do I like the idea of wearing something that was pooped in, so why should I want my kid to?). Also (as someone who studied quite a lot of microbiology as part of my college degree) I have to agree with Jessica’s statement that the less caregivers have to touch a baby’s bodily fluids, the better. :)

    Reply
  • Leslie April 18, 2012, 4:53 pm

    We use cloth (bumgenius 4.0) and love them, but I have to admit, sometimes it is a little more work. I’m a stay at home Mom so I have the time, but sometimes stuffing those inserts in the diapers makes me batty.

    That said, my baby is much happier with her bum in cloth than she is when we have to use disposable. Chemical burns and what not.

    Like you said though, 95% of parents do disposable and they’re babies turn out just fine :)

    Reply
  • jenny April 18, 2012, 4:57 pm

    I used cloth diapers almost exclusively from day 1 (my son was born at home) with my first child, but only some with my second and not at all with my third. Cloth diapers were a lot of work. I did a load of diapers every day. There were benefits, but some of the cons were: carrying stinky diapers around in my diaper bag. Trying to be awake enough to cloth diaper my baby in the middle of the night (I used pre-folds and diaper pins). Having to change diapers all the time (the diapers were not super asorbent). Having to change outfits because the baby leaked through his diaper.
    Things were worse with my second. He nursed a lot and peed a lot and if I didn’t change his diaper every 45 minutes I was changing his outfit too. That’s when I gave up on cloth diapers. Getting disposable diapers on sale ended up being a much better deal in the long run.

    Reply
  • Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing April 18, 2012, 4:58 pm

    We plan to cloth diaper, but I’m less concerned with cost savings than less blowouts, less chemicals, and faster potty training. Therefore, we’re planning on using a a diaper services. It’s still fairly environmentally friendly b/c the services is washing so many diapers (prefolds) together, though, you do need to factor in gas usage for delivery.

    Upfront cost isn’t too bad as I’m buying only covers since the service provides prefolds. Every couple of weeks I buy one or two covers in various sizes and I have a bunch more on my registry. I was also lucky enough to get a daily deal for a diaper service in my area so I’m getting the first 2 months for only $60. They provide the pre-folds, wipes, 4 covers (part of the deal), and the laundry bag to put in your hamper.

    Reply
  • Amy Q April 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

    The only definitive advice I CAN give on parenting? Other than obvious non-negotiables, never, ever say “I will never, ever” before you’re in the moment, be the child 13 days, 13 months or 13 years old. Since you already have that part figured out, the rest of motherhood is going to be a snap! :)

    Reply
  • Sheri April 18, 2012, 5:32 pm

    I think it’s really awesome that you’re doing what’s right for you and your family. I feel like so many people in the blog world (myself included) just jump on trends because it’s what everyone else is doing. I don’t think I’ll ever be using cloth diapers. It never even crossed my mind until I saw it all over the blogs. It just would not be for me!
    I think this post, and Mama Peas recent post about how she hates running are just so refreshing for those of us who don’t jump on every single bandwagon. Good luck! Whatever you end up doing will be great!

    Reply
  • Emily April 18, 2012, 5:32 pm

    Good for you! Rational thinking is the key to parenting! I tried to breastfeed my two girls and there is something wrong with my milk and I essentially starved my firstborn for a month. But that didn’t stop me from at least trying with my second one! The same can be said for diapers! You can try but if it’s not working out, no guilt Mama!!! We use disposable diapers and both my girls were raised by enfamil so best of luck to you!

    Reply
  • Emily April 18, 2012, 5:43 pm

    Great post!
    Hubs and I went with cloth diapers, at first. I wish we had waited and STARTED with disposables! Once my husband was back in school when fall semester ramped up, and I was working full time, and he was working full time (ahk! stress!).. trying to cloth diaper was a nightmare!

    It still saved us a TON of money, but we officially threw in the towel around the 1.5yr mark. It was too much to let diapers sit for 8 hours at daycare and then come home and spray out poop all night. Not. Fun.

    Like anything else when it comes to parenting, each family has things that will work best for them!! :)

    Reply
  • DB April 18, 2012, 5:50 pm

    The reason why cloth diapers are so expensive is because they’ve been upgraded over the years. The cloth diapers I wore as a child were essentially white squares of absorbent cloth that my mother pinned together. Very inexpensive.

    Reply
  • Chantal April 18, 2012, 6:10 pm

    I’m a graduate student in chemistry (first time commenting, too!), and my boss was giving a talk about sustainability – you know, paper vs. plastic grocery bags etc. His point was that we can do “life cycle assessments” to see what the environmental impact of a product is, from how it’s made to how it’s used to how it’s disposed of at the end of its lifetime. But there are other “human impact/quality of life” factors (such as ethics, free trade products, or added stress) that also must be considered and are sometimes more important.

    Anyway, at the end of the talk someone in the audience asked, “So what’s better for the environment? Reusable or disposable diapers?”

    His answer? “It depends.” :)

    Reply
  • Christie April 18, 2012, 6:14 pm

    I like your comments above about picking battles. I did choose cloth diapers and breast feeding but I was induced and had an epidural. I’m happy with all of those decisions. My husband doesn’t love cloth but he knows it makes me happy :). It’s not as much work as I was expecting but I also have a pretty low maintenance baby so that may have something to do with it.

    Reply
  • Sarah@WilliamsburgBaby April 18, 2012, 6:20 pm

    I’m with you. I feel like I can only do so much. Maybe after 4-5 months, I will change my mind. But another thing crosses my mind as well — the hot water in our washing machine is only so hot (definitely not boiling.) I feel like if we were to regularly wash cloth diapers in it, the machine would have, er, bacteria that wouldn’t get killed, and that’s where we wash everything else. I’m not really a germaphobe, but I think when it comes to this I might draw the line.

    Reply
  • Katie April 18, 2012, 6:31 pm

    I agree that it is more work but I would recommend at least taking a cloth diapering class in your city if they have one. Signing up for the class convinced my husband at how easy it was, and, having a baby, you naturally do more laundry so the having to wash diapers every other day wasn’t an issue for us. My complete diaper stash (+accessories) that will get me from newborn to potty trained toddler was right around $450. My husband and I are planning to have more than one child so the fact that we are pretty much done buying diapers is the craziest feeling.

    Another thing to think about as far as how much water you use washing diapers and whether it is worse for the environment than disposables-you are bringing a little person into the world who pees and poops. Of course they are going to use more water. Washing cloth diapers is the equivalent of flushing the toilet an extra 6 or 7 times a day-which is way less than what your toddler will flush it when they are potty training, and then using the toilet full time.

    Reply
  • shelly April 18, 2012, 6:37 pm

    My mother had to use disposable diapers on me when I was a baby b/c my skin was so sensitive. My skin is probably more sensitive than it was when I was growing up and my husband has really sensitive skin as well, so I’m just assuming that we’ll have to go the cloth route.
    So one thing to consider is that sometimes the choice will be made for you! :)

    Reply
  • Sara N April 18, 2012, 6:54 pm

    Love this post!

    Reply
  • Heather@YSP April 18, 2012, 7:01 pm

    #1 – good for you for learning now to pick your battles, that you don’t have to do everything, and that only YOU know what’s best for your family.

    #2 – We saved a TON on our diapers by joining Amazon Mom and then signing up for their Subscribe & Save plan for our diapers. They got delivered to our door, and they were cheaper than anywhere else, even with coupons. It made the Pampers nearly as cheap as the off brand diapers that always leaked.

    Reply
  • Angie All The Way April 18, 2012, 7:12 pm

    My feelings EXACTLY! I was considering the cloth for all of the reasons people do it, but hubs wasn’t on board with the extra responsibility of washing them and I wasn’t prepared to take that all on myself on TOP of being a first time Mom. Plus, the idea of washing our clothes in the same washing machine as poo kind of turned us off too. In retrospect, I am SOOOOO glad we went with “sposies” because my baby didn’t sleep for months and MONTHS and that meant that neither did I and there were many days/nights that I just had to hold him and nurse 24/7 and the thought of needing to wash diapers during that time wouldn’t have been possible for me. We would have ended up tossing the cloths aside in favour of disposables and kissing our investment in the cloth goodbye!

    Reply
  • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs April 18, 2012, 7:14 pm

    I honestly don’t ever see myself using cloth diapers. Perhaps I should do something crazy environmental to make up for it haha.

    My brother and his wife order the 7th generation diapers from target when they go on sale and they get SO MANY coupons for it. Also through amazon.com

    Reply
  • Carin April 18, 2012, 7:53 pm

    Haha – at least you’re realistic at the outset! I WANTED to use washable – I even had a set given to me by work colleagues and got them all ready. However, 5 years and two kids out of nappies later, they’re still unused (and preparing to be sold online!). It wasn’t that I was lazy exactly – Freya was low birth weight (4 pounds 13 ozs) and they wouldn’t have fit – we needed to use premmie disposables because she was so little (although not actually premature – born at 38 weeks). Then real life kicked in and I was so tired with the overnight feeding, hosting long-stay overseas visitors (not recommended!) and starting work again that it all seemed too much effort.

    It’s so easy to feel guilty about things like this and to try to be perfect, but I agree – choose your battles and let it go! Disposables are easy, clean and if you choose eco-responsible ones, not THAT bad… especially if you factor in what other people do to the planet in terms of meat consumption, waste and litter! That’s my justification, anyway….

    Happy nappying love – it’ll be here before you know it!

    (BTW UK-US translation for those not married to a Brit: nappies=diapers!)

    Reply
  • Earthy Nicole April 18, 2012, 8:23 pm

    I opted for disposables too, surprisingly. When my little girl was 5 weeks old, my husband was deployed to Iraq and I was the only one to care for my daughter. On top of everything else I was doing on my own, I just couldn’t justify the time spent with cloth diapers when I really needed to be doing something else. I used Earth’s Best for the most part, and my daughter never had any rashes or irritation. She was pretty small (6lbs. 2 oz.) when she was born and the newborn size we had leaked a little until she filled them out better but we were given some newborn diapers from the hospital that filled in for that period of time. Great post, Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Laura WL April 18, 2012, 8:25 pm

    I think for us we plan to use disposables when our kids are real little and then use cloth when their BMs are more solid as they get older. I know all my S-I-Ls use them and say they are super easy to clean/dump. For me it’s similar to the cloth napkin/towel vs. paper towel debate. I personally think most paper products are ridiculous and use cloth instead. We draw the line at toilet paper however. ;-) I guess I don’t understand why you’d throw away when you can wash but I live in a city where “bohemian” is basically a way of life and lots of people use only cloth, hang dry everything and practice the “if it’s yellow let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” philosophy. (We also only have curbside garbage pickup every other week but have recycling/compost pick up each week.)

    Reply
  • Lee April 18, 2012, 8:33 pm

    My husband said his parents used cloth diapers (in 1980) for the sole reason that they were cheaper. If we have a baby, it’s something I’d consider but don’t really feel strongly either way. However, I know this: I will get an epidural if possible! I feel like there is a lot of pressure (that might not be the right word) in the blog world to have a natural birth. Not for me. Bring on the drugs.

    Reply
  • Jocelyn April 18, 2012, 9:06 pm

    Kudos for making the decision you believe is best for your family and for having the guts to talk about it in public! (Sounds like important qualities for a great mom to have.)

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  • Sarah T April 18, 2012, 9:19 pm

    We were disposables all the way with both our children. That being said, looking back (we just potty trained our youngest this past weekend so these comments are fresh in my mind) I think I could have handled cloth diapers as I am a stay at home mom. But, I wouldn’t recommend attempting anything you aren’t totally comfortable with in the beginning. Frankly you are just too tired, hungry, and thirsty all the time to put any real thought into much else. Some of those nightime feedings/changings are brutal. In regards to pro’s and con’s of cloth vs. disposable I think it’s a draw. Best tip I got was to keep any plastic bags from the grocery store in the nursery and toss the really bad diapers into those immediately. I found Diaper Genies to be TERRIBLE and soooooo icky!! Good luck, you are going to be a natural!

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  • Lysandra Neal April 18, 2012, 9:21 pm

    WE used disposables the first 3 weeks and cloth diapered after that. We started using Gdiapers but had to switch at about 6 months because the fit wasn’t right anymore. My husband prefers pockets and I prefer fitteds and wool. Once you get your wash routine down cloth diapers do not take much time. Maybe an extra 15 minutes out of your week. They save you tons of money and most studies on cost savings don’t take into account that you can resell them once your lo is potty trained. The poop does take some getting used to but you do get used to it and its not as bad as it seems. Plus you have to change a poopy diaper anyway, the only difference is that the poop goes in the toilet instead of the garbage. Don’t pick one brand before you try out a few because different brands work for different people. I love to cloth diaper and wish I would have cloth diapered my first. I am also a very busy mom. I work 4 part-time jobs while my husband works two and we run a small farm together. Cloth-diapering inspired me to switch to cloth wipes, unpaper towels, and family cloth. Still working on the diva cup or mama pads. Please try it once your baby gets a little older. It truly is awesome!

    Reply
    • Lysandra Neal April 18, 2012, 9:23 pm

      Also, my fitteds with wool can last 3.5 hours if needed and wool only gets washed every once and a while saving some laundry!

      Reply
  • Allison April 18, 2012, 10:13 pm

    I love that you are being upfront on all these mommy issues. We are all warriors, just trying to survive. Every momma has to do what is best for her family!
    PS – You look awesome!!

    Reply
  • Chelsea April 18, 2012, 10:15 pm

    I’m pretty sure you could get some free diapers as well from companies for your blog ;) Saving cash right there as well haha!

    Reply
  • Gretchen April 18, 2012, 10:42 pm

    Like everything parenting related, what works for one family may bog work for the next. This is very much a personal choice. We live in a small city apartment with no laundry, but the choice to cloth diaper was still a no-brainer for me. I couldn’t stomach creating all that trash or wrapping my baby’s most sensitive area in plastic and chemicals. We use a diaper service, which is really pretty affordable and makes the whole thing pretty easy. I do think it helped that as first time parents, we didn’t know any different because we’d never really dealt with diapers, disposable or not. Without a point of reference to tell what’s more or less work (or more or less disgusting) it all just becomes your new norm.

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  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 18, 2012, 10:42 pm

    Whoa, I don’t know where you got your numbers on cloth diapers but that is SERIOUSLY high. Cloth diapering is as expensive as you make it.

    Sure, buying a 12 pack of Bumgenius will run about $250 but you can EASILY be fine with only twelve diapers in your rotation….for two solid years. I know a couple people who have fifteen and that’s all they need. They’re one size, so they adjust as the baby grows.

    My personal cloth diaper story is actually quite a miracle one. My friend handmade cloth diapers (they’re gorgeous of all different fabrics she repurposed, from fleece to flannel with hemp absorbent interior) and used them for her two sons. Then she sold them to me for $150. I never bought another cloth diaper. I use flannel squares for wipes that I spritz real quick with a solution of water, vinegar and peppermint oil before using.

    My son is one and a half and I have a second on the way. I can easily diaper my next son with those diapers too…which means two kids through diapers for $150.

    I was gifted a lot of disposables during my first pregnancy and I used them while on vacation or out and about so I do feel the disposables can be convenient but it just seems irresponsible (no offense meant at all!) to buy them by the hundreds for convenience.

    I don’t see water as an environmental killer like disposable diapers because water is reusable. No matter what, the amount of water on the earth will never change. I also make my own laundry detergent so whatever impact conventional detergent has can be easily counteracted that way.

    I’m an advocate for cloth diapers and highly recommend that you at least give it a try. You can get a few diapers on Craigslist for super cheap to see how you like them and if you’re ever in a bind financially they’ll be there to have your back. It’s truly worth it. Disposables are SO expensive and you go through them SO fast.

    Reply
    • Nina April 19, 2012, 8:05 am

      I really liked this comment. I think cloth diapering is more of a responsibility than an option for me. We waste a lot as a country and have disposable options for everything, it’s sad. I understand when both parents are working and literally hardly have time to hug their child, but that’s not the case here.

      Reply
    • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker April 19, 2012, 9:13 pm

      Agreed with Diana :)

      Reply
    • Sarah B April 22, 2012, 5:17 pm

      I really applaud you Caitlin and choosing your battles, but I so agree with this comment by Diana (and the one by Nina). I feel I have a responsibility not to let my child join this world by filling a landfill rubbish tip with nappies/diapers in the first couple of years of their life.

      Okay, so this child is baking in me for another 3 months, but I scoured Trade Me (NZ ebay equivalent) and have managed to get cloth diapers/nappies barely, if not at all used, for considerably less than disposables will cost.

      I accept we all make different choices, and it is so hard being judged on them, but one world and only one planet.

      Reply
  • Claire April 18, 2012, 10:53 pm

    With baby number 1 we chose disposable because we were living out in the country and relied only on tank water and I knew we wouldn’t have enough water supply to manage using cloth. I did feel a bit guilty in the beginning about the environmental impact until someone pointed out that it’s not just the extra water you use washing cloth, but the water and energy that goes into producing the cloth ones as well. Cotton for instance is an extremely high water consumption crop. So it’s not as if one is miles better than the other from an environmental standpoint. I’ve gone on to happily continue using disposables with baby 2 and 3, and are have just started toilet training number 3. Nappy days are nearly over! My advice with disposables is to buy good quality and the right size and you’ll have minimal leakage, explosions or nappy rash. I’ve always used huggies (in Australia) and been really happy with them.

    Reply
  • Lindsay Maddox April 18, 2012, 11:18 pm

    My decision to cloth diaper was made way back in undergrad, during a lab experiment on materials used in manufacturing disposable diapers.

    I won’t get in to all the details here, but I will link to a few of my absolute favorite CDing blogs:

    http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/

    http://theecochic.com

    Also, check out The Milky Way (www.amilkyway.com) on East Blvd. She does a free-to-the-public cloth diapering class once a month. She goes over EVERYTHING you’d need to know, answers everyones questions, you get to play in all the different types of cloth diapers, etc. It was SO helpful. She said she has people every month come to the class that are still on the fence about what to do. We loved it! :)

    Reply
  • Alex @ Raw Recovery April 18, 2012, 11:38 pm

    Good for you for not getting sucked into the Superwoman Syndrome. I can imagine the difficulties especially with your husband being an oriental doctor and the topics you blog about. Ultimately it’s your life and you have the right to do whatever is best for you, not for your readers or the world. That’s a really great message. I hope things on the baking end keep going well :)

    Reply
  • Carrie April 18, 2012, 11:55 pm

    Great post! It was so refreshing to read a post that didn’t seem biased, which so many do. My husband and I use disposables and they are definitely not as pricey as I anticipated. We use coupons and buy on sale as much as possible. My daughter has sensitive skin, yet has only had maybe one or two mild rashes since she was born two months ago. With work, there was too much to do! We often wash her clothes and then grab them out of the laundry basket because there isn’t time to even fold those. I can’t imagine adding to our daily responsibilities and stresses by using cloth diapers. I think it’s great when women do, but it just wasn’t for us!

    Reply
    • Carrie April 18, 2012, 11:57 pm

      That should read ten months, not two! :)

      Reply
  • Nine April 19, 2012, 12:07 am

    I find the nappy debate is much like the finding-out-the-sex debate, or the natural vs gimme-the-epidural-NOW debate: everyone seems to have very staunch beliefs one way or the other, and none of them are wrong!
    We used cloth nappies from 6 weeks. I may be doing this different to others, but we don’t go rinsing any poop out of them, instead I use biodegradable liners, which flush with the solids down the loo, then the nappy gets chucked in the wash. We still use a disposable at night now that she sleeps through.
    We mainly went with cloth for the cost point of view, especially since we are planning on using them with more than one kid.
    The added bonuses I didn’t even plan on – the extra huge bum from a cloth nappy makes a great crash pad when kids are learning to walk. And the huge colourful bum is freaking ADORABLE, and anything that makes a pooey bum more adorable is good in my books. Plus the smell factor seems to be so much less – a dry pail system for cloth nappies is pretty much smell free. I nearly gag every time I have to open a nappy bin to throw away a disposable. I know you can get diaper genie things, but that just seems like even more waste material and expense?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP April 19, 2012, 10:15 am

      Good point re: how these debates are kind of pointless because there is no ‘wrong’ side.

      Reply
  • Sarah April 19, 2012, 1:06 am

    I agree that you gotta do what’s best for you. I know that some other commenters mentioned gDiapers and the disposable inserts not working for them, but I gotta say – WE LOVE THEM. I am a HUGE advocate for this system – it’s like the best of both worlds. The thing we like the most about the biodegradable inserts is that you can flush them down the toilet, or compost the wet ones (they biodegrade in under 150 days!) which makes a lot less of an impact on the environment. My husband and I knew that we couldn’t handle the hassle of cloth diapering, but this was definitely something in our capabilities. In my opinion as well, the biodegradable inserts keep our little man MUCH dryer than with standard disposables, and he hasn’t had a case of diaper rash since we started using them (going on 5 months!). And the gPants are super cute to boot!

    Reply
  • Leah April 19, 2012, 2:43 am

    I used both! The smell of certain brands of cloth diapers made me sick when they were dry, let alone the smell when they were wet.

    With all three I started in disposables for the first few days until the yucky meconium was gone. Then I switched to cloth.

    With my first two, I would have disposables for times we were away, and use cloth at home. With my third we rarely used disposables (less than 2 per week, most weeks)

    For the first year, my oldest was mainly cloth diapered except when we were on vacation. For part of my sons second year we switched to cloth, as he wore disposables at daycare, and we were having problems using enough cloth diapers to wash per week (some times there`d only be 4-5 diapers to wash).

    After my older daughter was born, I switched both kids to cloth and kept both in cloth all the time, until my son toilet trained at 2 years 10 months, and he stayed in cloth diapers overnight for a long time after that… My daughter stayed in cloth most of the time, although we did use disposables while out for the day long trips.
    She potty trained before 2.5 and was night time dry at the same time.

    My youngest was almost exclusively cloth diapered… she had VERY sensitive skin, and there was only one brand of disposables that I could use, and if she was in disposables for more than 4 hours (not the same diaper), she`d get a rash. The only long stretch of time she was in disposables was our trip to Disneyland! And we used generous amounts of ointment on her to keep the rash away!

    She potty trained at 20-21 months old and was DRY at night then too!

    COMMENTS:
    I loved wool covers (didn`t know about them until my 3rd!). I much prefered diapers with a separate cover (not All-In-Ones) for most occasions, but did have a few for when other family were looking after the kids.

    I loved one-sized diapers once they hit 12lbs or so… and yes the one-sized diapers I had, I was able to put on both my 2yo and 4yo at night, with some extras added for my 4yo heavy wetter! And they also worked on my 11lb newborn a year later when my 3rd was born.

    I never did find out a good nighttime solution for my son after 4.5yo when he was too old to diaper. He wore pull-ups, cloth pull-ups, but none were 100% effective.

    After 3 kids, and 5+ years of use, most of my diapering supplies were garbage rags, or close to it.

    Reply
  • Reghan April 19, 2012, 6:37 am

    I agree with you 100% on this issue. While cloth diapering seems to have some environmental positives to me it’s just not worth all the extra laundry plus work. I’m 22 weeks pregnant and for a split second considered cloth diapering but then I quickly decided no way lol I feel like having a new baby and all the responsibilites and laundry that already come with that….why add more!?! I also don’t want to rinse off poopy diapers and throw them in the same washing machine our clothes go in (gross)
    I feel, in the forums and other places I read, that a lot of woman love cloth diapering just because the diapers have cute patterns. Um that’s not a deciding factor at all for me lol
    I also agree with choose your battles. I’d rather be succesful at breastfeeding than cloth diapering so I will focus on that :) Another one is co-sleeping! Another thing that’s “the in thing to do” but I absolutely want my baby in the bassinet in our room and then in their own crib. Not in our bed!!!

    Reply
  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} April 19, 2012, 7:19 am

    I chose disposables for the same reasons you did. I decided to pick and choose my battles and that was not high on my priority list.

    Reply
  • Molly @ RDexposed April 19, 2012, 7:34 am

    Way to stand your ground!

    Reply
  • Jenn April 19, 2012, 7:56 am

    I think it’s great you’re not succumbing to the pressures of “the blog world” and what everyone else thinks you should do. Do what is best for YOUR family! You can still impact the environment in other ways. You don’t have to do everything 100% ALL the time! You look great, by the way:)

    Reply
  • Luna April 19, 2012, 8:48 am

    awww look at you, you’re so beautiful!I’d go with the option that makes me feel more relaxed.Being a new parent is a challenge “per se”, no need to put extra pressure on that. I totally get the “super mama” syndrome thing, So true. Anything you do, it will the best if it feels the best for you and the baby!

    Reply
  • Lindsay J April 19, 2012, 9:17 am

    I’m with you! I wanted to use cloth diapers. All my friends were. But all my friends are stay-at-home moms. They love it, but I couldn’t see myself finding the time to do it. Honestly, it wasn’t the time factor that kept me away at first. But now that my baby is 8 months old and I have another on the way, I am happy with my decision to go disposable. It is NOT that expensive. I work full-time and I strive to be super-mom. I make every moment count that I have with my baby.

    You look great!!! Not much longer until you’re holding that baby!

    Reply
  • PaigeP April 19, 2012, 9:23 am

    Wow! Who knew there was so much to say about diapers!!! :)

    Reply
  • Stacy April 19, 2012, 9:30 am

    Thanks for writing such a well balanced post about diapering! I researched the sh!t out of cloth diapers in the months before I gave birth last year. I think it was my way of keeping my mind off actually giving birth. The peeps who CD are so convincing about how easy/wonderful/amazing, I was sucked right in. I invested upwards of $400 in various CDs and supplies. It’s like a cult. And now, 11 months later, we exclusively use disposables. Actually, scratch that. The cloth diapers work pretty well when I put them over his nighttime diaper to prevent leaks (he’s a super soaker). Ultimately, we just never got the hang of it and had so many problems with leaks. It just wasn’t worth trying anymore.

    Every time I read about someone’s CD success story, I feel like a failure and think I should try again. I think once I finally put the diapers up on ebay, I’ll start to be at peace with disposables. :)

    BTW, don’t get sucked into the Seventh Generation hype. I love 7th Gen as much as the next guy (as a company) and used the diapers up until I watched this video:
    http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/lousylabels/

    I also used like 4 of the other products they analyzed. I feel like such a sucker.

    Reply
    • Stacy April 19, 2012, 9:36 am

      Let me clarify the thing about 7th Gen. It’s my understanding that none of the major diaper brands use chlorine in their diapers. So basically there’s no reason to pay the higher price for 7th Gen diapers. They aren’t more eco or safer for your baby. Save your dough buy the cheaper dipes (and check out Amazon Mom if you haven’t already. It’s the bomb).

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP April 19, 2012, 10:18 am

        I’m such a sucker for marketing. I’m interested in the Honest Company brand now.

        Reply
  • Lisa April 19, 2012, 10:25 am

    Hallelujah!! It is such a relief to read this post. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Kevin April 19, 2012, 11:24 am

    “The thought of washing poop off a diaper every day, multiple times a day, makes me want to hurl”

    So you’ll eat your own placenta, but the thought of a little poo makes you want to hurl? Does anyone else see the contradiction there? :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 19, 2012, 11:56 am

      But it’s my OWN placenta and not my OWN poop :)

      Reply
      • Brenda April 19, 2012, 7:02 pm

        Just wait- your baby’s poop will seem much less disgusting than your own. : )

        Reply
  • Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year April 19, 2012, 11:34 am

    I cloth diaper but I use disposable overnight because of leaks. I was tired of washing the bed sheets everyday!

    I love not trashing tons of disposable in the trash. I have 10 diapers, which cost $20 each, for a total of $200. I do a load every 2 days.

    It’s hard for me to believe that cloth diapers has as much of an impact on the environment as disposables. All the water and resources that have to be used to create each disposable compare to making one cloth diaper and washing/reusing it for 2 + years. Scratching my head on that one.

    Reply
  • Lainie April 19, 2012, 12:45 pm

    I normally don’t post but had to write and tell you how adorable you look – you definitely have that pregnancy glow!!!

    Reply
  • Rebekah April 19, 2012, 1:12 pm

    What’s funny is I was going to talk about this with you and Heather. I don’t know if N.C. has this but in San Francisco there are compostable diapers. The company picks up the dirty diapers AND drops off clean ones. It’s like the best of both worlds re: disposable vs. cloth. My friend Max does this but he did say disposable diapers are better for overnight.

    Reply
  • Carina April 19, 2012, 1:54 pm

    I know seriously nil about this issue, but just analytically, I would think the real cost difference comes if you have more children. Cost equal cloth/disposable for first baby, but if you have a second baby, zero new cost with cloth, but another 1500-2k cost w/ disposable. Just seems like an obvious cost distinction. But if I had a baby ever, I’d probably lean toward the convenience of disposable, but who knows, not an issue I need to worry about!

    Reply
  • Amber K April 19, 2012, 2:03 pm

    This is not something I will have to think about for a very long time, so I really don’t know where I stand on the issue. I’ve gone back and forth. But I admire how open-minded you are about it!

    Reply
  • Ciera @ Rose and Thistle April 19, 2012, 2:11 pm

    I loved this post – thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel like everything I read in the blog world about this subject basically says how great cloth nappies are and how appalling disposables are…
    Whilst I don’t have any children of my own yet, I have worked in a nursery for several years (with under 2s) and so have dealt with a decent number of nappies in my time. Having used both I really am not into the cloth situation, although I appreciate the economic argument. I’ve also read some interesting articles about the true environmental toll of both and whilst I choose to be green in many areas, I think I’d choose disposables from a brand like Seventh Generation personally…
    Anyways, the bottom line is I like how you’ve chosen what’s right for your family, good for you all :)

    Reply
  • Constance Blizzard April 19, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Thanks for this. We’re making the same decision (to go with disposables -to start-, just to give ourselves a break). While I do wish desperately that there was some sort of paper-based compostable disposable diaper, I can’t fathom the idea of a billion loads of laundry on top of everything else expected of us. Maybe if this were my fourth kid, or if I was the nanny-hiring type. Or had an extra couple of arms or a washing machine that also cooked dinner. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Brenda April 19, 2012, 6:56 pm

    We exclusively cloth diaper our son, and I would never refer to it as a battle nor do I think of it as a ‘super mom’ activity.. It’s just a system that works really well and is good for both baby and the environment. We haven’t used a disposable since January 1 and we both work outside of the home. I hope my instincts are right about this post that you’re just playing devil’s advocate bc you’d really miss out by not cloth diapering.

    Reply
  • Charmaine April 21, 2012, 11:43 pm

    I think it’s pretty sad that the scientist referred to disposable diapers as being “conventional.” Disposable diapers came about in the ~60s, prior to that, no one would ever think of buying something to throw away after one use.

    If you’re concerned about convenience, please consider looking into diaper service. This one (http://www.ivysdiaperservice.com/home.php) services Charlotte, NC… haven’t looked at the site but most services will deliver a clean batch one week and pick up the dirties the next. They also request that you DO NOT clean the diapers – simply leave them in a pail to be picked up. I think most parents can be pretty dumb and uninformed about diapers (myself include) and thinking that by cloth diapering, you have to buy the expensive bumgenius all-in-ones which run $17+. Not true. You can get prefolds which are significantly cheaper (I bought a dozen for $20) and can be used indefinitely until they turn to shreds. The learning curve is short but the list of benefits is long. Diaper pins are outdated – they have elastic closures called snappis that make things much easier.

    All this to say – if it’s convenience, diaper service is a where it’s at. You don’t even have to go to the store to buy refills when you run out (which inevitably happens with disposables), nor do you have to do additional laundry (which can be the case with cloth diapers).

    I hope this helps.

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  • Dynamics April 22, 2012, 6:21 pm

    I am late on giving my feedback. I did both. We did disposable diapers for the first few weeks and then a month of a diaper service and them I was on my own. I only had a washer so I used a clothesline to dry the diapers. I have to say I loved it. To this day I still use a clothesline. Nothing like the smell of sheets coming in from hanging on a clothesline on a breezy day. I still stay, do what works for your family. You do so much already for the environment. One person cannot do everything. You are right Pick and Choose.

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  • Jessica April 22, 2012, 10:27 pm

    We really wanted to do cloth but knowing that we’d have to use disposables when we put our baby into daycare at 12 weeks, it made our decision easy. Having said that, we really didn’t do any kind of research about what kind of disposables to use. A lot of people advised us to stock up on diapers before the birth but I didn’t want to b/c I had no idea how big he’d be and how fast he’d grow! So we initially bought what the hospital used but pretty quickly starting trying out every brand we could find b/c you go through them sooo fast in the beginning! (Diapers.com offers samples, FYI.) We ended up sticking with Seventh Generation b/c they are chemical and dye free and we thought it was a good compromise. Our son will be 6 months on Friday and we have stuck with Sev Gen since he was probably 6-8 weeks old. Good luck making your decision but, at the end of the day, it’s such a tiny thing when there is so much more going on!! :)

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  • Molly @ Duchess of Fork April 23, 2012, 5:31 pm

    As with everything in parenting, you do what’s best for your family. I started out with disposables and Julia wore them for the first 5 months. I never even dreamed of using cloth. I got SO tired of paying for diapers, so I switched to cloth and she’s been 100% cloth since 6 months. We use disposables every once in a while, if we’re out of town or she’s at her grandparents. That’s the great thing. You can switch back and forth so easily. You just do whatever works. Our water bill has maybe increased by $10 each month. I really love using cloth, but the dirty diapers aren’t getting any more pleasant. I may reconsider cloth when #2 comes along….

    You’re going to be such a great mom, Caitlin!

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  • Leah April 26, 2012, 9:23 am

    Just wanted to chime in here! I am a WAHM and I decided to cloth diaper when I was pregnant. I invested in quite a large stash and really loved cloth diapering…then the issues started. Turns out my little one has super sensitive skin and no matter what wash routine or detergent I use, if she is in cloth for more than 30 minutes, she has a rash. So, instead of continuing to be frustrated and fed up, we gave up cloth diapering. At first I felt really guilty about it but then I realized it just didn’t work for our family and THAT is what is most important to me!

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  • Ashley // Our Little Apartment May 20, 2012, 9:34 pm

    I know you’ve probably got a million opinions to think about and this post is super old- but just wanted to tell you that I’ve only paid about $100 for cloth diapers, since I asked for them as baby shower gifts. The cost is INSANE compared to how much disposables cost.

    Craigslist has great condition used diapers, too. (Way less gross than it sounds!)

    I really cannot say enough good things about cloth diapers (*especially* for the first six months when my son was only breastfed).

    Three things:
    * It doesn’t take more time: I also work from home and it honestly takes about 20 minutes more every 3 days to wash the diapers. Totally worth it. (And no nasty poop smell in my trash can!)
    * No poop blowouts! This alone is why I continue to cloth diaper. Disposables often resulted in poopsplosions, but never with cloth. Praise baby Jesus, especially when we’re out in public!
    * Less irritants on your baby’s tiny hiney. The chemicals in disposable diapers creep me out; I just don’t want that near a very important area! ;)

    Oh! And cloth diapered babies are usually potty trained sooner, since they know when they are wet and don’t like it.

    My post on the matter is: Ten Things About Cloth Diapers. I really urge you to think about it, Caitlin. I think it might be a great fit for you guys!

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