Before I had Baby I decided I wanted to do cloth diapering. There are many different reasons to use cloth diapers, such as the impact it will have on the environment (less disposables stinking up our landfills), and the cost effectiveness of only buying diapers once that will last through many children. Not to mention the fact that cloth diapers are supposed to have less of a smell, help prevent diaper rash on babies, and are convenient (no more running frantically to the store with a naked baby because you forgot to buy more disposables).
Am I environmentally friendly? I like to think so, but not in an extremist sort of way. Am I cheap? Oh yeah.
While I like to think that by using cloth diapers I won't be contributing to the landfills, I can honestly say the primary reason I am doing it is to save money. Instead of buying a few packs of diapers each month for the next two to three years at about eight dollars each, I buy a set of cloth diapers (they are about twenty dollars each, depending on the brand), and I am set. The savings amasses to about eight of my car payments. Eight! That's practically a year! (I'm rounding up, here, humor me.) That's eight steps closer to paying off a pesky loan and me not having to work full time (which is the ultimate goal for next year).
Well, I finally started to use my supply of cloth diapers this past week. My plan had been to use the disposables I had and then switch to cloth when I ran out. Well, I ran out (thank you to all who gave me diapers at my baby shower. Because of you, I was able to go without buying diapers for four months!). Now I am starting to wonder if it is really worth it.
While I do like the soft feel of the diapers on Baby's bottom, they are a little bit of a hassle. I can no longer be a minimalist when I go out because I have to take along a supply of superthick diapers for when she needs a change, and then I have to take them back home. No more throwing them out when they are dirty, thus lessening my load. That's not too big of a deal to me, just something to note.
At home, I either keep them in a diaper pail until I have to wash them, or I throw them in the wash if there are enough. When they are washed, I hang them out to dry. Let me tell you, I am a slow hanger-upper. (I once watched a game at a baby shower where people had to compete for the quickest time to see who could hang the laundry up, hold a baby, and talk on the cell phone all at once. I would have come in last place.) That's a lot of time and energy spent on diapers when I could have been hanging out with Baby.
Selfishly speaking, I'm wondering how I will feel when I go back to work. Do I really want to do the extra wash? Will I have the energy to hang them out to dry? Don't I want to spend every possible minute with Baby? I feel guilty enough going back to work as it is.
It's only eight dollars for a pack of disposables. But then again, it's eight car payments.