Info: Why cloth?

When most of us think of cloth diapering we picture a messy piles of square cotton fabric that smells, stains and needs to be washed out by hand. These diapers would hang on the line outside, need to be carefully folded and pinned, leak like crazy, and come with obnoxious pull-up plastic pants. This is probably the idea your mom has when you mention cloth diapering. Anyone over the age of 20 who was cloth diapered probably had this treatment, and it’s no lie that they could be a pain in the butt.
However, diapers today are not your mother’s cloth diapers. Modern cloth diapers are as easy to use as disposable, cheaper, durable, environmentally safe, healthier, and cuter. That last one may be a matter of opinion, but consider: ads and commercials featuring babies which aren’t selling disposible diaper products will most often feature the child in a cloth diaper. Why? Because it’s a cuter image.

This essay will cover common concerns including cost and care, plus an FAQ. You can skip ahead to the parts that matter to you by clicking the quick links from this table of contents
1/ Why is cloth diapering cheaper?
2/ Why are cloth diapers environmentally safe?
3/ Why are cloth diapers healthier for my baby?

FAQ & Common Concerns:
1/ Isn’t cloth diapering a lot of work?
2/ What about when I go out?
3/ Won’t cloth diapers leak and stain clothes?
4/ But I don’t want to fold and pin!
5/ What do I need to get started?
6/ Where can I buy cloth diapers?
    6.a/ Buying second hand, is that really safe?
7/ How do I wash cloth diapers?

Why is cloth diapering cheaper?
There are a lot of choices when it comes to disposable diapers.  Often the cheaper brands leak, or break easily and most people prefer to buy somewhere in the middle. A baby who is changed regularly will go through 7-8 per day (more as a newborn, less as a toddler). The diapers get more expensive as the child gets older and fits into bigger sizes, after 2.5 years of diapering the average cost is around $.35 per diaper. This ends up being around $2,275 spent on something that gets tossed in the garbage. Most parents who use disposable diapers leave their babies in them for longer periods of time, so based on average of 5-6 changes per day the cost is more like $1,757. Add in disposable wipes and you push the total up another hundred or so. Let’s not even get into products like the Diaper Genie, Swim Diapers, or specialized training pants.
No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of money. And that cost doubles every time you have another child.

Cloth diapers come in a few varieties. Flat or prefold diapers are the cheapest, fitteds and contours in the middle, and AIO’s (“All-in-ones”) the most expensive.
A typical stash of cloth diapers which includes all of the above diapers, liners, soakers, covers and wipes can cost anywhere from $100 to $400 depending on where and what you buy. (My personal stash cost us around $230 Canadian in total). These diapers will last you all of your child’s 2.5 years and are re-used for the next child, and the next… if you take good care of your diapers they can make it through several children without showing their age. Some people have successfully used diapers through four or more children and they still looked nice enough to sell at near their retail value.
But what about laundering costs? 
It’s not as much as you’d think.  A typical wash of diapers includes baking soda, white vinegar, some detergent and a few cycles. If you choose the ‘wet pail’ method you’ll use more water then someone who uses the ‘dry pail’ method. This calculation is based on 271 loads of diapers over the 2.5 year period.

  • 200ml of vinegar @ $.15/load) $40.65;
  • water and sewer (for 4 toilet flushes, 16 gal; 1 normal wash cycle, 45 gal; rinsing and filling pail, 7 gal. Total of 68 gal. @$.0067 = $.46/load) $124.66;
  • natural gas to heat water (20 cu.ft. of natural gas @$.0015 = $.03/load)
  • $8.13; power to run dryer (5.76 kw/hr. for 1 hr., 5.76 kwh @$.07 = $.40/load) $108.40;
  • power to run washer (.76 kwh @$.07 = $.05/load) $13.55;
  • depreciation on washer and dryer ($.16 for washer + $.09 for dryer = $.25/load.1) $67.75 = $436 ($1.60/load.)

Total money spent on cloth : $100-$400 worth of diapers [average of $250] + $436 spent on washing = $686, reused for each consecutive child
Total money spent on disposables : $1,757-$2,275 with average of $2,016, doubled with each consecutive child.

Links: Diaper Pin’s Cloth diaper savings calculator

Why are cloth diapers environmentally safe?
Read your package of disposable diapers carefully and you’ll see something that you might have missed before: solid waste is not supposed to go in the garbage. Even with disposable diapers you are supposed to shake fecal matter into the toilet. Very few people do this, or even realize you are supposed to, but that warning is there for a very important reason. When solid waste goes into the landfill it doesn’t just sink into the ground and disappear. It stays inside the disposible diaper, which needs sunlight and oxygen to gradually decompose, something that those huge piles of sausage wrapped diapers don’t get. It can take as long as 500 years for a disposable diaper to break down, and with diapers being the third most common consumer item in landfills today, that’s a lot of garbage. Our ground water becomes contaminated from rain water running over the landfill, this gets into our oceans, streams and rivers and causes a lot of problems.  About 5 million tons of untreated body excrement, which may carry over 100 intestinal viruses, is brought to landfills because of disposible diapers. Some of these live viruses found in disposable diapers include polio and hepatitis. Those piles that take hundreds of years to decompose also attract insects and animals that can carry and transmit diseases. Even ‘biodegradable’ disposible diapers take years to break down, and rarely get the light and air they need to aid this process.
It takes 3.4 billion gallons of oil and over 250 thousand trees a year to make disposable diapers that end up in our landfills.

But do cloth diapers decompose just as easily?  Yes and no. One must consider that the amount of cloth diapers that would end up in our landfill versus the amount of disposable diapers paints a very clear picture on which is the bigger risk as far as waste goes. Cloth diapers are mostly made from cotton, terry and fleece (which is already a recycled substance). These materials biodegrade much more easily then the ones used in one-use diapers, but do take time. Around six months in good conditions, and as long as 50 years in others. Rarely do people throw away their cloth diapers after using them. They are reused for other children, given to friends and family members, prefolds get used as burp cloths, rags and contoured diapers can even make reusable menstrual pads.
What about the water pollution? It is true that cloth diapers take more water to use, however the amount of water per load is the equivalent of about four toilet flushes; about the same amount of water used if the child was potty trained. This contaminated water goes through the same sewer system as the other water waste produced in your household, and is sent to treatment plants. This quote is in regards to the water waste argument, and makes a very good point :

“Ask nearly any disposable diaper advocate the environmental question and they will most likely say that while they are loading up the landfills in our world, cloth diaper users are wasting the planet’s water. Certainly 20,000 gallons of water seems like a lot to wash some diapers. But let’s put that into perspective.

If we spent 640 gallons on our diapers per month, that’s .86 units of water (at 748 gallons/unit). In my household of 2 adults and 2 children, we use anywhere from 10-25 units a month, depending on the time of year. If we averaged 15 units of water a month, our .86 units of water would constitute about 6% of our typical monthly water usage. In the summer, we use more water to keep our lawn green than we do to wash our diapers.

That’s just the numbers. I think it’s interesting that disposable diaper lovers (including the companies that make them) can make quite a fuss about the water used to wash cloth diapers. Nobody seems to get up in arms about the amount of water used to wash and sanitize bottles if parents feed their babies formula – or pumped breastmilk for that matter. In the event that a baby’s parents find the time for a 5 minute shower each day, they will each use over 27,000 gallons of water to keep themselves clean for that 2 1/2 year period of diapering their baby – that’s almost 60,000 gallons for two adults. But 20,000 gallons to wash their baby’s diapers is supposed to be an environmental problem?

If disposable diaper users really think it’s a better choice to pollute landfills with long-lasting, bacteria-laden trash, rather than use water to wash and flush our children’s waste, then shouldn’t all of us adults quit taking showers, wear disposable diapers – and probably disposable clothing altogether – and quit flushing our waste down the toilet? That hardly makes sense. We have wise, environmentally safe and inexpensive ways to treat our sewage water (remember, it only costs about $17.00 for the TOTAL water of laundering one child’s diapers for 2 1/2 years!). Further, water is a naturally renewing resource – remember the “water cycle” diagrams we all came to know and love in our 5th grade science courses?”

Links:
The Diaper Drama – Environment
The environmental impact of diapers [includes information on the environmental impact of materials used to create cloth diapers, bleached cotton, etc]

Why are cloth diapers healthier for my baby?
Disposable diapers contain a super absorbant chemical inside their plastic casing called sodium polyacrylate, which pulls fluid away from the baby’s skin and holds it inside the diaper. This chemical causes allergic reactions, was removed from tampons after being linked to toxic shock syndrome, is lethal to to some animals on inhalation, and lab testing [when injected] has shown it to cause haemorrhage, cardiovascular failure and death.
Dioxin, a byproduct of the bleaching process, is the most toxic of cancer-linked chemicals according to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Even in barely detectable amounts it has been known to cause liver disease, immune system supression and genetic damage in lab animals. It can also cause birth defects. No level of dioxin has been established as safe for human exposure. Every American has a measurable amount in their body, and its half-life is seven years. Over thirty pounds of it are released every year.
The FDA regularly receives complaints from illness or injury associated with the usage of disposable diapers, this includes babies pulling the diapers apart and ingesting pieces, skin being torn from the tabs, plastic melting into the skin, dizziness, rashes, headaches and many other problems.

“In 1987, the Sunday Democrat and Chronicle published news about the new Pampers Ultra. The new gel they used caused severe skin irritations, oozing blood from perineum and scrotal tissues, fever, vomiting, and staph infections in babies. Employees in Pampers factories suffered from tiredness, female organ problems, slow-healing wounds and weight loss. According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 54% of one-month old babies using disposable diapers had rashes, 16% had severe rashes. A survey of Procter & Gamble’s own studies show that the incidence of diaper rash increases from 7.1 percent to 61 percent with the increased use of throwaway diapers, great for manufacturers of diaper rash medicines. Widespread diaper rash is a fairly new phenomenon that surfaced along with disposable diapers. Reasons for more rashes include allergies to chemicals, lack of air, higher temperatures because plastic retains body heat, and babies are probably changed less often because they feel dry when wet.”

This chemical remains in the diapers today.

In 2000 a German study linked male infertility to the use of disposable diapers. The scrotum hangs away from the body to keep it cool – high temperatures reduce sperm count and motility. This study found that during diapering years the scrotal temperature was significantly higher, and in some the natural cooling system was completely abolished.

Even the dyes in disposable diapers have been linked to health problems similar and just as serious as the ones mentioned above.

As far as the sanitation issue, studies have shown that disposable and cloth diapers are equally sanitary. As far as spreading germs what matters is not what the diaper is made of but how it and the baby are handled. Hand-washing being the most influencial factor.

Isn’t cloth diapering a lot of work?
Cloth diapering is no more work then disposable. When baby needs to be changed you grab a diaper (with cloth, you’d probably grab a cover too), take off the dirty diaper, wipe and put it in the pail (shaking off any solid waste into the toilet. Breastfed baby poop, before solid foods are introduced, will dissolve completely in water and does not need to be shaken off). Put the new diaper on and off baby goes. Twice a week you either drag the garbage to the curb, or pick up the pail and dump the contents in the washing machine.
Fitted diapers do not need to be pinned and are fastened with either velcro (Aplix, touch tape, etc) or snaps. These usually require a cover which can be made of waterproof or water resistant fabrics like PUL, nylon or vinyl or absorbant fabrics like wool, hemp or fleece. Covers either fasten on the sides, front, or pull-on like underwear.
All-in-one diapers have a waterproof outer layer and do not require a cover. The downside to using AIO’s is that they are usually more expensive then buying fitteds. Normally people purchase four or five to use as ‘nighttime’ diapers.

What about when I go out?
Most parents pack extra pants when they go out with baby because with any diaper leakage is a concern. Some parents prefer to use AIO’s when they go out to minimize the risk of moisture wicking onto clothes, and any dirty diapers and wipes are stashed in a plastic bag and dumped in the pail once you get home. Because disposable diapers do not breathe, the smell is stronger. Dirty cloth diapers stashed securely in a bag do not stink terribly (neither do they smell like roses!) and should not be a hassle. When cloth diapers smell badly it indicates a problem with the way you wash them, not the diaper itself.
(Personally I find that a regular fitted diaper with a cover works just as well and do not have problems with leakage when we go out with a fresh diaper on.)

Won’t cloth diapers leak and stain clothes?
Leakage occurs in any diaper that does not fit or is not fastened properly. If you have problems with a cloth diaper leaking you should check the legs and back elastic to ensure a snug fit and either move up a size or down one if need be.
Brand new diapers made from natural cotton often need to be ‘treated’ as cotton produces an oil that repells moisture. This can be done one of two ways: you can wash on hot cycle about half a dozen times, or you can boil them for 10 minutes with a few drops of tea tree (and perhaps a drop or two of lavender as well). Cotton, especially cotton prefolds, will ‘fluff up’ after this and become softer and more absorbant. This is a good idea for any new diaper, as some fabrics will repell water thanks to an additive. Most WAHM diapers will have been washed before being sold and it’s unlikely you’ll need to take this step with them.

See also: Why are my cloth diapers leaking?!?

But I don’t want to fold and pin!
Some people prefer to use prefolds or flat diapers, which do need to be folded. But they don’t necessarily need to be pinned… diaper wraps can be purchased so all that needs to be done is to fold the diaper into thirds and place it inside the wrap, then fasten the sides (velcro). The wrap fits snugly around baby’s waist and legs and holds the prefold in place.
Also available is a stretchy, non-toxic and biodegradable device called a Snappi which effectively fastens a prefold without sharp edges.
If this is not your style, you have a few other choices.

Contoured Diapers:
These diapers are like prefolds, but skip the folding step. They are shaped like fitted diapers, but are simple in design. They have no elastic, velcro, or snaps. They require a waterproof cover.

Shameless plug alertFitted Diapers:
Have elastic legs and back (front as well if they are side-snapping). They are fastened with hook & loop or snaps and are similar in design to regular disposable diapers. They are highly adjustable and will fit a variety of baby body shapes within the weight bracket, some are even designed to fit from birth until potty training with the help of a bit of folding. Fitted diapers come in almost any print or colour and are the most popular type of cloth diaper to buy. They usually require a cover.

Pocket Diapers:
Are just like a fitted diaper, but without the thick absorbant layer in the middle. Instead they are hollow with an opening in the back which is stuffed with a ‘insert’ or prefold diaper. Before the diaper is put in the pail, the soaker is usually removed. This makes washing and drying very easy and fast. The added advantage of having a pocket diaper is how customizable the absorbancy level is. For little wetters, you need only use a cotton or flannel soaker, for overnights you can switch to something heavy duty like hemp, terry or wool. Pocket diapers are usually AIO’s; waterproof on the outside with a fleece interior layer which does not absorb but dries quickly and wicks moisture away from baby’s skin.

All-in-one (AIO):
Have all the advantages of a fitted diaper but with a waterproof outer layer so no cover is required. AIOs are a favorite of daycares, dads and baby sitters and require no extra steps or handling then a regular disposable.

What do I need to get started?
You’ll need about 18 – 24 diapers (a little more for the newborn period, as they wet more often), an equal or greater number of wipes, and 4-6 covers for every size. Liners, doublers and AIOs are optional but always nice to have. If you’re going with prefolds you’d probably want at least two dozen (closer to three), plus five or six covers. If you’re going with fitteds or AIOs you can probably get away with two dozen or less. You can also buy one-size diapers instead of getting all those in three different sizes.
You’ll need a diaper pail and optionally a ‘wet bag’ which is a waterproof bag for storing your diapers when travelling or if you’re using dry-pail method and don’t want to wash your pail every time. Just throw the wet bag right into the wash with your diapers.

Where can I buy cloth diapers?
All over the internet are places to buy cloth diapers. Most people prefer to buy WAHM (Work at home mom) because not only are the diapers kid-tested for quality and durability, but you’re helping to support another family. Some good sites to get started are Cloth Diapers N’ More, BareWare (Canadian-based), Born to Love (closed, but still has great resources) and Diaper Pin.
If you don’t have the cash to buy brand new you can call the companies and look for seconds (diapers with cosmetic errors like knotted stitching that cannot be sold for retail value), find places that trade or sell second-hand diapers (like Orange Starfish), there are also many places online to find diaper swaps or trades. Ebay is an inexhaustable resource for both new and used cloth diapers at good prices.

Buying second hand, is that really safe?
Yes! After you wash a diaper once, it’s used – that doesn’t mean you’d throw it away. Diapers that have been well cared-for will have no rips, stains or tears and the fasteners and elastics will still be in good condition. A good quality used diaper will not look worn. Sanitation is not an issue, but if you are concerned you can wash them several times on hot, or boil them with some tea tree oil to kill any germs.

How do I wash cloth diapers?
Washing methods vary from person to person and depends a lot on the time you want to take.
There are two basic methods: wet pail and dry pail. Wet pail is when you have a diaper pail that is full of water with some tea tree oil and baking soda added. Each time you change a dirty diaper, you stick it in the pail until it’s full and then dump the whole thing in the wash. Having them soak is like pre-treating stains, and since you won’t ever go longer then 3-5 days before a wash there’s no risk of mildew.
Dry pail is pretty self-explainitory, but often requires an extra cycle or two on the wash.

You will need: Baking soda, white vinegar, and some safe detergent.
Do not use soap, bleach, borax or fabric softener on your diapers. Soap causes build-up which makes your diapers smelly, discoloured and less absorbant. Beach and borax will break down the fibres in your diapers and reduce absorbancy and their lifespan. Fabric softener creates a waterproof layer which will cause moisture to bead off.
Safe detergents are free of whitening enzymes and phosphates. Some good choices are All-Free or Ivory. Any hypoallergenic and/or cheap detergent is likely to be good as well.

This is the method we use:

Step #1:  Fill up the machine with cold water and half a cup of baking soda, agitate for a moment or two and then let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Drain the water and start your regular wash method. Baking soda removes the urine smell and is very effective in keeping whites and colours bright.
If you don’t want to do an overnight soak method, you can simply do a short cold wash cycle with baking soda.
Step #2: Fill the machine with hot water and about half the amount of detergent that is called for on the box. Optionally you can add a scoop of oxyclean or another cloth diaper-specific agent.
Step #3: Rinse with cold water and 1/2 a cup of white vinegar. This restores the PH balance, helps reduce build-up and works as a fabric softener [Why use vinegar?]
Step #4: Rinse again with cold water. This makes sure any residue or vinegar is completely out of the diapers.

Using Baking Soda and Vinegar in the wash cycles is optional, but most people like to do it at least every once in a while to help keep their diapers looking/smelling/feeling good. When using baking soda, include vinegar in the rinse to make sure the PH balance is equalized otherwise you might end up with diaper rash. [Baking Soda, Washing Soda and PH Balance]

For a compact and simple wash routine simply wash on hot and rinse on cold on the highest water setting.

Dry in the dryer, or on a line. PUL covers should be hang-dried, and AIOs will have a longer life if hang dried as well. Any wool covers need to be hand-washed with a special type of detergent, but can go as long as two weeks (or until soiled) before needing a treatment as they are very absorbant and naturally antimicrobial. [How to care for wool]
To sterilize your diapers you can boil them for ten minutes, wash on hot with some tea tree oil (10-12 drops in a full washing machine is enough!), dry in the dryer or in direct sunlight.

Cloth diapers are not as much work as you’d think they are – in fact they’re barely any work at all! Cloth diapers are a safe, cheap, easy and healthy alternative to disposables (and are even Dad-proof).
The only friendly warning any veteran cloth diapering mom would be heard to give is how easily you will become addicted. With all those cute prints, colours, shapes, sizes, names and of course models… it’s too easy to become a collector.

— Babs

Comments

comments

Categories: Uncategorized

111 Comments

  • azdesertrose says:

    Do you have any good sources for cloth diapers? I need to assemble some as a baby shower gift for a friend who wants to do cloth diapers, and it’s been nearly two decades since I had to fool with diapers so I have no clue.

    Thanks! I hope everyone is well. 🙂

  • I love this essay. I’m having my second child in December and this post is helping me with a lot of my questions as I did not CD with my first.

    thank you.

  • fathomed says:

    I found this entry through a link in a comment looking through the cloth diapering tags in and many of my questions are answered about cloth diapering now. I really appreciated how you even took the time to explain the different methods of how to keep a diaper pail, wet or dry, and you mentioned that bleach would wear diapers out faster. The information was all very useful. I’ll be part-time cloth diapering only, because I think it’ll be hard in some aspects for me to do it 24-7, but at least I’ll be doing what I can do help the enviornment and save money and this post definitely gave me a lot of the know how to decide that I do want to do that. I’ll be adding this post to my memories!

    Thanks again!

  • fathomed says:

    I found this entry through a link in a comment looking through the cloth diapering tags in and many of my questions are answered about cloth diapering now. I really appreciated how you even took the time to explain the different methods of how to keep a diaper pail, wet or dry, and you mentioned that bleach would wear diapers out faster. The information was all very useful. I’ll be part-time cloth diapering only, because I think it’ll be hard in some aspects for me to do it 24-7, but at least I’ll be doing what I can do help the enviornment and save money and this post definitely gave me a lot of the know how to decide that I do want to do that. I’ll be adding this post to my memories!

    Thanks again!

  • harinakshi says:

    I’d just like to say, thank you. I was linked here from my pregnancy community and I’m about 90%+ sure I’ll be using cloth diapers this time around. You answered all the questions and concerns I had about using cloth since with my son, I had to use cloth diapers for a period of time and it was the old fashioned fold, pin, cover and it was horrible.

  • First I want to say that I was referred here by a friend () who I think was referred through .

    I just want to say thank you SOOOOOOOOOOO much for writing and sharing this. I even added it to my memories for future reference! Ever since my friend decided to CD (and I’ve recently ran into new friends who CD) I’ve been very curious about CDing myself. I just recently had my 2nd child who was born 5 weeks early (he’s almost 7 weeks now). I found this essay and the comments to be very helpful and informative as I knew NOTHING about cloth before reading this. Now that I’ve read it I’m excited to start cloth diapering (Can’t wait to start buying!)! CDing is now something that I at least want to try especially since I never heard about it when my 1st child was in diapers (he’s almost 4 now). Thanks again for the much needed and helpful information!!! ♥

    ~ Christina

  • Wow, this is excellent. Well done.

    We started using disposables when my first child was born, but we only used them for a few weeks as he was getting so sore and we realized it was a reaction to the gels in the disposables. We done some research and bought some Bum Genius. We’ve already saved about $1.5k and as we now have a second baby that is going to increase drastically.
    Not just the financial savings but my son has never been happier in the cloth diapers. He is 15 months old and since going to cloth he has had one minor case of diaper rash which cleared up within 24 hours.
    He also started sleeping longer when we went cloth as they absorb more urine and do not swell up which causes discomfort.

    Can I put a link to this research in my own profile as I think it is a good resource?

  • wyckhurst says:

    Hi,

    I see this has been asked before. I get a lot of traffic to my site with people considering cloth but not completely convinced. Your essay is the best there is. May I reprint it? (giving proper credit of course!) I’ll link/credit however you would like.

    Thanks so much!!!

    Suzanne

    • admin says:

      Sure you can. If you’re just showing friends just tell them where it came from, but if it’s being printed or handed out to people/clients then I’d ask for my real name and web reference to be put on it. 🙂

      • wyckhurst says:

        Okay, that sounds great. What exact reference would you like me to put on a printed paper. (You can email me at wyckhurst@gmail.com if you’d rather not say here.) And if I copied it and put it in my blog or a read-page on my site, how would you like to be credited? I am, of course, happy to credit you any and all ways you prefer. 🙂

  • junetobemoma says:

    wipes

    Thank you so very much. This one article has answered more than 5 days of fruitless searching through engines which simply dumped me into on-line cloth stores. Yes, I need to buy diapers, but I also need to know how to use them!! I was beginning to get very frustrated. I do have one question: Do you have any advice on cloth/reusable wipes? What can I put on them so I’m not just smearing soap on peanut’s bottom and leaving it there? Ok.. two question.

    • admin says:

      Re: wipes

      Thank you! 🙂
      For wipes I just used those 10-for-a-dollar washclothes from the dollar store and just wet them down. You can also buy wipe solution that has natural soaps and essential oils for cleansing and fighting bacteria (in a good way).
      You can buy flannel or terry wipes on almost every site that offers diapers for sale and they are certainly sturdier than thin little washclothes from the dollar store, but if you’re on a budget the washclothes will do just fine. 🙂

      If you’re handy with a sewing machine just take 8×8 squares of double-layered flannel or terrycloth and serge/zigzag the edges. Instant wipe! 🙂

  • saribeth says:

    two and a half years later…lol.
    I just wanted to thank you for posting this. It’s so easy to read even as a “CD newbie” and has all the good stuff I want my friends to know when they ask why I’m CDing. I’ve linked so many people here I felt a “thank you” was necessary.

  • angelovernh says:

    I love this article and you have swayed me! I am 20 weeks pregnant and was going to use disposables, but had been wondering about cloth ones.

    FYI – The link to “Why are my cloth diapers leaking” doesn’t work. Also, the “fitted diaper” image is broken and doesn’t exist any more.

  • jexia says:

    “Why use cloth” typo

    “Beach and borax” should be “Bleach and borax”.

    I figure since this gets cross-referenced all over the place, you might like to know 🙂

  • I just added this to my user info. 🙂

    Question: Can you cut out detergent totally and just use baking soda? If so, how much?

    • admin says:

      I don’t think they’d get as clean, but I know some people use washing soda.
      I prefer Sportwash myself. I use about a tablespoon’s worth and I can get a few month’s worth of loads out of one $8 bottle.

  • cynica says:

    I see it’s been asked before, but I would really love to use this amazing article on saucytots.com for those people who may be considering but aren’t yet quite sold on cloth.

  • This was a very interesting read. I’m so tired of sposies (my first son has just begun to potty teach himself at 3.5 years) and my second boy is 3.5 months. I don’t want to be buying diapers for another three years!

    I was thinking about just buying all AIO diapers for the convenience factor (I’m in college and the baby will be in home daycare at 11 months) even if it costs a bit more money. How long does each size last? How many size diapers are there? Obviously it’s different for every baby, but at what weight does each size fit until? Would I have to buy a whole new stash every 6 months to keep up with his growth?

    Thanks!

    • admin says:

      At 3.5 months you can probably get into one-size-fits-all diapers, in which case you’ll probably be using them until he potty-learns.
      Other than that, the length of each size depends on how your baby is growing. Thin babies may fit a diaper longer.
      My daughter outgrew mediums at 7 months, then grew back into them when she was 1.5 because she lost a bunch of her pudge.

      The standard sizes are: newborn, small, medium and large. Sometimes XL or Toddler, which are the same thing.
      One-Size diapers generally fit small through large, and sometimes small through XL depending on the brand. There’s no real weight until… because it depends on the make of the diaper. You’d have to experiment.

  • sparklesnort says:

    wow. this was an incredible resource to have.

    i didn’t think we’d be able to CD, but we lucked out and got a washer and dryer last weekend, and i’m thinking this might work after all!

    i’m ordering my first batch of prefolds tomorrow, and am really excited to see how things go. thank you so much for taking the time to do this. i really appreciate it.

    -leslie

  • squermster says:

    Well done! I haven’t read all of it since I’m already going to cloth diaper, but I’m going to memory it! 😀
    I’m also really glad to see this being posted around the communities. 😀
    More people need to see how much better it is to CD, even if it’s overwhelming at first (it was for me, going in cold). This would have been SO helpful to me a month and a half ago! hehehe

    • admin says:

      It’s never too late to switch. 🙂
      Thanks for the compliment! And btw, where did you come in from?

      • squermster says:


        I think I’ve also seen you in the breastfeeding community, but I’m still a lurker there, since I like being well informed. 🙂 Maybe _pregnant_ too…

        And I’ve just joined your natural parenting group, more for information at this point. My FH is a die hard meat and potatoes Aussie…I feel like I’m banging my head against a brick wall on some things. Successes so far: brown foods. hehe He said the other day that he loved my brown rice. I just about fell over in the store. heh (I make it with vegetable broth instead of just water.)

        I came from Chicago – where it was very easy for me to eat organic and mostly vegetarian….
        To a place where I can’t even find black beans at the grocery store. :/

        Now that I’m pregnant, I crave red meat and the man is thrilled. *eye roll*

        • admin says:

          Craving red meat may be because you’re not eating enough protein. Have you tried the brewer’s diet? I’m vegetarian, so while pregnant I made myself protein shakes with Proteins+ (no sugar) every day with some soy milk, yogurt and a banana. Tres yummy.

          My hubby used to be a meat&potatoes man from S. Cali, but now he’s a veggie. 😉 He also makes brown rice with vegetable stock instead of water – it tastes wonderful! We use this organic stuff called “Better than bouillon” – it’s great!

          • squermster says:

            I’ll have to check it out! I’m having issues with dairy lately, but only the past two weeks. I used to have milk, yogurt and ice cream regularly (it’s summer here) and now the thought of yogurt makes my stomach crawl. I drink milk with my peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches to make sure I get the calcium because me, the former, I MUST HAVE spinach or broccoli with every lunch/dinner can’t eat them now.

            But I’m definitely going to go check out this diet. What kind of protein do you put in your shake? Is it a powdered supplement or…um, well that’s all I can think of right now. heh (this is why I “failed” at vegetarianism. heh)

            • admin says:

              Yes, it’s powder. It’s derived from wheat I believe. I wanted to find a non-soy one because at first I was using dairy. I also liked it because it was sweetened with stevia instead of refined sugars or chemicals.

              Also, dairy and soy both contain protein, so the yogurt and milk I added in both helped. 😉
              It was especially useful on days where nausea was bad enough that I could barely eat one meal a day.

              • squermster says:

                I’m thinking the shake is the way to go for lunches for me at this point – it was like over 80 degrees at 9:30 this morning – it’s got to be about 90 right now (at noon).

                I may just go make a fruit smoothie right now, since I have strawberries and blueberries! I’m definitely going to get some protein powder when we’re up at the shops tonight. It will help a lot, I’m sure. I’m really getting sick of red meat, mentally. Even though my body’s like WHOO STEAK! heh
                My FH would eat it every day if I let him. :/ Except for when he wants chicken curry. 🙂

  • helper_no1 says:

    thankyou for this – I want to use cloth nappies, but have no idea where to go or start – this has given me so much information. thankyou 🙂

  • OK this is the bit I don’t get…please forgive a guy who has never seen any kind of diaper and will see plenty next year! So the cloth part has a plastic liner on the outside – I get that part. Do they have disposable liners? I’m thinking something akin to a sanitary pad, or is the idea they just make the cloth part stinky/soggy and that gets “shaken out” and washed appropriately?

    Thanks!

    • admin says:

      You can buy flushable liners from Kushies, but for the most part it’s just removable cloth.
      Until baby eats solid food, their poops don’t smell and dissolve completely in water. You don’t really need to ‘dunk and swish’, but some people prefer it (I do, because I’m a neat freak).

  • 2thirteen says:

    I wanted to ask if it was okay to use all or some of this info in a site I am going to be starting soon as a part of a campaign I am starting to get more parents aware of the importance of cloth diapering. I will of course credit you as the source but I really wanted to see if it was okay first. 🙂

  • CD, BF, etc!

    I came here from a link to a link, and have added you. We have similar likes & interests, and I would love to stalk your journal! I have a 2 month old daughter that I wear when she lets me, BF and am about to start CD.

    Good luck on your pregnancy, and the signing! Soon as my boob hog gets old enough, I intend to start teaching her as well 🙂

    Gwynne (& Adara)

    • admin says:

      Re: CD, BF, etc!

      Hehe, welcome! 🙂
      Congrats on your boob hog. 😉

      • Re: CD, BF, etc!

        Hey, just noticed you like Inuyasha too! I can’t seem to get enough, and get DH to find the movies (watch them in Japanese) that haven’t been released here yet.

        Oswari!

        • admin says:

          Re: CD, BF, etc!

          I <3 Inuyasha.
          We watched the series in original with english subtitles. The dub is awful. I have a first edition manga, but it’s only in Japanese and I can’t read that.

          I have seen all the movies in original Japanese (with english subtitles) except for the most recent which came out last December. I tried to download it, but it had no subtitles!

          • Re: CD, BF, etc!

            Back to cloth diapers…is there much difference in using a diaper with snaps, or one with velcro? IE Fuzzi Bunz or Happy Heinys? I’m going to get some but don’t know which!

            • admin says:

              Re: CD, BF, etc!

              Velcro is faster, but it’s also easier for baby to undo when they get older. At the same time… it’s only about two or three months of time from undoing velcro to learning to undo snaps, so you’ve only got a little bit of headway on that.

              Velcro can cause diaper chains in the wash if there’s no laundering tabs (and sometimes even if there are). Snaps can get very hot fresh out of the dryer and you can’t boil dipes with snaps on them.
              Velcro wears down faster and can pill (people usually prefer Aplix over velcro).
              Snaps can chip and get sharp edges if they aren’t industrial strength, and sometimes even if they are.

              It’s really up to personal preference.

              I personally boycott fuzzi bunz, and I have one HH that I traded for. I enjoy the HH but I prefer my fitted diapers over pocket AIOs actually. They’re cuter and easier to deal with. I hate fishing out a sopping wet pocket liner before I put the dipe in the pail.

  • meadowrue says:

    What an amazing article. I stumbled across it by accident with no real intention of considering this option. (I had a negative experience with a diaper service long ago.) Now I really want to make the switch. Kudos.

    • admin says:

      Good for you! I’m glad it made you think. 🙂
      I’ve actually never used a diaper service, nor have I personally known anyone who has used one. They tend to use pretty harsh cleaners and aren’t that great on the environment, though. I can’t imagine it’s any different then doing it yourself except you do two extra loads of laundry!

      • meadowrue says:

        The Diaper Service diapers they sent out after the first month were in terrible shape, frayed and some even ripped so I imagine that their cleaning process is quite harsh. The instructions you gave for cleaning seem so easy and straightforward. Yet another use for vinegar. Plus, the diapers I’ve seen on this site and others are so cute! *heads off to e-bay*

        • admin says:

          Yeah, diaper services often use bleach, it tends to destroy the diapers rather quickly.
          There are some VERY cute diapers out there. I really like baby softwraps for nighttime, and I’m actually quite fond of Kushies (which are even sold at Sears). They don’t last as long, though.

          For lots of good reccomendations, try the community!

  • wyckhurst says:

    Thanks for writing this. I have suddenly decided to give cloth a look (I just had my fourth baby and I’m sick of buying diapers, filling up my garbage can with them, and they leak anyway (!!!!). I am totally a newbie and while I skimmed the environmental argument (I already agree cloth is better that way) the how-to was a good primer. Thank you for taking the trouble to write this. I may send it to my husband to convince him. 😀

  • thank you! we are making the switch to cloth and this really helped!

  • brightsoul says:

    i heart you for you all of your wonderful, helpful posts!!!

    i was going to look in the memories of
    to get the basics down because i did not use cloth last time

    i was very pleased to see this post, instead of having to rummage through memories i can just refer to this.

    thanks!

  • violetmaiden says:

    Um…. since you are pretty much an expert in everything I am trying to do for my daughter… I was wondering if you could help me out…

    I am hell bent on doing cloth diapers. I know it is heathier for my daughter and less costly. My question is…

    How do you use them!?!?! I know the general *idea* of how to use them…. but I have never used them myself or even seen anyone use them. So I am completely clueless as to how to fold them properly when putting them on my daughter, etc.

    Also, what do I do when I am out in public and have to change her diaper? Do I carry a Rubbermaid container with me in my diaper bag at all times to stuff the diaper in there or what? I have been thinking about this one in particular because it’s one issue I haven’t been able to argue greatly with my family. They all ask me what am I going to do if I am grocery shopping and she poops…. and I am left there going… “Um, I guess I will figure that out when the time comes.”

    Please help!!!

    • admin says:

      Relax! 🙂 Cloth diapering isn’t that much different then using disposibles. You don’t have to fold diapers anymore, you can use fitted or all-in-ones! Prefolds are quite cheap, but personally I much prefer my fitteds. Fitted diapers look exactly like disposible diapers and seal with snaps or velcro. They are elastic around the back, legs and sometimes in the front. You put a cover over top of them to prevent wicking through the fabric once they are very wet. With an all-in-one, they have a cover built-in and it’s essentially a “cloth disposible”.

      When you’re out in public with disposibles, what would you do? Have a diaper bag. Change baby’s diaper and throw the diaper away. So, instead you’ll change the baby’s diaper, shake the poop off (if applicable) and put it in a wet bag (I just use grocery bags, because I have them by the millions) roll it up and put it in a pocket in the diaper bag until we get home. When I get home I put the diaper in the pail.
      You can buy wet bags ALL OVER cloth diapering sites, and Ebay. They are made of the same material that the outside of all-in-one diapers are made of. Usually a laminate, with a drawstring.

      And, don’t argue with your family. Just do it. 🙂 Show them how easy and fun it is by setting an example. Your family may not realize that there are alternatives from the cloth diapering they knew 20, 30 or more years ago!

      PS. If you really want to have prefolds, folding isn’t hard at all! http://www.borntolove.com/folding.html

      • violetmaiden says:

        I would *LOVE* to get the AIO’s, but unfortunately, in my home town, I have yet to find them. Instead I am left with pre-folded (or at least I think they are, I am going to have to check again). I would go online and buy a few AIO’s for when she is with family and they don’t want to deal with the other type, but unfortunately, I can not afford the online bill. I have been looking, but I am pretty tight for money and I had to stop working and my fiance’s check goes pretty much straight to bills and the few baby items we can get here and there. (Plus, no credit card)

        I have been finding just your plain ol’ white prefolds in the stores around my area, but today I found a pack of cute butterflies and daisies that I grabbed…. problem is, no one will see the cuteness with the little things that go over them…

        I am so frustrated. I want to do the best for her, but it seems soooo overwhelming to me. I don’t know what to get, and what I can get, I don’t know if I am going to be able to knwo what I am doing. I wish I could go with the velcro or snap diapers, but I can’t find them anywhere in my town!!! So I have to go with the prefolds and pins. Which, I am clueless to.

        Anyway, I guess eventually I will figure it out. I have 15 more weeks to calm down and prepare for her. I just keep wondering if I can do it….

        • admin says:

          Have you tried Ebay? I bought my entire stash on Ebay, with no credit card (money order, cheque, bidpay, etc).

          I also sew cloth diapers and I could make you a few at a time and send them over, or offer you a layaway plan. 🙂

          • violetmaiden says:

            See, I have been wondering if there are cloth diaper plans out there? My grandma is an amazing sewer! My first crib set was from her, my first bathing suit, my first (5 or 6) halloween costumes.. the list goes on. She is even doing my daughters crib set and making her first outfit home (as well as many many blanket and throws). She is only 67 and looks about 45 and acts about 30 *lol*… ( I tell you this because most people think of grandparents as old and decripid and ready to kick the bucket, and this, she is not.)

            So do you know where I could find a few cloth diaper plans? If she could make us cloth diapers, I would be absolutely relieved that at least I coudl focus that saved money on other stuff, like more baby clothes.

            As far as e-bay, I am looking right now. I have no clue how to use it though. My mom used it a year or tow ago for X-Mas presents for my ex and that is about as much as I know. I have found a few things on there, but I don’t know how to actually pay for anything, so I haven’t made any bids. I am hesitant to ask my mom for help, because she may be a little grossed out by used diapers (she is a little weird like that). I am sure I could tell her used diapers are okay, but I doubt she would believe me.

            Are the diapers you make AIO’s? that is amazing that you are talented enough to do something like that. How did you come about that? I plan on being a stay at home mom, so that would be something very fun and entertaining for me to do. Not to mention a little extra money made at local flea markets and such.

            • admin says:

              I can make AIO’s, but my PUL is limited. I just practiced and got better at it. 😉 I sell under the name “Bebe loco”.

              On ebay, do a search like this “cloth diapers, -adult” (the ‘-adult’ part prevents you from getting fetish stuff in your search results).

              I can email you a series of patterns and stuff. What’s your email?

              • violetmaiden says:

                my e-mail address is: lunar_star_drops@yahoo.com

                can you find the material in regualr material stores? Or do you have to order them? It would be so nice to be able to make them and save some money.

                My mom and I found some AIO’s on Ebay and at a great deal. There are like 12 of them and I think they are band new. But everytime we bid, we get out bid by someone. My mom won’t pay more then 50, and of course, I don’t have the money to encourage her, so I hope we get it. But, if not, there is always next time.

                Thanks so much for your advise and encouragement. You are a wonderful person to talk to. You are so full of knowledge and so helpful! If it weren’t for people like you, I am sure there would be a lot of uneducated parents out there formula feeding and using disposables. YOU ARE GREAT!!

                • admin says:

                  Thanks. 🙂
                  12 AIO’s will go over $50, guaranteed. Unless they are crappy AIO’s. The average AIO is between $14 and $21 a piece. Fitted diapers are often under $10 a piece (brand new).

                  You CAN’T bid on a diaper stash until the last minute. Otherwise you WILL get outbid, don’t bother, it just raises the price higher. All the ones I managed to win I won by bidding in the last 20 seconds of the auction.

                  You have to special order PUL, you can’t find it in regular stores. But the material to make fitted diapers is just in regular fabric stores.

                  • violetmaiden says:

                    We ended up winning the auction at a grand total of 63.00!! YEY! Plus it came with a bonus diaper and blanket. Soooo cute!

                    I am still new to the cloth diaper stuff… what is PUL? I know it is something on the diaper, but is it an abbreviation for something? And do I find that online and/or on Ebay??

                    Thanks so much for everything!

                    • admin says:

                      PUL = polyurethane laminate. You can find it on Ebay, or in clothdiapering co-ops. It’s fabric on one side, and waterproof on the other. Sometimes waterproof on both sides.

                    • violetmaiden says:

                      what do I put in the search box.. I tried just putting PUL, but I am getting already made outer diaper covers. I just want the material… should I be putting something else in the search box??

                    • admin says:

                      Try “PUL Fabric”

  • Could I have permission to print out this essay to give to clients of Miracle Diapers? (MiracleDiapers.com is a non-profit organization that supplies cloth diapers to low-income families that can not afford the start-up cost) I’ve been looking for information, but I love how it’s all compiled here.

    Thanks!
    Ruth

  • I think you’ve got me convinced/converted. I’m broke as the Liberty Bell, and it sounds much much better. 🙂

  • the_leh says:

    LOL you ARE famous for this essay, the longest time ago someone linked me to it…before I was friended to your journal. In fact when I first read your journal I saw “a cache of cross posts” and was like “hmmm I’ve heard that before…”

    I was just reffering to this post today to read again about washing diapers, and lol, I happened to notice it was you who wrote it!

    Great information!

  • tellinellen says:

    thanks for this great essay!

    i’m definitely going to bookmark it and email it to my mom, who mocks my plans constantly. 🙂

  • tanyalita says:

    Thanks for the great essay.

    I am just 11 weeks but already thinking of how we are going to try to do things around here. I always figured I’d cloth diaper but now I’m convinced.

  • admin says:

    Yup, it’s alllll the same pipes.

  • crazy_talk23 says:

    thanks for this – i’m going to bookmark it and keep it for when we have a child (working on it)…

  • dadateacher says:

    My baby is due any day now and I was having a hard time deciding about the cloth diaper issue. I saw a link to this and it has helped me a great deal. Thanks!

  • sarakate says:

    What an excellent essay! You’ve done a wonderful job of pulling all the information together and presenting it in an easily digestible format.

  • misskerri says:

    posted a link to this post in , and I just want to say that I am very impressed with the way you compiled all the information. Some of it, of course, I had seen before, but this is a very good basic argument for cloth diapering. She’s right…you do indeed rock. 🙂

  • ectv says:

    I don’t think i’ve seen you there, but you should join clothdiapering or diaper_addicts or both, your expertise would be greatly apprecited for all the newbies i’m sure 🙂

    I keep seeing you on boobnazis, but I had no idea you cded too! 🙂 ROCK!

    • admin says:

      Hehe. We’re generally very crunchy. I also co-mod the community

      For some reason I’ve never joined either of those diapering communities. Perhaps I should take a look. 😉

      • ectv says:

        I’m amazed just how crunchy i’ve become (so has my hub…lol)

        ‘course, I went through this whole psudo hippie phase in highschool, so maybe thats why 🙂

        I always feel out of place with natural-family kind of groups though 🙁
        I don’t cosleep (my hub has literally rolled over and crushed me once a week since we met. He smooshed me good when I was like 9mths pg) because of my hub, but C sleeps RIGHT next to us in his crib, within arms reach…
        I’m not a vegan, mainly because i’m a very picky eater to start with, and I’m borderline anemic and can’t process iron from supplements, and I don’t eat enough iron rich veggies to comepensate. I went vegie for like 6mths before getting so so sick…it was bad juju. 🙁
        We still use paper products, my hub would crap if i took away his precious papertowels. LOL.

        But on the other hand, i am pretty crunchy…make babyfoods, CD, BF, ect.
        And i’m a very touchy feel attached kind of parent anyways 🙂

        I think the biggest sticking point for me is the fact SO many NF kind of moms seem to be SAHMs, and that really bothers me 🙁
        I have enough guilt over the fact I *have* to work, there is just no way out of that right now. It’s 4am here and I just got home from working late because my email server is down (has been all week) and i’ve been working my arse off trying to fix it…and i’m stuck. I think i’ve logged 140hrs in 10 days, or less. 🙁

        I’m terribly jealous of SAHMs, but at the same time it brings out ALOT of my feelings of guilt over working. Today I accidently left my bottle of fenugreek (my supp is like nothing with no sleep, not eating, not drinking enough water because i’m pounding caffine to stay away…ect) on the couch and either I or the cat knocked it to the floor. I was gone like 30 seconds getting something in the kitchen and I could see Corran the entire time.
        I come back and somehow the bottle is OPEN, and he’s shoving pills in his mouth.

        OMG, I just wanted to DIE, I felt so bad. I was desperately trying to pry the pill off the roof of his mouth and getting chunkc of powder out, and he’s gagging…

        And after the whole ordeal was over, all I could think was this happened because I havne’t been at home AT ALL the past 2 weeks, and I’ve missed him learning to be more agile…ect ect.
        Stupid, I know 🙁

        I got upset with my hubby for telling me that C has a new trick where he kneels infront of the toybox and starts pulling toys out, and how he does that at the sitters…
        *sob*

        It’s silly I let the fact most AP mommas I know of are SAHMs and let my own guilt factor into it 🙁

        • admin says:

          Don’t feel out of place. We have some members who are childless, aren’t AP, or particularly crunchy. We support “sympathizers” and curious bystanders. 😉 You’d be perfectly welcome!

          I’m not vegan either. I just recently went vegetarian because I’d been considering it for years but I don’t think that has much to do with my crunchiness factor…
          My hub rolls on me, too. 😉 He once rolled on babe, but she didn’t wake up and he zoomed right off. There’s just something deep within you that knows.

          I don’t absorb iron from supplements, either! I have a long, LONG history of big fat problems with my digestion and so on, too long to get into here – but it’s not surprising. Do you know what causes yours?

          I understand your guilt about working. Just recently someone brought up that topic (Pro-SAHM) on the board and I posted a long response about the difference between those who HAVE to work and do their damndest and those who honestly don’t care, and it’s not fair to lump them together. Sometimes working is making the best choice for the health of their family, but not the best for their heart, and the moms who know that grieve for it… ::HUGS::

          • ectv says:

            Aww, thanks 🙂
            That actually made me feel a little better 🙂

            The iron thing i’m sure has to do with genetics. My mom has extremely low BP, and very low iron. My sis and bro have the low iron issue too, altho they are much more normal on the bodytemp/bp side of things.

            I got the worst of all three things, i’m not technically anemic, but i’m VERY borderline and all the docs who’ve tested me don’t believe thats normal for me :/
            They kept trying to give me iron when I was PG, and just the iron in a kids chewable vitamin was making me horribly constipated :/
            Even prenates with colace (citrical) were making me horribly constipated. I would have to stop taking them for 2 days or so, have like 3 days of massive pooping (i’m surprised I didn’t end up with the ‘roids!) then I would start vitamins again and have explosive poo for another day or two from the colace kicking in first…

            Horrible vicious cycle 🙁
            I stopped taking them around 5mths pg, and around 7mths started eating ALL the time. We are talking about someone who used to FORGET to eat, or at most ate one meal, and I would eat until I felt like puking, and then look for more.
            It was horrible. I just had this empty feeling…

            I started taking prenates again on a whim, and sure enough…I stopped eating so much :/
            Course, i’d already gained TONS of weight by then. Between just having a superchunk, being “too thin” according to my hub (I think i’m fat…) having LOTS of waterweight…
            I was atleast 60lbs over 2-3 weeks before he was born! 🙁

            I think it had alot to do with the iron, because I KNOW thats the first thing that drops on me when I don’t eat red meat atleast once every 2 weeks or so…so i’d imagine it was very low during pregnancy.
            Other things too i’m sure. My diet sucks really. I just refuse to eat SOOO many things 🙁
            I like cheese, bread, potatoes, and thats about it :/
            I think my veggie list is er, maybe 6 things?
            I don’t even like most fruits. I’d never even HAD any melon besides watermelon before I met my hubby. My mom is extremly picky too, and kinda rubbed off on us, because you really learn early habits from your parents.
            I’m hoping I can change that for C. I don’t want him being stuck being so very picky.
            I try some of the foods I don’t like, but never having ALOT of things, there is just like a whole palette of foods I can’t tolerate. Bah.

            I’ll eat melon if I’m forced to, apples, bananas, grapes are OK, and thats it. I won’t touch any other fruits. Heck, the SMELL of pinapple makes me want to yak.

            And my poor hubby LOVES like everything, and can’t eat it because I won’t eat it so it’s a waste, or if I can eat it, he cant because he’s allergic 🙁
            Like melon. He can’t eat any, nor bananas.
            So I don’t buy them for myself, because it’s like taunting him..

            Ah, well, atleast I like tofu!
            I realized too late it’s like the PERFECT pregnancy food!
            I had Pre-E and they kept telling me “no salt, no carbs, no fat, no this and that”
            I kept asking “WTF? what am I supposed to eat?”
            And the only answer I got was water, fish, veggies. And I don’t EAT that. Grr.

            It’s not a matter of “gee, I don’t like this” it’s a projectile vomit kind of deal. I can force feed myself if I HAVE to, but I would be gagging and retching at the table, and thats just not pretty 🙁

            • admin says:

              My iron storage is just about zero, but the iron within my body is in acceptable levels. Which means I just have to eat regular amounts of iron to keep that number averaged… but I can’t store any.

              When I was pregnant, my midwife gave me this tincture for iron to see if it could get some into me, and it really did work! I have no idea what was in it, but it smells and tastes horrid.
              It took me MONTHS to be able to get it down properly. Every time I put it in my mouth I’d retch.

              A lot of people with iron problems are actually deficient in copper, have you tried getting more copper in your diet? B12? B6?

              I’m a picky eater too. I have sensory issues, and a lot has to do with how something feels.
              When I was younger I couldn’t eat anything but this Rx formula crap for years and years and years. And then goat’s milk, rice, bananas, water… I was close to 8 before I started getting normal foods, and was in my mid-teens before I had a regular diet. I had severe allergies, absorbtion problems.
              I also have another issue you brought up: forgetting to eat. I’ve been told this may have to do either with my GHD/PD or my stomach problems. Whatever the reason I don’t get the message, and I eat on a schedule/routine instead. I rarely feel hungry
              Except when I was pregnant, then I felt hungry ALL THE TIME.

              • janaya says:

                found this link through breastfeeding i think, or pregnant, not sure which.

                awesome article, I’m going to send it to my husband.

                w/r/t iron absorbtion problems: i’ve struggled with that for years, as has my mom. it took a naturapath doing some extensive bloodwork to realize that a mild gluten intolerance is to blame – inflaming my bowels and hindering absorbtion of important nutrients, including iron.

                p.s. that gorgeous picture of you nursing always catches my breath everytime I see it. 🙂

                • admin says:

                  Thank you. 🙂

                  I actually went to a naturopath for years looking for treatment for my iron problem. He gave me B12 shots in the butt for about 1.5 years. They did nothing, but they hurt like hell. :-X

        • misskerri says:

          Aww, Shan. I know I’ve sympathized with you about the working vs. stay at home thing in the past, but I am going to do it again. This comment left me a little teary-eyed, because I am right there with you. While I enjoy having the adult contact that comes with my job, I would so much rather stay home at this point. And the fact that I can’t tears into me, every morning when I leave him at the sitter’s. Every time I mention something new he is doing to the sitter and she tells me he’s been doing that for awhile. Sigh. Maybe one of these days, you and I (or maybe my hubby, in my case) will be able to stay home.

  • brightsoul says:

    thank you. a friend and i were just discussing this issue, as i swear i would cloth diaper my next child (if i have another) and she swears she wouldn’t. as you pointed…these are not the terrible things we wore as children (ugh…those rubber pants were the worst)…so yeah, thank you for this info…it came at a wonderful time.

    • admin says:

      You’re very welcome. 🙂
      When I first got pregnant my friend asked me, “Are you going to cloth diaper?” and I said no because I thought it was too much trouble. I’m glad I found otherwise though, because I love every minute of it!!

      • brightsoul says:

        my son is eight, and how i wish i had done things differently. oh well…there is maybe a next time;)
        and i did nurse my son, which i didn’t plan on doing, being a young mom. at least i have that, because nursing is the only way to go….though that also led to co-sleeping…and like i said…he’s eight. and guess where he still sleeps? heh.

        • admin says:

          Family bed is only a problem if you resent it. 🙂
          I slept in my mom’s bed a long time, and then went back to it when I was around 8 or 9 after a series of very traumatic events. I co-slept from then until age eleven, and ‘weaned’ myself by sleeping on the couch for months before finally going back to my own room. I needed it so much, and am eternally grateful that my mother welcomed me with open arms and plenty of love.

          Sounds like your house has lots of love to share. 😀

          • brightsoul says:

            i don’t resent it…but i am trying to wean him, so to speak. there were periods of time where he did fine in his bed, but for some reason or another, he’d come back to mine. i always loved it, but now he’s big. i know it will happen in good time, when it’s supposed to and we will both be able to accept it.

  • jbarbie23 says:

    AWESOME essay! I wanted to add one point about the water usage… you didn’t mention the water that is required to make a disposable diaper – for production of the actual diaper and the “gel”, and the processing and bleaching of the wood pulp. From start to finish, the manufacture of a disposable diaper uses more water than the 1/12 or 1/15th a load of laundry (depending on how many dipes you wash at once) that cleaning a cloth diaper requires. So even on water usage alone, cloth is friendlier!

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