Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Discovery of Cloth Diapers

Josey in her favorite pink cloth diaper.
To help keep me motivated to be a good stay at home mom, I read blogs by other stay at home moms. It’s nice to feel a sense of camaraderie even if I don’t really know these people. At least they know my struggles: a teething baby, a red shirt washed with the whites, burned cookies, and oil stains on a new polo shirt. Ok, so they aren’t major struggles, but when you put enough together in one day, it does get overwhelming.
One blog I read almost religiously is The Happy Housewife. Happy has 7 children, including a 1 year old. When she started blogging about the new babe’s cloth diapers, I had just discovered I was pregnant, and I was researching what was best for babies. I was intrigued by the new-fangled, fashionable pieces. The mom loved them, the baby loved them, they saved the environment, and they saved money over time. All of this sounded great. The only drawback was that they don’t always fit a newborn, so I decided to wait to purchase them until after my baby was born. The start up costs for cloth diapering can be a little overwhelming even though the overall cost of 2 years is much, much less than buying disposables, but I didn't want to spend the money before I needed the diapers. But I did intend to purchase them when Josey was big enough.
Then came life.
We had a lot of struggles when Josey was born. I was in labor 31 hours and still had to have an emergency c-section. She had to be kept in the hospital for a week, including a stint in the NICU at Baylor. I’ve had severe complications with my back. She suffered from milk protein allergies. Sometimes just making it through a day was more than we could handle. So in all this chaos, we used disposable diapers and forgot about cloth.
One day while placing my order on, I checked out the cloth diapers again. They had great reviews. So I started researching reasons why I should cloth diaper. I already knew they were money savers and eco-friendly, but I wanted to know if there were any benefits for the baby. That is what convinced me.
Disposable diapers have long been linked to increased likelihood for asthma because they off-gas chemicals. Since I knew Josey would have an increased risk for asthma since I’ve suffered from it, I didn’t want to fuel the fire. Disposables also increase the risk of diaper rash and they increase the need for diaper rash cream. This is where I was really convinced.
 At 4 months, Josey was a diagnosed with a problem (I won’t say where, but it’s covered by a diaper, so I’m sure you get the point). It was likely caused by a hormonal disruption.  It could be corrected, but we had to use a rather painful cream, and there was a chance it would come back. I started checking into the chemicals used in her diaper rash creams, using the Skin Deep database as one of my sources. And sure enough, several of the ingredients listed in her diaper rash creams were classified as “hormonal disruptors.” I was mortified. I had been trying to help my precious baby with toxic creams that were the cause of her problem. That was the last straw. I immediately ordered a dozen cloth diapers.
Josey has been wearing her cloth diapers for 3 weeks now, sans diaper cream, and she’s had no diaper rash and no sign of any reoccurring problem. Her skin is gorgeous, she’s happy, and I’ve prevented 50 gallons of trash from being taken to the landfill. We just ordered another 7 cloth diapers so I don’t have to wash as frequently, but even the washing isn’t that bad. After a couple times, it becomes habit, and you don’t even notice it. 
BumGenius 4.0 with hook and loop taps are as easy as disposable diapers.

I know cloth diapers aren’t an option for everyone, but if I can help others understand them, I would love to help. Leave me your questions or comments!

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