Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Steps Toward Sustainability: Cloth Diapering

If you know me at all, then you probably know that I've mastered the art of sticking my foot in my mouth over the past 30 years. Or maybe it's more that I quickly proclaim I will NEVER... only to find myself doing that very thing I just swore never to do. {Tail between legs kind of moment} So while I'm sure I'll find myself in this position again at one point or another, I've really taken extra caution to avoid such comments since I've become a mama. {I hope I never hear myself say My kid would never... Seriously. Maim me if I do.}

Growing up as the oldest of 7 kids in a home parented by a rather old-fashioned perspective, I begrudged each diaper change since they involved those blasted diaper pins! My fingers were always the sacrificial pin cushion. I figured I'd probably get in trouble for pricking one sibling or another as I tried to get the diaper tight enough to do its job without getting it so tight that I couldn't fit the pin between the skin and the diaper, so I was better off just sucking it up and dealing with a few drops of selflessly-spilled blood. {I'm pretty sure I earned a LOT of jewels for my crown in heaven!} Needless to say, I confidently proclaimed quite a few times that I would NEVER use cloth diapers on my kids! Disposable diapers were much more civilized. And afterall, aren't we supposed to be making forward progress?

But there I was, expecting my first child and proudly announcing {like it had been my idea all along} that I would be using cloth diapers on my baby. And just as quickly, I also pointed out that I would not be using the dinosaurs of the past. No weapon-like hateful-looking diaper pins in my future, much to my husband's relief. No ugly rubber pants either! After a few months of researching cloth diapering options, we went with the Fuzzi Bunz all-in-one one-size diapers. Snaps instead of pins. Adjustable elastic around the legs and back to allow the diaper to fit 5 pounds all the way up to 35 pounds. And the best part was that they came in all sorts of brilliant colors with the colorful outer part acting as the "rubber pants" of old. 

Bonus: They double as a swim diaper!
We have had such a great experience with our Fuzzi Bunz and have made every skeptic a convert in the process. {My MIL's fear about having to change a cloth diaper when she watched our baby was slightly enjoyable. But even she now sings their praises.} Not only have we saved hundreds of dollars by not having to buy disposable diapers every week or month, but we feel good about the fact that we're not contributing bags full of stinky diapers to the landfill each week. On the rare occasions that we use disposable diapers, we have found that {contrary to our initial thinking} they end up stinking up our house so much more than the cloth. And, our son has not had a diaper rash even once in his 14 months. Our diapers don't look like they've been soiled after a good wash and the more they're washed, the softer they get.

Back in April, we participated in the the Great Cloth Diaper Change 2012 to see if we could beat the world record for the most simultaneous cloth diaper changes. Our local Fuzzi Bunz retailer, Heather Klinefelter at Growing Up Green, organized our local event which turned out approximately 30 participants. Overall, the world record was broken by 8,251 participants in 189 locations on 4 continents...over 3,000 more diaper changes than 2011. While the participants were all levels of crunchy {I mean this endearingly}--from way crunchy to not-so-crunchy {I thought I was pretty crunchy, but apparently I still have a way to go on my crunchiness}--it was nice to see that there are other mamas {and dads!} out there who have fallen in love with cloth diapering just as much as I have.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences on cloth diapering!