Thursday, March 19, 2015
Baby Must-Have: Cloth Diapers - Part 1
With a year of research under my belt and nine more months to hone in on what we really want, I sort of feel like this particular pregnancy has started out extremely low-key. I'm not reading any books. I'm not checking any websites daily. I'm only pinning one or two baby-related things when I get on Pinterest, which also doesn't happen daily.
I've continued this trend of limiting my research, especially when I've already done enough to make a decision I feel good about for us and our family. Our next decision honestly didn't take much because Levi and I were already on the same page:
Why Cloth Diapers?
I'm married to a man who cringes at the thought of pouring milk whey down the sink when we make cheese. Who nixes the possibility of a Keurig coffee maker because of all the non-recyclable trash it produces. Who has created composting systems for us and kept them going.
He's married to a woman who keeps a meticulous budget for our family, and updates our spreadsheets even when a category changes by a single dollar. Who values purchasing higher-quality clothing because the cost-to-wearability ratio is much better than buying cheaper clothing that will only last for one year. Who estimates our budget and our savings two, three, five, even ten years into the future. Who doesn't work outside the home and prefers her job to be maintaining a home.
This all adds up to two people who have the internal desires and the external means to use cloth diapers with our children.
Pros and Cons
There are many pros to cloth diapers, and people love to talk about them over and over again. They do produce less waste. They do save a family lots of money over time, especially when used on multiple children. They can also be a more natural way to diaper children, since they are free of dyes and gels used in disposables.
There are still lots of cons to cloth diapers, and it's rare to hear people talk about them. Cloth diapers can be much messier, and they're also more cumbersome to change. They will create at least twice as much laundry every week for us, which mean more money spent on energy and water (this is also something to consider if you are concerned about the environmental impact of your diapering choice). Travel is also something that requires more planning or some compromise--do we expect baby-sitters to scoop poop out of our diapers or are we willing to use disposables when others watch our children for us? We'll also change more diapers a day with cloth diapers because they are less absorbent than disposables.
Now, just because some of us are wary of the dyes and gels used in disposable diapers, there are no studies showing that they are harmful to babies. Some babies might have an allergic reaction to these things, but it is totally personal preference when it comes to this for most parents.
The Little Bee Co.
The Little Bee Co. is a similar company. Their mission is to donate a diaper to an orphan in need for every diaper purchased from their company. All of their diapers are quality cloth diapers, and they have a passion for orphans around the world.
If any of you have visited an orphanage somewhere around the world, especially in a 3rd world country, you know that diapers for the children is a real concern. A washable, reusable, and well-designed diaper could go a long way for a child.
The colors of each diaper also represent different countries around the world. You can find facts about each nation on their mission page, and they ask that as you change your baby into a new color diaper, you pray for the orphans of that nation.
The Little Bee Co. currently works with organizations in Africa, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, and Cambodia to organize their diaper drops: once enough diapers are collected, they organize a "drop" to deliver a large amount of diapers and help for the workers at an orphanage.
I know that some of you reading this have personally worked with orphanages, and some of you in the very countries already being aided. The Little Bee Co. has a form online where you can fill out an inquiry about the possibility of diapers for your particular institution.
The choice to cloth diaper was pretty obvious for our family, and I am excited to support this little diaper company.
Part 2 of Cloth Diapers
In this next post, I got over the prep work required once your new diapers come in!
To crib or not to crib?
Keep it real,
Photo sources: Photo 1