A not-so-daunting lesson in modern cloth diapers from a really busy mom

By Kari Walker

Monday, June 3, 2013

kwalker_diaper-1It ‘aint easy being green — or is it? As I set out on my journey into motherhood a few years back, I remember being bombarded with so many decisions of what my preference would be for my child and my home. After reading what all the experts had to say, there were a few decisions I made based on what I learned way back when from one of the pros I trusted the most: my mother. I recalled a time of my sister as a baby and her cloth diapers and knew this is what I would do with my babe. I would stay up late at night picking out all the fun colors and brands I wanted to use and was so excited about building my cloth diaper stash. My friends thought I was crazy, as did most of my relatives. But my mom understood my desire to set down this path.

I liked the idea that for about $500 I could have all the diapers and accessories my baby would ever need versus spending around $2500 for disposable diapering needs. Not to mention this investment could be used on future children, given to someone else in need or sold second hand. Yes, folks, people buy second hand diapers and it pays pretty well. At my baby shower, my mother gifted me my cloth diaper stash and was the best gift I received that day because it was the most practical. Again, everyone thought I was crazy. The more I learned about my investment to a fluffy-bottom baby, the more I realized it was more than having a cute pink leopard print or lime green diapered baby that everyone would go gaga over, but I realized how I was bettering the planet. According to the Real Diaper Association, “Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste.  In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.”

I exclusively cloth diapered until she was eighteen months old and went to pre-school—I have used those said diapers in every situation possible. I have cloth diapered at home, on road trips, in airplanes, vacation rentals, at the beach and have committed to the washing of the diapers. I am a busy person, but they were never a burden and always seemed like the best choice for us. Of course there were days I didn’t feel like washing, but just like with clothes, if I didn’t do it my child would go naked. I continue to use reusable diapers on the weekends; it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing lifestyle.

I still feel good about what I have kept out of the Earth. With the proper resources and education from a group of other mom’s using this style of diapering I was able to understand how easy it could be with the modern cloth diaper. Brands like Fuzzi Bunz, bumGenius and Thirsties have de-mystified the ick factor and once experienced it’s no wonder why this trend is on the rise. For families considering this style of diapering, visit www.therealdiaperassociation.org for more facts on disposable diapering impact on our planet and tips and tricks for making cloth work in your household.

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