Thursday, November 10, 2011

Defending Your Choice to Cloth Diaper

With the holidays around the corner, you're likely to visit friends and family with your little one. I'm sure they'll be curious about that cloth diaper on your baby's bum and why you don't choose disposables. I'm glad to have relatives that, for the most part, embrace our choice to cloth diaper. But I know some of you may not have that luxury. Here are some things to convince them that cloth diapering is simply awesome!
  • Aren't they cute?! A great lighthearted first response that most people will agree with, they are simply cuter than the average plastic diaper! Why settle for any less for your little one that everyone (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins) adores. Baby crawling around in a disposable - just okay. Baby crawling around in a cloth diaper - cutest thing ever. 
  • Cloth is cheaper. No doubt there will be lots of financial talk around the dinner table this season. One of the biggest reasons families choose to cloth diaper is that it is simply more affordable. These days when every penny counts, even the thousand dollars you save each year is meaningful. For us it is one of the biggest reasons we choose cloth. Buying a cloth diaper package makes them even more affordable. 
  • Look, no diaper rash! This was a biggie for us when our disposable diapered six month old had a diaper rash that simply wouldn't go away. I decided to try cloth and the rash was gone in one day. I would never go back to unwillingly torturing a baby like that again, no diaper rash cream would work on her. Some babies are just extra sensitive. 
  • Yes. I do laundry. One of the first things people ask is "Isn't that a lot of work to wash?" My answer usually sounds like this: "I do laundry several times a week anyway, another couple of loads don't make a difference. It's not like I have to wash them by hand like my mom did!" That takes care of the question. Once you figure out which cloth diaper detergent works for you, it's all pretty simple.
  • Do you really want to know what's in a disposable? Some people are simply not aware of the contents of a disposable diaper. They are essentially polyethylene and polypropylene plastic with bleached paper pulp, a gelling substance, petrolatum, stearyl alcohol, cellulose tissue, elastic, and perfume. No wonder some babies are prone to diaper rash with such an unnatural concoction. How about this, did you know lab rats exposed to disposable diapers straight out of the package have suffered increased eye, nose and throat irritation, as well as bronchial constriction similar to that of an asthma attack?
  • Would you want to wear plastic underwear? Finally, if they are not convinced, simply ask if they would be willing to switch to plastic underwear. Does that sound remotely comfortable? If you wouldn't want to wear that, why should our kids?
That last one really gets people, it always works. If we are wearing cloth underwear, there is really no reason we should subject our babies to the discomforts or toxins of plastic. Yes, on certain occasions perhaps it isn't a big deal when you just really need to use a disposable. But I have found that since we switched I've never had to use a disposable, not in the entire two years - not even for travel. Do you have any ideas on how to convince friends and family that cloth rocks?

Photo: Ivan Prole


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