Sunday, February 28, 2010

Warning: venting ahead!

I need to get something off my chest. As you all know, we're planning on cloth diapering our twins. Not right away (we're going to wait until they're out of the newborn sizes first), but that's the plan.

This is a decision that has met with less than happy approval with many people that I talk to. The conversation always starts out with someone idly asking me if we're going to use cloth or disposable diapers. I cheerfully reply cloth, and expect the conversation to end. But instead, I'm treated to a lecture about how much easier and cleaner disposables are (I usually interrupt to tell people about how different modern cloth diapers are to the old fold-and-pin type, but that never seems to make a dent), and then this happens: "Well, you know you won't really save any money by using cloth since you have to wash them all."
*sigh* This is me, remember? The anal retentive tightwad control freak? You really think I made this decision without crunching the numbers? Disposables would cost us approximately $3,000AUD for the first year. Even if we buy all brand new of the most expensive cloth diapers out there, we're only looking at a $1500 outlay, tops. Water and electricity for one extra load of washing per day is about $1 (closer to $0.50 in the USA, but like everything else, it's more expensive here), so that's only $365 extra a year. We'll still be saving around $1150, and the odds are that we wouldn't even be doing a load every day. Not to mention that the most expensive cloth diapers are all-in-one sizes, so they would fit until potty training time, which means that there isn't the same kind of ongoing annual cost that you get with disposables.
It's also been interesting to me how many people have expressed disgust with scraping poo off a diaper. The ironic thing is that you have to do this with disposables as well. Yup, it's illegal to throw feces in the garbage (both here in Australia and in the USA) - this fact even has a mention in the Helpful Hints section of the Pampers website, where they say to scrape before you chuck the diaper out. Now, I'd bet that the majority of people who use disposables don't do this (and probably don't even know you're supposed to), but the simple fact is that aside from cost, the only real difference between modern cloth diapers is that one goes in the trash and one goes in the washing machine. Otherwise, as far as ease of use, convenience, and even poo scraping, they're the exact same.

I guess I'm just frustrated. I don't say nasty things when people choose disposables. If you don't want to do cloth, that's OK - it's a personal choice. So why isn't it OK the other way around? It flabbergasts me that people are so overtly judgmental about this. It's not their money, time or laundry. I'm not asking them to come to my house and change the babies or wash the diapers. Aaaarggh!!!

Of course, the ironic thing is that if we were choosing to use disposables, I bet we'd be getting comments about how bad it is for the environment, etc. Sometimes you just can't win!


  1. We use flushable liners with our cloth diapers, so no poo scraping needed; just lift and flush!

    We used dispoables until C was 10lbs and still use them at night, but cloth diapering is pretty freaking easy.

    (FYI: We use pre-folds and covers, specifically Bambino Mios)

  2. I'm not using cloth. But I have great admiration for those who are choosing to and who stick with it!!! Good for you. And stand strong with your awesome decision. Poo scraping and all ;)