Monday, February 14, 2011

Switching from disposables to cloth: A Tale of TWO [types of] Diapers.

Reader Contributed Article by Amanda Metro

I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers before my first daughter was even born. Having been an
environmentally conscious person for most of my life, I felt it was the best option for the planet before even knowing it's other benefits. I was totally “gung-ho” and even had my future husband on board, until I met the naysayers. “Why would you want to do that?”, one person said, “Don’t you already have enough to do?” Well, I thought, I guess it would be a bit more work, but I’d still like to try it out. Then I was told “Cloth and disposables are equally bad for the environment, so why go through the extra hassle with cloth?” That was the kicker and against my first instincts (and better judgment), I went with the disposables.

Several times during the first year of my daughter’s life, I thought about switching to cloth. The desire was still there but the support was not. A few (and by a few, I mean two) of my friends started cloth diapering and were starting to tell me how wonderful it was. I believed them, honestly, but I was absolutely terrified of switching.  At the insistence of my friends, I started to do research on cloth diapers but each time I started, my head began to throb with information I didn’t quite understand and I reverted to the happy valley of ignorance.

When I became pregnant with my second daughter, who would be born when my first was 15 months old, I began to panic about the sheer amount of diapers I would be changing and how much this would cost us for such an undefined period. Still my curiosity lingered and I wondered whether we could afford this switch.  After I got over my fear of the cloth diaper, I was still burdened in my mind by the staggering upfront cost. I tried to remind myself that with two children, the savings would ultimately outweigh the start-up, but it was still a hard pill to swallow. Finally, I had a talk about this burning issue with my husband and he gave me the go-ahead, acknowledging that since I spent more time with our children I generally knew what was best for them. I settled into a new level of comfort knowing that if it didn’t work, I still had disposables to fall back on.

From the moment I took the plunge, I knew I would never go back. Though I went through a few different types before I finally settled on a one-size diaper to fit both my girls, the sheer act of exploring the wide variety of diapers available became less like work or research and more like food for my new addiction. I started to discover a new world of mothers with similar beliefs and values to my own and I felt like I was making a difference in the lives of my daughters. I am very proud of the switch I made and hope to be a resource and inspiration for my friends who have not yet had children. After all, if I have to spread an addiction, shouldn’t it be one that positively impacts the lives of others?

Amanda is passionate about natural parenting and green living. She enjoys chasing after her two daughters, cooking, sewing, writing and gardening. In her spare time,  she volunteers as an articles editor for Natural Parents Network. Her blog, "Let's Take the Metro," is about as diverse as it could be. 


jessw said...

WOW! This pretty much describes my whole thought process exactly to a T! I wanted to do it from the beginning but so many people talked me out of it. Around a year old, I made the switch. I didn't have that second baby yet but was starting to think about one and that made the decision easier knowing I will probably get twice the use out of the cloth diapers! Hopefully I'll have baby No. 2 someday soon :)

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