Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is there anything that would make you give up cloth diapering?

I was recently corresponding with a cloth diapering mama who was back to using disposables and I began to wonder, what are the make or break scenarios that would cause you to give up cloth diapering?  Are there any for you?

The cloth vs. disposable battle often focuses on whether or not one is really greener than the other.  Cloth Diapering moms know the answer to that.  True, cloth diapers do require the use of water and electricity for washing but the effects can be minimized by changing your washing routine, using different styles of cloth diapers, hanging your diapers out to dry and so on.  No one is going to convince me that the resources used for washing diapers is greater than the resources used in the manufacturing, delivery and disposal of disposables.

Health wise, cloth diapers prevent you from having to expose your children to unnecessary toxins and chemicals found in disposables and are often the saving grace for moms whose babies and toddlers have sensitive skin.

Financially, the fact that cloth diapers can be reused on future children, used on multiple children at the same time and resold for approximately 50% or more of the original value is an amazing bonus!

So the benefits are overwhelming, but are there still circumstances that could make you change your mind and turn back to disposables?  Below are a few of the scenarios I came up with as possible causes...
  • Unsupportive spouse or caregiver who is not cooperative and will not agree to use cloth.
  • Daycare or Childcare will not accept children in cloth diapers.
  • No longer able to do laundry at home and using a laundry mat would not be acceptable for you.
  • Persistent diaper odor and/or laundry issues.
  • Unexplained diaper rash that you can't get rid of.
Over the years I have met moms who are hardcore cloth diaper users/advocates, they never planned on disposables and using them is not even an option they can fathom. But I have also met many moms who seem to go back and forth between cloth and disposables and some who give up cloth all together.

I've always wondered...What are their reasons?  What are your reasons?  Do you flip flop between the different methods of diapering?  Do any of these reasons apply to you?  I'd love to read your thoughts and comments. 

27 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I am a full time cloth diaperer...at home (and a newbie...#3 is 12 months...started about 5 months ago). My hubby, though, refuses to use cloth. So if he changes him, he's in a sposie until I put him back. I also put him in sposies for church, because I don't want the nursery workers to have to change him! (Except for the weeks I am in the nursery. Then it's still cloth!)

Cloth Diaper Contests said...

Very interesting post! For me, I would draw the line if I couldn't do laundry at home, like you mentioned as one of your "potentials". There are days when lugging the pail downstairs to do all the cycles and hanging and separating etc is such a chore with a LO, much less trying to load up a carseat, wet bags, etc, and trying to drive to a friend's or laundromat! Eek! I know there are mamas out there that do it--HUGE kudos to them, indeed!!

Heather - CDO said...

Not my personal experience, but I have a friend who was a hardcore cloth diaperer with her kids. When she started fostering kids, she usually used cloth on them, too. But one foster baby had a contagious skin issue. She thought about getting a cloth stash just for that baby, but in the end she used disposables. She didn't want the skin problem to spread to the rest of the family, nor did she want to ruin a stash of diapers. I guess that boils down to sanitary reasons. (OT note on the foster baby...she's doing great now and her skin is totally cleared up! She's three now and still with my friend's family.)

Danelle said...

I think it would take a broken washer & dryer AND someone giving me free disposables for life.

Firechickg73 said...

MOVING!! We recently moved and there was no way to cloth diaper through it. The kids got sent to many different houses during all the packing and moving and the washer did not follow us until almost a week later. Only then to find out that we needed to do some extra work to hook it up! I love cloth but my sanity needed disposables and besides, I didn't want something to happen to my awesome diapers!! :)

Liz said...

I think for me it would having to use a laundromat. I do laundry just about every day, and if I had to rely on commercial washing I think it would definitely go down to once a week simply because it is not exactly easy to get out with a 16-month-old in the first place!

caedmen said...

I think there are scenarios where using disposables is just easier. I used them when my son developed a bad yeast rash. I know that you can use cloth but the extra time to disinfect all the diapers so that there is no yeast left in them is not something I felt like doing. Plus I slathered him with creams all the time because his bum was so sore. If my child was getting ammonia burns or something from the cloth that I couldn't get rid of I would switch. Or if I lived in an area where water was scarce I would be more likely to use a compostable or flushable disposable insert than cloth diapers.

ECPI CLT Librarian said...

I am a user of both cloth and disposables. I fall in the category of unsupportive spouse. My husband thinks cloth diapers are gross and refuses to use them. While he is home with the boys they are in cloth but as soon as I get home from work I take over the diaper changes and use cloth 80-90% of the time. I still have a small stash so sometimes I run out before I get them washed.

GiggleBug Mama said...

Now a full time cloth diaperer, as well as a stay at home mom and on a budget, I would have to say me NOT using cloth would have to be because someone proved to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was better for my baby to do something else. If I had to go to a laundramat with 4 kiddos in tow, I'd still do diapers there, it's not like I'd stop wearing clothes if I had to take them to a laundramat....

Birdee said...

The only time he has to be in disposable is at daycare (policy) so I use 7th gen for that. But not sure what I would do if I didnt have a washer. That may be my breaking point. Or if he had any type of reation to the cloth.
I bought some g-diaper disposable insserts, and some gro-baby disposable inserts for vacations, but still end up using cloth. It's just not hard at all.
I'm glad I have an obediant husband who just does as I tell him, so cloth is it.

whocg23 said...

WE use cloth part time. Hubby doesn't mind cloth, but isn't always the most comfortable with them. also our first son is a heavy wetter and almost 3 so when he goes, he goes. That means sposies at night, otherwise he won't sleep through the night. A friend has to use a laundromat, but she still tries using cloth at least part time and rinses what she can in the tub or sink.
Also, moving. Like another mom said, moving needed sposies here too.

sushi_noem said...

We switched from full-time to part-time cloth when my 2nd dd suffered from severe ammonia burns when in cloth overnight...I tried everything and couldn't fix that issue, so we went to disposables at night...i've continued that with my new baby out of habit. I think the only thing that would cause me to quite cloth entirely would be not having my own washer/dryer...I just can't fathom how I'd survive doing our clothes, let alone a few loads of diapers a week!!! I know some women do it, and I have huge respect for them!

Kansas Mom said...

We always use disposables overnight now. We tried cloth off and on and always ran into the same problem - horrible rashes on the girls. No leaks, though. Now sometimes we have leaks, but I think I'll take them over the rashes. We also switch to disposables when traveling or anytime we use rash creams (which is pretty rare). Also if my washing machine breaks. I can live without the dryer, but not the washer!

Jessie said...

Hmmm...I'm not sure what the make or break point for us would be. So far we've moved, had a broken washer/dryer, traveled halfway across the country, stayed at a family member's cabin with no washer dryer, I've been on bed rest, etc but I just can't bring myself to spend the money on disposables. I guess if one of them got a bad/contagious rash I might just because I definitely don't want to ruin the cloth diapers. I'm not saying that never using disposables works for everyone, I totally understand that situations come up. Thankfully we have just been very fortunate not to have any that have made cloth impossible and I have a very supportive family which definitely makes things easier.

Anonymous said...

I know my husband gets pretty frustrated with cloth diapers at times, especially when our son goes #2. I personally think that the environmental and financial benefit of cloth diapers is to great to ever give up. Not having my own washer and dryer would definitely be tough though, guess I will have to make sure I always have them.

Anonymous said...

yup...
i was a full time CD'er baby one i started when she was 10 months... went into potty training. Baby two came started off good... then washer broke for a week, then moved into someone elses house for 3 wks which mostly were spent traveling, moved into new house without a working washer, had to wait another couple weeks before we had a washer... by then i had pretty much given up bc i was unpacking painting etc... now i have baby three and i dont have enough time in the day

Lindsay Kester said...

I am a fulltime CDer and I started about 4mths ago. The only time my son is in disposables is when he is being watched by someone. I don't feel it is their respnosibility to deal with the cloth while they are watching him so I like to make it easier. I think my breaking point would be not having a washer and dryer in my home to wash them. I've got 3 kids and having to bring them with me to do all the washing and drying of them would be insanity! We will also be moving at the end of the year and I think during that time I may put him in disposables for the drive and until we are in a new home and set everything up to save my sanity since there will already be SO much going on. Other than that I wouldn't give up cloth for the world. I am so glad I chose to switch to cloth and would recommend it to EVERYONE!

Lisa said...

I have a day home, so I deal with cloth and disposable diapers all day every day. My Husband often changes both also, and we both agree that cloth is easier, cleaner, and doesn't stink up the basement! I used to wash all my diapers by hand in the bathtub before we moved into our house, it really didn't take up that much time. (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE our washer and dryer, but if I had to, I could do it by hand again.

Libby said...

If I was physically handicapped to the point where I couldn't carry a heavy load of wet diapers from the 2nd floor into the basement. Also, if I had to use a laundromat.

Emmy said...

i dont think i would, but please know ive only been doing htis fora few weeks, if i didnt have a washer dryer, my mom does who lives around the corner, ive invested money and time into my diaper stash and im proud of it. hours of research and such. BUT i wouldnt force anyone to agree with me, my mother in law baby sits for us and she used cloth so she was ok with it, but my sister in law who loves to watch the boys doesnt want to deal with it, so i have a stash of disposable for her. though shes seen how easy it is i think shes changing her mind. My hubs had some isuess at first with not getting them tigh enough and i though he was ganna get difficult, but i pretty much told him NO. hes agreeed to give it at least a month and 2 weeks in hes ok with it. (just taked getting used to)

i asked my mom and mother in law (people who watch my boys most) if they would have a problem with it, not wanting to make the investment if those near and dear to us wouldnt be willing too.

baby foot fluff said...

last year our washer broke and it was over a month before it was fixed. my DH bought a bucket washer that I used for the clothes. it was pretty cool. I put the clothes in and water and detergent and the lid had an agitator on it. then I would take the clothes out and rinse them in the sink. It worked enough so I wouldn't have to take two young children to the laundromat but after a while the diapers were stinky and not absorbent. so I bought one box of luvs. after my washer was fixed it took two strippings to get the diapers right again. I'm glad the luvs were available and I'm SO glad my washer is fixed!

Lauryn said...

I will use a disposable for traveling and if we have to go to the landrymat I would use a disposable also. I plan to do it pretty soon we will be PCSing and well have to pay to wash our clothes so that is a dollar a wash. I will go back to cloth because I love them and I'm saving them for the next baby (well the snap ones I don't think the aplix are going to last that long.) Happy Cloth Diapering!

Kathryn said...

I use both. I went to cloth because I have an allergy to disposables! YES! It's ME! I get blisters and cracking on my fingertips from Pampers. But the diaper covers cause red breakdown on my baby's skin, so when her skin gets irritated we switch to disposable for a few days.I LOVE cloth except for the bulk which can't be good for their hips!! Hybrids are what we use. The gDiaper is great for the waistband, but the buttons for the insert irritate her skin no matter how loose it is fastened. I just can't win. Although... For disposables... Huggies Natural are the BEST! Same materials as 7th gen etc but cheaper... And hold a huge overnight diaper!! Btw.. I use disposables at night for a baby who sleeps 12 hrs and pees a ton! But it's cloth all day for most days!

Anonymous said...

We are almost full time cders... my son loves them now... but sometimes i forget to do the laundry quick enough and sometimes he gets red if we dont change him because he goes an goes and goes and then he is SOGGY! and anytime urine is on his skin too long his bummy gets red. but sometimes i will use the liners and bum cream.

misty said...

im a full time new cloth diaperer..my son is 8 mo and i started when he was 6mo as my new years resoulution! i have no idea why i never started sooner, since all 3 of my kids are so close in age(even having 3 in diapers at one time) i do use a washer and dry but i line dry i nice days..if my washer broke id wash by hand..if my hands got sore id use a friends washer and if my friends washer b roke id use a laundry mat!! i will NEVER return to sposies again...ive even managed to concince 3 friends to go cloth!

Sarah Schulz said...

Lack of washer would do it for me. Hands down. When I was pregnant and we were looking for a 2 bedroom apartment to move into, I insisted we find one with w/d hookups so I could do cloth. Otherwise I would have waited till I had a washer and dryer to start. I have several friends who are interested in cloth but have no washer and I can't blame them for not starting.

Also, if DS got yeast problems I would switch to disposables. I hear it's crazy difficult to get out of cloth so I would just take a break.

Maria D. @ DownrightDomesticity said...

I've been CDing for six months now without having a washer/dryer in my apartment- I wash them at the shared laundry facility in our apartment complex- and I make it work. Yes, it takes a lot more time and effort, but fortunately, time is something I have a lot of. :-P Get a diaper sprayer, use liners, do a pre-rinse in the tub-- there are many ways to get by without washer/dryers!

All that said, I can't WAIT till we move somewhere with washer/dryer hookups, lol!

I'm just writing to say that CDing without owning a washing machine IS possible, and shouldn't scare off anyone interested in using cloth diapers. It all depends on how committed to CDing you want to be.

 
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