July 16, 2009
I had a baby in January. Before she arrived I had been thinking about what my choices were when it came to diapers. I couldn't help but think about how many diapers I'd be adding to a landfill [5-10 a day for 2-3 years?!?!]. I also really really dislike the smell of some diapers. They add this chemical fake baby powder smell that makes me cringe. If my nose can't stand it, how could I feel OK putting that up against a newborn's skin?? And don't get me started on the dumb cartoon characters. Why does everything have to be cross marketed that way?? I also I knew I'd be drop dead tired and most likely not up for any sort of complicated diapering plan. What could I do to do my part??
I researched g diapers ... but the thought of standing over a toilet with a wand in the middle of the night or saving those diapers until morning really didn't appeal to me.
Then I hit the gold mine in terms of cloth diaper info. I read ask moxie's cloth diaper posts part 1 and part 2 . OK - so the reality check is that even using cloth diapers isn't the best - but as much as I planned on being in tune with my baby, the elimination communication method probably wasn't going to work for me.
Realistically, I also knew there was no way I'd want to launder my own diapers. But there are some ways to make it easier than you'd think. check out soft cloth bunz or diaper pin for all the possibilities - and for articles and support on how to diaper at home. I wish I could be that hard core and good.
And then we got lucky. One of my friends gave us 3 months of a diaper service as a baby gift. ABC diapers is run out of Sacramento, CA and they serve the entire Bay Area. As Hayley mentioned in her last post - it's easy. You drop a bag of soiled diapers on your porch one night and the next day you get a whole bag of clean ones. [see the above blue bag] YES these services use water - and yes water is a scares and precious commodity in these parts - but I still feel better than if I used disposables. I don't have to contribute to what goes into manufacturing the diapers [if you want to know what goes into making a diaper - read here [eeewww] , shipping the diapers, disposing them. Although when my daughter goes to daycare I'll have to use disposables there - at least that will be only part time. YES ABC's delivery trucks use gasoline, but they are looking into bio diesel.... and at least we're talking delivery of a couple hundred miles instead of thousands of miles.
Sometimes I feel as though it's simply important to do what you can when you can. And trust that every little bit helps.
I do wish there was a good disposable that used recycled content. Seventh Generation eschews the chlorine - which is great - but still uses wood pulp [and doesn't list that it's post-consumer content]. There's also tushies diapers which like Seventh Generation are better for baby. But the magic better for the environment diaper that is convenient could be someone's million dollar money maker. [maybe anjolina jolie or some other celebrity environmentally conscious mom should champion this cause]
The cost of this diaper service is comparable to buying disposables. Maybe even cheaper. If you want to find a diaper service in your area try the national association of diaper services . If you are in So Cal... Hayley used this service.
Don't think it's tough to use cloth diapers out in the world. It's really not. Just keep a few extra in your bag... and be sure and keep some baggies [I like to use the bags that our Sunday paper comes in] to hold the dirty ones until you can get them home and into your pail. I ended up getting the vinyl sleeves to hold the diaper - so there is no pinning - just folding and velcro and snapping involved. Every couple of months I have to get the next size up sleeves. 3 has been a good number for me. 1 to wear 1 that's in some state of wash/dry and 1 as backup. What to do with these sleeves when you are done I still haven't figured out. I'd be happy to hand them down to someone - they are technically cleaned and washed [although no longer white and shiny] -- but I'm not sure I'll find a taker.
Plus having the diapers on hand is really a nice thing. They make great emergency breast pads/burp cloths, they clean windshields on cars like there's no tomorrow, they pick up cat puke incredibly well [and i didn't hear a peep of complaint from ABC about the mystery non baby mess], they are quick to catch the pee stream that always happens once you REMOVE the diaper [don't think this won't happen to you], and you can hand a clean one to the babe while you change them to keep them occupied [who knew a cloth diaper could be so fascinating?]
and the cat likes sleeping on them. How could I take away his favorite spot??