Sunday, November 11, 2012

Guest Post: Vivien Interrupted - Cloth Diapers

Today's guest post is from my friend and fellow blogger, Vivien.  I approached Vivien to write this blog post because she was one my inspirations for opening of Carolina Cloth.  She was the first person that I showed my cloth diapers to that decided to give cloth a try.  I was so excited that I helped to convert someone to cloth that my husband encouraged me to take the next step and sell diapers.  And Carolina Cloth was born!

Vivien is a Blogher contributor and has a wide variety of topics she covers.  She writes about anything, from parenting, breastfeeding, photography, and a monthly writing challenge.  My personal favorite posts are her Foreigner Friday entries.  I love hearing her perspective on living in the US. 

Please hop on over to Vivien Interrupted and her Facebook page - happy reading!

When I had my first baby, I never gave cloth diapers too much thought. I had heard about the newer, more convenient diapers that didn’t require safety pins, etc, but wasn’t really interested in learning more about them. The thought of cloth just seemed overwhelming, something that only hard-core dedicated crunchy parents would do. We used disposables, just like most other parents we knew.

By the time I was expecting baby number two, I had been exposed to cloth diapers a lot more, but still felt skeptical. How could they possibly get clean in the washer? How much more work would it mean? Would it really help the environment? Could we save money?

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to attend a cloth diapering information session at which I was able to explore all options in person. So much better than just reading up on things online! I was able to feel the fabrics, see the fit on the attending children, and ask all the questions I had. After this meeting, I was sold. However, my husband wasn’t quite on board yet. Here are the key points that won us over:
      Better for baby’s skin. You may think that disposables are soft, but upon further inspection you will find that they are just fancier versions of plastic. And they are filled with chemicals.
·       Better for the environment. This was a hard concept for me to grasp. How could using that much more water and detergent and electricity be better for the environment? Until I read that it is about equal to flushing the toilet each time you go to the bathroom. And that disposable diapers take decades to decompose.
·       More cost efficient. The initial investment is definitely more expensive than with disposable diapers. However, they are reusable (often for many years) and re-sellable. And the best part is that you don’t have to buy diapers again. Unless you develop a cloth addiction in which case you might need to buy cute diaps every so often…
·       Much more attractive. You can buy cloth diapers in endless varieties of prints and colors. They are so much more fun than disposables and can basically be worn by themselves. 

Even when we had decided to give cloth a try, we didn’t dive right in. I bought just a few of each brand first to see which ones we liked best. That gave us the chance to find the best diapers for our family as well as to ease into cloth diapering at a pace that was comfortable to us.

The transition was easy! The laundering was much easier than I had expected and our new diapers were quickly our favorites.

However, we still use disposables sometimes. When there is gastro-intestinal upset of sorts, I chicken out and go for the throw-away kind. I also refuse to pack a whole diaper suitcase and wash diapers on vacation.

To anyone interested in cloth diapering I highly recommend a personal consult. Nothing beats being able to use your senses and ask direct questions. I also think it’s important to try different brands and styles before buying a whole stash. If there’s a diaper you end up not liking, you can re-sell it without much of a loss.

Are you interested in being a guest blogger?  Please email Leslie - we love to hear other cloth experiences!

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