I am a married woman, with no kids on the horizon just yet, but still I find myself thinking about diapers. Again. Does this seem strange to anyone else? Still, I know plenty of moms, and I have changed plenty of diapers, so it’s not as if I am a complete noob—there’s just no reason for me to be contemplating cloth vs. disposable at this time in my life. Well, actually *this* time I do have an excuse: my sister just had a baby! No matter the reason, I have diapers on the brain, so…here goes.
Not being a mom (I’ve heard it matters), I cannot imagine dealing so closely with that much human waste! With cloth diapers, you have more to do with it, right? I mean you empty it into the toilet, and then you wash them, right? And if you are out and about, you have to carry it around…so that ups the ick factor. Until you think about using disposables instead…what, so I am just going to gift wrap poo and leave it out for others to deal with many years later in the landfill? I might as well set it on fire on my neighbor’s porch! And just how many diapers go to the landfill?!…the thought of a poo mountain just sitting there staggers (and, I’ll admit it, amuses) me.
I’ve heard the argument that washing cloth diapers increases fuel consumption and is just as bad for the environment, but that doesn’t sound right to me…didn’t they use fuel to make the disposables, and then all that packaging? Not to mention they don’t degrade and take up landfill space. So I think cloth wins out in the green argument; though I’ll have to check the stats.
But what is right for my (hypothetical) child? Good question! I can see pros and cons to either disposable or cloth. With disposable, they have neat technology where you can see quickly whether it’s wet, I think the fit is better (no leaks), and it is more sanitary (no build of bacteria to contend with). Not to mention there is less laundry. BUT they are full of chemicals, which is can be bad for the baby’s skin and smell bad, and we’ve discussed the trash issue. Cloth diapers are cute (you can get designers these days) eco-friendly, and soft against your baby, but then again they aren’t as convenient, and require the aforementioned waste handling and washing. Still, when answering better for the baby, I think the point goes to cloth, again.
So, I think I will be using cloth diapers, taking the suggestion of RuralMama here which is best. I’ll be sure check back with you when I do have kids, and to let you know whether my decision stands.