Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Flats Challenge - Day 3 - Myths of Cloth Diapering

Hi, I'm Bethany and today is Day 3 of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge. Today's blog linkup  is open topic, so I decided to discuss some of the misconceptions about cloth that make people think they can't use it.

The number one myth I hear is that they take a lot of time to wash. I hear moms say, "Well if I was a stay at home mom, maybe I could do that." However, cloth is just two, maybe three extra loads of laundry per week at my house. To make it even easier, I throw baby and kid clothing into the main wash with my cloth, which I would have to wash anyway, so there is really only the prewash to call an 'extra' load. I have discussed our wash routine at the end of this post and I think it is very easy. You can use tons of different brands of laundry detergent, too, so I don't think you will be put-out by washing cloth!

Number two is that cloth makes your house stink. This has never been true for me for a number of reasons - we wash our diapers a few times a week, so they do not sit around and accumulate smell. We also use a wetbag with an overlapping opening on top which allows airflow without being truly open. Some people use a pail liner inside a laundry basket made with holes, which gives optimum airflow. It is important for cloth to get air in order to stop the moisture from growing mildew or mold. It also eliminates some of the stink. Another helpful tip is to rinse out any overnight diapers and let them dry before throwing them in the pail. I find that the overnight pee diapers will smell just about the worst, and rinsing totally stops that.

Another myth is that you can't use cloth when you are out. I'm sure you don't want to go into a restaurant and smell like a dirty diaper. That's why I love zippered wet bags! These travel sized bags can hold several diapers and the zipper totally seals in the smell. If you are using pockets or all-in-one style diapers, wrap up the cover like you would a disposable and use the snaps to keep all messes locked in!
He knows he is cute!
One of the most ridiculous misconceptions I've heard is that cloth delays development or causes physical problems. This is simply untrue! Consider that until the 70s, cloth was all people used, and we don't have millions of people from the previous generation with physical delays or infant hip problems. My son has been 99% cloth diapered since birth and is quite a large guy. He has consistently met every physical milestone and now at 8 months is cruising along furniture and standing up without holding on.

The final myth I want to tackle is one I believed for a short time - that cloth isn't much better for the environment or your budget because it uses so much water. Some people on the internet (so you know, total experts. *sarcasm font*) have introduced the idea that the water used to grow cotton crops for cloth production and the water you use on a weekly basis for washing is actually doing harm to the environment. I want to ask though, are these people not wearing cotton clothes that they then wash? Do they not use cotton sheets, towels, covered furniture? These are much more prominent than cloth in the typical home. Cloth diapers can also be used for many children and then when they have worn out their usefulness (when they get holes, for example) they can be used as cleaning rags. Simply sanitize the diapers and then throw them in your tool box or garage for a dirty job. Disposable diapers also exhaust resources when they are produced and then instead of being reused indefinitely, they are promptly thrown into the trash and hauled to a landfill where they may take hundreds of years to decompose. I don't see how this is a good argument at all. As far as personal finances, we have not seen our water bill go up any more than when we were not using cloth. We still had to wash children's clothing and we still had to wash poop or pee soiled clothing because kids have accidents - actually a lot more blow outs happen in disposables than in cloth because cloth has back gussets (elastic around the baby's waist in the back - I know we have all seen a little baby with liquidy poop up their back.)

So, I hope you have seen that cloth is really not a hassle. It is actually quite convenient, and I personally enjoy the thousands of dollars saved per child that I get to use on other things.

Did I miss any misconceptions that you can dispel?

To review the rules of the challenge, check out Flats Challenge rules and sign up.
For today's link up, head over to Dirty Diaper Laundry for Day 3 - Open Topic.

Also don't miss Day One - Why I Joined the Challenge and Day Two - What Am I Using? What Does It Cost? here on That Hippie Friend blog. ;)

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