It’s not the most romantic of conversations to have with your fiance. “Honey, when we get married and have children, I want to use cloth diapers.”
Nevertheless, because I’m either extremely idealistic or a glutton for punishment (or maybe a mix of both), it had always been my goal to use them for my children.
It’s what my mom did for me, way before they were hip, and she used diaper pins instead of the handy-dandy snaps that come with today’s diapers (soooo much easier, and no risk of driving the pin into the fleshy part of one’s thumb!). So I really have no excuse for not using them.
What were my reasons for cloth diapers? Well, in my view, they were overwhelming:
- Save money. What happens if you bought disposables around 25 cents a diaper, for eight changes a day, for two years? That’s approximately $1,500 vs. $200 for cloth (I used this Fuzzibunz 12-pack special off Amazon). Other estimates put the cost savings even higher.
- Help the environment. About 2 percent of all garbage in the United States comes from disposable diapers, according to Slate. And that isn’t even considering the manufacturing processes by pulp and paper mills to create them.
- Protect my baby from dangerous chemicals. Sodium polyacrylate, dioxin, etc., as well as chemical emissions such as tolune and xylene, are just a few that have caused major concerns for parents. For more information on this as well as the environmental angle, check out this excellent article from the National Association of Diaper Services.
Interestingly, once we did have children and I started the cloth diaper program, I began encountering resistance from my husband.
He’s a far cleaner person than I am, and he found the smell of these (especially after major baby business) pretty bad. He was also afraid they were unhygienic.
We’ve since found a compromise: a mix of both disposable diapers and cloth ones, using the cloth ones mainly at night. I’ve also tweaked my washing and cleaning program so that it doesn’t smell as bad and addresses his hygiene concerns.
My main takeaway from this experience is that things you assume would be really easy before marriage (or parenthood, for that matter) suddenly become huge challenges when real life hits. Petty disagreements give rise to marital battlegrounds. (Oftentimes we were sleep-deprived, too, which isn’t the ideal frame of mind for sober judgment and cool reflection.)
The solution to all these conflicts? To be honest, we’re still working on it. But it’s brought home the importance of regularly communicating and never assuming that the other person sees things the way you do.
That, and lots of love, prayer time, and forgiveness … 🙂
Random note: We hope to be watching at least some of the matches at this year’s FIFA World Cup! If you’re an avid soccer fan like my husband or even someone who sucks at it (like me), I think you’ll really enjoy this video that my husband shared with me. It has some great life lessons, like not taking anybody at face value: