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WOHM: Cloth diapers

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I asked this before on the long "Working Mothers" thread, but it didn't get many repsonses so I'm asking again.

Do you use cloth diapers?
If so, how many hours per week do you work?
Do you wash them yourself or use a diaper service?
If you use disposables, do you feel guilty?

I'm in the "work 40 hours per week/use disposables but feel guilty" category.
post #2 of 16
For the first year, we were in the use the cheap Sam's disposables category. When we went up a size, around 12 months, dk got a tremendous burn on the butt (we think from the bigger amount of pee and bigger amount of gel). After trying another brand to make sure it wasn't a reaction to the "lotion" on the inside of the cheap diapers, we switch to cloth in the space of a week. We also use the non-gel Tushies...especially as a night dipe. (Fuzi Bunz leaked like crazy at night.)

We use a dry pail. Wash at home. It is no big deal to keep up, but dk is well on the way to using the potty full-time.

Both dp and I work full-time (I'm technically 3/4 time, but that ain't often true). We both have very flexible schedules, so use very little babysitting. I think it'd be a pain to try to negociate this with daycare providers.

No guilt. None. Nada.
post #3 of 16
I use disposables. Cloth would be a total nonstarter with my beloved daycare provider, and I don't really blame her. No guilt here either. I have a hard enough time getting the regular laundry done.
post #4 of 16

Re: WOHM: Cloth diapers

Originally posted by mamajulie

Do you use cloth diapers?
If so, how many hours per week do you work?
Do you wash them yourself or use a diaper service?
If you use disposables, do you feel guilty?
Yes, we use cloth diapers.

I work 37.5 hours a week. (Well more if you include the lunches I work )

I (or dh) was the diapers ourselves.

I've managed to avoid the sposies up till now.....

We found a daycare that will cd. I'm sooooo happy about it!!! They don't make it easy on me (no dunking or dumping), but we'll manage. It is a little more work - but just a little!!

mom to Nikolai (Aug 01)
post #5 of 16
I admit that we use disposables. For one the DCP won't use cloth and since she is a hardworking woman in her home, I don't blame her. For another, I am constantly two weeks behind on the laundry. A diaper service is quite expensive so that is also not really an option.
I work 30 hours a week, but do some freelance stuff on the side sometimes (and then I am WAAAAAAAY behind on laundry). DH works FT (about 60-80 hours a week) and goes to night school, so I don't expect him to be doing laundry either

I really don't feel guilty.
I try to balance it out by composting my kitchen waste, buying items with little packaging and recycling as much as I can. In three weeks, we generated only as much garbage as we are allowed in one week (we missed the extra pickup and our garbage day falls on wednesday which was christmas and new years). This included the diapers.

So maybe you could try to balance it out in some other way.
post #6 of 16
We use cloth at home during the day, but we use disposables when out and about and often at night. I work FT, but DH is a SAHD during the week. He usually washes the dipes, but I do it sometimes, too. I doubt if we'd be able to find a childcare provider in our area willing to use cloth. I do feel bad about using disposables to the extent we do, but I do feel good that we use cloth some.
post #7 of 16
I work PT - 3 days per week and use cloth diapers. We switched when DS was around 15 mos old and we were in the process of switching DCPs at the time as well. So I was up front with the CDs and she said she'd give it a try. We use only AIOs for daycare and she does not dunk. So I have one nasty poop to deal with 2-3x/week. Not too bad a trade off to keep him in cloth.

We are switching in 2 weeks from home daycare to a center and I was worried. I brought it up to the manager and she said it would be ok, as long as they did not have to dunk and I brought a pail for the dirties. She was pretty cool because she used cloth for her children. She started talking about plastic pants and I whipped out my super adorable HB Home AIO and she was in shock. It was pretty cool. My first meeting with another CDer IRL.

So for those who assume they can't find a provider who will do cloth, you might as well ask. If you make it just as easy as disposies, they might go along with it.

As far as laundry, I wash dipes 2x/week. I usually do Weds and Sundays but I am off becuase of the holidays. So I was shocked to find out I needed to wash today. Oops! DS might be in pampers tonight.

post #8 of 16
I work 30hrs one week and 45hrs the next. We cd full time, but we're lucky because both grandmas take turns coming over to our house to look after DD. The laundry isn't a problem--we wash dipes every 4 days or so, I just have to remember to keep on top of things. I try to plan my meals and usually prepare dinner for the next day so that I can get dinner on the table sooner when I get home. DH helps sometimes with the laundry, but to tell the truth, I prefer that I do it myself, including the hanging on the line part of it. I don't find it any harder because if we weren't using CDs, we'd have to be buying them and that would mean that I would always have to be on the lookout for sales (I hate paying too much for anything!)
post #9 of 16
I work full time, which usually means 4 days per week at approx. 12 hour days, with 2 or 3 weekend days (and nights) per month as well. The hours are varied, ranging from 7 am to after 9 pm some days. My schedule is really more of a non-schedule!
We have cloth diapered our almost 10 month old DD since she was 4 months old. I find CD's to be much easier than disposables for us. No last minute trips out to the store to get wipes or dipes. My DD is cared for by my sister in our home (we are very lucky!), and while she has chosen to use disposables on their new baby she has respected our choice to CD and has not made a fuss about it.
It really doesn't take much time to launder the diapers - we wash every other night now that we have acquired more Fuzzibunz. We use a dry pail with a removable liner that we just toss into the wash with the dipes, hot wash/cold rinse with A&H free and clear. The whole lot of dipes, inserts and wipes gets hung on a drying rack overnight and then DD loves to help "stuff" them in the morning. Hands on time, I'd say the dipes probably take about 10 minutes every other day . . . not counting stuffing them with DD - that can take an hour or more .
As far as the cost goes, we are still using the same set of Fuzzibunz that we got back in August for DD, and we are still only on the second row of snaps! I think these will fit her for quite some time!!! Boy, we have saved quite a bit on diapers!
Hmmm. . . . I did feel a bit guilty when we used disposables, but that's not why we switched. I hated the rough, scratchy feeling of the disposables, and the elastic left an awful ring around her thighs. When I learned I could be swaddling her precious little bottom in fleece, I just had to switch. I am so glad we did!

mommy to Greta 3/14/02
post #10 of 16
I currently work at home 25 or so hours a week. My husband and I are CD ing our son currently, and we dont use a service, we wash at home. It dosnt take long for us to deal w/it at all. I throw the dirty parts in a h20 proof laundry sack, and then wash every other day (or so). I lay them out to dry over night, then in the am, haul them upstairs and throw the whole mess in the top drawer of the dresser. No big whoop. 10 mins extra, if that. Simple.

We actually kept our litle man in disposables for about 4 or 5 months. Then at a friends house for dinner, ( hi "gretasmommy!") Andrea was showing me her system of Fuzzibunz, and how it worked. I took one look at the fleece on her daughters bum and thought "hell, thats got to be better for my little man than picking silicone balls off his little pecker in the AM after an all night pee-a-thon in a disposable".

Initially, I wasnt sure it would be something we could afford to do, FBs arent the cheapest out there. But, I really liked the fleece idea. DH and I sat down w/a calculator and figured that at the rate we were going w/disposables, if we made the switch to FB's we'd break even sooner than later. So we ordered some, and we love 'em. We did have some probs at night w/leakage in FB's which is a nasty prob, esp. since we are currently cosleeping. (We just dont own that many pairs of sheets!) We were kind of not sure what to do at that point- quit the family bed? Not an option at this point for us. (Little Man sleeps much better in our bed than in his "cribbie". In our bed he sleeps more soundly and, better yet, for 10-12 hours. WAHOO!!! So quitting the family bed wasnt a choice we considered for long.) We ended up keeping him in FBs during the day and doing 'sposables at night. Which was ok, but we felt like there had to be a better way to stuff the FBs so we'd get to keep our good nights sleep as well as our dry sheets. We are currently experimenting with hemp inserts of some kind-I dont recall where they came from. So far so good.

Anyway, for a long time we owned 12 FBs, and 24 or so inserts. We did a load every other day. THe fleece wicked the pee right away and I found I didnt have to change the actual FB each time. We just got some more FBs in a size large, and now we could theoretically do less wash-, ie every third day- but I dont really want them all to start to stink, so we will continue to do a load every other day, or as needed.

You ask about feeling guilty-
What do I feel guilty about? Using that much water. I rationalize it by thinking of my sister-in-law and her hubby who are renovating a barn in upstate NY, and currently have no indoor plumbing and get a shower 1x a week. Im using their extra water that they dont use. Did I feel guilty using 'sposables? Sometimes. Do I feel guilty using extra water to wash the FBs? Sometimes. But in the long run, the cloth diapers are a better choice for us, and I am really happy to be using them.

(i love that banana guy!)
post #11 of 16
Dh and I both work 40 + hours per week. DS is no longer in diapers (he's 3) but we used disposables exclusivly.
I had a baby when I was 20 (she's 14 years old now) and I had no choice but to use cloth in those days - and I hated it, I had to wash all our clothing by hand (I lived in Afirca) and it was just TOO MUCH work, I swore I would never use cloth ever again.
BUT DH and I are trying for #3 - and I'm thinking about it....
(Have a washing machine and a dryer now - so it souldn't be a big deal.)
DD Kelly 11/16/88
DS Trenton 08/19/99
post #12 of 16
post #13 of 16
I've been using cloth full time since my ds was 15 mos old. I'm just now going to be going back to work and he is in daycare in a center. I've decided to start out using sposies during daycare hours and maybe once I'm settled into a good schedule, try talking to the director to let him be CD'd there. I'm going to be using Tushies or one of the off-name brands so there is no or less of the gel coming into contact with his bum. He never had rashes or anything in sposies, so I don't feel that guilty for putting them on him. I think the guilt for me is knowing that they can't feel as good being all plasticky when he's used to nice soft fleece on his hiney, kwim? I also change him into cloth as soon as we get home.
post #14 of 16
We use disposables for a variety of reasons:

1. We were remodeling our home, living in a total of 100 square feet when DS was born a year ago AND we had no w/d.
2. I researched the environmental issues, and in the West, where we live, it seemed a toss-up between water conservation, chemical dispersion into the water, and biodegradability. The most environmentally sound method recommended for those of us under severe water issues was a diaper service. If we lived back east where water isn't as much of an issue, but landfill usage is, my decision would probably have been much different. We also conserve in every other area that we can.
3. There is no diaper service in my area, so we would have had to wash ourselves at the laundromat. Selfish, maybe. But with a newborn, I felt entitled at the time...
4. Future day care issues.

I don't feel guilty about it because I think we did what was right for us at the time. Right now, however, I am rethinking it for other reasons - mostly DS's health. He has a lot of rash, and I can only attribute it to the diapers. We have a w/d now, so that wouldn't be an issue, although the water usage is. We have a low usage machine, which helps a lot.

I am glad to see this thread, because I have a lot of questions about the diapers themselves and it's nice to see that I might be able to convince my care provider to use them (if it's easy enough).

I'll take more time to read the responses....maybe I'll learn something! Thanks again!
post #15 of 16
owen&mama, this is not *at all* meant to criticize your choice, just give you something to think about. i did a lot of research into the environmental reasons pro and con cloth diapering as well, but I didn't find out until later (the latest Mothering mag to be exact) that a lot of that research was funded by the disposable diaper companies....

...anyway, one point i saw finally made such sense, namely, even in arid states we dont' buy paper clothes because they'd be water-conserving, right? so why should it be any different for diapers? especially with a low-water machine.

another point is, you don't have to do cloth or sposie exclusively, you can do what works for you. for us, we use cloth during the day and a sposie at night. we've cut back our sposie use a whole lot, but we're not trying to achieve 100% cloth. some moms use sposies for daycare, but cloth at home and on weekends.

ok, i'm on my soapbox again, aren't i :

if you have questions about cds, go to the diapering forum - they've got answers!
post #16 of 16
Oh, I hear you, Jane! As I said - or meant to anyway - I agonized over this, and still do. At the time, my situation was such that I felt that the additional burden on DH and I - restoring our home, no washer/dryer, completely overwhelmed with a newborn - was just too much. In the long run, it came down to what was right for us, and maybe I felt a bit better about my choices by considering all the issues - personal, local, and global. (By the way, I have been disgusted by the propaganda studies conducted by diaper/formula/you-name-it companies, too. For that reason, the research that I relied on most on was done by a local environmentalist here.) Admittedly, my situation is different now. We have a w/d, we are *a bit* less overwhelmed, and now we can perhaps reevaluate our decision. That's why this thread is coming at just the right time.

We do the best we can. DH, DS, and I all wear our clothes as many times as they are clean and non-stained before washing them. Thank god that they aren't paper, or they would be in shreds by the time we got done with them! But you make a good point. And, yep, my guess is that we would alway have disposables around for plane rides, emergencies, etc. And, money is tight for us, so cost alone swings me in the cloth direction!
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