If you don't use cloth, why not? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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I've been planning to do a part time switch to CD when we move (hopefully around X-Mas).

There are several reasons we did not CD at first:

1. I'm not exactly good at adjusting to change, so being a new mom was rough on me. I would not have been able to handle it at that time with all the laundry and constant changing a newborn requires.

2. This sort of goes along with number 1, but I'm just not a good housekeeper. I let things go... a lot. For example, I have 7 pairs of PJs that fit DS right now and last night he slept in a onsie, because he didn't have any PJs clean. Of course I didn't realize this until after bathtime. DH and I often have to dry off with hand towels after our showers, etc. I'm super ADD (actually diagnosed, used to take medicine but going without it now).

3. We live in an apartment with a 40 year old washing machine. It's okay for clothes, but it's super energy inefficient. I have a few times put a gerber prefold into a sposie at night b/c DS is such a heavy wetter and it took three washes to get the pee smell out. The water and energy this machine uses is equal to or greater than landfill impacts.

4. The initial cost is one. One BG is $18-20. For $20 I can literally get 200-250 store brand diapers. That's probably the exact amount of uses I would get out of BG assuming it fits and works for my child's body type.

5. The overwhelming choices. There is no store around that sells them. I wish I could at least hold them and put them up to DS to see if they would even fit his frame. KWIM?

6. The overwhelming task. stripping, boiling, vinegar wash, etc. Yikes!!

Of course after reading all the mommas who had luck with prefolds and covers I will try that first.

If and when I do go to cloth there are times when I will not use them for sure:

1. At night. DS is such a heavy wetter I have to use a Huggies Overnight Diaper with an additional disposable soaker pad!

2. In public. I can barely stand to change a disposable in public. Not to mention my diaper bag is already packed full. I have no room for poopy dipes.

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#122 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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OMG I never thought that I would get this kind of response! Thank you! I am going to have to print this thread and cross reference!

i have another question, for the people that mentioned they didn't know where to start. What would you have liked? A trial? An IRL mom that you could peek over her shoulder while she changed cloth? I know neither of these are always possible, but if the cloth stars were to aline, how would it happen?

While my piece will probably end up my biased unbiased piece, I really want to speak to people who encountered problems and people who are interested but overwhelmed.

I don't have children yet (Due with first in December), so I haven't answered you're original question, but as someone wavering between cloth diapering and disposable diapering, It really is hard to know where to start. I think ultimately (though this wouldn't happen irl) I'd love just to give my money to a seasoned cloth-diaperer and let them buy everything I'll need for me! Then teach me how to use them! Viola! No more having to research, no second-guessing, no buying the wrong kind, no decisions!
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#123 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 12:03 PM
 
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I used cloth on my second almost exclusively and tried to with my 3rd but finally gave up, I was tired of washing, soaking, washing again. This was because we have kinda yucky water and it made washing so hard on my diapers.

I use some Gdiapers and some regular disposables. Honestly, I feel guilty using disposables. I miss cloth.

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#124 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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I am seeing all these comments on stripping, boiling, vinegaring, etc. and I am lost! I've cloth diapered for years now, and have never had such a system. I guess I don't spend enough time at the MDC Diapering forum , which is to say that maybe for some of us, places like this are especially big factors in discouragement.

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#125 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 12:34 PM
 
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I know. Pretty much all I ever had to do was wash the diapers twice and then dry. They came directly from the pail or wet bag. No soaking, no spatula. Occasionally, I did use vinegar or baking soda to help with lingering odor but all I did was add it in with the detergent (All free and clear). The occasional grape skin the bottom of the washer didn't phase me.

I could have been crunchier and used a greener detergent and air dried them more often. All of this was process I certainly have sympathy for those who's partner or child wasn't on board or were stuck with a bunch of dipes that didn't fit or who had to haul their dipes to a laundromat.

I realize now that we were really really lucky in many ways to have had a successful CD experience. I won't take that for granted with kiddo #2.
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#126 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 12:36 PM
 
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Have those people never heard of "On sale with a coupon" or "generics"? I know some kids are sensitive to certain brands, but there are regular sales on most well-known brands.
Personally, I am glad that they don't base those quotes on sale prices. When I was buying diapers, I bought them when I saw a good sale and had the cash, but just as often right when I needed them...wherever I happened to be shopping...which didn't always include a sale or coupon.

When I am trying to budget, I usually take the actual price into account. I still hope for a sale, and benefit from a sale, but I wouldn't want to build a budget around coupons and sales because things don't always work out perfectly that way.

Oh, and my kids could only wear Pampers Cruisers. We tried multiple brands and even tried Pampers Baby Dry, but Pampers Cruisers was the only one that didn't leak for them and didn't irritate their skin or give them rashes.

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#127 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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We live in an apartment with no laundry on site, nearest laundromat is too far away to walk with a bunch of laundry and a kiddo, and I don't drive. DH does all of our laundry on top of working 6 days a week. Cloth would be too much of an extra burden because of all the extra laundry. Also, years ago DH had his arm partially severed in an accident years ago and doesn't have full use of his left arm. He had a lot of trouble with the pins (we used cloth for a couple of months before moving here). We'll probably try cloth again with the new babe if we move to a place with laundry on site (since I do 99% of the diaper changing anyway )
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#128 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 01:27 PM
 
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I never totally used disposibles. Mostly just cloth. I used disposables on Angela when Joy watched her during Erica's Tball games. Joy could fasten the disposable tighter than when using cloth and pins. And Dylan was in disposables at dc. I could have used cloth at dc but out of consideration of the dc provider, I used disposables. I used mostly pre folds, pins, and plastic pants. I did make 4 dozen fitteds for Dylan before he was born. They lasted for a year. When he outgrew the ones that didn't wear out by that time, I just didn't have the time to make more so he used pre folds. Maybe I'm old fashioned but I love the look of pre folds on babies.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#129 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Channelle View Post
I think ultimately (though this wouldn't happen irl) I'd love just to give my money to a seasoned cloth-diaperer and let them buy everything I'll need for me! Then teach me how to use them! Viola! No more having to research, no second-guessing, no buying the wrong kind, no decisions!
ah, see.. where I won't pretend to be as seasoned as some mamas here if you take 5 mamas to the store you're going to come back with 5 different systems! DH and I even use different styles! I only use PFs and covers, maybe a doubler if I know we won't be able to change for a while. While DH uses pockets. There is nothing in the world that I hate as much as I loathe stuffing pockets. Thats why when people recommend BumGenius to new moms I cringe. I don't think I would be CDing now if I would have spent tons of $$ on BumGenius just to discover that system doesn't work for our family! ok doesn't work for me DH would probably like them.

I will have to address that too! The trial and error factor, you have that with sposies too tho. and you can't resell a 'used once' sposie! lol

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#130 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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We use sposies once kiddo is eating solids (in my house right around one year old) and I get to the point where I can't take the gross poops anymore.
This one I don't get. How is it any different with disposibles? The poo is still there. Even when I used disposibles with my first, I always dumped the solid poo in the toilet and flushed. Surely one is not supposed to throw the poo away with the diaper - Eeeewwww.

We are currently using cloth with our second, but I tend to use a disposible at night. Cloth diapers were meant to be changed as soon as they become wet or soiled so for me, it just doesn't make sense to keep a baby in a cloth diaper all night if you can avoid it, no matter how absorbant the cloth diaper is.

Biggest inconvenience of a cloth diaper: the bulk. I, too, am a sucker for nice baby clothes and can't stand it when they won't fit owing to a cloth diaper or when baby's but looks three times bigger than the rest of his body.:

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#131 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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I use/used (*please let the potty training stick this time and get DD outta diapers at night very soon*) cloth except for on vacation but I can see some very legitimate reasons why you wouldn't.

For one, they are not super available at the mainstream baby stores, and the ones that they do sell are lower quality and tend not to work well for a lot of people. You have to go out of your way to find a natural parenting store or order online to find a good quality diaper.

Also, once you plan to cloth diaper, you run into a lot of naysayers, so spending $400 on a stash of pockets/AIOs for something you might not stick with is really intimidating. I was committed enough that I was willing to pony up $200 for a Bummi's starter kit and learn to fasten a prefold, but that's not going to be everyone.

When we started CD'ing, we believed the Bummi's package directions which claimed that no snappi was necessary - that was a lie. Also DD was too small for the first month.

Some daycares will not do cloth.

Last and most compelling reason not to CD - no social support for it. When you're getting ready for baby stuff, you're likely to get all kinds of advice from your family and friends....if everyone tells you not to cloth diaper and/or can't help you with snags that you hit when you try to cloth diaper, you have to be pretty committed to stick with it. Again - not for everybody. As an environmentalist, I find this appalling, but as a parent, I can see where cloth diapering is a small issue in the grand scheme of things and it's likely not to affect your child's long-term development.
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#132 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 02:38 PM
 
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Last and most compelling reason not to CD - no social support for it. When you're getting ready for baby stuff, you're likely to get all kinds of advice from your family and friends....if everyone tells you not to cloth diaper and/or can't help you with snags that you hit when you try to cloth diaper, you have to be pretty committed to stick with it. Again - not for everybody. As an environmentalist, I find this appalling, but as a parent, I can see where cloth diapering is a small issue in the grand scheme of things and it's likely not to affect your child's long-term development.
Oh yeah. That's a big one. Everybody looked at me like I had three heads when I mentioned this to family. All of the women my mom's age and up couldn't imagine why I would cloth diaper if I didn't have to. My mother-in-law liked using cloth, but she hasn't used it for 30 years. She was using them when the only option was the flat diaper with rubber pants that you soaked in a wet pail. Prefolds were the big technological break. She has no idea about modern covers and washing techniques, so she's not very helpful. Plus they used to sell good quality diapers at local stores because everybody used them.

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#133 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 04:54 PM
 
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This one I don't get. How is it any different with disposibles? The poo is still there. Even when I used disposibles with my first, I always dumped the solid poo in the toilet and flushed. Surely one is not supposed to throw the poo away with the diaper - Eeeewwww.
I do not plop the poop out of disposables, nor will I scrape it out. No way, no how. If I'm investing all that effort I may as well use cloth. I know that's what you're "supposed" to do, but I've never met one person in real life who does that.

Also, breastfed baby poop smells a world different from solid poop - eventually I get to the point where I don't like the "bad" poop smell in my house anymore.
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#134 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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Someone probably already said this, but cloth diapers are worse for the environment than eco-friendly, unbleached sposies (IF you can afford them, that is). Unless you are handwashing your cloth diapers, you are using too much water and too much energy to make up for the "crunchy reasons for using them. Source: The Organic Pregnancy book

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#135 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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Ironically, today I found out about a new store in town that teaches a CDing class. You get schooled in techniques and types, and they do a try it out for free (with a deposit) deal with a variety of types. I'm so excited. September 12th I am so there!

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#136 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Someone probably already said this, but cloth diapers are worse for the environment than eco-friendly, unbleached sposies (IF you can afford them, that is). Unless you are handwashing your cloth diapers, you are using too much water and too much energy to make up for the "crunchy reasons for using them. Source: The Organic Pregnancy book
Not to be off topic, but that's actually untrue. Disposable diapers not only pollute, etc. but they actually take quite a bit of water to make. Just because you are not washing them in water doesn't mean they don't use water. Plastic products are almost always hugely wasteful of water. Any idea how much water it takes to make one of those little plastic water bottles folks buy in bulk to carry around with them? HUGE waste.

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#137 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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I just couldn't stand the idea of those wet, smelly things in my house and my washing machine. Yuck.


I'd never used anything BUT cloth on DD1, and the smell didn't bother me. In fact, I would have *sworn* there wasn't a smell.

Until we started using sposies that is. Certain brands of sposies do smells (Pampers, for whatever reason, make me gag when they're wet), but with most I notice no smell at all.

Every time we've tried going back to cloth since the smell IS an issue. My IL's used be so bothered by the smell of DD's CD that they'd rinse them out in the tub before putting them in the wet bag. I used to think they were crazy, but now just the smell of one or two hanging in the wet bag on my girls' bedroom wall is very noticeable.

Also, we did have issues with the washing machine eventually smelling & needing to be stripped. Yet *another* "load" of wash to run....
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#138 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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I am seeing all these comments on stripping, boiling, vinegaring, etc. and I am lost! I've cloth diapered for years now, and have never had such a system. I guess I don't spend enough time at the MDC Diapering forum , which is to say that maybe for some of us, places like this are especially big factors in discouragement.
Honestly, you have probably been lucky to have "good" water.

When we lived in town, and had town water, I rarely had problems with lingering odors or stains.

Once we moved back to the country, and have hard spring water, I was *constantly* having to rewash loads, strip, adding vinegar... baking soda... TTO! Try Calgon for the hard water...nope...maybe Sportswash...nope again. Grrrrr.....:

Honestly, the only thing I've found that doesn't have a lingering odor with hard water are prefolds or fitteds with a snap in liner. Regular fitteds are too bulky or something. And pockets/AIO just always smell unless washed on the absolute hottest water our tank can make. But then 1/2 the time the hot water would ruin the waterpoofing on them.
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#139 of 149 Old 08-28-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Not to be off topic, but that's actually untrue. Disposable diapers not only pollute, etc. but they actually take quite a bit of water to make. Just because you are not washing them in water doesn't mean they don't use water. Plastic products are almost always hugely wasteful of water. Any idea how much water it takes to make one of those little plastic water bottles folks buy in bulk to carry around with them? HUGE waste.
It's only totally untrue IF you buy plastic diapers. There are eco-friendly sposies (like I said, IF you can afford them). Seventh Generation or 365 (whole foods brand) don't use plastic or bleach and are grrrrrrreat! :

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#140 of 149 Old 08-29-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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OMG I never thought that I would get this kind of response! Thank you! I am going to have to print this thread and cross reference!

i have another question, for the people that mentioned they didn't know where to start. What would you have liked? A trial? An IRL mom that you could peek over her shoulder while she changed cloth? I know neither of these are always possible, but if the cloth stars were to aline, how would it happen?

While my piece will probably end up my biased unbiased piece, I really want to speak to people who encountered problems and people who are interested but overwhelmed.
I grew up with cloth; apparently we're the only family in existence that still has a history of cloth. I learned how to fold flat diapers from my mom. I used prefolds and pins with all 4 of my kids. I made fitteds with pins for Dylan. Joy uses fitteds (made by grandma) with velcro and wool with her kids.

I never found using and washing cloth to be hard or overwhelming. I didn't use special laundry soap for diapers. But then I've always bought laundry soap that didn't have anything in (no bleach, perfumes, softeners, etc) it in the first place. And I always had 4-7 dozen diapers so washing diapers only added one more load of laundry per week. I grew up with a clothes line and hanging out clothes to dry was always my default, not the dryer. I already knew about vinegar and Borax ( or Arm & Hammer Washing Soda) so there was no learning curve about washing diapers.

So much was lost between my mom's generation and my dd's generation. All in one generation. It's scary.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#141 of 149 Old 08-29-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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It's only totally untrue IF you buy plastic diapers. There are eco-friendly sposies (like I said, IF you can afford them). Seventh Generation or 365 (whole foods brand) don't use plastic or bleach and are grrrrrrreat! :
But it still uses water to make, which was the whole argument against cloth...that cloth is not environmentally more sound than disposable because of the water useage.

That's not a criticism. Our kids leaked and got rashes in the "eco-friendly" diapers, on the rare occassion we could afford them, and we used Pampers when we weren't using cloth.

But I'd rather base my "not use" reasons on accurate info .

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#142 of 149 Old 08-29-2009, 08:10 PM
 
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But it still uses water to make, which was the whole argument against cloth...that cloth is not environmentally more sound than disposable because of the water useage.

That's not a criticism. Our kids leaked and got rashes in the "eco-friendly" diapers, on the rare occassion we could afford them, and we used Pampers when we weren't using cloth.

But I'd rather base my "not use" reasons on accurate info .
Water AND electrical use for washing machine. Even for a diaper service, those industrial guys use more power and water than it takes for manufacturing them. The way water and electricity use add up in a household situation when you wash your own, it is still way more wasteful than using biodegradable sposies. I use Seventh Generation and they don't leak or have any problems other than their cost.

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#143 of 149 Old 08-29-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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we use disposable nappies at night because we found it was the only way for all of us to get a good night's sleep! cloth nappies would leak/overfill too much & babe would wake up wet & unhappy...or they just didn't sleep well with the wet against them. i know there are cloth ways around this, but with 2 under 2 i couldn't manage to get the resources together to find a solution!

but during the day we use cloth. i really don't see why people find it so confusing...all you need is a piece of cotton & a waterproof/resistant cover! everything other than that is just different people offering different variations of this.

for DS1 we didn't have a washer, so i handwashed them. extra work? yes. but if you set out knowing that disposable isn't an option for you, it's just the way it is. now i have 2 under 2 & cloth is still the only option i saw fit. i just can't imagine throwing away allllll of those nappies everyday. i couldn't do it with a clear conscious.

we line dry all of our nappies & use water straight from the mountain stream in an area that rains regularly, so you simply can't argue that our use of cloth is at all wasteful. (plus our washer is run from power we generate ourselves). you can have your own personal excuses for not using cloth, but trying to argue that it's more damaging to the earth overall as a blanket statement is not convincing or accurate.

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#144 of 149 Old 08-29-2009, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to stay away from the "are they green?" arguement. Its a never ending battle! It seems depending on who funded the servey, you get different answers! Plus, is that really a factor that is going to push you over the edge into or out of a decision? Probably not. Thanks everyone! I am printing this thread monday and starting!

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#145 of 149 Old 08-29-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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So much was lost between my mom's generation and my dd's generation. All in one generation. It's scary.
This is so true - and a real shame in a lot of instances, IMO.

(There are many things about the "good old days" I have no desire to go back to - but traditional skills are one thing I wish hadn't been lost)

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#146 of 149 Old 08-30-2009, 10:41 AM
 
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my mom used cloth also! but most everyone i know in real life was in posies. strange how just one generation can lose so much good information. it is like we threw out the good with the bad. hmmmm. that is a topic all in itself! lol

h

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#147 of 149 Old 08-30-2009, 12:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
But it still uses water to make, which was the whole argument against cloth...that cloth is not environmentally more sound than disposable because of the water useage.

That's not a criticism. Our kids leaked and got rashes in the "eco-friendly" diapers, on the rare occassion we could afford them, and we used Pampers when we weren't using cloth.

But I'd rather base my "not use" reasons on accurate info .
Don't forget about the added fuel costs of disposables. My cloth was transported from factory to store to me just once. When I used sposies, I bought a new box twice a month, so they went from factory to store to me 36 times.

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I do what works and when it stops working, then I do something else.
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#148 of 149 Old 08-30-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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I use cloth but some reasons why someone would not:

- some diapers just don't work well. cheap fitteds and aios sometimes don't fit very well, or they leak or wick and then they are useless. If that's what a person buys or is given, I can see why they wouldn't use them. Also, without the internet someone might not know to avoid fabric softener or other laundry 'no-nos' that make diapers work less well.

- cloth diapers are hard to come by irl. I can think of towns (I live in one) where you would not be able to buy cloth diapers unless you knew to look for them online, and that doesn't occur to everyone.

- lack of laundry facilities or diaper service

- cost is high initially

- cloth diapering requires planning when going out

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#149 of 149 Old 08-30-2009, 04:30 PM
 
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Oh how I wanted to use cloth, I spent hours researching all the different types online. However, I live in a small apt. building with only 1 washer. I also WOH. I added up the $ factor it would cost monthly for cloth along with extra time spent for maintenance of same and cloth would actually cost more than sposies.

I also feel funny using a communal washer for dirty diapers. I'm not sure that my neighbors would appreciate it, maybe they wouldn't care but some people get funny about stuff like that. If I had my own washer, I definitely would have used cloth.

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