Giving Up Cloth … At Least For Now.

I really hate posting this. I feel like I’m admitting defeat or giving in… but the truth is that, as with all things, I need to do what’s best right now for me and my family.

Cloth diapers have been a grand adventure! I have a good supply and washing routine, and I really do like using cloth diapers for a variety of reasons:

  • Much easier on baby’s skin. J always suffered from an allergic reaction when we used any Pampers diaper (Swaddlers, Sensitive, Baby Dry), but it immediately cleared up when we switched to cloth. It’s understandable; soft cloth > plastic when it comes to comfort. There’s a reason we adults don’t wear plastic underwear. (Or at least most of us don’t.)
  • Cute! But even with all of our adorable diaper covers, I more often than not covered them up with clothes.
  • Probably cheaper in the long run. They’re a big up-front investment, but the cost of those big boxes of disposables adds up, too.
  • Possibly better for the environment. There are plenty of debates on this topic online… I guess what it really comes down to is whether you’d rather use a lot more water or throw pounds upon pounds of plastic into a landfill. For the past several months, I chose the former, but I’m not sure which (if either) is worse.

And that brings me to the main reason I’m giving them up. Now that J’s poops are more solid and stinky, the smell is getting out of control. I keep all his wet and dirty diapers in a trash can with a lid, and the smell stays contained (for the most part), until laundry day arrives… Then I stand next to the washer, holding my breath while I take each diaper apart and plunk it in. It smells… well, like a bucket of pee and poop that has been allowed to fester for a couple of days. It’s really toxic. (Probably literally… doesn’t pee contain ammonia?) I use vinegar along with the detergent, so they always end up very clean and odorless after the laundry is done, but dealing with that stench (even if it’s just for a couple of minutes) every two or three days is pretty miserable (and unhealthy) for all of us.

On top of those concerns, it’s also just one more thing on my plate. I’ve been feeling a little more stressed than usual lately because of issues at work… and juggling a career and feeding the baby and naptime and spending time with my husband and cleaning and cooking and doing laundry and cleaning diapers… it’s just all a bit much, and I’d like to cut some stressors out wherever I can.

At least we finally discovered that Target brand diapers don’t cause J to have a rash. And they’re cheap! Major plus. J seems to be fine with them!

J in Target brand disposable diapers
J at 8 months in Target brand disposable diapers

If I were a stay-at-home mom and if I had a better storage solution, I would definitely continue cloth diapering. There are a lot of pluses. But I think that returning to disposables is what’s best for me, J, and D at the moment. And I still think having some cloth diapers on hand as back-ups is great advice! At least I know I won’t need to make any midnight runs to the store.


6 thoughts on “Giving Up Cloth … At Least For Now.

  1. Seriously R……I was wondering how long you could do the cloth diaper thing. You have given it a valiant go, really you have, and you should be proud. I am proud of you for prioritizing. My quick story: with Nils I did exactly what you have done with cloth diapers…though there were no cute little covers…just crinkly plastic pants. The cloth diapers were soft and lovely on his skin but those plastic pants were not near as sweet. The elastic at his chubby legs left a mark and the more mobile he got the more they just didn’t keep the pee IN the diaper (and sometimes the poop) YUCK. Also, I was back at work after 4 months with Nils in daycare and hauling around buckets and such for his soiled diapers was getting to be NOT worth it to any of us in the Arrington household. The cloth diapers became dust rags…and good ones at that! When Kyle came along I never even considered cloth…..I was back at work in 3 months, was running back to daycare to breast feed a couple times a day, was keeping a toddler and an infant under some control, was keeping a house clean (sort of), was cooking all meals, (Gene was in his residency and was never home except to sleep a few hours), and I was exhausted all of the time. In order to enjoy my sweet boys at all I needed to cut some corners and those disposal diapers were just so darn easy! This from the gal in the neighborhood who used to collect all my recyclables BEFORE Augusta collected them curbside and actually haul them to a recycle plant every week!
    I don’t think you will be sorry at all that you have switched especially since J will be running your ragged, literally, before you know it. As busy moms we hardly have the time to take a shower sometimes! You are doing what is best for you, D, and J right now and you are wise wise wise!
    Hang in there, R! Get your sleep and be sure YOU get what you NEED as a momma. All too often we don’t! We miss you and can’t wait to meet sweet J!
    Love, Nan

    • Nan, this helped so much. It’s reassuring to know that someone who loves the Earth as much as you do supports me in this! You’re right — things will only get more stressful from here on out. And it’s funny that you say the cloth diapers make good rags — my mom still uses her old pre-folds for that purpose. 🙂

      P.S. Sorry for the editing out of names… :/

  2. Rebecca–I enjoy reading your posts so much! I’m getting so excited about the birth of Benton. You seem to be such a good mommy and I love your honesty and candidness! Keep up the great parenting. J is a lucky little boy and will love reading this blog one day. Wish I had, had this luxury when mine were little. Maybe I’ll let you inspire me to do a grandma blog. Maybe I’ll call it Pip Pip Poray!!

    • Thanks! I’m glad other people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I know someday it’ll be fun to re-read myself… I only wish I had started it sooner. Pip Pip Poray would be a great blog title!

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