Yes, I love the decision my husband and I made 18 months ago to cloth diaper our then-newborn. No, I’m not reconsidering anything. I still think cloth is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Cloth diapering gives babies a chemical-free start in life that doesn’t put them in environmental debt from birth. Plus, it gives mom and dad a few extra bucks in their pockets – honestly, what could be better?
However, just like anything else, there are certain aspects of cloth diapering that I am not especially fond of and I would be lying if I said I loved every minute of diaper duty.
Here are my top five:
I don’t like it when other moms act like I am some judge-y environmental guardian because I cloth diaper. As in, (sheepishly) “I know I shouldn’t be using so many paper plates, but I just can’t get out of the habit… I don’t know how you cloth diaper, I don’t think I could do it.” Well first of all, I think you could do it if you really wanted. Second, I am not here to judge anyone on anything. I choose to cloth diaper, but that does not make me an environmental angel of any kind and certainly not someone you need to live up to (I think most of us, by nature, are a little more eco-leaning, but I doubt any of us would make anyone feel guilty about it. I use paper plates from time to time too, Dude.)
I don’t like that I constantly have to be thinking about diapers. Every time I reach the top of my stairs, I do a mental check-up on where the diapers are in the wash cycle. I am constantly thinking: “Phew. Just stuffed and put away this morning, don’t have to worry about it”or “Dry diapers are ready to be stuffed, how long do I have until I will need them” or “Okay, my diapers are outside sunning. Wait. Is it raining?” or “Oops. Those diapers I washed this morning are still wet!” I guess even that little check-up has become such a habit for me that I don’t even realize I’m doing it, but it’s a constant refrain in my brain.
I don’t like that I can’t find a good cloth solution for overnights. My girl is a heavy wetter to begin with and still takes a bottle before bed. And she’s prone to diaper rash, so even doubling and tripling give us wet sheets, an unhappy baby and a tired mama. The only thing that holds it all at night is a disposable. One per day.
I don’t like that everyone’s cloth diaper wash routine has to be different. Many aspects of cloth diapering depend on your the type of water, washing machine and detergent you have. I wish there were consistent, foolproof instructions for washing diapers that worked for everyone. I mean, I get it. Water is different everywhere, our biology is different, washing machines are different. But wouldn’t it be great to just take out a manual as if it were a piece of Ikea furniture and it would work perfectly every time? Unfortunately, I think that’s why a lot of moms with great intentions end up giving up on cloth. They just can’t figure out a wash routine that works for them!
I don’t like that it’s still not mainstream. Cloth diapering has come so far in the last decade or so, but I still wouldn’t call it mainstream. And that disappoints me. I wish more people would be willing to take the leap into cloth, to put aside their doubts and just give it a try. The environmental benefits – for all of us – of even half of all babies with their tushies in cloth diapers would be considerable.
Everything we love has to have downsides, right? What would you change about cloth diapering if you could? Join our discussion on Facebook and let us know!
Sarah is a mom of two and blogs about her adventures in motherhood, cloth diapering and everything in between. Catch her “Cloth Diapering Unwrapped” series on the FuzziBunz blog every Tuesday.