This weekend, as thousands of babies and caregivers attempted to break a world record for simultaneous changing of cloth diapers, including a group in Mt. Airy, I reevaluated my decision to use cloth diapers. (The results of whether they made the record or not are not yet out)
I made my decision based on my desire to be a good environmentally conscious citizen and economics.
My instinct told me that cloth diapers would be both more economical and better for the environment. They would also mean fewer chemicals near my son’s skin.
It turns out that washing, sanitizing and, in general, dealing with cloth diapers is a drain on the environment. Most diaper services use harsh chemicals to be certain that diapers are clean.
I ended up choosing G Diapers, which are a bit of a hybrid. G Diapers have a knit outer shell with a plastic snap-in liner. Inside the snap-in liner you can either put in a cloth insert or a disposable one. The disposable insert is biodegradeable and flushable, although I have not trusted my plumbing enough to try that. We have, however, tried composting the disposable liners that only have urine, to the general disgust of many of my family members.
A year and four sizes (newborn, small, medium and large) later, I feel like I made the right choice for the environment, but likely the wrong choice for my lifestyle. I may have saved some money, but the time I have lost was worth more than the money. Staying on top of diaper laundry, which, obviously, is not washed with anything else, is a huge chore, especially with a full-time job outside the home. And although, I can change a diaper pretty quickly at this point, it still is more time consuming to load these diapers than it is to pull out a disposable diaper.
If we have another baby, then I will have saved more money and more resources, and I will use my G Diapers again, but if I had it to do all over again, knowing what I know now, I would choose disposable diapers.
If you're interested in G Diapers, you can buy them online or locally at Wegmans or Babies R Us (Media location and Springfield location). I found the best deal was in the Babies R Us two packs or the multipacks on Amazon.com.