I knew cloth diapering would be my choice for Liv from the start – Kevin on the other hand, was a bit skeptical. Although we work to be extra green around the Spenla household (in what we eat, in our cleaning products and in the materials we choose for remodeling, for example) cloth diapering appears on the surface to be all sorts of messy, inconvenient and just, well, icky.
But my decision had been made early on. Back in college I had the opportunity to travel down to Managua, Nicaragua with Nica HOPE to work with kids that lived in and around the city dump. Coming face to face with landfills that stretched for acres and acres was a life changing experience, and a chance to witness the devastation that piles and piles of garbage are for us and our planet makes you rethink many of your own trash habits.
Our landfills in the States don’t look quite like the versions in third world countries, but they are multiplying at a scary rate nonetheless.
Surprisingly, diapers take up 4% of that space (it’s estimated that the average little baby bum uses roughly 4-6,000 diapers in their first two & half years, that’s somewhere around 40 billion in the US alone) and since it takes between 250-500 years for a diaper to decompose, we’re talking mounds and mounds of plastic & rotting waste for our kids, our kid’s kids, our kid’s kid’s kids and so on. Here’s another crazy fact – the weight of just one year of disposable diapers used in the US is 7.2 billion pounds, and laid end to end these diapers would circle the earth 90 times.
Then there’s the whole health side of the issue and the fact that diapers contain a high amount of chemicals… and the economical point of view that cloth diapering is quite friendly on the wallet (diapering a child in disposables runs between $1500-$3000, depending on the brands you choose and how many your little one needs).
But at the end of the day it all boils down to which one’s cuter, just kidding ;):
All of that being said, I know the choice isn’t for everyone and there’s zero judgment on my part for mommies that prefer the flexibility and convenience of disposables (we agree – they are easier! and we’ll likely use them for travel and what not in the future). It’s a personal choice and every parent has the right to make it for their own family.
Right now we are slowly weaning ourselves off of newborn disposables. Liv was so teeny as a newborn that she really didn’t fit well into the small cloth diapers until now (although for babe #2 I’ll probably start using them sooner).
And so for the next week I’ll be checking out three versions that I’ve read rave reviews about: G Diapers, BumGenius and Thirsties – and I’ll be sharing all of the fun details here (sorry in advance to everyone out there that could care very little about what goes on Liv’s bottom – I promise there are many great remodeling and design posts to come as well!).
Clockwise from top: Thirsties, BumGenius, G Diapers
I chose these three options because they are three very different versions of cloth diapers (the concept in general has moved leaps and bounds in a more mom-friendly direction from years ago!).
G Diapers: hybrid diapers made of a soft cloth that you can fill with either a disposable, compostable insert or a cloth reusable insert.
BumGenius: a cloth diaper with no insert – or an All-In-One as the pro CD moms say (you wash the entire diaper when it gets dirty).
Thirsties: A cover that goes over a traditional three-part cloth diaper (you know, the type that used to be clipped with an extra large safety pin, the type of cloth diaper commonly used as a burp cloth today?).
Let the Baby Green project begin!
If you have any CD tips and tricks, feel free to share!