August 7, 2014

I Don't Use Cloth Diapers (and totally feel bad about it)

Here's the post I knew I needed to write as soon as I could.

And also the post I really didn't want to write.

The one where I admit to everyone out there that I don't use cloth diapers.  

The lambasting can start.  Zero Waste Mommy uses disposables!

I used to use cloth diapers.  I've used them on my oldest daughter.  I've even used them on my youngest.  But I don't use them anymore.

I want to use them.  Every time I change a diaper in this house, which is still six times a day or so, I feel guilty, and angry, that I have to throw this thing away with no decomposition date in sight.

The issue isn't scraping pooh into the toilet, the logistics of leaving the house, or even time spent washing (which I don't mind - I'm already in the laundry room every day as it is).  It's familial disagreement.

The hubs wasn't on board.  And I was only, like, 75% into it.

Go to the comments section of any "to cloth or not to cloth" post and witness the pure vitriol between moms over how they cover their babies' butts.  I don't need that in my family (I'm not sure I want it in my comments section either....?).  We already have money, the kids and housekeeping to argue about, I didn't want add something that will remind me of our marital discord every few hours (or more for newborns).

Short-lived:  the diaper AND the nap.

Plus, and this was his primary argument, we live in the desert.  A actual, verifiable desert with six to nine inches of rainfall a year.  Adding additional water requirements to our life seemed like an ecological no-no.

And I wish I had a picture of one of our many yellow-curry diaper blowouts because it would sum up the other reason we don't use cloth.  I tried every snap/velco/pin/duck tape combination conceivable.  Newborn insert, night-time insert, toddler insert - they ALL leaked.  And nothing says "thank you for life, Grandma" than a lap full of baby pooh.

Watch out Grandma Dee!

I don't even want to get into the other downsides of cloth diapers (but here's a link to a one cute one anyway) because I really support the idea and am impressed by those that stick it out.

The last time I wrote about something I don't do, a shampoo-less lifestyle, I decided to give it another shot (two months in now, slightly itchy scalp, hair looks as bad as I normally 'keep' it, but not any worse).  So maybe I'll dig deep into the girls' closet, behind the luggage, off-limits markers and amassed used decorative tissue paper and relocate our diapers to the changing table.  And I think I see a diaper-less weekend in my future...

We did try again a year later - here's how it went.


  1. We used cloth diapers with #1 because it was easy. It was cheap and the service came by weekly with clean diapers and took away the nasties.

    Then we moved to Denver. No such service. And #2 came. Easier to do disposable.

    I haven't checked in about 17 years, but back then, #1 had the nicest little tooshie, compared to rash-ridden #2.

    1. #1 had diaper rash with both unfortunately. #2 just didn't get it as much. I think sometimes it's the type of skin they have? I forgot about diaper services. You're the first person I've seen write that cloth was easy!

  2. I just love the photo of Little Dave. Love the shoes. She will sue you in about 18 years. And to comment on Iron Mike's post... cloth is always easier with #1. ;-)

    1. Well Karma - sadly the pic had to come down (though not for litigious reasons). :-( It really was a perfect picture.

  3. Thank you for this. I'm going to give cloth diapers a try with my now 14 month old! I know I'm so late, but I also feel guilty every time I throw a diaper away. I won't be so hard on myself however if it doesn't work out.

    1. Well the good news is, for a 14 month old, you don't need to have as many diapers on hand (though you do need to have a good amount to make it work). So the upfront investment isn't as rough (especially if you find some on forums for used baby stuff). Plus if it works and you have another...