Thursday, 7 March 2013

I can't cloth diaper because...

Let me preface this by saying, there is nothing wrong with not using cloth diapers. Too often, some mamas get a tad sanctimonious and have a way of making others feel bad for their decision not to use cloth. If you don't want to use cloth diapers, don't use cloth diapers - but don't take anything I say the wrong way and assume I am judging you for your reasons or decisions. This blog post is not for those people, this blog post is for people who want to cloth diaper but feel there is something preventing them from doing so...I call these excuses. Some people cannot physically cloth diaper; I am not ignorant to this fact, I understand it is simply unrealistic for certain situations.
That being said, "I can't cloth diaper because.." is one of the most common phrases I see, and having done cloth diaper videos for 2 years now, I find myself regularly conversing with those people and trying to help them realize the "truth" about cloth diapers, and how their obstacle may be more easily overcome than they initially thought. So today I'm going to discuss some of those obstacles and maybe it will give even just one person a new perspective. Warning: Snarkiness ahead. 

1. "I can't cloth diaper because I can't afford it."
The average cloth diaper stash is $300 over 2 years. The average disposable cost over 2 years is $1700. You don't mean you can't afford it, you mean you can't afford it all right now. If you can afford disposables, you can afford cloth. If you need ideas of how to affordably cloth diaper, go here.
If your concern is that the upkeep of the diapers will break the bank, throw that thought away. My water bill went up like $2 a month after starting cloth. And even if it does go up a noticeable amount, there are tons of ways to cut your water consumption.

2. "I can't cloth diaper because my mom/sister/friend hated it."
My immediate response to this is "Do you parent the exact same way at this person? Are you identical in personality? Do you like the exact same foods and watch the exact same tv shows and date the exact same men?" Unless you are literally the same person (which last time I checked, is impossible) WHY would you assume that you won't like cloth diapering simply because someone told you they didn't like cloth diapering?
My second thought is, "WHY didn't they like cloth diapers?" I can honestly say, the only times I have ever encountered people who hated cloth diapering were due to one of two reasons, 1) They were doing it 10+ years ago when cloth diapers were totally different, or 2) They were doing it wrong. Not to be rude, but if you're doing cloth diapers the 'right' way...there's not much reason to hate it. If you're getting leaks, if you're getting rashes, if you're getting the're doing something wrong, and there are tons of ways to change it and fix it and make it right. If there's another reason they hated it (like they just didn't have time, or found it too difficult to comprehend) I'll go back to point #1, which is "are you the same person? Do you live identical lives? Do you have the same opinion on everything?" And if the answer is no, than stop living your life based on the way someone else lived theirs. Yeah, some people don't have time for cloth diapers, and some people just can't get into the groove of it, but that does not mean it will be the same for you.

3. "I can't cloth diaper because they stink."
Yep, pretty much anything you put next to your baby's butt is more often than not, going to smell like whatever came out of said butt. Diapers don't smell, your baby produces things that smell. And unless you're taking that disposable diaper directly outside to the curb for the garbage truck every.single.time you change a diaper, those disposables are sitting in the nursery smelling it up just as long as a cloth diaper would be.
If you're finding you have a stinky cloth diaper pail, make sure you're using a dry pail, with an open lid and an odor disc; one or more of those may solve your problem completely. Here's a video on troubleshooting stink.

4. "I can't cloth diaper because I don't want to touch poop."
You do know you're having a baby, right? Creating a human being and then coming in contact with their bodily fluids is kind of a given.

5. "I can't cloth diaper because they leak."
If you put them on too loose, yes. If you use the wrong diaper cream or laundry detergent, yes. If you leave it on too long, yes.
Cloth diapering may take some trouble shooting and more thought put into them than disposables, but cloth does not always leak. For me, cloth diapers never leak...especially for no reason. Click here if you're looking for a video on leaks.

6. "I can't cloth diaper because I have to change them more often."
More often than what? Shouldn't you be changing your baby's diaper when they pee or poop in the diaper? Whether you're using disposables or cloth, won't your baby be peeing the same amount? I'm not sure when as people we decided that a disposable diaper claiming to "be able to last 12 hours" was normal or fact, the thought of that truly disgusts me.

7. "I can't cloth diaper because my child has allergies."
You can't really technically be allergic to all cloth diapers. You can have an allergy to a certain material - so choose a different fabric. You can be allergic to a certain detergent - so choose another detergent. Cloth diapers are made from many things; cotton, bamboo, hemp, microfleece, suedecloth, fleece, wool, PUL..and the list goes on. If they are sensitive to a fabric, detergent or cream..use a different one.

8. "I can't cloth diaper because they cause rashes."
As stated above, your child may be sensitive to certain materials or ingredients in certain detergents, or even good thing there are many different options to help fix this issue. If your child is, or you've seen a child be really red in the diaper area after wearing cloth, the number of possible reasons for this is huge; they could be sensitive to the material, you could have build-up issues, you could need more moisture wicking in the diapers, or you could not be changing them often enough. Again, once you troubleshoot this and really learn how the perfect way to cloth diaper your particular child, it should go smoothly. Link to a video on rashes. 

9. "I can't cloth diaper because I don't have time."
This one is legitimate. If you're working 18 hour shifts at your job every day of the week, and only come home to sleep...yeah, it sounds like cloth diapering probably isn't for you. If you have time to do your other laundry, you have time to cloth diaper. Cloth diapering takes no more time than disposables, besides the washing portion. I don't know how the myth got started that cloth diapering takes so much more time. How is it much different? You put a diaper on your baby's bum, a few hours later you take that diaper off, put it in a diaper pail and repeat. Where exactly is all this time consuming diaper changing occurring? Not in my house, that's for sure. Washing my diapers takes about 5 minutes. I put them in the washing machine and turn a knob, about 20 minutes later I go back in and turn another knob. Then I take them out to dry. *Yawn*, how truly exhausting. We're all busy, we all have more exciting things to do than wash diapers; it's about your priority level and what's important to you.

10. "I can't cloth diaper because I don't have a washing machine."
Yep, you can. Washing cloth diapers by hand in your tub is a possibility, or actually buy a hand washing machine..or get an apartment size/portable washing machine. There's also a laundromat, check out how much that would cost you. Keep in mind there are a lot of different types of cloth diapers, and some are actually quite friendly to use even if you don't have access to a washing machine.

11. "I can't cloth diaper because my child is in daycare."
These days, a ton of daycares are accepting cloth diapers, and if they don't it is often because they just don't know anything about it. Suggest to your daycare provider that you sit down and chat about cloth diapers and see if they are willing to be more open minded on the subject. As with your parent/friend/sister, they may not like cloth diapering because they don't know enough about it, or don't know the right information. If you truly  are passionate about cloth diapering, perhaps looking for a daycare provider whose beliefs better compliment yours is something to consider.

12. "I can't cloth diaper because my husband said no."
This would hands down, be the number one 'excuse' I see, and the inner feminist in me gets quite heated when I do. Sometimes I feel like I am in the minority of people who are in relationships founded on communication, compromise and open mindedness. Not one of us is in charge, and not one of us makes the decisions. There is no such thing as "I want to do this." with the response being "No." When my partner and I make any decisions, especially that affect our children, it is a conversation, always. No, this doesn't always result in one person 'winning' or getting exactly what we want, but we base our lives around things that make sense..and cloth diapering just makes sense. If something makes sense, we do it. If something doesn't make sense, we don't do it.
If there is no legitimate reason not to do something, do it. What exactly are your partner's reasons for not cloth diapering, do they make sense? What are your reasons for not disposable diapering, do those make sense?
Let's have fun with a little scenario that you are telling me is happening.
Scenario #1 You say to him "I want to cloth diaper."
He says no.
Result: You don't cloth diaper.
Let's switch that up.
Scenario #2 He says "Let's disposable diaper"
YOU say "No."
Result: You'll still probably end up disposable diapering?
That's literally what you're saying. First of all, I don't know why disposable diapers are the default. Secondly, how is that fair? If you are truly saying no to disposable diapering, than you wouldn't be doing it. Period. What you're doing is putting his word and opinion at a higher importance than yours. That doesn't sound like communicating and compromising at all.
I can't give an answer to the age old "how do I convince my partner to cloth diaper?" because I just don't get how that's a thing you should have to do in your relationship. Discuss, Inform, educate, not convince.

13. "I can't cloth diaper because I don't know how."
In this day and age of technology, you have access to anything and everything you could ever want to learn at your fingertips. As far as I'm concerned, the days of using the excuse "I don't know" are pretty much over. May I use this as an opportunity to self promote my cloth diaper vlogs:

Point is, if you want to do something - you will find a way to do it.
If you don't want to do something - you'll find any excuse not to do it.

This isn't an issue of wanting to cloth diaper or not, if you don't want to cloth diaper who gives a shit? Do whatever you want to do. But if you truly wanted to cloth diaper, you won't find excuse after excuse not to. Just do it and shut up about it :)

Love you
xoxo Lala