Diapers. The modern solution to stinky baby butts. In some cultures, it’s normal to simply hold the baby away from mom while he does his business, but in our culture, this is not the case. We require that babies are encased in something; paper, gel, cloth – so long as it soaks up the bad stuff, we’re pretty much good with it. Some of it though, is not sustainable.
Disposable diapers, convenient though they are, will be with us long after the death of the user. Had Christopher Columbus been in ‘sposies, his would still be in our landfills. Yes, there is evidence that they last 4-600 years in the landfill. Sustainable? Probably not. Then there’s also the question of “What on earth goes into the diapers?” Well, to build that supremely absorbent material, there’s a lot of questionable stuff. Carcinogens? Maybe. Is it good for your newborn’s tush? Probably not.
So what do you, the caring parent do? You look elsewhere. What else is on the market to use? Cloth? We all go…”_I_ remember those…they were AWFUL to wear!!!” Alternately…”They were AWFUL to use!!!”
Fear not! Things have changed. These are NOT your mother’s cloth diapers.
Flats, origami folding and rubber pants? A thing of the past. Throw the idea out the window. Now, there are many other options! All-in-one diapers, pocket diapers, hybrid diapers and convertible diapers!
All in one diapers: These are just like disposable, except, well, you scrape the poo off & wash ’em.
Pocket diapers: These have a pocket so you can insert a padding to soak up the stuff you want to flush or wash.
Hybrid diapers: These are a combination of both all in one and pockets. They have a tail like all-in-one’s, but it fits into a pocket, so it’s tucked away!
Convertible diapers or shells: These are a diaper that you either snap or insert a filler into so that it sits right next to baby. These can be disposable or re-usable.
Right now, these diapers all run about $20 a pop. OMG. Right? For a single diaper? You’ve got to be kidding!! No, really, think about it. The average kid runs thru a package of disposables in a week. That’s $20 a week, $100 a month or $1200 per year. Most kids are in diapers between 2-4 years depending on gender – sorry guys, boys stay in dipers longer – so for your average girl, $3000 in disposable diapers (2.5 years) and for your average boy, $4200, (3.5 years).
The average kid will need approximately 30-40 cloth diapers to go 4-5 days before washing. At $20 each, 40 diapers will cost you $800. Yes, a steep admittance price, but over the lifetime of your kid? Huge. Plus, if the if there is an long term emergency and the grid is down – you can do ’em by hand! (It’s relatively easy – I do them by hand every year for 2 weeks during the summer on our annual camping trip.) Disposable diapers take up space and will be gone when they’re gone. New cloth diapers? Hand ’em down & re-use ’em!!