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Making the Switch From Disposable to Cloth Diapers

When my husband and I were expecting our first child, we discussed whether we should use disposable or cloth diapers. We liked the idea of the environmental friendliness of cloth but worried about the extra work (as in laundry) that washing and folding the diapers might require.  We still hadn't decided what do by the time our daughter was born.  Much to our surprise, the first diaper she ever wore was a cloth one--at the hospital! The hospital where all three of our children were born is a  "Green Hospital."  It has a BPA-free Mother and Baby Wing, the cafeteria uses real silverware instead of plastic, it uses 100% biodegradable plastic cups and straws made from corn, it recycles all of its paper, plastic and metal-among other things, it composts not only food but landscaping debris, and it uses cloth instead of disposable diapers.  The nurse with whom I chatted about all of this, also proudly informed me that before switching to cloth diapers, the hospital did a complete study of whether or not it would truly be a cost-efficient, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly option--given the amount of water (not to mention detergent) and electricity would be used to launder the diapers.  The cloth diapers won! Not only were they a more cost-effective alternative to disposables, but thousands upon thousands of non-biodegradable diapers would not be headed for the landfill. After diapering our daughter in cloth during our hospital stay, we realized exactly how easy cloth diapers are to use. With our first two children, we used a combination of cloth and disposable diapers.  For our third we are going to use exclusively Thirsties Cloth Diapers.  So far, it has been a breeze.  Sure, I have an extra load of laundry to do every other day or so but it is by far my easiest (and therefore favorite) load to do.  There is no sorting, minimal folding and they all get put back in the same place.  If a mom with  three young children, no cleaning lady and no nanny doesn't think using cloth diapers makes a difference in her laundry load, well then, I think that is saying something!  I think it's a small price to pay for the diapers we don't end up putting in the trash and the chemicals to which we aren't exposing our son's behind. So, was it an easy transition from disposable to cloth?  It sure was, thanks to being introduced to cloth diapers right away in the hospital. We were convinced that if cloth diapers were cost-efficient for the hospital, that they would be for us too.  The Thirsties diapers that we use are super soft, super easy to use and quite frankly, with their bold colors and patterns, they're more fun than disposables.
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  • Elizabeth, I love your Blogs! I read them all and I wish we were all as green in VT! What a great way to educate new moms, right in the hospital! Fantastic!

    Beth Adams on
  • What a great blog for parents still on the diaper-fence. I started cloth diapers through a local service, but had moved to a small town before my second child was born. I worried about getting all the supplies and figuring out a laundry system by my self. It took us a few brands to fine the best fit, comfort, and price; however, once I found Thirsties covers I felt proud and relieved.
    Some people still think I’m crazy to wash my own diapers, but I have a clear conscience and some extra savings!

    Susan Douglas on

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