Cloth Diaper Q&A (plus a sweet discount!)
I have exciting news! Wonderwear, a cloth diaper service in southern Ontario, has created a promo code just for you, my readers and clients.
I think cloth diapering is pretty fab, but I get there are a lot of reasons to be hesitant about doing it. I know I personally don’t love the idea of washing poopy diapers...and it’s not about the poop factor. It’s the time and hassle of it. A postpartum family already has enough laundry to do! This is why I’m grateful for services like Wonderwear, which exist to make cloth diapering hassle-free (not to mention affordable, at $20/week...compare that to disposables!).
Why even bother with cloth, though?
For a good dose of cloth diaper inspiration, I turned to my pal Mira at Doulas on Bikes. She is one of the biggest cloth diaper enthusiasts I know (who initially told me about cloth diaper services, actually). Here's my Q&A with her:
What do you think is the biggest reason families should consider cloth diapering?
Every disposable diaper ever made still exists. Right now. In a landfill. Or the ocean. When you look up the time it takes to break down a disposable diaper, those are estimations because we actually don't know. Some figures say 500-800 years, some say over 1000. If that isn't a good enough reason to consider cloth, then I don't know what we're all doing here!
What are some misconceptions about cloth diapering?
That it's so much messier and more difficult than disposables. Kids are messy! Whether you cloth diaper or not, poop will inevitably end up on your hands, in your hair, and on your clothes. Disposables do not make babies less messy, or poop less. They just make babies a bigger threat to our environment. In fact, ask your friends with kids what a "blow out" is, and they will explain all about it. Well, let me tell you that blow outs do not happen with cloth diapers; they are a disposable diaper problem. So you may actually touch less poop with cloth diapers. Also, there are ways to make cloth diapers neater, such as flushable liners that are made of a material similar to toilet paper. They make laundering much easier, and lower the chances of poop touching your hands. ;)
What are the factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a cloth diaper service?
I used a service for my first, mostly to ease my partner into the idea. He is not quite the earth lover I am, so there was a bit of convincing when it came to cloth in our house. The simplicity of the service made him love it, mostly when reminded that he had not once had to run out to the drugstore for diapers. While I've moved on to owning my own diapers for my second, I can see how laundering them yourself would be more difficult (while not impossible) without in home laundry. That would be the biggest factor, I think, when deciding on using a service versus ownership.
Is it easy to travel with your cloth diapered baby? Do you have any tips to share?
Travelling with a cloth diaper baby can get complicated, but of course it depends on the duration of the trip and the mode of transportation. A good, large wet bag can help, and knowing how many diapers your baby goes through in a day so you can pack the minimum and have them washed at the end of the day. Hand-washing diapers is fine for a short time, between heavier duty washings. If using a service and not planning to use them during a trip, call ahead and let them know so your service can be suspended while you're away. If you're travelling far, on an airplane, and choose to switch to disposables for the week, forgive yourself! Think of all the diapers you've kept out of a landfill every other week of your baby's life, and don't worry yourself. Also shop around for more eco-friendly disposable diaper brands. They are not all created equally!
What's your top piece of advice for a family that's about to start cloth diapering?
Start with cloth from day one. Have them ready before the birth of your child to ensure you see it through. I've known people who had the best of intentions when it came to cloth diapering, but they started on disposables in the immediate postpartum, figuring it would make the early period easier, and they never get into the habit of cloth. Also, you can do it!
For more info about Doulas on Bikes, check out their website. Mira and Vera Kevic are sisters, doulas, childbirth and lactation educators, and all around fantastic human beings. If you’re in TO and looking for good solid support and education, I recommend them!
When it comes down to it, diapering, just like everything else, is a personal family decision. No decision is right or wrong, and as a doula I believe in the importance of having information and choice. You can choose cloth, disposable, a mix of both, or diaper-free (yes, it’s a thing!). Don’t forget - you can always change your mind about how to diaper, at different ages and stages!
If the only thing holding you back from choosing cloth diapers is the thought of washing them yourself (or perhaps you live in an apartment without a washing machine and can’t fathom taking your cloth diapers to the laudromat!) then I recommend trying out a service. If you’re in Toronto, Hamilton, Barrie, Oshawa, or anywhere in between, check out Wonderwear - and don’t forget to use the promo code ‘alexjameswonderwear’ to get 30% off your starter package.
What are your thoughts on diapers? Have you used cloth diapers, or do you plan to? Comment below!