Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cloth diapers

When Benjamin was about 5 months old we decided to do diapers the old fashioned way.  We stopped buying Pampers and started stocking up on prefolds and pocket diapers.  I admit that we were not excited about the change.  At all.  We did it purely for Benjamin's health and comfort.  For the previous few months (a.k.a. the majority of his life) he had a horrible case of diaper rash that wouldn't clear up.  We tried over the counter rash creams.  We tried medication for athlete's foot (recommended by his pediatrician).  We even spent almost $300 on a prescription diaper rash cream!  Nothing worked.  I felt so sorry for him. 

When the crazy expensive rash cream didn't work I knew we needed a different plan of attack.  We couldn't merely treat the rash, we had to remove the source of irritation.  In this case, the diapers.

Some people are able to use elimination communication to avoid using diapers but I had serious doubts about my ability to pull that off.  The next best thing was to use cloth diapers.  I am lucky enough to have a good friend who is a cloth diaper expert (she cloth diapered all three of her kids!).  She and I talked at legnth about what type of cloth diapers would be right for us.  I decided to primarily use prefolds and covers with the occasional pocket diaper.  I placed my order with and anxiously waited for my delivery.  I was so ready to get rid of Ben's diaper rash!  As soon as my diapers arrived and were prepped my friend came back to show me how to use them.  We literally sat around the dining room table putting cloth diapers on all of our stuffed animals.

The next morning Ben started sporting his adorable new diapers.  Within 48 hours he was rash free - without the use of any cream!  At that point I was sold.  Cloth diapers were a miracle treatment for him!  I quickly worked a cloth diaper routine into my laundry schedule.

Ben is wearing a blue BumGenius 3.0 diaper in this photo.

Over the past year and a half I have observed many benefits of cloth diapering.  I am never truly OUT of diapers.  Worst case scenario I do a load of laundry and we have fresh diapers again.  I have not used a single dose of rash cream or baby powder and Ben has remained rash free.  Cloth diapers have a somewhat large cost upfront but you don't have to continually buy them like disposables.  Long term they save a ton of money!  We have only spent about $400 on diapers total! Cloth diapers have a generous size range so we have only had to buy a few larger covers to make the existing prefolds fit.  As great as those benefits are, we are beginning to experience what might be the best benefit of all.  Early (by today's standards) potty training!  From about 20 months old Ben has been very interested in potty training.  He remains dry about 75% of the time now which I think is fantastic since he is barely 24 months old!  I am happy to let Ben take the lead on potty training.  He is given the choice of underwear or diapers and usually chooses underwear.  At some point every day he switches to the most natural of all choices - naked.

Cloth diapering has been a great experience for us.  I am happy that I was able to find a chemical free solution to chronic diaper rash.  All in all it wasn't really any more time consuming or difficult that using disposable diapers.

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