Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cloth Diaper Myth Busting

a guest post by Anne Loarie

I want to share with you, gentle reader, a few things that I have learned on my cloth diapering journey. Please be forewarned, however, that your image of cloth diapering is about to be shattered...

Myth #1: Cloth diapering is inconvenient

I’m going to be frank. Nothing is quite as convenient as simply throwing something away when you’re done with it. Personally, I find dishwashing to be entirely inconvenient. But, is my alternative truly to forgo the reusable in favor of paper and plastic? Not really. Dishwashing is just one of life’s jobs. It is what makes a kitchen a kitchen. That’s how I feel about cloth diapers. The extra step of cleaning the diapers IS more work than tossing the disposable diaper into the garbage, simply to be hauled away to a landfill. Yes, it is more work. But is it a LOT more work? No. Is it hard work? No. Is it a new skill and/or routine to acquire? Unless you have a maid and currently have no idea how to do your laundry or diaper your own child, then... No. You see, cloth diapers are still like any other diaper. You put a clean diaper on your child. Your child dirties the diaper. You take the dirty diaper off and put it in the pail (with or without a spray, depending on damage). But here is the difference with cloth diapers: you now wash and dry the diaper and put it back in your stash. There it is. Not so bad at all. In fact, that’s pretty dang easy!

Myth #2: Cloth diapering is unsanitary

I’m no hydrological engineer, but I just want to point out that your washing machine drains out through your septic system to be treated with all of your other waste water. Alternatively, disposable diapers end up in landfills which are not designed to treat human waste/excrement. If your washing machine is worth its salt (and any form of chunkiness is sprayed off in to the toilet), then you have nothing to worry about.

Myth #3: Cloth diapering doesn’t travel well

Most of the trips that I have taken my little babe on have involved one grandparent’s house or the other. I have simply brought a plastic bag along and brought the used diapers home with me for quick trips or used their washer for longer stays. Through this process even the grandparents have become total converts!

Myth #4: There is only one way to cloth diaper

Woe to those folks still living in the bygone era before the amazing flurry of cloth diapering innovations! Please join me in exploring the vast array of adorable systems and lines of cloth diapers, many of which are designed by mamas and made right here in the United States! This ain't your mama’s cloth diaper!

Myth #5: It is inappropriate to request child-care providers to use cloth diapers

All you need to do is provide a clean assortment of ready to snap/Velcro on diapers with a pail and most providers that I know are up to the task! If they are squeamish about the occasional spray then there are options that have disposable inserts which could provide a nice transition. The new age of cloth diapering is still spreading by word of mouth and so it really just requires an extra moment to explain the process. More and more child-care providers are open to cloth diapers, and as we continue to use cloth diapers and the community grows, child care providers will grow with us!

Myth #6: Cloth diapers are unattractive

This is truly the fun part of cloth diapering, and what has converted many once reasonable people into cloth diapering FREAKS! There are so many systems and styles and looks and packages that it can make a person just gleeful with options! Plus, if you’ve got a knack for sewing, there are patterns that abound with possibility. Oh, the adorable patterns that your little munchkin can sport all summer long! Plus, cloth diapers can double as SWIMMERS!!! Yes, you heard it here, friends. Sigh. I love cloth...

So, there you have it--six nasty cloth diapering myths debunked for you. Now, please don’t hold me accountable as your obsession (and stash) grows!

About the Author:

Anne Loarie is a cloth diapering mama living in Northern California with her partner and best friend, and her adorably sassy 2-year-old. She is also the owner of Green Gamboni, a small line of organic denim jeans designed to fit--you guessed it--cloth diapers! Check out her site for details at, or join her on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Great information! There are definitely a lot of misconceptions out there about cloth diapering that need myth busting! I agree with all your points and actually find some of these myths about cloth to actually be true about disposables personally!

    Julia @ Natural Parents Network