Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why I Use Cloth Diapers

I love cloth diapers. I strongly believe that they are better for my babies, better for my pocketbook and better for the environment. Anytime I come across an article extolling the virtues of the cloth diaper I give myself a pat on the back. However, to be perfectly honest, none of those are the reasons that I started to use cloth diapers.

But before I talk about cloth diapering, let me tell you about my Denby Stoneware.

I spent most of my life as a bachelorette eating off of paper plates. As a law student, I survived primarily on Amy's frozen meals, eating them directly out of the plastic packaging after pulling them from the microwave. I hated doing dishes. Why should I go to the trouble of actually buying reusable plates, I reasoned, when it was so much cheaper and easier to use paper ones? I could buy a few hundred for a few dollars. Less money and less effort, right?

But then, shortly after I was married I pulled out the Denby Stoneware plates I'd inherited from my grandmother. They felt so smooth, cool and heavy in my hands. They felt good. Satisfying. I was proud to serve food on those plates. Those plates, I discovered, contributed to a higher quality of life. My meals became elevated from strictly utilitarian events, consumed mindlessly while studying, to enjoyable, purposeful endeavors.

I had a similar experience the first time I encountered a cloth diaper. I was in now-defunct Austin Baby buying a Moby wrap. I picked up a FuzziBunz. The Microfleece cloth felt so soft. I had to resist the urge to rub it on my face. Shortly thereafter, my first daughter was born. I used disposable diapers, but I kept thinking about the FuzziBunz. At $18 a diaper, though, they just seemed prohibitively expensive.

But I couldn't stop thinking about the FuzziBunz. A few months after she was born, I went back to Austin Baby and bought four of them. A few weeks later I bought a few more on Ebay. A month later I bought a few more. Slowly, as I acquired more cloth diapers, I used fewer disposables. And every time I put a cloth diaper on my daughter, it just felt so much better than the disposables. Softer, prettier, not covered in corporate logos. The environment or the money weren't even on my mind. Cloth diapers just felt so right.

By the time my second daughter was born, I'd already built up enough of a diaper stash that I could cloth diaper both girls full-time. Since I started my second on cloth from the beginning, she'd fuss and complain when I tried to put a disposable on her. She was already accustomed to the luxury of cloth.

I'm currently pregnant with my third daughter and eagerly anticipating cloth diapering her as well. I don't really need to buy anymore diapers. She's not even born and I have all the supplies I need to diaper her from birth until potty training, but that doesn't stop me from buying more diapers anyway. I stalk WAHM's on Etsy and Hyena cart, snatching up good deals on homemade diapers. I pull them out of the envelop as soon as they arrive, squeal and rub them all over my face. So soft and squishy. I'm addicted. I'm even attempting to teach myself to sew my own.

Do I still use disposable diapers? Yes. I still use paper plates, too. When life is crazy, I know I have disposables to fall back on for some instant convenience - plates and diapers. But I don't want either to be a part of my daily life. Disposable just isn't who I am anymore. And 99.9 percent of the time I'm not doing it to feel sanctimonious, I'm doing it because it feels so good. I guess I'm just too much of a hedonist for disposable diapers.