September 13, 2008
Reusable Diapers -- They're Easier Than You Think!
They may look a little goofy, but they're great!
Bum Genius diapers, washable and reusable one-size all-in-one diapers, are so cute (if a little bulky on a newborn). While Pampers leaked all the time, these hardly ever do -- and if they do it's because we put them on too loosely. They're also really soft -- softer than disposables -- and keep Ciaran dry enough with the microfiber absorbent inserts and the wicking fabric against his skin. The outer part, built into the diaper (so no plastic pants needed), are also soft -- but waterproof too.
They're easy to wash (cold wash, followed by a hot wash with an extra rinse), and they use very little detergent. Dry for a cycle in the dryer and we're all set -- only one load per day! Breast milk poop is water soluble, so there's no rinsing or soaking required. When this is no longer the case, we have a diaper sprayer (like a sink sprayer) that attaches to the toilet, so rinsing will be easy.
They're a hefty investment (running about $18 each), but it's still far less expensive than disposals, which run between $2000 and $3000 during the diapering life of the average baby. (If you have more than one kid, these really start to save you some serious cashola.) They're even better when you consider the environmental costs and the presence of toxins in disposables. Sure they're slightly less convenient than disposables, but not enough to make the other costs worth while. Oh -- and we use cotton reusable wipes, too! They stay moist and comfy with a diaper warmer, which has an anti-microbal insert. We just throw them with the diapers in a regular waste basket lined with a waterproof liner (which goes in the wash right with the diapers).
Some people say that reusable diapers are just as bad environmentally as disposables, and they have a point: the washing uses a lot of water and energy. But we have a front-loading Energy Star washer which cuts both water and energy use by quite a bit. And imagine thousands of diapers in a landfill for 500 years! And that's just for ONE baby! Nothing is perfect, everything has costs and benefits. But these are really great, and that'll have to be good enough for now.