We've offically made the switch to cloth diapers! Well, at least for 75% of the time I'm home with him... I never would have thought about doing this if it weren't for my sister, Molly. She did them with her daughter and had a great experience with them.... and I have to admit-- I love it, too.
We started Trey with cloth diapers at about 6 weeks and haven't looked back.
Cloth diapers have come a long way from rubber pants and diaper pins. Believe it or not, they are SO easy. I've become a big fan. So, here goes my cloth diaper plug.
(The following facts were obtained via The Diaper Drama. I just picked a few to highlight).
Environment: Disposable diapers create 7.6 BILLION pounds of waste each year in the United States. That makes it the 3rd largest contributor to landfills (behind newspapers and food/drink containers) and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste.
Health: Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and The American Public Health Association advise parents that fecal matter and urine should not be allowed to be disposed of together in the regular trash, because it contaminates the ground water and spreads disease. There are an estimated 100 intestinal viruses living on feces in landfills. These viruses are possible contaminates of our water supplies and could latch on to the insects that would bring these diseases back to us. YUCK.
Financially: The average newborn goes through 8-12 diapers a day, 6-8 diapers a day for an older baby....and most children are in diapers for 2-3 YEARS. Disposable diapers cost approximately $0.25/diaper, so those costs can add up quickly. If you decide to use cloth diapers, you just have invest in the supplies once. There is some cost in cleaning with cloth diapers, but it is minimal (estimated at $3/week, but I forget which website that information is from). Imagine the financial savings over 2-3 years-- especially if you have more than one child! And, another financial plus for all the water rats out there: most cloth diapers (sans inserts) can double as swimming diapers! And, trust me, those swim diapers are super expensive! Great news for this Florida child of mine! :)
Some people feel as though cloth diapers are too much maintence. But, there are many cleaning services available for minimal costs, or, like me, you can choose to clean them yourself (I promise-- it's not that gross).
Other random pro-- cloth diapered babies have less diaper rash, which makes for a very happy baby!
I know it's not for everyone, but I encourage other new moms to at least look into this option. Here is a great site to get you started with the basics: Cloth Diapers 101.