Back in cloth for baby Junia

Not long ago I was weighing the costs and benefits of cloth diapering, asking if the whole thing was just a needless waste of time. Ultimately the comfort (for baby) and better hold-poop-in-ness of cloth diapers have pushed us back over the edge. Junia‘s now in cloth! Getting some really cute diaper covers and all-in-ones like the one above didn’t hurt, either. Now to get the 2-year-old back in cloth… or on the potty!

Is cloth diapering a waste of time?

It’s Family Friday here at Words on the Word. And nothing says “family” to me like diapers! We have two children in diapers right now, and our third has been fully potty-trained for just about a year or so. We know poop.

Cloth diapering has long been a value for us (here‘s a great place to get them). My wife and I just couldn’t stand the idea of throwing away so many disposable diapers to take up space in a landfill. As one site I read said, we don’t throw away our clothes (or dishes for that matter)… why would we throw away our children’s diapers?

There are other concerns, too, that led us to cloth diapers. Have you ever changed a diaper and all those little absorbent gel capsules had gotten loose and were all over your child’s nether-regions? Not cool, Pampers. And cloth, I’m convinced, just feels much better on a baby’s bum.  Further, cloth holds things in much better. The large majority of “leakages” I’ve encountered have been from so-called super-absorbent disposables.

But it was primarily a desire to do our part as responsible inhabitants of God’s creation that led us to cloth.

However.

What about the amount of water that we have to use to wash all that cloth? We like to line-dry whenever we can, but that’s tough to do in the winter or if it’s raining. What about all the energy used by running the dryer multiple times a week on cloth? Is cloth diapering just as eco-unfriendly as disposables, albeit in a different way?

I’m not sure how you compare different kinds of environmental impact–is it better to fill up landfills or use lots of water?

I’ve wondered about this for about five years worth of child-rearing now. For us, the other added benefits of cloth diapering (less chemicals, more absorbent, more comfortable, save money in the long run) seal the deal for us in our decision to keep using cloth.

But here‘s an article (with links to studies) that makes the assertion that either method is basically just as good. (!) More here, too.

So what’s a parent to do?