Thursday, June 17, 2010

"hippie" is relative...

ben says i'm a hippie for where we live, in wyoming. but if we were in, say, seattle, i would not be a hippie at all.

i think he's right though.

i'm a nut about recycling (or i try to be), and i would prefer all organic (if it wasn't so stinkin' expensive... if we move to a land that isn't mostly sand and dirt instead of good, rich soil, i would like to put more effort into growing my own produce), and i'm deeply passionate about the fair-trade movement.

i'm also more and more on the convinced side that i want to use cloth diapers. and i really want a wrap in which to carry my baby. (and yet we're registered for a stroller as well.... see? not a "seattle hippie")

i still have a lot of research to do concerning cloth diapers. mostly which brands/for what cost/etc... thankfully i have friends whom, through the glorious technology of facebook, are easy to contact and have experience in the areas of cloth diapering. plus the wide network of fellow preggos i often associate with in the chat forums of thebump; they have also been highly helpful in my quest for diaper-wisdom.

but when it comes down to the biggest push for cloth diapers, i just can't bear the thought of all my baby's diapers sitting in some landfill. it's like nails on a chalkboard for me. ("wyoming hippie")

i also have issues with plastic bags, and yet i keep forgetting to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store with me, and thus i have to keep using their plastic bags if i want to lug my purchases to my car without a struggle.

i'm just all over the place, i guess.

but back to cloth diapers and baby wraps:

so far, here are my pros for using cloth:
  • i'm not adding thousands of diapers that will just plague our beautiful planet and her inhabitants until the end of time/armageddon because it's made of a material that isn't biodegradable. (i take personally and seriously the charge that God gave to adam and eve to take care of this earth and her creatures within. i feel i have not done a good enough job in that area. but then, there are also bigger issues, like human suffering, wars, hatred, violence. it's an ongoing struggle for me on where to draw the line, and what should take precedence concerning my time and energy.)
  • in the long run, it does save money (especially if we have multiple children, which is the plan, and thus can be used and reused for quite some time). to quote a lady from the bump: "i can cloth diaper my child to potty training for about $500 and reuse those diapers for future children. as far as laundry costs, 3-4 more loads a week won't cost that much at all. the average child uses 5,000-8,000 diapers by potty training. at an average of 25 cents each, the cost saving are easy to see."
that right there is enough to convince me.... but wait, there's more!
  • there are now biodegradable liners that can be used in cloth diapers so that the changing/cleaning process isn't nearly as tedious as it once was.
  • not that i worry as much about chemicals as, say, my mom, or perhaps "seattle hippies", but there are a lot of chemicals used to make disposable diapers. i can't stand the feel of synthetic underwear. and while i know my baby won't remember the feel of a diaper on his/her skin, i'd still much rather put my child in something soft and natural, not chemical filled.
  • supposedly (from another lady on thebump) cloth diapering leads to fewer rashes for baby and sooner potty training, "because they can feel what's going on down there" (her words, not mine) - i don't know if it's true, but i'd like to believe it makes sense.
  • they are pretty cute, and they come in different patterns/colors... (i know, not really a valid reason to choose one thing over another, but clearly it's just one more reason in a line of already valid points.)
  • and one of my favorite reasons (another from my "friends" at thebump): "pooplosions!" (i think the only reason it's my favorite is because of the word combo of "poop" and "explosions" - genius!) apparently, according to several ladies' experiences (one came up with the genius term, and others concurred with the experience), pooplosions in a disposable diaper are not well contained (if at all), and are a disgusting mess to clean up. pooplosions in a cloth diaper are no more difficult to clean up after than a regular poop. (ie - you're not also cleaning it out of baby's clothes, hair, the car seat, etc.)
and for the cons to cloth diapering?
  • you do have to wash them, as you can't just throw them away. but with my biggest reason for preferring cloth diapers being one of the environment, i don't want to just throw them away, so this one is kind of lost on me. yes it's more work, but it's worth it.
  • newborns go through so many diapers, and i'm told i'll be tired enough as it is, that i won't want to have to wash that many cloth diapers at the start. maybe this is naive, but i'd like to think i'll be able to handle the extra load of diapers with the rest of our laundry, especially since i'll be staying at home after the baby is born. it'll be a struggle at first, i'm sure, but again, still worth it to me.
  • i've heard the argument as well that the water/energy used to wash them cancels out any savings, but after looking into the dollars and cents of it all, i'm not so sure i'm convinced of that one.
  • i can't really think of any others........
so that pretty much settles it for me. as long as ben isn't abhorrently opposed to cloth diapers, i have no desire whatsoever to use any disposables. (granted, we do have quite a few disposables that were purchased on sale/have already been given to us, and i will use those up - but to buy/register for more? i'll cringe every time i throw one in the garbage, not just because of the smell, but knowing that i'm adding to the waste that's already overabundant on our planet. i just can't do it.)

and as for the wraps... i think i'm in love with these ones (some can get pretty expensive, but a majority of them are moderately priced, and comparable to the ever-growing-in-popularity moby wrap, which, for almost the same price, i find to be dull and boring in comparison)...

i have a hard time picking a favorite print, but i think it's a toss up between this one, this one, this one, this one, this one or this one. :P

(my only problem in deciding is that some of the more floral ones might be a little... awkard? if we have a boy. i have yet to determine if it really matters or not. afterall, i'm the one wearing it, he will just be in it. but again, that would only be an issue if we have a boy. but who knows, maybe i'll wait till after baby is born before i make up my mind on which one... if i even decide to go that route at all.)

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