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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Green Diapering: Successes and Failures

In the wake of our local cloth diaper store closing I feel compelled to reflect on our green diapering experience so far.

Our goal of having William leave a tiny carbon footprint for his diaper use had a little set back with his extended stay in the hospital.  For the first week of life William sported disposable pampers an was cleaned with disposable wipes.  I have to say babies in hospitals is really what disposables were meant to be used for.  I can't imagine what a pain it would be dealing with all those dirty cloth diapers and trying to teach exhausted new parents how to cloth diaper along with everything else they're learning.  I know there was a time this was the norm, but I'm grateful we have a different option now.  Although I don't see any reason hospitals can't use chlorine free diapers; better for babies and the environment.

And now for our second green diapering confession we brought the open packages of of wipes and disposables home from the hospital, and we used them!  I was totally overwhelmed by the chaos in our home when we brought a screaming newborn inside to meet the fleet of pets.  I carried him straight to his changing table and tried to put a cloth diaper on him like a good green mom.  I can't tell you what a relief it was when Jim suggested we hold off on the cloth until the next day.

And the next morning we started experimenting in cloth diapering and Jim made another great suggestion; we start just with the diapers and then would ease in to the cloth wipes in a day or two.  That gradual switch to green diapering made the transition feel like an accomplishment instead of a duty.  Progress not perfection! (what the motto of all green parents should be)

The first few weeks in cloth we really struggled with the fit of his Happy Heinys pocket diapers.  His legs weren't quite chubby enough to get a tight fit and we had numerous accidents through the leg holes.  We were very glad to have some pre-folds to fall back on since the covers had a tighter leg fit.

And now for our third green diapering confession, we bought more disposables after we got home.  We're actually on our third package now and have moved up another size.  (not too bad for 7 weeks) It was great to have them for emergency back up in the diaper bag and for nights when he was so upset cloth just seemed impossible.  This last package we just bought because he was being babysat for a few hours, and it seem like the right thing to do.

We may never be one of those families who travel with diaper bucket and laundry soap and bogarts our parents washing machine at christmas to wash cloth diapers, but the way we figure it is every time we wrap his hiney in cloth it's one less disposable the will end up in the landfill.

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