Friday, September 19, 2008

The Diaper Debate

Franklin and I tend to agree on parenting issues in the big picture sense, but lock horns on the details.

And with parenting?  It's all in the details, baby.

Fiona is due any day now, and I'm still Very Interested in Cloth Diapering.  It never crossed my mind with Freddie, but right now it seems logical and practical.

Franklin argues that if I master breastfeeding and he figures out how to make baby food from scratch, we'll be way ahead of the game.  (Freddie was on formula after a few months and while we fed him organic, it was all store bought in jars.)

He also contends that using Seventh Generation diapers is several notches up from where we started with Freddie.  To my surprise, my new go-to guide,  Diane's Big Green Purse, suggests that even if cloth has an edge, they don't necessarily win by a landslide.

So here's my list:

In favor of cloth diapering
  • Even if it's only slightly better than the alternative, it is better to keep all that waste out of the landfills.
  • Laundry is something that I really don't mind doing.  I'd rather do laundry than almost any other household chore.
  • We have a high efficiency washing machine and can use our a drying rack on our roof deck to minimize the energy used.
  • Cloth diapers have come a long way, and look and act like disposables - only you get to keep and re-use them.
  • None of our local stores sells 7G diapers.  That means we'd have to make special trips to stock up, or order them from
  • Even if we buy the Cadillac of cloth diapers, we'll probably save money.

In favor of Seventh Generation diapering
  • After Franklin's four weeks' paternity leave, I'll be on my own for hours and hours and hours with the baby.  And our toddler.  Keeping up with laundry might be an issue - even without the added burden of washing cloth diapers.
  • Cloth diapers have to be washed every two or three days, and can't always get mixed in with other things.  Even though our washer is efficient, it doesn't have a setting for smaller loads, so the impact might be greater than I imagine.
  • Fiona will go to part-time childcare in January so I can start a (real) job search.  Our childcare center doesn't accept cloth diapers, so she'd be making the change at least part-time anyway.
  • Franklin's right - I want to put my energy into breastfeeding.  I know that can be a challenge.
  • We spend a lot of time outside of our home, traveling mostly on foot and mass transit.  While some women are brave enough to cloth diaper on the go, I'm not sure I'm her.
You see - it's pretty much even.

This morning, Franklin said, "Would you please just buy a cloth diaper and try it?  Otherwise you'll just keep debating it."

He's right, of course.  (This is also a clear signal that Franklin Greene has had it up to HERE with my pro and con lists and just wants me to decide.)

So I've decided to order a cloth diaper and take the let's see how it goes approach.

Only trouble?

Which cloth diaper!

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