Cloth Diapers the 2nd time around

As a family we are committed to minimizing our footprint on the environment through lifestyle. When I was pregnant (with my 1st born Noble) we decided early on to use cloth diapers. The notion of  wrapping our child in a plastic bag full of carcinogens and excrement on a daily basis did not seem like a healthy or comfortable thing to do. Also burying 2-3 years of feces in plastic bags that are not biodegradable does not respect the earth or her inhabitants. So we notified our friends and family of our decision to cloth diaper and created a diaper layette. Fortunately my cousin/ sister friends Cynthia and Kimberly supported our request and gifted us everything we needed for the 1st year of cloth diapers. This layette included: bummis, fuzzibunz, inserts, prefolds and wipes. In addition, we purchased 2 newborn bummis… later for  potty training-3 large fuzzibunz and 2 trickle free trainers.   

3 years later, when our 2nd son Royal was born we did not spend a dime. The diapers that worked so well for Noble were put back into circulation. Royal is now 2 years old and nearly potty trained. He can remove the diapers at will and use the bathroom. Most days he wears cloth training pants, fuzzy bunz with out inserts and cloth diapers at night. We are so committed to cloth diapers we used them for 7 months while living in Africa WITH NO WASHING MACHINE! I soaked the soiled diapers in water and hand washed with gloves on every 2 days. Real messy poops were dealt with ASAP. After a month or so it wasn’t so bad as long as I stayed ahead of a dirty diaper pile up. Disposable diapers cost $10 US for a 18 pack. Children in Senegal are potty trained by 6 months of age and simple rags are used for diapers in the village. So I looked like a real toubab washing diapers for an 18 month old boy. While at home or on the compound I let Royal be free with no pants so he could have immediate access to the potty. I spent more time whipping up the floor but that was better than washing poop by hand. Despite the smell it is worth the extra effort not only for the health of my children but for all of humanity. The benefits of cloth diapers are: 

  • Save a tree, waterway and earth
  • Baby Potty trains more quickly
  • Disposable diapers linked to Asthma, chemicals released from diapers are bronchial irritants
  • Sodium Polyacrylate gel (crystals on baby bottom from disposable) used for absorbancy was removed from tampons in 70’s because it caused Toxic Shock Syndrome
  • Dioxin chemical residue from bleaching is a toxic environmental pollutant & immune depressing carcinogen
  • Bleached chinese prefolds are peroxide bleached no chlorine gases released into environment
  • Average baby has 7,500 diaper changes filling up landfills not designed for human feces
  • 7,500 X $.24(each diaper)= $1,800 not including disposable wipes
  • You can use the same cloth diapering supplies on siblings, sell or give them away

·       Laundry for 7,500 diaper changes and 24 diapers per wash load = 313 loads. Detergent will run you about $0.26 per load = $81.25 Water and sewer,2  wash cycles @ 40 gallons each @ water cost of $0.007 per gallon = $0.56 per load = $175.28 Electricity to run washer and dryer = $0.45 per load = $140.85 depreciation on washer and dryer = $0.25 per load = $78.25. Total = $475.63. (not based on WAPA LEAC!)

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