Diapering your babies isn’t supposed to be terribly complicated, but sometimes it can be. Do you choose organic disposable diapers, cloth diapers, or just any old diapers that you happen to grab off the shelf from the grocery store in your sleep deprived new-mom state? For many, cloth diapers tend to be one of the best options, but they can also be a huge headache. Are cloth diapers actually practical for working moms, and how can you make them work for you?
Pros of Cloth Diapering
First, let’s take a look at some of the perks of cloth diapering.
Depending on the type of diapers you buy, you can actually save money. Instead of buying a box of disposable diapers every week or two weeks, you just spend money on a single initial investment. With a few decent sets of cloth diapers, you may never have to buy diapers again — as long as you have a working washing machine.
Cloth diapers are also better for your baby’s sensitive little bottom. Cloth diapers don’t contain the chemicals that you can find in disposable diapers, which can cause problems for sensitive skin.
If you’re concerned about going green, cloth diapering is a great option. There are no diapers to fill up the landfill when you use cloth diapers and once they’ve outlived their usefulness, they’re recyclable.
One perk that most people overlook is the facts that cloth diapered babies tend to potty train faster and earlier than those who wear disposable diapers. This is because cloth diapers don’t pull moisture away from your baby’s body, making it easier for them to learn to recognize their body’s functions. If you’re trying to get your baby potty trained as quickly as possible, cloth diapers are the way to go.
Cons of Cloth Diapering
Cloth diapers aren’t all sunshine and roses, unfortunately. What are some of the downsides of cloth diapers?
For starters, we’re going to talk about cost again. Yes, if you’re smart and you have a good washing machine, cloth diapers can save you money but if you find yourself repeatedly buying cloth diapers because you can’t wash them or for whatever other reason, you lose the cost effective perk that comes with cloth diapering.
Cloth diapering can also be tricky if your baby is going to be going to daycare or a babysitter while you’re working. Your childcare provider has to be on the same page, and willing to work with you on cloth diapering, or you’ll need to buy disposable diapers to send with your little one to daycare.
If your washing machine breaks down, you might be in trouble if you cloth diaper your child. Having the comfort of being able to get clean diapers just by doing the laundry is great but if you lose your ability to do laundry, even temporarily, disposable diapers might become more practical.
It can be tricky to get started with cloth diapering too, if you don’t have a supportive group of local cloth diapering mommies who are willing to help you get started. Take the time to do some research before you start buying cloth diapers all willy nilly…you’ll end up wasting a ton of money if you’re not informed.
Is it Practical for Working Moms?
Finally, is cloth diapering practical for working moms? Absolutely, as long as you meet a few criteria:
- Do you have a working washing machine, or at least one that’s still under warranty and can be repaired quickly if it breaks?
- Do you have a child care provider that is willing to work with you and cloth diaper your child while he or she is in their care?
- Is your spouse on the same page and willing to work with you?
- Do you have the funds to purchase a sufficient amount of cloth diapers when your child is born?
If you’ve answered yes to most of these questions, then congratulations — you’re in the perfect position to start cloth diapering your kids. If you have the option to fix one or more of these issues before your child is born, then you’re still good to go.
The most important thing to remember is that while yes, cloth diapers can be better for your baby’s skin and are most definitely better for the environment, they aren’t the be all end all of diapering options. Much like the breastfeeding vs. formula feeding debate, there is no one right way to diaper your child. The most important thing is making sure that they are in fact diapered, and that they are kept as clean as babies can be. As long as that is the case, it doesn’t matter whether you use disposable diapers, cloth diapers, or let your kids go commando when they’re at home.
So when it comes down to it, are cloth diapers practical for working moms? Yes, as long as you have the means to wash them and your child care service (if any) is on the same page with you and is willing to use the cloth diapers that you supply. If these diapers seem like they’ll be a good option for you, feel free to give them a try! You might be surprised how much you love them — or you might hate them and end up reselling them on Facebook to fund your disposable diaper habit. Either way works.