So, in the meantime, I'm going to talk about one of the first childrearing decisions Glen and I ever made, long before we seriously started considering having a baby.
We've been a bit on the crunchy side, even since we first got married (which, incidentally, was on Earth Day in 2006, but we didn't choose the date for that reason, we chose it because it was the week after Easter and we wouldn't have to buy flowers for the church!). But increasingly so as the years have gone by. It started with simply using canvas bags at the grocery store, and now we grow some of our own food, buy a large portion of what we don't grow at the farmers' market. We buy our eggs and meat directly from a local farm, where we can be assured that the animals were treated humanely and not pumped full of unnecessary antibiotics and hormones.
The crunchy streak continues with our decision to use cloth diapers. There are three main reasons for this decision:
Cost - Disposable diapers are expensive. According to this website, assuming Stormageddon is out of diapers by the time she's 2 1/2, we'd have spent about $2500 on disposable diapers. This seems on par with estimates I've seen elsewhere. I've done the math, and using a combination of prefolds (the cheapest option, and probably our primary diaper style) and pockets (for when the grandparents watch her, since they are most similar to disposables), cloth diapers will probably run us around $500-600. Bonus: If we have a second baby and keep the cloth diapers, diapering baby #2 will cost next to nothing!
We're Treehuggers - Disposable diapers are made using chemicals and non-renewable resources, and they take up a TON of room in landfills. Cloth diapers are typically made of natural materials, like cotton (no chemicals, AND it's renewable). Yes, they do use water (also a renewable resource) and detergent, but there isn't quite the same environmental impact as with disposables. You don't throw them away, you keep using the same ones. Even on future children. Or you can sell them or give them away. Heck, I've even heard that people will continue to use them as dust rags after their last child is potty trained (obviously after giving them a very good wash!).
They're ADORABLE! - Seriously. Have you seen them? Just search Amazon and you'll see what I mean. Here are some of my favorites, from Assunta Store:
Sure, it takes a bit more time, since it means 2-3 more loads of laundry each week, but when the cheapest option is also the most environmentally-friendly AND the most fashion-forward? It's kind of a no-brainer for us!
As of right now, we've decided to start out using some bumGenius one-size 4.0 pocket diapers, along with prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers, and a selection of adorable, adorable covers from Assunta Store. As odd as it sounds, I'm actually incredibly excited about using cloth diapers! My husband doesn't quite get my enthusiasm. He said he feels good about our decision for reasons 1 and 2, listed above. I think the gap in our enthusiasm is mostly because I'm a stereotypical girl and can't wait for a daughter to make a fashion statement with her diapers, but Glen just can't get that excited about something that is, as its primary function, a poop receptacle. ;-)