Because of all the sanctimommies out there, I feel the need to open this post with a disclaimer: I am not anti-cloth diapering. I have nothing against the use of reusable diapers for your baby. They are environmentally friendly, can cost less over the long-term, and you can get some really adorable diaper covers. If this is the choice you’re making for you and your baby, good for you! However, this is not something that we’ve decided to do.
There are a few people that I know of, and probably a large number of anonymous internet sanctimommies, who think I’m a lesser parent for deciding to go the disposable route. I obviously don’t think I’m a lesser parent for making any of the choices we’re making, but that’s the thing about sanctimommies: if you don’t do things their way, you obviously suck at life.
I’ve looked in to all the various options, and have been doing diaper research since before we starting trying to get pregnant. The idea of having reusable cloth diapers is appealing on many levels. There are a lot of great cloth diapering products out there. The problem I have with them is the maintenance. You can’t just take off a dirty diaper and throw it in the wash. Poop needs to be cleaned out, there is pre-rinsing that should happen… for someone like me, someone with a chronic illness who barely manages to get our regular laundry done on a regular basis, this is not a viable option. I need fast, I need easy, I need one step, not five.
There are also a large number of great disposable products out there. You can get eco-friendly, biodegradable diapers, if your concern is stuffing the landfills with baby waste. And, in all the research I’ve done, there was no hard evidence to suggest that (properly) using disposable diapers increased the risk of diaper rash or other icky things. Leaving your baby sitting in a wet diapers for too long will, but I don’t plan on that kind of… neglect? Is that word too harsh?
Having chronic, hemiplegic migraines is something I have to factor in to many of the decisions that other people take for granted. I don’t have the same kind of energy on some days as most people. I’m going to need every bit of energy and minute of my good days to take care of our new addition, so I really don’t need to be adding more work in to my day. As my husband is the one with the full time job, I refuse to ask him to handle anything extra, especially if it’s not something that we need to be adding in to our routine.
I have already had people imply (and some outright say) that I’m doing a bad thing by taking the “easy” route. I feel that I would be doing more of a disservice to our child by wasting energy that I don’t need to waste. There are more important things to focus on than diapers. I want to inspire creativity and an active imagination. I want our kids to know that they’re loved and valued. The type of diapers I choose to use are not part of that.
Again, if you choose to cloth diaper, I applaud you. If you choose to use disposables, I applaud you to. Each mother has the right to make the choices that are best for their family and their individual situation. Each mother does not have the right to push her parenting choices on others, or to shame other mothers for not doing things the way they see as right. That’s what a sanctimommy does, and it has no place in parenting. The whole “new parent” thing is hard enough as it is, and we need to be supportive of each other, no matter what healthy choices we choose to make.
I would love to hear thoughts and opinions on this. What diapering method are you choosing, and why? Has anyone in your circle of family and friends questioned your choices? (Let’s keep it civil. Obey the first rule of the internet: Don’t be a dick.)