We use cloth napkins in our house. We have paper napkins and paper towels, but don't use them much. The cloth napkins were put into circulation when we researched whether or not to use cloth diapers before the birth of our son.
My husband began the conversation about cloth diapers, because he was reading about all the tons of trash generated each year from disposable diapers. This landfill nightmare became my diaper nightmare as I researched the issue.
The days of the white pre-fold cloth diaper with large diaper pins and noisy plastic covers were over. I ordered a sample set of the gDiaper — a hybrid diaper. It’s a hybrid, because it has a cloth cover, a plastic inner liner and a compostable and/or flushable insert.
It’s an interesting concept, but I quickly discovered an expensive one. The inserts cost about double the price of a disposable diaper. When you add in the cost of those cute cloth gDiaper covers, well you may have saved the environment, but you’ve broken mom and dad’s piggy bank.
Hubby came to the rescue on the topic by finding a cloth diaper class. We arranged a private class and met at a Jack in the Box. She educated us on the subtleties of cloth diapering — the Chinese prefolds, which require a water proof cover to hold in all the liquids, to the modern all-in-one diapers, which include a water repellent cover and all the fabric absorbing materials on the inside. The sheer volume of options gave me a headache.
While some people herald cloth diapers as a less expensive alternative, I wasn't completely sold on the idea. Cloth diapers were an investment plus the time and energy (for the washing machine and Mom) to wash and dry them. There was also the question about what brand would work best for our baby. Would he be skinny or have chunky legs? I couldn't really know until the baby arrived.
So, I guessed. I found a diaper I liked and purchased them from the company's seconds store online. I paid around $12 for each diaper vs. the $17 to $20 full price at various stores. The diapers were supposed to fit 8 to 18 pounds. I had newborn disposable diapers as a backup. Everything I read, suggested using disposable diapers at night or at least part of the time, so you don't get overwhelmed.
We had a plan. Then, the plan changed as we decided to move to another state.
Our house was sold the week we delivered our son. We moved when he turned six weeks old and we weren't sure about our laundry situation. I packed the diapers with our household goods.
By the time we were reunited with our own washing machine, the baby had outgrown his cloth diapers. We chose to stick with disposables instead of investing in more cloth diapers. The cloth diapers were passed on to another family, who has been using cloth diapers and were expecting a second child.
The cloth wipes are used in our daily diapering routines. They are useful in a variety of ways.
While we didn't make it in our quest for cloth diapers, it certainly was a learning experience. Many people use cloth diapers successfully, but as our circumstances changed it wasn't part of our parenting experience.