I have a dirty secret, one that is bad for both the environment and my bank account (but good for me). I confess: I use disposable diapers and I would NEVER use cloth diapers. Before I had kids, I had an idealistic view on motherhood that included reusable diapers, all organic homemade food, only “green” toys and clothing. Now, with two kids of my own, the reality has set in that sometimes the choice that keeps mom sane is the best choice for the family.
With two tiny tushes under age 2, dirty diapers are a constant in our home. The amount of time and effort required to wash and dry reusable diapers would be the end of my sanity. The ease of disposable diapers is exactly why I use them. There are already such few hours in the day once you get all the kids entertained, the dishes washed, and the clothes cleaned, the last thing I want to spend my little bit of free time doing is washing poop out of diapers.
Every trip to Target includes a stop in the baby aisle for the array of diapers I purchase, from night diapers to swim diapers to pull-ups. Obviously the cost of disposable diapers far outweighs the cost of reusable, but I am OK with that. The extra money spent each week on diapers is worth it and I know it’s only for a limited amount of time until we’re all potty-trained and diapers are a thing of the past for us.
One of the main perks of disposable diapers is just that-they are disposable. When we are out and about and need a diaper change, I want to be able to toss the stinky one and be done with it. My diaper bag can be funky enough without having it also transport poopy cloth diapers back home. I can only imagine the stench if I was leaving dirty diapers in there.
I know that there is a vocal group of reusable diaper proponents. Although some of those parents purport to make their choice because of environmental concerns, I can’t help but feel like some people have jumped on the bandwagon because it has become trendy. The amount of patterns and fashionable options available now in cloth diapering is baffling to me.
A diaper is a diaper and not meant to be used as a fashion accessory. I want my disposable diapers to do the dirty work and then I never want to see them again!
Megan Murray Elsener is a Chicago mother of two.