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I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of doing laundry. In fact, with a large-ish family, it kind of sucks. So when I had my fourth baby, I surprised everyone and myself by plunging head-in into the cloth diaper world. Why are they so awesome? Let me tell you.
1. They're just adorable.
One of the driving factors in my decision to cloth diaper was the astounding cuteness that went with it. Colors! Prints! Cute, fluffy bums! Once I got a cloth diaper on my kid, it got even better.
This may be unique to me—that is, I don't guarantee that you'll love washing diapers like I did—but I seriously looked forward to diaper-washing day. One reason was because I'd get all my favorites back again, so it was sort of like getting new diapers every two or three days. And another was because it was just so satisfying to put away the fresh, soft diapers every time they were done drying.
3. It made my baby feel better.
I'll never forget putting a freshly laundered diaper on my girl one time because her eyes got wide and she nodded "yes" a few times. I knew that the soft cloth of the diaper felt way better on her skin than the disposables I used before we got our stash going. And it made me feel better that she felt nice.
4. They cut those rashes out.
Disposable diapers are kind of weird and suspicious with their liquid-soaking-up properties, and the weird jelly that pops out all over everything if you, say, accidentally wash one (yes, having used disposables with my first three, I totally did this more than once) is just strange. I think some of the chemicals in the disposables were too much for my girl's sensitive skin, because she got all regular after we made the switch.
5. It saved money.
I was trying to save money after my fourth baby was born—having just lost a job, I was trying to make those dollars stretch. We got two dozen prefolds and a few covers and those were more than adequate, and I didn't have to buy a package of diapers from the store every week or two.
6. It made snail mail fun again.
On those occasions, I was able to buy a new diaper online, stalking the mailman became a sport. And even though she's been out of diapers for some time, I still have that familiar thrill run through me when I hear the truck drive up.
This is another thing that may have been unique to this child and our experience, but she was pretty much done with diapers by the time she was around 2½ and it didn't take a lot of work on my part. In fact, I was kind of bummed she ditched her diaper duds for the aforementioned reasons.
While most cloth diaper advocates talk about the lessened impact cloth has on the environment, I will say that my favorite part was keeping a child's worth of diapers out of the landfills. When you think about how many kids wear diapers and how often they are changed, those little poop packages really pile up, and even though you're throwing something away, you're really just moving it from one place to another.
So while we're not using cloth diapers any more, I really loved that time in our life. I never thought I'd type out the words "cloth diapers are fun," but they really, really were for me. Maybe that makes me a weirdo, but I bet I'm not the only person who feels this way.