Well, okay, I'll admit, sometimes it is gross. But, not any more gross than using disposables. The common denominator here is poop. And no matter what kind of diaper you use, your baby will still poop in it (plus, did you know that even when you use disposables you're still supposed to scrape the poop into the toilet? True fact).
So, why did I decide to let my baby poop in cloth?
I'm going to skip going into much detail about the two main reasons that inspire many families to go cloth. One being to lessen their environmental impact, and the other being cost savings. Of course, these played a major role in our decision making since I lean towards the crunchy side of life, and love saving money (shout to saving $1,500 from birth to potty training with cloth! And even more with subsequent kidlets since you can keep using the diapers. That makes me want to raise the roof).
But, there are other, perhaps lesser known and/or frivolous reasons to choose cloth diapers:
There is a reason that disposables diapers are so absorbent. There are some crazy chemicals in those things! Think about this for a second: would you want to have chemicals sitting intimately against one of your most sensitive areas 24 hours a day? Yuck-o, man. That, at least to me, is even more gross than that whole poop thing.
Maybe we don't actually know the answer to this, but I would be quick assume that cloth diapers feel nicer on little bums. I did another "put yourself in their shoes" scenario for this. Personally, paper and plastic don't make the list of materials that I'd want my own underwear made out of, so why would I wrap Linus up in them?
They are flipping CUTE
Yup, this one is totally shallow. But, seriously, how can you resist a sweet, little cloth-covered bum? Just look at my favorite bum up there in the header. Too cute! They come in pretty colors and adorable patterns. You can coordinate them to your baby's outfit. In the summer time, all you need to do is slap on a diaper and - presto! - they're dressed for the day! I'd be lying if I said the cute-ness factor didn't play into my decision.
Although, I could also argue that maybe this reason will shrink that $1,500 savings a bit because buying cloth diapers can become a bit of an addiction especially when one of your favorite brands releases a new print (I'm looking at you, Best Bottoms. It's the end of January, but I'm still drooling over the Mistletoe diaper. See also: Thirsties, Scottish Storm and Blackbird).
Less Diaper Rash
Diaper rash sucks. Linus has certainly not been immune to it (thanks, teething...), but he's never gotten a rash that hasn't cleared up in a day or two. In general, the reasons babies in cloth often get less rashes are because they tend to be changed more frequently than with disposables, and the fabrics are more breathable. Three cheers for rash-free booties!
These things hold in the gross-ness in like WHOA. After nearly a year of cloth diapering, I can only remember one instance of poop-leaking-ness, and that was when L-dawg was about 4 weeks old. Everything else since then has been contained.
Now that Linus is pulling up and cruising like it's his job (and walking isn't too far in the future - eep!), the fluff gives him a built-in soft place to land when he let's go and crashes down on his boot.
Harder to Escape
We're not quite there yet, but I know the day is coming when Linus will be trying to rip his diaper off. I have already foiled this exploit preemptively - with snaps! So much harder to break free from than with tape.
Side note and bonus tip: Yes, you can also buy diapers with aplix (Velcro) closures but, in my humble opinion, snaps are far superior to aplix. Partly because they lessen this risk of Linus running around naked in an inappropriate situation, and partly because they can't wear out the way aplix does (even when you fasten it to the laundry tabs, everything still gets stuck to it).
It's Easy - Really!
There's this thing that happens when you are pregnant and starting to make decisions about how to feed/diaper/parent your child. You suddenly have a big, blinking sign above your head that says "Please Give Me Advice and Question All My Choices". So, when I started telling people that we wanted to use cloth diapers, I got the whole "yeah, okay, we'll see how long that lasts" and "isn't that time consuming/hard/nasty?" from a host of folks.
But, I'm here to tell those people that questioned me, especially now that I have more experience, that it really is pretty gosh darn simple. Modern diapers come in a variety of options to fit your lifestyle and preferences (wow, did I just sound like a commercial there, or what?), and can be as easy as snap-on and snap-off. Of course, there's the laundry thing, which, admittedly, threw me for a loop for maybe a week or so because of my chronic avoidance of housework and lack of organization, but once it becomes routine, it ain't no 'thang. And there's just something about a drying rack full of pretty diapers that makes the extra laundry almost, kind of fun.
So, there you have it! My reasons for cloth diapering. If you cloth diaper, let me know if there's any fluffy goodness that I missed. And if you don't, let me know if you have any questions about cloth! I'm far from an expert, but after 10.5 months, I've got at least some good cloth knowledge in this scattered brain of mine.