Occasionally, when parents are considering cloth diapers, they debate the merits of using a diaper service versus home-laundering cloth diapers. If your mind is already made up, and you’ve decided to go to the diaper service route, don’t worry, you have my blessing. When you use a diaper service, you still benefit from some of the advantages of using cloth diapers:
- You will divert waste from the landfill – approximately 4 million disposable diapers are tossed in Canada every single day.
- Your child may toilet train earlier.
- Your child will not be exposed to the chemicals present in disposable diapers.
However, if you are on the fence about it, consider this my attempt to sway you towards buying and washing your own cloth diapers – what kind of self-respecting retailer would I be if I didn’t give it a shot? How else am I expected to keep myself dripping in diamonds and fur?
- Cost. The money you spend on a weekly diaper service will add up to more than what you would spend if you bought and laundered your own cloth diapers. When you consider it’s an ongoing cost (2+ years), and that you have to spend that money for each subsequent child, a diaper service will always cost more in the longrun. You buy your cloth diapers once, you keep them in good shape, and you use them over and over again until your husband visits Dr. Weiss.
- Choice. When you commit to a diaper service, you are committing to the diapers they will provide you with. Part of the fun of using cloth diapers (yes, it’s fun!) is the selection. Your baby’s diaper is an extension of her wardrobe. Aesthetics aside, sometimes different diapers suit different purposes. Maybe you’d prefer to use prefolds at home, but your daycare provider prefers pocket diapers. Whatever the case may be, home-laundering affords you the flexibility of choice.
- Convenience. You can wash your diapers whenever you want to. You’re leaving town on Friday to visit your in-laws for a week (*shudder*)? Wash up your diapers and take them with you. If you’re with a diaper service, you’re restricted to their delivery schedule.
- Frequency of washing. Most people who wash their own cloth diapers tend to wash them every 2-3 days (say it with me, people, it’s only a load of laundry!). Diaper services pick up soiled diapers once a week. The longer a soiled diaper sits, the worse it will smell.
- Lack of standards. There are currently no standards in Canada regulating how a diaper service must operate. When you wash your own diapers, you know how they have been washed.
- Lack of availability. Most major cities have access to a diaper service, however, if you live in a rural area, you may be out of luck.
- Maddy needs braces. Hardy har har. I’m just checking to see if you’re still paying attention.
That’s all I’ve got. If you’re lucky enough to live in Ottawa, there are two diaper services that service the region, The Diaper Service is located in Ottawa, and Sweet Peach operates out of the beautiful town of Perth. If you live in southwestern Ontario, Bear Bottoms has an extensive delivery area. Regardless of which route you choose, when you're putting your baby in cloth diapers, you're making a choice that's better for your baby, and better for the environment.