Poor as Folk – “Cloth Diapering & Low Income Families”

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This piece was published December 31, 2013, but offers some insight that I wish many more would consider while insisting that low-income people should just “switch to cloth diapers” which isn’t as simple as it seems at first glance.  I think the thing that impressed me the most about this particular piece was that it was written by someone who prefers to use cloth diapers, but also recognizes some of the obstacles faced by those who are living below the poverty line with regards to cloth diapering.  The author closes by offering suggestions on how you, the reader, might be able to assist a low-income family by either helping them purchase cloth diapers, making diapers for them, or teaching them how to make them.  But also suggests that helping solve the problem many low-income families face with regards to where to wash the diapers, perhaps helping make washing them more affordable and accessible to them is another way that could help all while considering all the aspects of washing cloth diapers, and what is or isn’t doable in the community where the low-income family resides.  One thing that the author didn’t mention is that not all laundr-o-mats allow people to use their machines to was cloth diapers, so looking into this i something else to consider when reccommending someone switch to cloth diapers.  If they rely ona landromat to wash the diapers, ask yourself how will this family get to and from the laundromat? do they own a vehicle or are they relying on public transportation?  if the family relies on public transportation, this is also an expence to factor into laundry of any kind, not to mention it would be wise to find out if the transportation provider allows people to bring a load of dirty diapers on their vehicles.  if the family can’t transport the diapers to a landromat(pending they are lucky enough to have a laundromat that allows them to wash dirty diapers in their machines) then it would be impossible for them to machine wash the diapers.  This leaves them with handwashing the diapers, and personally I’ve never felt that anything I handwashed came out as clean as I would have liked it to, not to mention the huge amount of time it takes to handwash and dry any piece of clothing, let alone a never ending supply of dirty diapers is more than I personally would want to comit to especially since kids spend roughly the first 3 years of their lives wearing some sort of diaper that would translate into the need to handwash thousands of dirty diapers.  That doesn’t even factor in anything else the family needs to do on a daily basis wether it be attending school, working, paying bills, caring for the children, all while trying to make ends meet and often times feeling overwhelmed by their circumsatances.  I don’t know about you, but if I’m maxxed out emotionally and feeling like I’m struggling just to keep a roof over my family’s head and food in their belly handwashing thousands of diapers over the course of roughly 3 years just really doesn’t seem realistic in today’s society.  I commend those who go this route, but also respect those who opt for disposable diapers not only for their convenience, but as a way to help them manage their stress level by not piling a massive task ontop of everything else they are doing to survive.



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