A few weeks ago, I introduced our series about cloth diapering.Today, I thought I’d share what made us choose cloth in the first place, and the things we absolutely love about it.
For us, we just knew we weren’t interested in disposables. Now that we’ve been using cloth for five months, we’re so happy with our decision. I think many people (who aren’t familiar with cloth diapering) think we’re crazy. They think we’re spending lots of time and money, all while being covered in the poopy diapers we rinse into the toilet. It’s so incredibly easy, and in one of my future posts, we’ll talk about the diapers we use, and how we care for them. First, here are some of the main reasons we use cloth, and why they’re so appealing:
- They are way more environmentally friendly than disposable diapers. Did you know it’s estimated that it takes hundreds of years for a cloth diaper to decompose? And that 10,000 disposable diapers are added to landfills each day. For us, there was just no way we could contribute to that mess. Some people will argue that washing cloth diapers makes them less environmentally friendly, but you’ll use 2.5 more times the water by buying disposables (because of the water used during manufacturing). All in all, cloth is way better for our planet.
- They are convenient. I think most people would assume that disposables are more convenient, but I don’t really see a difference. Sure, spraying poop out of them isn’t the best, but did you know that disposable diapers come with the same instructions? You are supposed to rinse the waste from your paper diapers before putting them into your trash. I love that I don’t have to empty or clean a diaper pail before trash day, and I love that I just take them off of Alba and throw them into a wet bag. I never have to worry about buying a new size (and wasting the ones she’s grown out of), because her diapers will fit until she’s potty trained. There’s never a run to the store in the middle of the night … We just pop a load into the washing machine.
- They are cute! Yes, I think a little baby booty is even cuter in cloth! With all of the different manufacturers and patterns, your little one will have quite the stylish booty.
- They are good at containing the mess. Would you believe me if I told you we’ve had no blowouts, and little leaks? The only blowout we’ve had was one day when Alba was wearing a disposable diaper (because she was covered in diaper rash cream). These diapers are amazing at containing the poop. We’ve seen the poop go all the way to the top of the diaper, but it’s never come out. We do get pee leaks occasionally, but it’s usually when it’s time to expand to the next size, or when they need to be stripped.
- They are cheaper! With a new baby, there are so many expenses. We really wanted to save money wherever we could. I’m not talking about pennies, I’m talking about thousands of dollars!! The average family can save nearly $2,500 between birth and potty training. If you have another child, there is no expense for diapering. We would have used organic disposable diapers, which would have cost nearly $5,000 over the lifetime of diapering, which means our savings is roughly $4,200. Our entire stock of cloth diapers (both her newborn diapers and her current diapers) was under $600 (some families choose to skip the newborn cloth and use disposables in the beginning. If that’s the case, then your diaper stash will probably cost you $350 total). For us, it was a no brainer! Even if your daycare requires disposables, you’ll still save by cloth diapering at home. And, if you’re already using disposables, and think the switch doesn’t make sense financially, you’ll still save even if you only have 6 months left of diapering.
- Cloth can help with faster potty training. Since cloth diapers aren’t full of chemicals, your child will understand what a wet diaper feels like. This can be an aid the potty training process.
- They are healthier. Have you ever looked into what’s in a disposable diaper? There are chemicals which cause burns, asthma, and cancer. Seriously! Dioxin is a super toxic byproduct of the bleaching process, and is known as one of the most harmful carcinogens. A quick google search will provide you with many of the chemicals in disposable diapers. It’s scary! For little boys, disposable diapers have been linked to warmer temperatures on their scrotums. This can affect their body’s ability to self-regulate their testicles, which could eventually lead to disfunction during sperm production. Cloth also helps with diaper rash. When using a dry wipe after your wet wipe, cloth is much better at keeping baby’s skin healthy. Alba did get a bad rash once, but it was due to us not using a dry wipe when changing her diaper. Adding that into our routine has made a big difference.
There are several more little reasons, but these were enough to convince us. I’ll be totally honest, cloth diapering isn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but it’s truly no harder than using disposables. With all of the benefits, I find it way more rewarding. Yes, we do have to rinse poop into the toilet. Yes, we have to wash our diapers every two days. Yes, we have to stuff our inserts into the diapers. Even after typing these “drawbacks”, I honestly can’t find a single thing I don’t like about using cloth.
What about you? What made you choose cloth? If you’re on the fence, are there any questions you have that might help you decide either way?