There are a few reasons people decide to deviate from mainstream disposable diapers and cloth diaper. To be honest, I never thought I would be one of them. The big reasons are inexpensive (if you do not become addicted), easier on the environment, healthier for baby, and cute! Let’s talk about these reasons.
My decision to cloth diaper was cost. The size of your stash (amount of diapers you own) will likely determine how much money you save from not using disposables. If you stay in budget, you will most likely save money, especially if you cloth diaper multiple children.
Since we cloth diaper for cost, we chose the cheapest route – shells and prefolds/inserts. There are many other options as well, such as pockets, all-in-ones, and two-in-ones. Going to a natural parenting store can help you visualize your different options, and choose what is best for your family.
HEALTHY FOR BABY
Disposable diapers have a lot of chemicals in them to help with absorbency. Before choosing cloth diapers, I was having a hard time deciding which brand of diapers to pick. I knew I did not want the chemicals, but also did not want to spend the higher cost for diapers with less additives – cloth diapering was just meant to be. Additionally, unless there is an issue with your cleaning routine, babies who are cloth diapered tend to have fewer diaper rashes – SCORE (another point for cloth)!
HEALTHY FOR ENVIRONMENT
Disposable diapers fill up landfills, cloth don’t. Did you know that disposable diapers are the third largest single use item in landfills, and that 4% of that is solid waste? Did you know that manufacturers of disposable diapers recommend disposing of solid waste into the toilet, like cloth, but less than 0.5% is actually disposed of this way? This means that waste is going into our landfills instead of the sewage system. It is estimated that it will take 250-500 years to degrade disposable diapers. With cloth, diapers are used approximately 50-200 times, and then used as rags afterward.
Usually the biggest argument against cloth is the mess, or poop. I actually find them less messy. With disposables, poop leaking out of the diaper is very common – I was a pediatric nurse for 7 years, so I’ve changed A LOT of diapers! I have had a “blow-out” using cloth maybe once or twice. The absorbent layer and water resistant outer shell, really holds in poop.
Many people also do not want to deal with the poop afterward. Using disposables does not save you from exposure to poop; if you are dealing with a “blow-out”, you are dealing with poop whether you like it or not. With breastfed babies, when poop is often the runniest, their poop is water-soluble, so you can just throw it in the washer. Once they eat solids, you do have to plop the poop in the toilet, but as discussed above, we should be doing that anyway regardless of the type of diaper. You can also install a diaper sprayer that will help with cleaning the diaper.
THEY ARE CUTE!
Lastly, but most importantly, cloth diapers are way cuter than disposables! No need for bloomers here – my baby wears cloth diapers! There are so many styles and colors to pick from. This is where it can get dangerous (and expensive) . . . cloth diapers can be inexpensive if you do not get addicted and start buying every new and special edition print. Who knew that something, whose purpose is to contain poop, could be so adorably addicting. Tip – stick to your budget!
Happy cloth diapering!
What’s your number 1 reason for cloth diapering? Comment below.