Ahh, the wonderful world of cloth diapers. It’s every eco-friendly mama’s dream! I knew I wanted to cloth diaper when I found out I was pregnant, but I was certainly overwhelmed by all the options out there. Also, the thought of cleaning all these diapers made my head spin a little. Was I really going to put poop in my washing machine?!
Because I felt like the benefits were best for Nora, I decided to go with it and learn everything I could. Here are some of the reasons why we chose to use cloth diapers.
Better for Baby
I’m not sure if you know this, but there is some nasty stuff in disposable diapers (or ‘sposies as some people say). Did you know skin is the largest organ of the human body? It is highly absorbent, which means everything that comes into contact with your baby’s skin will end up in their body in some way. Disposable diapers expose babies to fifteen different chemicals every time they wear them! (Source). I avoid chemicals as much as I possibly can, sometimes to an outrageous extent (or so I’ve been told). Disposables contain everything from carcinogenic chemicals (the most toxic cancer linked chemical, as a matter of fact), to pollutants linked to hormonal problems, to others that can cause respiratory issues. (Source). Those are definitely not things I want next to my baby’s skin constantly!
Another side effect of disposable diapers is diaper rash. Nora had a pretty bad diaper rash in the early days, before I was using cloth full time. I felt so awful seeing her bumpy, red bum and knowing it was certainly not comfortable for her. Between using Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Bottom Balm, having diaper free time, and sticking to cloth, we managed to clear it up and haven’t had any problems since.
Better for Budget
As a SAHM, I’m always looking for ways to save money and stretch my dollar as far as possible! The thought of throwing money away is what I think of when I consider having to constantly buy disposables. Think about how many times a baby soils a diaper. According to The Real Diaper Association, babies will need 6,000 diapers during the first two years of life. Using a per diaper cost of $0.25 with a discount price from Amazon (you’d obviously pay more buying from the store), you’re looking at a minimum of $1,500-$2,000 for two years. I can think of so many other things I could spend that money on! Like some beautiful woven wraps, but that’s for another post
While cloth diapering isn’t without its own costs, you can be very reasonable about how much you spend. Another plus is that cloth diapers have resale value and can be used for multiple children. How great is that?! I can’t imagine anyone would want to buy a used disposable diaper so once again, it’s like throwing money in the trash. I bought a large majority of my stash off a cloth diaper swap group and can’t tell which diapers in my stash were new when we started using them and which were used. Some brands hold up better than others and you should always follow manufacturer’s care instructions for laundering. However, many people use the same diapers for multiple children and then sell them. Or perhaps they sell some of what they have to get other diapers for their stash.
Better for the Environment
When diapers are thrown away, they end up in a landfill. Ultimately, they’ll sit there for many years before they decompose and break down. It’s actually estimated that disposable diapers take 250-500 years to decompose (Source). Yuck! Not many people know this, but you are supposed to dispose of all solid waste (i.e. poop) in the toilet whether using cloth or disposable diapers (this doesn’t apply to poop for exclusively breastfed babies). How many people who use disposables actually dump the solid waste in the toilet before tossing the diaper? I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone do this. According to The Real Diaper Association’s fact sheet, over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine are used every year in the production of disposable diapers! That’s really taking a toll on the environment.
Aside from all the great reasons above, cloth diapers are just so cute! They’re probably much more comfortable than a disposable diaper made of paper and chemicals sitting against delicate skin all day and night.
Are you interested in cloth diapers or do you already use them? What reason appeals to you the most?
*This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase from the link, I may get a small commission (thanks!). I never support things I don’t personally use and believe in, so you can be sure that you are getting quality items.*