Reasons Cloth is Better for You and Baby
When the average person hears cloth diapering mentioned, images of pins, plastic pants, and cotton prefolds are often the first (or even only!) things that come to mind. While many families still choose to cloth diaper very similarly to the way their grandparents did, innovations in cloth diapering have made it something that every family can do successfully.
Modern cloth diapering is substantially easier, cuter, and less messier than it was with previous generations. When compared to disposable diapers, the total cost of diapering is significantly less with cloth than it is with disposables – even more so when the same diapers are used for multiple children!
Some families choose to cloth diaper without regard to cost, but because of the health and environmental benefits to avoiding disposable products. It should also be noted that cloth diapering doesn’t need to be an ‘all or nothing’ adventure! Many babies will use cloth diapers only at home, just on the weekends, during the day, or only at night.
Convenience. On the surface, disposable diapers do seem more convenient – buy it, use it, toss it, repeat. Cloth diapers have a similar cycle – buy it, use it, wash it, repeat. One added convenience of cloth diapers is that if you are running out, all you have to do is a load of laundry instead of packing up the kids, driving to the nearest store, load an enormous box into & out of the car, and drive home again (bonus points for traffic, rain, sick kids, and not wanting to change out of your PJ’s).
Less Mess. No matter how you diaper, you will be washing baby’s poop out of something. It’s a matter of either washing it out of your cloth diapers, or washing it out of baby clothes, linens, the car seat, your clothes, the carpet, etc. While diaper ‘blowouts’ can happen with cloth diapers, they are much more common in disposables. So unless you’re willing to just replace any clothing or other items that fall victim to a major diaper leak, cloth is king.
Cost. Disposable diapers are expensive. From birth to age 2, the average baby will go through at least 7000 diapers, costing an average of $2500. If your little one potty trains at age 3 or 4, or if you have more than one child, that cost increases accordingly. Cloth diapering does cost more in the beginning, but depending on the type of cloth diaper system you choose you can begin cloth diapering for less than $100 or as much as $600. Even with the more expensive cloth diapers, they will have paid for themselves by the time baby is about 6 months old!
Better for Baby. Cloth diapering families experience far fewer issues with diaper rash than those that use disposables. Cloth diapers are much more breathable than disposables, and do not contain any of the toxic chemicals that are used in disposable diapers like Sodium Polyacrylate, Tributyl Tin, and Dioxin. Many babies are allergic to disposables and find out about cloth diapers when their pediatrician or family doctor suggests switching to help end persistent diaper rash.
Better for the Earth. The production of just one disposable diaper requires one cup of crude oil and 9 gallons of water. Disposable diapers make up nearly 12 tons of landfill waste each year and require approximately 500 years to decompose. Not to mention the impact from the packaging, transportation, and distribution of disposables.