This isn’t an uncommon question or wondering when people hear about folks using cloth diapers. It’s not uncommon for people to think it’s difficult and nasty to use cloth. It’s not uncommon for people to think that using disposable diapers are so much easier than cloth diapers. I’m here to tell you that there are a lot of reasons to use cloth diapers.
1. Cloth diapers are cheaper than disposables. Let’s look at the cost of disposables first. Let’s say you use Huggies or Target’s up & up brand diapers, which average out to $0.17 each. For the number of diapers used per day let’s say 10 diapers, because over the first several months you go through about 12 diapers a day, and progressively get down to 8 diapers. Most children in disposables don’t potty train until they are 2.5 or 3 years old, so we’ll go with 2.75 years of diapers (kids in cloth supposedly potty training earlier). That’s a total of $2,326.88 spent on 13,687 diapers over 3.75 years. My favorite All-In-One (AIO) diaper (I’ll explain types of diapers another day) is the Blueberry One Size Simplex which retails for $28.95. Since you need at least 12 diapers per day in the early months, it’s good to have 24 diapers for a total of $694.8. To go all in with cloth diapering, you’ll also need a few other things like 2 diaper pail liners $33, 2 wet bags for on the go $44, 30 cloth wipes $27, and a wipe warmer for $25, all bringing your total $823.80 on cloth diaper supplies. I don’t include the cost of wipe solution, laundry detergent, or water for doing the laundry, because I have seen that much of an increased cost for us.
2. Cloth diapers aren’t as smelly and gross as disposables. Having cared for many children in diapers over the years, I honestly believe my cloth diaper pail smells a whole lot LESS than a disposable diaper pail. Pee diapers don’t smell any worse with cloth, and I’d venture to say not a bad. There’s something in the absorption crystals of many disposables that create an off-putting scent. Poopy diapers get rinsed into the toilet, so the smell is gone and not lingering until the diaper pail is emptied.
3. Poopy diapers aren’t that bad to clean with cloth. We have a diaper sprayer attached to our toilet, so I don’t really have to get my hands dirty. I also know some parents will wear rubber kitchen gloves, so their hands never touch anything to get dirty. Poopy diapers have had no negative effects on my washing machine. Reason being is that they are rinsed into the toilet before going into the washing machine, get an intial rinse cyle, plus a full clean cycle, which all ensures my diapers and washing machine are fully clean when done.
4. Cloth diapers are better for the environment. It is estimated that it takes about 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose in a landfill. Now, this is just an estimate, because disposables haven’t been around that long and no one has lived 500 years to observe the decomposition of disposable diapers. Cloth diapers generally have great re-sale value, making them great in the realm of the second of the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and aren’t clogging up landfills.
5. Cloth diapers are so cute! I will say that the Honest Company has stepped up the cute factor of disposable diapers, and I have used them from time to time. But the variety of patters with cloth diapers is sooooo great! When my daughter was a newborn she had the cutest diaper with monkeys and owls. Now she has a cover with these adorable whales, an AIO with pretty flowers, and elephants. The best part of all is that these diapers are cute, and we get to use them over and over again.
I initially had us begin cloth diapering to save money, as I wanted as many ways as possible to make having a child not super expensive. I also had us use cloth because my husband and I were allergic to disposable diapers and had a feeling that our daughter would be too. In the end it turn out that my guess was correct, and she is sensitive to most every brand of disposables. Now that we’ve used cloth diapers for two years, I’m so glad that we have chosen to use cloth. It’s not that difficult, it’s saved us a lot of money, and it has been good for the environment.
Soon I’ll write a post about what we have tried when it comes to cloth diapers, what we’ve liked, what we haven’t liked, and how we’ve made cloth diapering work for us. If you have questions, feel free to ask and I’ll answer as best I can.
Have you considered using cloth diapers?