I will be completely honest. I didn’t initially start cloth diapering for the environment or for financial reasons. To be perfectly upfront, several of my friends were cloth diapering their new babies and I thought, Well that sounds like a new and exciting adventure! Maybe even the “thing to do”! Little did I know it was the first step of my ongoing journey that would help define not only myself as a mother, but how I would end up looking at every factor that went into raising my family.
Cloth diapering has so many benefits, but can be extremely overwhelming when you first begin to research it. You can learn all about how to simplify your cloth diapering experience here. But if you are even remotely considering it as a long-term investment, here are a few of the reasons I’ve discovered in favor of cloth diapering.
Invest in your diapers and they will last you through x amount of kids. You will be saving a lot of money in the long run. Many websites have done the math and essentially it’s 3-4 times MORE expensive to use disposables for your child than to cloth. You can add your cloth diapers to your gift registries and receive them as baby shower gifts and that will bring the initial expense down even more. But ultimately, you will be saving money.
Keeps your house smelling clean.
Seriously. There is nothing worse than walking by any select trash can in the house and catching a whiff of a day old (or 3, because let’s be real, how often does every trash can in the house get emptied!) dirty diaper emitting gag-worthy toxins into the air?! It. Is. The. Worst. And if you happen to be an individual who is dedicated to walking outside to the trash can every time a poopy diaper makes its appearance, God bless you! You just might be rethinking that decision, however, when it’s pouring rain or snowing and you have to walk outside in below temp weather. If your baby can fill a diaper like my 10 month old, you will be making that trek anywhere from 4-6 times a day. I am reminded of how easy I have it every time I rinse out an “unmentionable” and simply drop it in the trash can by the toilet. The trash can is lined with a reusable pail liner so when wash day comes, you just pull it out and dump everything in the wash. Done. Easy peasy. And if I can’t get to it right away, I leave it rolled up on the top of the toilet until I don’t have an inquisitive and clingy baby crawling/toddling at my knees and attempting to peer into the toilet to see what I’m doing. And if I’m lucky, maybe my husband will get to it before I do!
No saggy, droopy, soggy bottoms and fewer blowouts.
I have a number of pet peeves that I’m sure you will read about from time to time. One of them has to do with this very topic. I seriously cannot STAND seeing a baby/toddler in a diaper that is sagging to the poor child’s knees. I want nothing more than to scoop that little guy/girl up and promptly give him/her a “fluffy” butt (aka a cloth diaper). With cloth, you will NEVER have that issue. Cloth diapers fit nice and snug with no ability to “droop”.
Semi-related, your blowouts will be few and far between. Now, I’m not saying they won’t ever happen. But it is much less likely that your baby will explode out of his cloth diaper than his disposable. The cloth diaper has elastic around the waist, which tends to keep the majority of any poo from sliding up the back. Unlike the disposable, which can actually pull away from the baby’s body and the poo can easily slide up and out of containment. You will save yourself from having to do more outfit changes and possibly, baths!
Your baby will have a clean, cute, and eco-friendly bum!
You would never think that you could be putting your baby in harm’s way by simply diapering them with the options on the shelves in your local Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, or anywhere else you might purchase disposables. However, research has shown that dioxins, sodium polycrylate, dyes, fragrances, and phthalates are just some of the ingredients used in disposables. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, asthma, hormone disruption, and body rash, among others . There’s a reason why many babies can’t wear specific brands of diapers. For my kids, it’s Huggies. Put a Huggie on them and their poor bums flame up like you’d just dumped hot sauce on them. You can avoid all those toxic chemicals by cloth diapering your baby. Now, I’m not saying you’re baby will never have a diaper rash, obviously. But he/she won’t have to have their skin come in contact with and absorb countless, unnamed toxins.
Also, cloth diapers are NOT what they used to be! You don’t have to worry about thin material that leaks or safety pins anymore. Modern cloth diapers are made to be absorbent and come in a huge variety of prints that are absolutely adorable – from barnyard to monsters to mermaids, you will never lack for cuteness when diapering your baby. And during those summer days when they’re toddling around the house in just their diaper, those cute little prints really get shown off.
And cloth diapering is great for the environment and for the “footprint” you leave behind. According to Livestrong , diapers do not degrade very well in landfills, taking up to 500 years to decompose. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills each year, accounting for more than 3.5 million tons of waste. Plus, it takes 3.4 billion gallons of oil every year to make disposable diapers. So basically, disposable diapers use 20 times more raw materials, two times more water and three times more energy to make than cloth diapers.
You will never run out of diapers!
Unless, of course, you forget to wash them! But seriously, no late night runs out to the store because you just used the last diaper on the shelf. You will always have your supply and that is one less worrisome thought for a new mommy. It’s a huge comfort knowing my stash of diapers is always there and in the house.
Overall, cloth diapering started out as a choice for us and then became more of a lifestyle – a lifestyle of diapering, potty training, and raising our babies. I have never regretted it one bit and I doubt you will either! Cloth diapering has been much less expensive for us and has actually helped with potty training. Babies seem to potty train a lot earlier when they’ve been cloth diapered – you can read about my potty training experiences with my first two here. I’ll be heading into potty-training #3 here in about 6 months and my first two, while completely different experiences, were potty-trained relatively early.
If you have any questions about cloth diapering, please comment below. It’s been an immensely educational experience for me, and I’d love to help other moms in their cloth diapering journey! Are you thinking about cloth diapering your little ones?
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