As a first time mom I did not know that I had to make a decision on how to diaper my baby and even that cloth was an option. No one in my family used them, none of my friends (at the time) used them and I certainly skipped that part of my registry. I assumed that if I walked into Babies R Us that they had everything I would need, little did I know there was a small boutique baby store adjacent that I could have seen all my options for cloth.
In hindsight, I spent way too much time worrying about the colours and theme for the nursery, what brand of stroller and car seats were the best that I forgot one of the most important decisions I had… how to diaper my baby! It took me 5 months of midnight store runs, counting diapers and wipes for the week, spending way too much money for my family and all for something I was throwing in the garbage. I did some research into organic disposable diapers, which in turn I spent even more money on but it made me feel I was making a better decision for my baby’s health. I calculated how much it was going to cost to diaper my child for the next few years and a decided to jump head first into the world of cloth diapers. It was a large upfront cost, which I could have avoided if I would have known earlier and started buying slowly for our stash. I could have even put them on my registry as a cloth diaper that can be used hundreds of times is much more useful than most of the stuff I had received at my baby shower.
Disposable diapers were only invented 50 years ago, as a convenience and luxury item for families used only for those special occasions like vacation trips, visits to the parents or the doctor. It was not common to see a baby wearing a disposable diaper, which is the exact opposite in this day and age. It is not like cloth diapers are a new invention just catching on, the industry of cloth has just been perfected with easy snaps and even inserts that agitate out on their own.
We all know cloth is better for the environment. But did you know there are many other reasons that more and more parents are choosing cloth diapers today (yes, in the 21st century!!). These are only the top ten reason why moms and dads should consider cloth diapering their baby. Once you actually give them a try, you will discover many more. Promise!
1. Cloth diapers have come a long way!
Chances are you wouldn’t even recognize them today. Cloth diapers have evolved to such an extent over the last ten years that many rival disposables any day. In fact, if you were to put an All-In-One cloth diaper next to a disposable, you would find very little difference in bulk, size and function.
2. Cloth diapers are more economical!
Disposable diapers become very expensive when you consider a 2-3 year diapering period. They can only be used once and are then tossed away. They cannot be used for a second (or more) child. You can cloth diaper one baby for 3 years for as little as $400!! That’s a savings of $2500 (considering the average family spends $2800-3000 in disposable diapers over 3 years) for one child. Now, how much would you save if you had 2 or 3 more babies? Yes, that could mean a savings of almost $8000!! By the way, that initial $400 you spend on cloth diapers? Due to their excellent resale value, you may be able to get as much as 70% of the money spent on cloth diapers back on an auction site. Try doing that with your used disposables!
3. Babies are healthier in cloth diapers!
Disposable diapers contain many chemicals, poisons (TBT tributyl tin), dioxins (which are highly carcinogenic) and even perfumes and dyes that are all harmful to your baby and lead to diaper rash. The majority of babies in cloth tend to have less diaper rash as cloth diapers are more breathable and have none of the harmful chemicals or bleaches found in disposables. The gel that is used in disposables to absorb and hold in moisture is known as Sodium Polyacrylate. This substance has been found in the urinary tract of babies and may cause severe diaper rash, chemical burns, and bleeding in the perineum and scrotal tissue. Sodium Polyacrylate was removed from tampons because of its link to Toxic Shock Syndrome!! There are also many studies that have been done to show a direct link between using disposable diapers and childhood asthma as well as an increase in infertility in boys. Considering we have alternatives that are so easy to use today, why take the risk?
4. Cloth diapers are more reliable and less messy than disposables!
Yes, I am talking about leaks and those “poo-splosions”! With a correctly fitted cloth diaper the majority of moms experience less leaking than you get with using disposables. New, modern cloth diapers and covers are so customizable that you have the ability to get a perfect fit on your baby each and every time. Think you will have too much washing to do using cloth? I guarantee it’s no more (maybe even less!) than with disposables. It's a little known secret that the “poo-splosions” that occur from leaky solids are actually contained better in cloth. Disposable diapers have a slippery surface to them which causes a "slip and slide" effect with messy, leaky solids. It's not pretty, and can cause more laundry then a load of cloth diapers.
5. Cloth is more comfortable!
Would you like to wear paper underwear all day? Soft cotton or bamboo next to a baby’s tender skin is much more comfortable than paper and plastic. Babies also tend to be changed more frequently in cloth diapers, as opposed to single use disposable diapers, because moms are aware of when baby is actually wet. Just because a disposable “feels” dry, does not mean a baby is not sitting in urine. It just happens to be dry, crystallized urine. And, with the new microfleece fabric used as liners in cloth diapers today, your baby will not have wetness against their skin. The liquid is wicked away to the cotton diaper underneath, keeping baby feeling dry keeping rashes and ammonia burns at bay.
6. Cloth diapering is quick and EASY!
Yes, I said easy! The concept of convenience is a marketing ploy that disposable manufacturers use. They don't want you to know how easy cloth diapering really can be! With new, modern cloth diapers and the many accessories available today, cloth diapering is easy. And it takes no more time to change your baby and run a load of laundry than it does to change your baby, get baby dressed to leave the house, put baby in a jacket, find that second shoe, fasten baby in car seat, take baby out of car seat, go into the store, weave through the store to get to the disposable aisle...wait a minute? This seems like way more work to me! Cloth diapers really is only an extra load of laundry every 2-3 days, and you are doing it anyways so why not save some money.
7. Cloth Diapering is Fun!
With all the choices in diapers, fabrics, fun prints and colors to choose from and that fact that we can do away with pins, diapering is actually fun! The majority of moms that are cloth diapering love to talk about cloth diapers and how much they enjoy using them. They love to show them off! I don’t know anyone who feels this way about disposables. I know I have been THAT mom who shows off her baby’s cute fluff butt on many occasions, who needs pants when you have an adorable diaper.
8. Babies look adorable in cloth diapers!
Cloth diapers are a modern baby's fashion statement! And modern moms love to shop for cloth diapers. There are so many choices in cloth diapers today. With all the styles, prints and colors, babies look adorable in cloth! Show your little one off in a soft, comfy, adorable cloth diaper! You can even get them customized with ruffles, embroidered with birth stats or a funny saying or add a patch for your favourite sports team. The possibilities are endless!
9. Potty learning is easier!
It is a little known fact that cloth diapered children potty learn earlier and with less effort on the part of the parent. Again, cloth diapers are saving our families time! As children are actually aware of the sensation of urinating, the average child that is cloth diapered typically potty learns faster than their disposable diapered friends.
10. Cloth diapers are better for the environment!
Okay, I just had to throw this in! But you know it’s true!! The average baby will go through 6,000 – 10,000 disposable diapers before potty learning. That is a lot of diapers that end up in our landfills and they are said to take over 500 years to decompose. Cloth diapers are less taxing on the environment even when taking the amount of water and energy used to make and wash them.
There it is, 10 very good reason to choose cloth! Whether you choose to do it full time, part time or even use a diaper service. You are expecting, your baby is 6 months old or even a toddler, it’s never too late to start. It is our responsibility to show our children how to be environmentally conscious, cloth diapers can be your door into a healthier home. Who knows, maybe in 50 years the tables will turn once again and disposable diapers will be the “luxury” item! I know I didn’t like having to make those tedious midnight runs to buy a pack of diapers, I just have to start a load of laundry.
If you would like to learn more about your diapering choices or have questions regarding cloth diapers please feel free to send me an email! I am happy to discuss cloth and tell you about how easy, cute and fun they really are.