I made the decision to use cloth before I was even pregnant. There are so many benefits that it was a clear choice for me. But I did get a lot of negative feedback when I first told people that was my plan. The biggest concerns people had were that it was gross and that it was too much work. But oh how wrong they were! Two years later and I still use cloth and love it!
Let me preface by saying that cloth diapering is not for everyone. There was a point in my life where I would have said everyone should use cloth, and I still think it would be cool for most people to at least give it a try. But I’ve come to realize that cloth is a choice that just doesn’t really fit in well with every lifestyle, and that’s ok. There are more and more disposable options on the market these days that have many of the same benefits (not all, but many) as using cloth, and you don’t have to wash them!
You can save money
There are a plethora of reasons I chose to go with this option. First, and perhaps the most important, is because it typically saves you a ton of money. A quick search on Google will show that babies average around 8-10 a day diapers in the first year alone. At an average cost of about $0.24 per diaper (some are less and some are much more), you’ll be spending around $788 in the first year just on diapers. Now multiply that by 2-3 years, which is about how long most kids are in diapers, and you’re looking at around $1,500-$2,300 or more – and that doesn’t include disposable wipes!
My initial investment for my cloth diapers was $200 (second-hand) which included about 36 diapers total if I remember correctly. That meant I could make it through about 3 days before I needed to wash the diapers. And I didn’t have to spend any more money past that if I didn’t want to. I have bought more diapers since then so my total investment has gone up, but overall I’m still saving money! Consider the fact that using disposables means each child will have to have new diapers. That means that by the time my two boys are both potty trained I could have spent a whopping $3,400+ on diapers alone. That’s insane!! My total cloth investment, if I were to guess, is probably around $800-$900 – and that’s even including some higher priced diapers. I have been able to use the same diapers for two kids so far and they’ve got plenty of life left in them!
They are better for the environment
The second reason I love cloth so much is the environmental benefit. When I was researching prior to making a decision about diapers, I learned that disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose. Disposables have only been used since the 1940’s (about 70 years). That means that every single dirty diaper thrown in the trash is still sitting in a landfill somewhere. To me, that’s totally disgusting. Besides the benefit of not creating more waste, cloth diapers tend to be better for babies skin. Many disposable diapers still have lots of harsh chemicals and plastics in them which can increase the risk of diaper rashes and other skin irritations. Cloth diapers don’t have the same issues. Of course babies can and do still get rashes in cloth, but in my experience they tend to be fewer and less severe when they do happen.
They’re just cute!
My third big reason for choosing cloth is because they are just so stinking cute!!! About half of my diapers have the most adorable prints and the other half are fun bright colors. I personally just don’t like the look of most disposable diapers. In fact, the cuteness factor of cloth has caused many a cloth mommas to spend inordinate amounts of money on diapers that were supposed to save them money (haha!🤷♀️). What can we say, buying cloth diapers is equivalent to shopping for all of those adorable little baby clothes. You just can’t help yourself. But I digress. Even with my cute cloth spending habit, I’ve still probably saved more than $1,000 so far on diapers and wipes.
But maybe it’s not for you
There are other reasons cloth rocks. For instance, many people believe that children potty train earlier in cloth. My just-turned-two-year-old is not yet potty trained – so I think there’s a lot more that goes into it than just which diapers you choose. Also cloth may be a bit more comfortable than its plastic counterparts. And, depending on which type of cloth you use, it may have uses far beyond your child’s diapering days.
But even with all of these benefits, cloth might not be the right choice for your family. Cloth diapering does require more work than disposables and there’s a bit of a learning curve if you’ve never used them before. Plus there’s the part that turns most people off – having to clean them. Honestly it’s not as bad as many seem to think, but it’s a valid reason for choosing not to use cloth.
Many cloth-loving mommas may share a similar sentiment about cloth diapers as some who are in the breast-is-best camp (and shame those who don’t agree). I’m not one of those mommas. I totally get that there are a million different choices we have to make as mommas and even more reasons why we make the choices we do. I’ve come to believe that there is no one right way to raise your babes. As long as they are loved and well-cared for, all the other things just aren’t as important. Do what makes you and your family happy and allows you to live your best life.
There are other options
There are more and more options available every day for those who prefer disposable diapers but still want the benefits of eco-friendly materials and fewer chemicals on their baby’s skin. Many new brands have made names for themselves by providing more natural diapering options. Some established brands are now adding their own products to the mix of naturals as well. Here are some of the most popular options (in no particular order):
While I love cloth diapers and wouldn’t trade them for anything, there
You are rocking this mom thing.