- Cute Factor
The first reason I’m going to address, which was why I switched to cloth, is cost. The economy isn’t the greatest right now and I’m sure many of you are on a tight budget, so minimizing costs is essential to make it through tough patches. Many people are deterred from cloth diapers because the initial cost is greater than that of disposables, but I really encourage you to think long term. If you start incorporating diapers into your budget prior to your little ones arrival, you should have a decent amount of money set aside after 6 months. I would use this money to take advantage of trial programs that many cloth diaper stores offer. If you are new to cloth diapering, I think it is best if you test a variety of diapers to see what works for you and your little one because every diaper and baby is different. Once you find a couple of good diapers, you can start building your stash so that you can cloth diaper full time. I know several people just jump in and buy what they think will work best, but I truly believe waiting and actually using the products and then buying more will help you not be stuck with a bunch of diapers that you really don’t like, which may lead to giving up on the whole venture. I will discuss more on cost in the next post, because there are also savings from not purchasing products such as diaper creams and pail liners, let alone the gas involved in trips to the store. It is also worth mentioning that I could literally cloth diaper my second child for free since I already have spent time building a stash with my first child. There is a huge market for used cloth diapers, so you could easily get your money back for the diapers that didn’t work out for your child.
The next reason is health, which was a category that I was surprised by when I started diapering. I remember noticing little weird shiny crystals in my daughter’s diaper area and had no idea what they were. After some research I learned that sodium polyacrylate is in disposables and is the cause of these crystals. These crystals stick to the skin and can cause skin reactions let alone that this chemical has been linked to toxic shock syndrome. Another chemical in disposables is dioxin, which is a byproduct when bleaching paper. It has been noted to be the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. Many people claim that babies in cloth diapers have less diaper rash, but I didn’t find irrefutable evidence on that claim. When disposables are used properly, I think diaper rash could be rare, but since disposables are so expensive, many people don’t change diapers as often as they should, which leads to moisture and thus diaper rash. With cloth diapers, it isn’t a big deal if you have to change your little one 10 minutes after you just changed them. If your children have really sensitive skin, it is also nice that there are several organic options within the cloth diapering world to make sure the purest fibers are against your baby’s skin. I could probably write a whole post just on the health benefits of cloth, but these are the ones that solidified my decision to cloth diaper.
Right now, everyone seems to be environmentally conscious, but honestly this was just a perk for me. Obviously disposables create more trash in our landfills, but the bigger problem is the poo left in disposable diapers. Many people don’t realize that even with disposable diapers you are suppose to dispose of poo in the toilet, so it can be treated properly through the waste treatment plant. It is really disturbing to think of all the raw sewage currently in our landfills due to disposables, which could containment underlying ground water.
Time. Who couldn’t use a little bit more time? With cloth diapers, there won’t be last minute trips to the store when you realize that you are about out of disposables. Children in cloth diapers also typically potty train earlier, which means less time using diapers…yippee! In cloth diapers or even in cloth trainers, children can tell if they are wet easier, which helps with potty training.
Now the last reason, I am going to point out is the cuteness factor. Have you seen modern cloth diapers? You can literally match your diapers to your theme or even for particular outfits. I must warn you though that the adorable prints may become an addiction which will affect whether cloth diapering is actually cheaper. I would definitely encourage you to explore the options that WAHMs have as they typically have great sales and are more flexible with finding what you are looking for. I personally have won several cloth diapers in giveaways, which has helped soothe my addiction. Speaking of flexible, most cloth diapers are fairly adjustable not only in size, but in absorbency since you can add inserts in to adjust for heavy wetters. This flexibility helps you prevent leaks and blowouts which is a great benefit!
By no means is this a complete list of the benefits of cloth diapering, but I do hope some of the concerns raised will encourage you to at least explore the option. I truly think that if you take the time to find what would work for you and your child, you will be very happy with your cloth diapering experience and will be thankful you switched.
Please comment below with any other benefits, tips, or questions.