Thursday, February 9, 2012
Why I Use Cloth Diapers
I have used cloth diapers on all 3 of my children, from the time that they were 1 day old. When I first told people I was going to use cloth, I got every reaction known to man, but the one I got the most was shock. I had moms laugh and tell me that I would change my mind the first poopy diaper I had to change. Well, I've had some massive blowouts, but I still remain firm on the conviction that cloth diapers are the best. Here’s why:
1. I’m frugal, which is a nice way of saying cheap! Yes, cloth diapers are cheaper than disposable. Any way you do the math, cloth wins. A 12 pack of Gerber Birdseye pre-folded cloth diapers will run you about $15. And, you can reuse them countless times. A pack of 48 disposable diapers may only cost about $20, but you can only use them once.
It probably costs at most half as much to use cloth diapers as to use disposables. This is assuming your child can tolerate the store brands of disposables. Some parents pay 30 cents a diaper for the top brands, which at a minimum of $1.50 a day really adds up. ($1600/3 years)
Just to summarize. The absolute cheapest you can do disposable diapers for is probably $1/day. If you use disposables, and then the more expensive pull-ups while training, you are looking at a
bare minimum of $1095 for three years. And if you live in an area where you have to pay for each bag of garbage, you’ll pay even more.
If you use cloth diapers, with the nice velcro wraps, flannel wipes, and launder them at home, it would be less than $550 for 3 years, and best of all, you can use many of the same supplies for your next child. It is also possible to save on the actual investment of using cloth diapers by using less expensive accessories, like pins and plastic pants, resulting in a total investment of $120 at the most, before laundering costs.
I bought about 30 infant sized cloth diapers, when my oldest was born. I'm still using those SAME diapers for my 2nd and 3rd child! Think of the savings! These diapers have paid for themselves over and over again!
2. No midnight runs to the store because you are out of diapers, no scanning newspaper ads, hoping for a great sale, and no clipping coupons. Just do a couple loads of laundry a week and you’re set!
3. Cloth Diapers are more environmentally friendly! The bottom line is that with cloth diapers you are not throwing thousands of pounds of non-biodegradable waste into the landfills each year. Now supposedly some of the disposable diapers are biodegradable, or recyclable. This would be/could be true if they were exposed to air and sunlight (not buried in landfills) or processed at a specialized recycling plant (of which few exist). I checked at my local Recycling plant, and they will not take disposable diapers. Cloth diapers should be the Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle product of choice! It only takes 3 dozen good quality cloth diapers to diaper at least 2 children for a grand total of 4-6 years, then you can use the worn diapers as rags for another 5 years, then you can throw the scraps in the compost bin, where the natural fibers will biodegrade.
4. I own an automatic washer! I’m not even overly fastidious about rinsing them out, just get the major stuff off and throw them in a pail of water to soak. (Just a note here, a diaper pail should always have a snug fitting lid, both for odor control, and safety for the little ones.) My pail sits in my tub, and as the day goes on, I fill it with diapers. At the end of the day the whole thing gets thrown in the wash. My hands rarely touch a poopy diaper.
5. What about the whole rinsing the diaper and wrap thing? Yes, you might accidentally touch poopy sometimes using cloth diapers, but I think most parents know that happens regardless of what diapering system you use. To rinse a cloth diaper, you just grab a clean corner, and shake/dunk it in the toilet until the major stuff falls off, then throw it into the diaper pail. Maybe it’s not for everyone, but it’s not really a big deal! And, if you breastfeed you baby, their poop isn’t all that solid anyway! So, I never dunk my diapers.I shake out the poopies, throw them in the bucket. Then I wash in hot, with Borax and soap to whiten, then run another load with just vinegar to kill germs and smell.
6. Earlier toilet training. This may not hold true in every case, but there’s no denying that cloth diapers are a lot more “realistic” than disposables. A wet cloth diaper feels wet to a child, whereas a disposable diaper continues to feel dry. I’ve heard report after report where a child potty trains faster and easier, because he wears cloth diapers. He can feel when he wets, instead of it being whisked away as soon as it happens.
7. Less diaper rashes? This argument goes back and forth between the disposable and cloth proponents. After using both, I can say this is true for my kids. My daughter's skin was so sensitive that her behind broke out in a rash at the first hint of a disposable (I'm exaggerating, sure, but it sure felt like it!). I would say that it really depends on the child, but that cloth seems to maintain a better moisture environment for my children’s skin than disposables. You can also feel more easily when your child is wet and change him as often as necessary. And there’s no increased cost if you need to change your child more often with cloth diapers, whereas with disposables it can really add up if you are changing your baby more frequently due to rash or diarrhea.
8. Cloth diapers can also be used as changing pads, burp cloths, and nose wipers. Disposable diapers are pretty much only good for one thing.
9. When I’m done using the cloth diapers for my kids, they’ll still be the best rags for years to come!
10. You know what you are putting on your baby’s bottom. With cloth, the material content is right there. With disposable diapers, you really never know. Some might claim that the have a ‘cotton like feel’ but that’s not cotton. This link talks about the ingredients in a disposable diaper Here . I want to know that what I’m putting against children's private parts is not only organic, but safe for them. I can’t promise that for disposables, as they won’t tell you what they are made out of.
My favorite link for cloth diapers are:Kushies
I have moms that swear by these brands, although I’ve never tried them myself.
If you’re interested in cloth diapering, and would like to know more, check out Here
I hope that maybe I’ve made someone rethink cloth diapering, and that you will try it. I can’t take all the credit for this post. My LLL leader, Katie, gave us a lot of info on why to use cloth diapers, and I used it here. I know that there is alot of talk about saving the earth, and global warming, that we need to do all that we can to help our planet. Until next time…