The Benefits of Cloth Diapering

I never considered using cloth diapers until I stumbled upon a discussion about them online when I was six months pregnant. As soon as I realized the benefits of cloth, the decision was easy for me. If you’re a cloth newbie like I was, here are a few of the benefits:

Cost

Cost was the factor that initially led me to consider cloth diapering. I had used disposables with my little boy, who was soon to be potty trained when I learned I was expecting twins. Two little ones in diapers – and possibly three if my son didn’t catch on quickly – was an expensive proposition. Luckily, he was using the potty before his sisters were born, which left me with two to diaper.

I calculated the cost for my two babies to use disposable diapers for three years. Ready? Three thousand dollars. The thought of paying that much money for plastic that would get pooped in and thrown away was depressing.

The cost of cloth diapers can vary greatly. Like most items in the marketplace, cheap and expensive options are available. I tend toward the less expensive types and brands, but even if you opt for the most expensive options (sized all-in-ones, for example), you’ll still save money in the long run.

There are additional costs, like cloth-safe detergent and extra laundering costs for washing cloth diapers, but I’ve found them to be minimal.

Environment

Using disposable diapers, your baby’s tiny feet will leave huge carbon footprints. The average baby will put an estimated 6,000 diapers and 4,000 pounds of waste in the landfill by the time she’s potty trained. Not to mention the poop that almost all parents throw in the trash with the diaper, though they aren’t supposed to. The manufacturing of disposable diapers uses more than 75,000 metric tons of plastic and one million metric tons of wood pulp. That’s a lot of trees and petroleum.

I feel great about adding another “green” habit to our family’s life. Using cloth baby diapers, we don’t lug soiled diapers to the curb every week. I like to reduce our eco impact even more by hanging the diapers to dry.

Chemicals

I won’t get into the specific chemicals found in disposable diapers because, frankly, I’m no expert on the topic. The big diaper companies always seem to be arguing about what’s actually in them, anyway, as well as what effects those chemicals have on babies. Simply the fact that there are so many questions makes me want to stay away. Plus, that gel stuff and the smell of the diapers always grossed me out.

I love putting a fresh, cotton diaper on my baby’s bottom. It seems comfy and like something I would be happy to wear. Would you rather wear cotton or plastic that’s filled with chemicals?

Other Random Benefits

  • Fewer diaper rashes
  • Quicker potty training
  • No trips to the store when you run out of diapers
  • They’re cute!

Photo courtesy of simplyla.

 

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