10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Give Cloth Diapers A Chance
10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Give Cloth Diapers A Chance
Many parents are on the fence about which type of diapers to choose – cloth or disposable. As with any other parenting decision, everyone has their own opinion, usually voiced loudly over the internet. I really believe that everyone should approach cloth diapering with an open mind and find out the facts about it. These facts alone will most likely pique your interest about cloth diapers, if not convince you that it is a worthwhile option to explore.
Here are my top ten reasons why I think every parent should give cloth diapering a try:
1) It will save you money
Your baby’s bum will need to be changed a staggering 5000-7000 times before they hit potty learning. Seriously. This adds up quickly, costing $2500-$3000. That is a lot of money to spend on something designed to catch poop. In comparison, cloth costs between $300-800 to get all set up and your laundry costs will not increase dramatically. Even with rising energy costs, we have never noticed an impact on our electricity bills, but we would certainly notice having to buy a monster box of diapers every week!
2) Every cloth diaper change saves a diaper from hitting the landfill
Canada throws out about 4 million disposable diapers EVERY DAY and those aren’t likely to break down for about 500 years. Your child will start out their life with a huge pile of garbage to their name. Every cloth diaper can be used hundreds of times, saving that many diapers from being thrown away. Even if you cloth diaper part time, every cloth diaper you change is one less disposable ending up at the dump.
There are even adorable reusable wet bags. No more plastic waste! With two separate waterproof pouches, keeping the dirty & clean separate is a breeze. They’re great for bathing suits too!
3) You will keep those bums healthy
Cloth diapered kids tend to get less diaper rashes. There are several reasons for this, but one large contribution is that we change cloth diapers sooner after they are peed in. Disposables hide the pee so that baby is likely to sit in it for quite some time until they are changed. This may seem like a plus in the disposable column, but the components of urine are hard on the tender skin of a baby’s backside, causing irritation and rashes. Lots of disposable users find that they have to slather baby’s bum in diaper cream to prevent this, a step that is unnecessary when using cloth.
4) Cloth looks great in pictures
Disposable diapers are so blah that we go to great lengths to cover them up for photos, while cloth diapers are oh-so-cute that they sometimes feature in pictures! Cloth comes in so many adorable colours and patterns that you won’t want to hide them. There are even diapers for special occasions like Christmas, Halloween and birthdays. They definitely add a touch of something special as opposed to a boring old ‘sposie.
5) Less poo blowouts
Disposable diapers may be good at some things, but holding in messes ain’t one of them. Cloth diapers are fantastic at preventing these catastrophic events of the fecal nature. I am rather experienced at diaper changes, and can tell you that it is much more pleasant to deal with a poopy cloth diaper than it is to have to deal with soiled clothes, hair, car seats, etc. I won’t go into a great amount of graphic detail here because, well, gross, but here is the basic idea: cloth keeps poop in. Poop in diaper= good. Escapee poop = bad.
6) Enjoyable diaper changes
No, that isn’t a typo. I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning and says “yay, I get to change dirty diapers today!” but cloth makes the experience nicer. You can coordinate your diaper lineup for the day with what your kiddo is wearing. Try out new colour combinations. Before you know it, you’ll be looking forward to changing them just so you can see another cute diaper on their little tushie. Plus you can smile at the fact that this diaper isn’t ending up in the landfill, and is saving you money!
7) Every cloth diaper parent makes it more mainstream
Whether they are aware of it or not, every cloth diapering parent becomes an advocate for cloth diapering. As cloth diapering becomes more widespread, more people are willing to open their minds to trying it. Awareness of how simple modern cloth diapering is is already spreading like wildfire on social media, but there really is no substitute like hearing from a fellow parent how simple it really is. Looking back at point #2, there are tons of diaper being thrown away, so the more people who try cloth diapering, the better for our landfills!
8) Save our resources
It takes almost 1 cup (240mL) of crude oil and 9 gallons of water to make just one disposable diaper, not to mention large amounts of wood pulp. Multiply this by the millions of diapers used every day, and it becomes a large strain on our already dwindling non-renewable resources. The materials used in washable diapers are not only much more renewable (crops like hemp, bamboo and cotton are much faster growing than forests) but the amounts needed for a full stash of cloth diapers are much less.
9) Reduce chemical load
There are tons of chemicals found in disposable diapers, including phthalates, petrolatum, sodium polyacrylate, styrenes, xylenes and many more. All of these have either known or suspected health effects. As a society we are becoming more aware of the substances that are present in our food, cosmetics and environment, and the long term effects these chemicals are having on our health. Diapers are up against baby’s skin 24 hours a day, and are a fantastic place to start.
10) You might actually like them
If you give cloth a try for any of the above nine reasons, I truly believe that in a short time, you too will discover that they are easy to use. You will find out that they don’t involve origami-like folding to use, or a degree in chemical engineering to launder. You may find yourself loving the way your child’s fluffy butt looks, or looking forward to chatting with other “crunchy” moms about your cloth stash.
Hopefully these ten reasons have got you thinking about cloth diapering. We have workshops to introduce the basics, a blog covering lots of cloth diapering topics and we love chatting with parents about cloth diapers. Visit us at www.bumbini.ca to find out more about them, and to get your hands on some of your own.
Have a lovely day!