We are still loving our cloth diapers. I don’t even think about them most of the time. They have become second nature, especially since we started using them on Harper as well. We have officially stopped buying disposables and I feel so liberated! I think the only disposable product in our entire house is toilet paper! Oh, and my makeup remover wipes. I feel so green.
Anyway, if you are on the fence about whether or not to use cloth diapers, allow me to pursuade you. After 6 months of use, here are the benefits:
- Cost savings – including our cloth wipes and all other diapering accessories, we have spent about $127. That’s IT. I anticipate the need to spend about $50 more until potty training. So, from the day we started using our cloth (around 8 weeks) until potty training, we will have spent less than $200. You do have to factor in the energy costs of all the washing, but we don’t wash much more than we already were and just bought new energy efficient washer and dryer. If you wash on cold and line dry, you’ll save even more. There are more costly diapers out there, but we don’t buy them. Feel free to email me if you want to hear a breakdown of everything I’ve bought so far and what I anticipate needing to buy.
- Good for the planet - I’m not interested in quoting stats, but if you’re a numbers person, do the research on how long a disposable sits in a landfill. do the research on the chemicals used in the diapers. You should be disgusted after that.
- Chemical Free – I take great care to minimize my use of chemicals. That goes for food, health and beauty products, cleaning supplies, and baby stuff. Everything, really. Disposable diapers use a chemical to maximize absorbency. This is why certain brands break out some kids.
- CUTE! – This is just a bonus, but nobody can deny the cuteness of little colored and printed tooshies.
- Soft and cushy – I’m afraid I’ve slowed down Harper’s potty training progress because he loves wearing the cloth diapers! He tells me how good they feel all the time.
- Zero blowouts – We have yet to have a single poop blowout with the cloth diapers. When used correctly, they are typically bulletproof.
- Have to be changed often – Nope, it wasn’t an error, listing this as a benefit. I think it’s pretty gross that most of us tend to leave our children in diapers as long as they’ll hold. With cloth, they don’t hold as much as a disposable (thanks to not being laden with chemicals that make those lovely gel bits that get all over the place if a diaper is left on too long). But who cares? Don’t have to worry about going through diapers too fast.
Now, most things don’t come without drawbacks. I can honestly only think of three (minor) drawbacks to cloth.
- Learning curve – Cloth diapers (especially pockets and all-in-ones, like we use) are very simple to use. However, when someone like a babysitter or grandmother is used to using disposables, it takes several tries to catch on. Our nanny has been with us for two weeks and still keeps forgetting the all-important hip snaps on our diapers. Cue leaks.
- The Poop Dump – Poop does have to be dumped out of the diaper before washing, but it’s really no big deal. Most times, it just falls into the toilet with ease. When we get a nice sticky one, we have to swish it around in the toilet, but that’s no biggie either. Some people opt to get a diaper sprayer. We may do the same in the future. It’s a little known fact that diaper packaging actually states in the fine print that you are supposed to flush the waste before throwing away the diaper. It’s actually illegal to dispose of human waste in the garbage.
- Nighttime solutions – Depending on the baby and the brand of diaper, you may be able to do the same thing at bedtime as you do the rest of the day. We happen to have a heavy wetter who sleeps through the night. Our inexpensive diapers do not hold up to that. I just ordered a nighttime diaper to try (only a few dollars more than my daytime diapers).
I understand that cloth is not for everyone and I’m definitely not one of those moms who will berate you for not using them. For us, the benefits are just so much greater than the drawbacks and we wish we’d started cloth 6 years ago!