by Renee Yarrington
The number of decisions we must make as parents is overwhelming. Baby carrier or stroller? Crib or co-sleeper? Circumcision? Vaccinations? Nursery colors? The choices are endless.
One thing, that seems like an easy decision is what diapers to use. It’s easy enough to stop by the local CVS and grab a pack of Pampers. But, have you thought about using cloth diapers? A quick google search will make your head spin, realizing the sea of choices, brands, and options out there. Once upon a time, cloth diapers were the only choice available and the norm. But, the modern cloth diaper is not your grandma’s diaper!
The most frequent questions I get are, “Why cloth diaper? Isn’t it messy? Isn’t it tons of work?” There are several reasons why I switched from disposable diapers to cloth but here are my top 3!
Why Cloth Diaper Reason #1: Money
The average child is potty trained by 3 years old and uses roughly 7,500 disposable diapers. If you use brand-name diapers, that’s almost $3,500 dollars over 3 years with one child.
The initial investment in a full-time cloth diaper stash will cost (depending on brand and personal style preference) between $250-$600 dollars.
Even when buying disposables in bulk, it’s much less expensive to purchase and maintain cloth. You never need to worry about running out of diapers and it’s only an extra load of laundry every few days.
Plus, cloth diapers retain value! If you use them on more than one child, the savings continues to compound. If you are done cloth diapering, you can sell them online to another mama just starting their clothy journey!
Why Cloth Diaper Reason #2: Health
Cloth diapering is gentler on baby’s skin. Disposable diapers contain petroleum, bleach, dioxin and other chemicals. Cloth diapers allow for more airflow tha
n disposables. This is important because it helps to regulate heat in boys, which can affect scrotal temperature, and helps prohibit yeast growth which can cause UTIs (urinary tract infections), thrush, and many other yeastissues. Cloth diapers are made often made with cotton, and some are even certified organic.
In our case, my daughter had relentless and continuous rashes, eczema and reactions with disposables before we switched to cloth. Babies with sensitive skin and allergies often react to the chemicals, perfumes, and ingredients in disposable diapers.
Looking at the bigger picture: a single child will go through an average of 6,500-8,000 diapers, and a single diaper takes over 500 years to decompose.
Why Cloth Diaper Reason #3: Fashion
I’d be lying if I said fashion didn’t play a role in which cloth diapers I personally choose. I did say these aren’t your grandma’sdiapers and it’s true! Modern cloth diapers are being made with convenience, ease of use, and fashion in mind. There are still the wonderful, flat diaper standbys which are reminiscent of your grandma’s diapers, but even these are being crafted to be more absorbent.
My daughter is often seen cruising around pant-less. The diapers act as a bloomer under some of her outfits and are super cute even solo.
There’s many assorted brands and styles of cloth diaper. Some well-respected brands are Best Bottoms, GroVia, Thirsties, Fuzzibunz, Rumparooz, Smart Bottoms, and bumGenius.
Oftentimes, it’s the laundering part of cloth diapering that turns people away. But this is really the simplest part. It’s important to remember:
- Wash every few days. Most weeks I wash once. Occasionally, I wash twice a week.
- Pre-wash with a warm, short wash cycle with a small amount of detergent to remove poop and urine.
- Main Wash: Hot wash on the longest setting with the full amount of a good detergent.
- Make sure you don’t use dryer sheets or fabric softeners as this will cause repelling and leaking issues!
- Throw your diapers in the dryer on low heat until dry or hang to dry!