As with all the parenting choices you make, the right one is the one that feels safest and healthiest for your child. For many parents, there’s no choice or question when it comes to the type of diaper they use. Cloth diapers or disposable diapers? The choice seems easy and straightforward, since the majority of Americans use disposable diapers for their children. It’s not because disposable diapers are better, cheaper, or safer than cloth diapers; it’s simply because cloth diapers often conjure images of a time when there was no other option, where cloth diapers were a necessity rather than a luxury.
Cloth diapers have come a long way since the days our parents and grandparents were using them. Today, there are much better and more efficient options for cloth diapering. Modern cloth diapering can be easy, and it certainly will save you money over time. Plus, you can rest assured knowing you’re using a product that’s safer and healthier for your child than the alternative.
Childcare is expensive: there’s no two ways around this fact. We all want the best for our children and are willing to go that extra mile and spend that extra dollar to give them what they deserve. But there are ways you can save money and give your child the best, and cloth diapers are one of them!
The average family spends over $2,500.00 on disposable diapers for one child and, in turn, contributes over 7,000 diapers to landfills. It’s estimated that 10,000 tons of disposable diapers go into landfills every day. And the production of all those diapers leaves a massive carbon footprint on the environment, using approximately 1 million metric tons of wood pulp and over 75,000 metric tons of plastic every year.
A dozen high quality organic cloth diapers, in contrast, cost about $500.00 and can be reused for more than one child if you properly care for them. It’s even possible to diaper your child in cloth from birth to potty training for about $100.00—imagine spending the same amount in one month on disposable diapers. There’s no need to throw cloth diapers away, even if you don’t have another child; when washed and cared for properly, cloth diapers can be passed on to other family members with babies. That’s a huge savings in money, and a huge weight off the environment. Personally, I wish I would have started with my son, Lucas. I would have saved a ton of money. It’s better to start late than never, right?
But the benefits of using cloth diapers go far beyond the financial aspect. Cloth diapers also facilitate faster potty training. Even though modern cloth diapering is easy and clean, many parents may be motivated to get their children out of diapers and onto the potty much more quickly! Plus, the children who are used to the soft feeling of cloth diapers will be able to recognize the feeling of wetness more quickly than those who have only been diapered in disposables. In this way, they’re more prepared to potty train, and more likely to be successful during their potty training.
Finally, and most importantly, cloth diapers are simply better for your baby’s health than disposable diapers. Disposable, conventional diapers are harmful for your baby, frequently causing diaper rash and skin irritation. Know that absorbent gel you find in disposable diapers? That’s sodium polyacralate, an unnatural chemical substance that causes skin reactions when it comes into contact with your baby’s skin.
Moreover, research from the Archives of Environmental Health suggests that disposable diapers may cause or induce asthma in your baby. After testing 6 types of cloth diaper and 6 types of disposable diaper, this study concluded that one disposable diaper released enough emissions to produce asthma-like symptoms in mice. What effect could this have on your baby, wearing multiple disposable diapers day after day during the formative years of her life? Cloth diapers pose no such risk to your baby’s health.
While the idea of cloth diapering may be daunting or seem old-fashioned, in reality, cloth diapers are just as easy to use as disposable diapers, and there’s no question that they’re safer and more hygienic for your baby than disposables. The world of cloth diapering is nothing like it was years ago. Modern cloth diapers are more durable than ever before; they can be rewashed and reused many, many times over, giving you quick access to clean diapers and saving you a late-night trip to the store when you inevitably find you’ve forgotten to buy more disposables! Plus, new technology can make an unpleasant task much cleaner and more manageable than you might think. The bumGenius diaper sprayer, for example, hooks into your toilet’s clean water supply and allows you to clean the diaper using a high powered spray of water. I use Poofy Organics’ Laundry Pre-Spray on the soaker pads and diapers before putting them in the wash. This works for me.
When it comes to cloth diapers, there are loads of options, tons of brands, and a wide variety of accessories you can choose from. What do I use? I have a mix of Grovia’s cloth diapers and love them! One thing is for certain, no matter the type or quantity of cloth diaper you buy, you’re saving money, energy, the environment, and most importantly, your baby’s health!