Cloth vs disposable diapers and why I chose to use cloth
Modern cloth diapers are just as easy to change as a disposable and as easy to maintain as washing a load of laundry. And today I will tell you why I chose cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers are absolutely adorable, they come in cute prints and patterns, my kids have had diapers with tractors, cats, pandas, stripes, flames, birds and a rainbow of solid colors, and they are cute on, a soft fluffy round bottomed baby. In fact, see here why studies support using cloth diapers based on their benefits.
Benefits of using Cloth Diapers
The first reason I chose cloth diapers was to save money, disposable diapers can be expensive! Cloth diapers you buy 1 or 2 times depending on the sizes you need and that's it. I started out buying newborn size diapers and than moving on to one size diapers, cloth diapers range in price from $6-20 for basic pocket diapers like I use. It's nice to have a minimum of 2 dozen diapers.
The cost of cloth diapers is significantly lower than the cost of disposable dispers. Diapering a child in generic disposables costs over $1,400 over 2.5 years. With some premium earth-friendly options, this cost can go to almost $2,500. A full time cloth diapering system can cost as little as $250 for pocket diapers and inserts.
The next reason I chose to use cloth diapers is the environmental impact, yes you do have to wash them but the water used to wash them has less environmental impact than disposable diapers, the biggest environmental impact of disposable diapers is the waste. You take the dirty disposal diaper off, and send it out with the weekly garbage. Then the diapers are buried inside a landfill where they will sit for approximately 500 years. Diapers aren’t the only waste created from changing diapers though, there are also disposable wipes, packaging waste, and garbage bags.
Another reason I chose to use cloth diapers is the health concerns of disposable diapers. A disposable diaper's absorbent center contains wood pulp (usually bleached white with chlorine) and super-absorbent polymers, usually sodium polyacrylate – a compound that can soak up to 30 times its weight in urine. This super absorbent polymer is added to diapers in its granular powder form and turns into a gel-like substance once the diaper becomes wet.
Workers working with this chemical are supplied with material data safety sheets specifying the first aid for exposure. You can find many sources of these sheets on the internet by doing a search for: “sodium polyacrylate material data safety sheet”. The first aid for each exposure is listed below. This is for one exposure. Babies that wear disposable diapers are exposed to this chemical 24 hours per day for about 3 years. No “first aid” is given to them for each exposure or for their long-term exposure.
Favorite Reason for using Cloth Diapers
And probably my favorite reason I chose cloth diapers, I never run out. No 10 pm runs to Target because I didn't realize I forgot to buy diapers. I I noticed my basket of clean diapers is almost empty all I have to do is run a load of laundry and a couple hours later, soft clean fluffy diapers. Oh and those blowouts that babies are known for, you know the ones that cover baby in poo from knees to shoulders, those almost never happen in cloth. My youngest is 19 months and I can only think of a couple times it's happened. And babies in cloth diapers get less diaper rash than babies in disposable diapers as their bottom isn't in constant contact with sodium polyacrylate.
Disposal diapers do have their time and place. I like to use them when camping or on vacation so I don't have a bag of dirty diapers to bring home. There are some more environmentally (but expensive) options for times like this.
Do you use cloth diapers or disposable diapers? What things impacted your decision on what diapers to use?