Why we use cloth diapers

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It was Caveman who first brought up the idea of cloth diapering.  We had just found out that we were pregnant, and the excitement was breeding all sorts of “Hey! We should…” thoughts. I initially dismissed the suggestion, citing reasons like “it sounds gross” and “I don’t want to deal with more laundry.” In my head I had visions of those ugly and uncomfortable clear plastic pants, sharp pins and my hands permanently covered in band-aids because I kept sticking myself. The idea seemed very hazardous. Caveman did his research (something he is very good at) and when he mentioned the cloth diapering possibility again, I was persuaded. So, here are the three major reasons why we use cloth diapers on our children. Read on, friend.

#1 COST

The main reason we chose to use cloth diapers instead of disposables (“‘sposies” to those up on the cool cloth lingo) was cost. It may be a little more money upfront, but in the long run (and over the diaper career of a few children), cloth is cheaper. We knew that we would like to have more than two kids, and so it seemed the wise decision. This great chart helped us approximate the how much it would be, overall, to cloth diaper and what we’d be saving by avoiding disposables. (The figures are an average, of course, so take it with a grain of salt). We estimate that our investment so far is around $350 for the materials (energy costs not included). That’s for cloth diapering one child who is not yet 2 and one for 6 weeks. Friends who use disposables confirm that they spend about that on one child for one year, so we like to think that we’re set up to save quite a bit. This subject of cloth versus sposie deserves its own post, so look for a more detailed cost analysis in the near future!

#2: Green

The secondary reason we chose to cloth diaper is because it’s greener than the standard disposables. It is estimated that the average baby uses 6,000-8,000 disposable diapers over the first few years. That’s a lot of space in the local landfill, when you think about the number of families with young children in your city. Disposable diapers use up the third largest amount of landfill space in the U.S., and they take a long time to decompose—estimated at 500 years because of the plastic content. (Thanks to The Green Mama for these stats!) By using cloth diapers, we are saving that much junk from being embedded in our planet through the landfill. We plan to use the diapers as rags when they become to frayed to put on baby bums. And after that, if they see a landfill, the natural cotton fibers will decompose in a year to 50. Yes, our household does use more water than most for washing so much laundry, but we do our best to minimize water usage elsewhere. Overall, we felt that disposable diapers did more damage to the environment than cloth.

#3: Ease

The third reason that convinced me to cloth diaper is the new ease of use. The dangerous pins are gone; in their place are great little plastic clasps that don’t draw blood when you accidentally catch a finger or a leg. Gone are the white plastic underpants that looked so uncomfortable. They were replaced by innovative synthetic and breathable waterproof materials. And they’re soft. No longer only available in starched bleached cotton, diapers can be found in microfiber, fleece, wool, even bamboo. The little ones know the difference. The first time my sister put this diaper on my niece, she cooed. It was an intentional sigh of Where has this diaper been my whole 6 weeks of life?!  With such clear feedback from the, um, customer?, you can’t go wrong.  Plus, Colorado Springs has two cloth diaper stores for support and supplies. This town is full of experts on cloth diapering; I knew we wouldn’t be alone.

And a bonus: Cute!

Cloth diapering is now a jungle of brilliant hues, rockin’ patterns, adorable prints, inventive updated fits. We have covers in huntin’ season orange, honeydew green, butter yellow. We have covers with owls, trees and stripes. I admit, half the time my boys don’t wear pants when we are at home because those diapers are too screamin’ cute to hide.

The new cloth diapering bandwagon is gaining momentum quickly, thanks to a rush of new companies and stay-at-home moms making their own fresh designs on the ‘ol diaper concept. These leading diaper pioneers have revolutionized baby waste collection (yeah, I just said that. weird.) into a fun, stylin’, comfortable experience for baby and parents. After almost two years of cloth diapering (actually, three!!), we still love it. I should probably thank Caveman. After all, this ride was his idea.

Chat with us! Do YOU cloth diaper? What were your reasons for choosing the cloth? Comment below. 🙂

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2 Comments
  • Les
    September 21, 2012

    Cloth was the answer for our first son, also. We did cave in and use sposies on trips, however. 11 changes a day on average. Yes, I counted.

    • Evelyn
      January 4, 2014

      Sorry I never saw this comment, Les. I’d say 11 changes a day is about right for us too… give or take. 😉

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