Admittedly, I tried cloth diapers for a little while with my middle child. I used them intermittently and when we were at home, especially. I loved the variety of colors, styles, and idea behind using cloth. Also confessing, disposable seemed to be the better option for our family and getting a smoother routine down.
My guest today, Holly, breaks down the pros and cons a little more than I am able. If you were on the fence or considering cloth diapering, you’ll enjoy reading her thorough run-down.
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Cover those buns… it’s about to get real:
Five years ago, I was pregnant with my oldest child. Young and stressed about finances, I looked into ways to have kids on a budget. I kept coming back to cloth diapering, and initially, I couldn’t commit. Eventually, the question in my mind of “Should I use cloth diapers?” was quickly answered with an “I might as well try!”
With modern cloth diapers being a drastic improvement over the cloth diapers of decades ago, many families are wondering if they are worth it or if they are still best left in the past. The question that I asked myself over five years ago is one that more and more families are asking themselves as the global trend toward reducing single-use plastics grows.
There is a lot to consider when it comes to making your diapering decision. Before reading the rest of the post, take a moment now to think about your family goals and priorities. You will have to pinpoint some motivations to help you decide what is right for you and how to best get there. Maybe that includes using cloth diapers, or maybe it doesn’t. Either way, I hope this post helps you feel more confident in your decision.
Why Choose Cloth Diapers?
There are a number of reasons to choose cloth diapers.
First of all, you have the potential to save a good deal of money.
This will depend on your buying habits as it is always possible to go crazy when choosing diapers, especially when you see how cute they are! But most of the time, you will save some serious cash by choosing cloth.
Second, it can greatly reduce the amount of waste you are throwing out in your household.
The average family of four throws out over 120 pounds of garbage per week! That seems really excessive to me given the number of people that live on this planet. Any way I can reduce the amount of garbage my family creates on a daily basis is a win to me.
Third, many people believe they are healthier.
Disposable diapers contain a number of chemicals that make some families uncomfortable. Some disposable diaper brands also make it difficult for you to find the true ingredients in their product. While most experts agree the chemical levels in disposable diapers are too low to cause real harm, many people work hard to avoid any unnecessary toxins in their daily lives, especially when it comes to their children.
Cloth diapers also allow more airflow than disposable diapers, which can help with rash prevention and general skin health. However, disposable diapers do a better job wicking away moisture and keeping skin dry, so it is a bit of a trade-off in this area.
A fourth reason people might choose cloth diapers is to be a little more self-reliant.
Many people (myself included) want to reduce their dependency on store-bought items for raising our kids.
Don’t get me wrong, shopping and purchasing things will always be necessary! But I do love the fact that I typically have everything in my home available to me to make sure my baby always has a clean diaper. I appreciate that even more as I look out my window and see the snow rapidly coming down. 😉
Why Choose Disposable Diapers?
There are two reasons you might choose disposable diapers.
Two: Less laundry
That’s really it! But yes, I will acknowledge that those are pretty big reasons.
Disposable diapers are more convenient in many scenarios. You can just throw a diaper away and never think about it again. I will admit that is pretty nice.
Disposables are also more convenient for travel or long days out of the house.
While many people do choose to use cloth diapers in those situations, I don’t believe cloth has to be all or nothing. There is no reason why you can’t tweak cloth diapers to suit your lifestyle. If you are going out of town and want to use disposables, go ahead! Part-time cloth diaper usage still has many benefits.
Using cloth isn’t automatically inconvenient, though. It is just a matter of developing a good routine to maintain them. We even used cloth diapers at daycare for both kids! It really wasn’t a hassle, and our daycare was very willing to do it.
As for the laundry, it can take some trial and error to find a good wash routine.
But once you figure that out, it really isn’t that big of a deal. I typically do two loads of diaper laundry a week and spend about 5 minutes for each load getting it in the washer, adding detergent, etc. I don’t fold diapers. Diaper laundry isn’t as time-consuming as some might think, and it is the easiest laundry I do. However, it is an extra chore.
Notice I don’t say “don’t have to deal with poop” as a reason for choosing disposables. Every parent deals with poop regardless of their diaper choice. The only difference between a parent who uses cloth and a parent who uses disposables is one of those parents was expecting to deal with poop and the other wasn’t!
If you use cloth diapers, you will have to scrape off poop into the toilet once your child is on solid food. So yes, you may deal with a little more poop in that regard.
However, blowouts are much more common in disposable diapers. If you have a proper-fitting cloth diaper, the elastic seals around the legs and torso, preventing any from escaping. Disposable diapers don’t have as good of a seal. Then you’re dealing with poop all over! On the onesie, in the car seat, in the swing, in baby’s hair….
Being a parent means dealing with poop sometimes.
Should You Use Cloth Diapers?
This is a question only you can answer, but if you have even the slightest urge to consider cloth diapering, then it’s worth giving this some serious thought. There are a lot of great reasons to choose cloth diapers, but it may not be right for you. There are many styles of cloth diapers to choose from out there, and you can learn more about the options available for modern cloth diapering at my site: https://rockingthecloth.com.
Have you considered using cloth diapers? If you have but ended up not going for it, what held you back? Let a comment and let us know!
Holly blogs at Rocking the Cloth about cloth diapering and green living for families.
She lives in Minnesota with her husband, her two sons, her Welsh corgi, and her orange tabby cat.
Outside of blogging, she is active in her church and is a middle school special education teacher who primarily teaches reading and writing to students with dyslexia and ADHD. She and her husband enjoy a wide array of hobbies, such as hydroponics gardening, beer brewing, baking, & cooking (especially using the smoker on all sorts of meats!) Holly is passionate about helping others with their cloth diapering experience.
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And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days. (I’m off to spend the day with the girls before brother gets out for the long weekend.)