Cloth Diaper Week: Why Cloth Diapers?

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“Why in the world would you want to do that?! Disposables are much more convenient!”

This is the common reaction that we receive when people find out that we will be cloth diapering. Well, here are our reasons why we will be cloth diapering:

1. Save Money. I think this is what ultimately got Mr. Crafty Nest excited about cloth diapering. If you have a significant other who is on the fence about cloth diapering, just talk to him about the money you guys will save! Of course these costs will vary depending on what type of diapers you decide to go with and if you plan on using a diapering service. We won’t be using a diaper service and we’ll be doing mainly prefolds in the newborn stage, which are extremely economical. Diaper Decisions has some really awesome charts that break down the cost of cloth diapering depending on which diapers you use. Diaper Pin has a really handy cloth diapering calculator to help you determine costs. The awesome thing about cloth diapers is that they generally have a pretty good resale value. Once you are finished diapering your kiddos, you can sell them on websites like Diaper Swappers. You can also purchase used and sometimes brand new diapers from there, another great way to save money.

2. Health Factors. The frequency of diaper rash jumped up 70% when disposable diapers were introduced to the market. Disposables contain toxic chemicals including Dioxin (a carcinogenic listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer linked chemicals), Tributyl-tin (a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals), and Sodium Polyacrylate (a super absorbent polymer that becomes a gel when wet that can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions as bad as fever, vomiting, and even staph infection). After reading what disposables consist of, I just couldn’t fathom putting those chemicals anywhere near my baby.

3. Environmentally Friendly. It is estimated that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S. Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste. It is also estimated to take 250-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose – this means that they will still be piled up in the landfills long after our children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone. These stats just blow my mind! We want to do our tiny part in helping protect the environment.

4. Just Cute. I have to admit that the cuteness factor was what got me researching cloth diapers. How could you not love those fluffy colorful little bottoms?! Anything that can make poop seem fun is a winner in my book! Sorry, the new disposable jean pampers just can’t compete.

*Many statistics taken from the Real Diaper Association.

What are your reasons?
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  1. Sarah says:

    My husband surprised me the other day by saying that when we have kids (you know, like in a million years) he wants to do cloth diapers! His primary reason is that research has shown that making the transition to potty training comes much sooner when the baby is cloth diapered. It's much more uncomfortable (and therefore motivating to learn to use the potty) to sit in a wet diaper when the baby can feel that it's wet. Hi-tech disposable diapers are pretty much designed to absorb any wetness so that baby doesn't feel any discomfort.

    I love your reasons too! Hope it goes well ;)

  2. Rocky Mountain Mama says:

    Our big reasons were the cost and the environmental factor. DH was sold on the cost factor, while I was more concerned about the evironment. Lol. We have definitely not gone the cheapest way with cloth diapers either, but I can guarantee we have paid for DS's cloth diapers at least 2 times by now.

  3. slang76 says:

    I don't know why I was originally drawn in to it, but now I want to do it for all the reasons you listed! A friend of mine (without kids, I might add) attacked me last night for my decision…everytime I gave a reason (cheaper, less blowouts, CUTER) she just kept saying NOT TRUE! So frustrating!

  4. Ashley says:

    I'm not a mother, or expecting, so maybe these questions are a little naive… do you just throw them in the wash? What about when your out like at a restaurant or shopping and your baby needs a change? Since you can't dispose of it, do you just put it in a baggie and save it for later?
    Your reasons for choosing this method are very compelling, especially with all the harmful chemicals. I'll definitely consider cloth diapering too.

  5. Laura W. says:

    My husband actually urged me to use cloth because he loved the bumgenius 2.0s he saw me using on a baby I nannied for. The baby's parents were constantly doing laundry, so I thought it might be too much work, although I did love the diapers. We decided to give it a go and we almost exclusively use cloth (every once in a while we use disposables, for rashes that need heavy-duty cream or during problems with our washer). I love that we will be saving money (we bought mostly seconds/used bumGenius diapers and plan to use them on the next baby after repairing the tabs/elastic), that we're doing our part to keep the landfills freer from diapers than they would have been if we used only disposables, and that they're so cute. We sometimes get comments, once we were asked if our baby was wearing two diapers because his bottom was so fluff-tastic. I use every opportunity I get to talk about how much easier the laundry is than I thought it would be and how much I enjoy using cloth.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for stopping by everyone!! I love hearing your reasons behind cloth diapering!

    Ashley – Stay tuned for more detailed cloth diapering info throughout the week. While you are on the go you can use a wet bag, basically a waterproof bag that you can toss in the wash along with your diapers. While at home, you would use a pail liner (a waterproof bag that lines your diaper pail or trash can). Yup, you can throw your cloth diapers into your washing machine (breast fed poop is water soluble or you can use a sprayer that attaches to your toilet to spray your diapers down before tossing them into your pail).

  7. Stuff Parents Need says:

    The primary driver for me was money. I stockpiled disposable diapers before the baby was born, using coupons and coupling them with sale prices to get really cheap diapers.

    Well, our stockpile ran out. And I didn't have time anymore to hunt down coupons or good deals. After paying full price for 2 packages of diapers, I was totally annoyed and started looking at cloth!

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