A Guest Post: Cloth Diapers

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It’s always nice to hear the opinions from other moms. We live in an overly-saturated age of information these days and what were once fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants decisions are now thought out and methodical. Helping weigh the pros and cons of cloth diapering is freelance writer and mama Sara.
Wondering if you should You Use Cloth Diapers? Here’s her take on the pros and cons:
Parenting decisions should be made privately but very few of them are. It can often feel that everybody has an opinion on something that is, frankly, none of their business. Breastfeeding is a great example of this. Never before have your boobs felt more like public domain than when you’re deciding whether or not to use them to feed another human. Another subject that is the center of controversy is diapers.
For a long time people who used cloth (or reusable) diapers were thought to be hippie weirdos. Disposables were the norm. This was largely because the cloth and reusable variety were incredibly old fashioned

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and using them meant taking the chance of accidentally stabbing your baby with a diaper pin. Over the last decade or so, though, cloth diapering has gotten much easier both for babies and for parents.

So! Should you use them or not?
Cloth Diaper Pro: They’re better for the environment. Disposable diapers make up more than three million tons of landfill—per year. Cloth, on the other hand, gets washed and reused over and over and over again. Sure that means lots of water and electricity, but it still creates less of a carbon footprint for your home and family.
Disposable Diaper Pro: You can find deals for diapers, which makes them affordable and convenient! When one is soiled, simply take it off, toss it and put on something clean. You don’t have to store something dirty (and likely horrendously smelly) for a car ride home until you can wash it. What’s more, now there are disposable diapers designed to help potty train kids (pull ups), to be taken into the pool (li’l swimmers), etc.
Cloth Diaper Con: They are often messier than the disposable diapers. Disposable diapers are designed to help quick mess away from a baby’s body (as much as possible anyway). With the cloth variety, it just sits there until you can change the diaper. Cleaning the diapers can often be gross. You have to deal with the mess in an up close and personal fashion…which nobody really enjoys.
Disposable Diaper Con: Disposables are filled with chemicals that, while safe, can really irritate your baby’s bottom. Some babies get rashes or other skin irritations from them. You might not want so many chemicals that close to your baby.
Cloth Diaper Pro: Save money! While hiring a service to launder and fold your cloth diapers can be expensive, when you take care of the cleaning of the diapers and inserts yourself, using cloth can be much cheaper than using disposables (this is made even cheaper if you take advantage of sales or coupons).
Whether or not you choose cloth or disposables is up to you. Don’t let anybody bully you in either direction. You’re allowed to make the choices that work best for you, your family and your new baby.
Thank you, Sara, for stopping by to share your opinion. What has your experience with cloth vs. disposable diapers been like?
You can read my opinions on cloth diapering by clicking here.

7 Responses

  • We switched to cloth about a month and a half ago and we’ve been doing a weekly series every monday on our blog. I can honestly say I have no regrets since switching and dealing with cleaning them really isn’t that much worse than taking off a disposable……especially when you’re saving so much money.

  • I have a couple probably-dumb questions because I don’t have a kid and don’t know anything…
    1. Aren’t cloth diapers prone to lots of leaking? It seems like pee would just seep through.
    2. Doesn’t the cost of all the water needed for laundry outweigh the cost of disposable diapers? I clicked on the “how to wash cloth diapers” link and noticed that newborns need 12-18 cloth diapers a day. TWELVE TO EIGHTEEN DIAPERS A DAY?! That’s a lot of freaking laundry cycles.

    The environmental cost is what gets me though… I hate thinking about those landfills…

    • Cloth diapers are cloth, and then you purchase a plastic “cover diaper” that goes over the cloth to prevent any pee from getting everywhere. I’m surprised at how well my cloth diapers absorb everything though. They just don’t “wick” the moisture away from the skin, so the baby or toddler knows what “wet” feels like and usually this aids in potty training earlier. Point being, the mess is still very contained and the plastic covers come in tons of cute designs.

      We personally use a cloth diaper service. They drop off clean diapers every week and we hand in our dirty bag. We don’t wash a darn thing. 🙂

      Just thought I’d chime in.

  • we use cloth, but not all day. for naps and at bed time we still use disposable. it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing decision. we’re cutting down on our footprint and saving money, but also doing what works for us. also, you can use cloth diapers as swim diapers too. we use bumgenius and all you have to do to make it a swim diaper is not put the insert in. easy peasy!

    another cloth diaper pro is that because they don’t draw the moisture away from the surface, and you change them more often then disposable, children (ideally) learn the sensation of being wet and don’t enjoy it. therefore (again, ideally) it can make potty training easier!

  • I hate that we weren’t able to cloth diaper Ethan, and I hate even more that I was so frustrated I donated my entire cloth diaper stash. 🙁 We use 7th Generation disposables and rotated them with gDiapers at first, after our epic cloth diaper fail. Basically, Ethan has SUPER sensitive skin, and any soaps that cleaned the cloth diapers properly broke him out in hives. He’s only been in 7th Generation successfully his whole life so far buuuut I guess I didn’t put any thought into saving the cloth stash I’d built up over my pregnancy for future kiddos. Whoops.

  • We’ve been cloth diapering our little one since he was 3 months old and I love it. We use bumgenius all in one. When I bought them diaperdepot was having a sale, buy 5 get one free. So we bought 12 total and 2 bags for storage (wet bags). One big one for home and one little one for the diaper bag. We go through about 6 diapers a day, changing every 3 hours and he wears one overnight. I feel like they hold more moisture than a typical disposable and it’s nearly impossible for him to have a blowout because they are elastic around the waist. If it does leak, its after 12 hours at night, not too bad in my opinion. They were an investment for sure, costing about $200, but this is my first child and I plan to use them with more kiddos in the future. I have no regrets or complaints and I would recommend them to anyone who is on the cloth diapering fence. Also, I love the way they make his little butt look 🙂

  • The cloth diapers made today are excellent. They are absorbent and work well to absorb what they need to until it’s time for a change. BOTH my kids wore cloth diapers YEARS ago when they were babies. I think mom’s today are fortunate that it’s actually a more acceptable practice and it’s discussed as an option. I felt one of the best parts of cloth was that babies are more aware that they’ve gone potty thereby making it easier to potty-train. Hands down this practice is so much better for baby. That said, if you are a working mom it’s tough because some of the day care providers will not use anything but disposable. As far as breast feeding, I nursed both my babies for 12 and (the other) 18 months. If the woman is able to do it .. study after study show benefits out-way the hassle. If a woman is stressed and struggling with it, sometimes it’s best for mom and baby for her not to do it:) I’m off to read your opinion. Great post! (first time stopping by!)

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