Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cloth Diapering - Part One (Why Choose Cloth)

     If you want to even think about diving into the world of cloth diapers, there are many wonderful reasons to do so. Once you dive in, you won't ever go back!

7 Reasons to Cloth Diaper:

1) Comfortable to wear and great style-s Do you like being in plastic all day? I'd think a baby would be more comfortable in microfleece, cotton and bamboo materials then the materials from which disposable diapers are created. Plus unlike the very similar plain designs of disposables, cloth diapers are so stylish. You can have your babies shirt match their diaper and you already have an outfit. Cloth diapers come in a wide array of colours, designs and some even have funny texts (look at Fuzzibunz).

2) Baby's health - Disposable diapers contain trace amount of toxins such as dioxin, which is a bleaching agent that is known to cause breast cancer and it releases harmful "volatile organic compounds" from their unnatural absorbing gels. Volatile organic compounds have been linked to toxic health effects such as cancer and brain damage when exposure is long term and in high levels (Diapers probably do not have high enough levels but still not great for baby!!!). Another health issue that has been studied is the connection between disposable diapers and future reduced adult male fertility. " In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers. " These are just some of the possible long term health effects possibly connected with disposable diaper use.

3) Environment - This is something we all really should give more thought, but I'll be the first to admit that this was not initially a reason why I chose to cloth diaper...but then again why not help the environment when and where we can? Every year 18 BILLION disposable diapers are thrown into landfills, being the third largest source of waste within landfills. These diapers take up to 500 years to decompose. It takes as much or more than 82,000 TONS of plastic and 1,300,000 tons of wood pulp (1/4 million trees) to create the disposable diapers that 90% of babies in the United States use. Even if these reasons don't matter to you maybe creating jobs in your local community does. Cloth diaper companies are small fair-labour businesses, many are located in North America!

4) Ease of Use- Gone are the days of old-school cloth diapers, the many leaks, rubber pants, hand-washing and the like. Modern cloth diapers differ greatly from their predecessors. New designs ideas, patents, and styles are created for comfort, ease and absorbency  Once you find the right cloth diaper system for you and settle into a routine, cloth diapering becomes very easy. Most people, I assume because this was my line of thinking, think that cloth diapering is so much work. Poopy diapers? I imagine having to hand washing it and other steps so it doesn't stain. Well you don't have to hand wash or do much work ahead of time (unless you don't have a washing machine that you can access). All you do is plop poo out into the toilet (breastfed diapers can go right in the wash, that poo is water soluble and does NOT leave you laundry machine dirty!) But plopping out poo IS more work! Well it shouldn't be. Many don't know this or ignore the "rules" on the box, and some boxes don't even write this anymore but your suppose to remove solid waste out of disposable diapers. Solids should go into the toilet whether using disposable or cloth diapers. Why? Not doing this is one of the big reasons for why our ground water is contaminated!!!Solid human waste is illegal in the majority of landfills

5) Saving money- Even when buying disposables at opportune times using sales and coupons, its really undeniable that diapering is expensive. If your child potty trains at 3+ years its VERY expensive. So if no other reason but that cloth diapering should be looked into. Being as objective as possible but this is a very real reason to cloth diaper. I love spending money on baby items but would prefer to buy my son more toys or cute outfits or necessities or go on a vacation or just about anything then spend unnecessarily on disposables. I used disposables for 6 months and can say that in those 6 months I had spent approximately $300 on diapers (This is buying boxes of 180 diapers at just about 26$ a pack, I would wait for a sale then use a $3 off coupon AND get 10% off at the end of the purchase as well!). This amount does NOT include the excessive amount of creams that had to be used because my son kept getting diaper rash and this sum does not include disposable wipes (disposable wipes were another 
$120ish). Meanwhile even some of the  most expensive cloth diapers will cost approximately $650 and last until potty training (if not for several children, or you can even resell them!). If you are choosing cheaper cloth diaper options they can be as low as about $250-300 (new, less if you buy used), yep till potty training! Then you buy some more supplies like cloth wipes and cloth friendly diaper balm and if you'd like, some liners too. Hence you save from $400 to over 2500, depending on when your child potty trains! Nice huh? That's a vacation for you right there.

The above chart is the revised chart of the one that was previously up, it was created by My Lil Sweet Pea. You should check out the store for some wonderful products or the blog for some information!

6) Fewer Rashes- I guess this can be grouped in with baby's health  or the comfort section but for me this was the biggest issue and I felt it deserved it's own category. My son had a red bum very often, especially after the 3 month mark. Then he began getting rashes. I began cloth diapering and his bum within a few days got better. I used a disposable one extra time during the day (I still use disposables at night since I have so many Huggies Overnites left over) and he got a rash again. I used cloth a full day the next day and it was gone. One reason rashes are more rare with cloth is because you can feel if your child's diaper is very wet (or see it- I've noticed the diaper kind of looks scrunched up if Alek has peed a lot in it). Also some people change their child's diaper more often then in disposables hence baby gets more air circulation and thus rashes are prevented. But the main reason I believe is because cloth diapers have less irritants.

7) Less Leaks- With disposables I had many leaks. You can even look back on previous posts to see my frustration right before I switched to cloth. Actually almost 2/3 of nights he wakes up wet. My son became a heavy wetter and would soak himself at night. During the day there would sometimes be blowouts. Since using cloth this past month I have had exactly 1 blow out and no pee leaks.  So much extra laundry was done, so much hand washing to get stains out of clothing because of leaks or blow out. That said I was already doing more laundry so switching that extra load to a load of cloth diapers instead was not really too much extra work (or laundry bills). Also clothing may last longer and look better now that I don't have to hand wash stains out and launder extra times.


  1. It is crazy to think how many diapers are used from the time the baby is born until they are out of it!
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  2. I am definitely going to do the cloth diapering thing for my 3rd. I am tired of stinky garbage cans and the cost, let alone the fact that all those diapers will be sitting somewhere for 500+ years! disgusting!
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  4. Really a great post! One of the main advantages of cloth diapers is that they are are much more comfortable for your baby with less chaffing and reduced chances of diaper rash. Many suppliers offer natural diapering products, many of which are organic and pesticide / chemical free.
    Baby cloth diapers