Why Cloth Diapers

Posted by Rana Cox on

Why Cloth?  Isn't it unsanitary? Too much work?  These are all questions I receive when someone finds out I cloth diaper my twins.  These were in fact the same questions I had when I had a friend suggest I cloth diaper my babies.  No way I thought.  After closer inspection by this same dear friend I realized what I was missing.

It is estimate that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S. and that those diapers could be in Landfills until 2413 until they finally decompose!

Cloth Diapers are amazingly absorbent, reusable diapers.  No, not your mothers cloth diapers with the tricky folds and pins (though you can go that route if you want).  I'm taking state of the art beautiful colorful prints with Velcro or snaps.  These are better for baby, better for the environment, and better for your wallet.  Below are just some of the many benefits.

Environmental:  95% of the world uses disposable diapers.  It takes hundreds of years for one disposable diaper to disintegrate into the atmosphere.  HUNDREDS!  The average child goes through roughly 6,000 diapers in their first two years of life.  According to gDiapers about 50 million diapers get thrown into the landfills each day!  That's a lot of stinkies sitting out there.  Some would argue that the amount of added washing defeats the whole saving the environment benefit.  I only add two extra washes a week to my normal routine.  I also air dry most of the time which saves me from having to use my dryer.  Disposables take up more time and materials to manufacture than my entire diaper stash...and I diaper two.  All that material just gets thrown into the landfills and contributes to fecal pollution.  Just looking at the straight numbers cloth is all around the better choice for Mother Earth.

Health:  I noticed one of my twins from the very beginning would always have some sort of rash in disposables.  No matter what kind of creams or lotions I used it would not go away.  When I switched to cloth I instantly noticed the rashes disappear and in a matter of days it was completely gone.  So what happened?  Some babies have sensitivities to chemicals which are commonly found in disposable diapers.  Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process.  It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals.  It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S.  And thats just one of many chemicals, scary!  Cloth is made of all sorts of wonderful
materials; bamboo, cotten, hemp, minky.  Just imagine all these yummy fabrics next to your babies skin.  Sometimes rashes are unpreventable.  It is always a good idea to change your baby every 2-3 hours no matter what type of diaper they are wearing.  Overall, my boys have flourished in cloth and diaper rashes are few and far between for us and I know that no chemicals are touching their cute little hineys.

Money:  This was my initial reason for starting cloth with my twins. I was spending $30 a week on diapers for the twins.  That's $120 a month!  As I mentioned before a child will roughly go through 6,000 diapers in the first two years.  The average price of a diaper is about .25.  A child can go through 4-10 diapers a day depending on their age.  Lets just say they need 60 diapers a week.  Do the math and that's $1,600 to diaper for two years.  If you buy cloth you could spend as little as $300 and be able to have enough diapers for your child and other children you may have.  Americans spend about 7 billion dollars a year on disposable diapers. Imagine the savings if those families switched to cloth...enough to feed a small country I bet.

Convenience:  I know what your thinking.  How can cloth be more convenient?  Well, when I don't have to leave my house every week to get diapers or realize I'm down to my last diaper I cherish my cloth diapers all the more.  I remember the first week diapering the twins and having hubby run out to go buy more disposables. Awww the dreaded midnight run.  With cloth that's a thing of the past.  If I need diapers I just throw them in the wash.  Magically clean diapers.  They are super easy to clean.  A few extra rinses in cloth diaper safe detergent and my diapers are fresh and clean and ready for use.  Don't want to touch poop?  Not a problem.  Get a diaper sprayer like the one Bum Genius makes and spray away the poo right into your toilet.  It attaches right to your toilet and makes those toddler messes an easy clean up. How awesome is that?

The benefits for cloth diapers are endless.  Once you discover and start playing around with it you'll realize you actually enjoy diaper changes.  Gasp!
And oh yes, they will have the most adorable fluffy booties around :)
Happy Cloth Diapering!

-Sarah Elder

Sources:  Real Diaper Association

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