Cloth diapers are experiencing a sort of renaissance these days. While disposable users still outnumber cloth users by far, the cloth diaper industry grew by 58% in 2008 alone! That’s a huge number. So what is attracting all these parents to cloth diapers? Why use cloth?
I have found three great reasons to choose cloth diapers.
- They’re better for my budget.
- They’re better for my baby.
- They’re better for the environment.
Better for my budget:
We’re on a very tight budget, and who isn’t these days? Frugality is becoming more and more important to everyone. Cloth diapers are a great frugal choice when it comes to diapering. Just check out these facts:
• The average baby will use about $1800-$2000 worth of disposable diapers before they’re potty-trained. And that’s just the average – you’ll spend more if you use expensive disposables, or if your child stays in diapers longer than average. That doesn’t include the cost of wipes, either. And these costs are per baby, so if you have more than one child, you’ll shell out that money each time.
• A basic cloth diaper system will cost you anywhere from $150 to $800, depending on what you choose and how much you buy. You might experience some sticker shock when you’re looking at up-front costs, but in the long run look how much you’re saving. In addition, you can re-use the diapers on your next baby! Your savings just doubled.
• If you’re interested in trying cloth but not sure you want to make the commitment, you can easily purchase a small amount of start-up diapers for the cost of one month’s worth of disposables.
Better for my baby:
Disposable diapers contain dioxin, which is a by-product of the bleaching process that the paper diaper goes through. Dioxin is toxic, and exposure has been linked to cancer, birth defects, skin diseases, and other illnesses.
In addition, the super-absorbent quality of disposables is created through the use of a polymer gel that used to be used in tampons, too, until it was discovered to be associated with toxic shock syndrome. However, it’s still being used in disposable diapers. Many parents find an increase in diaper rash with disposables that disappears or significantly lessens when they switch to cloth.
Our daughter, age four months, sporting her cloth diaper and cover.
Better for the environment:
Here are just a few facts about the environmental impact of disposable diapers:
• The third most common product in landfills is disposable diapers.
• It will take between 300-500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose.
• One ton of waste is created by one baby in disposables by the time they are potty-trained!
Some people would question whether cloth diapers are better for the environment because of the water required to wash them. However, washing cloth diapers at home uses about the same amount of water in one week as a toilet being flushed 5-6 times a day. A diaper service washing their diapers in bulk will use even less water.
You can also repurpose your cloth diapers once your babies are potty-trained. I grew up dusting the furniture with my old diapers that my mom used on me when I was a baby. Old diapers also make great batting for hand-made blankets and quilts, and I’m sure some of you creative moms out there have thought of many more uses for old diapers. Repurposing is great for the environment and your budget, too.
If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of using cloth diapers, here are some resources for you to explore:
Do you use cloth diapers, or have you ever considered it? What are your reasons for using or not using cloth?