Why Cloth?Posted: September 22, 2010
I get asked this all the time by preggo friends, new grandparents, and curious neighbors. And I usually answer “Why not use cloth?” The truth is, there are so many different diapering styles, so many different options to suit every family’s needs, that there’s just no good reason not to use cloth.
Ask any cloth diapering mama why she pampers her baby with re-usable diapers, and you’ll likely get a different answer every time. Here are some of the top reasons to use cloth:
1. To save money. This is pretty much common sense, re-using is better for your wallet than re-buying. Wanna run the numbers?
- Let’s buy a stash of 24 one-size diapers. And let’s add snaps to all of them.
24 diapers @ $26.95 each = $646.80
(get them snap-less, and you’ll save about $90. Even after buying a couple of snappis)
- You’ll need some covers. My favorite covers are Thirsties, and they’ll run you about $13 each. Let’s get 4 of those.
4 Thirsties Duo Size 1 covers @ $13 each = $52
And since these are a two-size system, we don’t want to forget to add in the ones you’ll buy later when baby grows out of the size one covers.
4 Thirsties Duo Size 2 covers @ $13 each = $52
- Wipes. Please, do yourself a favor and buy cloth wipes. Nothing cleans up like cloth. Truly. Those disposable wipes are so thin & flimsy, why bother? Plus you’re already throwing a diaper in your pail to wash later, might as well throw in some wipes too. Ya know?
24 cloth wipes @ $10.95 per dozen = $21.90
Alrighty, add it up mama…
$646.80 + $52 + $52 + $21.90 =
Grand Total : $772.70
Now, disposables. I checked diapers.com & their generic brand diapers were on sale, so I’m going to use that price for our comparison ($37.99 for 200 diapers = .19 each)
And I’m going to say that this hypothetical baby will go through about 10 diapers a day for 2.5 years for a total of 9,125 diaper over the course of his or her babyhood….
9,125 disposable diapers @ $0.19 each = $1,733.75
Get re-usables and you’ll save $961.05.
This doesn’t even take into account selling your diapers and covers after you’re done with them. Maybe you won’t feel like selling them, maybe you’ll use them on another baby, maybe you’ll give them to a friend or donate them. Point is, if you sell them, you’ll come out with even more green in your wallet.
2. Reduce your footprint. According to the Sustainability Institute, 18 BILLION disposable diapers are dumped into landfills YEARLY in the US alone. Um, gross. That’s a lot of poop wrapped up in plastic, lying around for, oh….a couple hundred years.
Wanna know the top three items filling up land fills?
- Beverage Conatainers
- Yup, Disposable Diapers
Do you really want to contribute to that?
3. Your baby’s health. Lots of chemicals are used in the production of disposable diapers. Dioxin, a by-product of the bleaching process, is found in disposables and has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases.
Dioxins accumulate in the body over the course of a lifetime and can impede the immune system of an individual forever. Many babies are exposed to dioxins 24 hours a day, and, yikes, that’s just scary stuff.
And dioxin isn’t the only issue with disposable diapers. Sodium Polyacrylate is the absorbent gel found in just about all disposables, even the “green” ones. It was taken out of tampons in the 80’s after being linked to toxic-shock syndrome. As if that’s not bad enough, it’s also a skin irritant due to its ability to absorb the oils and moisture from tender skin. It’s really no surprise, then, that problems like diaper rash are virtually non-existent in those who use cloth diapers.
In 1955 virtually every baby in the United States was diapered using cloth. In 1961, disposable diapers were introduced by Proctor & Gamble. By 1991, approximately 90% of babies in the United States were diapered using disposables. Coincidentally, the occurrence of diaper rash increased from 7% in 1955 to 78% in 1991. Wow.
4. Cloth diapers are just a heck of a lot cuter. I mean, let’s be honest…they’re way cute!
5. I don’t wear paper undies & I don’t want to make my baby wear them either.
6. Convenience. Yeah, I said it. Cloth diapers are more convenient than disposables. I’ve done both & I’d choose cloth any day. Who wants to run out of diapers during a middle of the night changing session? Not me. Ever been to the drugstore in the middle of the night? It’s not fun. You know what is fun? Passing right by the diaper aisle while you’re at the grocery store.
Plus, it’s much easier to carry your dirty diapers to the washing machine, than it is to lug a huge, smelly, dirty diaper sausage from your diaper genie, out to the curb.
7. Padding for new walkers. Cloth diapers make bums nice & cushy, providing a soft landing for your new little toddler.
8. Fun. Cloth diapers are lots & lots of fun. There are so many on-line boards and local groups dedicated to cloth diapering, new moms have a community waiting for them with open arms.
So, what are your reasons for choosing cloth?