As we delve into our cloth diaper series today, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss the main reasons why some moms choose cloth.
Perhaps just the thought of using cloth diapers turns your stomach. I can relate.
I’ve been there!
But when I started using cloth when my 2 year old was a newborn, I quickly realized that, well, poop is poop–and it’s gross regardless of what type of diaper you are changing. And, really, I’ve found cloth to be no less clean than using disposables.
So whether you are a mom-to-be, a new mom, a grandma or even a single gal looking to educate herself on all things homemaking and mothering even before that season arrives, I hope this series, as well as my book, will help take the stinky stigma out of cloth diapers.
Image by Lourdes Cristina
Top 3 Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers
1. Cloth Diapers are Cheaper
It’s true; using cloth will save you money. I don’t plan on an exact cost breakdown during this series, but Nikki has written a great one.
I’ll be honest: there may be some sticker shock if you are planning on using modern-cloth diapers, like pocket diapers (which I mainly use) or all-in-ones, but spending some money up front to build your stash will most definitely save you money in the long run–especially if you use your diapers on more than one child!
I’m now using the same stash of diapers on my third child. My diapers paid for themselves long ago, and I’ve been saving money ever since by NOT having to buy diapers or even spend the gas to run to the store to get them.
There are ways to pay for your stash on a low income. And stores like Sweet Little Blessings run frequent sales and even give free shipping on orders over $40! (And the owner really knows what she’s doing…she is a mom of 12!!)
Image by simplyla
2. Cloth Diapers are Better for the Environment
This one is really a no-brainer. Disposable diapers can take up to 500 years to dispose of themselves in a landfill. 500 years! And the poop that stays in the diapers instead of being flushed can be contaminated with viruses, bacteria and diseases that make their way back into our environment (source).
3. Cloth Diapers are Better for Your Baby’s Health
Disposable diapers are made with chemicals that can potentially cause cancer and disrupt your baby’s hormones. Don’t believe that? Check out what the Real Diaper Association has to say about this:
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..1
Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) – a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.2
Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.3
In May 2000, the Archives of Disease in Childhood published research showing that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers will blunt or completely abolish the physiological testicular cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis.18 (source)
Image by AmySelleck
Wow and yikes! That’s enough to make me want to rip off the disposable that my baby is wearing right now!
Wait? Did I say my baby is wearing a disposable diaper? Yes–that’s not the norm in my house, but I was given a good supply of disposables before her birth, and to save my sanity with less laundry during these first few weeks postpartum, I’ve been using them. But, especially after researching for this post, I am getting back to my beloved cloth very, very soon!
We can’t live in fear of #2 or #3 because God is ultimately in control, but He gave us knowledge for a reason, and because I know of the potential harmful effects of disposable diapers, I can’t just keep using them and tell others to use them without informing them of the truth. I’m not a cloth diaper Nazi, but it really would be wrong on my part not to share these things with you.
So why did I personally choose cloth? The money factor. Yes–I know it’s the least profound of the three, but that’s why we chose cloth when our second baby was born. Our first potty trained VERY late (ahem, age 4), so when it became apparent that I’d have two in diapers, I started researching…and I quickly became a cloth diaper convert.
Have you ever considered using cloth diapers? If you use cloth, what was your reason for choosing cloth diapers?
My eBook, Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert, is a 200+-page handbook that will tell you all you need to know to have a successful cloth diapering journey! To read more about this book, click here.