I have been cloth diaper little girl for 4 months now, and I love it! Maybe that seems strange to you. Well, let me explain my cloth diaper pros and cons!
8 Reasons to Love Cloth Diapers
- Less smell. Truly. The disposable diapers come scented, and both my husband and I hate the smell of sposies. When the disposable combines with poop/pee, it brings out the chemical smell even more. The crazy thing is that I think the natural disposables smell even more. Some people like that smell, though. Maybe it reminds them of babies.
I wash every 2 days or so (more on this later). Maybe that is why no stink builds up. There is something refreshing about putting a clean laundered diaper on baby.
- Softness and comfort for baby. I can’t imagine existing all day in a paper product. I would want to wear cloth that is soft and cozy. Pretty simple there.
- Faster potty training? Some say that cloth diaper wearing babies potty train faster since their diapers do feel more like underwear. When they wet them, they may notice a little more (depending on the cloth diaper).
- Environmentally friendly. This is another one of my most favorite reasons. Every time I put my cloth diaper pail liner back in the diaper pail, I can feel good about not throwing out another huge bag of disposable diapers. The statistic is that there is about 3.5 millions tons of disposable diaper waste per year. If you don’t buy biodegradable sposies, then diapers sit in landfills forever! However, there is controversy over cotton production. There are also loads of cloth diapers made cheaply with cotton in China. The best way to cloth diaper to be kind to the environment would be to buy a bamboo or hemp blended cloth diaper (this is my preference). Hemp is technically better.
By the way, washing cloth diapers at home uses the same or less amount of water as if a person was to flush and use the toilet each day. Waste water from disposables is also much more toxic than with those of cloth diapers in every way.
- Absorbancy is adjustable. This is good for as the baby grows. You can keep the same diaper and add more inserts, etc. for more absorbancy. The disposables do feel dryer to the baby when they are wet (a positive for disposables for finicky babies). However, that has not been an issue for us. I can put a bamboo flannel blend prefold with a waterproof cover on baby for night and it will last 12 hours soaking up a lot of liquid! During the day, I can use more lightweight inserts and prefolds to reduce bulk of the diaper and for convenience.
- You can “recycle” the cloth diapers. Most of my diapers were bought used from other mamas on cloth diapering forums. They have come in excellent condition, and is a way to get more life out of them! They can be cleaned if you are worried about sanitation. There are also Moms who make upcycled wool diaper covers. They take wool sweaters and wool clothing that would get tossed, and cut them up and turn them into wool diaper covers. Wool wicks away moisture, is antibacterial, and works as an excellent diaper cover! It’s also very breathable for baby.
- Money savings. There are budget ways to cloth diaper, and also expensive ways to cloth diaper. You can buy all in one organic natural fiber diapers for $30 per diaper (and you would need about 20). Or, you can buy diaper covers that have been used for about $5-12 per cover and you would only need about 12 (then, you would also buy the inserts for a few bucks each). More budget friendly!
In general, if you buy used, you are looking at about $200 for your stash on the low end. More practically, probably $250. This is less than half the cost of what it would cost you in one year of disposables. So, after you use cloth diapers for 6 months, you break even. Then, the longer you use them after that, it is all money in your pocket you have saved! The best thing is that you can also sell your diapers when you are done using them if they are still in decent condition. That is money back in your pocket. You could probably get about $100 right back from selling those diapers. Net cost is probably only $100-$150 that way. Ridiculous savings. Most Moms also report their water bill barely increased from washing. Not sure about electricity for the dryer when used. You can hang dry as well.
This was a huge appeal to me. There was no way I was wasting money buying and throwing away dirty disposable diapers.
- Cuteness. I love some of the prints and patterns on baby girl’s diapers. Sometimes I can match the diaper to her outfit and it is so cute.
- Bulkiness: although this is 2017 and most cloth diapers are pretty trim. It is usually just bulky in the newborn stage.
- You have to wash the diapers every few days, and fold/put away. I don’t mind.
- If you use a flat or prefold and a cover, it is one extra step in diaper changing. Like 5 seconds. No biggy.
- You can’t just throw away your diaper when out and about (although you can’t always do this with disposables anyways).
- May be trickier for caregivers not used to cloth diapers (although the all in one diapers and pockets should be no problem). Some daycares do not allow cloth diapers if that is your plan.
Note: If you exclusively breastfeed, washing the cloth diapers is super simple. You can throw dirty diapers right in the wash. When you start formula, or solids, then the poopy diaper can be trickier to clean. You have to use a liner, or rinse off the diaper before laundering. I plan to use liners to make it just as easy as it currently is.