Top 10 Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers

Northern Colorado Best Cloth DiapersAre you considering cloth diapers?  Cloth diapers today are vastly different from the pins and plastic pants that they used to be.  They are easy, cute and lots of fun.  If you are considering cloth, it is never too late to switch and you will be glad you did.  Are you looking for a reason to switch to cloth diapers, well….here are the Top Ten Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers.

1. BETTER for BABY – Cloth is definitely more comfortable for your baby.  It is more breathable, does not trap heat like disposables, and causes less diaper rash.  The health benefits for baby are huge too.  Disposable diapers contain polyacrylate gel which is the tiny clear beads that you see in disposable diapers.  This gel was banned from tampons due to its link with Toxic Shock Syndrome, but is still allowed in diapers.  No thank you!  Dioxins, known carcinogens,  are used as part of the chemical bleaching process in disposable diaper manufacturing  –  even though this substance is banned in most industrialized countries except the United States!  Another chemical in disposables, TBT or Tributyl-tin, is not only dangerous to the environment but also linked to hormonal problems.   These chemicals are potentially in contact with your baby’s skin 24 hours a day, and cloth is a great solution to avoid this.

2. BETTER for the BUDGET – You will save money by using cloth diapers.  On average, a family will spend at least $2000 on disposable diapers per child as a conservative estimate.  However, cloth diapers will cost from $150 to $500 depending on how many and what type you decide to purchase.  That is a savings of at least $1500 and when you consider that you can use cloth diapers on multiple children the cost savings only increases.  That is money that mom and dad can use for other fun things….like trips to the spa, or vacations, or date nights…..

Northern Colorado Best Cloth Diapers3. BETTER for the EARTH – An average baby will use between 6000 and 10000 disposable diapers before he or she is potty trained and those diapers have been shown to last at least 500 years in a landfill, although many suspect they will never decompose.  That is a huge environmental impact.  Even when you consider the manufacturing and washing of cloth diapers, they are much better for the earth.  The manufacturing of cloth diapers uses primarily natural and sustainable fibers such as cotton and hemp, while disposable diapers are made of wood pulp and plastics.

4. CLOTH IS EASIER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK – First of all, it is not as messy as you might imagine.  The amount of time to change a diaper is the same.  It takes way less time to start a load of laundry than it does to get a baby ready and out the door to go buy a package of diapers.  Modern cloth diapers are not anything like the ones of days past and changing them can be just as convenient as changing a disposable diaper.  Also, the accessories that are available to go with cloth diapers, such as diaper sprayers and wet bags make it even easier.

5. EARLIER POTTY TRAINING – This is a clear advantage to using cloth diapers as no parent has ever said, “I wish I could change more diapers”.  In general, kids who are diapered in cloth potty train as early as 18 months, whereas those in disposable usually potty train closer to 30 months old.  In fact, there is an article from the New York Times that reported that in 1957, before disposable diapers were invented,  92% of 18 month olds were potty trained.  Since disposable diapers became more widespread, only 60% of kids are potty trained by 36 months.

6. SMELLS BETTER – Cloth diapers do not smell any worse than disposable diapers and in fact may smell better.  Cloth diapers are washed regularly and do not sit in a trash can until the trash man comes once a week.  Furthermore, you can always tell when a disposable diaper is full of urine as it has a very distinct urine mixed with chemicals smell.  This is not something that happens with cloth.  There are great products available to minimize odor but most people will tell you it is just not a problem with cloth diapers.

Northern Colorado Cloth Diapers7. CONVENIENT– With cloth, you will never run out of diapers and make a mad dash to the store to buy more.   Clean diapers are just a load of laundry away.  On the rare occasion when I have been away from home and in need of a cloth diaper I have been able to use a t-shirt, cloth grocery bag or baby blanket.  Not only that, but cloth diapers are more reliable.  The infamous blow out story is a rarity for those who use cloth diapers.  When a cloth diaper fits correctly leaks are rare and cloth contains the mess that disposables are unable too.

8. CLOTH DIAPERS ARE FUN– It can be a great conversation starter, a way to meet other parents with similar parenting styles, and a great way to connect with a well established and supportive online community.  It is fun to try different styles and types of diapers to see what works best and choosing the cloth diapers for your baby is just as fun as choosing the nursery décor or cute clothing items.

9. RESUABLE – Not only do you save money when you use cloth diapers for a first baby, but imagine the cost savings for subsequent babies when you reuse your diapers.  Many people sell their cloth diapers once they are finished and are able to recoup some of the original cost.  Once a cloth diaper has reached the end of its lifecycle it can be used as a cleaning rag and those that are made of natural fibers can ultimately be composted.  Reusing diapers sets a great example for your children who learn from imitation.

10. DON’T BE PART OF THE CROWD –  By using cloth, you are going against the trend to use disposable diapers.  You don’t have to use disposables just because “everyone else does.”   You can show other moms just how fun and easy it can be and once they learn, many want to join in.  When I first started using cloth diapers, everyone told me that I would quickly switch back to disposables.  Not only do I love using them, I want to show other moms how great they are.

I hope this information inspires you to use cloth diapers for your new baby or make the switch for your older child.  It is never too late to start!   If you have questions, need help, or live in Fort Collins, Longmont, Greeley or Northern Colorado and want to meet in person, I would love to share my experience.

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  1. Dana
    Posted August 22, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    People always are amazed that I use cloth diapers. They will say: “Wow, I could never do that. It’s to much work.” to which I reply: “If it wasn’t easy I wouldn’t be doing it.” Alot of people just don’t realize how easy cloth diapering is! I would love to try the rockin green detergent on my cloth diapers. And I really like the pink zoo print on the Nifty Nappy diapers!

  2. Posted May 5, 2013 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Very interesting post. Why do you think kids in disposable nappies take longer to toilet train? Also what is the process you go through to clean a cloth diaper?

  3. Jennifer S
    Posted July 11, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the encouraging article. I am starting the transition to cloth diapers. I will admit that I have used 4 disposables in the last 24 hrs but have also used 9 cloth diapers- first day of the switch. We have a 3 month old and she is a heavy wetter and still poops multiple times a day (exclusively breastfed). However, today my goal is to use only cloth- even with a mall outing planned. And with the pocket diapers they are SO easy! I love CO and think its great that you are there for people as a resource (NC gal here).

    Jennifer S.

    To PP- I can’t speak for OP but here is how I wash my pocket diapers and inserts (HE front loader): cold rinse & spin (no detergent), then a warm wash/ cold rinse with extra cold rinse (I use Charlie’s Soap- you need a detergent that is enzyme, dye, and perfume free), then tumble dry low for ten minutes then I take my pocket diapers out of the dryer (line dry if still damp) and leave the inserts in until they are totally dry.

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