We are expecting our first baby this month and one of the things that I have been most excited about throughout my pregnancy is cloth diapering! I have had so much fun making my own covers, pocket diapers, and inserts, as well as shopping for deals on new and used ones! While we do have a lot of family who support this decision, sharing my excitement with the majority others has been a struggle. Most of the time, when I tell people I plan to use cloth diapers, the respond with:
“You won’t use them for long.”
“You’ll be using Pampers in no time.”
“Your excitement won’t last.”
“All the time? Or just sometimes?”
I don’t let these comments bring me down because I am so determined to make cloth diapering work for our new little family. Instead of getting upset, I take the time to explain our decision with our top 5 reasons for using cloth diapers!
#1 – It’s a great way to save money!
Disposable diapers are so expensive! I read on the Awesome Beginnings 4 Children site that the average baby goes through about 8,491 diapers until they are potty trained. This could cost a total of over $2,445! The up-front cost of cloth diapers might scare some people away, but when you think of the big picture, you will really be saving money in the long run. Plus, one of the great things about cloth diapers are the options! You don’t have to build an entire stash of expensive, new all-in-ones. Flats and pre-folds with covers are a great, affordable option that can be the main aspect of your routine. Also, keep in mind that you can use your investment on more than one child!
In addition, there are lots of places to buy used cloth diapers! Join a buy, sell, and trade group on Facebook for your area and watch for good deals on Ebay, Craigslist, and Letgo. Check out your local consignment shops and don’t forget about garage sales! Lots of times, people sell their cloth diapers for low prices because they didn’t work out for their family or they received them as gifts. They’re usually almost new in those situations! My mom scored me 7 BumGenius Freetime diapers and a BumGenius pocket diaper with lots of inserts for $30 at a garage sale! They were barely used!
#2 – Using cloth diapers is better for the environment.
About 20 billion disposable diapers are thrown away every year. When you consider that it takes an estimated 500 years for a diaper to decompose, this is an alarming number. In addition, the amount of natural resources that are used to make disposables is scary. Livestrong.com sites that a yearly amount of 3.4 billion gallons of fuel oil is used to make diapers! By using cloth, we feel like we are doing our part to help the environment for the future of our children.
#3 – Cloth diapers are cute and soft!
Cloth diapers have really evolved from the diaper pins and plain plastic pants of the past. While I do have some plastic pants to go over flats or prefolds, I also have lots of other adorable options that I can’t wait to see on our little boy! I love the Babyville PUL prints and their coordinating fold over elastic from Jo-Ann Fabrics. They make such cute diapers and covers! We also have some bright BumGenius all in one diapers that are super fun and some pocket diapers with cats that I couldn’t resist from Cloth Diapers for Less. Plus, cloth diapers are very cuddle-friendly! I really look forward to holding our baby in a soft cloth diaper rather than a crunchy disposable that turns into mush when they pee!
#4 – Disposable diapers contain some harmful ingredients.
After reading up on the composition of disposable diapers, we decided that being cautious is the best decision. When diapers are made, they are whitened using chlorine bleach. This leaves behind a small amount of carcinogenic chemicals called Dioxins. While it is only a little amount, I would prefer my baby to not be exposed to it at all.
In addition, Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) is another ingredient found in the middle layer of diapers. These crystals can absorb around 300 times their weight. This component worries me because diapers rip and the crystal gel ends up on baby’s skin. Not only is that gross, but it can also cause irritation.
Finally, disposables are known to contain dyes and fragrances that can cause rashes or other reactions. Both my husband and I have sensitive skin, so we want to be extra careful! Since a diaper is something that our baby will be wearing all the time, we want to make sure it is as safe as possible!
#5 – Kids who use cloth diapers potty train faster.
This is something that I have heard from many others who have used both cloth and disposables. Today’s disposable diapers do a good job of leaving a baby feeling dry. This is a good thing for keeping little babies content and happy! However, as children grow, it’s important for them to feel wet so that they want to use the potty. If they don’t feel uncomfortable when they pee or poop, then why would they want to leave diapers behind? Sure, every child potty trains eventually. We are just interested in fast-tracking the process! Let’s see how that goes!
While I am very passionate about using cloth diapers, I also understand that they are not for every family. As parents, we just want to make the right decisions for our children. Feeling good about those choices is what is most important! If you are interested in using cloth diapers, I hope my personal reasons helped you feel confident and informed about the subject!
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