Cloth Diapering Advantages

A few of our diapers.
A few of our diapers.

Considering Cloth

Maybe you're considering using cloth diapers on your new baby, or perhaps you're considering switching to cloth for a child who is currently in disposables. However you found yourself here, I would like to share with you some of my experiences of the advantages of cloth diapers, and some of the challenges associated with them as well. Cloth diapers definitely aren't for the right choice everyone, but they just might be right for you!

Going "Green"

Cloth diapers are certainly a more environmentally friendly choice than disposable diapers. Sure there are a few brands of disposables out there what claim to decompose more quickly than traditional disposables, but the fact is, natural resources are still being used to create these diapers, and the amount you have to use to diaper a baby for 2 years is still making an impact. Disposable diapers haven't even been around long enough for us to have an accurate number in years of how long it takes for them to decompose. That's right, It takes so long, that it hasn't happened yet! Estimates put the number around 500 years for one disposable diaper to fully decompose. So unless we get invaded by diaper-eating aliens, those diapers are going to be sitting around in landfills for generations to come, and that's a lot of waste.

Saving Some Cash

There is a lot of debate as to whether or not you really save money cloth diapering. Some people say that between purchasing the diapers and washing them multiple times a week, it "pretty much evens out." This has not been my experience. I wash my diapers twice a week in an HE washing machine, and use an energy star dryer. I bought all of my diapers new, and so far have not tried to sell any of them. Despite those things, I have still saved money on diapers. It's true the initial start up can be expensive, and you will have to do more laundry, but there are a number of ways to make cloth even more cost effective, such as:

  • Buy used! There are plenty of diaper swapping sites and pages available online. Check Craiglist, Ebay, or your local yardsale site for gently used cloth diapers.
  • Prefolds! If you're weirded out about using another person's diapers, but still want to save some money, consider using prefold diapers with covers. There are tons of options out there to mix and match, and something fitting for most budgets.
  • Buy one size diapers. There are dozens of options out there for one size diapers that snap down and are made to fit almost any size baby through potty training.
  • You can also use your diapers on multiple kids. Buy gender neutral colors and save them for your next baby.

Playing in a stream using a diaper cover as a swim diaper.
Playing in a stream using a diaper cover as a swim diaper.

They Double As Swim Diapers

Have you ever taken your baby swimming, and had to go out and buy special swim diapers for the event? Well if you use cloth diapers there is no need for that! All you have to do is put a diaper cover, or pocket style diaper with out the inserts, and they're ready to make a splash, and look adorable doing it!

They're Just Plain Adorable

Cloth diapers come in just about every color and print you can think of, and there are many places online where you can buy custom made covers and diapers. The possibilities are endless! This can be especially beneficial in the hot summer months when you want to keep your baby in less clothing buy still have them appear "dressed." The only problem with this is that purchasing these adorable baby items is a lot of fun and can be very addicting. If you get too wrapped up in the cuteness, you could end up spending more money than you anticipated.

Cuteness In Action

My oldest playing in one of his cloth diapers.
My oldest playing in one of his cloth diapers.

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