I knew I would use cloth diapers since I was about nine years old (here’s more on my cloth diaper journey). Although I had a lot of people who doubted me, I stuck to my guns and I am so, so SO glad I did. I found that as every month passed, I grew to love cloth diapering more. I was so proud of my choice, and discovered many more benefits to cloth than I even realized!
These are both the expected and surprising reasons why I am so glad I use cloth diapers.
1. Reduce Our Environmental Impact
It’s no secret that diapers make up a HUGE portion of garbage. Just looking at those pictures of diaper piles that circulate around makes me a little queasy. Here are just a few stats about disposables that are disconcerting (see source here)
- Disposable diapers are said to be the third largest single item in landfills
- It is estimated that it takes a single disposable diaper between 250-500 years to decompose
- Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for ONE baby EACH YEAR.
Thinking about these numbers are staggering. Although washing cloth diapers uses water and detergent, I feel confident that they cause less of an environmental impact (especially when you think of reduced transportation costs, plus the fact that, for me, two or three babies will be wearing them, then I will sell them to be used by another baby).
2. Save Some Dolla Bills!
I kept track of my spending associated with cloth diapers and I calculated that I spent on cloth diapers about what I would have spent on a year of disposables (give or take a month or two). That means the second year was free! I swear I heard little cha-ching sounds everytime I hung a diaper up to dry. It was a bigger investment upfront, but I am reaping the benefits now and will continue to do so for years to come. It’s also possible to cloth diaper for much cheaper if that is your goal (about $100-$150 Canadian is definitely doable… That’s TOTAL, for two-three years of diapering!!).
3. Reduce Chemical Exposure
During my pregnancy, I was increasingly uncomfortable with the number of chemicals my baby was exposed to (even though I ate organic as much as possible and used clean products as much as I could). I did some research on the chemicals used in diapers and couldn’t find any clear answers from the diaper companies themselves. I did read about a number of burn-like rashes on babies who used disposables. As a baby, I could only wear one particular brand of diaper because I broke out in EVERY other diaper. I’m not a scientist, but I innately felt better having cotton (or hemp, or bamboo) on my baby’s bum. If you want more information on chemicals, check out this well researched article to really break things down.
4. No Diaper Rash!
Hannah had little-to-no diaper rash during her time in diapers (actually, none at all during the first year and only occasionally during teething time from 12 to 18 months). I credit this to the breathable nature of the cloth on her bum. We also did not have to use diaper cream, just a little coconut oil. This is a widely-noted benefit to cloth diapers.
5. Quickly Potty-training
Hannah took less than a week to potty train just before she turned two. We had such as easy time and I believe the cloth diapers had a lot to do with it. She knew that she was wet because of the fabric of the diaper. Babies who use disposables often cannot feel moisture as it us wicked away so quickly. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that cloth babies potty train faster than those that wet disposables.
The more I became involved with cloth diapering, the more I began to realize how supportive of a community I was involved in. The ladies I met were so supportive and helpful. There is a wealth of knowledge. SO many mamas were happy to offer advice and I had somewhere to go if I ever encountered a problem.
7. Re-sell options
I love knowing that instead of throwing my money away (literally), I have an investment that is worth money. I can resell my diapers at anytime, and I own a few limited edition diapers that hopefully will be worth some money after a few years!
8. Support Local and Small Businesses
Most cloth diapers are made by WAHMs, or ladies who started out as WAHMs and are now running their own major businesses. I bought many of my diapers from local small businesses, and we even have a cloth diaper company based about twenty minutes from my house that I supported. It makes my heart happy to know I can support these moms, instead of big box stores and large disposable brands.
9. Can Use Cloth Diapers Again
I am all set for diapering when baby number two comes around. No throwing away thirty bucks every week or two! I have everything I need and it won’t cost me a cent to start diapering again!
10. Share the Love
I am so happy to be setting an example and doing my part to make cloth mainstream. So far, I have encouraged my sister and cousin to also use cloth diapers (and hoping to do the same for some of you readers!). Hannah loves to cloth diaper her dollies and I hope when she grows up and has children, she sees cloth diapering as a great option for herself as well.
10+1: One Extra: The Cuteness Factor!
You guys, cloth diaper bums, or fluff butts as they are technically known, are the ka-you-tist!!! I love looking back at pictures of my little girl’s booty. It is just AH-DOR-AH-BUL!
That sums up the top ten reasons why I’m glad I chose to use cloth diapers. Convinced? Check out this article to help you figure out which cloth diapers are right for your family.
Are you or did you cloth diaper? What was your favorite part of cloth diapering?