Many of us have a lot to be thankful for: roofs over our heads, food in our bellies, and people who love us. I have all of those and are thankful for those things everyday, but I’ve recently discovered something I’ve overlooked for the past few weeks: cloth diapers. I don’t know what I would do without them because they’ve been a big saver for my family.
1) Did you know the average family spends around $1400+ on disposable diapers per child? Amazing, right? With cloth diapers, the average family spends around $250 to $700 for the initial set up of their cloth diapers and can use the same diapers for all of their children. I believe this is the biggest factor of what either attracts or deters families from being cloth or disposable users. When you break down and do the math, the cloth diapers are cheaper in the long run…especially if you have multiple children that will use the diapers.
2) Cloth is better for the environment. Over 5 million tons of untreated waste is deposited into landfills via disposables every year, and that doesn’t even include the waste from producing them. Since cloth diapers are not thrown in the trash, I wash loads of baby and diaper laundry every 2-4 days depending on how lazy with laundry I’ve been. I make my own eco-friendly baby detergent, recipe to follow in another blog, and this detergent gets used on everyone’s clothing. Not to go all eco-friendly on you, but knowing I am doing my part by reducing my carbon footprint, as well as my child’s, is somewhat rewarding.
3) No disgusting toxins will be caressing my baby’s bottom. I was floored when I learned about the toxins that come into contact with an infant’s skin when they wear disposable diapers. There is long list of nastiness inside those little buggers, such as the chemical used to make the super-absorbency of disposable diapers, sodium polyacrylate. It has been linked to TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), can exacerbate and cause asthma, and can cause allergic reactions. There is tributyl-tin (TBT), a pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in mammals. Last, and not least, is dioxin – a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. Do you seriously want this touching your child’s skin all day everyday? Disposable diapers are not the same as they were when we were kids. They’ve gotten fancier and more absorbent and are now made in places like China and Taiwan.
4) A reduction in icky diaper rashes are also a plus. I learned that 78% of babies in disposable diapers get diaper rash, compared to 7% of babies who wear cloth diapers. I have experience with diaper rashes with my oldest daughter. They were a pain in the butt and hard to treat because of the nonporous materials used in disposables. On top of that, some of the creams out on the market are not too butt-friendly either, but I will save that discussion for another time.
5) Shopping for the cloth diapers is so much fun. There are literally hundreds of patterns and several types of cloth diapers, so the possibilities are endless. You do not get much variety with disposable diapers. You have white and then whatever specialty patterns are offered because of the season or holiday. With cloth diapers, there are patterns to match every outfit – and even your favorite sports team if you wish! You can purchase AIOs (all-in-ones), pockets, soakers, or prefolds to cover your baby’s tush.
6) Last, but certainly not least, cloth diapers make potty training super easy. Disposable diapers do their job so well, children have a difficult time “feeling” when they are wet. I sure they know they are wet because the disposable has a tendency to droop and sag, but they do not feel the moisture on their butts. With cloth diapers, the toddler feels the wetness against their skin and is more likely to go in the potty instead of the diaper.