8 Reasons Cloth Diapers are Awesome (7 of which have nothing to do with being green)

Cloth diapers are awesome

Cloth diapers are awesome!

Every time someone finds out I use cloth diapers on our son, their first question is, “Why?!?”  Most people associate cloth diapering with a certain, shall I say, “ultra-green” lifestyle.  And while the “green” aspect of cloth diapering is a nice perk, it is not my only (or my main) reason for doing it.  My short response to the questions is typically, “because they work better than disposables.”  In reality, though, this is just a tiny part of the overall reason.  So, for anyone who is interested in why someone might choose to use cloth, here are the top 8 reasons I think cloth diapers are awesome.


1) Cloth diapers work better than disposables.

Cloth diapers contain newborn poo-splosions WAY better than disposables.  Unlike disposable diapers that have pretty weak elastic around the waist and legs, cloth diapers have much better elastic that is capable of containing messes that most disposables could never handle.  We had originally planned to use up the disposables the hospital sent home with us… but after a day of explosions, I couldn’t take it any more and switched to cloth.  This next example might be way TMI (so feel free to skip ahead to #2!), but our son once went 11 days without a bowel movement.  When he finally went, he was jumping in his jumper.  Had he been wearing a disposable, I can guarantee he would have had a mess up his back and down both legs… but the cloth diaper contained EVERYTHING despite it being (literally) full to max capacity!


2) Cloth diapers are much cuter than disposables.

Have you seen all of the cute colors and prints available??  Enough said :)


3) You will never run out of cloth diapers.

How many times have you heard horror stories from parents about running out of diapers in the middle of the night, during a snowstorm, or while their child was sick?  With cloth diapers, you never have to worry about needing to run to the store in the middle of the night, during inclement weather, or with a sick child.  Running short on cloth diapers?  Toss a load in the washer and you are good to go!


4) Cloth diapers do not stink like disposables.

Have you ever noticed the smell of a disposable diaper straight out of the package?  That fake baby powder smell that smells even worse the minute the diaper is wet or dirtied?  Cloth diapers do not have a smell.  Before having my own child and using cloth diapers, I just associated the smell of disposable diapers with a typical nursery.  Now I know that a nursery does not have to smell like a diaper!  The only “downside” to using cloth diapers in this respect is that I can smell a disposable diaper a mile away!


5) With cloth diapers, you know exactly what is on your baby’s bum.

With cloth diapers, you know exactly what materials are touching your baby’s bum – and you have many options!  With disposable diapers, your baby’s bum is covered in paper, plastic, and a long list of chemicals.  While many babies admittedly do just fine in disposables, I would never personally wear plastic undergarments as they would be neither comfortable nor healthy in comparison to natural fibers… so why would I choose to put my baby in plastic?


6) Cloth diapering can save you money… A LOT of money!

There are many factors that go into figuring out exactly how much cloth diapering will save you.  A standard estimate is somewhere between $2,000 and $2,500 in savings from birth to potty training (assuming this is approximately 2 ½ years)… and your savings will increase if you use your diapers for more than one child.  Of course, there are two basic factors that will determine your actual savings… the type/brand of disposable diaper you would have bought and the type of cloth diapers you actually buy.  On the inexpensive end of cloth diapering, I know women who have spent as little as $100 on their stashes of covers and flats and/or prefolds.  On the expensive side, well, let’s just say that buying cloth diapers can be extremely addicting and there are plenty of WAHMs out there who make extremely adorable (but incredibly pricey) custom diapers… so the sky is truly the limit!  I would estimate an average/modest stash costs somewhere between $300 and $500.  While this is a bit of an upfront investment, just remember you can cross diapers off of your monthly shopping list!  An additional perk is you can often recoup part of your investment by selling your diapers after you are finished with them.


7) Cloth diapers equal less trash.

Most people I know who use disposable diapers empty their diaper pails at least every other day.  If you use both cloth diapers and cloth wipes, you completely eliminate your diaper trash.  If you use disposable wipes, as I’ll admit I do much of the time, you still have virtually no diaper trash.  Even a month’s-worth of wipes is only equivalent to about a quarter of a trash bag.


8) Cloth diapers can help your child potty train earlier.

When potty training, a child needs to a) be able to identify when he has had an accident and b) have some motivation to use the toilet rather than his diaper.  With disposable diapers/training pants, a child will always feel dry.  This can make it difficult for the child to identify that he has had an accident.  Additionally, a dry-feeling diaper is a comfortable diaper – so there is no motivation to use the toilet rather than the diaper.  With cloth diapers, there are many options of materials that do not have the stay-dry feel to them.  When it is close to potty training time, parents can choose to stop using stay-dry materials in their child’s diaper so he can identify when he has had an accident and to also provide motivation to try to make it to the toilet the next time rather than simply going in his diaper.

So there you have my top 8 reasons for using cloth diapers.  In my next post, I’ll be addressing many of the questions/comments I get from skeptics such as, “Cloth diapering is gross and causes rashes.”  I love proving skeptics wrong 😉

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