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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why Should I Cloth Diaper?

I began my cloth diapering journey late in the game. My third child, my daughter Lily, was nearly 2 years old before I jumped on the band wagon. The main reason I jumped at all was that my best friend was cloth diapering her son and his cloth butt looked so cute, I just HAD to try it.

My other reason was cost. I was so tired of paying $20 for a pack of diapers or pull-ups to use overnight. I wanted something that I could keep using that wouldn’t cost me so much. That’s when I visited my first cloth diapering store and placed my first order for two bumGenius one-size 3.0’s in blossom. It was our turning point. And after we tried them, I knew I’d never go back to disposables. She looked adorable, I was saving a boatload of money, and for once, she looked comfortable.

So why should YOU cloth diaper? The number one reason most parents cloth diaper is related, one way or another, to the environment. Whether they feel that they’ll be creating less waste (which is true) or they feel that disposables aren’t good for their baby (also true), or even a combination of the two, this is the one I hear and read the most. Disposable diapers don’t break down quickly in a landfill. In fact, I’m pretty sure you can still find the diapers that I wore in the landfill near my babyhood home. I read a statistic as I was preparing this post that said in households with children wearing diapers, disposables make up about 50% of their waste. That’s a lot! Imagine how much less trash you’d have if you cloth diapered. I used disposables (gasp!) on my first 2 kids full-time and on Lily as well for most of her baby days. Diaper trash made up the bulk of our trash every week so that’s a statistic I believe.

Disposable diapers aren’t good for your baby. This is a reason that kind of goes along with the one above and is the other most common reason I hear/read for cloth diapering. It’s true. If you read the ingredients in disposable diapers, there are a ton of questionable and just plain bad ingredients in them. Some are even known carcinogens (cancer causing ingredients) and yet, they’re still being used in disposable diapers. Other ingredients are known to cause hormonal problems and some have even been linked to toxic shock syndrome. Check out The Real Diaper Association for more on this (link 3 below).

Another great reason to cloth diaper? They’re so cute. Cloth diapers come in all sizes, colors, prints, patterns, and materials that you can think of for the most part. Do you love cows? There’s a print for that! Do you love the idea of buying one set of diapers for the entire time your cloth diapering? Buy some one-size diapers! Is blue so much your favorite color that it’s the only color you want your child wearing? You can get all different shades in a variety of diapers for that too!

The final reason I want to mention is the cost. Yes, cloth diapers cost more up front. You’re looking at an average of $200-350 up front on cloth diapers. But imagine how much you’re spending on disposables every month for at least two years, often closer to three or four. The average parent will spend close to $2000 on disposable diapers in each of their children’s lifetimes. If you have multiple children, take that number times the number of kids. When figuring out whether or not to cloth diaper full time with my last child, I discovered that our cloth diapers would pay for themselves if used only those for at least 10 months. After that, they were essentially free.

Over the next few days, I’m going to give you some ideas to make your choice to cloth diaper a little cheaper but still lots of fun so stay tuned! And please, tell us why you chose to cloth diaper in a comment on this post! See you all tomorrow!

Some Sites with Great Info:

1. http://www.diaperpin.com/clothdiapers/article_toptenreasons.asp
2. http://pregnancy.about.com/od/thenursery/a/reasonscloth.htm
3. http://www.realdiaperassociation.org/diaperfacts.php
4. http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/why-cloth-diaper/
5. http://www.diaperswappers.com/diaper-blog/reasons-to-cloth-diaper-beyond-saving-money

1 comment:

Darcy said...

I've just started. My daughter is almost 3 months old. I wrote a post about my decisions but it was for a combination of saving money and keeping those harsh chemicals away from her bottom.