Learn some amazing cloth diaper benefits in this post! Everything from how it saves money, reduces rashes and leaks, and so much more.
Have you heard the talk about cloth diapers lately? Not sure what all the fuss is about? Or maybe even turned off by the concept?
Well if that sounds like you, this is the post for you.
Because today, I’m covering all things cloth diapers. More specifically, cloth diaper benefits. By the end, I’m hoping to at least help you see why so many are choosing cloth diapering for their baby.
As a mom of 3, 2 of which have been cloth diapered, I know exactly why anyone would want to choose cloth diapers. The benefits of cloth diapering are truly amazing, in my opinion.
I’ll even say that it took me a little too long to be convinced of the idea. But now that I am, I pretty much guarantee you’ll see me trying to sway everyone I know.
Ha! Well let’s get onto the actual reasons to cloth diaper, shall we?
it saves you money
I first switched to cloth diapers when my middle child was about 4 months old. I’ve went through the agony of spending an atrocious amount on disposable diapers. And in some stages of life, it was hard to keep up with!
Babies use anywhere from 8 to 10, even 20 diapers in a day depending on age. That is a lot to pay for one by one! You can end up spending $50 in a month, on average. For just one child, that’s a lifetime cost of at least $1,200 (if they potty train by age 2).
Then consider if you have 3 or 4 kids, that’s close to $4,000 to $6,000 on diapers. Um, no thank you.
how much cheaper are cloth diapers than disposables?
The nice thing is, cloth diapers are significantly cheaper. Like, by a long shot. Even if you factor in water, soap, and more… it still wins by a landslide.
A decent cloth diaper stash will cost you around $200 up front. This is if you have 20 diapers and pay $10 each for them. (We use Alva Baby diapers and Amazon generally has great deals on multi-packs!)
However, you can find them for as low as $5 each and could potentially get away with having only 10 diapers. That cuts it down to about $50 to start. (But let me warn you to say the cute designs will result in excessive amounts later on haha!)
And the best part is that these will last through all your kids. My littlest babe is currently wearing the same ones his big sissy did!
Now my friend… that is an amazing saving. A couple hundred vs several thousand? And you only have to buy them once? YES PLEASE!!!
This alone made it worth it for our family. We really struggled with my middle child to keep diapers on her butt and when we switched… well, a huge weight was lifted off our shoulders. It’s really amazing.
better on the environment
You will find articles that argue this statement by referring to the water needed to wash diapers and while you do use resources… it is so minimal in comparison.
Cloth diapers are the greener choice when you compare to disposable.
I won’t talk about landfills just yet, but it has an incredible number of affects on our environment. Some of the factors include:
- Over 200,000 trees are cut down every year for the creation of diapers in the U.S (source)
- 3.4 billion gallons of fuel oil will be used to manufacture disposable diapers in a single year
- Disposables use 20 times the amount of raw materials, such as crude oil, compared to cloth diapers
- Every single baby will use 300 pounds of wood, 20 pounds of chlorine and 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks (source)
And this just barely scratches the surface on the environmental impact a cloth diaper has. But seriously… ew and ouch!
I could have easily included the reduction of waste in the previous section, but I really feel it needed its own section because of the importance.
Firstly… 27.4 billion disposable diapers are sent to landfills each year. This means it is generating 5 million tons of waste. What’s worse is that contamination into nearby water supply is a real threat. Can you imagine all that fecal matter ending up in your water? Gross.
Disposables also require 60 times the amount of solid waste that reusables do. And disposable diapers don’t break down the way you might think. It is estimated that disposable diapers will take 500 years to decompose. So all that waste I mentioned above… it continues to accumulate without a way to get rid of it.
The difference between the two is an easy one to identify. The amount of waste created by using disposables is insane.
By using cloth… that is greatly reduced. We are not adding waste to the world that is already struggling with waste and other resources. This should be a huge win for anyone, even if you’re not a parent. (But if you’re not a parent… why are you here? LOL)
less diaper rashes
Disposables have always yielded far more rashes than cloth for us. When my oldest two were babies, they had them on a very consistent basis while using them.
We used all kinds of creams and changing them more often… but it didn’t seem to help very well.
I go more into the chemicals and materials and how this contributed later on, but this is a huge reason we switched. I couldn’t stand seeing my babies suffer with rashes any longer.
more comfortable for baby
I go more into cloth diapers and the materials they are made of vs disposables but honestly… they’re more comfortable. If you had to sit in a diaper all day, would you choose scratchy itchy disposable materials or some soft fluffy cotton?
I’m going to guess you’ll choose the cotton.
Your baby spends the first several years of their life in diapers and it’s only right we give them something comfortable.
I mean… I even use cloth pads during my cycle because I hate how bad throw away ones irritate my skin. It’s not comfortable and I usually breakout from them. I can’t imagine dealing with that constantly for several years!
less leaks and blowouts
I love the fact that cloth diapers are better at preventing leaks and blowouts. I have heard some say the opposite, however. But in my case… this holds true.
how do cloth diapers prevent leaks?
This one really depends on the material you get. I’ve heard bamboo and hemp inserts are significantly more absorbent, but they also increase the price. I have only used microfiber and they work just fine for us.
Leaks are prevented by first changing them enough. Secondly… the way you stuff the diapers. The ones we use require inserts and as long as they are being used correctly, they will not leak.
Cloth diapers prevent leaks because the materials are more absorbent than disposables.
You still need to change your baby regularly, but we found leaks happen way less often as long as we are using the diapers correctly.
Some common issues that cause leaks can include incorrect fit, elastics need repairing, or there’s too much compression. Check out this article about the reasons for leaks and blowouts by The Diaper Drawer for more detail.
how do cloth diapers prevent blowouts?
When my two older children were babies, blowouts happened quite frequently. Sometimes this meant they needed to go up a size. Other times it was just the nature of the diapers.
The cool thing about cloth diapers though, is that if it’s a fitting issue, you just fix the snaps. You don’t need to go out and buy new diapers. Back to the cost difference… that’s another point for cloth!
Cloth diapers prevent blowouts because they generally fit your baby better.
As long as you have a cloth diaper that fits your baby nice and snug, you shouldn’t have blowouts. This includes having ones that are the right size (since there are several kinds to choose from), not getting ones that are slim-fitting, and making sure the elastic fits nicely.
The right fit against their waist and legs traps the contents within the diaper. Disposables do this… just not as well as cloth does.
less chemicals and harmful materials
This was a mega huge deciding factor for our family. My oldest had the absolute worst “diaper rashes” that the doctors couldn’t seem to explain. We knew it was more than a diaper rash but never found answers.
Then my middle child had the same issue. They were so bad they got easily mistaken for yeast infections. They were so red, sore, inflamed, and many times bleeding. No matter what creams, diet changes, etc we made… they continued.
I eventually figured out that they too, have a latex sensitivity like me. And guess what exists in every easily found diaper? Latex.
For the most part… cloth diapers don’t have any chemicals or materials that could cause this sort of reaction.
what are disposable diapers made of?
It’s hard to say exactly what disposable diapers are made of since it really varies based on what brand or company manufactures them. There’s also the fact that they are not legally required to disclose all the ingredients they use nor is there a lot of information on chemicals used in diapers.
You can find some better non-toxic ones… but I’ve found they don’t work well so aren’t worth the price. Not to mention that many use things like chlorine as their “better” option.
That said, some commonly found chemicals and materials include:
- volatile organic compounds or VOCs (including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and dipentene)
- sodium polyacrylate or SAP
- pesticide residue
Plus there’s also the petrochemical load used in manufacturing. Now remember what I said about a latex sensitivity earlier? It’s also possible they just didn’t respond well to all these toxic chemicals. We will never truly know.
what are cloth diapers made of?
Cloth diapers don’t contain chemicals like disposables do. They use natural resusable materials that are absorbant.
They will typical include one of the following materials as the base of the diaper:
So if you’re at all concerned by materials and chemicals and the affect they can have on your baby’s skin, eyes, and lungs… well cloth diapers are a very obvious solution. It’s the most natural option you can choose.
they’re cute and fun
Okay, sure this is probably the last thing that is on your list. I mean… we buy clothes because they’re cute and fun – not cloth diapers LOL!!
But just hear me out, here. In the summer, it’s likely that you’ll strip your baby down to just their cloth diapers. What’s better that a cute fluff butt with rocket ships or butterflies all over their butt?
Short answer: not much.
There are so many fun designs to choose from and it may turn into an obsession if we’re being honest here. Some of the favorite ones I own have pineapples, a pokeball, and music symbols all over them. And I still have lots more on my list to buy!
It’s just really fun to buy lots of diapers with cute designs. Sue me.
Have you used cloth diapers before? What are some amazing cloth diaper benefits you’ve experienced? Let me know in the comments!