Got Cloth?

Got Cloth? Benefits of Cloth Diapers

 

Have you considered or been using disposable diapers? Do you wince at how much you spend a month on them? Do you feel guilty at seeing the amount of trash you produce? Well, worry no longer! There is an option that can reduce your costs, produce much less trash, and be much, much safer and healthier for your baby… It’s called cloth diapers!

Benefits of

Cloth Diapers

Making the decision to use cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers may seem like a scary idea, especially if the only cloth diapers you know are those old-fashioned white ones that you have to keep on with safety pins. Not only that, but what about all the cleaning and potential mess that can occur? Plus, what if it requires folding techniques that look like you need a degree to be successful at them? Well, rest assured, to our knowledge there is no degree in diaper folding, and with modern cloth diapers, you don’t even need a certificate in Diaper Folding 101!

For those of you out there who are primarily worried about messiness, take a deep breath and relax. Changing a cloth diaper is just as dangerous as changing a disposable diaper. If you want to rinse off the diaper before putting it in the diaper pail for the wash, cloth diaper companies have heard your request. There are sprayers available that can easily hook into your toilet piping and allow you to rinse more solid waste into the toilet so you can flush it away. This is definitely an important piece of equipment once your baby starts eating solid foods and, as a result, has more solid bowel movements.

But, why would you want to go through the trouble of washing diapers when you could just throw them away? According to Kelly Wels, the ‘Cloth Diaper Whisperer,’ here are 10 benefits of using cloth diapers:

  1. Your family will save approximately $2,500 (maybe more) per child. Families using disposables spend an average of $2,694.54 for 7,349 disposable diapers per child (if diapered from newborn to about age three).
  2. You’ll be helping the environment. How? Your family will not be producing one ton of dirty diaper waste that would go into landfills. It is estimated that 10,000 tons of disposable diapers are dumped into landfills every day!
  3. Baby will have less trouble with diaper rash (if any at all).
  4. Baby won’t be exposed to sodium polyacralate (the shiny crystals in the diaper that can stick to baby’s skin, causing reactions).
  5. Your family doesn’t have to put one to two bags of disposable diaper trash out on the curb for trash day.
  6. Using cloth diapers has a chance to reduce baby’s chance of getting asthma. The Archives of Environmental Health tested six leading cloth diapers and six leading disposable diapers. It was discovered that the emissions from one disposable diaper were high enough to produce asthma-like symptoms in mice!
  7. Your family is reducing their carbon footprint (if you care about that sort of thing) by using cloth diapers. The manufacturing of disposables takes over one million metric tons of wood pulp and 75,000 metric tons of plastic (or more) each year.
  8. Using cloth diapers will help facilitate quicker potty training. During potty training time, children who have been in cloth will recognize sooner when they are wet versus a baby in disposable diapers.
  9. Cloth diapers are pretty much just as easy to use as disposables. With the modern age of cloth diapers and brands such as bumGenius and Fuzzi Bunz (believe me, there are many, many, many more brands out there too), there are now options that are much, much easier than 30 years ago!
  10. No more trips to the store late at night when you are out of disposables. Just pop a load into the machine and you have instant diapers. Just think of the gas savings! No more trips to the store – except, of course, for laundry soap.

Now, we would like to point out that setting up a cloth diapering system is not exactly the cheapest thing to do right off the bat. It will probably cost somewhere between $200 and $500 to get yourself fully operational. The cost, of course, will vary depending on brand and style (these effect price, of course), quantity of inserts/covers (we recommend getting a good two days’ worth of inserts/covers so you aren’t doing laundry every single day), and any accessory items you might get as well (such as extra inserts, a rinse sprayer as mentioned above, a reusable diaper pail liner, etc). You will also need to get (especially if using organic inserts/fabrics like cotton or hemp) laundry soap that will not decrease absorbency of the diapers. Some brands offer their own soap – like bumGenius, or you can do some research and find a brand that you can get at a local store or online – like Country Save, Ecos, or Woolite. There’s a laundry detergent out there for everyone.

Traveling with cloth diapers can be a little tricky, but is perfectly doable. The biggest thing you need to worry about – especially for long-distance ventures – is if you will have access to a washer machine (and dryer if necessary). If it doesn’t look like this would be available, then perhaps consider bringing an adequate supply of the diapers/inserts, soap, and wet bags to carry the dirtied diapers/inserts in. Just keep in mind that it is good to wash dirtied inserts/diapers about every other day. Another option is that some diapering systems (like Flip) have disposable inserts you can purchase and are designed in such a way that you can throw away the dirtied insert instead of having to carry around a wet bag. Of course, alternatively, you could temporarily use some disposables so that you don’t have to worry about it.

One other thing to remember is that cloth diapering used to be what everyone did – probably predominately because that was their only option. Then, when disposable diapers appeared on the scene, cloth diapers kind of went by the wayside and were thought to be an archaic hassle. With all the different types available (from all-in-ones to prefolds with wraps), it is simply a matter of time before finding the diapering brand/system that works best for you. And with all the variety available, you might as well have some fun with it. There are scores of colors, prints, and designs out there to choose from as well as leggings to keep them warm – so do some mix and matching. They not only are better for baby and the environment, but have the potential of being cute too!

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