People use cloth diapers for lots of reasons. I cloth diapered my oldest mini-me, and then I used cloth on my son until he was about a year. At that point, I threw in the towel and he’s currently potty training using his Up and Up brand disposable diapers and some Thomas the Train undies. I just had my third little friend, Chicken Nugget, and she’s 11 weeks old right now. If we were going to use cloth diapers on her, she would have started in them about two weeks ago.
Instead, I sold the cloth diapers a long while back, and the cranky ‘ole hubs wouldn’t support my idea of me purchasing a whole new set. Since I willingly parted with them only about 18 months ago, I guess I can’t blame the guy. I have that super annoying feeling when you know someone’s right but you’re still feeling ornery about it.
I miss cloth diapering. I’m sure that sounds weird to you, dear reader, but there was something super fun about it. Maybe I just like being different, but surely I wouldn’t do something that time consuming (except it’s really not, y’all) and gross (except babies poop no matter what you put on them), if I didn’t have a dang good reason for it.
I guess I cloth diapered for some combination of the reasons below, with heavy emphasis on reason #4, which is probably the dumbest reason of all. But who wants to read blog posts from someone who won’t even be honest with herself, much less the world?
So now I’ve admitted it. I cloth diapered for 3.5 years mostly because they were cute. Sigh. Don’t tell my husband.
Anyway, now I’m gonna try to convince you to cloth diaper, using some more legitimate reasoning – in case you need to come armed with actual reasons.
Cloth Diapers Are a Budget-Friendly Choice
Maybe this is the most compelling reason to use cloth diapers. Cloth diapering can be WAY cheaper than disposables, and the cost savings multiply for families with two or more kids who can make use of hand-me-downs. While the cost of laundry will go up thanks to washing three extra loads each week and using one of the most recommended detergents, families still save thousands of dollars by using cloth. Most families spend approximately $1500 per child in disposable diapers. That number assumes 8 diapers per day, a diaper cost of $.20 each, and potty training completed by age 2.5. If you have three kids like me, you’ll be spending $4500 on stuff that gets pooped on. Depressing!
A moderately sized, comfortable stash of name-brand diapers costs $600, assuming a diaper cost of $25 each and 24 diapers in the rotation. Truly cost-conscious families won’t be buying the name brand diapers anyway, but even if they did, that’s a huge difference. Families who can’t afford the up-front cost of cloth diapering will usually go with diapers that are more budget-friendly. There are tons of affordable cloth diaper options.
You’re Trying to Love on Mother Earth
Diapers piled up at landfills are gross. There’s no doubt about that. They are estimated to take 500 years to decompose, and there are approximately 20 billion added to the landfills across the country each year. You know what? I’m boring myself. This is probably the second best reason to cloth diaper, and I do love Mother Earth. Really! I do. I’m just 100% sure that someone else out there has broken down the environmental impact better than I can. Plus it’s a super big topic. So here ya go.
Cloth Diapers Are Gentler on Baby’s Fanny
This argument assumes you haven’t jacked up your cloth diapers with a weak-ass washing routine. Clean cloth diapers are much more comfortable than a paper product. This is just obvious to any person who has ever worn a “maxi pad” or “sanitary napkin” (snicker). I guess disposables (or sposies, as the cloth diapering community calls them) are so ubiquitous that we don’t think much about it, but paper products on your lady bits and tooshie are annoying.
If you will, think back to the first time you put one leg up on the bathtub and then forced yourself to relax and take deep breaths in order to attempt that very first tampon insertion. Eww, lol. I went there. But anyway, you didn’t want to do it. Your brow was a little bit sweaty. You may have called for your mama. You definitely were studying that box and trying to figure out how your anatomy worked exactly.
Why did you put yourself through that? I’m guessing it was for one of two reasons:
1) There was a baller pool party, your crush was gonna be there, and the old Always Thin Pads with Wings weren’t gonna cut it with that swimsuit; or
2) You were just fed up with the scratchy, irritated feeling on your parts.
I’ll get back to my babies: I just figured that if I hated wearing pads that much at the end of a seven-day stretch, how must they feel at the end of THREE FREAKING YEARS? But then again, I’m currently potty training my son and he seems to prefer always being disgusting, so who really knows what’s going on in their heads?
They’re So Dang Cute
If you think that’s dumb, you should know I totally agree with you, but the heart wants what it wants, ya know? Some people buy expensive baby clothes, and other weirdos like myself have a thing for expensive diapers.
The practical side of me appreciated solids that I could coordinate with my daughter’s dresses, but then I usually got suckered into buying some gorgeous print that I could only put under her shorts and jeans. Unfortunately, I couldn’t resist super girly prints, which altogether became a problem when my son was born. I had sold my husband on passing down diapers to the next baby to be more cost-conscious, but when Arlo came into this world with boy parts, all of a sudden, all the gorgeous floral prints didn’t look right with his manly features and unadorned bald head.
My very progressive husband didn’t give a rat’s behind about all that and so my son wore floral prints and pink diapers. But it just wasn’t as fun the next time around. I was really itching to buy him some diapers with trains and airplanes and alligators, but with a solid stash of about 26 diapers, I couldn’t even justify it to myself.
Cloth Diaper Babies Probably Potty Train Earlier
Be wary of this article, because it’s actually written by a (reputable, at least) cloth diaper company, but it claims that in 1957, when all kids were in cloth diapers, most of them started potty training at 11 months and were day-time dry by age 2. That would be because cloth diapers feel gross when wet theoretically; whereas sposies are so absorbent that kids can just continue peeing in them without feeling the ick. Of course, moms having to use old fashioned washing methods probably had something to do with the earlier completion of training, too. No studies have been done to prove this theory about cloth diapered babies completing potty training sooner, but I buy it, regardless.
So there you have it. Someday, I’ll have to write a “Debunking Myths about Cloth Diapering” post. I bet you’re on the edge of your seat.
What keeps you from considering cloth diapering?
If you have used cloth diapers in the past, how did it go?