While visiting a mom who just had her second child, I watched her change the baby’s
diaper, place it in a pail thing and mention something about cloth diapers. I thought I’d stepped back into the 1950s. I said, “I don’t think I could ever do that because I can’t handle the smell of poop and I’d just puke trying to wash those.” Apparently that’s a common misconception. She explained how she just throws the whole diaper, poop and all, into the washer. (Breastmilk poop is water soluble.) “Hm, that’s interesting,” I thought to myself.
Meanwhile, a year or two later I heard from another mom of two how she used cloth diapers. At this point, I didn’t think it was as strange, but it still intrigued me. “We have saved so much money!” the woman explained. This was a woman who wasn’t exactly strapped for cash either. So I knew for a well-off couple to be excited about saving money, this had to be a huge savings!
Once we got pregnant, I decided I wanted to do cloth diapers. I really didn’t know a ton about it, but I knew I wouldn’t have to touch the poop. I also knew it’d save us money. And personally, I thought it’d be fun. By this point, we knew multiple other people who had used cloth diapers and so it seemed more doable. I also really liked the idea of not having to go to the store regularly to buy diapers. (Although, my brother has them shipped to his house.)
Being pregnant and having a baby has a learning curve in and of itself, no matter how familiar you are with babies and kids. I was pretty overwhelmed by all the baby stuff we would need to add to our home. Our home that seemed too big for just the two of us suddenly shrunk to seem too small for us with a baby and all this baby stuff! Cloth diapering also has a learning curve of its own. So I started asking around. I phoned the original mom who I saw using cloth diapers and she answered a slew of questions I had on the topic. Ultimately, here’s why we’re getting on board to do cloth diapers.
Why We Decided to Cloth Diaper
- It Saves Money. A box of diapers (on sale) costs around $20 that will last a child about a week. One cloth diaper is also about $20. They say a person using cloth diapers needs about 24 diapers (so that’s 24 x $20 which equals $480). But let’s just say you get 25 diapers so it’s an even $500 initially spent. The specific cloth diapers we’re buying have replaceable elastics as well, so it should last through multiple children vs. just one. But disposables (at $20/week) cost around $1000/year (that’s only taking into account 50 weeks. 50 x $20 = $1000). Say your child is a superstar and is potty trained by the time they reach their 2nd For the first child, you save $1500 by using cloth diapers over a two-year period. For each additional child, you save $2000! I once told those numbers to a cloth diaper mom and she told me it was extremely low. The actual cost savings is probably much higher! I have also heard that the resale value right now for cloth diapers is pretty good!
- It Saves Time. This one might be debatable. I personally find going to the store and/or looking up diapers online to order time consuming. Taking out the trash is also one of my least favorite things to do, ever! Laundry, I guess I personally don’t mind so much. And it’s not like I have to fold the clean diapers. I guess it just seems easy and less time consuming because I don’t have to leave the house or get on a computer/phone etc. We’ll see about this one.
- They’re cute! This probably isn’t a real reason to do it, but I do think the colorful cloth diapers today are quite cute!
- Today’s cloths are much like today’s disposable. Cloth diapers have come a long way! Many of today’s cloth diapers have elastic on the edges and inserts to make thicker or thinner with the need/child. Forget straight cloths with safety pins. Today’s cloth diapers have snaps where today’s disposables stick. They work practically the same!
- It’s one size fits all! I absolutely LOVE this about cloth diapers! (Yes, they have a newborn size for teeny tiny babies, and it depends on the brand.) But after that first day, or week, or month, your baby can continue wearing the same diapers until they wear underwear! Each diaper has multiple snaps for various sizes. The diapers grow with the baby. A baby’s growth is unpredictable. What diaper fits them one day might not the next week (even though you still have two boxes of that size of diaper). Sure, most kids can be squeezed into a couple different diaper sizes, but I like that with cloth diapers, you don’t have to do that at all. Just simply change the size on the diaper itself.
- Allergy-free. While it’s possible for a child to break out in a diaper rash with any diaper, disposable or not, I hear of it much less frequently with cloth diapers. Apparently they’re better for babies’ soft skin.
- Environmentally Friendly. Now, this definitely was not one of my concerns, or reasons for using cloth. (Although we do recycle, compost etc. and care about the environment.) But it is a reason for some. It’s less waste and less trash etc.
Many people I know use cloth most of the time, but disposable if someone else is watching their child or if they take their child to like a daycare. Yet I hear that many daycares and even our church’s nursery will use your cloth diapers if you desire that. Again, apparently cloth diapers have come a long way, are really trendy right now, and people are way more for it than we realize.
Now, I do have yet to have actually changed a baby with a cloth diaper. So yes, once our baby arrives, things may change. But so far, I like this idea of using cloth a lot. We’ll probably still have disposable for babysitters or if we’re out and about and don’t want to carry home a dirty diaper. But who knows. I know some people even use cloth on vacation.