Greener Baby Care: Why You Should Be Using Cloth Diapers

Using Cloth DiapersUsing cloth diapers is becoming more and more popular these days – and for good reason. If you’re looking for a greener way to diaper your baby, fear not – cloth diapers have come a long way and modern, easy-to-use diapers are now available in a range of styles. Regardless of which type of cloth diaper you decide to go with, rest assured that you’re making a great choice both for your baby and for the environment. Read on for specific benefits to choosing cloth diapers.

A Better Option for Baby

Cloth diapers are healthier for your child than most disposables. There are some harmful chemicals present in most brands of disposable diapers, and since your baby spends nearly all of his or her time wearing one, a toxin-free alternative is clearly the winning choice. By choosing cloth, you’ll be reducing your baby’s exposure to sodium polyacrylate, in particular, which is the absorbent gel used in disposables. The chemical is linked to toxic shock syndrome. Other ingredients in disposable diapers are linked to health issues as well, such as hormonal imbalance, skin rashes, allergies, and even cancer.

There are some fun reasons to be using cloth diapers as well – let’s face it – they’re a lot cuter than disposables! You also have many more options as far as style and fit go. This is a bonus, since babies do come in all shapes and sizes. Children who are cloth diapered are also tend to experience less diaper rash and potty train sooner.

A Frugal, Green Alternative

Since cloth diapers are reused over and over again, they’ll save you a lot of money. Parents tend to save an average of over $1000 on cloth diapering, including the cost of laundry, over the diapering years of each child. The savings increase even further if you use your diapers for more than one child.

Using cloth diapers doesn’t just save money, it also reduces waste. Rather than contributing over 6000 diapers to landfills, cloth diapers are significantly better for the environment. Since disposable diapers remain in the ecosystem for about 450 years, this is a great way to improve your family’s carbon footprint. To really put this in perspective, your diapers are still sitting in a landfill if you weren’t cloth diapered! You can see that the numbers alone are staggering:

  • Parents spend an average of $900 cloth diapering a child, while others will spend $2000 (or more!) on disposable diapers and training pants.
  • A stash of 50 diapers over the course of 3 years will suffice, as opposed to over 6000 disposables.
  • Save money on diaper rash treatments, since cloth diapered babies tend to experience the condition much less.

You’ve likely heard the quote, “We don’t inherit the earth, we borrow if from our children.” Well, let’s not leave them with an earth that’s overflowing with waste, some of which could include their own diapers!

Cloth Diapers – More Convenient Than You Might Think

One common misconception about cloth diapering is that it’s terribly messy and inconvenient. In my experience, this just isn’t true! In fact, the only real difference that I personally notice is where you put the diaper when you’re done changing baby. At home, the soiled diaper can go straight into the washer or a wet pail. Out and about, it can go into a wet bag to bring home. Admittedly, cloth diapers are more bulky, so you might need a larger diaper bag than usual. Other than that, however, I do not feel like cloth diapering is any more inconvenient.

“But what about all the laundry?” you might be wondering. How often you have to do diaper laundry depends on the size of your stash, but in our home I’m only doing an extra load every 2 days. It’s especially easy if you breastfeed your baby, since doing so means their diapers won’t even need to be rinsed out. You just toss them in the washer with your favorite eco-friendly laundry detergent.  Not bad! The effectiveness of keeping everything in has come a long way too. With a good quality cover, you don’t have to worry about messes on your baby’s organic crib mattress.

If you’re looking for ways to have a more eco-friendly home, cloth diapering is a great step to take. My hope is that the reasons I’ve shared here will convince you that it’s a worthwhile pursuit.