If you love the planet and are a parent, then you probably have heard of cloth diapers, nappies, washable diapers, or reusable diapers. Cloth diapers are gaining in popularity as society is realizing the impact they have on our resources. I started to consider using cloth diapers after my daughter broke out from a rash one brand gave her. It made me wonder what kind of chemicals are in the diapers. I am a freak about letting her chew on anything plastic so why would the material that is on her body 24 hours a day be any different?
Along with the chemicals in the materials of disposable diapers, I found many other benefits cloth diapering will provide me and my daughter, including saving tons of money, saving the environment, and reducing the chemicals on her sensitive baby soft skin.
Save Money By Cloth Diapering
These not only are better for the environment, but better for you bank account. Cloth diapers, like many reusable items, cost more initially but save you money in the long haul. Look at it this way, you want about 25-50 reusable diapers. Newborns can go through almost 15 diapers a day so having 40-50 is recommended (I find this to be a lot, personally, and would start out with 20 to see how things go). Infants you would want about 24, and 20 for toddlers. If each costs $15 then your total is $300 for 20, and $600 for 40. That is on the higher price side for luxury diapers, too. That is for all the diapers you’re going to need in the first year.
The average pack of 86 Huggies diapers size 1 is $25. With 3,000 in a single year, that is $900 for the first year. You save yourself $300-600 in the first year by using reusable diapers.That is only the first year. The average child is not fully potty trained until they are 3 years old. So save $900-$1800 on diapers when you use disposable, maybe even more!
You don’t have to purchase all of them at once, either. You can also ask for them at a baby shower if you’re planning ahead. I did a diaper raffle at my baby shower where each guest brought a pack of diapers for entry into a raffle for a prize. Instead, I wish I had asked for 1 or 2 reusable diapers from each guest for entry into the raffle. I would have started out with at least 20 reusable diapers and only had to purchase half! That increases my savings by a lot.
Also, many times you can get used reusable diapers from friends, family, thrift stores, or Facebook groups. Many cities have a Facebook groups that give things away for free. You have to be quick because the items go fast so turning on push notifications helps you know right when people post items.
Health risks of Disposable Diapers
During my research of what diapers are actually made of, I came across this article that explains the history of diapers and what they are made of. They explain everything so perfectly, please read about it there.
I have not switched over to reusable diapers yet, but this is the beginning of my search. Our babies are in these diapers for 3-5 years. If you have read any of my other articles, you know I research chemicals in everything. We have surrounded ourselves with so many things that disrupts our natural chemical balance, it is no wonder why cancer and illness is so rampant.
Why Reusable Over Disposable?
- Like I mentioned before, you save money.
- Reusable diapers contain less chemicals that will be on your babies skin 24/7 the first 3-5 years of his or her life. Reusable diapers can come in organic cotton and many other low risk materials as well.
- The environment benefits. 24,700,000,000 diapers end up in a landfill every year. All those diapers contain chemicals that will seep into the ground, and subsequently our water.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by using reusable diapers. “Over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feed-stocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable diapers for one baby EACH YEAR” (realdiapers.org).
The average baby will use up to 3,000 diapers in their first year and 7,000 diapers before they are potty trained.
How Do Cloth Diapers Work?
There are a few types of cloth diapers:
Hybrid: Hybrid diapers combine disposable and reusable. Typically reusable diapers have a piece of fabric that absorbs the urine and poo along with a waterproof outer cover. The hybrid diaper has the waterproof cover but the fabric that absorbs the urine is disposable. This still creates waste but it is a lot less waste than a regular diaper. Many parents prefer this because it is easier than washing all the icky stuff at home or easy when they are on the go.
AIO cloth diapers (All-In-One): Just as it sounds, this diaper option contains both pieces mentioned above in a single piece. So the entire thing can be thrown into the wash when soiled.
Pocket Diapers: These diapers are similar to the AIO but they contain a pocket where you can insert an absorbent fabric. Some options for the fabric inserts are microfiber inserts of a tri-fold fabric. Now the tri-fold fabric reminds me of some burp cloths I received. These are the diapers I am leaning towards, myself. They also feature multiple clasps on the diaper cover that allow for adjusting size as baby grows. I love that.
What will you try?
Now, I am on the hunt for the perfect brand of (most likely) pocket cloth diapers. I want to find organic linings but will probably go with a waterproof liner that is affordable and known for quality. I have already posted in my free listing add on Facebook to see if anyone has any used ones they are willing to part with. Some people may think that is a little unsanitary to use diapers after another persons child, but to me, you wash them. It’s just like washing your babies diapers, they are considered clean after you wash them.
Have you tried cloth diapering? What kind of style did you use and what brands? Are there any tips you recommend?