My baby girl will be 3 months old this week, so I admit we are fresh off the boat when it comes to the cloth diapers game. But I wanted to take some time to encourage new parents, or parents-to-be, or those who are currently using disposables that cloth diapering is easy. And cheap. And, dare I say…fun?
Before my daughter was born, I had worked with children in a variety of capacities for the last 12 years. At one job, a co-worker and I did the math on how many diapers we changed on a daily/weekly/yearly basis. At that time, I calculated that I had changed over 1000 diapers-and that was 5 years and two nanny jobs ago! So I have experienced my fair share of disposable diaper issues. I’ve dealt with the blowouts that go up to baby’s neck and the diaper rashes that are all but impossible to get rid of. But as a care provider, I didn’t put a lot of thought into even more important factors – price, chemicals, and the environment – all three of which are incredibly important to me as a parent.
The top 5 reasons I love my cloth diapers and how you can love them too:
Hands down, this is the most important factor to me. As a SAHM to my sweet baby, it is part of my duty as wife and mother to help keep expenses minimized so that we can afford to be a one-income household. When my husband and I were researching the best option for our family, cloth diapers was the clear winner in the price category. On average, it is estimated that the cost of disposable diapers for one child is between $1500 and $2000.
Alternatively, you can have a stash of cloth diapers that cost less than $500 upfront, and be able to diaper your child until s/he is potty trained. You can then use those same diapers for your next child! And your next. Sure you might have to replace the velcro or snaps, or add some inserts to your stash, but those costs are minimal. There is even a way to cloth diaper your baby from birth to potty training for less than $100 (check out how at this link)!
Other ways to cut the cost even more: make your own, buy used/pre-loved, or join a co-op. Check Facebook or ask around to some local moms. Other cloth diapering moms often have great tips on where to buy cloth diapers on the cheap!
2. Less mess.
You know how you hear all these horror stories about babies and “blowouts?” We had several of these happen while using disposable diapers for the first two weeks. In fact, we had three happen in a 24 hour period and that’s when we decided it was time to switch to our cloth stash…and we haven’t had a single blow out, crawl up the back blowout since!
3. Environmentally friendly.
One diaper will sit in a landfill for 500 years and on average, a child will use about 1600 diapers in their lifetime. Our landfills are already overflowing and anything I can do to help cut down on that is a win!
4. No chemicals.
About a year before we got pregnant, we started eliminating chemicals from our home. We simplified what we needed down to the bare essentials. Now, we use only natural cleaners for our home and bodies. Disposable diapers contain trace dioxins (a known carcinogen), as well as other toxins. Thes toxins can increase risk for cancer and cause hormone disruption. If we won’t use toxins to clean areas our baby won’t even touch, I can’t imagine putting them on her sensitive skin.
5. They are so darn cute.
One of my favorite places to shop for cloth diapers is Cotton Babies. I am lucky enough to live fairly close to one of their flagship stores. If you don’t live nearby, they have a great online store with free shipping to anywhere in the U.S. And there’s no minimum order! I have to go into the store with a budget, otherwise I want to buy all of the diapers! Our favorites are the Flip system for daytime and bumGenius Freetime diapers for overnight.
Are you wanting to learn more about cloth diapers? Head over here for answers to some frequently asked questions, or read this book from Erin, The Humbled Homemaker (I have read through this book several times because it is a wealth of information and so helpful!). If you are on twitter, follow @cottonbabies and join in on their live chat every Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. CST for help answering all of your cloth diaper questions and chances to win free diapers! (I often attend this, when I am home and remember!)
If you cloth diaper, what is your favorite part of cloth diapering? Or, what is holding you back from cloth diapering?
**The content of this post has been entered into a contest for cloth diapers.**