Cloth diapering gets a bad rap. When I tell people I use cloth diapers on my son, many people have visions of clumsy diaper pins, big buckets of soaking diapers, and a big ole mess. But that's not the case at all. The new generation of cloth diapers are very user friendly and cute as can be! Here are 5 reasons you should give cloth diapers a try.
5 Healthy Reasons To Use Cloth Diapers
Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers – #1 No Chemicals
Disposable diapers are full of chemicals. Check out this study with lab mice that shows that disposable diapers emit chemicals that are toxic to the respiratory tract and linked to asthmatic conditions. Scary. Here's a list of just some of the chemicals that can be found in disposable diapers:
- Tributyltin – harmful to aquatic life (diapers do not biodegrade & end up in our ecosystem!) and promotes the growth of fat cells in humans
- Xylene – toxic to the respiratory and central nervous system (deadly in high amounts)
- Ethylbenzene – cancer causing and causes lung damage is swallowed
- Styrene – cancer causing and hazardous to the eyes
- Propylene – causes damage in the central nervous system and dizziness
- Toluene – toxic to blood, kidneys, liver, and brain
- Dioxin – cancer causing and linked to diabetes
- Sodium Polyacrylate – irritates skin, respiratory tract, eyes
I know I don't want all of those chemicals anywhere near my baby, especially his most sensitive area.
Reasons To Use Cloth Diapers – #2 Environmentally Friendly
Here are the facts (source):
- 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the United States alone .
- Over 92% of those diapers end up in a landfill and it takes 250-500 years for it to decompose.
- Remember all those toxic chemicals listed above? Those end up in our water sources, soil, and environment.
- Yes, cloth diapers have to be washed and that uses water. But it still takes 2.3 times more water to manufacture disposables.
- To produce diapers for one year for JUST ONE BABY, over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine are used.
My son is 18 months old. He has been in cloth diapers since he came home at 32 days old (he was adopted). He has never, ever, ever had a diaper rash. Since there aren't any chemicals in the diapers and there aren't any chemicals in the wipes, it is a rash-free zone!
Reasons To Use Cloth Diapers – #4 Cost
Cloth diapers are a lot more economical than disposables. Let's do some math.
$0.28 per diaper x 8 diapers a day x 365 days a year = $817.60 per year
That's for a diaper that costs 28 cents (that will vary depending on brand) and changing 8 times a day (that will vary depending on age, etc.) everyday for a year. Multiply that times 2 and you are at $1,635.20. If your child is super advanced and brilliant (and of course he is!) and potty trains at 24 months, you are done buying diapers! But in reality, you probably have another year of at least night time diapers. This calculation does not include disposable wipes, that was for diapers only.
Now let's look at cloth diapers. See my full cost breakdown here (I have updated the values from this article, this article has the prices as purchased about 2 years ago. Below are updated costs and slightly different than here).
- 29 cloth diapers (here and here) = $480
- 36 cloth wipes = $72
- 6 wet diaper bags = $18
- Homemade wipe solution = $150
- 6 Hemp inserts (for night time if needed) = $38
- Laundry costs for 2 years = $200*
- Total: $958
*Laundry costs will vary based on electricity costs, water heater efficiency, detergent used, etc. This is an average estimate of about $8 / month over 2 years.
The total for cloth diapers until my son is potty trained is $758. A savings of $677.20 when compared to disposable diapers.
And if I have a 2nd child, the cost to cloth diaper will be $150 for the cloth wipe solution and $200 for laundry expenses since I already have the diapers. Two children in disposables for 2 years each is $3,270.40. Two children in cloth diapers is $1,308. A savings of $1,962!
Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers #5 Cute as a Button
Cloth diapers come in just about every color and pattern imaginable. It really doesn't get any cuter than this!
Read more about cloth diapers here.
About the Author
Ashlee Mayer is a stay at home mom who is passionate about whole food and the local environment. She started her natural journey after several back surgeries. Making some simple changes in her life resulted in something the doctors said were impossible, healing of her spine. Stronger and healthier than ever, Ashlee volunteers at a local organic farm and lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband and son. You can find her most days on her website www.thecrunchymoose.com sharing articles, recipes and holistic health information for families.