We use cloth diapers. (Pause while you recover from this statement.)
Almost as soon as I discovered I was pregnant, I started researching cloth diapers, and the decision to use cloth diapers, more than any other baby-related decision BP and I have made, has resulted in raised eyebrows and smirks and looks of shock.
For years, even before I was thinking about having my own children, I’ve really struggled with the waste created by disposable diapers and often thought about how women, for years and years and years, have used cloth diapers that worked just fine. When I found out I was expecting my first little baby blessing, I started researching my options.
If you still think of white cloths, pins and plastic pants when you think of cloth diapers, let’s take a moment to clear things up a bit. Things have come a long way, making cloth diapering much more convenient for working parents. And those white cloths? Perfect for burp cloths!
Check out these sites (there are many, many more than this, but I can’t list them all) for the latest (and cutest) in cloth diapering:
If you’re an Etsy shopper, search for “cloth diaper,” and you may be surprised at the number of results that appear.
Cloth diapers have become surprisingly user-friendly. (And so I’m not so sure what to do with those unnecessary diaper pins I received in a couple of baby gifts …)
Here are reasons why I decided, and BP happily agreed, that cloth diapering is the right decision for our child:
- Cloth diapers reduce the amount of waste headed to a landfill. Disposable diapers can take hundreds of years to decompose – hundreds. If you’ve ever driven by the county landfill, you know what I’m talking about when I say the landfills already are full enough. (And did you know, that even with disposables, you are supposed to shake off the “solids” into the toilet?)
- Cloth diapers are economical. Use, wash, re-use, and then repeat with next child. No need to work diapers into your weekly budget for your child’s first few years of life. I have several one-size diapers in my stash, which will fit my baby during most of his diapering days, thanks to adjustable snaps.
- Cloth diapers result in less diaper rash. This isn’t to say that diaper rashes won’t happen. But most women who have used cloth diapers versus disposables experience less diaper rash problems because the materials next to your baby’s skin are much nicer.
- Cloth diapers are manufactured using far less materials/chemicals/substances-I-don’t-want-on-my-baby’s-skin-all-day than disposable diapers. Cloth diapers put natural fabrics next to your baby’s skin, and they aren’t manufactured using petroleum-based products. Wouldn’t you rather have nice, soft cotton on your bum all day?
- Cloth diapered children are more likely to toilet-train more quickly than those in disposable diapers. Because disposable diapers are designed to immediately pull moisture away from the skin, children can’t tell as easily if their diaper is wet. In general, women with experience using both disposables and cloth find that their cloth-diapered children have a desire to toilet train earlier than disposable-diapered children. Obviously, every child is different, but I’m willing to go with anything that might make this process quicker!
- Cloth diapers are adorable. Seriously. I know they do a dirty job, but they are so darn cute.
You may be surprised at the increasing number of families (some of whom may even be your own friends or family) who choose to use cloth diapers, for many of the same reasons listed above. If you’re a parent, or planning to be one, research your options before you rule anything out.
Curious? Here are some links to blogs with all kinds of information about cloth diapering:
And even if you just want to try cloth diapering part time, it’s worth it. Since I am still building my diaper stash, I do not yet have enough to go cloth full time, and so The Little Bundle of Joy does wear disposable diapers when he is away from home with babysitters. That will soon change, though. The more I use cloth, the more I am sure it is the right decision for our family.