Interested in cloth diapers but aren’t sure they are right for you? You might ask ‘Why should I choose cloth?’ Perhaps the real question you should be asking yourself is ‘Why should I choose disposable diapers?’ Well let’s examine that question, why should you choose disposable diapers?
The first reason is convenience – because we all know how convenient it is when you run out of diapers in the middle of the night and have to make that special trip to the store or how convenient it is trying to find a garbage can when you are on the go to toss the dirties. When using cloth diapers, these issues are not a concern. You always have all of the diapers that you need right at home. And when you are on the go, you just store your soiled diapers in a wet bag until you get home – no need to hunt for a garbage can.
Another reason to choose disposables is their ease of use. So what does that say about cloth? Are they not easy to use? When most people think of cloth diapers they still have the mental image of a piece of cloth that has to be folded, wrapped around baby, pinned together, and then covered with rubber pants. Although this style of diaper may still exist, there has been a cloth diaper evolution over the years offering a more modern, easy to use cloth diaper. We will go in to more depth about the types of cloth diapers in my next publication but the important thing to know at this point is there are several styles that are just as easy to use as disposables. All-In-One diapers are functionally comparable to disposables with only one major difference in its use model – it gets washed and reused. Pockets, All-In-2’s, fitteds and hybrids are also comparable in use once washed and stored on the changing table or diaper bag.
The next reason to use disposables is… oh, wait, there aren’t any! They cost more, generate more waste, use more natural resources, and contain harsh chemicals from the manufacturing processes.
Cloth diapers can save you big bucks! On average you can expect to save $1,200 for one child and for each consecutive child the savings continues to rack up since the diapers can be reused and only need to be replaced if damaged/worn out. That figure includes the cost of the diapers as well as all associated costs, like laundry care for the cloth diapers and disposable diaper pail liners for the disposable diapers. Another key aspect to cloth diapers is they have great resale value – if in good condition, you can easily re-sell for about 50% of the retail value. Interested in more ways to save? Consider cloth wipes as well!
Disposable diapers generate a staggering amount of waste. It’s estimated that they take several hundred years to decompose with some estimates as high as 500 years! According to the Real Diaper Association, disposable diapers are estimated to be about 50% of the waste generated by a household with a child in diapers. And if that isn’t enough, taking a look at the manufacturing process paired with the use of disposable diapers, approximately 20 times more raw materials are used and 60 times more solid waste is generated in comparison to the manufacturing and use of cloth diapers.
There are several chemicals present in disposable diapers that can irritate baby’s skin or worse. Some of the chemicals include sodium polyacrylate, which can cause skin irritation and can be harmful if ingested and dioxin, which is highly carcinogenic according to the EPA and is banned in most countries. Other notable trace substances include Tributyl-tin, toluene, and xylene amongst others, as well as unnecessary fragrances and dyes.
If properly fitted, cloth diapers provide a better overall fit resulting in fewer leaks. What parent doesn’t like fewer leaks?! Cloth diapers also breathable better and are ultimately more comfortable for your baby. Another perk to cloth diapers, is there are so many styles and colors to choose from which makes them an adorable addition to your baby’s wardrobe. Fun for mom to collect or to trade with friends!
In conclusion, when choosing cloth diapers you will simultaneously save money, save the earth, provide baby a healthier more comfortable environment, with fewer leaks and a stylish tush.
If you wish to learn more about cloth diapers, stay tuned for our future publications or visit www.InTheTreetopsBabyBoutique.com.
Copyright © 2012 by Amanda Mathews, owner of In The Treetops Baby Boutique