By Jennifer Buchanan CNM, WHNP-BC, IBCLC ~
Cloth diapers…I know what you’re thinking! But continue reading and you may consider switching to cloth diapers for your bundle of joy.
Before I read the many reviews and searched the Internet for information about cloth diapers, I was riding the disposable diaper wave. Something in me changed when I learned of the health and potty training benefits. I’d like to share what I learned with you! Please note that this this is a personal opinion and you should make a decision based on what works best for your family and lifestyle.
Reasons to Consider Cloth Diapers for Your Infant
You may end up with more laundry, but you may find the benefits outweigh the extra work.
This includes chlorine, perfumes or polyacrylate (a chemical used for absorbency). Chlorine and other chemicals can strip away good protective bacteria on the skin and change the pH balance of your infant, which can cause dryness and skin irritations. One report found an increase in childhood asthma and respiratory problems in babies wearing disposable diapers. In more critical cases from exposure to these chemicals, your infant can develop severe skin irritations, a fever, vomiting, and staph infections. Also, these chemicals have been found to be carcinogenic.
They are made from cotton and result in less skin irritation and rashes. Many of the cloth diaper companies are using organic cotton for their diapers. The reason for this is that farmers of non-organic cotton may spray their plants with chemicals and pesticides that can find their way into the cotton that is placed next to your infant’s skin. To avoid the skin irritation and other effects of harsh chemicals it is better to look towards the organic cotton brands.
Earlier potty training
Using a cloth diaper allows your infant to feel the wet sensation against their skin and become more aware of when they have gone potty. Disposable diapers wick away the wetness, keeping your infant unaware of a wet diaper for longer periods of time.
The initial investment in cloth diapers is more expensive, but once you own cloth diapers you have them for life. No need to be constantly buying disposables!
Waste sticks around a long time. It’s been predicted that it could take 250 to 500 years for a single disposable diaper to decompose.
If the store is closed, you always have a diaper on hand (as long as you have a washing machine accessible).
A Diaper Service vs Owning Your Own Cloth Diapers
Using a diaper service
This means you don’t need to wash your infant’s dirty nappies! Using a diaper service can save you the time and effort it takes to wash dirty diapers. After talking with a representative from a local diaper company, I learned there is a $10 introductory fee followed by an average cost of $83 per month. This cost includes a laundry hamper with liners, no rinsing needed for 80 diapers per week plus weekly pick-up and delivery. I then found out this cost is very similar to other cloth diaper services in Los Angeles. A select few companies exclusively use organic cloth diapers. If you’re looking for a cloth diaper service, I recommend searching on Yelp or Google.
Owning cloth diapers
When it comes to buying your own cloth diapers, there are many options to choose from. You can easily find a list of companies by searching for “cloth diapers” in your preferred search engine.
Individual cloth diapers range from $13.79 to $20.99 per diaper. When I spoke with some companies, the suggestion they made was to have a minimum of 12 diapers and to work your way up to a total of 24 diapers so that you are only washing them every other day.
Owning your own diapers has the highest initial costs, but after you purchase your 12-24 diapers you will never need to buy more. Most of these companies have single-size diapers that will last up to the potty training period. I feel this option is the most economical in the long run and most ecological for the environment. Additionally, it’s the best option for your infant and their sensitive bottom..
Looking for reviews of cloth diaper companies? I found this blog helpful.
Will You Really Save Money by Using Cloth Diapers?
The answer is yes. If you are following an organic and natural lifestyle for your infant, it is more economical to use cloth diapers. I’ve broken down the cost for you below.
|Cloth Diaper Service||Owning Cloth Diapers||Disposable Diapers-Natural and Eco-Friendly||Disposable Diapers-Basic|
|Costs about $80 per month.||Total cost about $250.||Costs about $100-$150 per month.||Costs about $55 per month.|
|Receive 80 diapers per week.||Set of 12 diapers.|
|Time saver!||No other expenses.||May contain chemicals such as chlorine, perfumes or polyacrylate.|
Secondary to the health and potty training benefits of cloth diapers, this along inspired me to consider going cloth, “Buying cloth diapers instead of disposables can save $1,200 per year and prevent up to one ton of landfill waste.”
Cloth diapering is not for everyone, but if you are considering it I would give it a try knowing you will be potentially saving money, time spent potty training and the environment in the long run.