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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Like Tweet Survey – Out Today – Reveals Fascinating Attitudes About Cloth Diapers

Recently, partnered with Harris Interactive to conduct an online survey of more than 1,000 parents. The parents were selected randomly and come from all regions across the country. The attitudes and perceptions we found from the parents surveyed were absolutely fascinating and uncovered some very interesting misperceptions about cloth diapers.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of from May 5-11, 2010 among 1,144 parents of children age 17 years or younger, 276 of whom have children ages 0-2 years.

Read below for more about the survey:

In tough economic times it’s no surprise that more budget-strapped parents are switching to cloth diapers to save money. In fact, a new online survey out today conducted by Harris Interactive for, a leading online cloth diapering boutique, reveals that one-third (33%) of parents who use disposable diapers say they would be “extremely” or “very likely” to switch to cloth diapers after learning that cloth diapers could save them $2,000 over the course of their baby’s diapering years.

The survey also found that only approximately one in ten parents (9%) with children in diapers (ages 0-2 years) use or have used cloth diapers. This number represents a substantial minority of the parenting population.

What surprised The Cloth Diaper Whisperer most about this study was the significant knowledge gap among American parents. We’re pretty sure our readers know that cloth diapers can save a family $2,000 and more over the course of their baby’s diapering years; but it’s evident from this survey that average parents don’t know just how much is at stake by switching to cloth.

The survey also found that one-third (33%) of disposable diapering parents say they would be “extremely” or “very likely” to switch to cloth diapers after they learned how disposable diapers negatively impact the environment. Experts say disposable diapers take 250-500 years to decompose in a landfill and more than 27 billion diapers end up in landfills each year.

Other key findings from the survey:
  • Moms are more likely than dads to switch to cloth diapers out of concern for the environment. 60% of moms say they would be likely to switch to cloth diapers for environmental reasons, while only 49% of dads were likely to do so.
  • Moms are more concerned about diaper rash. Almost 30% of moms say they would be “extremely or very likely” to switch to cloth diapers if it could ease or eliminate diaper rash. Only 19% of dads say diaper rash is a reason to switch.
  • Dads like the convenience of washing diapers at home. 46% of dads who use disposable diapers for their babies say they would be “extremely likely” to switch to cloth diapers after learning that cloth diapers can easily be washed at home with only 2-3 extra loads of laundry per week. In comparison, only 35% of moms say they are “extremely likely” to switch for the same reason. [We had to smile at this one…J]
  • Convenience is the number one reason for choosing disposable diapers. Of the 91% of parents with children in disposable diapers, 85% cite convenience and ease of use as the main reason for their choice. 16% choose to use disposable diapers because they think that cloth diapers are more expensive (!!!!).
We know cloth diapering is growing among parents across the country. Even in the nine years we’ve been doing this, we’ve seen significant growth, but more parents clearly need to learn about the benefits – financial, environmental and to baby’s skin. There are so many great options today like FuzziBunz®, Happy Heinys, GroVia, Kissaluvs, BabyKicks and bumGenius (and so many more!), that there is something for every parent out there…we just need to continue spreading the word – so tell a friend/colleague/family member about cloth diapering today and share today’s new survey stats!

Did you find one of these stats particularly interesting? Did something surprise you? Leave your comments here, we want to hear from you!!


Aviva said...

In my experience, when i've mentioned cloth diapering to people, their responses indicate that it never even occurred to them to use cloth diapers. it was never an option to them. when i mention things like cost and the environment, they're like "oh, that makes sense". but the perceived ick factor is the main reason that they say "oh, i could never do that".

Jill said...

With the commercialism of America, I'm not surprised that more parents don't know about cloth diapers--they don't exactly get a lot of TV time do they? Usually relegated to a 2 minute clip, with the news anchors afterward spewing some sort of myth from their childhood, basically negating the whole segment. Money talks. So does the tv, which, you know. Stinks!

wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas said...

Too many people forget that throwing something "away" doesn't really mean "away," it just means you're throwing it to a place where you can't see it anymore. It's away from you, but it's still around and will be for a long time. I recently made the switch to cloth, and it's a little intimidating at first, but worth it. Not just for the planet, but for my baby's well-being too. I think the biggest obstacle is that I have to drive at least an hour and a half to purchase them, and then I am limited to only one brand. There is just nowhere to buy cloth diapers, and there are a lot of people who don't shop online.

AJU5's Mom said...

I am not sold on the environmental aspect of cloth (I think it is a toss up due to extra water and electricity usage). But, I am surprised how few women do cloth diaper. I switched about a month ago. I had thought about it about a year ago, but decided to stick with "easy" then. Now I realize it isn't as hard as so many people think it is. On a steal site yesterday, there were many moms we convinced to switch when they had a great price on a package. It just takes other moms reassuring them that it isn't that hard and they can do it!

AllRusty said...

When our first child was born we had considered cloth, but due to ignorance and a difficulty in finding helpful information, we thought cloth would be too expensive, and couldn't figure out the difference in the types of diapers we were seeing. I was familiar with what my mom had used on us ages ago and knew I didn't want to use pins or swish diaper in the toilet. After the birth of our second, and not being able to afford two in diapers, I dug into to Google again, and came across info I didn't find two years ago when I had looked. Now, after $300 spent on cloth, I could survive without buying another cloth diaper if I had too. DEFINITELY cheaper than disposable! (But I DO plan to buy more, because I would like more of a stash, and I would like to try something besides pre-folds!)

Madeline said...

I'm a recent convert to CD and I can tell you it never even occurred to me to try them with my first child. I thought they were just the prefolds with pins and that was it. When I tell friends I plan on using CD for our second child, they have the same impression (prefolds, pins, a diaper service).

I think that is the biggest misconception out there. If people (like me) learn how easy and cute cloth is and how much they can save, I think the chances of switching them over would increase.

I had also heard that the environmental impacts are pretty much a wash between cloth and disposables because while disposables clog up landfills, cloth requires water and energy, and puts more detergents into the system.

Suzy said...

I can honestly say until I heard about the "newer" cloth diapers before my daughter I figured that the prefolds and pastic covers were all the cloth diapers there were. Until I was enlightened by a friend, I know love cloth diapers and learned it can be easy, and cost effective.

Melissa said...

I am suprised about the Dads being Ok with the extra loads of laundry. Maybe because they arent washing them. I know my husband has never cleaned a CD since I started. He says its all me, if I want to do it. He finally supports the use but leaves the cleaning to me & he does the stuffing.

Becky said...

In my experiences most people say "eww" to cloth due to the poo and concern for their laundry machine. My husband was on board due to the environment and $$ savings!

Secret Mommy said...

There absolutely is an environmental benefit to using cloth! The myth that the extra water and electricity used to wash them makes them equal to disposable diapers is a myth started by a study funded by disposable diaper companies. It shocks me to hear even a cloth diaperer quote that misinformation...but I understand the power the media (ugh, again) has on our minds.

A few gallons of water and a bit of electricity is NOTHING compared to the massive amounts of water and electricty used to manufacture plastic diapers. And then of course disposable diapers are full of toxic chemicals, plastics, petroleum products, recycled and non recycled wood products.

There's no comparison. Disposable diapers are FAR worse on the environment than cloth.

girlsmom0406 said...

I think that, especially in my area, the fact that cloth diapers are not easily accessable is a HUGE factor in many parents not even considering cloth. When you say cloth they picture Gerber prefolds and plastic pants because that's all you can get locally. You can't just go to a local store and get quality diapers and a lot of people don't like ordering things online. If people walked down the baby isle in Target and say cloth diapers next to disposables I'd bet they'd think a lot more seriously about the choice.
I had to laugh at the dad and laundry. I'm sure my dh would be okay with that too, since he does all of 0 loads of laundry a week an extra load isn't a negative to him LOL

Shelly said...

I think it realy doesn't occur to people to use cloth diapers at all. And those who do consider it and so nay is ususally because of how hard they think it will be...

Nicole Pond said...

Having a husband who I often call on to stay up with the washer so he can transfer over the diapers into the dryer, that stat didn't shock me, honestly. the prospect of getting up in the middle of the night to go out and get more sposies versus waking up to move a load into the dryer is so much worse!

The ewww factor?? Yeah, I've gotten so much messier with a sposie than with any cloth I've had. Altho apparently, one day at daycare, poor lil punkin had such a massive blowout, she was stuck to her highchair! they told me I would most certainly want to throw away that diaper. What do you know, it came out clean as a whistle! It can be gross, but wow, soap does wonders to hands!!! OR it's an invitation to get a manicure ;)

Oh and the amount of energy and water used in making disposables, added to the energy to get them to the store, to your home and then eventually to the landfill, where more water and energy are used, it's a lot. and add a year to that stat on how many a child will use (potty training on average is MUCH closer to 3 years than 2) and it will add up quite a bit. That's not to say cloth doesn't use ANY energy or water to make, but you're not going thru the manufacturing process with each diaper change like sposies....just for as many as you have in your stash.

earthlymama said...

Great article. When I was pregnant and told everyone I planned to use cloth diapers I got some strange looks, laughs, and some said "yeah, that won't last long"! Why? Because they really aren't educated on what cloth diapers are like these days. They automatically think they are the same as when we were kids in the 70s and 80s, prefolds and plastic covers. Eck! I wish there were more ways ppl could find out about how easy they are, how much money they save, and how eco-friendly they are.
great article!

CRS said...

It sure does SEEM like cloth is more expensive. My first child is moving out of disposables, and the upfront costs of cloth are staggering.... then I thought about it--I spent $500 on cloth diapers and accessories for my second child. If we go through 10 diapers a day (at 20 cents a pop) and 10 wipes a day (at 3 cents each), for 8 months, I've made that $500 back.

My husband was (and probably still is--we've only been at this for a few weeks) eeked out at the poop scraping factor. I don't know how we will broach that when we get there. But he's a trooper, and he changes diapers.

lorchick @ ON{thelaundry}LINE said...

the only thing that held me back from switching in the middle with my daughter was the ew factor. After going through potty training, I decided I could totally CD. Unless you've got a kid who can potty train off of Pullups, and mine couldn't because to her they were more convenient diapers, you're gonna be scrubbing poop out of panties at some point. Even if you've got a pullup kid, it's bound to happen eventually. It just happened so much for me that I got over it. ;)
I spent $350 ($300 to buy online from a local shop that delivered, I negotiated price with them and they matched the lowest canadian price I found online... $50 for an extra few from the previously mentioned bargain site the other day.) on my entire stash of Grobabies and that'll do me. I have 12 shells and double that in the inserts.
Once my (unborn) baby switches from being exclusively breast-fed I'll probably add flushable inserts for poop messes just for convenience sake, but my savings will still be substantial over sposies. I think we spent about $55/mo at costco on dipes with our daughter. So seven months and it's totally caught up.