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Monday, January 31, 2011

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Why Cloth Diapers?

I don't know about you- but I've been asked this question many times by mothers, friends, and family members who think I've gone insane when they see my little one's fluffy bottom.

I would love to look at them surprised, and say "why not?", but I don't, because I've realized that some people really don't know.

Most people don't know the facts or the good things about using cloth- and I'm sure the first thing that comes to their mind is pre folds, diaper pins with plastic pull up covers, and of course, poop. 
So, let's take a breather before we begin ranting and just naming out reasons, and lets really educate them on the Why's. You never know, you could change someone's entire way of living by taking the time to educate them, like many of ours has been changed!

The Environment
Cloth diapers are better for the environment. I know, I've heard people say that there is not a difference because of the energy and water we use washing the diapers, verse theirs sitting in a landfill forever. Even though we do use more water & energy, it takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone! Even the biodegradable diapers they have now are not all that degradable. Those diapers have to be exposed to air & sun in order to properly degrade, and's pretty hard for that to happen when being covered by millions of pieces of trash and dirt. Which means it can take even the "biodegradable" diapers hundreds of years to decompose. And really, the amount of water used per week to wash cloth diapers at home is comparable to the amount consumed by an adult flushing the toilet four or five times daily for a week.

Skin and Health
I don't think people realize that disposable diapers are chemicals, plastic, and dyes. I didn't before researching cloth diapers. Really, how can you say that it's good for your baby to use the bathroom and sit in a bunch of chemicals? The Consumer Protection Agency reported disposables to include chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors, babies pulling disposables apart and putting pieces of plastic into their noses and mouth, choking on tab papers and linings, plastic melting onto the skin, and ink staining the skin.  Plastic tabs can also tear skin if the diaper is not properly put on the baby. YIKES. I bet if you told any mom that, she would seriously consider cloth, I would hope.

This is one of the major reasons why we cloth diaper. It is cheaper, by far! Yes- even after you add the extra water and electric! I mean c'mon, you can get a complete cloth diapering kit by Econobum for $97! Add some detergent and pail liner for the basics, and your done for less than $140. With a baby, you will have spent that much in disposables in about two months, money right in the trash, literally. That's not even using the "top of the line" disposables. Use one of the many cloth diaper calculators here to find out how much you are, or can be, saving by using cloth diapers. It is so nice to be saving that money, or spending it on something else! :)

Face it, fluffy bums are CUTE! The colors and prints are CUTE! Even pre folds are CUTE!  The styles are CUTE! They are soft and fluffy. They are bright, or light. They can match what my baby is wearing. The accessories you can buy are CUTE!

To sum it up (this is not even ALL of the reasons, just the major), cloth diapering just ROCKS! The pro's out-way the con's drastically! Try to keep some of this in mind when someone looks at you like your crazy and ask's "why in the world you would put your poor baby in cloth?". Oh, we have plenty of great reasons :)

By Shay P.


Arikan said...

When it comes to the environment we mostly thnk of the waste sitting in those landfills, however there is an even bigger risk, UNTREATED WASTE!

WIth cloth diapers all waste is properly treated in the sewage system that is not the case for sposies.
Leachate containing viruses from human feces (including live vaccines from routine childhood immunizations) can leak into the Earth and pollute underground water supplies. In addition to the potential of groundwater contamination, air-borne viruses carried by flies and other insects, rodants, stray and wild animals contribute to an unhealthy and unsanitary situation. These viruses could include Hepatitis A, Norwalk and Rota Virus.

Andrea G. said...

This is exceptionally well said!

Timmi said...

I like that this wraps everything into something short. I have a few friends having babies this year and at least wanted to educate them on cloth and why I do it. I wanted to print off some information and sources that they can read whenever they want and when if they want to know where to go if they decide to cloth diaper themselves.

JayZ said...

My friend gives me the "everything I've read says it takes just as much energy to wash cloth diapers" excuse and I try not to argue with her but I'd much rather use a little more water and power than add to our already overflowing landfills! And besides, cloth diapers are so CUTE! I see a baby lounging around in a sposie and I can't help but think my daughter looks much cuter lounging around in her cloth :-)

moiety said...

Why cloth? Because I'm not observant enough for full-time EC. Why let sposies be the only alternative, much less the default?

Erin said...

My husband is on board with CDing our daughter when she gets here, but when I listed cuteness as one of my reasons for wanting to, he just sort of shook his head and laughed at me. Whatever, CDs ARE cuter than sposies, and I'm not ashamed to admit that's one of my reasons!

Karrianne said...

I love all these reasons! I have several friends who thought I was insane when I first mentioned I was using cloth, but once they saw what they looked and felt like and had a few basic questions they were all like, "Why haven't we heard about this before?! It's awesome!" I still think the poop issue is the biggest concern for most people I know. Really, it's only a big deal for about 2 months when you start solids. aka... the peanut butter stage. I used the flushable liners for those couple months (spent maybe $10 total) and it made that stage a piece of cake! Another reason I hear people say its not worth it is the time. I try and tell them it really only takes maybe 15 minutes more time a week that disposables. Instead of putting them in the diaper genie, you just put them in the wet bag. Instead of taking the diaper genie sack out to the trash a couple times a week, you just dump the wet bag in the washer. The only extra time it takes is the 3 seconds a day it takes to dump the poop in the toilet and 1 minute it takes to move the dipes from the wash to the dryer, and the 3 minutes it takes to move them from the dryer to the basket (where I keep mine). Like you said, there may be just a couple itty bitty teeny tiny cons to cloth, but there are HEAPS and HEAPS and HEAPS of benefits. Disposables one pro are that they are convenient, and really sometimes I DON'T think they're more convenient.

I'm fairly new to cloth, only the last 7 months, but I will never go back, I'm hooked! :)

ERIN said...

Really well said! I love this post. Although it seems so obvious to me now, I forget that so many people really do not understand ALL the benefits. Cute is just the bonus. :-)

Yadira said...

this blog site, and these posts have really helped me decide to cloth diaper this time around. The cost, environment, etc. are all reasons enough.

arfencil said...

I am a CD addict now and just got into in the past few weeks. I am very new to this world but really excited to start doing it with my baby due in May. I am a first time mom.

mandi said...

Whatever, the biggest, well besides cost, is that they just work better than disposables! That's what I say to people... I rather wash diapers than poopy clothes.