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Monday, March 5, 2012

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Debunking the Cloth Diaper Myths

I get so use to cloth diapers that I often forget that cloth diapering is still "off the beaten path" for many. For instance, dropping off my little one in nursery on Sunday and forgetting to explain how to change our daughters diaper- assuming they know, until I pick up my daughter and the diaper is on backwards or they just gave up and put her in a disposable. Then it hits me again, duh, not everyone uses cloth! So naturally, I get a ton of questions about them and I notice that almost everyone I talk to has this vision stuck in their head of safety pins and plastic pull on covers and of course, a big ole' mess. Our conversation always starts with me debunking all of the cloth diaper myths they have heard and believe, here are some of the most common I run into:

"Gross" - I hear this so much it makes me laugh now. Cloth diapering is not any dirtier, "grosser", or messier than disposables. We both have to wipe dirty bottoms, both have to deal with the not so pleasant smell, we both have to deal with the occasional blow out. If you are using disposables the correct way, you are actually suppose to dump any solid waste into the toilet before throwing it out, too! Instead of throwing my diapers away, I toss them into our diaper pail and close the lid. No odors, no mess. When it's time to wash, I simply pick up the entire pail and empty it into my washer, no need to touch a dirty diaper at all! Washes, rinses and a dry cycle later, I have fresh and clean fluff waiting to be reused! Nothing gross about it.

"Expensive"- This is one even I fell for when someone first mentioned cloth diapering to me. I remember purchasing my first cloth diapers three short years ago and thinking "geeze I could buy 6 packs of disposables for these three cloth diapers". Most people do not look at it in the long run, they think $18 for one diaper? No way. They don't realize that once they spend that $200-$300 on a good stash, that they are d-o-n-e. That there is no need to buy more diapers- ever! They don't sit down and use one of the nifty cloth diaper calculators you can find online. They don't think about how much disposables will run them for the next 2-3 years, sometimes even longer! Instead of talking about how much cloth diapers cost in a conversation with someone who is interested, I first talk about how much money I save by using them.

"Hard work"- Or "inconvenient". I have found that the only time cloth diapering is even a little inconvenient for us is when I am down to my last diaper and realize I have not started a new load yet. Which would be the same as grabbing the last disposable and realizing that you have to get dressed and rush to the store to buy more, except I don't have to leave or buy more of anything! I just start up the washer :) As far as work, we both change diapers, we both do laundry. No extra effort is needed, cloth diapering families continue to do the same things just in different ways.

"Old school"- Believe it or not, cloth diapering these days is not the same as when your grandmother cloth diapered 60 years ago. There are prefolds, pins and plastic covers if you choose to use those. Otherwise, the variety of cloth diapers these days is insane! There are all in ones, pocket diapers, hybrid diapers, fitteds, covers, snappis, wet bags, special detergents, all in two diapers, diapers with snaps or diapers with hook and loop etc etc! You don't have to use a diaper service, I know our town doesn't have that option anyway. There is a large array of bright colors, soft pastels and cute modern prints. So many options, it does not have to be like when your grandma had little ones.

Four common myths debunked! It just takes some explaining and excitement over your fluff to debunk these myths to other moms, and hopefully they will strike an interest and make the switch, too!

Shay is a stay at home mom of three little girls, a foster mom, and a regular TCDW blog contributor. When she's not homeschooling, changing diapers, or snapping pictures, she spends time blogging about their journey in the foster care system, family, cloth diapering, and raising kids. You can follow along at


Craftwerks said...

I live in an area where the trash pick up is every other week. I have to keep the trash in house until pick up day. We used cloth from the time my son was born up until recently when our washer and dryer went out. I can't wait to get a new washer and dryer. The dirty disposables smell so bad. I never had dirty diaper odor with cloth.

Sarah Santoro said...

where did you read that part about solid waste in a disposable?? i would LOVE to have a few references on that to share with a few people who are being kind of nasty about me and hubby's decision to cloth diaper when our baby gets here. thanks!

Megan said...

My friends and family would always put the gDiapers on backwards, I would just laugh at them. At least they tried!!