Women are eating their placentas. Moms are having their babies at home. Breastfeeding rates are rising. Just when we were starting to doubt the role of motherhood in the United States, moms are standing up in unity and showing us that the old-fashioned way of doing things is alive and well. Cloth diapers are no exception.
Once touted as a pain in the arse, today’s cloth diaper is far more fabulous than the original. There are thousands of women flocking to Facebook groups and Instagram feeds trying to #buythtatdiaper and show off their little one’s #fluffbutt. What we’re saying is, if you’re looking to be a trendsetter and one of the in crowd, cloth diapers are a must.
The reasons for choosing these fashionable style icon poop holders are vast. For some women, it’s all about looks. For others, they like that their moms cloth diapered them. Some women just want to save the environment, and others are in it for the cost-effectiveness. Heck, some women might even like doing laundry. There’s all kinds of weirdos out there.
For the moms who are considering cloth diapers, they’re well on their way to the land of sweet little booties that just won’t quit. We seriously cannot say enough about the adorableness that is cloth. That being said, there are a slew of moms out there who are reading this thinking, “What, cloth is back?” Oh yes, honey. Cloth is back and better than ever. There’s something for everybody, and they won’t disappoint. Here goes.
15 They’re Saving The Environment
Each and every year, around 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown into landfills in America. Yeah, that’s a lot! Of course, if we can rationalize that they decompose quickly, then maybe it’s not so bad from year to year. Except they don’t decompose quickly. It takes about 500 years for a diaper to degrade into nothing.
That’s a lot of diapers and solid waste lying around contaminating our planet.
Furthermore, diapers contain a lot of chemical ingredients that aren’t so easy on our dear Mother Earth. Years ago, in an attempt to poo-poo cloth diapers, disposable diaper companies commissioned several studies to set out and prove that they were no worse for the environment than their cloth competitors.
Of course, their results supported their theory, but their studies were also led by organizations like the American Paper Institute. Let’s not forget what diapers are made of. How’s that for a conflict of interest?
14 Banishing Diaper Rash
It you’ve used disposable diapers before, you’re probably familiar with diaper rash. What causes it and how can it be prevented? We’re glad you asked. While diaper rash can be caused by a reaction the chemicals in the diaper or those used on the paper material, it is usually a result of irritation caused by exposing the skin to too much moisture.
When a baby pees in a ‘sposie, that moisture stays against their skin. Despite all those ads you see on television with the moisture being wicked away from the flesh into the diaper lining, it stays damp. If you’ve ever touched the inside of a ‘sposie to check to see if it’s been urinated in, you know this.
Cloth diapers actually do wick away that moisture into the insert — which is usually made of absorbent materials, like microfiber and bamboo. For this reason, you will rarely — if ever — see a diaper rash on a cloth diapered baby. I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule. Still, I’ve had babies in ‘sposies and in cloth, and I can attest that diaper rash has only happens with the trash-ready variety.
13 No Endocrine Disruptors Against Baby’s Skin
Remember how we mentioned that disposable diapers contain a host of chemicals? It’s true, and some of them are actually quite harmful to your little one. One of the most worrying components of ‘sposies is dioxin. This chemical compound is a byproduct of the bleaching process. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies them as being highly toxic carcinogens. Yes, that means they cause cancer.
When we’re putting those ‘sposies on our babies and exposing their private parts to dioxins, we’re risking more than just skin reactions. They are known to disrupt the healthy functioning of the endocrine system. They can also impair the immune system, alter liver functioning, hinder the reproductive system, and cause disorder in the nervous system.
Who wants all that junk pressed up against their baby? Sure, there are more organic options in the disposable diaper world today, but even those are still laced with chemicals and not a great fit for the environment.
12 Potty-Training Made Simple
We know most parents aren’t thinking about potty-training when they’re expecting or cradling a newborn in their arms. Still, that time will spring up on you faster than you think, and when it does, you will want it to be as easy as it can possibly be. After all, you’re the one that has to clean up the accidents.
When the majority of cloth diapering parents reach the potty-training stage, they realize that cloth diapers don’t slide up and down like real underwear as easily as disposable pull-ups do, and they wonder what the solution is.
Sure, there are cloth pull-up options, but a lot of parents don’t want to invest the extra money in that when their little one is likely going to be out of diapers altogether very soon. So, most parents of babies in cloth opt for the quick and dirty version of potty-training. In other words, take the diapers and put them in a drawer for the day while that naked little baby figures it out.
11 Bye-Bye Blowouts
Let me let you in on one of the best-kept secrets of cloth diapers. You know those horrific blowouts that everyone has when they’re plastering ‘sposies on their baby’s backside? Yeah, you know… the kind that stains that outfit you’ve been waiting months for them to fit into? The kind that you see before you smell and shudder at the thought of having to change. Yeah, those.
Those don’t exist in the world of cloth. I kid you not. I didn’t want to believe it myself. After all, if cloth diapers turned out to be the blowout savior, then that meant I was doing it all wrong before. Folks, I was doing it all wrong before. Cloth diapers exist. Therefore, there is no reason that a parent should ever have to change a baby’s clothes after a blowout again. Remember, it’s your choice.
10 Poop Belongs In The Toilet
Sometimes, we parents really tend to brush off the idea of alternatives and stick to the societal norm. Why do we do that anyway? Perhaps, it’s because it’s easy. If we can look past that, we can see that cloth diapers are actually where it all started. We’re simply going back to our roots to a time when diapers were safer, cleaner, and easier to use.
That brings us to the purpose of a diaper. You’ve got to contain that urine and feces somewhere, right? It’s no question to us grown-ups that we flush our solid waste down the toilet. For some reason, when it comes to our babies, we think it should all go out with the trash. But that’s exactly how it all starts to pile up in our landfills, right?
So, are we really doing anyone any favors by throwing poop in the trash can instead of into the toilet? We know, the thought of manually scrubbing poop out of diapers is no fun. Believe it or not, breastfed babies require no maintenance at all. Their poop is water-soluble. Those diapers can go straight into the wash.
When baby is formula fed or the little one starts eating solids, that poop can be sprayed off the dipe with a diaper sprayer right into the toilet. Truly, they’ve thought of everything. It’s so easy!
9 They’ll Diaper All Of The Future Babies Too
The cost savings of these diapers extends even further, because you can diaper more than just one baby with them. While the parent who choose disposable diapers will spend that $1,400 or more with each baby, cloth diapering parents never have to spend more than their initial investment — which was a fraction of $1,400 to begin with.
Do the math for a family with three kids. That’s $4,200 to $7,200 in disposable diapers that aren’t healthy for baby or for the planet. Compare that to the $300 to $500 price of a cloth diaper stash. Are you seeing the benefits yet?
Guess what else? After you decide your bladder can’t take another pregnancy and your perineum can’t handle another birth, you can sell the diapers and recoup some of your investment. If you’re progressing toward motherhood and you and Daddy have been stressed about money, this is the number one way you can make a new baby cost a whole lot less.
8 Stinky Diapers Are A Thing Of The Past
Alright, this one is stretching it a bit. No, cloth diapers cannot magically make poop not smell. However, you will have to be a bit more vigilant when it comes to poopy diapers and your baby if they’re donning cloth. Why? Because that stench won’t likely permeate the whole room around you.
Believe it or not, it’s not baby poop that stinks to high heaven most of the time. It’s actually the way that baby poop reacts to the chemicals that are in disposable diapers. Whether it’s intentional or not from the diaper manufacturer’s side of things is up for debate. Nonetheless, cloth diapers smell waaaaaay less than ‘sposies do!
Sometimes, moms worry about going the cloth route, because they envision sprayed out poopy diapers in a pile in the cloths hamper and wonder how on Earth that wouldn’t stink. Truthfully, there are many storage options, but as long as the diapers are exposed to air, they can sit on standby for a few days before washing and no, they will not stink up your house.
7 They’re Way Comfier
Since you’re now well-versed on finding the perfect fit and foregoing all future diaper rashes, you shouldn’t be surprised that cloth diapers are far more comfortable for your baby to wear. Often, we take it for granted that our little ones can’t speak to us and convey how they feel and whether they are uncomfortable.
When you think about it, though, how do we know? Just because they’ve never experienced better doesn’t mean there isn’t something better. Would you rather wear underwear or a giant adult diaper or maxi pad, mommas? Think about it.
Instead of assuming they are just because they have no other option, give them an option. Give cloth diapers a try. Maybe they’re for you. Maybe they aren’t. Either way, you’ll be glad you tried and will have learned some valuable lessons about diapering the old-fashioned, new trendy way.
6 Can We Just Note The Cuteness Please?
Believe it or not, a major reason many parents opt for cloth diapers is merely because they saw them on someone else’s kid and couldn’t stop marveling at how adorable they are. Who doesn’t love a fluff butt? There’s something about that padded booty on their little baby bodies that we just gush over.
More than just their added appeal, cloth diapers come in a variety of colors, fabrics and pattern styles. They are beneficial to small business when you’re buying from work-at-home moms who make their own, too. Yep, that means you can have virtually any diaper you want made from scratch with any logo or quote on it.
Many moms and dads love them for this reason alone. For instance, take the intactivist mom who worries that daycare professionals or even the pediatrician might retract her intact son. She will usually make sure that do not retract diaper is on her baby registry before anything else.
5 They Give Mom A Reason To Buy Maxaloones
Haven’t heard of maxaloones? You’re missing out, my friend. These adorable stretchy pants are like leggings for kids, but there’s a catch — they’re created especially for babies who don cloth nappies. The extra fabric in the bum region makes them have just the right amount of give to fit over cloth diapers. Because, truth be told, some brands of baby clothing won’t fit over them well.
Worried about that? Don’t be. Think your baby will have to wear maxaloones all the time and completely forego skinny jeans? Nah. You’ll just want to increase the size so that they have more space for fluff. For example, a 6-month old baby might need to wear 9-month pants to make it work with fluff in some brands. It’s truly that simple, and cloth nappies will look way cuter peeking out of the back of any pair of pants, too.
4 They’re Saving Mom Loot
There is no argument here. Cloth diapers are definitely the cheapest avenue in diapering. That being said, they can be the most expensive, too, if you allow yourself to go crazy shopping for them. Sounds silly, but watch out, because they’re cuter and more addictive than you think.
Let’s break it down. To diaper a baby for 2.5 years in generic brand disposable diapers, it would cost Mom and Dad more than $1,400. If parents favor name brand diapers or those organic options we talk about, that can easily tack on another grand.
Where do cloth diapers weigh in? Some parents will spend as much as $500 or more preparing for their little one to arrive and stocking their whole stash. Others can get by with spending as little as $300. I can personally tell you I built our entire stash for our third baby for even less than that! There are oodles of groups on Facebook where you can buy gently used and handmade dipes, too. These will save you more money.
3 Sturdy Snaps Keep Baby In
At some point, that sweet little baby you give birth to that seem incapable of helping him- or herself do anything will be doing plenty. They start out unable to even lift their own head up, and by a few months in, they’re starting to pull at those tabs on their diaper.
Every parent knows the struggle of keeping a diaper on a baby that has figured out how to take it off. It can be quite fun game — for them. For us, it’s the difference between a peaceful break while they’re napping, and discovering them in their crib post-nap covered in poop.
If you’re looking to avoid fecal finger-painting across the nursery walls, cloth diapers are the answer. While there are Velcro versions, most parents find that they can get a bit more tangled up in the wash and so, they end up preferring snap varieties. Those sturdy snaps will keep your baby locked in tight, and everything else in the diaper, too.
2 It Could Lead To New Mom Friends
For a lot of moms out there, pregnancy and parenting marks the time in their life when they said goodbye to some old friends and hello to many new ones who would come to see them through the toughest years of their lives — motherhood.
If you’re looking for a way to connect with new friends, cloth could be it. There’s nothing like finding another momma who shares the same interests that you do for your little ones. More specifically, it’s quite a relief to have mom friends who don’t judge you for your choices, and whom you don’t feel inclined to judge for theirs.
And just in case you got it twisted, no, you don’t have to be a crunchy mom to cloth diaper. You could be doing everything else in the world of parenting in a mainstream fashion, and you can still choose to use cloth diapers. The two are not synonymous with one another.
1 The Perfect Fit
Disposable diapers are notorious for being a little too tight, or a little too slinky, or a little too pudgy in the bottom. Whatever the problem, it’s a sure thing for most parents that they’ll have to experiment with disposable diaper brands before they can settle on what works for them.
This means parents have to go through the cost of boxes of diapers that don’t fit, and blowouts from diapers that didn’t keep their baby covered. It’s the nature of finding out what works and what doesn’t. On the flipside, parents of cloth diapered babies are finding that this kind of experimenting is much less likely.
Sure, they do need to make sure the brand and style of dipe they get fits their little one well, but it’s much easier to part ways with one diaper and sell it for a profit if it doesn’t fit than have to forego an entire box of them after the first one fails you.
Sources: ABC News, Livestrong, The Natural Baby Company