There was once a time when you would have been forced to use cloth diapers for the simple reason that there was no other option. With time, disposable diapers were introduced in the market and moms literally flocked to them because of the convenience they offered. But things have changed and in the current times, moms use both cloth and disposable diapers, which has triggered a never-ending debate on which is the better option.
You might be surprised to learn that the cloth diapers available these days have come a long way and hold no resemblance to the sad and wet diapers of decades past. With that, you need to bear in mind the fact that your baby is going to spend nearly 25,000 hours in a diaper and will need about 6000 diaper changes in the first year of his life. With that, you should know that your decision to use cloth or disposable diapers is going to have a major impact on your child’s health and comfort along with your finances. In order to help you make the best decision, here’s a look into the pros and cons of cloth diapers:
7 They’re more easily affordable
One of the most prominent advantages of using cloth diapers is that their utilization is going to help you save up on a good deal of cash. See, the thing with cloth diapers is that you only need to purchase them once. After that, you are free to use them again and again – the only thing that you need to do is to wash and dry them. This can go a long way in terms of helping you save a substantial amount of money all through the period that your child wears diapers. On the other hand, disposable diapers are just that – disposable. You can only use them once, after which they need to be disposed, which makes them an extremely expensive option.
So how many cloth diapers should you get when you start building your stash? Well, for a newborn to 4-month old baby, you should aim to have about 20 to 24 diapers. If your child is 4-10 months old, get at least 16 to 20 diapers and a minimum of 12 to 18 diapers if your baby is 10 months or older. This stash is going to work for you as long as you do your laundry every two days. If you add in a few more diapers, you can easily stretch it to every three days. However, if you pull things longer, there is a good chance that you will have to put up with smells and stains.
Give it a try
There is no need at all for you to have a full diaper stash when you start using cloth diapers on your baby. Just get about five to seven diapers to begin with and see how things go.
6 You can use them for all your children
Another positive of using cloth diapers is that these work like a ‘one-time investment’. How is that so? See, when you buy them for your first child, you don’t have to throw them away once he grows up – just wash them and use them later on when you have more children. This way, you will be able to save a whole lot more money in the long run, thereby making them an even more cost-effective option.
What makes the utilization of cloth diapers so much more alluring is the fact that they can be reused, which means that they aren’t going to get added to the landfills. Even after they ’retire’ from service, you can just use them as a rag to prevent them from ending up in the landfill. All in all, the fewer cloth diapers you have to buy, the fewer that have to be manufactured and the fewer will end up in waste. All in all, buying cloth diapers is like a one-shot deal – just buy a whole lot once and keep reusing them again and again. As long as you wash them yourself, there isn’t a chance that you will ever run out of diapers.
Wash them at home
There is nothing for you to worry about in terms of your house becoming a toxic waste dump with cloth diapers. If you wash them by yourself, just shake solids into the toilet and drop the diaper into a plastic-lined pail after a change. Once it’s full, just tip the diapers into your washer. Use a detergent to wash the diapers – do this twice. While you are at it, remember to never use bleach to wash cloth diapers. For a thorough rinse, wash the diapers twice.
5 Diaper rash isn’t much of a problem with cloth diapers
Yes, even your baby is going to benefit if you decide to use cloth diapers. Research suggests that diaper rash is fairly less common in babies that wear cloth diapers as compared to babies that wear disposable diapers. From what is known, cloth diapers have the tendency to trigger lesser incidents of diaper rash in the long run. Why is that? Well, for the simple reason that cloth diapers are made using all natural cotton and do not have chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions in your baby. Also, the natural cotton used in cloth diapers is designed to be fairly more breathable, which also contributes to lesser incidents of diaper rash.
The fact that cloth diapers cause lesser occurrences of diaper rash is definitely good news. Research studies have shown that just about 5% of cloth diapered babies suffer from diaper rash as compared to 50% of babies that are disposable diapered. The reason for this is simple: disposable diapers are made from plastics that do not allow the skin to breathe properly and causes heat retention, which triggers rashes. This is a major reason why it is recommended for you to use cloth diapers on your baby instead of disposable ones.
Babies are sensitive
Some babies are extremely sensitive to the chemicals found in disposable diapers and may develop severe rashes and blisters when disposable diapers are used. This adds to the reasons why you should use cloth diapers for your baby. In case your little one has a rash while using cloth diapers, it could be a result of prolonged wetness, an allergic reaction to the fabric itself, or an allergy triggered by detergent residues on the diaper.
4 Cloth diapered babies are easier to potty train
One of the major reasons why you should use cloth diapers for your baby is the effect that these tend to have on the entire potty training process. The thing with potty training a baby is that it is a major undertaking, but using cloth diapers can make it much easier. See cloth diapers hold moisture closer to the skin of a baby, thereby making him feel more uncomfortable. It is this element that makes potty training a cloth diapered baby far easier and achievable in a shorter period of time.
Many experts and even parents believe that the utilization of cloth diapers has the potential to speed up the entire potty training process. The reason for this is rather simple: your child will instantly start feeling uncomfortable the moment he wets himself. This discomfort is basically what is going to make your little one want to use the bathroom instead of peeing and pooping in his diaper. As experts claim, disposable diapers and training pants simply cannot play this role because they are extremely absorbent and will not make your toddler feel as wet as he would had he peed or pooped in a cloth diaper.
You and your toddler need to be ‘ready’ for potty training
Just because your neighbor’s daughter started using the loo when she was 18 months doesn’t mean you should force yourself or your son into potty training at that age. Every child is different – while your neighbor’s child may detest wetness, yours may not mind running around in a wet diaper at all.
3 But you’ll have a lot of laundry to do too
Like I said before, disposable diapers are just that – disposable. Once your baby is done using one, you just need to roll it up and toss it in the bin. On the other hand, you need to rinse, soak and then wash cloth diapers. Oh and if they aren’t clean enough, you may need to wash them all over again. This is definitely going to make for a huge load on laundry day and at times, the overall cost and effort involved in doing so much laundry may add up to more than what you would spend on disposable diapers.
On the whole, this may turn out to be costly for the environment as well. Yes you will not end up filling landfills with disposable diapers, but in the long run, you may not be helping as much as you may think by using cloth diapers. The reason is that you will be using a lot of water – about 50 gallons of water on average to run a single load of laundry – to wash your baby’s diapers. If anything, that is truly wasteful. Apart from that, you will also use energy to heat the water and chemicals to clean the diapers, which basically makes it hard to say whether cloth diapers really are helpful for the environment or not.
Maintaining a steady supply isn’t easy
In order to maintain a steady supply of diapers for your baby, it is extremely important for you to wash the diapers regularly. Also, to avoid unsanitary conditions that may result from using a cloth diaper that is not properly washed, you need to wash it rather thoroughly as well, which may take up a lot of your time.
2 Your baby’s skin will remain wet
Disposable diapers are prepared using a gel that wicks away moisture from your baby’s bottom. What this means is that his skin is not going to remain as wet, which is going to go a long way in reducing the chances of your baby developing a rash. Yes, cloth diapers are very soft and it is because of this softness that your little one’s diaper is going to become extremely soggy the minute it becomes wet – unless you use an insert in it. Even then there is always the chance that your baby will be wet, which can turn troublesome in case he has sensitive skin. Also, the dyes used in the colorful fabric of a cloth diaper may irritate your baby’s skin.
Also, considering that cloth diapers are rather absorbent, it may leak in case there is a higher volume of urine that comes out. This is where disposable diapers prove beneficial considering that they have an outer water proof layer that protects your baby’s clothing from getting wet. With a cloth diaper, it is necessary for you to constantly monitor if it is wet or not, particularly when your child is asleep.
There are health concerns too
Keeping things sanitary is a whole lot easier when you use disposable diapers. What this means is that using disposable diapers may even help you avert infections. On the other hand, storing a dirty cloth diaper can lead to the spread of various infections, thereby triggering health concerns. For this reason, experts believe that it is best for parents to use disposable diapers for the health safety that these have to offer.
1 Cloth diapers aren’t convenient
People typical prefer disposable diapers because of the convenience they have to offer, particularly when they are on the go with their babies. See if you use a cloth diaper while on the go, you need to store it till the time that you get back home and then wash it. On the other hand, disposable diapers take up far less pace in the diaper bag and whenever a change is needed, you can just throw the used one away. The best part is that disposable diapers are far easier to fasten and remove as long as they are fastened with tape. On the other hand, cloth diapers at times have buttons or snaps that can be extremely hard to fasten on a wiggling baby.
The reason why disposable diapers are considered so convenient is because you can just throw them away upon getting dirty, thereby saving you from having to carry them around for a wash. Another positive of using disposable diapers is that these require fewer changes due to their super absorbent materials. Cloth diapers on the other hand require frequent changes or your baby will remain wet for extended periods of time. This makes disposable diapers a whole lot easier to use, and far more convenient. Putting them on and taking them off is also very easy.
Dealing with poopy cloth diapers is a menace
That’s right. Dealing with a poopy cloth diaper is no fun at all – if anything, it is a nuisance. But disposable diapers just need to be wrapped up and tossed away, which makes them much easier to use. All in all, cloth diapers will add to your laundry and make you put in a whole lot more effort too.