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I recently wrote a post about why I love cloth diapering. Then, it occurred to me that probably not everyone feels this way. There are pros and cons of cloth diapering, but the pros outweigh the cons in my book.
This article discusses the pros and cons most families experience with cloth diapering. Still thinking about making the switch? Hopefully, this summary will help you to decide.
Pros of Cloth:
1. It saves money.
Most families spend ~$80/month on diapers and wipes. You can make the switch to cloth for just under $200 and a slightly increased monthly water bill. One-size diapers and diaper covers will last the entire length of time your baby wear diapers, and then can be worn again with babies 2, 3, 4, etc.
2. It saves the environment.
If you aren’t buying diapers and disposing of diapers, then less diapers go in the landfill. According to the EPA, disposable diapers generate over 4 million tons of waste every year. Not to mention, the production of diapers and wipes and the shipment of diapers and wipes to retailers and then to your home.
3. There is less trash/no smell.
If using cloth diapers, you aren’t throwing diapers in the trash bin. This means, no poop smell! I was so worried about having a stinky house before making the switch, but the poop goes into the toilet. There are no dirty diapers piling up in the garbage can stinking up your bedroom, kitchen, nursery, etc.
4. There are NO blowouts.
That’s right! Those cloth diapers hold A LOT of poop. Don’t you hate changing a baby’s diaper, outfit, and possibly your outfit due to a diaper blowout? If you experience blowouts with cloth diapers, then you may try adjusting the diaper or switching to another brand.
5. There is little to no diaper rash.
Cloth diapers are easy on baby’s sensitive skin. My baby has never experienced diaper rash since making the switch. A happy bottom = happy baby = happy mom 🙂
6. It’s possibly easier to potty train.
They say it’s easier to potty train babies who wear cloth diapers because they can feel when they are wet. Pee is absorbed in disposables, making it more difficult for babies to sense when they are wet or dry.
We will see if this is true!
7. They have adorable patterns!
The patterns and designs of cloth diapers are endless! There are diapers for every occasion – birthdays, holidays, seasons, just cause.
8. The buttons are a life-saver.
Ever tried putting a diaper on a squirmy baby? Of course you have! Lots of cloth diapers have buttons, which are super convenient when trying to put them on a wiggly, uncontrollable baby. Snapping buttons are much easier than adjusting and readjusting velcro on disposables.
Cons of Cloth:
1. It takes time.
Yes, it takes time. Cloth diapering requires doing laundry every day or every other day. If you’ve had a long day and it’s a diaper night, you may be quick to want to switch back to disposables. But, isn’t laundry the easiest chore? The washing machine basically does everything for you.
Having two wet bags would also fix this problem and allow you to do laundry any time of day.
2. It doesn’t travel easily.
You’re going away for the weekend and you aren’t sure if a washing machine will be available? Cloth diapers don’t travel easily. Ask in advance if your host is okay with you doing diaper laundry at their house. When booking an AirBnb, look for a place that has a washing machine. A weekend supple of cloth diapers also takes up quite a bit of space for just one baby.
3. It uses water.
The skeptics like to mention this a lot. How is better for the environment if it uses more water? Not only that, but the water bill increases? (by only $8-$10/month)
Calculate how much water your washing machine uses per load to correctly estimate that water usage for cleaning cloth diapers.
4. Not everyone is open to it.
Maybe your mom or sister didn’t use cloth diapers with their babies and they aren’t interested in learning how for her grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. She doesn’t want to deal with plopping poop – gross (it isn’t bad at all). This makes it difficult for other people to watch baby for an afternoon, overnight, or weekend.
5. It (possibly) makes babysitting difficult.
This goes along with #4. Since not everyone is open to it, some daycare facilities may not be open to it, which would be a problem if you are a working parent. But, if you are determined to cloth diaper, don’t assume your daycare won’t use cloth diapers. Always ask!
6. It might smell depending on the detergent you use.
It’s important to use a good, scent-free detergent. I highly recommend Rockin’ Green products. If you choose to use a low-quality detergent, then the soap residue may cling to your diapers, causing odors. This will cause you to have to strip your diapers more frequently.
It’s also important to follow the washing instructions of the diaper brand you use and check to see how to clean your diapers in hard vs soft water and HE vs non-HE washing machines.
I hope this pros/cons list helps in your diapering journey. After trying both, disposables and cloth, I vote cloth 100%. What are your thoughts on cloth diapering? Comment below!