I began dabbling in cloth diaper research long before Andrew and I were actually pregnant. When I began to realize we may not be getting pregnant any time soon, I took the research down a notch… putting the cart before the horse was stressing me out a little.
And all the information out there about cloth diapering is just plain overwhelming… much too much, if you ask me.
But then again, there are so many things to take into account when considering cloth diapering:
- Why use cloth diapers as opposed to disposables?
- How do I manage cloth diapering at home?
- How do I manage cloth diapering on-the-g0 or while traveling?
- Should I cloth diaper exclusively, or only part-time?
- And how do I choose which cloth diapers to use? There are so many options available!
Since there is so much information floating around on the internet, I’ve decided to write a little three-part series on cloth diapering. Today’s post will cover the “Why?” behind cloth diapering. Then we will cover the “How?” And the third post will cover the “Which?”
Each of these posts will be over-simplified, and hopefully more encouraging than overwhelming.
The Why behind Cloth Diapering:
- Using cloth really does save money. (Here is a great post with an actual breakdown of how much money it costs to
use cloth diapers.) This is the biggie for us. Since Andrew is a full-time student, we have to
be careful with the money we do have, and I try diligently to stay on top of our budget in order to save as much as possible.
- Cloth diapers are better for the environment. For me, this is secondary to the financial benefits of cloth diapering, but still… it’s a significant benefit.
- Cloth diapers are better for the baby’s overall health. Disposable diapers are made with chemicals that can interrupt babies’ hormones. (Here is a quick article about that.)
- Cloth diapers are gentler on babies’ skin than disposables are.
- Not important, but cloth diapers are a whole lot cuter than disposable ones!
Since our motivation for going the cloth diaper route is totally financial, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some numbers.
The price for a pocket diaper is between $10 and $18. (A pocket diaper is only one cloth diaper option available… there are many others, but we will look into those later.) Let’s say you decide to purchase 20 diapers (this means you could do 10 diaper changes per day, and still have clean diapers while you are laundering the dirty ones. If you pay top-dollar ($18) for your 20 diapers, you are spending $360.
This seems like a big expense, and it is on the front end. But when you consider that the average American spends about $800- $1,000 on diapers per year, you begin to see that the money-saving potential of cloth diapering is quite incredible.
Additionally, cloth diapers can be passed down from one baby to another, so you could have many children and use the same cloth diapers for all of them. Cloth diapers can also be bought in one size, so the same diaper that fits your 6 week old will also fit your 1-year old.
The case for cloth definitely won me over, and I can’t wait to get started.
I’m obviously a diaper novice, and am only starting to learn the art of cloth diapering. If any of you have specific recommendations, thoughts, or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!