- COST. We have saved so much money over the last three years using cloth diapers. Our current diaper stash consists of 20 bumGenius Freetimes and a handful of random pocket diapers. We spent around $300 on those diapers. Even including the cost of the diaper pail liners, diaper sprayer, cloth wipes, and some smaller wet bags, plus water and detergent, our overall cost to diaper our children has been significantly lower than it would have been to use disposables. A box of about 40 disposable Seventh Generation diapers is roughly $25 at Target, sometimes on sale for $20. We use about 7 diapers a day with only one child in diapers, more for two or for a younger baby. This means we’d go through about 5.25 boxes of 40 diapers in a month. Let’s assume we got the diapers on sale for $20. We would be spending around $100 a month on diapers, plus wipes, to use disposables. In three months we have spent what we have spent total on our diaper stash across time, keeping in mind that I’ve bought and sold many diapers and have made a good deal of money back on diapers I have sold.
- CHEMICALS. I mentioned we use Seventh Generation diapers when we are not in cloth, which has only been on vacations where we didn’t have access to a washer and drier. I care about the chemicals that touch my children’s bums and cloth diapers reduce those to a minimum. When not in cloth, we use expensive bleach-free diapers and the price of so-called all natural disposables is steep but worth it to avoid a rash for those vacations.
- RELIABILITY. On said vacations, note that we still pack cloth diaper covers to wear over the disposables because we experience so many more leaks of both poo and pee in disposables. Cloth has contained a vast majority of my children’s near-blow outs and for that I am so grateful! I’d much rather do a load of diaper laundry every few days than deal with the extra-messy laundry of leaky diapers all over clothes and blankets, not to mention the in-the-moment clean up.
- CONVENIENCE. Many people talk about how inconvenient cloth is, especially for a family with multiple children in diapers. On the contrary, we have found cloth to be extremely convenient. Wash on a regular routine (we do every other evening) and you will never have to make a late-night run to the store to grab a box of diapers, or leave your baby in a soiled diaper too long because you’re almost out of diapers. You don’t have to worry about grabbing the right size of diaper for the right baby if you use one-size-fits all cloth; simply unsnap the rise and it will fit whichever child needs a change! No need to worry about packing enough diapers in the correct sizes for each child- throw a few in your diaper bag and again, snap or unsnap as needed.
- COMFORT. Babies have far fewer rashes in cloth diapers and when a rash arises, a little troubleshooting is all you need to change up your wash routine or try a different fiber and get back to clear skin. Cloth diapers breathe better and allow air flow to baby’s skin, and the fibers, both synthetic and all-natural such as cotton or bamboo, are much gentler on their bodies than the plastics and papers in disposables. Having used both disposable and cloth menstrual pads, I can personally attest to the dramatic difference in materials against your body. Not to mention, better air flow decreases the presence of bacteria such as yeast in the warm, moist environment of a diaper.
- EASIER POTTY TRAINING. Babies can feel the wetness of their soils in cloth, which means they need changed more often, which isn’t such a bad thing for them to be freshened up more frequently! This helps tremendously in potty training because they are used to the correlation between their pees and feeling wetness and will react to the discomfort. Cloth diapering goes hand in hand with elimination communication and responding to babies’ innate desire to keep from soiling themselves.
- SMELL. Disposable diapers are typically scented but when filled with soil they are not pleasant to smell. Cloth diapers simply smell like their content and I appreciate the lack of added fragrance in cloth every time I smell a soiled disposable diaper.
- FASHION. Cloth diapers are adorable and come in many colors, prints, designs, and styles. It can be a lot of fun and who doesn’t want diapering to be even slightly more enjoyable?
- SUSTAINABILITY. This is often the main reason people use cloth diapers. While it is a nice pro for us, it wasn’t why we chose cloth. It is nice, however, to consider how much waste you are keeping from a landfill. It is also a great feeling to know that, when your baby inevitably poops in the diaper you just changed 5 minutes prior, you can simply dump the poo and throw the diaper in your pail to wash instead of wasting the 25 to 50 cents you spent on that disposable diaper you would now have to throw away!