While thinking of all the different reasons why we switched to cloth diapers I came up with the four "C's".
CostWe spent a total of $308 on our cloth diapers. It would take us about seven months to spend that much money on disposables. Assuming we don't buy any more (hahaha, ya right!), we will even out the cost by the time Harry is 13 months old. I'm guessing Harry will be in diapers until at least age two, so we will essentially be diapering him for free for a year or longer. Not too shabby!
Spending that much money up front is a daunting task, especially considering everything else you need to buy for a new baby. But I think it's totally worth it in the long run and you can cloth diaper on any budget. You could spend as little as $75 on a stash of prefolds and covers. If pockets are more your style, there are companies that sell them for as little as $5 a piece (I have a couple and love them!). Cost doesn't necessairly equal quality.
Another way to save even more money cloth diapering is to buy used diapers. It's kind of hard to believe, but there is a huge market for used diapers. A lot of brands hold up really well and instead of tossing them after their children are potty trained, some parents chose to resell their diapers. If you sell yours you can recoup a significant percentage of your investment!
CuteCome on. Cloth diapers are cuuuuuuute. Our disposable brand of choice, Huggies, are u-g-l-y. Save for the Hawaiian print ones. I love how there are so many options for cloth diapers. Want a purple one to match an outfit? No problem! Need a red one to help show team spirit? Go right ahead! How bout owls, robots or flowers? Okay! There are so many possibilities on the market right now and are seemingly endless with sellers on Etsy making custom diapers in any color or print imaginable.
Carbon FootprintDisposable diapers are used once (duh) and then thrown away. They can take up to 500 years to decompose. Millions of diapers are used each year in the United States and account for about 4% of solid waste. The bottom line is, families who use disposable diapers have a huge carbon footprint.
Cloth diapers only have to be purchased once. Some argue that the water used to clean cloth diapers time and time again creates just as big of a carbon footprint as disposables, but it doesn't even compare. Water is a renewable resource, whereas the petroleum and chlorine used in disposables are not.
ChemicalsSodium polyacrylate. That sounds pretty nasty right? Probably not something you'd want on your body. In the 1980s sodium polyacrylate was removed from tampons after it was found that it caused toxic shock syndrome. This chemical, which is what makes disposables so absorbent, is still used today. That boggles my mind. I didn't find this fact out until after we switched to cloth, and after hearing that I knew we made the right decision.
There are so many positives to using cloth in this category, but I'll just highlight one more. All those gross chemicals keep baby hot down there. So hot in fact that disposable diapers are known to decrease sperm production in boys. Disposables leave their mark long after a person stops wearing them.
I know cloth diapering isn't for everyone. But, I at least strongly encourage you to consider it for your baby. There are some negatives to it (which I will be highlighting in a future post), but the positives heavily outweigh them in my opinion.
Reference: Real Diaper Association