Are you expecting a new baby soon? Wondering if you should cloth diaper your baby or buy disposables? You may be wondering if cloth diapering is worth all the hype. I’m here to tell you- Yes! It’s 100 percent worth it to cloth diaper your baby!
I started cloth diapering once my first son turned two and I’ve never looked back! Now I cloth diaper my two year old and continue to save to save money compared to buying disposables! Check out all the cloth diaper benefits not just for baby, but you as well!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you click on them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.
Cloth Diaper Benefits For You & Baby
The number one comment you will hear about cloth diapers compared to disposable diapers is how much money you will save! But is there any truth to this statement? Well, yes and no.
I’m not going to lie, the initial cost to start cloth diapering comes with a bit of “sticker shock.” Many parents are surprised to learn how much they need to buy to start cloth diapering. All the cost of inserts, diaper covers, and other necessities do add up. However, that initial cost is all you have to pay. You don’t need to continue to buy diapers every month for your little one.
Instead, one of the cloth diaper benefits is that cloth diapers begin to pay for themselves by the end of the first year and while your toddler potty trains. If you have a second or even third child, that initial cost you paid for your collection of cloth diaper necessities will pay off even more because you already have everything you need.
So how much do you actually save compared to disposables? It’s estimated a child will go through (roughly) 6,000 diapers from birth to three years of age. With this number in mind, low cost diaper brands will cost you about $1,400 per year, while the more expensive diaper brands will cost you upwards of $2,800! Now, for the initial amount you pay upfront for a cloth diaper collection you will easy spend less than 1,000.
For my own diaper collection for my kids, I spent less than $400 total to start cloth diapering! There is a big difference in cost the first year and beyond for cloth vs disposable.
Related Articles: 10 Potty Training Tips For A Child-Led Approach
Lessen your environmental impact
This is the second point you will hear about cloth diaper benefits and I have to say it is 100% true. There’s no getting out of it… With disposable diapers you do add waste to landfills. It’s estimated that 95% of babies in the United States use disposable diapers. This makes up about 50% of a household’s waste every month.
Unfortunately, disposable diapers are not recycled. Therefore, an estimated 92% of disposable diapers are dumped into landfills. Once in landfills it takes 500 years for one disposable diaper to decompose. Cloth diaper really do save the environment (at least every little bit counts toward a healthier planet).
Now please, let me be clear… If you use disposable diapers that OK! We’re all parents trying to do the best for our children and the choices you make are your own. You just need to know your options for cloth and disposable diapers.
Softer on baby’s skin
There are a range of different materials you can use for cloth diapers including cotton, bamboo, and even hemp. Personally, I love bamboo! All of these options do not come with any chemicals like cloth diapers, but plain material. So what’s in disposable diapers that irritates baby’s skin?
For starters, many diaper companies including major corporations do not disclose all their diaper ingredients. It’s only when you see a brand specifically stating it is free of dyes, perfumes and other chemicals then you can rest assured that they do not use them. But if a diaper brand does not disclose this information, then it’s likely they do contain chemicals, dyes, and perfumes.
Common chemical ingredients included in disposable diapers include:
Sodium Polyacrylate- The inner core of the diaper that sometimes leaks through the lining revealing small jelly crystals on your baby’s skin. This chemical is deemed nontoxic, but critics of disposable diapers do argue that it can cause skin irritation for babies.
Dyes- These are used for colorful patterns and wetness line indicators.
Perfumes- Perfumes are added to diapers in very low amount giving them a light scent for obvious reasons (to cover up the smell of pee and poop).
Dioxins- Dioxins is a chemical component that happens when wood pulp is dyed with chlorine. These are used in disposable diapers to give them extra “fluff” and absorbency.
While disposable diapers are considered safe for babies, there are parents out there who’ve experienced skin irritation in the form of rashes and blisters on their baby’s skin in response to certain diaper brands. This is uncommon though and would explain why many parents try out different diaper brands to find the right one for their baby’s sensitive skin.
This is something to keep in mind if your children have sensitive skin! Honestly, the only way to completely remove skin irritation for your baby is with cloth diapers because then you are assured there is no chemical exposure for your baby.
Easier potty training
Cloth diapering parents swear that cloth diapers are the reasoning behind their children potty training earlier than their peers in disposable diapers. Although it’s not completely true (every child is different), cloth diaper benefits include not whisking moisture away from baby’s skin. This gives your baby a different feeling of “wetness” compared to disposables that trap moisture in it’s inner core.
With cloth diapers, the moisture is absorbed in an insert but sill stays against baby’s skin creating more of a wet sensation which can be unpleasant for children who are ready to potty train.
It’s easier than you think
I’ve used both disposables and cloth diapers on both my boys and I can tell you I do prefer to cloth diaper. Once you get over the learning curve of cloth diapering in the beginning, cloth diapers are actually quite easy to work with. Plus, there are different options to customize cloth diapers to fit your style, ease of use, and even absorbency.
No more “cutting back” to be able to afford diapers
It breaks my heart when I hear about parents who are so strapped for cash that they have to choose between household essentials like food and affording disposable diapers for their child. No one should have to make that choice between food and diapers. Diapers are a necessity for babies whether you use cloth or disposable.
One of the cloth diaper benefits is that you don’t have to make that choice ever again (except when you first purchase cloth diapers). The most expensive thing about cloth diapers after the initial cost is having a slight uptick for your water bill from washing cloth diapers.
If you ask me cloth diaper benefits go beyond just saving money. You lessen your environmental impact, your pocketbook, and never have to worry about running out of diapers. It’s a personal choice to cloth diaper your children. Disposable diapers do have an ease of use and the ability to throw it away and forget about it.
I started cloth diapering after my first child turned one and have not looked back since. Now my four year old with autism is still not completely potty trained due to his autism, but I’ve had to switch back to a disposable pull up style diapers because of cloth textured sensory issues and he no longer fits into cloth diapers altogether. However, I have now saved tones of money of the years, by passing this cloth diaper’s down to my second born who’s just turning two and potty training.