Cloth Diapering Part I: Why We Cloth Diaper

This week, we’re doing a five part series on cloth diapering! Today we’re talking about why we cloth diaper. The rest of the week, we will discuss:

-Our Favorite Cloth Diapers & How to Use Them
-How We Store & Wash Our Diapers
-How to Fix Stinky, Stained, & Leaky Diapers
-How to Save Even More Money Cloth Diapering

So check back the rest of the week and let me know if you have any questions that you need answered!

Why cloth?

Why cloth?

WE USE CLOTH DIAPERS BECAUSE THEY’RE:
a.) affordable
b.) good for the environment
c.) good for the baby
d.) super cute
e.) convenient

Everything we buy is second hand. Our cloth diaper stash was no different. If you buy diapers brand new, you'll probably spend at least $500 on materials up front, and it will take at least a year to start saving money.

Everything we buy for Rue is second hand. Toys, clothes, shoes, books, etc. Babies grow out of everything too fast to pay full price, and it’s way more eco-friendly this way. Our cloth diaper stash was no different. You can find excellent quality used diapers online, some of them never used but at resale price! If you buy diapers brand new, you’ll probably spend at least $500 on materials up front, and it will take at least a year to start saving money.

CLOTH DIAPERING IS AFFORDABLE
We spent $150 on our stash. We bought them from a woman who used a few of them once until she decided it wasn’t for her. We got 25 prefolds, 10 covers, 21 pocket diapers, 7 all in two diapers, and 2 all in ones. And a sprayer for the toilet.

So that’s 55 diapers for $150. That’s $2.72 per diaper. We got a really good deal because the woman we bought from was just itching to get rid of her stash. Just as a reference point, I would never pay more than $5 for a used cloth diaper. $10 if it were brand new and I really, really, really liked the diaper.

If we were using disposable diapers, we would have spent at least $500 just on diapers in the past 8 months. More if we were to use Honest Diapers. So we’ve already saved a big chunk of money.

We spend about $10 a month on water, electricity, and detergent. We would spend that much driving to the store or paying for shipping for online orders, so that equals out.

We also save money because we never have left over diapers that go to waste because the baby has outgrown them. Furthermore, we never spend money on bloomers for under her dresses or swim diapers because an adorable cloth diaper works just the same.

The only other thing we may have to spend money on in the future is having the elastic or velcro replaced on some of her diapers if need be. Since we air dry everything, I really don’t see this happening.

Rue at 6 weeks rocking a prefold & cover.

Rue at 6 weeks rocking a prefold & cover under her sun dress.

CLOTH DIAPERING IS GOOD FOR THE EARTH
We’ve saved over 1,000 diapers from ending up in a landfill. Diapers are not biodegradable and take hundreds of years to decompose. Plus, the improper disposal of human waste can contaminate ground water. It’s true that cloth diapering uses electricity and produces lots of water waste, but there are ways to cut down on your use of water and electricity.

For example, we don’t own a dryer. So we save a lot of energy (and money) by hang drying everything. Up until this month when Rue started eating more solids (and having more solid bowel movements), I used to wash everything just once without any extra rinse cycles. Breast milk is mostly water, so her breast milk poopy diapers always came perfectly clean for me without any extra rinsing.

In an article written by Linda Sharps about the eco-payoff of cloth diapering, she says, “There’s no doubt that disposable diapers create a LOT of waste. Around 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used each year in the United States, resulting in a possible 3.4 million tons of used diapers added to landfills each year. One study estimates that the $7 billion dollar disposable diaper industry uses over 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks, and 20 pounds of chlorine for each baby per year.”

For each baby. Per year.

Eek.

I’m sure there is similar waste associated with the production of cloth diapers, but we bought ours second hand so we’re personally not contributing to that.

At the end of the day, I just feel better using cloth because I know in some small way, I’m doing my part to protect the earth. There’s also something very romantic about hanging diapers out to dry in the sun and letting the earth do the work of machines. There’s something meaningful about reusing things. What value does something have if it can be disposed of immediately after one use? Not that something that catches and holds poop has to have value, but it feels nice knowing that the one thing my child has on her body nearly every moment of her life is handled with care.

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No diaper rash here!

CLOTH DIAPERING IS GOOD FOR THE BABY
Cloth diapers are made of all natural, organic materials so I feel very safe using them on Rue and I don’t have to deal with diaper rash because her lady bits aren’t exposed to any harsh chemicals. It must feel nice to have a comfy cotton diaper on your bottom! Furthermore, babies who use cloth diapers typically potty train faster because they can tell when they are wet, so that’s good for baby & everyone else involved!

Look at my little fluffy butt just a couple months old visiting her Grandpa!

Look at my little fluffy butt just a couple months old visiting her Grandpa!

CLOTH DIAPERS ARE DOGGONE ADORABLE!
They’re so adorable that she looks cute in nothing but a diaper. They’re so cute that I don’t need bloomers for under her dresses. They’re so cute she goes swimming in nothing but a diaper. They’re so cute, I’m happy changing her diapers. They’re so cute, I’m even happy washing and stuffing her diapers.

See?

I don't know what's cuter...the thigh rolls or the diaper!

I don’t know what’s cuter…the thigh rolls or the diaper!

CLOTH DIAPERS ARE CONVENIENT
I never run out of diapers. Therefore, I never have to go out and buy them at the store or order them online and pay for over night shipping.

Some people might say having to do extra laundry is inconvenient. I work from home. I have one kid. Some days I don’t leave the house, so I wear pajamas all day. I don’t do that much more laundry.

The first two months of Rue’s life, we hand washed her cloth diapers in the bath tub because she was going through ten diapers a day and we weren’t going to go to the laundromat with a newborn every other day. Until we moved to Nashville, we didn’t have a washer & dryer in our building. Talk about inconvenient!

Cloth diapering with my own washing machine is convenient. For me.

NOTE: I’ve never had an issue using cloth diapers when I’m out and about in Nashville, but I did buy disposables for my trip back home to Chicago for Christmas. I would have had to bring a decent stash with me and I was traveling alone and just didn’t have the luggage space for it. So in terms of flying with diapers, disposables are more convenient, for sure. We will take cloth with us when we go back home for her first birthday because we will drive and we’ll be staying at my sister’s house so we can wash a load every night.

🙂

Interested in cloth diapering your baby but want to know more? Check back the rest of the week to see what else we discuss! Have a great night!!

<3,

Laura

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2 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering Part I: Why We Cloth Diaper

  1. I really like your article and I’m very interested in using the cloth diapers although I don’t know of its too late to start him on it cuz he’s already 9 months but we are planning on having another one. I just don’t understand at all how to use these : putting them together, putting them on, cleaning out the poop. I don’t know anyone who uses these. I would love to do this but I need more instructions on how these cloth diapers work. I love to give my baby the best, I still nurse him and make him homemade baby food, and cloth diapers would be awesome.

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