Choosing to cloth diaper ignites quite a variety of reactions. (Yes, "ignites." For some reason, people generally feel passionately one way or the other on this issue.) Some get excited about it and want to know more, while others are rather disgusted by it and want to know just enough to test my sanity.
This list is for both groups of people. And, well, really it's just for myself, because if you love something enough, it's worth listing the reasons you love it.
This list works up to my biggest reasons for loving cloth.
Pros of Cloth Diapering
or, 10 reasons why i "heart" cloth
1. Cloth diapers are cute.This wasn't a deciding factor for me, but once you start looking through all the cover options, it's easy to get hooked. And, no, they don't just come in traditionally "green friendly" themes.
2. Cloth diapers build community.I understood this more fully when I attended The Great Cloth Diaper Change event in April and was in a room full of people that currently use cloth diapers on their babies. Being a good mom requires a community of help and encouragement, and I've seen this directly with cloth diapering.
3. Cloth diapers make a statement.Assumptions are made all the time about what people see me do as a parent. I don't condone this, but I welcome an opportunity to send a positive message by my parenting choices. It opens an opportunity to talk about important things with strangers when they ask about them (because they have) and with my children when they ask why we used cloth diapers.
4. Cloth diapers meet personalized needs.We chose the system that works for us (prefolds and covers) based on our budget, lifestyle and preferences. All-in-ones vs. pockets, prefolds vs. flats, velcro vs. snaps, hemp vs. microfiber, one-size vs. sized, wool vs. PUL... Seriously, whether the concerns are price or fit or simplicity or materials, there is an option to suit everyone.
5. Cloth diapers put poop in the toilet where it belongs.Initially, this wasn't a big deal to me, mostly because I never really thought about it. "What to do with the poop" is a pretty big part of cloth diapering so I couldn't ignore it anymore. Even if landfills are equipped to handle poop, encasing it in a disposable diaper just ensures it will be around for many years to come, and I find that more disgusting than flushing poop from a diaper into the toilet.
6. Cloth diapers contain messes.It's called leg gussets and elastic, my fiend. Cloth diaper covers have it, disposables do not. Funny, because initially I was hesitant on cloth because I worried about leaking. We didn't have blow-out issues with our oldest who drank formula. But when we temporarily put our youngest (who was exclusively breastfed) back in disposables, they were not doing their job and each dirty diaper required a full change of clothes and even a quick rinse in the tub. Now what part of that process is better than throwing a diaper in the wash?
7. Cloth diapers are better for baby's skin.For starters, they require a better quality of diaper rash cream to prevent build-up and repelling issues on the cloth which happens to be better for baby's skin. However, despite the belief that moisture equals rash, we've seen far worse diaper rashes in disposables than cloth. Wash the diapers properly and there's basically no issue. They also are made from more natural materials (i.e., cotton) and there are options for "greener" versions like unbleached prefolds or wool covers.
8. Cloth diapers are affordable.This was actually my main man's #1 reason for agreeing to cloth. For enough diapers to cover newborn to potty-trained, we will spend a fraction of the cost by using cloth. Then, we can reuse them (baby #3?), pass them on to save someone else money, or sell them to regain some of our costs. Of course, cost largely depends on the products you choose and we kept our costs low by using prefolds and adjustable-size covers.
9. Cloth diapers support a simple and intentional lifestyle.Living with passion, doing good things, holding myself accountable--these are some of the aspects of simple and intentional living that I use to make decisions, and how to raise my children is no exception.
10. Cloth diapers reduce waste going into landfills.It bothered me thinking about how much waste we personally added to landfills just by diapering one baby in disposables. I felt discouraged thinking about how that's compounded by millions of babies in disposables, multiple generations using them, and the unknown number of years those billions of diapers will take to finally disappear. Maybe keeping thousands of diapers out of the landfill won't change the world, but each footprint lightened definitely makes some difference.
Why are you interested in cloth diapers?
new? start here...
why i love cotton prefolds
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