As you know, we aim to live a natural, organic, and sustainable lifestyle. Any step we can take to help the environment and improve our family’s health we believe to be a smart, beneficial decision. We are always learning more and (ever) transitioning elements in our life to match that lifestyle choice to a fuller degree.
So I wanted to share our journey with cloth diapering because I think a lot of people a) consider themselves “afraid” or “too lazy” to do it (as some people have admitted to me before) and b) don’t fully recognize the effect of disposable diapers. I want to share our experience in hopes that others can change their mindsets, because really, cloth diapering is easy.
The decision to cloth diaper our babies was a no-brainer. We have been using cloth diapers for three years and I have never regretted it once.
Two of the most important reasons we chose cloth over disposables are:
- It saves money. Besides the initial investment for diapers and accessories (cloth wipes, wetbag, pail liner, and covers), it costs virtually nothing to diaper with cloth. Whereas with disposables, you can spend upwards of $2500 in just two years on one child.
- Environmentally friendly. Disposable diapers are not biodegradable which means lots of waste in landfills for YEARS. Furthermore, it takes an enormous amount of water (and trees) to create disposables, more than it does to wash cloth diapers in a washing machine. Disposables are made of plastic and bleached paper and contain harmful chemicals which can cause toxic health effects. Cloth diapers can be made from organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo which are much more sustainable and less harmful on baby’s skin. And did you know that solid human waste is illegal in landfills? Well, it is. So even if you’re using disposables, you should be throwing solid waste into the toilet every time.
For the first few months of our daughters’ lives we used a local cloth diaper service. It was a great resource, especially as new parents during the newborn stage. We paid weekly for diapers and rented covers to be delivered to our door and they took the dirty ones away. I highly encourage finding a service like this near you if you are interested in using cloth diapers but perhaps don’t want to handle the task yourself. Ultimately, we chose to handle the task ourselves. Although we do have to pay to launder our diapers, it saved us money to forego the service and instead launder them in our apartment building.
What our stash looks like:
- 30 medium Imagine diapers (+25 small for Harriet)
- 8 Sweet Pea Cloth Diaper covers
- 20 organic cloth wipes
- 1 Smart Bottoms pail liner
- 1 Smart Bottoms wetbag
We have been quite happy with using cloth diapers. Sure, there are times where it’s less than ideal to use them (like traveling) or we can get annoyed with having to clean poo off of them… but overall, we are satisfied with how well they work, how much money we save by not buying disposables, and knowing that we aren’t contributing to the amount of waste in landfills.
*Note: We have purchased and used disposable diapers in the past. I cannot say that we’ve never used them before because sometimes they are convenient, though we do not make a habit of having them on hand. If we purchase disposables, we prefer to use brands like Honest or Babyganics which are more conscious of what and how their diapers are made.
Another great option (which my brother in law uses) is biodegradeable diapers and wipes. You can find a few different brands on Amazon.
- Why Cloth?
- Disposables vs. Cloth Diapers
- Disposables Add Millions to Landfills
- Cloth Diapers and Water
If you use cloth diapers, how did you come to that decision? What are some of your favorite cloth diaper brands?
If you use disposables, how do you feel about using cloth diapers? Does the task seem too daunting to you? Are you willing to consider making a change to help the environment, your baby’s health, and save yourself some money?
Feel free to ask any questions about the process of cloth diapering (purchasing, washing them, nighttime diapering, etc.) or anything else you would like to know!