When we announced to friends and family that we would be cloth diapering, we got a mix of responses. Some were confused (You’re going to wash your baby’s nasty, poopy diapers in your own washing machine? And then re-use them? Gross!), one friend even suggesting that because I was only in my first trimester, I still had time and would change my mind. But most were supportive and curious. In a time of growing awareness of the importance of a “green” lifestyle, Levi and I felt like we had to do our part. But that’s not the only reason for choosing to go cloth.
1) It’s cheap
Using cloth diapers instead of plastic diapers will save you $1.5K-$2.5K, depending on what type of diapers you use, how long you use them, and of course how much you paid for them. It is certainly possible to splurge on cloth, but we went the economical route. We bought half new and half used diaper supplies and spent a total of $121.73 on all the diapers we will need to cloth Isaac for the first 3-4 months of Isaac’s life.
Once he hits size 2, I will simply sell his size 1 prefolds* and buy size 2 diapers. So, provided I am able to sell them for close to what I bought them for (they have excellent re-sale value, so this shouldn’t be a huge problem), I won’t be spending a whole lot more. Let’s be safe and estimate $150 for everything plus the size 1 diapers, then another $50 for size 2/extras/replacements. Let’s also add in another $100 for generic CD laundry detergents plus electricity for the washer and dryer. That’s roughly $300 total. Which means I saved an estimated grand total of….. $1,200-$2,200! Damn. Not bad at all.
Oh. Plus, diaper services. Look them up if that sounds good to you. In Minneapolis, Do Good Diapers is the most well-known company in the Twin Cities for your laundering needs. This could save you money in the long run if you have to pay to use a washer/dryer.
2) It’s eco-friendly
As the The Real Diaper Association states,
“No one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren will be gone.“
Wow. And considering that Pampers diapers were introduced in 1961, the very first disposable diaper ever thrown into the trash is still NOWHERE NEAR decomposing. Yuck. And just how many diapers have been tossed? Oh, somewhere in the thousand billions. Seriously. This is a problem.
You might be thinking, cloth diapers aren’t all THAT much better…what about all the water it takes to wash them? As it turns out, even that argument is squashed when we learned that “The manufacture and use of disposable diapers amount to 2-3 times more water wasted than cloth.” For more facts on just how burdensome plastic diapers are to our planet, check out The Real Diaper Association’s fact sheet.
3) It’s fun
This is probably the most surprising reason why I chose cloth. No joke, throughout my pregnancy I did so much research on diapering and the different types of cloth that it became the number one thing I was looking forward to about being a mom. Of course, now that he’s here and we’ve changed hundreds of diapers, some of the magic has worn off. But think about it! Not only are there many different methods to choose from, there are astronomically more designs! Cloth diaper shopping has become equally as exciting as looking for that new pair of shoes.
Guys, there are so many resources out there (including websites, blogs, retailers, and “swap” sites) supporting the decision to go cloth that you will never feel alone in your journey. There is even a nifty blog out there called Cloth Diaper Addicts. Check them out – the site is full of awesome info.
Leave a comment saying why you do or don’t cloth diaper, and feel free to ask questions! I am one of those cloth diaper addicts, and let me be one of those resources.
- 7 Types of Cloth Diaperers (kindacrunchyblog.com)
- Does cloth diapering really save money? (faithalkire.wordpress.com)