At one time, cloth diapers were the only option parents had to work with. So, when disposable diapers hit the shelves, moms flocked to them due to the sheer convenience of being able to just change and throw them away. Now however, cloth diapers have started to make a comeback and they’re better than they ever were before.
If you’re trying to decide whether or not cloth diapers are right for your family, here you’ll discover the pros and cons of using them.
Why Some Moms Swear By Cloth Diapers – The Pros
To start off, let’s look at why cloth diapers have made a comeback. The main benefits of using these traditional diapers include:
- They’re cost effective
- They are great for the environment
- They’re better for baby’s soft, sensitive skin
When you look at the first two benefits listed, it’s easy to see why cloth diapers are gaining in popularity. Money and the environment are two of the most important things people care about these days. So, having a diaper that fits both needs is a fantastic incentive.
Now, you may argue that cloth diapers aren’t cheaper than disposable diapers and initially that is true. The initial cost of buying cloth compared to disposable diapers is much higher. However, it is the long-term costs where you’re making savings.
Did you know that the average cost of using disposable diapers until your little one is potty trained, is $1500 to $2000? When you compare this to the cost of cloth diapers, which according to the Real Diaper Association, can cost as little as $375, you soon realize cloth is the much cheaper option!
In terms of the environment, as cloth diapers don’t have to be thrown away, they rarely find themselves in landfill. It’s said that over 90% of disposable diapers end up in landfill sites. However, that isn’t to say that cloth diaper don’t have any impact on the environment – they do. They need to be washed frequently, which means you’re using additional water and energy which can lead to air pollution. When you compare the environmental impact of the two however, cloth diapers logically appear to be the better option.
Finally, cloth diapers have been known to be gentler on baby’s skin. Some babies can develop an allergic reaction to the chemicals found in disposable diapers. If you do a little research, you’ll discover many parents praise cloth diapers for clearing up their little one’s skin and fewer diaper rashes are reported.
Things To Be Aware Of – The Cons
As you can see, the advantages of cloth diapers are pretty compelling. But what about the cons? The main disadvantages to be aware of include:
- You’ll end up carrying dirty diapers around with you
- They’re less absorbent than disposables
- They cost more initially
Changing any type of diaper is unpleasant, but when you’re out and about, the experience is made worse by the fact you can’t just throw the dirty cloth diaper away. Instead, you’re going to need to carry it around with you until you get home. If you’re lucky, there will be wash room facilities available to wash them there and then. However, if you’re travelling you may not have this luxury so will instead end up carrying it in your diaper bag, conscious of the potential smell that may be trailing behind you wherever you go.
They’re also much less absorbent than disposable diapers, which means they’re going to need to be changed more frequently. If they aren’t, it could lead to an increased risk of diaper rash. Another problem with this is that they’re more prone to leak, so you could end up having to clean much more than you bargained for if they aren’t changed quickly enough.
Finally, the cost to buy cloth diapers initially is more expensive than buying disposables. As mentioned earlier, you will be saving in the long term, but some parents may not have the initial money to spend on cloth diapers. It’s recommended you shop around and look online for great deals if you are on a tight budget.
Should I Use A Cloth Diaper Service?
Long gone are the days when you had to manually wash cloth diapers. The introduction of cloth diaper services has proved revolutionary for squeamish parents who can’t stomach the idea of washing the diaper themselves. However, it can total around $20 per week so it’s not going to suit all parent’s budgets.
If you can afford it, you’ll find local diaper services now tend to use biodegradable detergents to protect the environment and protect baby’s skin. They take care of the mess for you and can even supply you with new cloth diapers if required.
Again, if money saving is top of your priority list, a diaper service isn’t for you. The annual cost of using this type of service equals the amount you would spend on disposable diapers.
Overall, it’s not hard to see why many parents are converting back to cloth diapers these days. There are so many different varieties available now and they’re even sold in multiple designs. Before deciding whether or not to start using cloth diapers, it’s important to take both the pros and cons into consideration.