By Abbie Wrights
“You won’t really save that much money.”
“You mean you have to touch POOP!?”
Those were just a few of the not-so-positive reactions I received when I told people I was planning on using cloth diapers. It was a decision that my husband and I made very early on in my pregnancy. We knew we would be on a tight budget and the cost savings appealed to us. Plus, I have several mommy friends who use them so I at least knew the basics. But, to be honest, I think a lot of people are intimidated or turned off by the idea of cloth diapers simply because they don’t know much about them. But, thankfully, gone are the days of diaper pins and plastic pants! Modern cloth diapers are actually very user friendly. So, if you are a mom who enjoys saving a buck or two like me, they are definitely something to explore! (TMoM is holding a special cloth diapering event in Greensboro on May 7. Scroll to the bottom of this post for details!)
Let me tell you a little bit more about cloth diapers…
Let’s start with the pros of cloth diapering:
~ Cloth diapers will save money! According to Consumer Report, the average family will spend $1500-$2000 on disposable diapers before their baby is potty trained. Depending on the type and number of cloth diapers you buy, you can expect to invest a few hundred dollars up front. We invested in mostly “one size” diapers so the same diapers we started our son in at 3 weeks old will fit him until he’s potty trained! There is, of course, the ongoing expense of laundry detergent, water, and electricity to wash them but we have found it to be pretty minimal.
~ Cloth diapers cut down on landfill waste! I’ll be honest, I am not as environmentally conscious as I should be, but even I don’t like the idea of my child adding 1-2 tons of landfill waste over his lifetime. Do you know that a disposable diaper can take 500 years to decompose? I’ll leave it at that.
~ You will never run out of diapers! As a busy mom, the last thing I want to think about is “how many diapers do I have left?” I love that I never have to think about purchasing them and I always have diapers on hand!
~ They are super cute! This is important, right??
Ok, so what about the cons?
~ Cloth diapers do add extra laundry. I personally have enough diapers to get me through 3 days and then I wash on the 4th day. I knew going into cloth diapering that I would be adding a few extra loads of laundry a week. So, yes, it is a bit of a commitment but I really don’t mind.
~ Nightime can be tricky. Cloth diapers will feel wetter on a child, potentially waking them up. We haven’t had any trouble with naps but now that our son is sleeping 12 hours a night, we do not want to do anything to jeopardize that! So, we do use disposables at night although there are some good cloth options and plenty of moms have found tricks that work for them.
~ Cloth diapers can be bulky. Expect your child to wear one size larger in pants while in cloth diapers. That’s why we call them “fluffy butts”!
~ Cloth diapers can be messy! You are dealing with poop after all. If you have a weak stomach this might be a deal breaker for you. But you can buy disposable liners or a diaper sprayer (basically like the sprayer in your kitchen sink but instead it attaches to your toilet) to make the job easier and a bit more bearable!
Cloth diapering has definitely been the right choice for my family but I will be the first to admit it is not a good fit for everyone. However if you think that the pros might outweigh the cons for you, like they do for us, I encourage you to at least consider cloth diapering. There are a ton of great resources out there that I have found to be helpful. In the end, whether you decide disposables or cloth are right for your baby, just make sure your decision is an informed one!
Are you a cloth diaper user, or no? Let us know your reasons by leaving a comment below!
Want to learn more about cloth diapering? Join TMoM at All About Baby Boutique and Education Center (410 Blandwood Ave, Greensboro, 27401) on Wednesday, May 7 any time between 10 am to Noon for a special drop-in event featuring cloth diapers. Please RSVP to Katie@TriadMomsOnMain.com so we can plan accordingly. All About Baby will be offering attendees free cloth diapering demonstrations PLUS a 20% discount card to be used in the store that day. The Randleman Road McDonald’s restaurant will also be offering free refreshments. And if you’re currently a cloth diaper user, please consider stopping by with a cloth diaper donation for our friends at Piedmont Diaper Bank. They recently started collecting cloth diapers and could use your help! See you then!