Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why I Use Cloth Diapers

Choosing to cloth diaper my baby was an easy decision for me. First of all, it wasn't new to me. My mom cloth diapered a couple of my younger siblings and I have memories of dunking soiled diapers in a bucket. I didn't really give cloth diapering my own child a thought until I ran across a cloth diapering forum online when I was pregnant with Peanut. The pictures of "today's" cloth diapers looked so different! There was a huge variety and some of them just looked like a fancy bloomers. I began my research and quickly decided that this was the way to go.
Parents choose to use cloth for a number of reasons. For many people, it's all about the environmental benefits. That wasn't a factor for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about doing what's best for the planet, but it had very little bearing on my decision. There are two specific reasons that I choose to use cloth:
  1. To Save Money. No matter which way you slice it, using cloth is cheaper than using disposables. The biggest downside to this is that the initial investment is a little painful to your purse, but you could easily diaper your child through the age of two for less than $500. To save even more money, I wait until I have a full load until I wash (usually every two days) and hang my diapers to dry whenever possible.
  2. It's Better for My Baby. This was the main reason I chose cloth over plastic. I'm in the middle of some interesting research on this topic, but here is the synopsis: Disposable diapers contain numerous dangerous chemicals. First, they contain a toxin called Dioxin, which the EPA has labeled the most toxic of all the cancer-linked chemicals. Secondly, they contain a chemical called Tribuyl-tin that can be absorbed through the skin and has been linked to hormonal problems in humans and animals. Lastly, they contain a substance called sodium polyacrylate. It's the chemical that is added to the diapers inner layer to make them absorbant. Ever notice little crystal-like beads sticking to your baby's bottom? That's sodium polyacrylate. It's now illegal for use in tampons because it can cause toxic shock syndrome, a deadly condition - but for some reason, it's still legal to use in diapers.

After doing my initial research when I was pregnant with Peanut, choosing cloth over the nasty mess I've mentioned above seemed like a no-brainer.

So there you have it. I'll admit that there have been times when I've had to remind myself why I'm using cloth, but for the most part it's been a whole lot easier than I expected. If you are just starting out - give yourself about a 3 month learning curve. It takes awhile to figure out which diapers work best for your baby and your particular lifestyle.

I have many more posts planned on this topic, including some product reviews and how-to segments, so stay tuned!


  1. I'm so surprised at how easy cloth is, I love it!

  2. Hey Molly, thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, I love that!! Yes, we love cloth diapers also.. they are THE BEST!!!

  3. I completely agree with the 3 month learning curve. We're at about that 3 month mark now and I've learned what I like best and have my routine down pat.

  4. Love all the info given on what sposies contain. Yuck!!