BY: Shannon Griffith, owner of Green Diaper Babies, cloth diaper delivery service of Chicagoland.
I’m sure you’ve heard it come up in your group of friends: CLOTH DIAPERS. You know your “hippie” friends who have tried it and loved it; but there are also your friends who are clearly not interested. Perhaps you find yourself deterred from trying cloth diapers or are just on the fence. There are many thoughts as to why one should not cloth diaper: maybe it’s your partner’s lack of interest, or the “ick” factor, or time and energy that you know you don’t have. I’m here today to “bust” a few myths about clothing diapering. I’ll be sharing four of my most favorite myths to help build your confidence in your choice to cloth diaper, or at least give you a few talking points to help you in your world of being a new parent!
“Diapers are so expensive! Cloth diapering especially, $20 for one diaper!”
Yes, it’s true, there are $20 cloth diapers and even cloth diapers that cost more than that; however, they are not a one-time use diaper. The great benefit of cloth diapers, whether the top of the line or more basic diaper, cloth can be worn multiple times! A disposable diaper, which can range from $0.20/diaper to $1.25/diaper, is for one-time use. Regardless of disposable diaper brands, each diaper is only used once and then thrown away. Reuse is a grand benefit of a cloth diaper and therefore saving you money! An average newborn will need around 100 diapers a week. For three years an average child can use 7,500 disposables!1 But in three years, a child can be diapered in 80 or fewer cloth diapers. When thinking about purchasing cloth diapers or utilizing a cloth diaper service, you can be encouraged that there can be budget savings!
Plus a child in cloth diapers potty trains on average 6 months sooner than that of a child in disposables… this clearly is a bonus moms and dads!
“That’s so much work!!”
There’s not enough hours in the day, no more room on your honey-to-do list, and now you have a baby, so the last thing you need is one more thing to do. The secret: cloth diapering doesn’t have to be difficult! If you are choosing to wash your diapers at home, it will add an extra couple hours to your laundry a week, but modern cloth diapering doesn’t require hours of soaking or difficult scrubbing!
Did you know that there are cloth diaper delivery services? These companies do all of the dirty work for you; weekly delivery of clean diapers to your home and picking up your dirties. No more late-night runs to the store because you’ve ran out of disposables; no constant emptying of the plastic, smelly diaper pail full of dirty diapers; no dirty work at all!! The service provides the diapers, cleaning services, and delivery; offering you a convenient and cost-competitive alternative to disposables.
“Gross, no way!”
As a parent there is probably much more now that you deemed gross before you had your little one. There have been many diaper changes and spit up messes, and many in unexpected places and in unexpected ways! The myth of cloth diapering being a more messy diapering system is simply that, a myth. Cloth diapers are made of fibers, not plastics, and therefore have pores to absorb and contain messes much differently than a disposable. Babies that are cloth diapered often experience much fewer blowouts because the pores in the fiber draw the contents to itself instead of pushing it out of the diaper. Cloth diapers are also much better for babies’ bottoms because, again, the contents cling to the fibers of cloth instead of sticking to the pores of baby’s fragile skin. Diaper rash is significantly reduced if not completely eliminated in cloth diapers!
As for the gross factor, cloth diapers smell relatively less than disposables because the fibers are able to hold the moisture differently than the synthetic gelatins and plastics of disposables. Additionally, if laundering at home, there are convenient ways to remove contents from the diaper with little to no mess, no scraping or scrubbing. Even easier and with less mess, a diaper service customer can simply toss their used diaper into their bag without rinsing or cleaning at all and have the bag picked up each week!
“Is it really better for the environment?”
Many are aware of the environmental impact we have as consumers. It’s difficult to see the scope of our impact or know in which ways we can make a difference; but as parents, diapers are certainly a topic to consider for environmental impact. Did you know that disposables are the 3rd leading waste product in landfills today? Disposables were only mainstream into the 1960’s and we are still trying to understand their impact on our world today. It is projected that a third of the materials of a disposable diaper can decompose after 500 years.
A cloth diaper on the other hand is made of cotton instead of plastic, synthetic gels and chemicals, and can be utilized until it is simple threads. For example, a cotton cloth diaper also makes a great cleaning rag, burp cloth, and eventually could be shredded down into pieces for animal bedding. It’s many uses certainly keep it from the landfills longer than a single-use diaper! The below image refers to facts from the Real Diaper Industry Association.3 Utilizing a cloth diaper service is by far the most energy efficient because more diapers are commercially washed with less water than home laundering and in the making and maintaining of disposable diapers. Reduce, reuse, and recycle: cloth diapering is a great way to take part!
- Based on average uses of newborn (100/week), infant, (75/week) and toddler (45/week).
- RDA (www.realdiaperassociation.org)
- RDIA (http://realdiaperindustry.org/…/Docu…/nappy_briefing.pdf)