In this post, we take a look at 11 of the main benefits of cloth diapers and take a look at some of the main benefits of cloth over disposable diapers and touch on everything from how their to deap with dirty diapers and how they can be used in potty training.
Let’s get started!
Is it better to use cloth or disposable diapers?
The reason that disposable diapers are so popular is due to one thing – ease!
Being a parent is hard, it seems like you spend half your life running around after your little one dealing with everything from spills and tantrums through to diaper rashes and diry laundry.
That’s why the disposable diaper became so popular.
Once baby is ready for a change it’s quick to grab a new one, put it on toss the soiled one in the trash and on you go.
However, there’s a problem.
Every year American households dipose of 27.4 billion diapers which all end up in landfills so along with plastic,this is a reap problem.
What’s most worrying is that disposable diapers don’t take months to decompose, they can take up to 500 years.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of cloth diapers?
In addition to all those diapers ending up in landfill, over 200,000 trees are cut down to provide enough material to make disposable diapers for the American market along.
If you’re serious about doing your bit to save the planed then you’ll want to consider making the diaper switch from disposable to cloth.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits of cloth over disposables.
1. Do you really save money using cloth diapers?
Let’s face it, babies are expensive.
While most disposable diapers are reasonably priced, you do have to spend money every month buying a new pack.
While a cloth diaper will cost a little more than a disposable diaper in the short term, long term they are much cheaper.
Let’s do some maths.
The average child will use 6-8 diapers a day which is between 6,500–10,000 diapers between birth and being fully potty trained (roughly 30 months old).
Based on current retail costs, we estimate that this works out at roughly $80 a month or $2,250 over the 30 month period.
Let’s compare this with the cloth alternative.
Your going to roughly need 20 cloth diapers to keep your little one dry and free of diaper rash so at $15 a diaper with insert that’s going to be $300.
Then that’s it.
So over a 30 month period it’s a saving of $1,950 – a significant saving!
2. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Even the so-called Eco disposable diapers still contain polymer crystals inside the diaper to absorb pee.
While disposables are great, is it really worth putting man made chemicals next to your babies soft skin?
Also, did you know that a cloth diaper:
- Use 60% less waste than disposable diapers do
- Use 20 times less materials during their manufacturing than disposables
- To make enough nappies for the average baby 300 pounds of wood, 20 pounds of chlorine and 50 pounds of petroleum feed stock is used
So, by switching to cloth you’re going to significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Cut Down On Landfill Waste
As we mentioned right at the start of this post, a shocking 24,700,000,000 disposable diapers end up in landfills each year.
That’s honestly a shocking statistic when a diaper can take 500 years to break down.
Made from organic fibres, cloth is quick to break down in comparison and even better can even be recycled once your little one is out of diapers.
4. Less Harmful Chemicals
For me personally this was the factor that contributed most to using cloth diapers with my daughter.
Taks a look at the ingredients that make up a disposable diaper and you’ll find a whole host of chemicals that you wouldn’t want next to your skin let alone your childs.
The vast majority of cloth alternatives are made of natural fibres with virtually zero chemicals used.
5. Easier Potty Training
Graduating from diapers to pants is a huge milestone in your childs development and here too cloth diapers can help your little one progress faster.
See, the problem with disposables is that they keep your little one dry.
Sounds like a strange thing to say, right?
Well the problem with disposables is that they absorb moisture so your little one doens’t know they’re wet.
Cloth doesn’t soak up the pee so your little one knows that they’ve been number 1 won’t want to sit in a soggy diaper and will therefore want to use the potty sooner.
6. Can Reduce Diaper Rash
Before disposable diapers became popular diaper rase was rare.
While in the 1950s only 7% of babies would develop the condition, these days 50% will experience nappy rash.
So why can a reusable diaper help reduce diaper rashes?
- The breathable natural fibres let air circulate and keep skin dryer.
- As cloth isn’t as good at soaking up babies pee you have to change the nappy more frequently.
- Natural fibres are much softer against babys skin so don’t rub as much, even if your little one is a heavy wetter.
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, our guide to the benefits of cloth diapers. Whatever your reason for using cloth diapers hopefully this list has been a useful guide.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.