Cloth Diapers. Debunking Misconceptions.
Ok, you have to admit. As a new mom, the first thing that crosses your mind when you hear "reusable diapers" is a mountain of dirty, smelly diapers, leaky kids, safety pins all over the place and cotton squares flooding your trash.
And yes, maybe that's how it used to be a long time ago, but nowadays, the reusable nappies don't even compare to what our moms were using.
Nowadays, more and more mommies decide to choose reusable over disposable when it comes to cloth diapering. They are also a lot more comfortable, cozier, and eco-friendly.
Also, let's talk about the elephant in the room. As a new parent, you will be spending a lot of money on buying as many things for your lovely angel. However, diapers should not be one of the items you overspend on.
On the long-term, you will be saving lots of money by switching to cloth diapers. Another reason parents are opting in for reusable nappies is just because they want to go all natural and avoid exposing their newborn baby to any kind of chemicals.
Now, at some point, maybe it did cross your mind to try cloth instead of disposable but it "seems like too much work", or "you can't deal with scrapping poop into the toilet", or just "It's a lot of money to spend up-front".
The fact is that reusable nappies do require more work than simply tossing the disposable diaper in the trash. And not everybody can do it. But thanks to the progress in modern diaper technology, things are getting easier and easier.
Nowadays there are so many options when it comes to reusable nappies. No matter your baby's body type or activity level, there is a style on the market perfect for your child.
Cloth Diapers Vs Disposable Diapers
There are pros and cons to both of them.
Benefits of cloth diapering (CDing)
- Good for your baby
Many of you already know that disposable diapers contain harmful chemicals. That's the main cause of your baby's diaper rashes. They use Dioxin for bleaching the diapers-which is listed as the most toxic carcinogen. They also contain another chemical Tributyl-tin (TBT) which is known to cause hormonal problems.
Now, would you really, willingly expose your sensitive-already baby to all of this just to save another couple of minutes of comfort?
- Good for the environment
Did you know that 24.700.000.000 diapers end up in landfills each year in the US ONLY? They create about 3.5 million tons of waste and it takes up to 500 years to degrade, creating methane and other toxic gasses in the process. In addition, estimates indicate that up to 200.000 trees are lost each year to make disposable diapers for babies in the US alone.
Cloth diapers are used over and over before heading to the landfill, and they take about 5 months to break down. If they are made of natural fibers, such as wool or cotton, you can even compost them.
- Good for you
They are cheaper!
They do cost a bit more upfront, but in the long term, you will save considerably. Also, since they are washable and reusable, you will never run out of diapers. Forget about those runs to the store in the middle of the night or in bad weather to buy more. You will always have the cloth diapers at your disposal.
Also, diapering a second child will only cost you the laundering.
How cool is that?
- Cloth diapers are more absorbent
Say goodbye to those midnight changing duties. No more waking up during the night, just because your diaper can't handle it. Also, compared to disposable diapers, cloth diapers are a much better choice when it comes to the blowout factor.
- They look way better
Colors, textures, patterns. What can be better? Especially since we're living in a generation that is obsessed with photos. Why not immortalize your baby's best moments as they are wearing something cute?
If you are like me, right now, a part of you is excited to switch to cloth diapers, and another part is worried my home will become a smelly toxic waste dump.
I'll bring you some good news!
There is no longer any need to rinse, soak or flush any diaper. All you have to do is simply shake the solids into the toilet and store the diaper into a plastic-lined container after a change.
Also, there is another biodegradable option called: disposable liners. They come in a toilet paper-like roll and can be placed on the diaper next to your baby's skin, making that chore easier. Pop a liner in the baby's diaper, then just gather up any solid mess and flush it before placing the diaper in the laundry. Easy-peasy!
Whenever the container is full of diapers, tip into your washer, washing no more than 12-18 diapers at a time. Use your washer's highest water level and pre-rinse with cold water and no detergent. Use a regular warm water cycle and you can either dry them in the dryer, hang dry or make a combination of both.
Things to avoid
- Avoid using chlorine on a regular basis. It will break down fiber and noticeably reduce the life of your diapers. It may also irritate your baby's sensitive skin
- No fabric softeners, which coat fabric and reduce the absorbancy. This includes "baby detergents"
Tips for lengthening the life of your diapers
- Do not dry on your dryer's hottest setting to keep diapers soft
- Hang dry overnight
- Use 1/2 cup lemon juice to whiten
- Sun them. It will help freshen and remove stains.
How many diapers will I need?
Our recommendation is to start with at least a dozen cloth diapers. Doing a lot of laundry with fewer than that can be wasteful in terms of water, detergent, and energy.
About 20 is the ideal number, but it really depends on how often you will be doing laundry.
Newborns, on average, use 10-12 diapers per day, infants use 8-10, and older babies and toddlers use 6-8 diapers each day.
Here is a little secret:
You don't need to be hardcore from the beginning: all-or-nothing cloth diaper user. Some parents use disposable for the first months and then switch to cloth Others use cloth all the time except for when they're traveling.
Now, I have talked to many parents who have been cloth diapering and the most common thing I hear is “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be”, and that is the TRUTH.