Considering cloth diapers? There are some things you should know first!
When you say you are considering cloth diapers, most people in our modern world will think you are crazy. There are so many myths that surround cloth diapers these days so we decided it would help you if we brought up a few facts for you to consider as you make your decision on cloth versus disposables.
1. Cost – This was the biggest factor in my decision. The cost difference is pretty incredible. Many people smarter than I am have calculated the cost out and it amazes me. It is certainly dependent on what type of diapers you use, but the average big box of disposables runs you around $0.20 a diaper. This means you will most likely be spending over $550 on diapers in baby’s first year alone. This doesn’t include wipes, rash creams or any other expenses (like purchasing a big box of diapers only for your child to outgrow that size before you finish the box). Cloth diapers on the other hand cost about $550 – for the entire time your child is in diapers. This includes wipes, sprays, detergent and the diapers themselves. The amazing thing is that if you purchase the one size diapers (my personal favorites) you can continue to use them from newborn to toddler. You can even use the same diapers on a second child. The savings really start adding up that way!
2. Convenience – there are convenient aspects to cloth and disposables. The convenient thing about cloth is that you never have to make a late-night run to the grocery store for diapers. You always have them and you are never left wondering if you’ll have it in the budget to buy extra diapers. With those extra conveniences, you are also faced with the inconvenience of needing to wash diapers every other day. If you are a stay at home parent, that is probably do-able but would be a bit more of a challenge for a parent who works outside of the home (and picking up diapers on the way home from work would be more convenient). Modern cloth diapering is a lot easier than we give it credit for being.
3. The Gross Factor – This really comes down to what you prefer. Yes, cloth diapers do put you up close and personal with poo. But so do disposables. The truth is, you are going to become closely acquanited with the bodily functions of another human for the next several years of life. Whatever method you choose, there will be a gross factor. With cloth, it’s nasty because you have to dump two day old diapers in all their smelly glory into the washing machine. Disposables might seem to disappear quicker, but the number of blow outs babies have with disposables definitely brings their gross factor up to equal or even more than cloth diapers in my opinion.
4. How to do it – Pretty much every one knows how to use disposable diapers but there is a bit of a learning curve with cloth. If you are imagining safety pins and strips of fabric, be comforted that cloth diapers have come a long way since pins and glorified burp cloths. They now have snaps and adorable colors! You can see a full Q & A about how to use cloth diapers here.
5. Childcare – If you plan to put your baby in daycare, you might want to check their policies on diapering before you invest in cloth. Some daycares have a no cloth policy, so you want to be sure your daycare of choice will accommodate your diapering choices, or choose to go with disposables instead.
We chose cloth diapers because of price, and ended up preferring them over disposable diapers. In the end you have to make the decision that works best for your family.