|18 billion diapers a year |
are added to our landfills.
Disposable diapers have elastic material which also make them fit better around a baby's legs. The more expensive diapers can hold more urine, all while feeling more dry against a baby's skin. Additionally, you don't have to directly deal with poop or pee... or that's what most people think.
You're technically supposed to scrape all solid poop into the toilet, even for disposables. It is illegal to dump human waste into the garbage, but most people do anyway. Which is kind of gross, if you think about it. It gets into our ground and our drinking water. Poop that is scraped down the toilet is properly treated in wastewater facilities.
Cloth diapers can cost quite a bit of money upfront. The fancy diapers - Good Mama diapers - can go for as much as $100 per diaper! That is ridiculous and to me, defeats the purpose of cloth diapers - reusable resources that will benefit our world.
Did you know you can start cloth diapering for cheap, or even free? You can create a diaper out of old t-shirts. Personally, my husband has a million old t-shirts - I keep planning on terrible laundry accidents to get rid of them. Most of them he received for free from school, band, and church. So, there are some free diapers right there.
Cloth diapers themselves are actually pretty cheap. Those Gerber ones you can pick up at Target are pretty cheap - ten dollars a pack - but I will say, from personal experience, that they're not that great. But after washing them repeatedly with my awesome laundry skills, they've finally started to become more absorbent. Not as good as my beloved OsoCozies, but they're certainly working well - we haven't had any leaks in about two weeks.
But guess what? Most of the money issues with cloth diaper costs isn't with the diapers themselves - it's with the cloth diaper covers. But you can make cloth diaper covers yourself with an old wool sweater (well, YOU can... I couldn't sew myself to the floor) or with a receiving blanket - no sewing required.
More and more daycares are accepting cloth diapers. But, many still won't. Disposables exist for that reason. Even using cloth diapers only at home can greatly reduce your costs and waste.
Disposable diapers - especially cheap, off-brand ones - can (not always!) really hurt a baby's sensitive skin. I'm not a germaphobe or even an all-organic, all-natural hippie by any means - but direct chemicals on my baby's skin? I'm not a fan. When we use disposables with Donovan, we only use Pampers' Sensitive Swaddlers. Other brands have given him a terrible rash.
When we were dealing with milk-soy protein intolerance, his rash was horrific. When, again, he had a bladder infection after being diagnosed with urinary reflux and had to take large doses of amoxycillin which gave him diarrhea - his rash was nearly out of control. Since we switched to cloth diapers, he hasn't had a rash, at all, period.
There have even been reports of diaper chemical burns. If you're brave, google "diaper chemical burns." But honestly, I think these are a little over-reported. I'm not sure what happened to the babies in the pictures, but Donovan has only gotten grade 1 rashes from even the cheapest diapers we've used, even with his sensitive skin.
Cloth diapers: cheaper, better for the environment, cuter, cleaner, better for skin.
Disposable diapers: more convenient, easier on other caretakers.
I encourage every pregnant woman or mom of an un-potty-trained baby to order a couple of cloth diapers to try out. If it doesn't work out, eh, it doesn't work out. You can always use the cloth diapers as burp cloths, and sell back your covers online.
Oh, that's right, I forgot to mention: cloth diapers have a very good sell-back rate online! You can sell them for almost half of what you paid for them. I think that's quite a deal!