eK-3zmjBImBHOZjRJYEZVBw4ZWs Shaky Mommy: Why We Use Cloth Diapers

Monday, November 7, 2011

Why We Use Cloth Diapers

I have been asked several times lately about Jaxon's cloth diapers. Most people think they are neat, but the question I get most often is "Why?" People recognize that the diapers are cute, but most want to know if there is some sort of benefit to using cloth diapers. Are they cheaper? Healthier? Why did you pick them? 

Before I was ever pregnant with Jaxon, Jason and I had become increasingly aware of all the chemicals around us and had been slowly eliminating them from our lives. So as soon as we began talking about having a baby, we also discussed things like making our own baby food or buying organic baby food and using chlorine free diapers. 

Up until a couple of years ago, I had never really stopped to think about how disposable diapers were made, but a little research showed many chemicals were being used in the processing of disposable diapers. We were also on a quest to be a little more green, so using a diaper that was processed in a more eco-friendly way seemed like the responsible thing to do.   

Then one day a friend on Facebook posted a picture of her baby wearing cloth. Not just a cloth diaper, but a "modern cloth diaper", as I later found out it was called. I had never seen a cloth diaper like that before...and it was so cute! I didn't feel like we were close enough for me to bombard her with questions about cloth diapering - she's technically my little sister's friend, lol. But I checked out all her adorable pictures of her daughter in cloth, and then checked out her blog where she had some cloth diaper reviews and information. I mentioned the concept to Jason and showed him a picture and he was all for using them. 
Our first cloth diaper purchase
One great thing about this modern cloth is that it looked so much easier to use than what I had known of cloth. My mom cloth diapered me and most of my siblings (there are 11 of us). The cloth diapers I was familiar with involved pins and Gerber prefolds and "rubber pants", as we called them. I hated cloth diapering when I was younger. We had to layer 2-3 prefolds to get enough absorbency, which made pinning very difficult through those multiple layers of fabric. I remember sticking my fingers with pins so many times. 

With my shaky hands, diapering with pins was not even an option! I was happy to see that these diapers had Velcro and snaps, both of which looked like something I could easily handle. When I found out these diapers came in a rainbow of colors and with options like organic cotton, I was excited. 

While the up front cost of cloth is definitely higher than that of disposables, the long term expenditures work out in favor of cloth diapers. 

There are natural resources (water, trees, energy) used in both production of cloth and disposable diapers. However, disposable diapers, like any other consumable product, need to continually be manufactured. While cloth needs to be laundered, which uses water and energy, the amount of water and energy used is not as much as would be used to produce additional disposable diapers for use. 

Disposables end up in landfills and take years to decompose. Cloth can be reused again and again, and when you're done, you can sell your diapers to someone else or use (parts of them, at least) as rags to clean your house. 

Cloth diapers are also fun to play with!
For us, the cost was not much of a factor, since we had already planned to use the more expensive chlorine-free diapers (I'll examine how the cost has worked out for us in a future post). When it comes down to it, we went with cloth for the health benefits for Jaxon, with a secondary reason being the green factor. The fact that cloth diapers are adorable was also a huge plus for me and made me more than willing to deal with the extra laundry of cloth (more on that in a later post). 
Cute little fluffy butt!
Do you use cloth diapers? If so, what made you choose to use cloth? If not, is there anything about cloth diapers that appeals to you?

For more information on cloth versus disposable, visit Healty Child, Healthy World, where they have some great information on the health and environmental impact of both cloth and disposable diapers.


  1. Everything about cloth diapers appeals to me... except... the obvious. lol Extra laundry, dealing with poop... I guess I'm lazy. I did seriously consider doing it with Isaac before he was born but after he was born I wondered how or why I would want to do that. I think people who DO cloth diaper are awesome, though! I really wish I had just jumped into it but I was too unsure about my ability to do it. Oh well!

  2. You could totally do this, I promise! And you are sooo not lazy. The extra laundry is just one load every other day, so it's not bad at all. Of course, I like laundry....

    The poop IS gross sometimes, but until the baby start solids, you can just throw it all in the washer, which was awesome! Of course, I know Isaac is on solids so that doesn't help you now! Though, in our case, solids has actually firmed the poop up so it's pretty easy to just dump it in the toilet now. Aren't you glad I just told you that? I'm sure I just made your day! It's still hilarious to me how moms talk poop with other moms without thinking twice about it.