Cloth diapers are getting a lot of attention lately, but do they really have that many benefits over disposables? The short answer is—yes, they do!
Cloth diapers, also known as reusable diapers or reusable nappies, are often made from natural materials such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp. That means they’re much better for the environment and baby's skin than disposable diapers. And did we mention how much money you'll save by switching to cloth diapers?
There are many cloth diaper benefits, but we’re here to tell you the ones that matter most.
In this article, we'll share all the reasons why you should use cloth diapers and some tips for getting started.
Benefits of Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are growing in popularity these days; but there's still sometimes a stigma attached to them. Cloth diapers are often considered "old-fashioned" compared to "better" disposable diapers. They're also seen as more expensive and a lot more work.
However, there are many benefits to choosing cloth diapers over disposables. So if you're considering switching from disposable to cloth, here is a list of some of those benefits:
In addition, allergies and skin irritations can be common in babies, and some of these reactions can be linked back to the materials used in disposable diapers. Cloth diapers, being made from natural materials, considerably reduce this risk. Besides being gentler on the skin, they also allow for better air circulation, reducing the chance of a rash developing. If you're worried about your child's sensitive skin, cloth diapers might just be the solution.
1. Cloth Diapers are More Cost-Effective: A Primary Benefit of Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are a great choice for parents looking to save money, making cost savings a big benefit of cloth diapers.
While disposable diapers may seem cheaper at first glance, cloth diapering actually saves families money in the long run.
In fact, if you wanted to, you could build an entire stash, fromnewborn cloth diapers to potty training, for around $100-$200.
Now, compare this to the disposable cost of $60-80 a month. Some basic math will show you that if you have a child in diapers for 2.5 years or 30 months, you can expect to save somewhere around $1500.
As with anything, you will undoubtedly spend more if you want the cutest prints,all-in-one diapers, or a HUGE stash, but realistically and practically speaking? With $100-$200, you can be prepared and secure.
Not only is there the initial cost savings with one child, but consider if you end up having multiple children—that same stash can be used time and time again, multiplying the cost savings with each use.
Cloth diapers are also great for your child's comfort and health. Disposable diapers often contain a gel-like substance for absorption, but when it comes into contact with your baby's sensitive skin, it can cause irritation and rashes. On the other hand, cloth diapers, being made of natural fabrics, offer a much softer and gentler alternative. This can be particularly beneficial for babies with sensitive skin, prone to rashes, or allergic reactions.
So the initial cost of cloth diapers may seem daunting. But once you start using them, you'll realize how easy they are and how much money they end up saving you!
Related Source: How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?
2. Cloth Diapers are Better for the Planet: A Vital Cloth Diapers
Did you know that the average baby uses around 6,000 disposable diapers before potty training? And that's only one baby! Multiply that by the number of babies born every day, and you'll see how quickly those diapers add up. That's why using cloth diapers is such a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Each year, the United States estimates that over 27.4 billion disposable diapers are used. These diapers end up in landfills and account for around 3.4 million tons of trash—that's staggering!
Furthermore, the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of disposables to the end consumer significantly impacts the environment. That's why they're thethird biggest contributors to landfills.
But it doesn't have to be that way! Using cloth diapers is an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment while still keeping your baby clean and dry.
If you're interested in further reducing your footprint, you can look into secondhand diapers manufactured using sustainable resources, such as hemp and bamboo. Just be sure not to use them with an electric dryer—hang them out instead!
Related Source: How Many Years Does It Take A Diaper To Decompose?
3. Cloth Diapers Support Small Businesses: A Community-Centric
A lot of people think that cloth diapers are only a way to save money and the environment—and they are—but they're also a way to support small businesses.
Many of the cloth diapers sold on websites like Nicki's Diapers are produced by small businesses that rely on the community’s support to thrive, another benefit of cloth diapers. Their families are dependent on the sales and volume from their brands.
By using cloth diapers, chances are, you're helping a family feed and clothe their children, send them to college, and make sure they have a safe place to live. So you can be sure that every time you buy something from them, it makes a difference in their lives.
Larger corporations such as Pampers, Huggies, and Honest don't depend on one customer. They have other interests that keep them afloat and thriving. To buy cloth diapers is to support one another!
4. Cloth Diapers Contain No Chemicals: A Health-Focused Cloth Diaper Benefit
It's no secret that there are some very scary chemicals out there. But there is one thing you can count on being safe: cloth diapers. We hear about them daily in the news, and it seems like they're everywhere—in our food, lotions, and shampoos, and even in the clothes we wear. It can be difficult to know what's safe and what isn't.
But there is one thing you can count on being safe: cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers don’t contain any chemicals. They are made of safe fibers and are designed to be used up against your baby's skin. You won't find any harsh chemicals on these diapers—just pure comfort for your child.
Furthermore, did you know that60–70% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream within the first 5 minutes? Think about what that means when you put a petroleum- and chemical-based disposable diaper on your baby!
By using natural fibers for the baby's skin, you cut down on the risk of these issues by eliminating harmful chemicals from your child's routine entirely.
Some kids go through multiple kinds of disposables before finding one that doesn't irritate their skin. If cloth diapers were used initially, these kids might be saved from discomfort and irritation, and possible future health issues.
5. Cloth Diapers are Flexible: One of the Practical Cloth Diapers Benefits
One of the biggest benefits of cloth diapers is the flexibility they offer. It’s not an all-or-nothing kind of thing; you can use them when you want and not when you don't. And there are a number of cloth diaper styles and materials that you can mix and match for the perfect solution for your family. Cloth diapers can take the shape of your lifestyle.
There are many ways to use cloth diapers, and each person can choose how to do it based on their own preferences. If you want to use cloth diapers at home but not when you're out in public, that's completely fine. Or maybe daytime is your thing, but nighttime isn't—that's also okay!
The point is that there are lots of options for using cloth diapers—you just have to figure out what works best for you. Plus, each time you use cloth diapers, you're keeping another disposable out of a landfill. That's got to be worth something, right?
6. Cloth Diapers Have Fewer Poop-Splosions
Let’s face it, diaper blowouts are messy. We've all been there; the baby has that tell-tale explosive poop. The one that you hear and immediately know is going to be a disaster. It's up to their back, out their thighs, and sometimes—if you're super lucky—in their hair.
It's like a rite of passage to motherhood. Fortunately, I can tell you from experience that it doesn't have to be this way.
I've experienced my fair share of these explosions from my older children, whom I didn't use cloth diapers with. However, since switching to cloth diapers, my little guy has not managed to poo through his cloth diapers.
He is an explosive pooper on a regular basis, and cloth diapers have contained all the mess within the cover. This cloth diaper benefit alone is worth all the extra effort I’ve put into using cloth!
A good cloth diaper will have a waterproof lining—usually PUL (polyurethane laminate), which coats the fabric. That lining keeps the moisture locked inside until you can get to a washing machine.
7. Cloth Diapers are More Comfortable to Wear
The best thing about cloth diapers is that they're more comfortable to wear than disposable ones. They feel softer against your baby's bottom because they don't have a plastic lining or padding, which helps air circulation while keeping moisture away from their sensitive skin.
Cloth diapers aren't bulky, either. They fit around your baby in the same way that a disposable diaper does, with snaps or velcro straps to keep it snug and secure on their body.
Another reason why cloth diapers may feel more comfortable is that they’re often lined with fleece or another soft material, which helps prevent chafing and irritation of the skin.
8. Cloth Diapers are So Fluffing CUTE
Cloth diapers are so poofy and cute that you can't help but want to take a picture of them and post it on your Instagram or other social media. You'll start as soon as you open the package because they're so adorable. The colors are vibrant and colorful, the patterns are cute (funky even), and the material is soft.
They’re like a blankie for your baby's tush. Or maybe a T-shirt for your baby's tush? Either way, you can’t help but fall in love with these little fluff sacks. With their soft cottony texture and cute prints, there’s no wonder why cloth diapers are gaining popularity.
Note: Even if you're not ready to make the full commitment of using cloth diapers on your baby, there's no harm in getting a few for decoration or for the occasional photo shoot. I mean, how could you resist these sweet little pockets of cuteness?
9. Cloth Diapers Offer Dozens of Options
One of the great benefits to cloth diapers is that there are so many options available today. You can really customize your cloth diaper selections to meet your child’s specific needs.
You can choose from different materials (cotton, hemp, bamboo, microfiber) and different styles (one-sized, pocket diaper, all-in-two) to find the system that works best for you and your family.
You can also customize the absorbency based on how much time your baby spends in the diaper—what types of activities they're doing, how often they need to be changed, things like that.
But just like disposables, different cloth diaper styles can be confusing. Which one is right for you? Is there a way to make it easier to sort through the options?
Read our article, “Types of Cloth Diapers.” We think you'll find it a helpful guide when you're trying to decide which style is right for your family.
10. Cloth Diapers Provide Extra Protection Against Diaper Rashes
Diaper rashes are a common affliction for babies, and they're often caused by chemicals in disposable diapers. The chemicals can cause irritation to the sensitive skin of babies, causing redness and inflammation that can lead to a rash. Cloth diapers can help prevent this kind of reaction.
Cloth diapers are made from natural materials like cotton or hemp. They're breathable, and the air circulation helps to keep your baby's skin dry and healthy. By contrast, disposable diapers trap moisture against the skin, which can lead to diaper rash.
11. Cloth Diapers Grow with Your Child
The best benefit of cloth diapers is that they grow with your child. You can buy one size and use it from birth through potty training. They'll last longer than disposables, which means you'll spend less money on replacement products over time.
12. Cloth Diapers are Lower Maintenance Than You Think
Cloth diapers have a reputation for being difficult to care for, but the truth is, cloth diapers are actually much lower maintenance than you might think.
Cloth diapers are made from materials that can be washed with your regular laundry. So all you need is a washing machine and detergent. There's no need for special treatments or additives like bleach or softener.
Just dump any solids and throw your cloth diapers in the wash when they're soiled and hang them up to dry. They come out fresh and clean, ready for another round of use. No more unexpectedly running out of diapers and having to make an emergency trip to the store—your cloth diaper supply is always there for you.
In fact, most parents find that once they've gotten used to cloth diapers, it's hard to go back to disposables!
Related Source: Guide to Washing Cloth Diapers
13. Online Community
One of the most commonly overlooked benefits of cloth diapers is the community that surrounds it.
Online support is a powerful thing when it comes to parenting. It can make the difference between feeling alone and isolated in your struggles, and feeling supported, understood, and empowered. In my experience, nowhere is this truer than among cloth diaper advocates.
The cloth diaper online community is one of the most supportive and understanding that I have encountered. Discussions frequently shy away from merely cloth and sustainable living, and end up covering many other topics that impact many new and seasoned parents.
There is something to be said for a supportive “tribe” around you, even if they’re only online friends, and it’s one of the most powerful cloth diaper benefits you can experience.
These individuals will cheer you on in your triumphs and commiserate with you upon your failures. They lift you up and help you cope. They can become some of your closest friends and resources.
If you're not a part of the Official Nicki's Diapers Facebook Group—what are you waiting for? Click here to join the Official Nicki's Diapers Facebook Chatter now! Use them; that’s what they’re there for.
Wrapping Up: Benefits of Cloth Diapers
- Cloth diapering is great for the environment.
- Cloth diapers save you money in the long run.
- Cloth diapers minimize your baby's exposure to chemicals.
- Cloth diapers absorb better than disposables.
- Cloth diapers provide a better fit and reduce the risk of leaks.
- Cloth diapers are super easy to use.
- Cloth diapers are easy to wash and maintain.
- Cloth diapers are super cute and soft. You can find them in a huge range of colors and patterns to fit your baby's personality and style.
- With cloth diapering, you never have to run out of diapers.
- Cloth diapers offer dozens of options. You can choose from different materials (like cotton, hemp, or bamboo blends) and styles (prefolds, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pocket diapers, etc.) depending on your needs!
- Babies who wear cloth diapers suffer less from red marks, rashes, and irritation (and neither do their parents).
So start your cloth diaper journey today and let us help you!