Top 4 Reasons Why Moms Choose Cloth Diapers - This West Coast Mommy
Cloth Diapering

Top 4 Reasons Why Moms Choose Cloth Diapers

Even though my girls are out of the cloth diapering stage now, you all know that I’m still passionate about going green and using cloth. I’ve talked about my own cloth diapering journey here, but I was curious about why others choose cloth. To find out, I asked this very question on my Facebook page, and 160 moms responded. Thank you to everyone who answered!

pocket diaper

Many had more than one reason, but when asked their #1 reason for choosing cloth diapers, this is what they said.

Cloth Diapers Save Money

At 48%, the most common reason by far was to save money. It’s true that cloth diapers have a greater upfront cost, but the savings over time can be staggering. The average baby will be in diapers for two to three years, but once you’ve bought your diaper stash, you can wash and reuse your diapers throughout that entire time without having to spend another dime on disposables.

If you go on to have more than one child, you can reuse those same diapers and save even more money. Did you know that most cloth diapers can be resold when you’re done, bringing the total cost down even more? Even if you add optional accessories like wet bags, cloth wipes, or a diaper sprayer, the cost is still significantly less than the ongoing financial drain of purchasing disposable diapers every week for three years.

spend money

We barely make it by as is, I don’t know what we would do if we had to spend money on diapers every month. – Anna D.

Not that I saved a lot of money with all the purchase of new diapers I did, but the thing is I just couldn’t bear the thought that I was throwing cash into the garbage every single time I had to change a diaper. – Isabel L.

Saving money with 2 in diapers, being able to use them on future children or passing them on to another family. – Emily C.

I starting cloth diapering when my daughter was 4 months old, and a few times in there my husband has been unemployed. At least I didn’t have to worry about diapers. – Carol P.

When I was pregnant with my first, my husband’s work hours really fluctuated. I liked that when he was busy I could buy a couple diapers and when he was slow I wouldn’t have to worry about how I was going to buy a new bag of disposables. We bought a mix of new and used diapers, broke even around 6 months, and now haven’t spent anything on our second child. It’s been really nice. – Lee-Anna S.

Cloth Diapers Save the Environment

20% of moms said that they chose cloth diapers for environmental reasons. The average baby will need around 6000 diaper changes. Yikes! 24 cloth diapers will replace those thousands of petroleum and paper-based disposable diapers. Yes, there are still environmental costs associated with cloth diapers like the impact of growing cotton, the energy and resources used to make them, transport them, and the water and energy needed to wash and dry them. But those are significantly less than the environmental impact of the energy and resources used to manufacture disposable diapers and to transport them to and from consumers. I think reusable still wins hands down!

And then there’s the problem of what to do with those dirty diapers. In households with a baby in diapers, dirty diapers make up to 50% of household waste. Over 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped into landfills in the US and Canada every year, and those diapers can take up to 500 years to biodegrade. In comparison, a cloth diaper will biodegrade in less than a year. Because very few people flush solids down the toilet, those soiled disposable diapers often contain poop which can leach bacteria into the soil and ground water. What an environmental nightmare!

landfill

Less junk on my baby and left on this planet too. – Kara W.

Having kids is bad enough for the environment, at least we can use reusable cloth diapers and try to reduce some of the negative impact of adding more people. – Brenda N.

I’m on child #2 in cloth (although with a more diverse stash) and I’ve learned along the way how great it is for them and for the environment. – Amanda G.

Cloth Diapers Save Baby Bums

16% of the moms I asked said that they chose cloth to minimize their babies’ exposure to the chemicals found in disposable diapers. Most disposable diapers contain lots of unpronounceable chemicals like sodium polyacrylate (the blue crystals found inside disposable diapers), xylene, ethyl benzene, styrene, isopropylene, and dioxins, chemicals that have been linked with long-term health effects. Isn’t soft, natural cloth better?

Skin is the largest organ and it only takes seconds to absorb any chemicals put on it, so I am very choosy about what goes on my little one’s skin (so of course I use cloth wipes as well, and coconut oil for diaper cream). – Holly H.

Bummis Dimple Diaper review

In a related vein, 7% of moms said that they chose cloth because their babies experienced rashes and allergic reactions to disposable diapers. Many moms find that using cloth reduces or even eliminates diaper rash.

I realized the reason my older boys had rashes so much was their sensitive skin and disposables didn’t mix well. – Rachel S.

My first daughter had horrendous diaper rash that probably would have been non existent if I knew about cloth then. – Melissa W.

I unfortunately passed on my eczema to my little guy and his sensitive skin doesn’t take well to disposable diapers. – Marie C.

Cloth Diapers Save Time

Finally, another 7 % said that it was the ease and convenience of using cloth diapers that convinced them. They love having fewer blowouts (those dreaded pooplosions!), no more running out of diapers at an inconvenient time, and no more emergency trips to the store.

Ruffles on the bum

I love the look and convenience. No worries about running out…we just do some wash. – Melissa S.

I don’t drive so the idea of running to the store is an hour process, and that’s not including the time it takes to get everyone ready to get out the door! – Karen F.

Convenience and comfort. I few months before I was pregnant I started using cloth pads. They were much more comfortable and I loved that I didn’t need to run to the store and buy them every month. I think that cloth is probably more comfortable for my baby as well and it’s so nice to not worry about running out. – Sarah S.

I got sick of poop explosions while babywearing… – Olivia S.

Blow-out control (so I guess effectiveness). Having to do an entire outfit change and give a half-a-pack-of-wipes sponge bath in a public washroom because I decided it would be more convenient to use disposables for a city trip BLOWS! – Erin H.

Why did you choose cloth diapers? What reasons are most important to you?

 

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18 Comments

  • My first reason was to save money… now we have two kids that have used the same diapers… we did buy a few extra when both were in diapers at the same time.
    Now the list just grow so much for why we use cloth! Including all that was mentioned in this post.

  • Cost was the most important reason for my best friend; and skin sensitivities her son inherited. I did not have that option when my boys were little.

  • I discovered cloth diapers with my 3rd son. Game changer! We decided for money reason, but saving our landfill, avoiding chemicals, are just bonuses. He most likely will be our last baby, and it makes me sad I won’t be cloth diapering any more babes, or for much longer, but I am soooooo glad I made the leap to cloth.

  • These are all GREAT reasons. I think the most important thing for us is that it saves so much money! Also, I love that it helps the environment.

  • i honestly started cloth to save money 12 yrs ago. hard to find, i tried to make some but lack of resources made it expensive. when my daughter now 8 was born, we had no choice as she was allergic, even to natural ones that you throw away. thru research we found bout all the yucky chemicals in lots, so now thats why, plus the cuteness.

  • I cloth diapered to save money mostly, but it also saved their bums! Whenever we traveled and used disposables they always ended up with a terrible rash! So thankful for cloth!

  • I have three sons and when they were little that is all I ever used on them was cloth diapers. Its not hard to rinse them out and wash them and hang them out to dry. Besides it costs too much to have Pampers.

  • I originally wanted cloth diapers to protect my son’s tush from chemical diapers. However, they are so much more cost effective and we never run out! Just toss them in the washer, no need to run to the store to pay however much for a box that will be gone by the weekend!

  • When my boy was just a little tot, I started out with pampers but soon found out that I had to stop as it was before they had the elastic in the legs and when I would get up in the night, he would be all wet and the bed would be soaked as was the sleeper he was in. I started using the cloth diapers and was not sorry or disappointed as I had no more wet bed sheets or clothes to wash and have to completely change during the night waking up. It also was better for his skin, and he was a happier baby. The cloth diapers smelled so nice and they were soft with the baby detergent and softeners to use to wash and were so great to hang out onto the clothes line at the time. I would always use cloth over the disposable if choosing ever again. 🙂

  • I personally dread the last minute trip to the store for wipes and diapers with three kids in tow. It’s also SO nice not to have to take the garbage out 3 times a day and, as we live in bear country, less garbage for bears to be attracted to or get into is a plus! All of the other reasons to cloth are just a bonus!

  • I had three boys and each one of them wore cloth diapers. I never spend money on Pampers or anything else. They never had diaper rash and its so easy to rinse out and wash a cloth diaper. Hang them on the line to dry and they are nice and white and fresh smelling again.