The Summers Life

The Benefits of Cloth Diapers

Cute, padded colourful bottoms of babies are more common now than the standard bleached white diaper.

Diapers from La Petite Ourse

Diapers from La Petite Ourse

It is my 3rd round of using cloth diapers. If you are thinking of making the switch to cloth, here are the pros and cons that we considered. 

Pros

  1. Save money.

  2. Less waste, at home and for the environment.

  3. No chemicals on baby, resulting in little to no diaper rashes.

Cons

  1. More laundry.

  2. Possible increase to hydro bills.

  3. Dealing with the poop.

 

Pros

Save money

Our very first stash of cloth diapers cost around $800 in total, from new born through to potty training. Spending a larger amount upfront seems daunting but amounts to very little in comparison to $30 + (depending on the brand of diapers) each month for 3/4 years, or until your child is ready to potty train. 

Prices have increased and design’s have improved since we purchased our main stash from 7 years ago. For the most part we have kept the same system, and it has been so satisfying!

Less waste

The whole system can be reused. Cloth diapers require re-useable and washable bags in the diaper pail. Throw the whole bag into the wash when the time comes. A diaper pail is useful but so is a bin with a lid to contain the smell (there are steps to reduce this). Naturally there will be a slight condensation build up, just leave the pail open to air out in between the washes. Reduce your household waste significantly, think of all the diapers you are saving from the landfill.

No Chemicals on baby

While the chemicals in single use diapers may not be toxic, it is not some thing you would want on delicate skin for a prolonged time. Babies have much more sensitive skin, it is thinner and therefore highly more permeable. Using cloth allows for breathing room, just like underwear; natural is always best. Here is a list of some of the chemicals used in single use diapers.
– Superabsortbent polymers
– Dyes
– Fragrance
– Adhesives 
Wholesome Children goes into more depth on the chemicals used in disposable diapers.

 

Cons

IMG_54170A2AFCB3-1.jpeg

Increase in laundry

Not going to lie. You will have more trips to the laundry room, every other day to be exact (at the start anyway). Using cloth diapers makes you more conscientious about the household items you use daily. We are surrounded by chemicals in cleaning and self care products. It is recommended to use natural detergent on your diapers to maintain maximum absorption. Fabric softener is something you will want to avoid, it creates a repelling issue on your diapers.

Nellies, Seventh Generation & Eco Recover are good options for laundry detergents, back to calleys has more laundry options. Hydrogen peroxide is also a natural bleaching agent and works as an oxidiser; it creates oxygen bubbles that help to remove stubborn stains, this can be added to your laundry detergent. The sun is also a natural bleacher and deodoriser, it is my best friend for our cloth diapers. Keeping our diapers stain and stench free since day one! Use cloth wipes too, and toss them into the pail along with the rest of it!

Increase in hydro bills

Laundry will have increased but the amount of water and energy used will be no more than flushing the toilet a few more times. 

“On average, it costs just under $2 a month to add cloth diaper laundry to your monthly utility costs”.

The Monarchy Mommy goes into a mathematical (nightmare for me) of a break down of her own bills to show you the difference in cost of laundry when using cloth diapers and when not.

Most recent washing machines are HE (high efficiency). The HE is a stamp that requires manufactures to meet certain standards. The Spruce will go into depth on the differences between HE and traditional machines.

The poops

Did you know that you are supposed to flush solids down the toilet even when using single use diapers? It makes so much sense but no one ever tells you this! 

Poops before baby is eating actual food will vary depending if baby is breast fed or formula fed. This post gives you a good breakdown of the differences. It is said that you can throw EBF (exclusively breast fed) baby diapers straight into the wash. I found rinsing all soiled diapers before they went into the pail kept our stash stain and stink free. Launder the diapers in direct sunlight outside when possible or inside by the window also helps. 

With the right tools, (fleece liners in my case) the sprayer attached to the toilet is rarely used. Poop literally rolls off. 

If this hasn’t turned you away, be sure to look out for the next post. Giving a a breakdown of the different types of cloth diapers available.