Are you considering cloth diapers? This is a decision every parent has to make. While we discuss benefits of cloth diapers, do not feel like you are a bad parent if you chose it isn’t right for you. The beautiful thing about being a parent is there are a ton of different ways to do it!
To begin, why do people chose to use cloth diapers over disposable? Did you know that your little bundle of joy could go through as many as 7,000 diapers in the first two years of their life?! Of course, those diapers have to go somewhere. This leads to possibly over 3 million tons of diapers accumulating EVERY YEAR in landfills! If that isn’t bad enough, it can take over 200 years for disposable diapers to decompose.
Sadly a lot of disposable diapers have hazardous chemicals and additives that present a potential risk to your dear baby. Some things to look out for are:
- Sodium polyacrylate (the “super absorbent” gel)
- Dioxin, which is a by-product of bleaching paper
Sodium polyacrylate has been linked in the past to toxic shock syndrome and allergic reactions. Some dyes and dioxin can cause damage to the central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. There have been serious reports that fragrances in disposable diapers caused headaches, dizziness, rashes and chemical burns.
Please keep in mind, there are a lot of different options for disposable diapers out there. Thankfully many have become aware of the possible hazards and have created products that are safer for both your precious baby and the environment. But sadly, there are still many products out there that contain hazardous ingredients so it is wise to do your research.
This may be surprising but cloth diapers can be much easier on your pocket book! Initially, individual cloth diapers cost much more than a disposable. For instance, a cloth diaper could cost around $5 (this is on the lower side, but definitely realistic), where a disposable diaper costs less than $30 for over 100. So why do we say it is less expensive???
The neat thing about cloth diapers is with proper care you can use the same cloth diaper from newborn until your baby is ready to potty train, pretty crazy right?! If you purchase 40 cloth diapers to start out with, you would be spending around $200 and these 40 diapers could last you until potty training! Can you see how much you could save??
Now let’s discuss some of the basic items you will need to use cloth diapers:
- Cloth diapers
- Diaper pail
- Washable pail liners
- Wet bags
- Diaper sprayer (optional)
- A cloth diaper safe detergent
- Something to store your cloth diapers
- A cloth diaper safe rash cream
- Odor absorbing air freshener
Cloth diapers - Top on your list will be to decide which brand or brands of cloth diapers you want to use. Thankfully cloth diapers have become a lot more convenient, easy to purchase and adorable prints! Amazon is a great place to get a variety of cloth diapers. Pocket cloth diapers are very popular and super easy to use. Those are what I chose to use for my baby girl and I absolutely loved them!
Diaper pail - There are a ton of options to choose from. Of course Amazon has a wide variety but even Walmart and target are good places to get a diaper pail as well. For convenience I like one that is easy to open or access, can hold a pail liner and is easy to clean (both inside and outside).
Pail liners - It is super convenient if you get machine washable pail liners. I bought a 2 pack of pail liners on amazon that have a waterproof lining and keep the odor in. These liners have lasted a long time and are still in perfect condition!
Wet bags - A wet bag is pretty necessary when you chose to have cloth diapers. This is the bag you would use to place soiled diapers when you are out and about. Wet bags are lined with a waterproof materiel so soiled diapers don’t leak out and keep the stench in, so you don’t have to be embarrassed to be in public with a stinky diaper! Conveniently, most cloth diaper sets come with a wet bag.
Diaper sprayer - A diaper sprayer can be attached to your toilet if you would like to be able to conveniently spray off excess urine and stool left on the diaper. If you don’t want to purchase a diaper sprayer, you won’t be in too much trouble. You can also use a sink or a shower sprayer. I have such a small bathroom that my shower hose could reach my toilet, I have used the bathroom sink to rinse my diapers as well. When I would use my sink I just made sure to clean the sink well after to make sure I wasn’t spreading harmful germs or bacteria.
A cloth diaper safe detergent - this is EXTREMELY important!!! Remember that you are washing out poop and pee, you need to have a detergent that is guaranteed to clean appropriately. Plus, it will be cleaning something that will be touching your babies sensitive skin, so it is best to choose a safe detergent. I am a firm believer in clean ingredient detergents since our skin is our bodies biggest organ and everything that is in contact with our skin gets absorbed into our bodies. Thankfully there are a lot of options out there, in fact there are even specific detergents for cloth diapers. The best part is those detergents also work well on the rest of your cloths, but of course it is your choice.
Something to store your cloth diapers in - This can be anything you like. Some like dressers, or portable shelves, cubbies or even bags, whatever you prefer!
A cloth diaper safe rash cream - This was a new idea for me. I didn’t realize that some diaper creams can ruin your diapers. The fibers that make your diapers absorbent can become clogged or ruined from petroleum. No need to fear there are many safe diaper creams out there that won’t ruin your diapers. I highly suggest our Baby Zinc Balm or Diaper Balm. I have not found a better balm for rashes. This balm has safe and extremely effective ingredients. My baby girl ended up getting a bad yeast infection and I used this to treat it. I did end up getting her checked by a doctor just in case and they said whatever I was using was doing a great job!
Odor absorbing air freshener - The reason I add this is because I have always been self conscience about what my house or bedrooms smelled like. I have used a ton of different air fresheners, candles and essential oil diffusers. When it comes to air fresheners try and look at the ingredients because sadly a lot of air fresheners are not very great for our health. There are plenty of natural air fresheners out there, just do a little research. Another good option is an essential oil diffuser. You want to be educated as to which oils you chose to have around your baby and how often you diffuse them. Candles are awesome but can be a danger to small children if they can reach them. If you want a great quality candle check out our 100% natural beeswax candles. We have a lavender aromatherapy candle called Night Night. This candle will not only clean the air but also calm and relax your little ones!
While it is less expensive to purchase cloth diapers you have to keep in mind the cost of washing and drying them. Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of cloth diapering:
- Since it costs extra energy to dry your cloth diapers, line dry as often as possible. Doing this outside is best, weather permitting.
- There is no need to wash your diapers in extremely hot water so do not exceed 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees celsius. This saves hot water and makes your cloth diapers last longer.
- Washing fuller loads. If possible do larger loads at a time instead of a ton of smaller ones.
- Using the same cloth diapers for multiple children. If you take proper care of you cloth diapers you can use them for more than one kiddo!
As a parent we all have to make a ton of choices. Researching all the options out there can be overwhelming but no worries, you got this! Don’t give up! You won't regret educating yourself as to what is safe or not for your baby. It takes work but once you do it you can rest easy!