Instead of Friday favorites, I decided to write something that has been on my mind for aÂ long time – diapering options!
There are basically two types of diapers that parents can choose for their babies with lots of choices within those two: cloth vs. disposable diapers.
Throughout my entire pregnancy and before, I thought cloth diapers were definitely the way to go. Â They had two perks that caught my interest: they are supposed to save money and be better for the environment. Â These are two issues that I’m most mindful of, so this made perfect sense to me. Â When I started researching cloth vs. disposable diapers, I started to see both sides of the debate.
The Pros of Cloth Diapering:
- Helps create less impact on the environment. Â There are an estimated 18 billion single-use diapers thrown into our landfills yearly, sometimes taking as long as 500 years to fully decompose. Â Disposable diapers make up the third largest source of solid waste in landfills (newspapers and food/beverage containers are first and second). 90% of babies in the U.S. wear disposable diapers which takes 250,000 trees to manufacture them. (Source: Real Diaper Industry Association).
- Health benefits. Â Let’s face it – disposable diapers have lots of nasty chemicals that keep babies “dry.” Â They containÂ sodium polyacrylate, a super absorbant chemical, dyes, perfumes, pulps, etc. that lie right next to your baby’s skin, while cloth diapers contain, well, cotton.
- In 1955 nearly all babies were diapered using cloth and this transitioned into 1991, where 90% of babies used disposable. Â The rate of diaper rash went from 7% in 1955 to 78% in 1991.Â (Source:Â Real Diaper Industry Association)
- Kids potty train sooner. Â There are studies out there that say that kids notice that they are wet sooner in a cloth diaper and this is incentive enough to start wearing regular underwear sooner.
- Saves money. Â This is always a benefit that the supporters of cloth diapers use. Â Now, it all depends on how you cloth diaper. Â If you use just plain cotton cloth diapers (not the newer, trendy ones), they’ll run you about $300 until your child is potty trained. Â They say disposables will cost $2,000. Â Now, with that said, there are a ton of newer brands out there that have shells (which usually run about $18 each) and then have biodegradable insert pads that work similarly to disposable diapers. Â In my opinion from looking at prices, these cost similar to what a disposable diaper costs and you must buy the shell on top of that. Â The startup for cloth diapering is more than disposable diapers. Â In my opinion, this is a little up in the air depending on how you choose to cloth diaper.
The Cons of Cloth Diapering
- They can be messier. Â Again unless you have the disposable inserts, cloth diapering is messier than disposables. Â If you’re out and about and don’t use disposables then, you will probably have to carry some soiled diapers home with you.
- More laundry. Â You’ll definitely be doing more laundry… that’s a given! This also means higher water and electricity costs.
- Less convenience. Â I look up to moms so much that cloth diaper their babies. Â I think it takes a tremendous amount of dedication. Â I’ve researched and read lots and lots of stories over the past several months of moms that use cloth. Â A lot of them have problems with leakage because the outside material isn’t absorbing as it should and then it’s recommended to “strip” them, which means washing them about 5 times. Â I’ve heard that in some cases, this only mildly helps. Â I know disposables have leakage problems too though. Â There is special laundry detergent that they must be washed in as well. Â Most child care centers won’t do cloth diapers as well. Â There’s a lot to think about before making the jump into the world of cloth diapers.
Pros of Disposables
- Convenience. Â They are easy and fast to change the diaper and once the dirty one is off the baby, it’s over with and there’s nothing else to think about. Â Traveling is easier too. Â These diapers are based upon the baby’s size and weight and can fit a little better (especially when they are young) thus allowing less leakage.
Cons of Disposables
- Expensive. Â They are expensive. Â There are always deals for them, but nonetheless, you have to keep buying them for years.
- Chemicals. Â Like I mentioned above, there are dyes, perfumes, and chemicals in these that are definitely not the greenest and healthiest way to diaper your baby.
- Environmental damage. Â They go in landfills for years with raw and untreated sewage. Â That says enough.
With all this said, I think families need to take their own needs and lifestyles into consideration when they are making this decision. Â No two families are the same.
My verdict: Â I have decided that especially while Aiden is a newborn and we are getting used to being parents, I am going with disposable diapers. Â It pains me a little to say this because I felt so strongly about cloth for so long. Â After thinking about the logistics of it and the upfront cost, I decided this was best for my family. Â A new baby is a huge adjustment in itself along with breastfeeding (which I’m going to try my hardest to do). Â I feel like I don’t want to make lifeÂ harder with trying to master cloth diapers right from the get-go. Â I’m trying to avoid having the “super mom” syndrome and being realistic about my needs, David’s needs and of course Aiden’s to make this as smooth a transition as possible!
Now, much like Kath, David and I might decide to try cloth diapers when Aiden is older and we’re more familiar with this parenting thing!!
This is the longest post in history… I hope you all have a great weekend:)