I already heard about cloth diapers for babies before I got married.
I was set to take a vacation in the Philippines for Christmas 2016 and was also planning a reunion with my college boardmates (most are already married).
So, we made a special thread for it, and in one of the conversations, two of the girls were talking about the cloth diapers they’re using for their babies. I got curious and started googling “cloth diapers”.
What Are Cloth Diapers?
Cloth diapers are reusable diapers ( also called washable diapers and cloth nappies in the UK) made from natural fibers, man-made materials, or a combination of both.
These are the traditional way of containing pee and poo used by mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers all over the world before disposable diapers came into the market.
These are the traditional, famous “lampin” that my Mom, Grandmom, and Aunts in the Philippines used during my childhood and that of my cousins.
There are still a lot of mothers in my country who are using cloth diapers up to these days and more and more mothers all over the world are using them. Kudos to them!
Top 4 Reasons Why We Use Cloth Diapers for Babies
After so much “googling” and reading a lot of articles about cloth diapers, I was already convinced and decided that I’m going to give it a try on my own babies.
Five months or so into my pregnancy, I told the bana (my husband) about my plan and he initially finds it gross.
But I explained to him my reasons and told him as well that there are already a lot of mothers all over the globe who are switching to cloth diapers because of so many benefits.
The husband finally agreed and said that I’m always the boss when it comes to child and house care.:) Here are the top reasons that finally convinced him to cloth diaper with me:
Cloth diapers are gentle on baby’s skin, unlike disposable diapers that contain harmful chemicals (according to realdiapers.org) like Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process and is listed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as a carcinogenic chemical, the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals;
Tributyl-tin (TBT), a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals;
and Sodium Polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet and is said to increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.
I have a mommy friend in the Philippines whose main reason for cloth diapering is to protect her baby girl from urinary tract infection. Protecting my baby’s skin is my priority, too.
For almost 3 years that we have been cloth diapering, my kids haven’t experienced serious butt rashes. They got mild ones few times, but because I wasn’t able to change them quickly.
Independent.co.uk released an article in May 2006 stating that nearly 8 million nappies are thrown away every day in the UK, which amounts to 3 billion a year, and that more disposable nappies are found in UK household waste than anything else.
While the Real Diaper Association estimated that 27.4 billion disposable diapers are consumed every year in the U.S.
And that the estimated decomposition time for each disposable diaper is about 250-500 years, long after your children, grandchildren, and great, great, great-grandchildren will be gone.
And that’s only for the UK and the US, what a scary and horrible fact!
Meanwhile, cloth diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags and most parts are biodegradable.
Independent.co.uk also stated that The Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) said that by using cloth nappies and laundering them in an energy-efficient washing machine at 60C, parents can reduce global warming by 24 percent.
I want to help take care of the environment in my own little way, that’s why I’m so convinced to give cloth diapers for babies a try.
We have saved thousands of disposable diapers by going into the landfill by cloth diapering our kids even if we don’t do it full time.
It is estimated by realdiapers.org that each baby will need about 6,000 diapers during the first two years of life.
It means that disposable diapers cost about $62.50 (53€) per month, $750 (634€) per year, or $1,500 (1,268€) over the full time a child is in diapers.
And the figure increases if one opts for the more expensive or biodegradable brands.
But cloth diapers for one child can be bought for as low as $300 (254€).
Even adding $150 (127€) yearly for the energy and detergent costs of washing cloth diapers will still give families a huge saving and the cloth diapers can still be used for the next baby/babies.
There are also others who are skeptical about the savings part of cloth diapers since they think that the cost of washing and drying cloth diapers will be more or less the same as the savings.
Most modern cloth diapers for babies are very quick-drying and can be line-dried outside or inside the house.
And this is more convenient here in Spain since the sun is out almost all year round.
We don’t have a dryer in our household, so, we always rely on the sun and we don’t have a problem with it at all.
Even during the winter, most of our clothes get dry in just one day when hanged outside and one day and a half to two days when hanged inside.
Our water bill had a 10€ increase since we started using cloth diapers for our kids, but it’s nothing compared to the money we saved for not buying a ton of disposable diapers until today.
You have to spend more though in the beginning to complete your cloth diaper stash, that’s it. You can keep using them for all your babies and that’s really huge savings.
4. Cuter than disposables.
I didn’t tell the bana about this anymore. The top 3 reasons were already enough for him. This last one is for me.:)
During my early pregnancy, there were days when all I did the whole day be reading cloth diaper articles and looking at all the cute prints on different online stores. I was addicted for a while.
Fortunately, I got back to my senses and was able to resist the urge to splurge. I was able to complete our cloth diaper stash the practical way and still able to buy some cute prints. Yehey!
Tip for Husbands
Please say yes if your wives want to use cloth diapers for your babies because it will be your way out especially if you hate changing diapers. You just tell your wives that you don’t know how to use them.:)
My husband had only changed the kids’ diapers in their newborn days when we were still using disposables.
But the moment we switched to cloth diapers, he has never changed diapers since because when he’s about to change, he ends up saying “ohh he’s in cloth diapers, I don’t know how to do it”.
Our Cloth Diaper Stash Update
Our cloth diapers are still in very good condition even if we have been using them for almost 3 years now.
We started cloth diapering when #1 was still 3 weeks old and he’ll be 3 years old next month.
I started late with #2 (at 2 months old) because I had a hard time recovering from my repeat cesarean and he’s 9 months now.
I still get the same excitement every time I wash, hang, and fold our cloth diapers.
Cloth Diapers for the Win!
If you want to give cloth diapers a try, but are still in doubt, please give them a try. It’s not scary and it’s fun. It will certainly give you a feeling of happiness.
Washable baby wipes go hand-in-hand with cloth diapers, and they can be used as mommy wipes, too. You can save money by making homemade cloth wipes out of old t-shirts.
Washable baby wipes go hand-in-hand with cloth diapers, and they can be used as mommy wipes, too.
Are you cloth diapering, too? Do you want to give it a try on your baby or your next baby? Feel free to share your ideas and opinions about cloth diapers in the comment section.