Cloth Diapers for Babies – 4 Top Reasons Why We Use Them

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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:

1. Baby-friendly.

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.

2. Environment-friendly.

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.

3. Budget-friendly.

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.

cloth diapers for babies - with a sunny side up egg design
Cloth diapers for babies – with a sunny side-up egg design.

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.


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10 thoughts on “Cloth Diapers for Babies – 4 Top Reasons Why We Use Them”

  1. I use the regular diaper for my kids for a long time but after my last child, my friends told me about a new cool in this cloth baby diaper and I thought that it would be nice for me to try to buy one but first I wanted to make some research about it. I think the diaper you shared is nice and I should give it a try. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hello Suz, thank you for your comment. I am happy to hear that you’ll be giving cloth diapering a try. I’m sure you’ll love it.

      A lot of parents who want to try cloth diapers first buy one or two of each kind to give it a try and to find out which type of cloth diapers they like best. They usually buy these “samples” second hand. If you are in the US, there are a lot of cloth diaper groups that are selling 2nd hand diapers (it may sound gross, but it’s not). I find it gross at first as well, but as I read the reasons, I got over it fast.

      Fluff Love & CD Science facebook group is a very good resource if you are looking for one. I learned a lot of things from there and it’s where I asked help to be able to have my foolproof washing routine for our cloth diapers that I am still using until now.

      Reply
  2. Though most people that I know do not make use of cloth diapers but definitely, I and my wife have decided to use it because of the cost effectiveness. However, reading through this, I could discern that there is more to it and that makes a whole lot of sense in all. Thank you so much for sharing all these out here with us

    Reply
    • Hello Nath, thank you for your comment. It makes me happy everytime I hear of other parents who are using cloth diapers, too. Cost-effectiveness is a blessing in disguise because it encourages us, parents, to try cloth diapers and then without us knowing, it’s also good for the environment and good for our kids’ health.

      Reply
  3. Thanks for sharing this post on diapers and baby care, it is very good insightful and thoughtful. Have always think there should be a way by which we could reuse diaper, save a penny and also the environment, but reading about this makes me know that cloth diaper, the best choice.

    Reply
  4. The present conditions we’re living in our country have forced many moms (me included) to use reusable diapers. Economy has gone crazy with the worst inflation in the world. Even buying food is way more expensive than what most families can afford. But I am glad to read that there are so many advantages to using reusable diapers. All happens for a good reason! 🙂

    Reply
    • I totally agree with your sentiments Ann. It pains me as a mom hearing and seeing news of other moms who are going through very difficult times due to the pandemic. But still we are blessed because despite all these, there are still a lot of ways on how to reduce our expenses by using reusables, cloth diapers included. 

      Reply
  5. Hello Julai,  I love this article.
    I appreciate that you took a simple, “how to” article by explaining the process step by step on  Reasons why cloth dipers are great.

    My Girl friend started using it for our child not long ago.Thanks for sharing this, It really was helpful, I would share this right away

    Reply

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