Every parent is reminded of the expenses it takes to raise children. In these modern times, most parents assume that disposable diapers are an expensive necessity that is part of having a baby. Some parents hear about cloth diapering but dismiss it immediately, as the mere thought of it sounds tedious and messy. Learning about cloth diapers may feel overwhelming to new parents, but the benefits are too good to resist. Read on to learn all of the benefits to cloth diapering.
When budgeting for disposable diapers, the advice typically given is to budget at least $100 a month. That means you’ll be spending at least $1,200 a year on diapers. Parents are typically told to start potty training once the baby turns at least two years old. That means average families end up spending at least $2,400 on disposable diapers.
In comparison, money spent on cloth diapers can be as little as $300 to upwards of $800, depending on the type of cloth diapers you buy, as well as additional products that make life easier as a cloth diapering parent. While the initial investment is higher with cloth diapers, parents can end up saving as much as $2,100 if they choose to cloth diaper their baby.
Reducing Diaper Rashes
Diaper rashes are pretty common in babies who use disposables due to the chemicals and materials used in manufacturing disposable diapers. Disposables have very poor air circulation in the areas covered, causing the diaper rashes. Most cloth diapers are made with cotton as the primary fabric, which allows for more breathability as well as less skin irritation.
Reduce Landfill Waste
Did you know that disposable diapers are the third largest consumer item in landfills? Disposable diapers take at least 500 years to decompose and end up using 2.3 times more water to manufacture than cloth diapers. It is estimated that over 3 million tons of diapers ends up in landfills.
Cloth diapering is a hot niche in the natural-parenting world. There are so many companies that are making cloth diapers more convenient to use for modern parents, but all of those extra features makes the diapers more expensive. The fancier cloth diapers can end up costing $10-25 per diaper depending on the type of cloth diapers you choose. Because of this, most cloth diapers can be resold after your baby outgrows them. You can find Facebook groups dedicated to used cloth diaper sales, and some online cloth diaper stores have also started selling pre-used cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers come in every style imaginable and for every budget. The cheapest option is using a combination of prefolds, diaper covers, and snappis. While cheaper, it may be overwhelming to new parents as there is more to learn when using this style of diaper. There are also pocket diapers, where you have “inserts” you put into the cloth diaper to increase absorption. The best and highest priced option is the all-in-one. These have an “insert” already sewn in or attached to one end of the diaper so it can agitate itself out in the washing machine. Most also have an option to add another insert for nighttime to increase absorption. While some parents prefer one style, my advice would be to try all three. The prefolds work great at home and the diaper cover can be reused for wet diapers. The pocket and all-in-one diapers are great for using outside of the home, especially the all-in-ones, as these have the same convenience of disposable diapers.
While the initial thought of using cloth diapers can feel intimidating, there are so many resources online to guide new parents. Parents who are thinking about cloth diapering should do their research to learn more about other parents’ experiences with it. Ultimately, most parents who use cloth diapers think they are a great choice and that it is worth the occasional extra work.