Why Cloth Diapers?

I’ve been using cloth diapers with Isaiah for several months. I started out with disposables because I was given hundreds. When I was almost out, I decided that I’d really like to make the switch.

There are several reasons to choose cloth and what makes them good for one person may be very different from what makes another person like them. I chose cloth diapers because they’re cheaper. Isaiah was big enough that I could buy cloth diapers once and not have to buy more sizes later. I did some math and determined that if he potty trained (completely) on his second birthday, which seems extremely unlikely, I would spend at least $1,500 on diapers. When I determined how many cloth diapers I would need and added up their cost, it was just over three hundred dollars and they will last me until he potty trains, whether it’s tomorrow or two years from now. They can even be used on the next baby if I want.

This is the kind of diapers Isaiah
wears.

One reason I’ve heard stated by many cloth diapering moms has to do with what the diapers are made of. Disposable diapers are made from several layers, just like cloth. Some of the things used to make these diapers include traces of dioxin, which is a toxic byproduct of the bleaching process used on the diapers; Tributyl-tin, which is known to cause hormonal problems and sodium polyacrylate, the main part of the absorbent layer. Sodium polyacrylate turns to a kind of gel when it gets wet. It was included in some tampons until the 1980’s when it was linked to toxic shock syndrome. Another thing to note as far as materials is that the things in them are not biodegradable. Nobody knows just how long it takes for them to degrade, but the guess is anywhere from 250-300 years! And think about how many diapers a baby goes through. That’s a lot of diapers building up.

This is what the inside of a disposable diaper looks like when it gets wet.

Cloth diapers can be made of a variety of materials. Isaiah’s diapers are made from microfiber and PUL (a kind of polyester). It is possible to get completely natural diapers, using materials such as wool, cotton and other similar materials. Something I didn’t think of before starting cloth diapers, but was very pleased to
learn was that they are less likely to cause diaper rash. Within a matter of days of switching to full-time cloth, Isaiah’s nasty diaper rash was gone and hasn’t returned. If this were the only plus to using cloth, I would do it! Isaiah is so much happier in general when his little bottom doesn’t hurt all the time. This
could be due to an allergy to something in the disposable diapers or simply because cloth does a better job of keeping his skin dry.

Sources: Cloth Planet, Real Diaper Association

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