Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Cloth Diapering Myths

In case I didn't have you convinced how awesome cloth diapering is with my first post, I'll now address some myths, which I'm sure will help seal the deal!

You're always doing laundry. We do diaper laundry twice a week. Twice. Folding and putting them away isn't hard, it is actually quicker and more enjoyable than folding socks. The process itself isn't complicated either. We dump solids in the toilet (no swishing necessary), throw the diaper in our lined diaper pail, and twice a week, dump everything including the liner in the machine. Oh, and F.Y.I., you should be dumping solids in the toilet with disposables too.

The obligatory cute baby in
a cloth diaper picture.
Disposables are better for the environment. People say this because of the water and electricity you use to wash, but this is a big myth. Think about the energy, wood, oil, water, electricity and CHEMICALS it takes to manufacture and distribute disposables. Also, it takes anywhere from 100-500 years for them to disintegrate in a landfill. Think about all the gunk leaching into the soil.

The baby is always wet. Most cloth diapers have a "stay-dry layer" against the skin. Which is a fancy term for material that wicks away moisture without drying out baby's skin like disposables do.  Sure, he feels a bit of dampness, but I'd rather that then some chemical I can't even pronounce rubbing up against his tush. Plus, it'll help to potty train him a lot quicker.

You need to change diapers more often. Most parents do not change their babies' diapers often enough because of the chemicals that are made to make the disposable diaper feel dry. Changing a diaper 4-5 times a day is not adequate, it is recommended to do so a lot more frequently. It helps prevent diaper rashes, especially with disposables.

Diaper pails, and in turn your house, smell. This is absolutely not true. One of the first things I noticed when switching to cloth was the lack of smell. Well obviously there is a smell when he poops, but it is nothing compared to the smell when he was in disposables. I suppose that is why the Diaper Genie was invented.

You have to use pins and rubber pants. This is true, for cloth diapering 20 years ago. Cloth diapers have come a long way since then, even in the last 5 years. If you can put on a disposable, you can put on a cloth diaper. If you are really nostalgic, you can get diapers that require pins, but in reality, everyone uses rubber gripper things called Snappis (if you choose a diaper style that needs them that is).

Cloth diapers give babies diaper rash. The percentage of diaper rashes in 1991 was 78%, however in the 1950's, before the invention of disposables, it was 7.1%. Cloth diapers allow your babies skin to breathe and don't have any harsh chemicals rubbing up against baby's skin. Enough said.

After factoring washing costs, cloth is more expensive. As I said in my first post, my great stash cost $500. The average family spends just over $2000 on disposables in 2.5 years, heck, we were right on track with that, spending $200 in 3 months. Even with a washing machine from 1952, it does not cost $1500 to do two loads of laundry per week for 2 years (cloth babies potty train sooner).

Cloth diapers are too bulky. Depending on what type of cloth diaper you choose, there actually isn't much difference. As I said before, cloth diapers have changed a great deal, they are now made with not just cotton, but also materials like bamboo and hemp, which naturally absorb crazy amounts.

Bottom line: cloth diapers are easy. Don't be intimidated! Get your hands on a couple, you'll be amazed.

Next up: Exploring different types of diapers.  

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