When you’re planning for the arrival of a new baby, you and your partner have to make an overwhelming amount of decisions. People don’t often consider cloth versus disposable diapers when they first see those two pink lines on a pregnancy test, but it’s an important thing to think about that will impact the first three-plus years of your child’s life.
Many people have hesitations about using cloth diapers because they may believe they are stinky or unsanitary, but that is simply misinformation. There are many benefits associated with using cloth diapers, and it’s essential to approach conversations about the topic with facts and logic. Here are some great talking points to show your partner why cloth diapers are the right choice for you and your baby.
Cloth Diapers Save Money
If your partner is a human, they probably like saving money. One of the biggest reoccurring costs associated with caring for a baby is diapers. Let’s say that baby will need 7,200 diaper changes before they are fully potty-trained. If you’re using brand-name diapers, disposables will run you about $3,200. And if you care about the environment and use eco-friendly disposables, you’re looking at spending closer to $4,000.
In comparison, a middle-of-the-road set of cloth diapers costs around $700 with laundering expenses sitting at about $20 per month. Using exclusively cloth diapers will ring somewhere around $1,420 which is an average savings of $1,780! Although your partner may only see that using cloth diapers means spending a good chunk of money upfront, they will love the return on investment which especially kicks in if you use the same set for multiple children. If you reuse your first child’s cloth diapers for your second baby, you are only paying for laundering supplies. It will definitely be tough for your partner to refute these savings!
Tip: If you want to save even more moolah, ask around to see if you can purchase cloth diapers second-hand from another parent. Not only can you get the diapers for less, but this is even more environmentally sustainable than buying a new set!
Cloth Diapers are Better for the Environment
We teach our children not to litter or waste resources, but a chunk of the country’s landfills are occupied by soiled diapers. An estimated 20 billion disposable diapers are put into American landfills each year which generates nearly 3.5 tons of rubbish. That’s roughly 4% of all landfill contents! Also, a report from the EPA shows that diapers add pathogens into the air from the solid human waste left over. Each disposable diaper can take as long as 500 years to break down, and while doing so, they release harmful gasses like methane.
On the other hand, cloth diapers have a long and multipurpose product lifecycle. Since most cloth diapers are one size fits all for babies weighing 10-35 pounds, they can be reused until a child is fully potty trained, and they will often last long enough to be used for multiple children. And did you know that many cloth diaper laundering services pass along their stained but clean products to car washes to be used for detailing vehicles? The fact is that cloth diapers are undoubtedly more sustainable and environmentally friendly than their disposable counterparts.
Cloth Diapers are Better for Baby
Many disposable diapers contain harsh chemicals and fragrances that can be very irritating, especially for newborns and babies with sensitive skin. Key ingredients in most disposable diapers include wood pulp, plastics, tissue paper, dioxins, and adhesives. The World Health Organization has even noted that exposing newborns to these chemicals can cause long-term health conditions later in life.
Also, disposables are frequently made with bleach to achieve their bright white hue. Cloth diapers, though, feature Velcro or snaps and are made of microfiber or natural fibers which can be blends of cotton, hemp, or bamboo. This means no chemicals, no plastics, and no fragrances. Your partner will almost certainly agree with these benefits because nobody wants to put their baby’s health at risk for their own convenience.
Cloth Diapers are Comfier and More Absorbent
Most people would not be too happy about having a soiled, wet wad clinging to their bum while they are trying to sleep. Neither is your baby! The absorbency of cloth diapers depends on the type of insert you use. Microfiber inserts can absorb liquid very quickly, they are relatively low-cost, and they do not take long to dry. The drawback to microfiber inserts is that they work more like a sponge and will release their moisture if they are squished.
Another popular type of cloth diaper insert is made of cotton. These are super-duper absorbent and will hold 2.5 times the amount that microfiber inserts can! Also, cotton inserts are all-natural, so they won’t irritate baby’s delicate skin, and they are quite slim which cuts down the bulkiness of cloth diapers.
Cotton inserts come at a significantly higher price than microfiber ones, though, and they can be a bit slow to absorb baby’s waste. Both types absorb moisture better than disposable diapers, and they keep baby’s skin healthier by reducing the risk of diaper rash. This is because using cloth diapers helps improve airflow which helps keep the skin dry. If your partner is still not onboard with using cloth diapers, make them wear a disposable diaper for a few days and see how their hiney feels!
They’re Pretty Darn Adorable
Have you ever seen a baby in a cloth diaper? It is quite a precious sight! They come in such an array of colors and prints so every parent and baby can find something they love. Having a cute pattern with ladybugs or dinosaurs will most certainly make changing a poopy diaper more enjoyable, and knowing you’re saving money and reducing waste is a bonus!
Starting the cloth diaper conversation is the first step to get your partner on board with ditching disposables. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not you versus them, you both want to do what’s best for your baby. They may not agree immediately, but with time, facts, and communication, your partner will see why using cloth diapers is the better option.