When I was pregnant, I was incredibly interested in cloth diapering. I mean, what’s not to love – it’s better for the environment, it’s cheaper over the long run, and there really are some ADORABLE cloth diapers out there. And I mean ADORABLE.
But then, life got in the way. I discovered that cloth diapers are expensive. I read all about how they needed multiple rinse cycles every washing. I read about doing the wash every 2-3 days. I read about how front loaders are a pain in the butt to wash them in. Then my husband sealed the fate on the whole cloth diaper thing – he informed me that the drain for our washer is incredibly jury-rigged so poop and other items would get us into a bit of trouble. And thus, I set aside that dream and have used Pamper’s Swaddlers from day one.
I read endless posts about how cloth diapering is the way to go and I’m happy you can use cloth, I really am. But please, for the love of god, don’t tell me how endlessly superior cloth diapers are when a lot of your reasons are just not true.
Myth One: Cloth diapering is incredibly cheap. People spend thousands on disposable diapers that they just throw away!
From what I’ve seen, cloth diapering is NOT cheap at all for the first kid. Your average brand name diaper costs $22. Times that by the 20+ diapers you’d need for a newborn to make it two days before doing laundry. That’s $440. Add the special soap that you can’t buy at Wal-mart, doubling inserts for the heavy wetter, the diaper sprayer many spring for, the wet bags, doing a load of laundry every 2-3 days with multiple rinse cycles, and all the other accessories, you’ve spent a LOT of money. Meanwhile, the $28 I spent on my last box of diapers will last Mason a month. Which means if he’s in diapers until age 2, that’s $672 from start to finish. No surprise costs, no frittering away $20 here and there on some new cute pattern. I realize that many people less expensive cloth diapers, skip some accessories, etc, but also many people buy cheaper disposables too. Either way, unless you’re buying the stupid 20 pack for $9.99 at your grocery store, disposable diapers will NEVER cost thousands of dollars a year and I’m sick of hearing this argument. And I fully realize that for those who have 2+ kids, you no longer have that initial $440 expense, thus making cloth diapering MUCH MORE cost effective. I’m not having a second kid, so that’s not part of my reality.
Myth Two: Disposable diapers cause a rash. My baby will never get a rash because we use cloth.
Come on folks, this argument doesn’t make sense either. Rashes are caused by moisture on the skin and/or sensitive skin. My son is 16 months old and has never had a diaper rash despite daily disposable use. I see many cloth mommies on twitter trying to figure out how to wash their diapers to stop a diaper rash from continuing. I see posts cloth users who have switched to using disposables for a few days while a rash clears up. I see posts about trying out a few cloth diapers while a disposable diaper wearing baby’s rash clears up. Diaper rash happens. Disposable users aren’t doomed to them any more than cloth users are exempt from them.
Myth Three: Disposable diapers cause chemical burns and I can’t believe you expose your baby to that.
There HAVE been cases of chemical burns by diapers, I will not deny that. But studies also show that every time one person claims their baby received a chemical burn from a diaper, thousands more people “phone in” claiming their diaper rash that they never thought twice about before was really a “chemical burn” hoping to cash in on a lawsuit. After the big Pampers debacle last year, it was found that a huge majority of the complainants had never even used one of the “new” formula diapers. Most of the hysteria is people crying wolf. In any matter, billions of babies wear disposable diapers every day without any sort of chemical issues. I sometimes hear of “ammonia burns” in the cloth diapering world, so apparently there are similar risks with either diaper. Either way, if you poll your friends, parents, and relatives, I bet none of them were ever adversely affected by the “evil chemicals” in diapers. We all wore diapers. Diapers are more advanced today than they were 5, 10, or 20 years ago. These things are tested. Stop trying to make me feel like I’m feeding my child to coyotes because I’m putting a disposable diaper on him.
Anyway, I just wanted to put that out there. My 16 month old son wears disposable diapers despite my original intentions and he’s thriving. We’re not poor, covered in chemical burns and diaper rash, and while I think your cloth diapers are super duper adorable, I’m secretly happy I can throw his poop filled diaper in the Diaper Genie after my 10 hour workday instead of worrying about doing yet another load of laundry. I hope we can still be friends.
One Year Ago – 5 Month Photos