That's really the first question we hear from people when they begin to look at cloth diapering. While there are many different reasons, there are a few we think you should consider. Some you've probably already thought of...but others might surprise you!
Most people begin to look at cloth diapers for one of three major reasons: environmental, financial, and health. To many people, these are the simplest reasons for using cloth diapers, and we feel strongly about each of them.
Disposable diapers generate 3.7 million tons of solid-waste in this country every year¹, with one baby in disposable diapers creating about one ton of refuse while in diapers². While there are tradeoffs which result from washing cloth diapers, many people strongly believe that cloth diapers are the most "earth-friendly" option.
Most babies use between 5,000 and 6,500 diapers from birth to potty training, at a typical cost of between 20 and 40 cents per diaper. Total expense into the garbage: $1,000 to $2,500. Switch to cloth diapers and your total cost, including laundry, can be as low as $400, with even the most deluxe set of diapers costing only about $1,000. If you use your diapers for a second—or even third—child, you save even more! With cloth diapers, it's easy to save $1,000!
While some parents are concerned about long-term health impacts from Super Absorbent Polymers (SAP) and other chemicals used in making disposable diapers, more typical concerns for parents who use disposables are diaper rash and other skin irritations. While there have not been any exhaustive studies, many parents who switch to cloth diapers describe fewer problems with diaper rashes.
A surprise many people find when they start to consider cloth diapers is the new modern styles are very easy to use and care for. Many are as easy to use as disposables, and the extra laundry is only a few loads a week. In fact, cloth diapers are so easy that many daycare providers and centers will support parents who cloth diaper. And who thinks endless trips to buy more disposables is convenient? With cloth, you'll always have your diapers at home.
Have you ever looked at a disposable diaper and through it was cute? Didn't think so! With a rainbow of colors and an unimaginable range of prints, patterns, and designs, you'll actually enjoy your diapers! Though your head (and your partner) might like all of the logical reasons, it's hard not to like something this fun.
Many people start to use cloth diapers for very particular reasons, or decide it's important even if they aren't excited or fully committed. But we keep hearing one thing when we talk to people after a few months: it's a decision they were so glad they made, and so much more rewarding than expected. They may have started just to save money or be green, but they find that it brings so much more in unexpected ways and it just feels right!
With so many reasons why, what's stopping you from learning a little more? Read on to discover more about the exciting world of cloth diapers!
¹From "Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2007," United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Solid Waste, Publication EPA530-R-08-010, November 2008, pg. 81.
²Based on analysis by UK Environment Agency in "An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies," 2008, Science Report SC010018/SR2, pg. 13.
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Want to try a variety of diapers without having to buy a bunch? Try our "Experiment to Own" program! Take home eight diapers for two weeks and puchase only the diapers you like!