I was giving a workshop the other day and the woman across the table asked “but why should we cloth diaper?” and I immediately froze because I wasn’t prepared for this question. My entire life is about cloth diapering, but my life is also rewriting the way we talk about cloth diapers, and in that moment, I was like – how do I explain why without stigma or shame.
This is a continuation of the cloth 101 series – read the previous blog post here.
There are many reasons that a parent will choose to cloth diaper, and the advocacy work the cloth diaper community does to support cloth is not because we think cloth is the only way, but because we want you to know its an option. For many families the switch to cloth was life changing in someway – financially, health, or emotionally. Cloth diapering wont be for everyone, but it’s an option to consider.
Four of the most common reasons people cloth diaper:
- and personal preference
Four Reasons To Cloth Diaper
Financial Benefits of Cloth Diapering
While the upfront investment in cloth diapers can be daunting, but cloth diapers put you back in control of the long-term costs. No longer are you at the mercy of a changing diaper industry, but you choose how much money you spend and where you spend it.
Cloth diapers also provide the security of always having diapers. Whether it’s a supply chain shortage, a power outage, a road closure, severe weather event, or some other limiting factor keeping you from the store – with cloth diapers, you always have a diaper available.
There’s also something to be said about the magical impact of small business, and that the cloth diaper industry is dominated by small shops who spend money locally, support families locally, and do so much more than the big box chains – that’s data we’ll never know. Shop cloth diapers at my locally owned baby boutique – Nest & Sprout.
- Cloth Diaper a Toddler for $100
- *Updated* Budget Cloth Diapers in Canada
- 5 Reasons To Use Flat Diapers
Environmental Benefits of Cloth Diapering
Statistically speaking, cloth diapering often pulls out in the lead – especially when considering life cycle analysis of diapering where parents opt for low-energy washing strategies and use the cloth diapers for multiple children.
The environmental benefits of cloth diapering are aggressive argued for days as people nitpick energy consumption and resource depletion. But why? in favour of a single use product that gets buried in a landfill forever? A single use product that can amount to over 2,000 diaper changes that instead of washing we burry.
The privilege of using disposable diapers is the ability to burry them forever, and leave it for another generation to deal with – because one day we’ll be living on top of those mounds of disposable diapers.
We might not be able to fully articulate the environmental benefits of reducing our disposable diapering load, but it’s very real concern for many parents. What are the options – and when it comes to cloth diapering, the options are diverse with some diapers being a more green choice, while others having the same impacts of the devestating fast fashion market.
Health Benefits of Cloth Diapering
Disposable diaper brands have limited legislation about disclosing the ingredients on their packaging – and as such, we don’t really know whats in a disposable diaper. We can assume its a few basic ingredients, but what is the fragrances or additives? And how is that reacting with our skin?
For many parents who noticed an antectodal change with switching to reusable menstrual products, cloth diapers is the only reasonable choice for their family. For others, disposable diapers cause skin irritations and rashes resulting in a desperate search for something that treats the skin a little nicer.
With cloth diapers you are in control of what goes against the skin – you choose your detergents for the wash routine, you choose the textiles of the diaper, and you choose how you do it all .
Some people just prefer cloth diapers, no reason needed
Not everything needs a reason, you could just prefer cloth diapers because you prefer cloth diapers, or because you have one of these many other valid reasons cloth diapers are a great choice:
- supporting a small-business, the cloth diaper industry is dominated by women entrepreneurs trying to design something better, different and beautiful
- you want a stash of cuter cloth diapers
- you prefer the performance of cloth diapers because they are more absorbent, better fitting, or reduce blow outs and leaks compared to other products.
- you prefer the sizing options of cloth diapers because you need smaller or larger diapers to diaper beyond toddlerhood.
- you didn’t know disposable diapers were an option.
What if cloth is the only way to ensure you have diapers daily in area with limited resources? You can choose cloth for a reason not listed, and that is okay.
I like to think that cloth is superior because of its versatility and functionality. If we’re comparing diapers, the only perk disposables have is that you toss them away – but they are sized, sup-par elastics, require disposal services, and kind of smell. Sure they are trim, and less laundry, but a little laundry does the world good, no?
Cloth is an option
It’s a modern option that you can weave into your current diapering routine to reduce your impact, increase the versatility of your stash, and maybe have a better diapering experience. You can do it part time, full time, only when traveling or when you really don’t have the budget to buy disposables. It’s not this or that, but how can we make it work for you in a way that is sustainable for you.
And it’s an answer to the financial, environmental, and accessibility issues of single-use diapering choices on the market.
PS. You don’t need a reason to not cloth diaper. Don’t tell me you don’t want to because. Just say, “I don’t want to use cloth diapers”.