Cloth Diapering Myths
Today’s cloth diapers are very different from the diapers our parents and grandparents used. If the thought of using pins, plastic pants, and dirty wet pails is turning you off of using cloth diapers, read on! I’m going to address some of the nasty rumours that are out there!
1)Disposable diapers are better for the environment because washing cloth diapers wastes energy, water, and soap.
Disposable diapers are far more harmful to the environment than cloth diapers. First of all, stop and think about the amount of energy, water, wood, oil, etc. that goes into manufacturing and shipping disposable diapers. Plus, disposable diapers can take 100-500 years to decompose. That means every single disposable diaper we have used since their invention in the 60s is still sitting in a landfill somewhere. And guess what is sitting with them… human waste! It is illegal to throw human waste into the garbage – disposable users are required to throw poop into the toilet before trashing the diaper but how many people aren’t doing that? Then there is the packaging from each pack of diposable diapers, and don’t forget the dangerous chemicals leaking into the ground water from landfills and the manufacturing process: dioxin, sodium polyacrylate (the absorbant gel), and TBT or Trybutylin, which is ranked by the WHO as one of the most toxic substances used in consumer products in the world today.
2)Cloth diapers are hard to wash.
Not true! Laundering cloth diapers is no more difficult than washing your regular laundry. There is no need to soak diapers in a wet pail, dunk them in a toilet, or scrub them. The washing machine takes care of all the work for you! Click here for information on washing your diapers.
3)Using cloth diapers will make my home smell bad.
Not true! Most parents who have used both cloth and disposable diapers agree that disposable diapers stink far worse than cloth diapers.
4)Cloth diapers leak.
Cloth diapers have come a long way! Cloth diapers are made from very absorbent materials such as cotton, hemp and even bamboo. Most diapers and covers have elasticized leg gussets for holding in leaks. Cloth diapers are totally customizable also, meaning that if you need extra absorbency for overnight or a long car trip, you can add an extra absorbent insert or doubler.
If your new cloth diapers are leaking, this could be because they haven’t been pre-washed enough. You’ll find that your new diapers become more and more absorbent after each wash. Pre-washing in hot water will help your diapers reach maximum absorbency.
5)I have to use a nasty wet pail.
Not true! I do not know any cloth diapering parents who soak their diapers in a wet pail. Most parents choose the dry pail method which involves tossing your dirty diapers into a washable, waterproof pail liner. On wash day just dump the contents along with the liner into the washing machine. No poop soup necessary!
6)Cloth diapers are too expensive.
Not true! Cloth diapering is much more cost effective than using disposables.
Huggies brand Disposables
Avg cost per diaper = 0.25
Cloth Diapers – Flats and covers
24 Flat diapers x $1.69 = $40.56
Pampers brand Disposables
Avg cost per diaper = 0.28
Cloth Diapers - prefolds and covers
24 Infant prefolds x 2.79 = $66.96
This means you can save anywhere from 838.22 to 1,943.38 by choosing cloth!! Your diapers can be used for subsequent children also, meaning you could save up to $4000!
Don’t forget about the extra savings in time and money from not having to drive to the store to purchase the diapers, as well as not having to buy diaper rash cream!
More good news – Cloth diapers have a good resale value. You can sell your too-small dipes on Kijiji or Craigslist, plus there are websites out there just for buying and selling diapers!
Cloth Diapers – One-Size Pocket Diapers
24 One-Size Pocket Diapers x 18.95 = 454.80
Cloth Diapers – Sized All-in-One Diapers (The most expensive option)
24 Small All-in-One diapers x 16.20 = 388.80
7)Cloth diapers are hard to use – I don’t want to have to use pins.
Cloth diapers today are easier to use than ever! The only people I know who use pins do it for enjoyment and not out of neccesity (I have yet to understand the love with using pins, myself…). Check out our products – Our diapers are elasticized and use fasteners such as Aplix (Velcro) or snaps. Prefold and flat users have alternatives to pins also. Prefolds can easily be folded in three and laid inside a snug-fitting diaper cover. Also available are ‘Snappi’s – Check them out here to see how they work!
8)Cloth diapers will give my baby a diaper rash.
The percentage of (American) babies who experienced diaper rash in 1955 (before disposable diapers) was 7.1%. In 1991 it was 78%! Cloth diapers allow your baby’s skin to breathe and heal more quickly. This helps prevent and treat diaper rash. Cloth diapers are also free of the many skin-irritating chemicals that are found in disposables. Some might argue that disposables are better for baby because the absorbent gel (ew) wicks moisture away from baby's skin. Well, this is a problem for two reasons: one - parents change their babies less often, facilitating the growth of bacteria, which causes diaper rash, and two - the super-absorbent gel also pulls baby's natural skin moisture away along with the urine, which also causes skin irritation. If babies could talk I believe they would ask for cloth diapers! Would you want to wear paper underwear (wearable garbage) full of chemicals? Not me!
9)Cloth diapers have to be dunked in the toilet.
Not true! A breastfed baby’s poop can go straight into the diaper pail and then into the wash with not rinsing required. For a baby with more solid poop, shake the excess into the toilet and place in the pail – the washing machine will take care of the rest. You could also purchase flushable liners on a roll to place inside the diaper. Then just lift it off and toss in the toilet. Ensure that, whichever diapering system you choose (cloth or disposables), you flush the waste down the toilet. The instructions on disposable diaper packages advise you to flush the solid waste before tossing the diaper in the garbage.
10)You have to change cloth diapers more often.
How often you change your baby’s diaper is up to you. Adding absorbency to the diaper will allow longer stretches in between changes. Many diapers have microfleece liners which provide a dry barrier in between the absorbent cloth and the bum so that your baby’s skin stays dry (you can also purchase these liners to lay inside those diapers that don’t have them). Some parents (myself included) like to change baby more often anyway, whether using disposables or cloth. I feel that just because a diaper can go 3-4 hours between changes doesn’t mean that your baby should have to wear it for that long. Every baby is different and you will find the diaper changing routine that works for you!