Benefits of Using Cloth Diapers

In addition to being a healthier choice for babies, parents using cloth diapers tend to change children more regularly because it’s more obvious when they are wet. This helps with diaper rash and overall discomfort of your child. Cloth diapers also do not retain heat like disposables, and allow for better air circulation which is definitely better for your baby’s health.

There are additional health risks associated with disposable diapers, including exposure to toxic chemicals Dioxin (known to cause cancer) and Tributyl-tin (TBT), a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals. It’s still unclear the long-term effects these chemicals may have on children at such a young age of development. Why take the risk when cloth is a great alternative?

Economic Savings

This one is simple – cloth diapering SAVES money. The cost of one diaper is more expensive than disposable diapers, BUT once you do the math, it’s easy to see how you will save 50% or more by using cloth diapers. You also have a consistent source of diapers to reuse.

Let’s start with some facts:

  • The RDA (Real Diaper Association) estimates each baby born will need approximately 6,000 diapers during their first two years of life.
  • According to an article from Consumer Reports, the average family can expect to spend $1500 – $2000 or more on disposable diapers by the time a baby no longer needs them.
  • The cost of a cloth diaper system is $300-$1000, depending on the type. The substantial cost savings allows for money to go towards other important bills.
  • Use the same diapers again for a second child, which contributes to long-run savings, or sell them to another family.
  • Save money on constantly restock diapers and gas money for store trips.

Many parents also buy cloth wipes, make their own or use wash cloths. Wet them with plain water or make a wipe solution from water, olive oil, baby soap and essential oils. Here is a link to some baby wipe solution options. (link)

Environmental Impacts

Cloth diapering is one very important way we can contribute to a healthier, cleaner world. It’s one of the simplest changes with largest impact on our health, environment and wallet and it keeps diapers out of the landfill.

An estimated 27.4 BILLION disposable diapers are consumed annually in the United States, and over 92% of all single use disposable diapers end up in landfills. No one knows for sure how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it’s estimated to be in the hundreds of years.

Here are some additional facts about disposable diapers and their environmental impact:

  • Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills and represent 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
  • The manufacturers of disposable diapers use 2.3 times more water than the manufacturer and maintenance of cloth diapers.
  • In 1991, Proctor & Gamble performed a study and determined recycling disposable diapers was not an economically feasible option.