Friday, November 5, 2010

Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers

This is something I have started debating. I know when I go back to work that I would be unable to continue with cloth diapers because almost all daycare's won't allow them. So the question is: Is it worth using cloth diapers for only 4 months? Also, are cloth diapers harder to use (for Steven of course)? I have done some research about the subject and these are the main points I found...

    * Skin Care & Health concerns: Cloth is generally better for two reasons, you can tell when your child needs to be changed (therefore less rashes) and because they do not use any weird by products (EPA). Also, babies are more comfortable in cloth diapers.
    * Convenience: Disposables, no question! Also, disposable diapers do not leak as much as cloth diapers.
    * Environmental: Disposable diapers make up a huge part of the garbage we dump in our nation's landfills every year but on the other hand laundering diapers uses up a lot of energy and water, and the detergents used pollute the nation's waters. So you can decided whats more important to you.
    * Cost: This depends... cloth has a more expensive start up rate (but not if you get them second hand), if you use a laundry service cloth diapers can be more pricey. If you wash them yourself or the laundry service provides everything, cloth diapering can be less expensive.

In conclusion, as a first time mom who plans on going back to work and will have to use disposables anyway, if only for daycare, whats the best option? Personally, I am "on the fence." Stevens cousin said she would help me get started with cloth diapers but the convenience of disposables is hard to pass up!

Note: This is intended to be an interesting discussion, not a war!

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  1. Cloth diapered babies also potty train faster ;P Most day cares will do cloth diapers, you just have to supply your own wetbag and enough diapers for the day. They don't change babies nearly enough in my opinion anyhow, I've worked in a few. Just think of it as pumped breastmilk instead of formula, it may be easier for them, but it's your decision.
    If you think disposables are easier and more cost effective, you're researching the wrong site (in my opinion as someone who cloth diapers on one income right now). Already with cloth we've saved over $800 and Audra is only 5 months old. When she was born and we were using disposables, we weren't just throwing away the disposables we were using disposable wipes as well as the diaper genie bags. Now I throw one wash in at the end of the day, and switch once to the dryer, and they're ready for me in the morning. I spent about $200 give or take to start off, but obviously they've paid for themselves now. I also bought cloth wipes off of amazon, 8 for $15 (2 sets) and they've paid for themselves as well. The best part is that everything I use all day long, goes into the washing machine and gets used over and over again. We're planning on our next baby being in 5 years (as long as my endo. isn't a problem) and we'll use all of these things for that baby too. It's recyclable, safer for your baby (they put formaldehyde in diapers now, gross). Audra, to this day, has not had a diaper rash since we switched.
    The other positive thing is, if you find women who make cloth diapers, you get them cheaper than if you go with bumgenius or fuzzibunz. My suggestion is to buy different kinds first to see how they fit your angel. Audra is a chunky monkey so fuzzibunz, squeezie cheeks, bumgenius, and diapeze work best for her.
    If you're going to formula feed, I would skip buying cloth for a newborn. They gain weight faster (generally) and she would grow out of them in a jiffy. By two months at like 11-13 lbs that's when you can really invest in some mediums that will last until about 30lbs. Breastfed babies wet more often, and poop more often so they are changed more frequently during the day.
    Good luck on whatever you decide!

  2. I am interested to see what everyone posts about this one too! I LOVE the idea of using cloth diapers. The problem for me is that I already have a terrible time keeping up with laundry around here, I can't imagine adding to it. We tried a few out when Myles was a baby and I really liked them but we just never invested in a whole collection. Other than adding to the laundry, they were just as convenient as disposables, I thought. I don't know for sure, because I don't have the experience, but I have heard of a lot of people using disposables on newborns and then switching to cloth later. I think some of the reasons are that newborn's diapers tend to leak more (especially with cloth) and because they grow so fast that you're changing sizes frequently. I have seen some cloth diapers that "grow with your baby" with additional snaps that make them smaller or larger. I haven't decided for sure yet which we are going to use either. Jerry's not real big on the idea of using cloth. He's still adjusting to the fact that I'm a big hippy and using a midwife/birth center so I'm not sure he can take anymore granola mom stuff like cloth diapers right now. lol! Good luck with your research! xoxo

  3. If you only intend on CDing while you're not working, then I don't think the "investment" is truly worth it. It can cost up to $500 just to get started!
    Right now, on Marco, we spend about $30 a month on diapers... it's not bad at all. Plus, we don't have a ton of laundry to do that stinks!
    Personally, I would never CD. There are way too many other things to occupy our time and energy and that is one area that can be super simple.

  4. Congratulations on the baby girl Dana! So happy I found your blog! I started CD Noah over a year ago. We use the FLIP system by cottonbabies and it cost us about $250 to get EVERYTHING we needed to get started (it is a one size diaper. We originally got 4 covers and 24 inserts. We now have 7 inserts and that seems to be a good number. I do wash every other night). I am now CD Owen in the same system. For us it came down to a stewardship issue of using finances and resources well. We have definitely saved money and had less rashes! All that being said, since you may only be able to do it for a bit I would try and calculate it out to see if it makes sense for your family. If your baby is a heavy wetter, CD can be hard to use at night (because you have to find the right ones that will work for her...). So even wearing them at night when you ARE home may be difficult. Good luck! Message me if you have any questions- it is HARD finding everything out on CD- there is just TOO much info!