Why choose cloth diapers?
Cloth diapers aren’t just for Birkenstock-wearing, commune-fantasizing parents anymore. Cloth has gone mainstream, and choices like hybrid diapers and disposable inserts make it possible for busy moms and dads to give cloth a go. A few reasons to try it:
You can save money.
- Disposable diapers will cost about $2600 over a two-and-a-half-year period. Cloth diapering costs vary, but the range is anywhere from $400 to $1700 if you’re laundering at home.
- Most estimates show that using a diaper service is still slightly cheaper than using disposables.
- Though you’ll need to pony up most of that money up front, registering for what you need helps gift-givers offset your initial investment.
- If you can reuse diapers for another child, you’re really racking up the savings.
- Used diapers in good condition can be resold on several websites such as Cotton Babies, Diaper Jungle, and Diaper Swappers. And don’t forget eBay.
You have concerns about some of the stuff inside most brands of disposable diapers.
- Many parents worry about the gel inside most disposables, which has been linked to skin irritations. The same absorbent ingredient, sodium polyacrylate, was removed from tampons in the 1980s due to links to toxic shock syndrome.
- Most diapers contain dyes and dioxin, which the EPA classifies as a toxic chemical and potential human carcinogen.
You’re thinking about the environment.
- 3.4 million tons (think about 3.4 million Toyota Corollas) of diapers are dumped into U.S. landfills every year.
- Fecal matter inside diapers can enter the water supply via landfills.
- Each diaper takes about 200 years to decompose. The jury’s out on whether compostable diapers really make that much of a difference.
- Cotton is no angel in terms of its impact, either. Your best bet, environmentally, is using hemp or bamboo cloth diapers.
- The environmental impact of your diapering is largely dependent on how you launder. In some cases, disposables may be a better choice. Get an inside view on which might work for you.