Whether you’re into crunchy parenting or convenient parenting, there’s one thing that the majority of Western parents agree on: we use something to cover our baby’s butts. But what kind of butt covering we use can be the subject of controversy or outright hostility. When it comes to using cloth diapers versus disposables, everyone has an opinion. Of course, if you’ve read my blog here or on What to Expect, you’re probably aware that I’m a big fan of using cloth diapers.
There are quite a few reasons that we decided on using cloth diapers: 1.) long term cost effectiveness, 2.) reduction of landfill waste, and 3.) darned cute!
Long term cost effectiveness of using cloth diapers – If I’d done what I’d intended and stopped buying cloth diapers when I technically had enough in my cloth diaper stash, I would have spent roughly $300. And those diapers were enough to last Norton from birth until he’s potty trained. Before Norton was born, I bought a good size stash of nineteen Fuzzi Bunz One Size pocket cloth diapers. It was enough that I had a day and a half supply for a newborn, so I could keep up with laundry without a problem. For the price of that cloth diaper stash, I’d have recouped my spending based on what I’d saved in six months. Plus, those diapers could be used on subsequent offspring, thus increasing my savings even more. And when it’s all said and done, I can sell off my used cloth diapers, getting an even better return on my investment.
And that mostly has worked. You see, when Norton was about six months old, I got really curious about the other brands and types of cloth diapers out there, so I started experimenting. Now I have a stash that will cover roughly 60 diaper changes. Buying that many diapers has killed the cost effectiveness, but the being able to sell my stash is still true. I may not have gotten the monetary benefits out of it, but I’ll still come out slightly ahead when I resell my stash at the end. And the husband has told me no more buying cloth diapers for experimenting, so… yeah.
2.) Reduction of landfill waste – That one is most definitely working out. I’m clearly not throwing out the same number of diapers, even though I do periodically use disposables.
3.) Darned cute! – It’s most definitely working out with the cute factor. We have colorful blue, green, yellow, and red diapers. We have diapers with monkeys, diapers with bears, diapers with stripes, and other patterns that I had to have. I’m thinking that the super cute diaper of the moment is the Bitti d’Lish. I love the fuzzy Muppet diaper. And regardless of what we have, all of our diapers will be useful for the next kid.
There was also one other unexpected side effect that I didn’t really think about. Andy never got a single solitary diaper rash. Now, though, it seems like diaper rashes are on the rise. Norton has gotten the occasional diaper rash, but every time it’s been related to the acidity of poo when his tummy has been wrong. We typically manage to correct those in a day or two without the use of any type of butt paste. We’ll have to see if he potty trains earlier. But I’m hoping.
That’s not, of course, to say that I’m completely anti-disposable. I’m still slightly lazy. I have no desire to carry much of anything on me when we go out. Carrying wet diapers home is extremely unappealing. So, when we’re out and about, we use disposables. Grandma also uses disposables when she baby-sits, and we use disposables at night. We use them so rarely that we actually have leftover diapers in sizes one, two, and three for the next kid. It’s a good compromise that works for us.
How about you? Cloth or disposable?