Diaper Free:  Facts and FAQs
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Going diaper free with your baby is not as hard or bizarre as you might think.  In the Western world, we have been programmed to believe that babies need diapers, but in many parts of …

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Home » Advice and Tips, Baby, Products, Toddler

Thoughts on using cloth diapers

Submitted by on Monday, 25 August 2008One Comment
Our boy with his Bamboozles cloth diaper, minus the outer microfibre wrap.  Looks cozy eh?

Our boy with his Bamboozles cloth diaper, minus the outer microfibre wrap. Looks cozy eh?

Hi all,

There was a recent (and very funny) post from dadorbust the other day on diaper changing and the associated poo-poo. (read it here). His post got me thinking about diapers and poop (two wonderful things to be thinking about) and my wife’s insistence on using cloth diapers.

With our first child, we started using cloth diapers when he was about 7 or 8 months old, and the cloth diapers we used were from Bamboozles. They are made from Bamboo fibres, so are highly absorbent and also very soft. They were also very easy to use. I must say, cloth diapers have come a long way over the years and are no longer just a piece of cloth held together by a safety pin. These babies come in all kinds of colors, have velcro to keep them in place, come in all different sizes, have fancy inlays and overlays… pretty much the only thing they don’t do is clean the dishes and take the dog for a walk.

I am glad that we ended up using cloth diapers with our boy. He is now almost two and a half and has been potty trained for awhile already. I am certain that he potty trained more quickly and easily because of the cloth diapers. They really helped him to recognize the signs that he had to “go potty.”

Now the main disadvantage of using cloth diapers is that you usually have to change them more often. With an older baby/toddler, this is a disadvantage compared to disposable diapers, because older babies/toddlers don’t go “Number 2″ as often, so parents can wait until the disposable diaper gets full and sags to around the child’s knees before changing it if they so desire. You don’t really have that “luxury” with a cloth diaper, because after about two pees it is pretty wet and probably won’t be able to handle a third.

That is a small price to pay for using cloth diapers for an older baby, but what we are finding is that for a newborn or young baby, this “change frequency” factor is negligible.

To explain what I mean, I will use the example of our newborn daughter. Like most newborns, she is a wonderful poop producer, averaging about six poops a day, if not more (no, I am not bragging). We started using cloth diapers with her (again, on my wife’s insistence, but again, I am glad). We use pre-fold cloths, or even just regular cloths, with an outer micro-fibre wrap to block out the wetness. My worry was that they would leak all over the place or that the poop would just come exploding out of them. Luckily, I have been proven wrong, and they absorb quite nicely and keep all packages contained. We change them often, but if we were using disposable diapers, we would be doing the same, because of the poop frequency.

This has led us to a great monetary savings (we now use about 40-50 fewer disposable diapers per week), and a great reduction in garbage.

Doesn’t that mean you have to do tonnes of laundry, you ask? Well, yes, we do have to do laundry often, but, if you have read my previous post on projectile poo-poo (here) and the dadorbust article referenced above, you will know that poop gets all over the place when you have a baby anyways, so you generally have to do laundry more often, no matter what type of diapers you use. Also, the amount of water you use to clean cloth diapers is much less than the amount of water used to produce disposable diapers, so the environmental impact is still lower.

In summary, the major pros that I see with using cloth diapers are:

  • cost savings
  • much better for the environment
  • child potty trained sooner, so your diaper changing days will be over sooner
  • don’t have to take out the garbage as often

The cons of using cloth diapers are:

  • for older babies/toddlers – you have to change them more often
  • after the projectile poo-poo phase, you’ll probably have slightly more laundry to do than if you were using disposables

If you have been considering trying cloth diapers, I say “go for it!” you will be doing the environment, you child and your pocketbook a huge favor.

Join the jam and leave comments about your experiences with cloth diapers, or if you have any questions about using them. If you have any additional tips that you would like to share, please do!

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