Recently, parents have put more conscious effort into choosing what products to use for their babies. There are a lot of popular topics circling the mommy community – is breastfeeding a must, what kind of detergent is good for baby’s clothes, and of course, the never-ending “are reusable diapers worth all the hassle?”
It is vitally important to get some rest now and then because taking care of a baby is a 24/7 job. Many parents wonder who in the world has the time to wash diapers when disposable diapers offer so much convenience? Let’s dive into all the pros and cons of cloth diapers so you can see if they are the right choice for your family.
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PRO: Reusable Diapers Can Save You Money
Most people would agree that once you become a parent, you’re going to need to save all the money you can. So if your the main goal is to be thrifty, reusable diapers are the way to go. Your baby will use almost 6,000 diapers in their first year. That’s a lot considering diapers are expensive.
High quality reusable diapers will cost you around $120 to $150 for six pieces. This is a worthwhile investment, especially considering that you can use them until your baby is 2 years of age. Because they are adjustable, you won’t need to worry about the size, but it would be wise to purchase newborn-sized ones for the first months of your child.
CONS: Cleaning Reusable Diapers
Cleaning clothing with pee is one thing, but clothing with poop is a whole new different level, especially when your child starts to have a more complex diet. You’re going to need to get used to disposing of poop after taking it out of a diaper and washing and rinsing the diaper right away so you won’t smell it. One thing that will make this process easier is to breastfeed your baby as long as you can, because their poop will be more water-soluble.
PRO: Unlimited Supply of Diapers
You’re never going to wake up in the middle of the night and realize you are out of diapers. You can take diapers off your grocery list, so it’s less of a hassle for you. More importantly, if you’re strapped for cash, you won’t feel bad about not being able to buy more disposable diapers.
CONS: Laundry all the Time
Even if you have a lot of reusable diapers, the reality is that you’re going to have to wash more often. You might as well do this with the rest of your laundry, since many people don’t want to fire up their washing machine just for cloth diapers.
All this laundry means you will have a higher electric bill, so an energy-saving machine will be your best bet if you can use one. As an added tip, keep a dedicated hamper just for reusable diapers; this make it easier to compartmentalize. And when you don’t have time to deep clean the diapers, you can rinse them, let them dry, and set them aside for deep cleaning later.
PRO: Easier to Potty Train
If a baby continuously uses disposable diapers, they won’t see the consequence of peeing just anywhere. As a result, they tend to go anywhere as long as they feel like it; this is because reusable diapers have super absorbing powers, so they’re going to absorb as much as they can.
Children don’t like being dirty. This is why they cry when their diapers are soiled. They like being clean and the feeling of being clean. There is more discomfort in cloth diapers than disposable diapers, so they know something will feel wrong once they pee. This can quickly reinforce potty training at an early stage because they will also feel the consequences of pooping or peeing anywhere or anytime they can.
That being said, also prepare a good potty so that training can be a good experience for your child.
CONS: More Frequent Changes
Since you don’t want your baby to be uncomfortable, you’re going to have to change them more often. Reusable diapers are not as absorbent as disposable diapers. Although extra absorbent liners are available, there is still a level of discomfort, and the diapers can still leak.
This is one of the learning curves when it comes to cloth diapers. The frequency of changes can be stressful for a new parents, so if you want to use them, you’re going to have to commit to it. One trick to help you commit to being a full-time cloth diaper user is never to have any spare disposables at home. This way, you’re forced to stick to your action plan.
PRO: Environment Friendly
Disposable diapers are so effective because they are made with super absorbent polymers, which are essentially plastic and harmful to the environment. They create non-biodegradable waste, and require 3.4 billion gallons of oil annually to make disposable diapers for the whole world. If you are environmentally-conscious, you will want to go for reusable once instead.
PRO: Fewer Skin Reactions
Your baby’s skin can have adverse reactions to the material used with disposable diapers, especially if they have sensitive skin. This is why the diaper rash cream industry makes a lot of money. Reusable diapers have inserts that are made of cotton and skin-friendlier material like natural bamboo fibers.
But you’ll need to be mindful. Sometimes babies can develop adverse skin reactions with reusable diapers if you don’t change them as often as they should or if you don’t wash them properly.
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There isn’t any pediatrician in the world who wouldn’t recommend cloth diapers. Overall, these are safe and easy to find online, so you shouldn’t have trouble purchasing one.