Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Going Green - cloth diapers

Dear Blog,

I wish I could have taken a picture of the facial expressions I saw when I told people that I was planning to use cloth diapers. Some looked amazed. Some looked like they didn't believe me. Some looked as though I was getting in over my head. And some just looked disgusted. Nevertheless, I felt assured with my decision (some may call it being stubborn) and I am very happy I went through with it all. And much to my surprise and pleasure, using cloth diapers is not as hard or as unsanitary as we all might think.

I have pulled some online resources to help me express to you why I feel using cloth as opposed to disposable is important. If cloth diapering doesn't float your boat or you are not at a diaper-changing stage of life that's OK. Just being educated further on the subject is invaluable.

Pros of using cloth

-saves money over time (This is a great chart I found doing the math for costs of all types of cloth diapers and disposables for 2 1/2 years. I scored with the cheapest - prefolds - at around $381, or $0.06 per diaper change including the wash. Woo hoo! Disposables are the most expensive at an estimated $2577.35, or $0.36 per diaper change)

-no landfill waste (3rd largest contributor to landfill waste. And did you know that disposable diaper packages advise to put solid waste into the toilet before throwing the diaper away? Neither did I.)

-less likely to get diaper rash

-more likely to potty train earlier and quicker. (Though using cloth is not a promise that your child will potty train earlier, the idea is that since the child feels more wet in cloth the child will learn the connection between being wet and uncomfortable and using the bathroom instead.)

-can be used for more than one child (talk about dividing the cost even more!)

Cons of using cloth

-less convenient than disposable (I would dread using cloth if I had to go to a laundry mat. If this were the case, it would be the only time I would consider using a diaper service. Washing at home may mean a little more work, and I emphasize "little," but it is DEFINITELY DOABLE.)

-Not widely available (Most cloth diapers can only be ordered. The prefolds at Wal Mart and Target don't count in my opinion.)

-More diaper changes per day (8-10 cloth vs. 6-8 disposable)

-Pay more money up front (Buying cloth did take a pretty penny from our paycheck-to-paycheck income but it's nice not having to worry about anymore. THINK COSTCO.)
-Personally, I wouldn't travel with cloth (When and if I travel, I'm surely going to buy a pack of disposables.)

This great little invention is called a Snappi. It works like the hooks used for ACE bandages so no need for pokey pins

There are so many kinds of cloth diapers. By utilizing the web site I ultimately chose to use unbleached Indian prefolds with Thirsties Duo wraps. And let me tell you, the only time we've had a leak was when I didn't properly tuck the prefold inside the cover. I love using them and knowing I'll never run out of diapers.

Though the information is definitely incomplete I hope it was helpful. Bonne chance!
Emily Wilcock


  1. Thanks Emily! I've always wanted to do some research comparing the two types, but I had no reason to since I don't have little buns to fill them with yet. So thanks for sharing the info you've found! Cloth have pretty much won me over.

  2. hi emily - it's jana from keating ward. found your blog from breanne's. yah, cloth is slowly becoming more mainstream and if I was starting over with the childbearing I'd definitely invest in it. Your baby is precious and I love your green talk. I also thought those pics of Heath in the baby bouncer were hilarious. do more do more!

    Happy Earth Day, earthie.