If you know a few moms, you likely know at least one who uses cloth diapers on her kids. The practice really has become normalized these days. Still, when I tell people that we use cloth diapers, I get strange looks and questions. Some people still picture an off white cloth with safety pins wrapped awkwardly around a baby’s bottom. Others can’t imagine how much work they must be compared to disposable diapers.
Last month, I explained why I was drawn to cloth diapers. For me, I was mostly concerned with the health of my kids and the financial strain of using disposables. Still, even when I explain my choices for cloth diapering, the questions come. “Is it really better financially to cloth diaper? What about all that water you use to wash them? What about the money spent on electricity?”
Truthfully, I understand the naysayers. When people make environmental or health choices, they do so because they believe one option is better than the other. And by doing so, they create an unsaid value dichotomy. What I am doing is right therefore what you are doing is wrong. I don’t believe that most cloth diapering mamas are actually making this statement. Instead they are exploring why this choice works for their family. But mommy wars start for something as simple as this.
By explaining my choice to cloth diapers, other Moms feel the need to defend their choice not to. That’s great. Let me be clear. We all need to make choices that work best for our family. No judgement. Ever. Seriously. So, let’s step away from personal reasons for a moment. And let’s answer that question that I always hear.
Are cloth diapers REALLY any better than disposables?
Let’s look first at the cost. Thankfully there are some handy dandy infographics to make all this easier to figure out.
What stands out for me is the cost. After buying disposables for my first born for two and a half years, I am without a doubt sick of spending $40ish dollars every few weeks. For the amount of money I spend on PullUps in two months, I could have 12 cloth diapers (priced from Hipkiddo) instead. I can’t imagine that the amount of money I spend washing those diapers could possibly come close to the amount I have spent on disposables. But again, we’re talking about the greater good here, not my own personal hatred towards needing to purchase new disposables all the time. So let’s delve a little deeper into the numbers, shall we?
So, all else being equal, cloth diapers do have a leg up on disposables when it comes to cost and environmental impact. If long term financial savings and helping out the environment are important, cloth is likely the way to go. But let’s all remember that there are more things to take into consideration. So no judging, okay? On either side.
Here’s to making informed decisions that are best for our family!
My family chose to cloth diaper.
The small print: I use Hipkiddo cloth diapers on Gavin. They’re an awesome cloth diaper choice if you’re looking for green, affordable diaper options. Be sure to Like Hipkiddo on Facebook and follow on Twitter to hear about chances to save and win. Hipkiddo provided cloth diapers for the purposes of this blog series but all opinions are my own.