As conscious parents, we want what's best for our children, and that includes keeping them comfortable and happy while also being mindful of the consequences of our choices. Cloth diapers are a great way to do both, but some parents are hesitant to give them a try due to concerns or misconceptions they've heard. In this article, we will address common objections to cloth diapering and provide information to help parents make an informed decision about whether cloth diapering is right for their family. From cost to convenience, we'll cover it all and help you understand why cloth diapering may be the perfect choice for your family.
Objection 1: Cloth diapers are just as expensive if not more than disposables
“Water, energy and soap consumption makes cloth just as expensive as disposables”
Answer: Having extra laundry it s a given when you have a baby. Using cloth diapers full time represents only one extra full load in the washing machine per week or 2 to 3 cycles per week, where the diapers occupy 20-30% of our load.
We have done the math and you can too. Depending on your machine and your location, you spend around 150 euros per year on water energy and soap just for laundering the cloth diapers alone. Indeed the drier consumes much more energy so for sustainability, cost, and extending the life of the waterproof reusables, better to line dry than tumble dry.
Also when it comes to cost, the initial investment in cloth diapers may be higher, but they save money in the long run since they can be used from birth to potty trained, for multiple children plus a stash of cloth diapers doesn’t come near the money you will spend in 3 years for disposables. And if the initial cost is a burden on some families, many cloth diaper stores offer payment in 3-4 months, (shop now pay later, afterpay.)
Objection 2: Cloth diapers are also bad for the planet
Answer: Cloth diapers are often viewed as an eco-friendly option, but it's important to note that indeed they still have an impact on the environment because every product comes with a cost. The concerns are about water and energy consumption required for washing, along with issues in the textile industry, that can make cloth also have negative consequences. However, these don’t come close to those of disposables. Disposable diapers generate more waste and take hundreds of years to decompose, whereas cloth diapers can be used for multiple children and then recycled or repurposed.
Wash your cloth diapers responsibly and check our article on how to make the use of your cloth diapers more sustainable here.
The environmental impact of cloth diapers depends also on the materials used (e.g., organic cotton vs. synthetic fabrics, hemp, closed loop cycle viscose- lyocell- vs bamboo viscose). Try to shop for natural and organic fabrics when possible, from brands that offer transparency and whose manufacturers have certificates and regular inspections that assure to a certain degree the that their practices and fabrics are not harming the environment.
Objection 3: The extra laundry takes more time and the washing routine is complicated
Answer: Indeed, cloth diapers can take around 20 minutes per week, to rinse, line dry, gather, and put away with clothes. You can wash your cloth diapers along with your regular laundry and depending on the style, you may not need to wash them after every use. Cloth diapers may require extra laundry, but being small In size, it is not a significant amount (one full load per week)
Washing cloth diapers is not complicated. It is as simple as tossing them in the washing machine with your regular laundry, using a cloth diaper-compatible detergent. Everybody has a different washing routine, the one that works best for their family and lifestyle,
Objection 4: Cloth diapers are not as sanitary as disposable diapers and it s gross to deal with poo
Answer: Cloth diapers can be just as sanitary as disposable diapers if they are washed properly. Regular washing with hot water on longer cycles with a good detergent will kill any bacteria or germs.
Solids should always be removed before putting into the washing machine, and water spraying them at high pressure with a bidet attached to your toilet, or using diaper liners that you can throw after are ways that parents deal with the poo on cloth diapers.
Objection 5: Cloth diapers stink
Answer: What happens when you have a newborn and some days you use up to 10 disposable nappies? You don’t go and throw the garbage outside after every change. You stay with them for at least one day in the house every single day. So how is that different than what you picture cloth diapering to be?
You shouldn’t leave the diapers for one week waiting to be laundered, ideally, you wash them every 2,3 days. Rinse after use and there will be minimum smell. Pus Wetbags do an amazing job at keeping odors in just like those smart pail garbage for diapers.
Objection 6: Cloth diapers ruin your machine and your clothes.
Answer: There is a common misconception that cloth diapers will ruin your machine or stain your clothes, but this is not the case when you follow proper washing instructions, and using a cloth diaper-compatible detergent is important to prevent buildup and stains.
Before putting diapers into the machine, you always have to remove the solids first with a water sprayer or disposable liners. The solids of babies before eating solid food are water-soluble. If you're still not comfortable with the idea of mixing them with your clothes, many parents pre-rinse the diapers alone on the machine before mixing them with regular laundry, and then use the longer cycles, ( at least 60-minute).Or they give them a short program of 15-30 min wash alone before that main longer cycle where the diapers are mixed with clothes.
Objection 7: Not practical when you're out, traveling, or at Daycare
Answer: Daycare has no reason to refuse cloth diapering your baby and many are familiar with this system. It s just as easy as a disposable, they don’t deal with the laundry part, they just change the baby and instead of throwing it into the garbage, they throw it into your wet bag and give it to you at the end of the day. Modern cloth diapers are designed to be easy to use and come with features like Velcro closures that make them quick and easy to put on and take off.
About practicality when traveling, it depends on where you go, how long you stay, and if you have easy access to a washing machine. There's no problem with using disposable diapers occasionally to make your life easier.
And when you're out and about, simply take your wet bag with you that will seal the soiled diapers and any odor.
Objection 8: Cloth diapers are confusing
Answer: Cloth diapers may seem confusing at first, but they are very simple to use once you get the hang of them. There are many resources available to help you understand how to use and care for cloth diapers, and most parents find that they quickly become familiar with the process.
There is a lot of new information and great resources, you can also try a diaper library, and experiment with styles, brands, and fabrics before investing in the full stash.
Objection 9: Cloth diapers leak more
Answer: Both cloth and disposable diapers have occasional leaks, but because of the back elastics, cloth diapers are less likely to have blowouts. Disposables don’t have that and the poo goes all the way up their backs. If a diaper is full of pee and then a massive poo comes, any type of diaper will leak because there was no extra space for it.
Properly fit the cloth diaper and pair it with the right absorbency for that specific timeframe change and choose natural absorbency because as opposed to microfiber, they don’t have compression leaks.
It's important to understand that disposables have many chemical ingredients, one in particular that turns liquid into gel and so they can be very slim and last a long time with no leaks, however, cloth diapers don’t have that “superpower” because they are chemical free and so the prevention of leaks depends entirely on the type and amount of absorbency used.
It is equally important to know that most childcare experts agree, while awake, babies should be changed every 2 to 3 hours regardless if you use disposables or cloth.
Objection 10: Cloth diapers are bulky and pants dont fit.
Diapers are now available in many styles and designs, including slim-fitting options that do not add bulk to your baby's bottom when you change your baby every 2-3 hours.
Babies in cloth diapers may have poofier bottoms than babies in disposables, but as long as the pants have some stretch, you won't have any trouble fitting clothes over their cloth diapers. If you buy skinny pants with no give, you may want to consider going up a size.
Objection 11 : Using cloth diapers is going backwards
Answer: Statements like "using cloth diapers is going backward" are often made due to a lack of understanding of the modern advancements made in cloth diapers. Today's cloth diapers are more absorbent, stylish, and practical, and come in many different styles, making them just as convenient as disposable diapers.
When disposables were introduced they were a game-changer for mothers' lives and they didn’t look back since then; It's important to remember that they were created at a time when washing machines weren't as common and people had to wash everything by hand, including cloth diapers. Cloth diapering has come a long way since then;
We would confidently argue the opposite, that using cloth diapers is a step forward, not backward as many countries, including the European Union, are working to improve their laws and regulations when it comes to waste and pollution, which is a clear indication that more and more people are realizing the importance of being environmentally responsible.
In conclusion, cloth diapering can be an excellent choice for parents who are looking for a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to disposable diapers. While there may be some objections to cloth diapering, such as the initial investment, extra laundry, or concerns about sanitation, these can be easily addressed with proper information and education. By choosing cloth diapers, parents can reduce their environmental impact, save money in the long run, and provide a comfortable and healthy option for their little ones. So, don't hesitate to give cloth diapering a try and see the benefits for yourself!
And remember : Where there s will, there s a way!
Andra B, Heritage Hug