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Why would you want to use cloth diapers?
May 11, 2010 11:26 am | by

Are you considering cloth diapers? Good! It makes financial sense. It makes environmental sense. Let’s talk about why.

Cloth diapers are cheaper to use than disposables. Disposable diapers cost around $0.19 – $0.45 per diaper change. That varies based on the type of disposable diaper you buy. If you buy cheap store brand diapers, you may spend less. If you buy higher end name brand diapers, you could spend more. Every single disposable diaper you buy and use is thrown in a landfill. How much money are you wasting? Replace that image of a disposable diaper fluttering in the breeze at a landfill with a mental image of piles of quarters. There you go! You may have thrown away around thousands of dollars by the time your baby starts potty training.

Cloth diapers are an initial investment that pays off in the long run. Your initial investment will vary based on the brand you choose. Cotton Babies offers cloth diapering packages that range from $34.95 to $339.00. Want to spring for the nicer diapers (like bumGenius) but not sure how you can afford it? Try the budget plan. Buy one diaper per paycheck. Did you know that shipping is free on everything at Cotton Babies, including cloth diapers?

Is it worth it? Heck yeah! Even if you only saved a little bit of money because you bought the most expensive cloth diapers on the market, it is a little bit more money than you would have if you’d chosen to use disposable diapers and thrown that money in the landfill instead! Use cloth diapers. It makes financial sense.

Cloth diapers are more convenient. Imagine just realizing that you just picked up the last disposable diaper. The diaper bag was empty. The “emergency stash” in the car was gone. Now what? Well, you can send your partner out on an emergency trip to the grocery store, or you can rest easy because you have cloth diapers. It’s just time to do a quick load of laundry!

Cloth diapers are better for the environment because they prevent landfill waste. According to a recent EPA study, disposable diapers take up over 1.5% of the space in landfills. Cotton Babies is in the middle of researching more information about many pounds of waste your baby will contribute to that landfill waste if you choose disposable diapers. Research is so impersonal though! If you are anything like me, it is hard to correlate numbers in a spreadsheet to something visual that really affects my life. Thankfully, Hollywood took the time to create the visual for us. Have you seen Wall-E yet? Remember the mountains of garbage? Every time I see a disposable diaper in the trash, I have mental images of the piles of garbage that little robot was trying to clean up. That’s enough to make my insides shudder. I’ve written quite a bit more on this issue (and included links to relevant studies) in my Cloth Diapers – Just the Basics resource page.

Cloth diapers are realistic. Yes, cloth diapers can be used in virtually any family situation. What solution you choose will vary based on some variables – including whether or not you work outside of your home and who is the primary caregiver for your child. If you are a stay at home parent, it is easy to use cloth diapers all the time. If you work outside the home, consider using cloth diapers on the weekends and overnight. Some daycare providers will cloth diaper your baby though (to boost your argument, consider a one-piece cloth diaper like bumGenius Elemental All-In-Ones). I don’t know your individual situation though. It is important to identify what your family needs and just choose a diapering solution that will work for you!

You can do this! How can we help? We’ve been selling cloth diapers a long time and are always glad to share our experience with you. Call us at 1-314-892-1855 and talk to a customer service rep today! You can find us by email, on Facebook and Twitter too.

About the Author

Jenn is the founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, worldwide leading cloth diaper brands. She has four children (Andrew, Oscar, Elsie and Louis) and holds an MBA from Washington University. When she's not working full time, she enjoys teaching business leaders how to implement sustainable economic & social change.



  • Mummatutu said...
    May 15, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I don’t find it extra work either @Francesca I actually enjoy washing my daughters diapers and I HATE laundry… LOL

  • Francesca said...
    May 15, 2010 at 8:28 am

    I work full-time outside of the home, and I still cloth-diaper full-time. Our babysitter watches several other kids and didn’t bat an eye when I asked if she’d switch to cloth for my little one. I’ve got a 2-day supply of BG Organic All-in-Ones and organic Flips. Both are easy to use, and I don’t feel like I’m doing any “extra” work by using cloth over disposables. I’m so happy that I chose to cloth-diaper.

  • cloth diapers said...
    May 14, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Cloth diapers will save a family alot of money over disposables and they don’t get tossed into the landfill where they stay forever. After your child is out of diapers you can use them for car rags etc. Cloth diapers are the best choice for any baby.

  • Jenn said...
    May 12, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    @Jessie Young – yes, those coupons are valid, but they expire soon!

  • Rosemarie said...
    May 12, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I just got my first shipment in the mail yesterday! I have twins that are four and I wish I had cloth diapered them – the money we shelled out on disposables makes me shudder. This new little one won’t be here for another 5 weeks but I am getting prepped and ready now. So excited!

  • Sarah R said...
    May 12, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    Another thing: you can re-sell your diapers when you’re finished with them! Definitely can’t do that with disposables — ew! 🙂

  • emily said...
    May 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I am a cloth diapering convert too…and I work full time so my little man is at day care during the day. I was nervous about asking them about dealing with cloth diapers at first, but they were happy to use them (I had to provide a separate pail and unfortunately I think they threw one away on accident but other than that mishap, no complaints!) and now the other mammas ALWAYS ask me about them…and the ever popular “what to do with the poop?” question. Bumgenius diapers are so easy for working families and well worth the investment!

  • Katie said...
    May 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I love my cloth diapers too! I was going to add that we’ve had much less diaper rash since using cloth…and we’ve been using them for two years. My son is now potty trained and my 15 month is using the ones that he used to wear. I also LOVE the colors that the diapers come in. Nothing cuter than a cloth-diapered bum!

  • Jessie Young said...
    May 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    How feesible is it to cloth while living in an apartment w/o an in-unit washer/dryer (having to pay $1.50/load at the laundromat)? Are those portable counter top washers really good to use? This is the only thing holding me back from going exclusive cloth… Oh and there are some “Spend $10 get a free Bumgenius diaper” coupons out there. Are these legit?

  • Crystal Biehl said...
    May 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I love cloth diapering. I’m so glad my friend told me about it and that I, in turn, told my friend. Now we are both cloth diapering mommas and are loving it.

    We love our bumgenius diapers. So easy to use and so cute 🙂

  • Jessica said...
    May 11, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve bought a variety of cloth diapers last month. I want to cloth diaper my second baby, with my son he has had a mild rash on his bum since day one (and he is 3 years old, a little over 35lbs) do to disposables and pull-ups. Since we have been potty training I’ve notice that the rash is going away since he has been in underwear. I’m really looking forward to starting cloth diapers in July.

  • Carrie said...
    May 11, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I have had kids in cloth for 3 years. I’ve struggled with some diapering issues, but I love cloth so much, and dislike disposables so much that I keep working to get my kids in cloth 100% of the time. Even though I’ve ended up using plastic diapers at night and when traveling, it still is totally worth it to have invested in cloth!

  • Lauren said...
    May 11, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    We originally switched to cloth diapers to save money, but my 17 month old also has very sensitive skin. At his last well-visit, he was wearing a cloth diaper, and the Dr. saw that he had some mild irritation in his diaper area (it was not a stay-dry liner, those work the best for him). She commented, “Now, even though you are using these diapers, he may just keep mild irritation like this until he is in underwear full-time because his skin is so sensitive.” I just thought it was great that she assumed he was in them to help his skin. Apparently she agrees that it is helpful. =)

  • Jenny said...
    May 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Yay! My very first shipment of cloth diapers will be here Friday!! I’m excited to make them work for our little family!!

  • Green Acres in the City said...
    May 11, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    I love my cloth. We have had only one diaper rash with Henry. When Cameron was in diapers we used the disposables because we didn’t know any better and he had rashes all the time! Plus they just look so cute on!

  • *~*Amanda*~* said...
    May 11, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Cloth diapers also don’t cause chemical burns as some disposables are being accused of right now!