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You’ve seen some adorable cloth diapers and heard all the hype for trying them, but the truth is you’re a skeptic. Cloth diapers seem like a whole lot of work and the benefits, eh, you’re just not seeing them. Not to mention, cloth diapers seem really pricey. Sure they might be better for the environment, but it’s hard to see how they can really save you money, considering that just one cloth diaper costs around the same price as an entire package of disposable diapers. Realistically, for you and your family, they just don’t seem to be worth all the trouble. Well, we’re here to convince the naysayers to give them a try. Even if cloth diapering is the furthest thing from your mind, we have a list of 8 reasons why moms should consider part-time cloth diapering.
You’ve heard that cloth diapering can save you money but how can that be when all the cloth diapers you’ve seen seem to cost an arm and a leg? Here’s the thing. Cloth diapering can be really economical or really expensive. It’s all up to you. There are dozens of cloth diapers you can buy, ranging from just a few dollars for prefolds to as much as $30 for all-in-one diapers. The key to saving money with cloths is to buy just what you need and control your impulses when it comes to buying expensive trendy diapers. We all probably know someone who has become “addicted” to buying cloths and this, of course, is not going to save you money.
You don’t need nearly as many diapers as you might think, and if you are diapering part time you really only need enough to get you through a couple of days at a time. A $100-200 investment in 10 to 12 diapers should give you plenty of diapers for part-time use. While that might seem like a lot of money, when you consider that you’ll spend about that much on disposables in just 2 to 4 months, the math makes sense. Your baby can use and reuse the cloth diapers you buy, and when you’re done you can save them for another baby or sell them.
Admit it. You’ve thought about cloth diapering before but something’s held you back. If you are cloth-curious, this is a good reason to consider cloth diapering part-time. Instead of leaping in with both feet – when you have reservations and aren’t sure if you really want to make the investment – start off slow and try out a few different brands that interest you. This will give you an opportunity to see what you think about cloth diapering and decide which brand or type of diaper works best for you. If you start off with just a few diapers, you may not have enough to do a full load of laundry, but that’s okay. You can just hand wash them in the sink and toss them in the dryer with the rest of your laundry.
Another way to test the waters with cloth diapering is to use a cloth diaper trial program. If you do a search for “cloth diaper trial programs” you will find cloth diapering shops that offer trial programs. Most of them work like this. You spend about $150 plus a $20 to 30 shipping and/or trial fee. In return you get a set of diapers to try. If you like them, you keep them and will be credited back the trial fee. If you don’t like them, return them within 3-6 weeks, depending on the program, and you’ll get a refund minus the trial fee and shipping costs. This should give you enough diapers for part-time cloth diapering without the risk. Worst case scenario, you’re out $20-30, but you should get at least $20-30 worth of cost-savings from the diapers you tried out.
Occasionally, you’ll meet a person who can’t acknowledge the pros and cons in the diaper debate. The cost savings, environmental impact, convenience factor, and even which diaper looks cuter, are all debatable. When you do a little of both though, you can have the best of both worlds. You can put in as much or as little time as you want into cloth diapering and still have disposables as a back-up. If you are one of those moms that’s a little bit crunchy but a little bit mainstream too, part-time cloth diapering may be the perfect route for you.
Cloth diapering can be a lot tougher for working moms. It may be hard to find a childcare provider willing to keep up with cloth diapering. It can be done, but for many families working out of the home and cloth diapering is a difficult combination. Part-time cloth diapering may be just the solution for moms that work full-time. Moms can cloth diaper when baby is at home and send disposable diapers (or hybrid diapers with disposable inserts) to daycare.
Part-time cloth diapering means never running out of diapers. One argument you hear from both moms that cloth diaper and moms that disposable diaper is how convenient they are. When you use cloths you never have to worry about making a late-night trip to the store to buy diapers. On the other hand, disposable diapering moms might argue that they never have to worry about keeping up with diaper laundry. What’s nice about doing both is that if you’re tired and don’t feel like doing laundry, you can just pull out a disposable. And, if your down to your last disposable and don’t feel like running to the store, you can whip out your cloths until you have time to go shopping.
Perhaps the biggest motivation for using cloths is the fact that they are environmentally friendly. Admittedly, this is not important to everyone. Some will tell you that they could care less about their baby’s carbon footprint – the debate is still out on which diaper is better for the planet anyway – but for most moms, environmental responsibility plays at least a small part in their decision to cloth diaper.
By cloth diapering your baby you can eliminate an entire ton of garbage (over the course of a couple years) from your local landfill. It may take as long as 500 years for your baby’s diapers to decompose. Even though your contribution may not seem substantial, reducing a ton of waste is still a ton of waste. The cloth diapering market is growing and every person counts. About 5-10% of babies use cloth diapers now, according to estimates from The Real Diaper Association, a non-profit organization that offers education and support to parents on the use of reusable cloth diapers.
Now there haven’t been studies to back this up, but many moms believe that cloth diapering helps facilitate earlier potty training. Here’s why. Disposable diapers are super-absorbent and pull away moisture from baby’s skin. Babies may feel completely dry even though they have a wet diaper. Cloth diapers are absorbent as well, but they don’t have the chemical gel in them that disposables have. Babies still feel wet when they wear cloth diapers. This wet feeling may help them to potty train sooner. A dry baby may be more comfortable sitting in her diaper, and not feel motivated to pee on the potty. Additionally, by feeling the wetness your baby may be able to understand what “peeing” is a little sooner than babies who can’t feel when they are wet.
The cloth diapers of today are not your grandma’s cloth diapers. Cloth diapering has come a long way, not just in functionality but in design and style. You can go with plain flat diapers or simple pocket diapers if you want a no-frill economical diaper, or you can have a little fun and find some stylish prints and patterns like the “flower power” Bummis easy fit diaper or the “robotronic” Rumparooz, to name a few, for your little one to wear.
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