Using cloth reduces your carbon footprint (and your baby's too!)
I'm a teacher, so I am all about learning by example. I want Grace to know the reasons I decided to cloth diaper versus using disposables. The best way for her to see how much I care about our Earth and the environment is for me to show how I tried to live sustainably. Maybe she'll use cloth on her babies someday to keep the tradition, who knows? But what it really comes down to is when you cloth diaper, human waste is going where it's supposed to... not in a landfill.
It's better for baby.
I've expressed my desire to reduce the chemical exposure for me and Grace too. Disposable diapers have tons of chemicals in them, including dioxins, TBT, and Sodium Polyacrylate (those little crystals you seen in the diapers when they're left on too long). Sodium Polyacrylate is what freaks me out most... they removed it from tampons due to toxic shock concerns, however the effects of this chemical have not yet been researched when it comes babies. This is so frustrating to me.
This is an opinion thing, but in my post about how to wash cloth diapers I go through my process of how I wash and dry them. It probably takes me a total of 5-10 minutes of work three times a week... the washer does everything for me! Yes, the #2 diapers can be a bit messy, but most of the time they are not that bad. These are so much cleaner and we don't have a trash can or dumpster of stinky, chemical-y disposables each week! Seriously, the mix of waste with chemicals is so disturbing.
You save money when using cloth.
You really do. Here's a bit of a personal breakdown for you. We were spending around $40-$50 a month on disposables before we switched over. That's around $1800 for three years of diapers. We paid around $500-$600 for our cloth diaper stash of around 40. We get to reuse these year after year and don't have any monthly diaper expenses other than our water bill, which has literally no significant change! (My hubby can vouch for this...he was impressed!)
You know I'm a fashion lover, so when I find a cute diaper that matches Grace's outfit (or my outfit) I get super excited it! Charlie Banana has so many cute prints for boys and girls! Plus, they hold their value - cloth is reusable and re-sellable! You can sell them on the Facebook Buy, Sell, Trade pages!
- Why do YOU cloth diaper?
- I decided to start using cloth when Grace turned four months old. I had been using disposable diapers for a while and wasn't happy with them for a number of reasons. I loved the idea of reducing my carbon footprint, and with a few diaper rashes, and the discomfort I saw from the rough, papery diapers, I decided it was time to make the switch. PLUS, the prints are absolutely darling!
- What are your favorite kinds of cloth diapers?
- I use Charlie Banana almost exclusively. These are pocket diapers and I prefer them because I can tailor the absorbency (amount of inserts) based on the need! I also have used organic prefolds (although they are a bit messier to wash) and I use flour sack towels or hemp inserts with pockets at night with my Charlie Banana covers.
- How do you clean them?
- Refer to my post on "How I Wash and Store Cloth Diapers" for this info :)
- How do you get started?
- The easiest way to start cloth is to buy a stash of 3-5 or so, then use them for one to two days and see how you like it. Do tons of research too! Fluff Love University is one of my favorite resources!
- Favorite overnight diapers?
- We use a Charlie Banana cover and a flour sack towel (folded origami style) with one insert in pocket overnight and it's proven to work out really well. I also have hemp inserts that we use for long trips or overnight. These are so much more foolproof than the flour sack towels/aka daddy friendly!
- What are your favorite newborn diapers?
- I love the Charlie Banana newborn diapers - they are adjustable for different sizes, and the newborn ones are so tiny! On May 18th, Charlie Banana is doing a sale on their newborn packs of two! They are 20% off with code XSmall20.
- What do you do with them when you're out and about?
- Great question! Here's a link to a post I wrote called "Cloth On The Go" :)
- All the acronyms... what do they mean? I'm curious about inserts, and the types of different diapers?
- AI2: All-in-Twos. An AI2 diaper has a set of snaps that attach the absorbent layer (like an insert) to the inside of the diaper.
- AIO: All-in-Ones. An AIO diaper consists of only one piece. These are a bit more foolproof, but take FOREVER to dry, so I'm not a huge fan.
- CD: cloth diapers.
- Diaper Cover: When using a pre-fold, flat, or fitted diaper you may want to use a diaper cover to keep wetness contained. Covers are usually made of plastic, vinyl, waterproof polyester material, fleece or wool. Diaper covers are budget friendly and work great for many families. Diaper covers may be one-sized or sized. The most popular brands are Thirsties and Flip diaper covers.
- Fitted: A fabric diaper with no waterproof layer is a fitted diaper. Fitted diapers are usually cotton (or other natural fiber like hemp or bamboo) that goes on your baby with snaps. A fitted diaper requires a diaper cover to contain wetness and is great for nights, naps, or heavy wetters. The Charlie Banana covers work well as a cover!
- Flat: A flat diaper refers to a large flat piece (usually a single layer) of fabric (usually cotton, hemp, or other natural fiber) that can be folded and used as an insert in a cloth diaper.
- Insert: Inserts are the absorbent part of the cloth diaper. They are usually rectangular-shaped and fit inside a pocket diaper, cover, or shell. The most popular material is a microfiber/microterry material (a synthetic). Inserts may also be hemp, bamboo, organic cotton, or minky. Microfiber/microterry should not be placed directly next to your baby’s skin (instead it may be placed inside a pocket).
- One-Size: Used to refer to a diaper that fits most babies from birth through potty training. A one-size diaper can be adjusted to fit different shapes and sizes of babies from 7lbs to 40lbs and more. To adjust most one-size diapers use snaps or elastic and can easily adjust to fit your growing baby at any size.
- Pocket: these have a pocket opening between the outer shell layer and the inner layer that touches baby’s skin. You can place the absorbent material (insert) inside this pocket opening. Pocket diapers are the #1 choice style for cloth diapering families.
- Pre-fold: rectangular pieces of cloth that have a thicker middle layer. These also require a cover.
- PUL: PUL stands for polyurethane laminate. PUL is the waterproof material used to make outer shells of many popular brands of diapers and diaper covers. PUL requires a chemical bond to attach to the back of fabrics. It can feel shiny or sticky.
- Stash: A collection of cloth diapers.
- Stripping: (source) way to remove built-up residue from cloth diapers.
- What's up with wool for overnights? Is it worth the hassle?
- I actually do not have experience with this as we have never had issues with leaks overnight, but check out this post here about wool & cloth. I do love my hemp inserts for overnights though! They soak up so much.
- Is it really cheaper than disposables?
- Here's a bit of a personal breakdown for you. We were spending around $40-$50 a month on disposables before we switched over. That's around $1800 for three years of diapers. We paid around $500-$600 for our cloth diaper stash of around 40. We get to reuse these year after year.
BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!
So, I want to practice what I preach... this means finding a way to help you try out cloth! Charlie Banana and I have teamed up to gift one of my readers with a three pack of Charlie Banana diapers! It comes with three covers, and six inserts! Perfect for trying out cloth for a day! Here's how to enter:
2. Simply post a photo of your baby on Instagram with the hashtag #LivinginColorCBGiveaway and tag me (@livingincolorstyle) in the caption!
3. Optional: Share this post on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter using the buttons below!
Winner will be selected five days from now, and contacted within 24 hours later! Good luck, mamas!
Be sure to check out these other posts about cloth diapering:
How To Wash, Store, and Care For Your Cloth Diapers | Cloth on the Go & Dressing a Baby Who Wears Cloth