Benefits of Cloth Diapers

The benefits of cloth diapers are typically summed up in three categories: environmentally friendly, money savings, and improved physical health by way of reducing your child’s exposure to toxins. One additional benefit that is rarely mentioned is that cloth diapers can instil a sense of self-sufficiency and confidence.

Critics often consider cloth diapers to be inconvenient and time-consuming, which can be true however everyone’s experiences are different. But for many, the small amount of extra work needed to make cloth diapering work for their family comes with a signification amount of benefits.

Let’s take a moment to look at each aspect of cloth diapering and how it can truly work for any family no matter if its full time or part-time. Remember cloth isn’t all or nothing.

Environmentally Friendly

According to a recent survey among families who choose to cloth diaper one of the three reasons is environmental. Cloth diapers, no matter if used full or part-time, can reduce the 27.4 billion diapers that end up in landfills each year. If we set aside the landfill issue, cloth diapers require fewer resources to manufacture compared to disposables.

Money Savings

Cloth diapers can have a huge financial impact on a family. With a child using 8-10 diapers each day, depending on how often they are changed, within the first year. The below chart shows an average break down in cost for each type of disposable diapers. With an initial investment into cloth diapers ranging from $300-500, which those diapers can be used for multiple children families can save on average $2000-5000 from birth to potty training for each child.

  • Average Cost Per Diaper in Cents

Disposable brand costs taken from Target website April 2016. Cuties cost taken from Jet.com website as average cost per diaper in Jet Cares program ; does not include cost of shipping. Average cost per disposable diaper calculated by looking at cost per diaper at each size, then averaging cost over all the sizes. 

Health

Health is another reason many families choose to use cloth diaper. Babies can end up with diaper rashes for many reasons including too much moisture on their skin, diapers aren’t changed frequently enough, sensitive skin, reaction to chemicals in a disposable diaper, food allergies/sensitivities, and yeast infections. Before the 1950s, diaper rashes were really rare as families exclusively used cloth diapers and are changed more often. At least one study found that only about 7 percent of babies included in the study had diaper rash. With today’s use of disposable diapers 50% of children have experienced diaper rashes.

Pre 1950's

  • 7% with rashes
  • 93% w/o rashes

Modern Day

  • 50% with rashes
  • 50% w/o rashes