A Letter from a Dad
Why I choose Cloth Diapers
As a recent father I have been introduced to the world of diapers. At first, I went into parenting with no real thought about diapers or potty training. I had certain assumptions that were stumped immediately. During my day to day I try to be conscience of my environmental impact, but I am also a normal guy who wants to watch his wallet too. Here I was in the world of parenthood and diapers. We started out with disposable, but this became a sore point pretty quickly.
A couple of big cons on using disposable diapers were apparent:
- The harm to the my baby’s skin;
- The baby’s comfort;
- The harm to the environment; and
- The harm to my wallet.
After some time I saw my daughter develop diaper rashes and we could clearly see her skin did not like the disposable diapers. We tried a few different types, but same results. We went diaper free as often as possible. I was happy to run that risk into to ensure my baby girl was not uncomfortable.
We did some research during the pregnancy of course and dismissed cloth diapers. Now we looked back with a much more open mind. My heart was breaking seeing and emptying the diaper bin at the end of the day and watching how much plastic and waste we were sending to the landfill.
Mummy, of course, was ten steps ahead of Daddy (me by the way) and had been researching brands and types of cloth diapers, inserts etc. My partner, Margarita, had even pulled the trigger and bought a few Cloth Diapers. Stout House I may add.
After speaking with more and more parents about their experiences with area of parenthood I was amazed at the advice I was being given. I wished I had raised the topic before and, well, its motivated me to share this with you.
Skincare was important and it was really clear that diapers and skin don’t mix well. I also live in a hot place; in summer it gets really hot. I was worried about the heat and one of the things I have noticed is that disposable diapers really made my daughters sweat. With the cloth diapers there is so much more room to breathe and you can really see it.
Since we started using the Cloth Diapers we have seen a huge difference in my daughter’s skin. Less irritable and cleaning and changing times are much less a stress. We have said goodbye to sore, sensitive skin.
Regulatory ComplianceI did more reading to understand exactly what disposable diapers are made from and are the chemicals really that harmful to the baby’s skin. Truth be told I couldn’t find out too much, but I did see the importance of buying CPSIA approved cloth diapers.
What is CPSIA? Basically, it is safety regulations that make sure products for babies and kids are extra safe. It requires extra stringent testing and regulations on chemicals and materials permitted in products intended for use by kids. An extra layer of safety which us parents love.
Money, money, money…. It is a no brainer once you look at the cost which is the best choice.
I read a crazy statistic on how many disposable diapers on average a baby will go through by the time they are two years old. It got me a thinking. I got the calculator out. I was skeptical at best on what it said….6000.
Run the Albert Einstein montage and picture me vigorously typing away at my calculator… I had a moment of realization of what I saw before me. I couldn’t believe that using cloth diapers could really be such a saving. Let’s have a look at my own figures.
Of course, this depends on brands and the type of diapers you buy but overall, I believe you save around 70-80% using cloth diapers. They reckon the average baby goes through 6000 diapers. Just work out what that would cost you if you bought upfront. Our total spend on cloth diapers and accessories to date has been $400 (and we have loads of them). If I bought in bulk and bought the cheapest ‘organic’ diapers I can find (which my partner would insist on) it would cost me around $2500-$3000… No brainer!! Cloth diapers all the way.
Ok to be fair we do a little bit more laundry, but it really isn’t that bad. After we have just discussed the financials of buying the diapers, even a small increase in electricity cost would still see you saving money in the long run. My little one is over four months old and I have not seen an increase in the electricity bill.
To be fair it is difficult to answer the question on what impacts the environment more, the washing machine or the disposable diapers.
The Stout House Facebook group is a great place to get tips and advice on cleaning and making things simple. It is really not that bad and any granny will tell you in her day that’s all there was, but with no temperature-controlled washing machines. (no thanks)
What we loved more than anything is that we could style it up. We love the Stout House collections and because we know we are saving money on the big scheme of things we can’t help but indulge in something pretty for our girl.
Betting I am not alone here, but I am a mushy dad and I am always on the lookout for a headband or outfit that matches some of my girl’s diaper prints…The Stout House community on Facebook is a great place for this. I will find the perfect one.
Potty TrainingLast but one of the big things that I have noticed even with a young baby is the change in when and how the baby will go to the toilet so to speak. Since moving to cloth diapers, we have been able to easily read the signs and introduce a potty on the odd occasion. I will write about this more when I have more experience, but I feel the transition from cloth diapers to using a toilet on their own seems intuitive. The cloth diaper is more like the clothes they will wear as they get older and more independent. Let’s see…
To Sum Up
I am big fan of the cloth diaper, we know that. The benefits reign supreme. My little girl is happy, comfortable and that is a big yes for me. The environmental impact is likely much better but still up for debate. Lastly, my wallet is happier and that leaves a little for the other things that make life comfortable or just make the ends meet for many of us.If you are considering the jump, I would buy a few and see how you go. I bet you will not look back.