I’m cloth diapering my 2nd child. And going strong.
I’ve also sought to have a greater understanding of the diapering world in general. And I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot chose cloth vs sposie on a mere financial basis.
If you chose sposies, you take on the cost of purchasing diapers for at least 2 and maybe 3 or 4 years per child. You might take on a monetary cost of disposing of those diapers, or it might merely be the environmental cost of disposal.
If you chose cloth, you take on the cost of purchasing the diapers (so many options!) and the cost of cleaning the diapers (detergent, water, wear and tear on the machines). You get to use the diapers for a 2nd or 3rd baby if you have more come along, but they will wear out (or covers will) so you will need to purchase more at some point with enough time and use.
But comparison is nearly impossible. After 2 road trips where we used sposies, I’ve still not used up the box of diapers I purchased. After all, these things are designed to go 12 hours if needed… they make great overnight diapers! I felt weird leaving my baby in a diaper for more 2 or 3 hours (not poopy, just wet), but I also knew there was a lot of absorbency not yet used in that diaper. So you can’t just count how many sposie diapers someone might use… they might change baby often or they might chose to let those diapers get super full. That could be the difference of 1 diaper to 8 diapers a day!
There are other comparisons that can be made. And if you can make an informed decision, that’s the best way to make a decision, really. So here’s what I’ve thought of. Please add your thoughts in the comments!
Sposies keep super absorbent chemical compounds right up next to your baby’s parts. On the one hand, it helps in keeping baby feeling dry. But… chemicals…. And sposies are scented, sometimes strongly.
In cloth, you can choose all natural fiber fabrics, all microfiber nifty stuff, and whatever mix you want. You chose what you wash in, so you decide, to some extent, what kind of chemicals (detergents, etc) you are applying to your diapers and what scent if any, they will have.
Changing a poopy diaper is easier with sposies. You just wrap the poop and the poopy wipes up in the diaper, fold it over on itself and put it in the trash can. Then wash your hands. Easy. But you have just put human waste into a landfill. That is a big no-no in general. Yes, you can use human waste as fertilizer on your garden, as they do in many developing countries, but you don’t want to… because parasites and other illness borne on the human poop that infect humans. And so, if we can avoid putting human poop in the landfill, that is nice. Plus, the diapers have crazy water absorbing chemicals… that is a crazy something to add to the natural world.
With cloth diapers, poopy diapers are a bit more work. If baby is exclusively breast feeding, that poopy diaper just goes in the pail and it all gets washed in the washer. EBF poop is water soluble and just washes out nicely. Once baby starts eating solids… anything that is not breast milk… that poop needs washing off *before* the diaper gets to the washing machine. So, you are to tip the solids in the toilet. Ah-ha. Whoever first said that hadn’t been changing diapers all that long because most of the poop while baby is both eating and nursing is a nasty mixture of some rather wet some rather solid poop and it does NOT just tip off the diaper. So, a diaper sprayer is super handy. And sometimes, it takes a bit of time and spraying….
Having a diaper sprayer is super nice. You can now rinse muddy and sandy clothes off into the tub or toilet so you don’t burden the washing machine with said mud and sand. And little boys will love getting to rinse feet off if it happens to be by the tub (or not…). And if someone has a messy or sensitive bum, it’s nice to easily give a rinse. And post birth, it works better than a peri bottle.
Baby clothes are designed to fit over a dry sposie.
Fluffy bums are just so cute.
Add your pros and cons!
You can find more of my ‘diaper’ posts here