We discussed cloth diapering our kids even before we got pregnant. When we found out we were expecting a baby, the decision was made. Here's a little bit of the why...
Cloth diapering saves money. It's true! At this point (3 months of age), Henry goes through about 16 diapers a day. At Target, a package of 42 Pampers costs $8.99. Yes, cloth diapers are an upfront investment. But they don't have to be a major expense. There are many ways to cloth diaper without having to buy the top of the line brands. We started out experimenting with a few different options, so we could see which we liked best. To date I think we've spent about $500 on diapers and we won't need to spend any more at least until after his first birthday. (Unless we want to increase our quantity.) However, the real savings comes with baby #2 because we will reuse all the diapers we have purchased for Henry.
Cloth diapering is better for Baby. Cloth diapers are more absorbent, which means pretty much eliminating diaper rash. Cloth diapers don't have any chemicals in them, which means no allergic reactions (which can be misinterpreted as diaper rash). Cloth diapers are more comfortable...just look at them! Disposable diapers have been linked to some health problems, including sterility in boys. The theory is that paper diapers build up so much heat and are changed less frequently, which can have damaging effects. Also, the chemicals of course. I didn't know this until after we started cloth diapering, so it was not influential in our decision...but it makes me glad we're using cloth.
Cloth diapering is easy. This was certainly my biggest concern, and the only thing about cloth diapering that I felt I could really argue with. Now that I am cloth-diapering a baby, I can speak from experience when I say it's true! Henry is exclusively breastfed, which means his poo is water-soluable. His diapers can go right into the washing machine, as is. When we take off a dirty diaper we just throw it into our diaper pail instead of throwing it in the trash. The pail has a liner in it that is waterproof fabric on the inside layer. When it's time to wash the diapers, we just throw them all in WITH THE PAIL LINER. We run a cold rinse first and then a hot wash with an extra cold rinse at the end. Then into the dryer with a regular cycle.
I also want to note that we're not talking the cloth diapers from back in the day with pins and plastic pants. Most of them now are made with velcro or snaps. Easy!
Cloth diapering is better for the environment. Can you imagine how many paper diapers are piled into our landfills each year? Uff-da!
Cloth diapers are cute! Yes, this is just a bonus. But, come on! Who could resist that extra padded and colorful bum!