Are you hesitant about cloth diapers? Here are some of the most common myths about cloth diapers that we hear from our customers, and the reasons why choosing to use cloth diapers is easier than you think.
Using cloth diapers doesn’t mean you have to handle more poop. Using a biodegradable and flushable liner inside of your cloth diaper makes it so you can just lift out the liner (by the edges – watch your hands!) and drop it into the toilet. This usually leaves your diaper ready to be put into the pail until it’s laundry time. No extra hassle. And as a super bonus, flushable liners are inexpensive and come in a convenient roll, just like toilet paper.
This really depends on what type of cloth diaper system you choose. Some are extremely trim and snug (not to mention colourful and adorable.) If you choose a one-size diaper, you may find that it does look a little bulky on your baby while they're really small. However, we've found that most parents can overlook a little extra bulk for a couple of months if it means that their baby can wear the same diaper from approximately 8-35lbs (that's all the way from newborn to potty training). Also, there's just something about a tiny little baby with a soft and adorable cloth-diapered bum that's cute enough to ignore the extra bulk. If bulk is something you're really worried about, you can always choose a sized diaper system for a trimmer fit.
With the right tools at hand, carrying a day's worth of diapers instead of adding them to a landfill is actually much easier than it seems. Using a biodegradable and flushable liner to remove solid waste from diapers is a great way to reduce the gross factor of carrying dirty diapers. Wet bags have been specifically designed to tackle the task of holding and transporting soiled cloth diapers. Waterproof, wipeable and odour containing, these bags close with either a zipper or drawstring and can easily be stored in the bottom of your stroller or diaper bag, making carrying your dirty cloth diapers home no big deal. Maybe a little bit more work than tossing a soiled disposable in a trashcan…but at least you aren't tossing another soiled disposable in a trashcan!
This one really is 100% myth. While this may have been true decades ago, those big old-fashioned diaper pins are now pretty much obsolete - most cloth diaper stores (including us!) don't even sell them anymore. Many people find that they don't even need a fastener when folding flat or pre-folded diapers – the diaper can just be secured with the waterproof cover that goes over top. However, for people who do like to fasten the diaper before putting the cover on, the Snappi fastener makes it safe and easy to do, without the risk of sticking your baby with a pin. It has 3 points of contact and fastens similarly to a tensor bandage. Quick, easy, painless and sans old-fashioned diaper pin.
When used properly, cloth diapers rarely leak. Leaks usually occur with cloth diapers when they are ill-fitting or when the waterproof cover isn’t totally covering the absorbent component. These problems are usually easily reprimanded by ensuring that no cloth components are sticking out of the waterproof cover and that there is a snug fit at the waist and leg openings. For heavy night time wetters, extra inserts and liners, made of super thirsty bamboo or hemp, can be added to cloth diapers to make them as absorbent as you’d like. For night time, many parents choose a stay-dry liner, which wicks moisture away from your baby’s skin, helping them feel dry throughout the night. Another possible reason for leaky cloth diapers is a build-up of residue (usually from laundry detergent or other cleaning agents) on your diapers, which makes them ineffective. This too is often easily reprimanded, by stripping your diapers and by making sure that you are laundering them correctly to maximize their effectiveness. Overall, when used and cared for properly, cloth diapers won’t leak any more than disposable diapers.
While the prospect of buying a bunch of cloth diapers all at once may instill a little bit of sticker shock at first, using cloth diapers are undoubtedly less-expensive than using disposables. New and expecting parents are sometimes intimidated by the start-up cost of cloth diapers. However, in a lot of cases, that price tag includes all of the diapers and accessories that you're going to need for the entire duration of your baby's time in diapers. One cloth diaper purchase can take you from birth to potty training. Disposable diapers cost between $0.22 - $0.45/diaper and infants can use upwards of 7,500 diapers between birth and potty training. That's a lot of emergency $20 trips to the store for a pack of disposables in the middle of the night. When compared to the cost of disposable diapers, most cloth diaper systems pay for themselves entirely within the first 6 months of use. The rest of your baby's time in diapers is essentially free. If you happen to use those diapers for baby #2, your margin of savings only increases.
It's really not that bad! We generally recommend buying enough cloth diapers so that you only have to do a load of laundry every second day. Cloth diapers aren't any harder to wash than your regular laundry, and because they're baby sized, you can generally do all of your dirty diapers in one load. The good news about laundry is that once you put it in the machine, it takes care of itself. Most new parents find that one extra load of laundry every other day is very manageable, and actually easier in the long run than having to make trips to the store to buy more disposables.
While a lot of cloth diapers are designed so that your baby feels wet when they are wet (so that they let you know to change them. Bonus: this also promotes early potty training), there are lots of options that will keep your baby feeling dry throughout the night so that they stay asleep. Choosing a stay-dry diaper or liner will mean that moisture is wicked away from your baby's skin, making them feel dry as they sleep. For heavy night time wetters, you can pair a super absorbent bamboo insert with a polyester stay-dry booster for a diaper that will absorb massive amounts of wetnes while keeping your baby dry and helping them stay comfortable and asleep. Some parents choose different cloth diapers for daytime and night time, depending on their baby's patterns and their own personal needs. There is, however, a cloth diaper solution for just about every family in every situation.
We actually recommend not dunking soiled diapers in the toilet, because it makes a wet and poopy mess. Most of the time, soiled diapers don't need to be pre-soaked in a wet pail before washing. We recommend using a biodegradable and flushable liner to help keep solid messes contained and easy to remove and flush away. Once the solids have been disposed of, you can store your diaper in a dry pail until it's time for laundry. If you really feel the need to rinse your diapers before putting them in your pail, you can always get a diaper sprayer that connects directly to your toilet and allows you to spray the mess off of the diaper and into the toilet. No dunking necessary.
The only way that you're going to have to change your baby's diaper more often if he's in cloth rather than disposables, is if you were planning to let him sit in wet or soiled disposable diapers for long lengths of time. Cloth diapers won't cause your baby to soil more diapers; he'll actually almost surely soil the exact same amount of diapers, regardless of whether they are cloth or disposable. A baby in a cloth diaper may be more vocal about the fact that their diaper is soiled, because they'll be able to feel when they are wet. This is actually a great thing, because changing a soiled diaper sooner rather than later will keep your baby's skin dry and will significantly decrease the chances of getting diaper rash. If you need your baby to feel dry in a soiled diaper for a while (for example, overnight or when you are out and about), you can always choose a stay-dry liner, which will wick moisture away from your babe's skin and leave them feeling dry.
If you have enough cloth diapers to last you two days, you're only adding one load of laundry every second day to your regular schedule. That's really not that much water and electricity. Particularly if you have a high efficiency machine (which are becoming increasingly more common), the impact is quite minimal. Especially when it compares to the alternative: dumping thousands of disposables in a landfill.
Cloth diapers actually often help prevent diaper rash. Diaper rash most commonly occurs when babies bottoms are exposed to wet, dirty and un-breathable conditions for extended periods of time. One of the benefits of cloth diapers is that your baby will feel wet when she is wet, which means that she will almost certainly make it known that she needs to be changed sooner rather than later. This greatly decreases the chance of her sitting in wet or dirty diapers, and consequently also decreases the opportunity for diaper rash to occur. Cloth is soft, comfortable and breathable near your baby's skin, which is a pretty great environment for a little bum to be in.
It is actually highly recommended that you don't use any harsh cleaning agents (like bleach) when laundering your cloth diapers. The only thing you need to add to the washing machine when laundering your diapers is just a very little bit of laundry detergent.
Some people do find folding and securing a diaper and then also securing a waterproof cover over top to be more of an inconvenience than just putting a disposable diaper on. However, there are lots of cloth diapers that have been designed to function just as quickly and easily as a disposable diaper. All-in-One, All-in-Two and Pocket Diapers are all great examples of diapers that are so easy to put on your baby that anyone could do it. Just as fast and easy as a disposable, without the waste. And think of all the time you'll save because you won't have to make a million trips to the store when you realize your box of disposables is almost empty.
The prospect of diapers alone is pretty scary for some people and the idea of using cloth can make it scarier. That doesn't mean that it's not worth trying and that you won't be totally successful in your cloth diapering endeavors. If you have made the choice to go cloth, stand up for your decision. Let your childcare providers, helpers and partners know that cloth is important to you and that it's not as hard as it seems. We think they'll come around (and be glad that they did!) If the daycare you choose has a strict no-cloth policy, you can always cloth diaper at home and send disposable diapers to daycare.
While we'd absolutely love it if people used cloth diapers all the time, we understand that for some families it's not always feasible. Lots of families choose to use cloth diapers at home and disposables when they're out and about. Some families use cloth during the day and disposables at night. Some use disposables for the first 3 or 4 weeks and then switch to cloth. Our general disposition is that some cloth is better than no cloth at all, and that you should do whatever works best for you and your baby.