When I was pregnant with my first baby, I wanted to cloth diaper - partly because I wanted to do my part in saving the environment, but also partly because I wanted to protect him from all the chemicals inside disposables. I was met with a lot of resistance from everyone around me - family, friends - not one person around me thought it was a good idea. Even though a traumatic birth and rocky start to breastfeeding set me back a few days, I wasn't deterred from trying - after all, I need them to work for the newborn photos!
So what were all the reasons people gave me not to cloth diaper?
Baby N wearing Just Peachy grey diaper from Lucky Charm 3-Pack
1. Baby poop, especially the newborn assortment, is gross and you don't want to be touching that
Let me just tell you, you're going to be touching baby poop at some point in your parenting career, whether you use reusables or disposables. There are liners and sprayers and all sorts of gadgets to help with cleanup these days, and baby poop really isn't all that offensive at the end of the day. Breastfed newborn poop is also very water soluble and comes out super easily - even without pre-rinsing.
Did you know that even with disposable diapers, the solids are intended to be disposed in toilets so that they are treated properly and don't end up polluting landfills? That pollution seeps into our soil, water and even produces methane gas*
2. They're expensive.
Yes, the upfront cost seems like a lot, especially if you're like me and have to have all the cute colors and prints - but most people don't realize, or forget, that many babies don't potty train until 2.5yo, many up to 4yo for nighttime. I've used my son's stash for 2 babies now and even with the additional obligatory pink ones I added for my daughter, I saved thousands of dollars over the better disposables I would have chosen to use.
Baby J wearing peachy diaper from Pretty In Pink 3-Pack
3. They make it hard for babies to learn to sit or walk
There is no evidence to show that cloth diapers could hinder baby's development in any way. Babies' legs are bow-shaped as infants and only straighten much later in toddlerhood, so even the extra 'bulk' adds spacing between the legs, it can only be a good thing for healthy hip development. That said, for those who don't like the extra bulk, opt for thirstier natural materials like bamboo or hemp that can absorb more liquid with less material, like Just Peachy diaper inserts.
4. They cause nappy rash
Another myth. Babies get nappy rash because their skin is sensitive and it can happen with both reusables and disposables. Some babies' skin are more sensitive to wetness, and for those we recommend using a pocket diaper that has a layer of microfleece material to wick moisture away quickly. My baby was sensitive to the chemicals in disposables and it wasn't until we transitioned further away from disposables and more towards full time cloth, did we realize his skin was also getting much healthier and it was finally able to breathe (next best thing to a bare bum, anyway). That unique stench that comes with a full disposable diaper? That's your baby's pee having a chemical reaction with the chemicals inside, and then being trapped in layers of plastic.
Newborn baby wearing baby blue diaper from Silver Lining 3-Pack. Newborn photography by Nestology Studio
5. Disposable swim diapers hold pee whereas reusable diapers don't
If you think about it, if disposable diapers were designed to absorb liquid, it would be super-saturated as soon as it hit the pool! Once it's full, it won't hold anything, and even worse, it will start to weigh the diaper down and create big gaps from whence a poop accident would most definitely leak. Reusable diapers are designed to let liquid pass through, and so it contains everything by holding its shape and relying on good elastics. Kiddy pee in the pool is a fact of life :)
Got any more to share? Start cloth diapering today with Just Peachy diapers!
Just Peachy Lucky Charm 3-Pack
*Source: Solutions to a stinky problem: Congressional Legislation to promote the use of cloth diapers