Whether you’re planning for the distant future, are already pregnant, or have your newborn in hand, diapering is one decision nearly all parents face. Between the 60s and the 90s, disposable diapers ruled the parenting world, but while disposables remain dominant in sales today, cloth is slowly making a comeback. So why would anyone choose to wash diapers over throwing them out?
The More Affordable Option.
When Albertans see the $20-30 price tag on a fancy cloth diaper, they may baulk at the idea that cloth diapering could ever be more affordable than disposables. But a frugal cloth diapering parent can get away with purchasing as little as 12 diapers. Those diapers can then go on to be sold or used for further children. Disposables (obviously) cannot be reused, and each child will use approximately 6000 disposables over their first 2 years of life. The most affordable Huggies economy pack of 276 diapers costs just about $38 in Canada. So if a parent is very careful (and only buys diapers on sale), they can diaper each baby for about $825. Cloth diapers are much more affordable. Even 12 very expensive $30 cloth diapers will only run you $360. Double that to 24 diapers, and you’re still well under $800.
No More Diaper Rash.
Over 50% of infants suffer from at least one case of diaper rash. Diaper rash is caused by excessive moisture, and it usually occurs when babies aren’t changed frequently enough. Because cloth diapering solutions don’t have any absorbent polymers or compounds, infants in cloth diapers must be changed much sooner than babies in disposables. This means that they are exposed to significantly less moisture and human waste, and as a result, they are far less likely to suffer from diaper rash. In fact, if you have an infant that is commonly affected by diaper rash, your baby may benefit from you switching to cloth.
Social and Environmental Ethics?
Ethically it’s hard to balance and debate whether cloth or disposable diapers are better. There are just so many factors to include.
The cotton grown for cloth diapers uses a lot of water, and non-organic solutions use pesticides that can contaminate drink sources. Cotton is also a labour intensive crop, and in some parts of the world, forced labour can make cotton pretty socially unethical. Cloth diapers also require water and soap to be washed.
On the other hand, disposable diapers take an estimated 200-250 years to decompose, and hundreds of thousands of tons of disposable diapers are getting tossed into landfills every year. As those diaper decompose, they release methane gas which is significantly worse for the planet than CO2.
When it comes to the social and environmental ethics of your diapering solution, it’s important to research the company you’ve chosen. By carefully choosing your diapering supplier (whether disposable or cloth), you can minimize your negative impact. However, even the best disposable diapers must be thrown away. Cloth diapers are the better option for avoiding excess waste.
Whether you’re planning for a baby or already have one, you’ll eventually need to make a decision for or against cloth diapering. At Cajinka, we strongly believe the benefits of cloth make it a great option for parents hoping to save a little money, avoid harsh chemicals and diaper rash, and prevent excess waste going into our landfills. If you have any questions on how cloth diapers might benefit you as a parent, contact Cajinka today at 780-827-2848.