In our series The Debate, our community of real moms tackle the pros and cons around common parenting choices. The truth is, like so many decisions around child rearing, there is no right or wrong answer. At HATCH, our job is to give voice to both sides of any debate, peppering real mom wisdom with the necessary facts so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
Long ago it seemed like only an earth lovin’ hippy mama would even think about cloth diapering her babe. But thanks to innovations in the diapering space, as well as the growing awareness that we’re all contributing to massive amounts of waste basically at all times, the idea of cloth diapering is no longer a fringe conversation. In honor of Earth Month, we chatted with two moms – one who washes her diapers post-poop and one who opts for the disposable variety on the pros and cons around each.
Cloth it UP
Jonah, 6 months
“I really enjoyed cloth diapering. I never felt like it was that much added work, especially once he started solids and his poops became harder. All it took was a few extra loads of laundry and an ability to be a little more in tune with their habits. To me, the benefits far outweighed the negatives. For example, I never had to worry once about being “out” of diapers. Like if we were traveling, or in the car, or if Amazon hadn’t come yet. We never had to run out to CVS at 3am or anything like that. You also save a ton of money!
Also, and this I feel like no one ever talks about, is that cloth diapered babies rarely get diaper rash or any nasty skin issues. Because cloth diapers are so gentle, and they’re not soaked in preservatives or anything scented, babies usually don’t need any extra moisture or diaper creams. Cloth diapers also makes toilet training that much easier since wearing a cloth diaper feels more akin to underwear than a regular disposable diaper.
It’s not all perfect, though. But what is? The nights can be tricky, especially if you have a night pooper, but I never did. At first we didn’t realize that your laundry setting matters, plus which detergent you use can make or break the situation. They also take up a lot of space when you’re going out for the day, but feel like that’s a decent trade-off for all the benefits they offer.”
Jude, 13 months
“It wasn’t really an option for me. It never even remotely entered my mind that I would cloth diaper my babies. I’m the kind of person who opts for the easier approach to everything, and I can’t imagine anything easier than a baby who poops and then you proceed to throw the diaper out. I realize the waste, I realize the ramifications on the environment, but I truly would rather compost my garbage or bike to work everyday than use cloth diapers.
I will say, I read that cloth diapered babies have much lower incidences of diaper rash, and my second child would get these terrible rashes where he’d cry all night until I swathed him in zinc oxide, but I think I’d still rather wake up to a blood-curdling scream than use cloth diapers.”