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cloth diapers -- why should I?

cloth diapers -- why should I?
by Shari Hinz, Baby Luv Boutique®

This is an age-old question many parents ask themselves when they are expecting a baby. Why should I use cloth diapers when there are so many quick and easy disposable choices available? There are three reasons that I like people to consider who ask us this question.

The first reason is that cloth diapers are a healthy choice for baby and for the environment. Cloth diapers are free of harmful chemicals. Trace amounts of harsh chemicals can be left behind in disposable products after the manufacturing and bleaching process. One in particular, called dioxin, is a known cancer-causing agent. Sodium polyacrylate, which gives the disposable diaper absorbent properties, has been known to cause allergic and skin reactions in some children.

The quick, easy disposable option comes with an environmental price. Disposable diapers do not easily break down in our landfills and if the solid waste is not removed before the diaper is thrown away, there is the potential for raw human waste to leak from these improperly disposed diapers. There is also no concrete timeline as to how long it will actually take for a disposable diaper to break down - some estimates are anywhere from 200+ years! Even newer brands that state they are “earth friendly” require optimal conditions within the landfill to properly break down.

Today's modern cloth diapers are obviously reusable, washable and can actually help prevent the incidence of diaper rash. The materials used in their manufacture are vastly different from the diapers of old making them comfortable, durable, stylish and environmentally friendly. Materials like microfleece, hemp, bamboo and laminated polyester are just some of the components used in modern cloth diapers today.

The second reason I tell people as to why they should consider cloth diapers is that they’re very simple to use. A baby generates additional laundry without considering washing diapers. Since parents are already in the routine of doing laundry, one to three extra loads in the course of a week will not add that much work. They require regular washing and drying, but can be line dried to save energy. With cloth diapers there is no running to the store at midnight because you are suddenly out of diapers. If you know you are starting to run low, just throw in a load to wash and dry, and you're all set once again. Many families tell me they are surprised at how easy cloth diapers are to work with and those that convert from disposables wish they would have known that much sooner.

The third reason to use cloth diapers is that you will save money in the long run. The initial upfront cost will be higher but will not break the bank. You can purchase complete cloth diaper systems anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on what system you choose and the number of diapers and inserts purchased. Disposables, however, cost anywhere from $1,800 to $3,500 for each child you have. Most cloth diapers, if carefully cared for, can last for more than one child. There is a potential cost savings of $1,500 to $2,500 per child. Who doesn't want extra money in their pocket these days?

We enjoy providing parents information on what cloth diapers are available today, how they compare to disposables, what is needed to start and how to care for them. It’s all about choosing an option that will work best for your individual family based on what you want in a diaper. If you don’t know where to start, think about the type of closure system you would prefer to work with (snaps versus Velcro) to how similar to a disposable you want your cloth diaper system to be. This will help narrow the scope of the selection so your choices will be easier.

These are just some of the basics to consider as to why to choose cloth diapers for your baby. Today's cloth diapers come in a rainbow of solid colors and cool, funky prints. This not only makes them practical, but cute, fun and stylish! Material like hemp, organic cotton and bamboo make them very "green."

There are so many great reasons to choose cloth diapers – I think the question really is “When do we start?”

Shari Hinz is the owner and founder of Baby Luv Boutique®, an online retail boutique specializing in baby and infant products including modern cloth diapers and accessories. For more information on cloth diapers or to attend a cloth diaper workshop, please contact Shari at 306-682-5746, toll free at 1-866-231-5135, via email or visit Baby Luv Boutique online.
Shari can answer additional questions you might have about cloth diapers during her free monthly cloth diaper workshops in Saskatoon. She is currently booking seats for the April 17 workshop.

Let's hear from you! Share your experiences, thoughts, questions or concerns related to cloth diapering in the comments section below.


  1. I have been a customer of Shari's since my son was born last year. I love the AMP diapers that I use. They are so easy to use and so much better for the environment. The "extra" time I have to spend washing and preparing the diapers in very minimal verses the hundreds of years disposables are in the landfill for. I would seriously recommend everyone to consider using reuseable diapers.

  2. My husband and I are very excited to learn about using cloth diapers for our second child. So many benifits

  3. I met Shari in 2008 when I was pregnant with my first child. I knew I wanted to use cloth diapers, but was concerned that it was still the "old" system of flannel diapers and plastic pants. Shari showed me the "new" cloth diapering options and I was hooked! After explaining the benefits to my husband even he was on board. We've been cloth diapering for a year and a half now and have no regrets. Between the money we have saved (the diapers paid for themselves after about 12 months compared to disposables) and knowing that they are better for the environment and our daughter I look forward to cloth diapering any future children we have as well.

  4. I'm excited to learn about the wide range of cloth diapers available for our second child - there are so many more options since we had our first 4 years ago!

  5. All I knew of cloth diapers before my pregnancy was what my mother told me from her experience with them in the 70s - I'm sorry to say the 'diaper pale' was enough to make me lose interest! Recently friends and family have been informing me on how much they have changed and I am very interested to find out more about what it is like now. It would be great to save some money and wonderful to help the environment in some small way. Looking forward to the class on Saturday!

  6. My daughter is just over 2 months old now and she wears mostly cloth but I still dive into the disposables for certain things. We use cloths for wiping at diaper changes so we're doing laundry anyway. It is easier than I anticipated it being!
    I am excited to attend a workshop and see more options for cloth diapering. I was excited to see all the options she has available, so many I haven't heard of!

  7. I think that this is something that I may be interested in! Definately would like to learn more about it. I will have to book myself a workshop to attend.


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