Contrary to popular belief that they can save you money, Cloth diapers are expensive to start and are inconvenient because your baby needs to be changed about 10-12 times a day, translating to at least 300 diaper changes in one month. Knowing how important diapers are for your baby’s health, comfort, and well-being, you can’t trust cloth diapers for going out and about because they will leak no matter how many inserts you try to add.
For busy parents, that is, all parents, convenience is a huge factor in diaper choices, and cloth diapers will never work for everyone. Among those households that choose to use them, they don’t work all the time for them either.
Many natural-minded parents opt for cloth diapers because they believe they are not only best for the environment but also best for their babies. But do these cloth diapers have a downside?
Major disadvantages of cloth diapers
The cold hard truth about using cloth diapers is that they are more work, and there’s no denying it.
Apart from being bulky when you add liners and wool covers, here are other major disadvantages of using cloth diapers on your baby.
1. Cloth diapers bring along more frequent laundry
With reusable diapers, even if you bulk up and get more packs, that’s all laundry that you don’t want lying around for too long, so you’ll be doing laundry, at the very least, every other day, not unless you don’t mind the stink that comes with the pile after a few days.
Washing the diapers is not a big deal these days because the washing machine does the most work, but I believe there’s a much larger investment of your time than creating more laundry.
2. Higher electricity cost
Apart from shortening the lifespan of your washer and dryer by putting them through more stress, your electricity is about to see a spike, especially in the first six months of your baby’s arrival.
It might seem like a little backward concept if you think about it, less physical waste, but more energy spent requires more fuel to be burned at your expense at your electrical provider.
According to experts, it may cost you closer to $110 per year to launder cloth diapers.
3. There is a learning curve to putting them on your baby
I wouldn’t say that they are difficult to put on your baby by any means, just different.
Whether you use cloth diapers with velcro closures or snaps, just know that the process isn’t necessarily harder but different.
4. Cloth diapers may not last more than one child
If you are into cloth diapers, don’t expect them to get through all your children.
The elastic on them stretch out, the leg holes get loose, and they get stained too. They might just be a one-time investment for each child, and you might not reuse them with your subsequent babies.
5. Cloth diapers can be stinky
The pee-pee smell in the nursery can be hard to disguise.
You can put wet diapers in a diaper bucket, but the smell can get very strong if they sit there for a few days. Washing daily, wish is cumbersome, helps tremendously.
And just so you know mama, you’ll need to wash them in full loads for optimal environmental friendliness. Who’d want to wash poopy diapers with anything else except other poopy diapers, anyway?
When you decide to wait for a few diapers to pile up before cleaning them, there’s a good chance they will build up a serious stink.
6. You might have trouble getting help
Many people are not so willing to help change diapers when they see that it’s a cloth one, and it will take a little while to get used to cloth diapering, especially if you have to bring your little one to a daycare center each day.
They are less absorbent, and it can be a chore to find out just what liners will work for your baby. The good news is that there are multiple liners and prefolds with different densities available.
If possible, get the diaper absorbency issue straightened out before signing your baby for daycare to avoid comments from daycare workers and other parents.
7. There’s still diaper rash with cloth diapers
Cloth diapers are generally considered better for a baby’s skin, but that’s only if you are good about cleaning them properly and changing them often.
They are less absorbent than disposable diapers, so you have to change them often.
If you don’t change them as often as you should, diaper rash will be an issue. I’ve found out that Almond Oil works well at protecting the baby’s bottom from the moisture in soiled diapers.
8. Cloth diapers are not convenient
Cloth diapers seem like the most inconvenient product ever made in the world of parenthood. Imagine carrying soiled clothes around in your diaper bag until you get home and wash them.
That isn’t fun; though they do make cute waterproof bags you can zip your dirty diapers up in, they are not exactly stink-proof.
And when you get home, you are supposed to dispose of the baby’s waste, like any human waste through sewers. But there’s a silver lining here; if your baby was exclusively breastfed in their infant stages, their waste doesn’t need to be placed in a sewer system because they are water-soluble.
9. They have a ton of snaps
And that’s if you get pocket diapers. If you ever thought baby onesies are bad with all the thousand snaps, my friend, you have another thing coming in cloth diapers.
With the traditional cloth diapers, you have to pin them, which in my opinion, is even more aggravating than dealing with the snaps.
Do cloth diapers cause bow legs?
No. Babies’ hip balls and sockets are not yet fully developed at birth. So when those cloth diapers keep their hips wide apart, don’t worry your head off; that is the optimum position as of when they are born.
Have you ever wondered how babies can get their toes in their mouths while adults can’t? Their joints are effectively dislocated naturally until they are 2-3 years of age.
When should I start using cloth diapers?
This is a matter of preference and is entirely up to you. Some parents like to wait a few weeks until the meconium has passed before beginning, while others start cloth diapering from day one.
Can one use cloth diapers before the cord falls?
Yes. Some cloth diapers are made small enough to sit below the umbilical cord without interfering with it, while others are designed specifically with a snap down for the cord.
We know that this subject can be sensitive in many ways, and we are in no way trying to start a major debate about cloth diapering.
At 1happykiddo, we are 100% about looking with interest, and without personal offense whatsoever, at the evidence available and making the choice that’s right for you and us as well, because we are parents too.
While cloth diapers have a huge fan base, they are not the right option for everyone. Making the right decision about them means taking your circumstances and priorities into consideration, and when they become a burden, then they might not be worth it. Just do what feels right and works for you and your family.
We love and respect all those who use cloth diapers as their choice for their little poopy humans. It pleases us to know that there are plenty of kiddos across the diapering spectrum who are moving and shaking their bum bums with no issues cropping up as a result of what they poop in.