“Why even cloth diaper?”

Someone asked me this question well over a year ago, and it’s stuck with me. It may sound silly, but these four words actually brought me to tears. I was chatting with some moms about cloth diapering in a Facebook group (which shall remain nameless), and one mom asked for suggestions with her wash routine. Her situation sounded very similar to mine, she had very hard water and was not having any luck with a detergent that was considered “cloth safe”. For months I struggled with stinky diapers before finally figuring out a wash routine that worked. When I mentioned that I use mainstream detergent, that’s when it all went downhill… 

Several of the moms questioned why I chose to cloth diaper my child in the first place. Not because they were sincerely curious, it was much more sanctimonious. I heard several versions of, “I cloth diaper my baby to avoid exposure to chemicals. If you’re washing his diapers in mainstream detergent, which is full of all sorts of terrible things, what’s the point of cloth diapering?”

Even the moderator jumped in, not to calm things down, but to join in with them. It made me feel terrible. I had tried several different detergents, and they just didn't do the job for us. I would rather my child be in clean diapers, so I had to make a choice. I chose the detergent that I've washed my childrens' clothes in their entire lives... the same detergent that my mom used on my clothes. It works for us, and allows to use cloth diapers when I otherwise would have given up. 

Looking back on that experience, I wish I wouldn't have let those moms get to me. In all actuality, 'Why even cloth diaper?' is a silly question. There are many reasons to choose cloth diapers...

Because they save money.

Cloth diapering might not be a choice for some. It might be what they have to do to be able to put food on the table. Using cloth diapers in place of disposables can save families potentially thousands of dollars over the course of their baby’s diapering days. That's money that can be put toward groceries or other necessities!  

Because they’re cute.

Cloth diapers come in so many different colors and prints! Lots of parents love coordinating the diapers their child wears with their outfits, making them a part of their child’s wardrobe. In warmer weather, they can actually become the wardrobe- just add a matching shirt or dress!

Because they’re better for the environment.

Imagine how many disposable diapers are being thrown into landfills every day. A newborn can easily go though a dozen a day! It's been said that they can take up to 500 years to decompose, but who knows for sure! By choosing cloth diapers you’re keeping all of the disposable diapers your baby would have went through out of landfills and in turn, doing a small part in keeping this world healthy for future generations. 

Because you want to avoid chemicals.

Even though I do use mainstream detergent (because that's the only thing that works with my super hard well-water) I still choose to cloth diaper to avoid chemicals. Many disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin from the bleaching process, which according to the EWG Skin Deep Database is a known carcinogen. This chemical is banned in other countries, but not the US. So yes, I do want to limit my child's exposure to chemicals and that is one reason I choose cloth diapers. If I could find an eco-friendly and "safe" detergent that worked for us, I would switch in a heartbeat. But for now, we have to do what works best for us. 

Because they’re more comfortable for baby.

Cloth diapers are soft and squishy! They are made from a number of soft materials. My favorites are organic cotton and super soft bamboo. Have you even touched a Sloomb Velour Happy Little Cloud?! I highly recommend it. ;) I would much rather soft fabric against my skin than crinkly paper any day.  

Because you just wanna.

You don’t have to explain to anyone why you choose to use cloth diapers. Of course, it's great to spread the word about cloth diapers, but if someone is giving you a guilt trip, they clearly have some underlying issues. Just spread the fluffy love, and ignore the haters. Mean people suck. :)

*Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.



Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.