stack of diapers
Motherhood Resources,  Cloth Diapers

10 Disadvantages and Advantages of Cloth Diapers

I can’t believe I’m writing down this story. If it makes it onto my blog…just know I must have done a lot of self-counseling to get that far. The only way I might consider pressing the ‘post’ button is because this story might help some other unsuspecting fool of a parent from making the same mistake I did. There are so many disadvantages and advantages of cloth diapers, and this proves it. 

There’s a good chance I could loose friends by admitting what happened. Then again, maybe I’ll gain some after I admit how messed up I am as a mom.

cloth diaper stack - advantages of cloth diapers

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Disadvantages of Cloth Diapers – A Story to Prove It

I have loved every second of cloth diapering my son (bearing the exception of the story I’m about to write). From picking the patterns, to researching, to making a binder for all my washing steps, to putting him in that fluffy diaper for the first time. Not to mention the first delivery of infant cloth diapers.

I was in my 3rd trimester of pregnancy and the moment I opened that Amazon package of cuteness I dissolved into inconsolable, unquenchable tears. I’ll never forget my husband who by that point in my pregnancy didn’t have the slightest idea what to do with me. He took one look at me and turned his head back to watching whatever show had gained his attention. Honestly, I don’t blame him. What crazy lady cries at pattern-colored diapers that will soon be filled with poop?

I’ve wanted to write down some thoughts and helpful hints on cloth diapering for a while now. Of course, being a first time mommy makes me an immediate expert on the subject.

  —- please note that last part  was dripping with sarcasm —–

We all know that one parent that becomes an immediate expert the moment they are expecting. Yah Know? So maybe it’s suitable that my first cloth diapering post will illuminate the most horrendous, most disgusting, most ludicrous cloth diapering moment of my cloth diapering life.

I mean what parent doesn’t like telling their most ridiculous failure? It’s almost like if we tell others the unspeakable parenting moments that somehow it becomes acceptable.

The Pleasure of a Cloth Diaper Failure 

There is nothing acceptable about this story.

The only thing more satisfying than telling a parenting failure story is listening to one. We eat with a sick pleasure the failures of other parents. Not in a malicious or mean sense. It simply does wonders for our ego. Hearing the failures of others is like a thick and delicious salve that smooths over our own unspeakable failures.

Why Cloth Diapers are Bad 

Are you ready for some thick delicious salve on your parenting woes? I’ve got some for you.

A week ago, my son became ridiculously sick. He came down with a fever of 104 that was only eased when we alternated the magic of Tylenol and Ibuprofen. I tried being that crunchy mom at first that attempts more natural remedies to lower the discomfort of a fever, but quickly threw the towel in on that one. His discomfort was so painful for me to watch I couldn’t stand another moment. He was eventually diagnosed with an ear infection and Influenza. The poor kid was miserable.

His only comfort was nursing and watching his little sweet face in utter turmoil was too much for my mommy heart, so I obliged him as much as possible. My big chunky 10-month-old turned back to an exclusively breastfed baby for about a week. In the meantime, those nasty full solid diapers turned back into an exclusively breastfed diaper. If you don’t know what that means, I won’t gorge you with the details, this post is already ‘crunchy’ enough in its details. However, you can think along the lines of hot chocolate versus a chocolate chip cheesecake pie filling.

My kid has a obsession with cutie oranges, and even on his most sick day he would suck the juice out of his cutie piece and gnaw on the skin until the swallowed it down. Think that was useless information? Trust me, it’s essential to the story.

The Worst Cloth Diaper Story…Ever

A couple days ago his fever broke and as fate would have it, that’s when the sickness decided to hit mom and dad. Murphy’s law at work. Yet as any parents can attest, being sick was a small price to pay for seeing my sweet child’s smile again.

Sick and determined to clean house, I was about to embark on my most disgusting journey as a parent yet. The first thing to do was clean his giant wet sack of diapers. {Side not: This is the best and cheapest wet sack I have ever owned}.  Large Hanging Wet/Dry Cloth Bag.

I was relieved to be back on the exclusively breastfed baby bandwagon because it meant that the sack didn’t need to be rifled though and the offending Hershey Kiss diapers sprayed off in the toilet. Milk diapers can go straight through the wash

I had forgotten about the oranges.

Two hot cycles later I took my baby downstairs to load up the dryer.

You veteran parents known where this is going don’t you?

Are you feeling better about yourself?

I hope so.

The Ultimate Disadvantage to Cloth Diapers

Throwing the diapers into the dryer I didn’t realize that mushy fully whole orange pieces were falling like clumps of coal onto the laundry room floor. I kept on the task, grateful my fussy ‘you-must-always-hold me’ baby was not stretching up my leg whining to be held.

I suddenly stopped. Why was my ‘you-must-always-have-at-least-one-limb-touching-me-or-I’ll-scream my-lungs-out’ baby not crying?

I looked down.

The most horrific scene met my gaze.

My adorably sweet 10-month-old child was chowing down on diaper oranges.

My child ate washed out diaper poop. More accurately he ate a washed out diaper poop orange. If there was ever disadvantages of cloth diapers, this is it.  Please someone out there tell me their child has ate a washed out diaper poop orange so I can feel better about myself as a human being?

Despite the catastrophe of this week, I can confidently say there are still at least 10 advantages to cloth diapering. Or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself of this after my child ate his own poo.

10 Advantages of Cloth Diapers 

Are you completely turned off clothing diapering forever now? I don’t blame you, that scene is forever ingrained into my brain. However, I still think it’s just about the best parenting decision we made and that’s after the catastrophe. There are still disadvantages of cloth diapers, but I tend to think there are more advantages of cloth diapers!

#1 They are cute

Let’s face it, if those things were not cute we wouldn’t go through all the trouble. Cloth diapers have the ultimate cute factor. The cute little patterns make the cloth diaper disadvantages start to fade just a little. 

#2 They are cheap

Yes. I said it. You can do cloth diapering cheap. I have not paid one cent for diapers since April 2018. It has cost about $200 for us to own about 50 and nothing since. Update: I embarked on a full review of the cost of cloth diapers. 

  • Amazon cloth diapers can truly be a lifesaver to a cloth diaper budget! 
  • The Mama Koala diapers are truly our favorites because of the large opening for ‘man hands’.
  • My ultimate favorite cloth diaper company is Simple Being diapers by Simply Life. One of the disadvantages of cloth diapers is that they leak around the legs. Simple Being diapers uses a double gusset to combat this, and it works wonderfully! 
  • The Charcoal inserts are wonderful because they clean without leaving any ‘oh so wonderful’ staining behind.

#3 They are easy

YES! I am not joking. The biggest disadvantage of cloth diapers (minus the above story) was researching it at the beginning. I did all my research and water testing while I was pregnant. Once we had our baby, I didn’t have to do much worry, I already had a plan down!

#4 Cloth Diapers are environment friendly

 I went there. I am not the most environment friendly person. We do our best, but I know we could grow in this by leaps and bounds. However at least we are not contributing to landfills of diapers.

#5 Reduction in Chemicals Touching my Baby

 Did you know that most retail diapers are riddled with harsh chemicals? Companies have definitely made improvements over the years, and there are some lovely disposable diaper companies out there. However, the bottom line is disposable diapers will most likely have some less than desirable chemicals in them.

#6 Diaper Rash Remedy

My child’s diaper rash disappeared within a few hours of switching over to cloth diapers. The first few weeks postpartum, I did my best just to keep myself and my baby alive and happy. That meant using disposable diapers. He dealt with the most hideous and painful diaper rash. Little did I know, it was probably all the chemical laced in disposable diapers. By the way, if your combating cloth diaper rashes, this Burts Bees salve has been remarkable for us. 

#7 Christmas Diapers

I know this point probably belongs right alongside the first point, but I am in LOVE with Christmas diapers so much that they need their separate category. The one he is wearing below is from LilBit. It took a while to ship, but I thought the price was stellar!

Christmas diapers

#8 No nighttime leaks

This may change as time goes on and he become bigger, but the system we use now has led to zero-night time leaks. He doesn’t wake up wet and miserable. Which is a huge parenting win for us!

One of the most annoying disadvantages of cloth diapers is the leaking. The double gusset with Simple Being diapers solves with problem better than any other cloth diaper I’ve tried. 

#9 Fluff butts

 There is nothing cuter than that little fluff butt sticking out. 

#10 Extra cushioning for falls

My kid falls on his bum a lot. He loves exploring and trying to pull himself up on everything. I am grateful for that extra cushion as he plops back down onto our hard wood floors.

Are Cloth Diapers Better?

Straight up, the answer is no. No parenting decision in regards to diapering is better than the other. There are any disadvantages to cloth diapers and there are many advantages.  Its easy to get wrapped up in trying to find the best decisions for our children and miss out of the best part of our children, them. 

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