- Disposable diapers use 82,000 tons (TONS!) of plastic and 1.3 million tons of wood pulp every year.
- Disposable diapers DO NOT decompose in landfills - not even the so-called biodegradable ones. Anaerobic environment=no decomposition.
- American babies use 14,400,000 disposable diapers every year on average. Where do they go? Landfills. What are we running out of space in nation-wide? Landfills.
If your baby is a little boy, this opens another can of worms that might not be your biggest concern right now, but that may concern him (or his wife!) later in life. Studies have found that wearing disposable diapers creates a warmer-than-normal temperature in the diaper area, and in little boys who wear diapers all of the time, their little spermies pretty much get fried. Men who wore disposable diapers as babies tend to have lower sperm counts and have more problems with infertility than their peers who wore cloth diapers. But hey, with the world population as high as it is, maybe that's not such a bad thing??
Alright, enough of the doom and gloom, on to the fun stuff!
The best reason to use cloth diapers? They're just so gosh darn cute. How could you resist?
Let's start with the basics: prefolds and covers. First thing you need to know about these is that you absolutely don't need to pin your diapers! Just stick the darn things in the cover and velcro. Easy. Or if you really want to fasten the diaper itself to your baby, use a Snappi.
- The average baby uses 5,000 diapers before they are potty-trained (but if you use cloth that number might be less, because babies potty train faster if they are wearing cloth diapers).
- Disposable diapers cost on average $0.28 each. $0.28 x 5,000 = $1,400 (that's a lot of money to spend on trash!)
- The average cloth-diapering family will need about 6 dozen diapers. For a prefold-and-covers system, that would run about $300 total. For a pockets or aio's system it would be more, maybe around $500-$700. Sound like a better price tag?
Keep in mind that most of your diapers will be in good enough shape to use for your next baby too, so their cost could realistically be cut in half.
One last issue here: Laundry.
‘Diapers, Diapers & More Diapers – Cloth vs. Disposable.” New Parent’s Guide. 2007. 29 November 2007. http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/diapers.htm.
“Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers.” Institute for Lifecycle Environmental Assessment. 1992. 29 November 2007. http://www.ilea.org/lcas/franklin1992.html.
Cotton Babies. Cotton Babies Inc. 2007. 29 November 2007. http://www.cottonbabies.com/.