why use cloth diapers?
If you've arrived at this page, you likely know by now how much conflicting information is out there about whether using disposables or cloth is best for your baby, best for your family, best for the planet. Here are our top 4 reasons:
At Diaper Stork, we believe in cloth for three reasons: comfort, cost, and convenience. We also believe that only you know what is best for your family, so we are here to support (not pressure) you! Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions or need any information that will help you make a more informed decision.
Okay, none of us remember exactly what a diaper felt like when we were itty bitty. But given the choice between 100% cotton underwear and underwear made with plastics, polymers, gels, and crystals, we know which would be more comfortable! Add to that the fact that babies who wear cloth diapers experience way less diaper rash than babies diapered in disposables, and we think cloth diapers win the Comfort category, hands-down.
convenienceThe number one concern of parents weighing cloth vs. disposable diapers for their little ones seems to be one of convenience and time. With cloth, you'll spend a day or two learning your favorite folding techniques. Given the 1.5 - 2.5 years that your baby will be in diapers, this is no time at all.
So, here is a nitty-gritty comparison of the actual daily process of using our cloth diaper service vs. disposables
Here are a couple more convenience considerations, in no particular order:
We all know that there are things we can do to live more sustainably, but it's easy to feel as though your efforts are too small to make a difference. Given the 6,000 to 8,000 diaper changes your baby will go through by the time he or she is potty trained, the cloth vs. disposable diaper choice is one that can have a very real impact on the world we leave behind for our children and grandchildren. In the U.S. alone, we put around 20 billion disposable diapers into the
landfills each year (that's more than 38,000 every minute!). Each of those diapers takes 500 years to decompose....so, each diaper is being used for 2-3 hours and then put into a landfill where it will remain for the lifetimes of our children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and well... you get the picture.
Diaper Stork's flat monthly rate is on par with the more eco-friendly disposable options out there, especially given that your little one may potty train up to 12 months sooner with cloth diapers! We offer four different pricing levels. For the standard price of $115 per month, you receive 90 newborn diapers per week. This is equivalent to 29.5 cents per diaper. Newborn disposable diapers range from 22 cents to 30 cents per diaper depending on brand, sales discounts, and retailer. With disposable diapers, your weekly garbage will increase by approximately 13 gallons. Depending on your municipality this could increase your utility cost. For example, in Seattle it would cost $8.95 per month (as of May 2019) for a household to switch from the 20 gallon garbage bin to the 32 gallon bin. Over the lifetime of the baby, disposable diapers are cheaper than a cloth diaper service unless you factor in the benefit of earlier potty training (6 to 12 months earlier). The most economical way to diaper your baby is to purchase your own cloth diapers or rent our DIY cloth diaper bundle for $27/month and wash at home. See all price options.
plus... they're cute!There is just no question that reusable cloth diapers and cloth diapering accessories are cuter and more fashionable than their disposable counterparts. Don't believe us? Check out some of our cloth diaper covers here!
should you wash at home or use a service?There are 4 main factors to consider:
diaper styles and application
There are three main cloth diaper styles: prefold, pocket, and all in one. Personal preference, age of baby, and cost are common considerations when choosing your stash.
traditional prefold style
This is a two part system where you fold a cotton rectangle around baby and secure with a water proof cover. Baby goes through 3 to 5 different prefold sizes and 2 to 3 different cover sizes for optimal fit. The water proof cover comes in PUL or wool fabric and can be used over multiple changes until soiled.
Guide to putting on a cloth diaper.
The absorbent layer is stuffed into the pocket of this style diaper. It is one size fits all (8 to 40 lbs), but in reality it is quite large on a new baby and is better suited for when baby is around 2 months old. Both the absorbent layer and cover are washed after each use. After washing, the absorbent layer needs to be stuffed back into the pocket. This is a great overnight diaper because multiple absorbent layers can be added to the pocket and there is a micro fleece layer against baby's skin which has wick away properties to help keep baby dry. These cost between $8 and $28 per diaper depending on quality of materials and location sourced. The more expensive options have key features such as double gussets (extra leak proof) and higher quality absorbent layers (cotton & hemp vs. just micro fiber).
all in one style
The absorbent layer is sewn into the cover of this style diaper. These come in two sizes: newborn (5 to 10 lbs) and one size fits all (8 to 40 lbs). This diaper is washed after each use. It is possible to add more absorbent layers if needed. These cost between $11 and $28 per diaper depending on quality of materials and location sourced.
Here are a few other items that you may need along the way
A wet bag is used when on the go to hold dirty diapers and can fit into your tote bag. Some wet bags have just one pocket, while others have two so that you can store clean/dry items.
prefold diaper closures
Snappis are the modern version of pins. These can be used to get a really tight fit around baby to minimize leakage onto the diaper cover. Snappis are optional, but good to have on hand as you discover your diapering preference.
You can use any diaper pail if you wash at home every 2 to 3 days, but if you are washing less than that per week or using a service, you will need something that is at least 13 gallons.
diaper bag for pail
Reusable pail liners made of PUL material can be washed with diapers. Avoid trash bags all together.
cloth wipes or disposable wipes
Wipes are used to clean baby's bum between diaper changes. You can use 100% cotton flannel wipes as an alternative to purchasing disposable wipes. Reusable wipes are washed with your diapers. We recommend using Babybits solution in a spray bottle or a diaper warmer to wet the wipe prior to use.
It is good to have a cloth diaper compatible cream or balm at home in the event that your baby develops some redness. Coconut oil is a great everyday preventive product. Common rash creams such as Destin and Aquafor cannot be used with cloth diapers because they contain petroleum, which impacts the absorbency and stains cloth diapers.
This is an extra layer of absorbency used during nights or naps. It usually comes in a rectangular or hour glass shape and can be made from microfiber, cotton, hemp, wool, or a combination of these.
toilet spray attachment and pail
Washing diapers at home is pretty simple if you have convenient access to a washing machine. Until baby is eating solids (around 6 months old) you just put the soiled diapers directly in your washer. Once there is solid poop, you will need to dump it in your toilet before washing. You can use a spray attachment and container to help with this process without dirtying your hands. If the poop doesn't just pop off the diaper into the toilet, the old fashion way is to dunk the diaper. There is no need to spray, soak, or rinse every diaper, modern washing machines can handle the dirty work.