5 Common Cloth Diaper Myths (And The Truth Behind Them)
5 Common Cloth Diaper Myths Busted
February 16, 2021

5 Common Cloth Diaper Myths Busted

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5 Common Cloth Diaper Myths Busted.
5 Common Cloth Diaper Myths Busted

Becoming a parent is enough of a learning curve on its own that most of us avoid anything that might add extra complication to our daily routine. Which is why disposable diapers are often the go-to for first-time parents (and that’s totally fine!). But when it comes to choosing between cloth and disposable, a lot of us are working with outdated information about how cloth diapers really work. So we’ve partnered up with Charlie Banana to dispel some of the more common myths around cloth diaper duty.

Myth #1: Cloth Diapers Are Difficult to Use

Reality: Cloth diapers used to be pretty complicated! There was a lot of folding and pinning involved. But as much as your cell phone has changed in 20 years, so have cloth diapers. While foldable cloth diapers still exist, you can now buy pocket style or all-in-one diapers that fit like disposable diapers and work pretty similarly. The big difference in your routine will be washing the diapers instead of tossing them when you’re done.

But if convenience is what you’re after, there’s an option that gets pretty close to disposable diapers in terms of ease: disposable liners and inserts. When you pair a diaper like this one with a disposable insert, the experience is similar to what you’d get with disposable diapers, with less waste and lower cost. You can get the full scoop on how disposable and reusable can work together here.

Myth #2: Cloth Diapers Don’t Work

Reality: Newer styles of cloth diapers like Charlie Banana were designed to combat leaks. They’re usually made out of a soft, quick-drying lining with a snug-fitting waterproof exterior. So just like disposable diapers, if you’re dealing with leaks, there’s probably a reason. You may need to size up or down or tighten the leg fastening or add an extra liner if your baby is older and producing more waste. The nice thing about one-size-fits-all diapers is that you can adjust the size if the fit is off. They’re designed to grow with your baby so you don’t have to buy more as your little one gets bigger.

Myth #3: Cloth Diapers Are Hard to Clean

As you’ll find in parenthood, there is no escaping poop, especially with cloth diapers. But you may find it’s not as bad as you’d expect. Newborn babies tend to produce the kind of poop that can go straight in the washing machine. For older babies, you’ll just need to figure out a system for disposing of solid waste before doing the laundry (and there are plenty of methods for that). Many parents use a thin disposable liner sheet with their cloth diaper to simply dispose of poop (just lay it on top of the diaper lining, and once soiled, pick it up and throw it in the trash).

You can also purchase a sprayer attachment for your toilet that does for diapers what your sink sprayer does for dishes. Or if that’s not an option, a simple silicone spatula or a dish brush can do the trick for stubborn messes (just keep it near the toilet and wash when you’re done). And if spraying or scrubbing baby’s diapers is just not your thing, there’s always the disposable insert option.

Myth #4: Cloth Diapers Are Expensive

Reality: Saving money is one of the top reasons parents choose cloth diapers. That said, there’s definitely a bigger upfront cost than with their disposable counterparts. How many diapers you need will depend on how much laundry you want to do, but the general consensus is between 15-25 diapers if you’re going full-time. That means anywhere from $350-$600 in initial costs. When you add in accessories plus the impact of doing extra laundry, the first year of cloth diapering nets out to be about the same as disposable. But once you get into the second year (and especially if you plan on having more babies), you could be looking at saving $1,500-$2,000 per child over the course of your diapering journey.

Myth #5: You Have to Go All or Nothing

Reality: Perhaps the biggest misconception about cloth diapering is that you have to go all-in. This can be a major deterrent if you’re on the fence about reusable diapers or thinking about putting your baby in childcare that isn’t cloth diaper-friendly. But hybrid diapering is an option! You can use cloth diapers at home and disposable diapers—or disposable cloth diaper inserts—when you’re out and about. Or if you have an older baby that only pees at night, switch your nighttime diaper to cloth. Start with a smaller set (one of these is a good jumping off point) and over time you’ll figure out the balance that works best for you and your baby. When it comes to both your wallet and the environment, little changes can make a big difference in the long run.

Figuring out a diaper system that works best for you will be like any other aspect of parenting: trial and error. You may decide it’s disposables for life. Or it could turn out that mixing cloth diapers into your routine is easier than you expected. The easiest way to find out is to test for yourself, start small and give yourself permission to do it imperfectly. Learn more about how cloth diapering works and find the answers to the rest of your cloth diaper queries at Charlie Banana.

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