Cloth diapering is one of those things that is a frugal no-brainer, or so it seems. Using cloth diapers is often much less expensive. It’s better for the environment. And it’s a one-time investment that pays for itself again and again and again — especially if you have more than one child!
However, while we exclusively cloth diapered for our first child, we chose not to use cloth diapers with all our kids after that. Why? Well here are 4 reasons:
1. Our Kids Had Extremely Sensitive Skin
Kathrynne, our first daughter, had no issues with cloth diapers. Which was a huge blessing because we had no money at that season of our lives. And I do mean no money.
Some friends of ours gifted us a full set of Fuzzi Bunz diapers and it was one of the best gifts ever. We never invested a dime in diapers — other than paying for the laundry supplies and electricity to run the washer and dryer.
But when Kaitlynn came along, it was a different story. Every kind of cloth diaper broke her skin out. We tried a few different brands. I tried putting them on different ways. I tried washing them different ways.
To no avail.
Only Pampers diapers didn’t break her out. So I finally just gave in and gave up on my plans to exclusively cloth diaper her, too.
2. I Learned How to Get Diapers for Free
By the time Kaitlynn came along, I had discovered this thing called Drugstore Shopping. By carefully pairing coupons and sales with rebate deals, I was able to not only get groceries for free, but I was also able to get overage — and I used that overage to cover the cost of diapers.
When Silas was born, I had learned about Swagbucks and I was able to use my points called SB to earn free Amazon gift cards that I used to buy diapers for him. Best of all, when he was a baby and toddler, Amazon Mom did all sorts of incredible promotions that netted all of us some of the hottest diaper steals. I kid you not, the prices were insane — like $1 to $2 per package of name brand diapers shipped!
3. I Found the Washing of Diapers to Be Very Time-Consuming
Okay, so this might brand me as utterly lazy, but after a year and a half of washing diapers multiple times per week, I was just plain tired of washing them. You always had to stay ahead. You always had wet and dirty diapers in your laundry room and it seemed like you always, always needed to be washing more diapers.
After my third child was born, I was stretched so thin and struggling with exhaustion and postpartum depression that messing with cloth diapers just felt overwhelming to me. Just being honest here…!
4. I Was Tired of the Stink
And to be perfectly honest, I was tired of the stink. Despite what people will tell you, one of the unpleasant side effects of cloth diapers is that they do stink. You can put them in the most expensive stink-proof bags on the market, but when you dump them into the washing machine to wash them, it’s going to stink… and it can be a pretty overpowering smell.
Now here’s the thing: I still think cloth diapers are a great decision for many families! It’s a great way to save money and I’m so glad we had that option when Kathrynne was a baby.
However, I thought that an honest article like this on the cons of cloth diapering and why we didn’t exclusively cloth diaper all of our kids might be helpful to some of you who are in the middle of deciding whether to take the plunge or not.
As always, do what works best for you and your family. And don’t feel guilty if it’s completely different than another family!