baby cloth diapering zero waste

why we cloth diaper

On more than several occasions, we’ve been met with blank stares or – worse – incredulity when we’ve mentioned to others that Baby K wears cloth diapers. But for us, it was really a no-brainer once we learned of all of the benefits of cloth diapers.



Have you ever felt how soft the inside of a cloth diaper is? Because the only thing softer is baby skin itself. After 6 months of exclusively cloth-diapering Baby K, I picked up a pack of disposables for a trip, and had a visceral reaction to the crinkly, coarse paper dipes. No surprise, considering the disposables contain:

  • Dioxin (from bleach)
  • Sodium polyacrylate
  • Dyes
  • Fragrances
  • Plastics
  • Toluene
  • Xylene
  • Ethylbenzene
  • Dipentene


via Baby Gear Lab

LESS $$$$$

Cloth diapers involve an up-front capital cost (i.e. “buying a stash”); however, there are no long-term costs. They’re even more economical if you cloth diaper multiple kids. It’s easy to buy gently worn second-hand cloth diapers on Craigslist and buy-sell-trade Facebook groups. We spent ~$250 on second-hand diapers for Baby K (I’ll share our stash & regimen in an upcoming post!) and hope to use the same diapers for future kids.


via Mama Natural

We also use reusable bamboo wipes, which cost ~$25 for a stash of 20. We occasionally buy a new package of disposable wipes for on-the-go, but for the most part, we’re saving money on the wipes front as well.



Dara’s main incentive to cloth diaper Baby K was cost, but for me, the number one reason to cloth diaper is to prevent heaps and heaps of diapers from ending up in a landfill. Assume the average American baby goes through 5 diapers a day – that’s 1,825 diapers per year, or over 5,000 diapers in three years. Imagining all those diapers in a landfill makes me nauseous.


30% of non-biodegradable waste in landfills comes from disposable diapers. Surely we can make a tiny dent in that.



Is your kid’s diaper covered in vintage campers?

via B. Lime

Even the solid-colored diapers are adorable. This year, our 4th of July game was strong.




This is purely anecdotal, but cloth diapers are believed by many to result in fewer blowouts. Any parent who’s experienced an extreme blowout (I’m gonna go ahead and definite extreme as “full-body bath needed, including but not limited to the baby’s hair”) will do whatever it takes to prevent recurrence.

The elastic on the back of cloth diapers does a great job of holding it all in.



We know a couple families that use cloth diapers at night for their heavy-leakers. Based on our experience, I wouldn’t say all cloth diapers have incredible, superpower at holding in liquid. But show me a disposable diaper that can contain a gallon of pee, and I’ll show you a Grovia O.N.E.




Look, if contributing to the profits of corporate behemoths is your M.O., you do you.

But if you want to support small American businesses, there are a lot of kind, hardworking people who have built the foundation of the cloth diaper movement. Many cloth diapers (including Thirsties, Bumgenius, Blueberry, Bummis, and Best Bottoms) are made in the U.S., and many cloth diaper retailers are small businesses.


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