The biggest reason I cloth diapered.

two years of disposable diaperingWhen I started, the economy was still good and finances were not the reason. As the economy collapsed, I was very thankful for my decision to cloth diaper. When trying to convince my first son’s father that our son should be diapered in cloth, that was one of my key selling points. I explained it would save us thousands of dollars. Then, I had him imagine having thousands of dollars he didn’t plan on having. I even implied that maybe we could afford scuba diving equipment for him.

I’d love to say that I chose to cloth diaper because it’s so much safer for babies, but at the time, I had no idea how much better it was for them. I hadn’t even heard the word sodium polyacrylate at that point in my life. I didn’t know that disposable diapers caused cracked skin, urinary tract infections or diaper rashes. I had no idea that some of the chemicals in them are known carcinogens, that they are capable of disrupting the endocrine system or that they can impair fertility. I just didn’t know.

I didn’t recycle then, so it wasn’t because I was an environmentalist.

I did it because when I saw his face, and looked into his future, I didn’t want the accountability that disposable diapering would give me. I had seen modern cloth diapers. I knew the state of the environment. I knew what the future had in store for petrochemicals and while I really didn’t care (in my young adulthood) about my social responsibility to do the best that I could… to do my share, I knew that some day, disposable diapers would be a thing of the past.

I knew that perhaps as early as my own son’s adulthood, cloth diapers would be the normal parenting choice again, as they had been throughout history. I just knew. That was ten years ago, and my predictions are coming to pass. The amount of moms that are choosing cloth is growing exponentially, and I get to say that I was a part of this movement.

If a child is potty trained at two (which admittedly is not as likely as three for boys), then even with conservative (about 4-6 a day) diaper use, this is what they will leave behind in disposable diapers:

how many disposable diapers


That’s for one child. There are about 75 million children in the US.

The reason I cloth diapered my son… is because I didn’t want to face him in the future when he grew up and asked, “Mom! What were you thinking? You were a part of that?!?!”

What would I say to him?

“Sorry, son, we didn’t feel like washing them… So, we figured we’d leave them for you to clean up.”


No way, man.  I wasn’t about to set myself up for that.



Special thanks to Jen Swarthout for the photo help.



  1. I was one of the early victims of the recession, getting laid off in the summer of 2007. We found out we were expecting 3 days later.

    We didn’t initially cloth diaper. No, we bought a box of sposies nearly every month of my pregnancy in an effort to get ready. After our son was born, we used them but as my unemployment dwindled, I began to consider cd-ing. We made the leap and never looked back.

    And now that we are having another, cd-ing makes even more sense. I can use our dipes again and my husband is absolutely thrilled! It even justifies 4 customs and a goodmama LOL

  2. I started cloth diapering because I always planned to. I knew my mom had cloth diapered my brother and me, and ever since I was a little girl, I figured if she can do it, why not me too? If it’s cheaper, healthier, safer, and cleaner, what is there to lose? A miniscule amount of convenience? It was all the more exciting to me when I began to familiarize myself with the modern cloth diapering systems, how stylish and easy they can be (I remember plastic pants and pins and was prepared to use them). It’s now not only cheaper, healthier, safer, and cleaner, but it’s way the heck cuter too! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this! I hadn’t really thought about it from this perspective. Just one more reason to ask: “Why not??”

  3. theresa

    For us it was the obvious. Our first baby, income cut in half, we can do this. Diapering is the easy part of parenting. As they grow, you tend to realize how important “less is more” in your life(material wise), as it is a reflection on them and how they may view material things as they grow.

  4. Genevieve

    I completely planned to use disposables – cloth? Eww! Until a friend introduced me to FuzziBunz OS diapers online. And I went hmm, these are cute! But still, so expensive! Why not just use disposables? Until I started looking into cost. Which led me to which gave me some horrible facts about the chemicals in disposables. In one (VERY PREGNANT) afternoon, I decided to use cloth. It is always interesting to hear another mama’s journey. Thank you for sharing – so glad to know I’m not leaving that behind for my daughter! I am always telling people about cloth so in my own small way I hope I’m helping!

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