I have talked with lots of people about Cloth Diapers and I know one frustration of many people that are just getting into cloth is the "Lingo" that the cloth diapering community uses. There is nothing worse than trying to find information just to have it all in a secret code!
Here is your Lingo 101 crash course:
CD: CD stands for Cloth Diapers. So we have CD'ers and CD'ing, cloth diaper-ers and cloth diaper-ing.
Stash: a stash is the collection of cloth diapers that a person has. Some stashes are small and just fill the needs of the family, and some stashes are literally a collection of cloth diapers.
Closures: the way a diaper is done up to stay on baby, types include: snap, velcro, pin, snappie, or wrap style cover.
OS diaper: One Size diaper, made to fit all sizes of kids from birth to potty training.
AIO: All in one diaper, a diaper that is diaper and cover in one, with snap or velcro closures.
AI2: All in two diaper, a diaper that is a diaper and cover with and insert added in, with snap or velcro closures.
Pocket: a diaper that is a shell with a pocket that you stuff with an absorbent insert, with snap or velcro closures.
Fitted: an absorbent, breathable diaper that needs a cover, with snap, velcro or pin closures.
Flat: a flat square of absorbent fabric that you can fold into a diaper, requires pins or some other method of closure.
Prefold: a flat diaper that has been "pre-folded" and sewn so the middle is more absorbent, requires pins or other method of closure.
Contour diaper: a prefold that has been sewn into a contoured shape to fit more easily without all the folding, requires pins of other method of closure.
Covers: a covering for a fitted, contoured, flat or prefold diaper that is usually fleece, PUL (polyurethane laminate: waterproof fabric) or wool.
Wrap: style of cover that wraps around the baby like the diaper holding the diaper in place, has either snap of velcro closure.
Soaker or Longies: Pull up covers usually fleece or wool, longies are pant style covers.
Insert or Booster: more absorbency layers you can simply add to the diaper.
WAHM: Work At Home Mom
Sposies: disposable diapers
Diaper Sprayer: a sprayer you attach to your toilet to spray off your diapers.
So now that we have the basic lingo let's talk why cloth is better...
I am biased I know, but I have three reasons I cloth diapered. I will share them with you.
This one is kind of obvious I think. Pro-disposable advocates have for years used the water argument. That the amount of water used to wash cloth diapers is is as hard on the environment as the production and disposal of disposable diapers. So, how about some numbers...
It is estimated that every year 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills. Also did you know that it takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers that just the babies in the US use. Now I know some disposables are presented as biodegradable, but in order for this process to work them must be exposed to the sun. This does not happen since we cover our landfills. It can take several hundred years for them to decompose, and some of the plastics never do decompose.
As to the claim that we are wasting water with flushing the waste and washing cloth diapers, did you realize that the water that we use to flush and to wash our diaper is sent into the waste-water plants and then treated. It is then much more environmentally friendly than dumping untreated soiled disposable diapers into a landfill.
So we agree they are better for the environment, how about your baby?
In our lifestyles today we are becoming more and more aware of the chemicals and such that are being added to everything around us. Our food, our water, our kids' toys, and even our pesticides and fertilizers. We are demanding that we want more organic lifestyles. We want things to be healthier and better for us. Why then should this not carry over to the diapers we put on our baby's bum? Does your baby get rashes? Most babies get rashes from one thing or another. There are a few things that are added to disposable diapers that are not very healthy or at all natural. Dyes, sodium polyacrylate (the super absorbent gel), and dioxin, which is a by-product of bleaching paper are just some thing found in disposable diapers. Also a big concern is Sodium polyacrylate which has been linked in the past to toxic shock syndrome and allergic reactions, this is no longer allowed in Tampons, but is still used in disposable diapers.
Some of the problems reported to the CPA (Consumer Protection Agency) regarding disposable diapers include, chemical burns, noxious chemical and insecticide odors, babies pulling disposables apart and putting pieces of plastic into their noses and mouth and choking on them, plastic melting onto the skin, and ink staining the skin. That sounds just dandy huh? I put cloth diapers on my babies because I knew exactly what was going on their bum, and I knew exactly what was in the diapers. I also had total control over what was used on them in the cleaning process. Did you know that disposable diapers do NOT have to list their ingredient lists? They don't want you to know what they put in them, what chemicals you are bringing into your home and putting on their precious little bums. Did that all sound like mumbo jumbo? Well if it did, then this last sentence is all you need to remember from this section. In the end cloth diapers worn and changed regularly are simply better for your baby's adorable little behind.
So if this all isn't enough what about the cost? Is it really cheaper to cloth diaper?
Cost of Cloth Diapers VS Disposable Diapers:
Disposable diaper estimates run between $60 to $80 a month depending on the brand of choice. That is between $750-$960 a year for diapering one child... how many of you have or will have more than one in diapers? I did! I have 6 kids that is $7,500! Can you imagine that? Did I just want to throw away that much money? You better believe I did NOT!
So how much will a stash of cloth diapers cost you? And do you really save money?
There are so many brands of diapers out there and the the cost is differing. From cheap Prefolds at $12 for a 6 pack to Fitted's that will cost you upwards of $40 a diaper. I make and sell Cloth Diapers and my diapers are in the middle of the range of the cost of Cloth Diapers. My diapers cost $23.50 a diaper. We will use the cost of my Nifty Nappy Cloth Diapers to figure out the cost of a stash.