The first reason, and a big one in my opinion is that disposable diapers have so many chemicals in them! Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S.
They also contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) - a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.
They contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome by increasing absorbency and improving the environment for the growth of toxin-producing bacteria.
Why do we put that stuff against our babies' skin?!?
Secondly, Cloth diapers are environmentally friendly.
Over 92% of all disposable diapers end up in a landfill, and no one knows how long it takes for a disposable diaper to decompose, but it is estimated to be about 250-500 years.
In 1988, nearly $300 million dollars were spent annually just to discard disposable diapers, whereas cotton diapers are reused 50 to 200 times before being turned into rags.
Disposable diapers are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
Disposable diapers generate sixty times more solid waste and use twenty times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp, and the manufacture and use of disposable diapers amounts to 2.3 times more water wasted than cloth.
Third, Cloth diapers cut down on the frequency of diaper rashes, and are better for your babies' skin.
It is believed that the chemicals in diapers cause more diaper rashes than with cloth diapers. I have noticed this to be true. My son has only gotten a rash when he has been teething badly, and that would have happened no matter what kind of diaper he was wearing!
Fourth, Cloth diapers are so much cuter! I know, I know, not the biggest reason, but baby bottoms are just so much more adorable in a fluffy cloth diaper!
Lastly is the cost.
It is estimated that the average baby will use about 6000 diapers during the first two years of life. The average cost (between brand name and generic) of a disposable diaper is about 25¢ per diaper. The average child will cost about $1,600 to diaper for two years in disposable diapers, or about $66 a month.
Cloth diapers are reusable, and it is recommended that you have between 24-30 diapers. This allows you to wash every 2-3 days, and the costs range from $250-$800 depending on what kind of diapers you buy. Those diapers will last you from birth to potty training if you get one-size, and will even last for more than one child! The savings are endless!
These are just the main reasons for cloth diapering. Some people have other reasons as well, I would love if you would share your reasons!