It used to be that parents who used cloth diapers were undertaking to scale the equivalent of Mount Everest. The diapers were awfully thick and bulky, which made them hard to store and even harder to fit onto your baby. The safety pins necessary to cinch them shut were dangerous for parents and baby alike. And that's not even mentioning the stress - and the odor - of cleaning them. Prefold Cloth Diapers were far too much of a hassle.
Luckily for today's parents, cloth diapers have improved a lot. There are a number of reasons why choosing cloth diapers over disposable diapers makes good sense.
When you pick up a disposable diaper today you are essentially picking up a sack of chemicals. Dioxins - chemicals that have been linked to birth defects, liver damage and some cancers - are byproducts of the bleaching process involved in making diapers. And the chemical crystals that absorb fluids have also raised red flags in the medical community. While you don't want to overreact to this issue, reasonable parents can certainly choose to eliminate the risk by using cloth diapers.
Disposable diapers cost more in the long run than their prefold cloth diaper cousins! You save a few bucks at the outset, but that doesn't last. Remember, prefolds are resuable - that means that when you throw a disposable diaper into the garbage pail, it's gone forever. But prefolds can last you and your family for many years. Isn't that a better way to spend your money?
If you want to be green, cloth diapers can take you a long way in that direction. Disposable diapers basically end up in landfills where they can hang around for decades - and the waste in them can sometimes leach into water sources. Cloth diapers don't have that effect on the environment. Moreover, cloth and hemp - two fibers from which these diapers are made - are renewable resources.
Cloth diapers have become much more convenient over the years. For one thing, you can pick up a lot of diaper accessories such as inserts and diaper covers to make the process a lot simpler. The diapers themselves are easier to use - consider using velcro instead of pins. And finally, there are so many varieties of cloth diaper in the world that finding the right one is not a chore at all.
These days, the argument for using prefold cloth diapers is a pretty good one!