As cloth diapering is becoming more and more common, people who may not have ever seen or considered cloth are seeing it pop up. It may be on a friend's kid, in a TV show, or just spotted in a store. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about cloth diapers, so let me attempt to set a few things straight:
1. Cloth diapers are not unsanitary
Look, I get it. Poop is gross. Just because I use cloth doesn't mean I like poop any more than the next mom. And though I do wash these diapers, the reality is that I don't touch poop any more than I did with my first daughter, who was 100% in disposable diapers. After being washed properly, my kids' diapers are clean. Clean. I am not putting dirty diapers on my kid. The diapers I use are as clean and sanitary as the disposable option.
Please stop saying the diapers are unsanitary. Not only is it untrue, but when people say that I immediately have to wonder what kind of a mom they think I am. My kids may be messy, destructive little demon spawn, but dammit their diapers are clean!
2. Cloth diapers are not hard to clean
The misconception that will not die. Finding a good wash routine can be frustrating because there are so many suggestions out there, but the reality is that washing diapers is not hard. The biggest problem I've encountered in the last 2+ years of cloth diapering was when we were visiting family and had to wash using hard well water. I went out and got water softener. Crisis averted! Now, I know some moms have issues with the new HE washers getting stuff really clean, but that isn't because cloth is hard to clean so much as it's a result of really frustrating technology.
3. Cloth diapers don't need special detergent.
Seriously. This kind of falls under #2, but really I feel it needs its own section. You do not need to buy special cloth friendly laundry detergent that costs 3X what your normal detergent costs. I'd recommend any normal, mainstream detergent as long as it is free of fabric softeners. That's it. Just like you won't spend the next 18 years washing only in Dreft for that precious bundle of joy, you don't need to wash their diapers in a special detergent. It's a marketing gimic, that is all. Use what works for you. If that's some fancy diaper detergent, go for it. If you prefer Tide, use that.
4. Cloth diapers have come a long, long way
What your grandmother put on your mom is leagues away from what I put on my baby. Although you can totally still use pins and such, there are a number of new diapers available. You can use diapers that are just as easy to use as disposables - you aren't limited to what cloth was like 50 years ago. Yay, modern advances!
5. Cloth diapers do not have to be expensive
A lot of people are put off by the cost. That $30 diaper you saw? Far from your only option. And though the old style diapers are cheapest, there are lots of very affordable alternatives. Yes, they are an up-front cost, but long term it is so much better. And just because you heard of some woman spending $2,000 on her perfect stash does not mean everyone who uses cloth spends that much. Honestly, most of us are trying to save money!
I hope this clears up a few things for anyone who may have been previously misinformed.