The 13 Most Common Myths About Cloth Diapers That Don't Apply to Judes Family
Do you imagine the use of cloth diapers to be complicated and labor-intensive? I felt the same way. I wasn't sure if I wanted to use cloth diapers, and my husband was even less enthusiastic!
Eventually, I came across Judes diapers. They looked completely different from anything I had seen before. But what was most important to me, it looked much simpler than I had expected.
Finally, I was able to persuade my husband to try a sample pack. What can I say? The adverts didn't lie! It was unbelievably simple and looked much cuter than those old disposable diapers. The amount we would save with Judes was beyond my expectations. But I'll tell you more about that later.
Despite this, I still hear all kinds of prejudices about cloth diapers everywhere. What's the truth behind these beliefs? I'll reveal it to you in this article. Spoiler alert: Judes are much better than you would think based on these beliefs. I'll also explain to you why this is the case for each statement.
So here are the 13 most common misconceptions that definitely do not apply to Judes:
- The washing effort is huge
- Cloth diapers consist of many individual parts and are complicated to use
- It's super expensive, especially because of the washing
- Cloth diapers do not provide a leakproof seal
- They create a huge baby bottom
- It's unhygienic
- Your partner won't cooperate
- Cloth diapers have a poor fit
- They are cumbersome when out and about
- They are not that sustainable because of the washing
- The wetness on the skin is unpleasant for the baby
- It causes diaper rash
- Daycare can't cope with cloth diapers
1. The washing effort is huge
What do I do with the full diapers? I can't just put them in the laundry basket. Then I would constantly have to wash diapers so they don't lie around everywhere and start to smell. Those were my thoughts. And how wrong I was. Spoiler alert: It's super easy and not labor-intensive.
Disposable diapers take much less time, right?
Disposable diapers at first seem to require little time. At least that's what one might think. You change your child and throw away the diaper. Done. But it's not quite that simple. You probably have to make at least one trip a week to get new disposable diapers. This actually takes up quite a bit of your time.
And even if you have a diaper subscription: Receiving the package and sorting it also takes time. You can time it if you want - for me, it was several minutes per week. And yes, we're only talking about minutes. More on that shortly.
At the end of the day, you have a nicely filled diaper pail next to your changing table. It now needs to be emptied. I have to walk down from my third-floor apartment to the basement to do this. What about you? No matter how far you are from the garbage can, it takes time every day.
With cloth diapers, you hardly have any trash. Here you only dispose of the Poo Paper along with the stool. For me, it's currently just a small bag that we fill within a day. When I think of the mountain of trash we used to have here. Simply unbelievable!
This is how much time you spend washing Judes
My colleagues and I have timed it. On average, we spend 15 minutes per week on our diaper laundry. What? Only that little? Yes, exactly!
- 0.5 min to load and start the washing machine
- 1 min to remove the laundry from the machine
- 6 min to hang the laundry up
- 1.5 min to take down the laundry and put it away
In total, I spent 9 minutes on washing the diapers. I wash one and a half times a week. This means I spend 15 minutes a week on my diaper laundry. With a dryer, you'd be even quicker.
How much time do you think you spend with disposable diapers? And even if it were 5 minutes less, we have to ask: is it worth it?
You can read here how to wash your cloth diapers gently and hygienically here.
2. Cloth diapers consist of many individual parts and are complicated to use
I always thought cloth diapers consisted of many confusing individual parts which made their use incredibly complicated. My cursory research confirmed this: I would have to fold some cloths and place them in a pair of pants. That seemed too laborious to me. But then I saw Judes and realized: cloth diapers can also be simple. How different can Judes be? I'll tell you.
Cloth diapers consist of many confusing individual parts
As I mentioned before, I hadn't done much research on cloth diapers. There was a reason for that. My research quickly became very complicated. Cloth diapers require many different inserts. Among other things, I read here about prefolds, muslin diapers, and fitted diapers. There are diapers for day and night. In my research, many names for the different diaper systems appeared: All-in-One, Pocket diapers or All-in-Two, All-in-Three, or Hybrid diapers. How was I ever supposed to understand all that?
I was overwhelmed. Perhaps you felt the same. Because of my interest in cloth diapers, my advertising naturally adjusted accordingly. What a stroke of luck, I must say. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have found Judes.
What are the components of Judes?
I watched an application video for Judes and just thought: "Wow, it looks so unbelievably simple. Actually, just like disposable diapers, only prettier." There are only an inner diaper and a cover. Both can be closed infinitely and super easily with Velcro straps. You don't have to get used to a new system.
My husband was just as surprised as I was that cloth diapers could be so simple. Even grandma got to change a diaper and just said: "It's just like a disposable diaper." Well, only better, because I save on waste, money, and it's healthy for my child. I will of course tell you how much money you can save shortly.
If you want to know more about the differences between Judes and other cloth diaper systems, I can recommend the article by my colleague Franzi. She is a cloth diaper expert and has had countless cloth diapers in her hands. In her experience report, she tells you what makes Judes stand out.
3. It's super expensive, especially because of the washing
You'd like to use cloth diapers but think you can't afford it? That's what I thought at first too. Have you ever calculated how much disposable diapers would cost you? I did the math and I must say, I am shocked! I'd be happy to run through it with you.
What do disposable diapers cost?
Note! The following was not included in our calculation:
In our calculation, we did not account for the reuse of Judes for multiple children or the fact that they can be resold used (you can anticipate about half of the original price for the resale value of Judes). We also did not include social costs of disposable diapers due to waste disposal (approximately €100 per year, paid by the community) and environmental pollution (costs unknown).
€0.34 (Eco by Naty)
€0.35 (Lillydoo Green)
As of 05.06.22 at dm. (Not including the waste disposal costs of disposable diapers and the resale value of Judes.)
The average of these prices is 32 cents. This is the diaper price we will base our following calculations on.
Children should be changed every 2-3 hours, so we calculate with 7 diapers a day (in 24 hours). We also assume that children in disposable diapers need to be changed on average for 3 long years.
From these assumptions, the following calculation emerges:
3 years x 365 days x 7 changes a day at €0.32 each = €2,434.
In addition, the costs for a diaper pail (€15), refill cartridges (about €67 per year), wet wipes (about €98 per year), and changing pads (about €17 per year) must be calculated. In our calculation, we assume that 9 wet wipes a day are used at €0.03 each (average price). This brings us to €561 in costs for disposable diaper accessories.
The combined cost of disposable diapers and accessories amounts to a total of €2,995.
We also did a calculation with an extremely affordable disposable diaper option:
Even if we go with the inexpensive Babylove diapers (dm store brand), according to the calculation above, we come to €996. Additionally, there are the costs for diaper accessories which amount to €561. In this extremely affordable scenario, we arrive at total costs of €1,557.
What do cloth diapers cost?
With cloth diapers, you pay for the initial purchase and then only for washing. The purchase costs depend on your desires and needs. On Judes' website, you can choose between different sets. The prices are in the mid three-digit range and go up to a low four-digit range.
Here, cloth diapers are definitely cheaper than disposable diapers. And if you're worried that it won't be cost-effective for just one child, I can reassure you. Maybe you'll even resell your cloth diapers when your child is potty trained.
What does washing cloth diapers cost?
Cloth diapers make financial sense for many children. We can surely agree on that. But is that also the case for just one child? After all, the costs of washing need to be added on top. Doesn't it become more expensive again with washing? I can reassure you. Even if you have only one child, it is financially worthwhile to use cloth diapers.
A laundry load at 60°C uses less than 1 kWh of electricity, which costs on average about 30 cents. As a flat rate, you can also count another 30 cents for water consumption and the laundry detergent. This would give us a price of 60 cents per wash cycle, as also indicated here.
Not enough information for you? We've done the math. Washing over three years results in:
Electricity consumption: about €100
Drinking and wastewater consumption: about €70
Laundry detergent: about €100
This results in a total of €270.
The washing only generates a fraction of the costs that would occur with disposable diapers. The more children that use a cloth diaper, the more expensive disposable diapers become in comparison.
And by doing that, you've also prevented over a ton of plastic!
4. Cloth diapers do not provide a leakproof seal
Especially my husband was of the opinion that it could never work with cotton diapers. His belief was: How could that bit of fabric possibly catch all the pee?
I thought it would work. After all, other parents also use cloth diapers. Plus, before disposable diapers, there were only cloth diapers. But still, I had doubts that cloth diapers would be as “good” as disposable diapers. I relied on Judes' promise and I must say, they absolutely keep it!
With my daughter, the disposable diapers leaked every time depending on the model. My daughter occasionally takes off her own diapers. With disposable diapers, it's a disaster! Judes still maintain a leakproof seal. It's probably because of the two-part system. Because the cover doesn't have to fit particularly tight to do its job. So Judes really do provide an extremely good leakproof seal. Other customers report the same, as you can read here.
5. They create a huge baby bottom
With cloth diapers, you immediately have this image of the past when children had a huge pile of fabric wrapped around their bottoms. Cloth diapers have fundamentally changed since then. However, many cloth diaper models still require thick inserts, which in turn are responsible for the big baby bottom that cloth diapers are known for. Judes is different!
A special fabric is used for the interior of Judes diapers. It contains up to 12 layers of extremely thin fabric that is simultaneously very absorbent. Thus, the interior diapers are very thin yet still have a high absorbency. This is confirmed repeatedly by customers.
In the comments about Judes, it's often mentioned that they create a slender bottom. Children wear their current sizes despite the cloth diaper. I can attest to this. In fact, my daughter continues to wear pants that are actually a smaller size than her bodysuits.
Nothing has changed clothing-wise for us since we switched to cloth diapers. Well, sometimes I intentionally put her in a cover in the same color as her outfit. It just looks cuter that way.
6. It's unhygienic
Why should cloth diapers be unhygienic? In an ideal situation, the child should be changed right after doing their business. Regardless of whether they are in a cloth or disposable diaper. You're probably thinking more about the topic of washing.
Hygiene before washing with Judes
Problem number one: What about the stool? Judes offer something called Poo Paper, which is designed to catch your child's stool. This is a paper diaper liner that allows you to easily lift and dispose of the stool from the diaper. So, you don't have to start scraping the stool out of the diaper.
Problem number two: Where to put the wet diaper? You probably don't want to put the full diaper with your regular 60°C laundry any more than I do. For this, Judes provides the diaper bag, a large diaper sack that keeps odors and moisture inside the bag. Here, you can store not only the diapers but also your wash cloths until the next 60°C laundry cycle.
How does washing Judes work?
I've already revealed that you can store full diapers in the diaper bag. But this diaper sack can actually do even more. Because you don't have to take the diapers out again. On the contrary: the used diapers can just stay inside.
You put the diaper bag with its contents into your washing machine and open the zipper at the bottom. This way, you don't come into contact with the used diapers again. The contents of the Wetbag are shaken out by the spinning of the machine. This way everything gets cleaned by the end. Sounds pretty simple, right?
You're probably still wondering one thing. Does it also become hygienically clean with washing? Yes, everything becomes clean at 60°C. Very simple.
7. Your partner won't cooperate
As I revealed at the beginning, my husband wasn't open to the idea of using cloth diapers. I've already shared some of the reasons with you, and I hope I've also been able to refute them to your satisfaction.
How did I convince my husband about cloth diapers? It wasn't that easy, but as you know, I managed to do it.
It's important to know what bothers your partner about cloth diapers. Maybe some of the beliefs from this article are among them. Providing provable facts is always a good way to convince someone. Videos and pictures can also be very helpful. Take a look at our Instagram account. There you'll find useful videos and photos, as well as tips and tricks for our cloth diapers.
Have you, like me, successfully made your case? Share your story in the comments to help other parents as well.
8. They have a poor fit
This belief encompasses various prejudices against cloth diapers. That they leave strong marks, they are uncomfortable, and they restrict the baby's movement. Let me tell you now why Judes actually have a very good fit on your child's bottom.
They leave too strong marks
From my own experience, I can say that Judes leave little to no marks. Of course, marks can appear if the diaper is fastened unnecessarily tight. However, Judes also provide a leakproof seal with a looser fit.
Judes are continuously being developed. Version 1.0 of the interior diaper did actually receive a few criticisms about leaving marks. That's why the cuffs have now been made even softer. I personally use the interior diapers 2.0 and am very satisfied. Other customers have written the same. Version 1.0 is no longer offered.
Cloth diapers are uncomfortable
Do you think cloth diapers are uncomfortable? Believe me, once you've held a Judes interior diaper in your hand, you'll see it differently. I was surprised myself by how soft Judes are. This soft feeling is due to the organic cotton that the interior diapers are made of. They are super gentle on the baby's bottom.
Cloth diapers mean restriction of movement for the baby
If that were the case, I'd have less to do. But joking aside, cloth diapers are of course designed not to restrict the baby's movement. Judes are kept as thin as possible. This further benefits freedom of movement.
9. They are cumbersome when out and about
This is probably the fear that most people have. How does it compare with disposable diapers? If you ask me, diaper changing on the go is never particularly simple. At home, you have a changing table, running water, all the clothes, diapers, and washcloths you might need. On the go, you only have what’s in your diaper bag, and depending on the setting, it can be more or less convenient.
What all needs to be included?
Where is the difference? In principle, Judes are just as easy as disposable diapers. You throw away disposable diapers right after changing, provided you have a trash can nearby. Unfortunately, many people prefer to discard their used disposable diapers into nature when there is no trash can around because they don't want to carry around stinky diapers. And boy, do those disposable diapers often stink.
You simply put the used Judes back into the Wetbag and take them home with you. Here, you don't have to look for a trash can, and the odor remains sealed in. I had to find that the smell of full Judes is much more pleasant than that of used disposable diapers. I’m not sure why exactly, but the chemicals in disposable diapers could very well be the reason.
An additional advantage over disposable diapers: You can even use the covers of the Judes as a small changing pad. If you forget your changing pad, it’s not a problem at all. Cloth diapers often lead to nice conversations with other people. Most are very interested in the attractive cloth diapers.
10. They're not that sustainable because of the washing
How much more sustainable cloth diapers really are compared to disposable diapers, you can read in full in my article about the sustainability of cloth diapers. So you don't have to read two articles at once, I’ll reveal the key data on our belief here as well. However, the sustainability article is definitely recommended reading.
Water & Energy Consumption of Disposable Diapers
The German Environment Agency states that disposable diapers, without considering all stages of production, already use 202 liters of water per kilogram. If you ask me, that sounds like a lot of water.
Regarding energy consumption, the Environment Agency specifies 4.98 kWh per disposable diaper, of which 3.21 kWh are not produced from renewable energy sources. Is that a lot or not? Let's compare it directly with cloth diapers.
Water & Energy Consumption of Judes
A study by the Environment Agency calculated an energy consumption of 1 kWh for a load of diapers at 60°C for a machine with an A+ energy efficiency rating. Since the study is somewhat older, it can be assumed that newer washing machines use less than 1 kWh per wash cycle. Thus, the energy consumption for cloth diapers is significantly lower than for disposable diapers.
Now I must also reveal to you what the water consumption looks like for cloth diapers. The Environment Agency in their study calculated a consumption of 53L with an A-rated energy efficiency class for a wash load at 60°C. That's what I call a stark difference compared to the 202 L/kg for disposable diapers! Cloth diapers perform better here, too.
You might still be wondering how the production of Judes affects water consumption? Judes’ interior diapers weigh 100g each and are made from organic cotton. Assuming a water consumption of 243 L/kg for organic cotton, we'd be looking at a "consumption" of about 24.3 L per diaper, as reported by Vogue. The emphasis here is on rainwater. Disposable diapers often use pumps to draw groundwater or treat water, which requires additional energy.
11. The wetness on the skin is unpleasant for the baby
Wearing a wet diaper is something we imagine to be uncomfortable. Advertising for disposable diapers drums this into us. However, what is not revealed in the advertising is that this sensation of wetness can also have benefits. You must be wondering what I'm talking about. I'll tell you, but first about disposable diapers.
Why doesn't the sensation of wetness occur with disposable diapers?
Have you ever wondered what makes a disposable diaper feel dry even when it's full? The absorbent core of a disposable diaper contains something called a superabsorbent polymer. This chemical substance can soak up the liquid and ensures that your baby still feels dry in the diaper even after many hours.
The sensation of wetness has its advantages too
Reading this title, you might think I've gone crazy. But the fact that a baby can feel wetness on their body is actually important. Important? For what? I'll give you a hint: It's something all parents look forward to. Yes, I'm talking about potty training.
But do children in cloth diapers really get potty trained faster? I would rather say, children in disposable diapers take longer to get potty trained. Unfortunately, disposable diapers can cause issues with potty training. Due to the superabsorbent, children can't feel when they are wet. Studies even show that prolonged use of disposable diapers is increasingly associated with enuresis (bedwetting beyond the age of 5).
You don't need to worry that your child will be cold because you don't immediately have the opportunity to change the diaper. The body's own warmth ensures everything in the diaper area stays warm. Only once you open the diaper does everything become cool.
12. It causes diaper rash
Do you believe your child will get diaper rash from cloth diapers? Let me share something with you. The opposite is true. Many babies get diaper rash from disposable diapers. Judes try to counteract this. Of course, I'll tell you the reason for both.
Why disposable diapers often cause diaper rash
Earlier, I briefly mentioned the superabsorber that soaks up your baby's urine. As you've probably noticed, this absorbent core is chemical. You can find out exactly what the superabsorber consists of here.
You can surely imagine that chemicals on a baby's delicate bottom can indeed have negative effects. Additionally, disposable diapers are primarily made of plastic. The plastic is not conducive to the baby's bottom health either. This also makes disposable diapers not very breathable. All these factors can encourage or even cause diaper rash. You can read more about it here.
Why Judes can solve the problems of diaper rash
First and foremost, and in my opinion most importantly: Judes do not contain a chemical absorbent core! Everything that touches the baby's bottom is natural. The Poo Paper, which lies directly against your child's skin, is made of paper. The Judes inner diapers are made of organic cotton, which makes them very breathable. Customers of Judes also report that diaper rash stays away in cloth diapers.
Have you ever noticed that almost all parents who use disposable diapers smear their baby with a salve or moisturizer? Honestly speaking: I always saw that as a given, as if we humans had never done anything else. It seems almost absurd to me now.
Actually, I have never needed to use such a moisturizer. And the reason is quite simple: My baby's skin has the ability to regulate itself! I suppose that's why Judes doesn't even offer diaper cream or moisturizer.
So, it's not really thanks to Judes that babies have healthy skin. Instead, it's due to the skin's ability to regulate itself!
13. Daycare can't cope with cloth diapers
One argument I've often heard is: "We can't accommodate the many different systems in the daycare routine." That's a reasonable objection. If all children had different cloth diaper systems, it would indeed pose a big challenge for the educators.
This of course applies to childminders and other childcare options as well. Many educators, in the end, are very interested in Judes and welcome the cloth diapers. Why? Let me tell you.
Since Judes work essentially the same way as disposable diapers, the handling is intuitive and simple. Indeed, Judes even save on waste and time for the educators. There's less trash because the parents take the diapers back home. This means educators have less trash to dispose of. It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but as more children switch to cloth diapers, less trash is produced.
Our experience shows even more. Other cloth diaper systems are associated with significantly more effort, which dampens the enthusiasm of the educators for diapering. Once educators are shown how to use Judes, they're thrilled with the simplicity.
We've even heard lovelier stories. Some parents have reported that the simplicity of Judes quickly caught on. By now, a majority of the parents are using Judes for diapering.
What you should consider:
- Show the educators how to handle the cloth diapers.
- How many diapers does your child need in daycare? (This varies depending on the length of stay)
- Ensure a suitable Wetbag is available at the daycare.
- Keep exchanging ideas with the educators to work on improvements in your approach together.
Conclusion: What is the truth behind these beliefs?
Many beliefs certainly have or at least had their justification. However, times have changed, just like cloth diapers have changed. Judes is proof of that.
Judes consist of fewer components than other cloth diaper systems. Their application is intuitive and thereby very simple. The purchase price might seem high at first, but when you calculate the costs for disposable diapers over the years, you end up paying more (yes, even considering the washing costs). With multiple children, the price for disposable diapers moves into shockingly high territory.
Judes provide a leakproof seal and do so very well. Customers report better leak protection than with disposables. Despite the especially thin fabric, Judes still ensure a slender baby bottom. A larger clothing size isn't necessary.
When it comes to hygiene, Judes are straightforward. With the Poo Paper, you can easily dispose of the stool (just like with disposables, but without generating plastic waste). The Wetbag stores the diapers until washing and makes loading the washing machine unbelievably easy. At the right temperature (60°C), the diapers become hygienically clean again.
You don't need to worry about water and energy consumption. Here, disposable diapers score significantly worse due to their production.
The washing effort at 15 minutes is much less than the time you spend buying disposables and taking out the trash.
Are Judes cumbersome when out and about? I don't think so. Quite the opposite! Disposables require a trash can and stink terribly. With Judes, you don't have these problems, likely because they're free from chemicals. Everything just goes back into the Wetbag and remains almost odor-neutral.
The sensation of wetness in cloth diapers contributes to a healthy potty-training process. You also no longer have to fear diaper rash. The chemicals in disposable diapers favor diaper rash. Judes are all-natural, no chemicals get near the baby's bottom, and the skin can regulate itself.
Educators in daycare are usually very open to cloth diapers and appreciate the simple model of Judes diapers.
Surely you've encountered such beliefs in your everyday life. Feel free to comment on what you've heard and how you've dealt with it. This way, you can help others too.
Did you find the article helpful? I'm always open to your feedback.