Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

How to Choose Between Cloth and Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers are a staple in the modern home. They save time, are inexpensive, and are easy to use. While there are many benefits to using this style of diaper, many parents are starting to opt for eco-friendly cloth diapers. These reusable alternatives save money and may be easier than you think to start using.

Comparing Cloth Diapers Vs. Disposable

There are several factors to consider if you are trying to decide which style of diaper is best for you. Aside from the massive savings people see with cloth diapers, parents need to be concerned about ease of use, comfort, health, and waste removal.

One of the biggest selling points of cloth diapers is that they are softer than their disposable counterparts. Because they don’t use as many chemicals in production, there is less of a risk for skin irritation or diaper rash. On the other hand, the cloth diapers aren’t nearly as absorbent as the disposable kind, so you will likely have to change the diaper twice as much.

Cloth diapers are also an eco-friendlier choice. Flushable liners make changing the diaper as easy as it is to change a disposable. Instead of throwing the whole diaper in the nearest trash can, you are removing the flushable liner and putting it in the toilet. This means the smells are instantly out of your home.

While you will likely spend some time laundering the diapers, you may feel better knowing that you don’t have stinky diapers sitting in the bin at your home or taking up space at the local landfill.

Cloth Diapers Have a Bad Reputation

I believe part of the reason why we don’t see a lot of parents using cloth diapers is that they think it is too complicated. In the past, parents had to use complicated folds to keep the diaper from coming undone. Sharp safety needles were often used to secure the diaper, which also posed a risk to the baby. The older styles also used a single piece of cloth, making the diapers somewhat messy.

Modern cloth diapers aren’t like that. Most use a design that is similar to that of a disposable diaper. The only added step is adding in the liner and placing the dirty diapers in the washing machine after they are used.

The Bottom Line: Cost

The deciding factor for many parents is the overall cost. Disposable diapers can be bought in bulk, often for a few cents per diaper. Cloth diapers typically cost between $5 and $10 each at a minimum, but they can be used dozens of times. This quickly outweighs the cost of the disposable diaper. While you will need to consider the added cost of laundry and liners, you will likely cut your diaper spending in half by switching to cloth diapers.

How to Decide Between the Two

Both cloth and disposable diapers have their benefits. Deciding between the two can be difficult for new parents. In most cases, parents wind up purchasing both. They use the cloth diapers while they are at home to cut costs, but have a few disposables on hand for when the family goes out. To make the decision on what to buy, think about your current lifestyle, how much time you will have, and how much you can afford.