A picture of cloth and disposable diapers.
Disposable diapers are more convenient and cloth diapers are better for the environment.

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable: Which is Best to Use?

Being a new parent can be overwhelming because there are a lot of decisions to make from food to eat, from clothes to wear, and with diapers, there are endless options. There is a popular battle between cloth diapers vs disposable, as cloth diapers have become more common over the years.

Perhaps you have been debating cloth diapers as a way to save financially and do your bit for the environment. Yet, you have not done much research. Well, there is no better time to start than now.

The Difference Between Cloth and Disposable Diapers

Cloth diapers and disposable diapers have some of the same characteristics, but there are some differences too. Let’s take a look at each.

Cloth Diapers Equal More Laundry

For most parents, extra time is next to none. Looking after a baby is already a ton of work. If you are juggling other obligations on top of that, you may struggle to find the time to wash the cloth diapers. On average, cloth diapers add up to about two to three extra washes per week. You will want to squeeze that in amongst your other chores and commitments.

However, if you’re thinking two to three extra washes a week is nothing, then go for it. Many parents do not have a problem fitting it into their schedules. It really depends on you and your life. Think about what works best for you.

Disposable Diapers Are More Expensive

You can expect one child to use around 8000 diapers from the time they are born to the time they are potty trained (that is a lot of diapers).

Ultimately, cloth diapers cost less over time. Generally, a cloth diaper set costs $350 to $600. Then, there are also the laundry costs, cloth wipes and diaper wet bags. Most of these items must all be bought upfront (except for the laundry costs). Yet, good disposable diapers may cost you $1000 or more over the course of a year.

The one pro that disposable diapers do not have is that cloth diapers can often be used for a second child in the family. In turn, you could potentially save an additional $800 to $1000.

Disposable Diapers Are More Convenient

Disposable diapers are undeniably the most convenient option. They take less time and less hassle to change. Disposable diapers are becoming more environmentally friendly. It all depends on how you dispose of them and what kind you get. You can find compostable options now. Again, the price may be higher for these types.

While cloth diapers do come with better ways to fasten them nowadays, you will have to change them more frequently. They are not quite as absorbent as the disposable kind. Yet, if you are leaning toward a more environmentally friendly option, cloth diapers are it.

Remember, convenience is a personal preference. When it comes down to it, the decision to go with disposable or cloth diapers depends on a variety of factors. Some parents know they are not cloth diaper people. Others love the idea of cloth diapers. It really comes down to your preference.

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Pay Attention to Your Baby’s Preference

Very rarely, you may not have a choice. If your little one becomes irritated or a rash forms due to the disposable variety, cloth diapers may be a better fit. You may also feel that you do not want any sort of chemicals next to your baby’s skin. Again, cloth diapers might prove to be a better choice for you and your child. Yet, babies may get rashes from the cloth variety as well. Since cloth diapers are less absorbent, the moisture may make your baby’s skin more susceptible to rashes and irritations.

Make sure to routinely check if your baby’s skin is irritated or not. Always seek out the advice of your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions regarding your baby’s health or skin.

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers: How to Use Them

Cloth diapers are almost as easy to use as disposable diapers, especially today. Gone are the days of pins and complicated folding. Most come with adjustable straps and Velcro. Disposing of the diapers are virtually the same as well. They both go in a separate bin.

However, with cloth diapers, you want to make sure that all solid messes are wiped off or disposed of right away. Last thing you want is a mess in your laundry machine.

While disposable diapers you throw in the wastebasket almost instantly, cloth diapers have to be washed. Most seasoned cloth diaper users recommend doing a quick warm rinse in the washing machine followed by a heavy clean and then finished off with a cold rinse. You will also want to ensure you use fragrance-free and baby-friendly laundry detergents. Also, to ensure you have clean cloth diapers, it is recommended to have at least 24 cloth diapers in total.

Make an Informed Decision

Now you know a little more about cloth diapers vs disposable, you have a better understanding of which one fits your lifestyle needs.

It’s best to go with what feels the most comfortable. If cloth diapers are not it, do not panic. Disposable diapers are also a great choice. If you are unsure, you can always try both. Buy a few in each type or a few different brands. See how it goes. Then, make your decision from there.