Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: 9 Things To Consider When Choosing


Here is the continuation of the nine things to consider when choosing between cloth and disposable diapers.

4. Environmental Impact. If you don’t like the thought of throwing 7,000 diapers in a landfill, you might want to choose cloth diapers instead. A single cloth diaper can be reused up to 75 times, making it an attractive choice for people who want to cut down on trash. But there’s a tradeoff: It takes about 50 gallons of water and a fair amount of energy to wash a load of cloth diapers. Source:

Keep in mind that while you won’t find cloth diapers cluttering up landfills, they do consume a great deal of energy in order to wash, dry, and sanitize. Even if you hire a diapering service, they too are using immense amounts of energy and charging you a monthly fee. Environmentally speaking, the effects on the environment can be just as harsh. Source:

3. Total Cost. A typical family can spend between $2000 and $3000 per baby for two years on disposable diapers while cloth diapers and accessories run about $800 to $1000 if you wash them yourself. If you go with a cloth diaper laundering service it will run you closer to the cost of disposables around $2500 to $2800. But also keep in mind that you can reuse cloth diapers on any new siblings that come along. Source:

2. Health and Hygiene Reasons. A majority of hospitals and daycare centers use disposables for health reasons, namely to eliminate the spread of germs and disease. Source:

Many day care centers require disposables and will not accommodate cloth diapers … You’re really talking about hygiene and minimizing potential for spread of infection, for example with diarrhea. Source:

1. Your “Gross Threshold”. If your gross threshold is low, it’s a no brainer. Go with disposables. Consider this mom’s “unbearable” experience: “Getting semisolid (think sweet potato casserole) poop off a cloth diaper is NOT COOL. Having a toddler who does not have regular bowel habits, and who tends to have soft poopies, does not seem compatible with cloth diapers. Also, breastfed baby poo, same issue. Even if I had one of those nifty toilet sprayers… unless it sprays so hard that I imagine the water jet bouncing back off the diaper onto the toilet tank, I can’t figure out how the squished-into-the-fabric poop is going to come off the diaper without me physically scrubbing it out. EW? And/or, then the possibility of leftover poop in the washer. Also… EW?!” Source:

You will be doing diapers for the first two to three years of your child’s life (hopefully, not longer than that). It’s not enough that you settle for something that does not meet your expectations or something that does not go with your lifestyle so do your research and decide which is best for your baby, you, and your family.

One thing is for sure about diapers, this is not a lifetime thing. No one goes to college in their diapers. 🙂

Hope you found this little guide helpful. We also want to thank the awesome folks who have contributed their awesome words of wisdom and ideas to this article.

So which do you think is best for you?

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