Hey mamas! Disposable diapers have become the norm, but cloth is making a come back! Which is probably why you’re here! So let’s dive right into the pros and cons of using cloth vs disposable diapers.
I know you saw this one coming! It’s one of the most common reasons parents choose cloth over disposable. And I’m totally on board!
You really can save a TON of money
Parents hear this and start researching cloth diapers because babies are expensive so who doesn’t want to save money. But then they start reading about the cost to build a stash and become intimidated. I mean what if you spend the money on the diaper stash and cloth diapering doesn’t turn out to be right for you? Trust me I know the feeling. I would suggest to get a couple cloth diapers to try before you commit to building a stash. Many cloth diaper companies offer a starter kit to get a feel.
In the arguments against cloth diapering you’ll often hear that you might be saving money on diapers, but your water and energy costs will increase because of the extra loads of laundry. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact cost of laundering your diapers. Personally, I was very anxious about this when I first started using cloth diapers. We had already seen an increase since I wasn’t at work all day anymore. But (much to my surprise) our water bill increased a couple dollars and there was no change to our energy bill. After that first month I was sold.
Ease of use
Listen I know cloth diapering can seem daunting. With disposable diapers once soiled all you have to do is peel it off the often poo covered baby and toss it in the trash or diaper genie. I can’t really argue the ease of using disposables. There are clearly going to be some extra steps when using a cloth diaper. What I can argue is that the extra steps aren’t nearly as difficult or scary as you may think! Which bring me to my next point:
Time to clear the air. Let’s talk about poop. The biggest fear using cloth diapers stems from the simple (and understandable) fact that…nobody wants to touch poop. I get it, I don’t want to either. But, whether you choose cloth or disposable you will, at some point, touch poop. It’s inevitable! My daughter pooped in the bathtub once. Not fun but as soon as I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test I knew I was signing myself up for a world of baby poop, spit up, and other questionables.
“Okay, but where does the poo go?”
Glad you asked. I think parents overthink the amount of extra steps. I promise it’s not as bad as you think. There’s a couple different methods you can use when handling the dirty diapers. I have a diaper sprayer installed on my toilet. Ordered it on Amazon and my husband smacked it on. Easy peasy. When darling daughter poops I take off her diaper, hold it over the toilet and spray it off (less than 2 minute process), then toss the diaper in the diaper pail or wet bag until laundry day. That’s it!
Speaking of laundry day, let’s talk about the wash routine. If you’ve been researching cloth diapers for any amount of time you’re likely to have come across several different wash routines all of which claim to be the best. I know there’s a bunch of different ones and that’s because you have to find what works for you. You’ll start with a routine and tweak it until you find what you like best. I started with the suggested routine on the back of the cloth detergent bottle and haven’t had to tweak it at all!
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This is another commonly heard pro cloth argument. Although many disposable diapers are more biodegradable now than they once were. It still is no match for cloth diapers. There’s no argument that cloth diapers have less of an impact on our landfills compared to disposable diapers. Some cloth diaper naysayers will argue that although they do have less impact on our landfills we do use more energy to wash the diapers which also has a negative impact on the environment. Touche naysayers. If you’re operating your home with natural energy then you’re set! I personally think that the affect to our landfills is greater than the damage you’ll be doing washing (the wash process really isn’t that extensive!) but that is my personal opinion.
The biggest fear with cloth diapering (next to the poo) is diaper leaks. I’m sure you’ve heard tell that disposable diapers are more absorbent than cloth diapers and therefore have less leaks. I really can’t argue otherwise. I use disposables overnight and cloth during the day no one said it had to be all or nothing!
I’ve been able to manage leaks by changing my daughter every 2-3 hours. While disposable diapers may be more absorbent parents often wait longer to change the baby which isn’t ideal for that sensitive baby skin. Whether using cloth or disposable it’s ideal to change your baby’s diaper every 2 to 3 hours. If you’re just not feeling that there are different inserts and booster pads you can use to increase absorbency of your cloth diapers! Which brings me to my next point.
So many choices!
If you’re unfamiliar with cloth diapering you may think that there is only one type of cloth diapers. You’re most likely thinking of the OG cloth diaper. You know the ones that you have to fold a special way and then fasten with safety pins hoping you don’t prick your baby while wrestling him into a diaper. That’s the same thing my mom thought when she warned me that she had attempted using cloth diapers with my brother and it was really hard. But if you’ve been researching cloth diapers you’ve probably noticed that there are many different types and brands of cloth diapers available! Ultimately, this is a good thing because it’s modernized cloth diapering (aka made it easier) but it also adds some anxiety to parents who are researching their options. Don’t let this deter or overwhelm you! You’ll find what works for you. There are many resources out there reviewing your options. You can also check out my blog at stayrosiemama.com to read more about the diapers I use.
Not much difference from having to choose a disposable diaper brand. Everyone has a personal preference with disposables as well!
Bonus point for cloth diapers:
There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding between cloth and disposable diapers.
2. Ease of use
4. Poo factor
5. Wash routine
7. Choosing the right diapers and inserts
At the end of the day the choice is yours. You’ll find what works best for you and your family and whether that is disposable or cloth or both you’re still a great mama! Stay Rosie
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michelle Chorba of Stay Rosie Mama Blog
Stay Rosie Mama is a mom blog about managing motherhood and a home. Focusing on self care, personal development, and seeing the world through rose colored glasses. To check out more visit her site here stayrosiemama.com