Disposable Diapers vs Cloth Diapers

The modern-day parent has multiple options to choose from when it comes to containing the baby’s mess (urine and poop); parents can now choose from disposable diapers and cloth diapers. The decision to use cloth or disposable diapers is a parenting choice most parents must make at one point or another.

Just like all other parenting choices, the right one is what feels right for both you and your little one. Whichever of the two diapers that work well with your schedule and lifestyle, go for it.

Alternatively, you could alternate for example, by using cloth diapers when you are staying indoors and using disposable diapers when you are traveling or doing other outdoor activities. If you are torn between the two, read the following pros and Cons to make an informed decision.

Pros and Cons of disposable diapers vs. cloth diapers

Price of Disposable diapers vs Cloth Diapers

The use of disposable diapers has been associated with high costs unlike the use of cloth diapers that is significantly lower. Within a period of 2.5 years, a parent who uses disposable diapers can incur costs of up to $1,400. On the other hand, a parent who opts to use the cloth diapering system, can incur a cost of up to $300 or less. Just as the name suggests, disposable diapers are disposed of after use unlike cloth diapers that can be washed and used some other time; this makes the disposable diapers more expensive as it causes you to have some recurrent budgets and stress over restocking regularly.

Environmental effects of cloth diapers vs disposable diapers

Twenty billion diapers are disposed of annually in the United States. The production, distribution and disposal of diapers have over the years left a staggering negative footprint on the environment. The regular disposable diaper can take approximately 500 years to decompose yet this product contains dioxins, perfumes, petroleum, wood, plastics and pulp.

If you are ecologically conscious, you would not throw a product of this sort in the trash. When parents choose disposable diapers over cloth diapers, there is some significant addition to the 6,000 diapers found in the landfills. Cloth diapers go a long way to get rid of greenhouse gases that are linked to the production, transportation and distribution of the disposable diapers which is a recurrent process.

You should also be conscientious when traveling. Since cloth diapers are reusable and washable, it may be easier to pack for you and your baby when considering the use of cloth diapers vs. packing disposable diapers.

Health of the baby’s skin

Your little one’s skin health is determined by how clean and dry it is. Disposable diapers are a great product for a parent that seeks to give their baby a clean and skin as they are super absorbent. Due to this high absorbency and high costs, some people tend to change the disposable diapers lesser times than the every 2 to 3 hours recommended by doctors.

Due to the downward trend in the changing of baby diapers, diaper rash creams have had increased sales while the sales of disposable diapers have declined. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, do not have the cost per change dilemma as they can be used repeatedly as a single cloth diaper can be used hundreds of time.

Therefore, cloth diapers allow for regular diaper change reducing the risks associated with nappy rash, but they are not good absorbents as the disposables. If your baby has sensitive skin, bubble baths and disposable diapers may be something to avoid.

Exposure to chemicals

Many cloth diapering parents have associated the use of disposable diapers with health complications that come as a result of exposure to chemicals used in the production of disposable diapers. The chemical commonly known as dioxin is used in the production of disposable diapers, yet it is a known carcinogen. To date, no research has been able to prove that wearing disposable diapers has negative effects on the skin.

However, there are some health concerns that some gases that are emitted from the disposable diapers cause children to experience asthmatic symptoms. Parents who seek to have a significant reduction of the extent to which their children are exposed to chemicals choose cloth diapers over disposable diapers.

Most people are of the opinion that the maintenance of cloth diapers is difficult and calls for too much work.  Changing modern cloth diapers is just as easy as changing a disposable diaper; Maintenance is also just as easy as washing a heap of laundry. By the simple use of a hook, loop or snap for closure, size adjustment and one or two design pieces you will be able to experience the convenience and versatility of the modern cloth diapers.

Modern cloth diapers contain the baby’s mess in a better manner than the disposable diapers; cloth diapers have a more adjustable fit which is strong, thick and elastic at the legs and back.

Cloth diapers at home definitely add to your regular laundry but you will not have to worry about running out of diapers causing you to restock all the time, even at odds hours of the night like the disposable diapers do.


Thaman, L. A., & Eichenfield, L. F. (2014). Diapering habits: a global perspective. Pediatric dermatology, 31(s1), 15-18.

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