The Big Diaper Debate: Disposable vs Cloth Diapers

For years there has been a debate on which type of diapers are best for the environment, and which is best for baby. The jury is still out on that. However, to help you make your decision based on what’s most important to you and what’s best for your child, I have compiled a list of pros and cons for each.

Disposable Diapers

Let’s start with the most popular option; Disposable diapers

Disposable diapers are convenient because once it’s soiled, you can throw it out without too much thought . They are widely available and come in a wide range of sizes, as well as being super absorbent and breathable.

Having said all that, there are some notable cons to mention as well. While they may seem cheaper in the beginning, disposable diapers are definitely the most expensive option in the long-run. On average, a baby may go through 7-8 diapers in a day. At $25-$35 per pack of 104 diapers, it doesn’t seem to bad, right? The average child is often fully potty- trained at 2.5- 3 years old. That will cost you $2000-$3000 in two years on diapers. Not to mention the fact that they are terrible for the environment. Disposable diapers may potentially have chemicals (there are some ‘hypoallergenic’ options available) that are likely to cause rashes and other forms of skin irritation.

Another issue that people don’t talk about is the stress of POTTY- Training! A large reason it can be so difficult is because often times there is no consequence for the child if they do use the diaper to relieve themselves. There is no wet feeling due to the super absorbency, thus making it more convenient for them. Cloth diapers are less absorbent, and therefore makes the idea of using the potty far more appealing. You could also switch to training pants.

Cloth Diapers

There are so many options to choose from. There’s the classic linen/ muslin towel, the prefolds, and there’s the ones with velcro/ snaps.

Cloth diapers may seem archaic, but there are plenty of modern designs and technologies that have been added.

Cloth diapers are incredibly durable and can last for more than 2 years. You can get flushable liners that are made from cornstarch or bamboo (no one wants to touch solid poop) and they’re eco friendly. Although cloth diapers will cost you roughly $800-$1000 upfront, they will last a long time and they retain their value at resale. Due to them being made of natural materials, they almost never cause any skin irritation or rashes. The waterproof band that they are fitted with is great for preventing leaks and blowouts.

Having mentioned all that, there are some cons. As it is a lifestyle choice, there is a steep learning curve to cloth diapering, as well as the fact that they will increase your laundry load, which means a slightly higher water and electricity cost.

Elimination Communication

Now here’s an option that is completely free and eco friendly!

EC is also known as infant potty training. This basically means that you learn to read your baby’s natural sign and signals for when they want to go potty. There are no chemicals and no rashes. It also increases the communication between baby and their carer.

The only con is that it is time consuming to learn your baby’s cues, and there will definitely be more than a few misses in the beginning.

for more information on elimination, click here or click here to watch a video by The Big Ban Theory star, Dr Mayim Bialik.

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