Cloth Versus Disposable Diapers
Cloth or disposable diapers? It’s one of the great parent debates. With cloth diapers making a resurgence in recent years, it’s a conversation worth having, especially considering how many diapers you will be changing in the coming years.
From birth to toilet training, a baby goes through an average of 8000 diaper changes – meaning you will be a pro at changing diapers once it’s all said and done. So, back to the debate. Diaper pail or cloth diaper service? Lots of garbage or countless loads of laundry? Who’s on diaper duty – mom or dad? Do you try a combination of cloth and disposable diapers?
The reality is there are pros and cons to both diaper options. What is more important is to choose the option that best reflects your lifestyle and preferences.
To help you compare your diaper options, we’ve outlined some of the common comparison points:
What Is Best for the Baby?
When it comes to your baby’s health and wellbeing, there isn’t much of a difference between your diaper options. It’s really about finding a diaper that provides maximum comfort, fits well, and doesn’t irritate your baby’s skin. For some, this may mean cloth; for others, it could be disposables.
The Money Factor
The cost of diapers adds up, and budgeting for diapers plays a large part in your decision. However, while many people assume disposables are considerably more expensive, the cost between the two options is actually closer than you think.
A typical family can spend between $1,800 (depending on brand and based on eight diaper changes per day) per baby for two years on disposable diapers. While cloth diapers plus accessories can cost between $500 to $1,000 depending on how many diapers you purchase and sizing options (depending on brand you may need to purchase multiple sizes), and if you wash them yourself. If you choose to go with a cloth diaper laundering service expect to spend another $2,000 over those two years depending on the service you sue according to Canadian Budget Binder.
Even if you choose to wash cloth diapers yourself, you’ll have to account for the increased cost of laundry detergent, water and energy use.
Speaking of water and energy use, you may also want to compare the diapers’ environmental impact. Even though disposable diapers end up in landfill, many are now biodegradable, lessening their impact on the environment. Cloth diapers can also impact the environment in the form of extra water and energy use to clean them – in other words, it probably works itself out in the wash.
Convenience and Ease of Use
There is no doubt that disposable diapers are more convenient – grab a diaper, change the baby, dispose of the soiled diaper, and repeat more times than you want to think about! Disposables also tend to be more absorbent and can be used in any situation, whereas cloth diapers are much less convenient when you are out and about and need to change the baby.
Either way you look at it, there are pros and cons to both options. Choose the one that makes the most sense for you. There is no wrong choice. And remember – if one doesn’t work, you can always try the other.
Is that a crying baby we hear? Looks like it’s time to change another diaper! The type of diaper you change is up to you.