Comparing Cloth Vs Disposable Diapers

Beautiful cute happy baby isolated on white background. Wearing diaperAccording to UNICEF, nearly 353,000 babies are born around the world each day. Each newborn will need a diaper change roughly every three to four hours; that makes eight changes a day for the next two years. One child will go through 5,840 diapers in that time. Times that by 353,000 and you’ll get a lot of diaper changes. Babies require diapers, and there are many choices on the market. In fact, there are so many choices and biased opinions that choosing a diaper is difficult. Here is an unbiased comparison of Cloth Vs Disposable Diapers.

Cloth diapers have been around for a long time. Flat diapers are the oldest form of diaper still around today. Flat diapers are a large square of cloth folded in various ways to fit the baby. Nowadays, there are simpler forms of cloth diapers such as all-in-ones and pocket diapers. With these styles, there is no folding involved. Just grab and go. Here are some other benefits of cloth diapers:

  • Lower cost: A stash of several dozen diapers can cost as little as $300. Washing them at home costs only $150 per year. For two years the cost of using cloth would be a grand total of $600. 
  • Nontoxic: Cloth diapers are usually made from cotton, microfiber, or hemp. Each of these fabrics are safe and contain no toxins.
  • Helps with potty training: Potty training a toddler is a really hard at times. Cloth diapers help by allowing them to feel wet and know that they just went. Helping toddlers know when to go to the bathroom is a huge plus.
  • Adorable: Cloth diapers are fashionable. They are available in tons of prints and colors.
  • Resale value: Gently used and well-kept cloth diapers can fetch a fair price.

Cloth diapers are not without disadvantages. Here are the down sides to cloth:

  • Diaper Services are expensive: Diaper services are companies that will pick up dirty cloth diapers, wash them, and return them to your home. They are convenient but often costly. On average, a diaper service will cost nearly $2,000 a year. 
  • Handling soiled diapers: Washing cloth diapers is not a glamorous job. Sometimes, you’ll have to touch a soiled insert or prefold diaper.
  • Bulky: Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposables. A regular sized diaper bag will only fit about 5 cloth diapers and not much else.
  • Storing soiled diapers: Keeping buckets of dirty diapers gets smelly fast. There are ways to contain the smell, but it is still a big drawback.

On the other hand, disposable diapers are all about convenience. They are small and easy to use. Manufacturers have developed some very nice diapers over the years. Here are the advantages of disposable diapers:

  • Convenience: It’s worth saying again. Disposable diapers are very convenient. Simply through a soiled diaper in the trash and don’t worry about washing.
  • Quick changes: Disposable diapers make diaper changes quicker. Lay it out, put the baby on, close the tabs. That’s it. 
  • Hypoallergenic diapers: Sensitive diapers are available. This is perfect for a child that is allergic to a specific fabric or chemical.

Rather inconveniently, disposable diapers also have disadvantages as well. Here are a few:

  • Cost: Babies will use nearly 60 diapers a week; at this rate, disposables will cost nearly $1,200 per year.
  • Chemicals: Many disposables have chemicals in them such as tributyl-tin and sodium polyacrylate. The verdict of such chemicals has not yet been determined.

Cloth and disposable diapers have their own advantages and disadvantages. However you decide, they are both diapers and will serve the same purpose. 

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