By the time that your little one is ready for potty training you’ll have gone through thousands of diaper changes. With that in mind, do you do the Earth a service and go with the cloth kind? Or, do you opt for convenience (and lower your laundry bill) with disposables? Before making any diaper decisions, check out the pros and cons of each option!
Why choose cloth? You may not want your great great great grandkids having to deal with the mess that they leave behind. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, disposable ones can stick around in landfills for centuries. Even though you’ll spend more money at the start, cloth diapers can be more economical over time. Yes, you’ll need to make an initial investment. But, the cloth kind is reusable – meaning that you aren’t running out to get a new pack constantly.
If cloth diapers bring up images of leaks, awkwardly sharp pins and plastic pants, think again. The modern cloth diaper has come a long way from what your own mother may have used on you. Today’s version has a snug fit that shapes to your baby and comes with velcro or other easy closures. And those plastic pants? Covering your baby’s cloth diaper up is much cuter (and comfier) now. Made with breathable, absorbent fabrics, you’ll find a bounty of diaper covers that are super-stylish.
With all of the pros it may be hard to imagine why every new mom or dad doesn’t go green with cloth diapers. So, what’s in the con category? There’s the mess. Even if you subscribe to a diaper service (eliminating the need to actually wash the cloth yourself—and saving your washing machine), you still need to do a quick wipe-off. You could just toss all of the poopy diapers into a bin and wait for that magic diaper collector to come and haul the load away. But, take a moment to imagine the smell of the mounting mess.
You already know that the traditional landfill cloggers aren’t exactly biodegradable. They’re pollutants of sorts, and you aren’t sure whether you want to contribute to the growing eco-problem. Before you nix the notion of disposables, there are earth-friendly options that actually sport the ‘biodegradable’ label. Keep in mind, these pack a bigger punch to your wallet and may run you between $1,600 and $2,500 over the course of your baby’s diaper-wearing years, notes Consumer Reports.
If you’re an on-the-go parent, aren’t sure if you have the time to wash and dry diaper after diaper or don’t think that you can afford a service, disposables might just be the best choice. The top pro in this category is the convenience factor. Pack a few in your baby’s bag, change her when needed and toss the old diaper in the trash. You can’t exactly do this with a cloth diaper (and yes, you’ll need to tote the smelly cloth home with you after a mid-mall change or trip to grandma’s). You also don’t need to spend the extra time rinsing and washing when you go with disposables. Again, just toss in the trash or bury the bad smell in a diaper pale.
Cloth vs. disposable, which diaper wins? There’s no easy answer. It depends on your values, needs and budget. Just because cloth worked out perfectly for your BFF and her baby doesn’t mean that you’ll share the same experience. On top of your preference, you may also notice that your baby likes one or the other better. If she’s leaking and getting rashy, try a different brand, swap disposable for cloth or vice versa!