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Choosing Disposable or Cloth Diapers

Cloth Diapers Versus Disposable Diapers

For new parents, there's always the question of which is better: using disposable diapers or cloth diapers? With each type comes different considerations, benefits, advantages and disadvantages. Having raised 3 kids of our own, we've tried both disposable and cloth diapers, and have a fair bit of experience with using both types. In the end, we do find ourselves using disposables far more than cloth diapers, and we'll share some of our experiences with each and give a rationale as to why we use disposables more than cloth diapers.

First of all, let's discuss the main differences between disposable diapers and cloth diapers. Cloth diapers are the traditional diapers used throughout human history. These are typically made of layers of fabric such as cotton, hemp, or microfiber. These can be washed and reused many times making them much more environmentally friendly, and at the same time reduces the overall cost with multiple uses. The "old" cloth diapers had to be folded and held in place with some type of fastener such as a safety pin. Today, the cloth diaper is a much more evolved and relatively simpler to use and put on. The cloth baby diapers today have many new features such as liners, velcro, buttons, and coverings.

Disposable diapers, on the other hand, are convenient, easy to use, but also cost more in the long run. These are easy to put on a baby and easy to take off. Simply wrap it up, and throw it away. The major downside is that it cost more and also creates more waste. Below, we list some of the advantages and disadvantages comparing disposable diapers versus cloth diapers.

Disposable Diaper Vs Cloth Diapers

Cost of Cloth Diapers: The initial investment in cloth baby diapers will probably turn away many new parents, as they can get quite expensive where a cloth diaper cost can range around $11 up to $20 each depending on the type, make, and brand.  For cloth diapers that use a cover with a cloth insert, the covers typically cost around $18 to $25 each, but you only need a few covers. But for the inserts, you'll need quite a few, and the initial cost outlay could be around $300 to $500 - assuming you buy 4 duo covers and about 2 dozen cloth inserts. (This is about what we spent.) Newborns may need their diapers changed 10 to 15 times a day, so having extra cloth inserts during this time is needed.

Cost of Disposable Diapers: Disposable diapers cost range around $0.10 to $0.30 per diaper. So you're looking at roughly around $25 to $75 per month in costs, and this depends on the number of diapers and the brand of diapers you use. In the long run, disposable diapers cost more than cloth diapers.

Ease of Use: There's no question that disposable diapers are more convenient and easier to put on and take off. You can simply wrap them up, and toss them into the garbage. With cloth diapers, it's a bit more involved. You need to fold the cloth inserts and then put them into the duo covers, and then put it on for the baby. Not as bad as it sounds, but it does take more time and effort than disposables.

At the same time, poopy cloth diapers can be a real PITA to deal with. With disposable diapers, simply wrap up, and toss away. But with cloth diapers, you'll need to first get rid of the poop. It's not so bad with solid poop, simply shake it off into the toilet, but with soft, mushy, and sometimes runny poop, you're going to have to get your hands a little dirty. =) Using cloth diapers will also add to your already heavy laundry loads with having babies. With disposables, simply wrap up and toss away; however, they also create a lot more garbage.

Why We Chose Disposable Baby Diapers

We use both types of cloth and disposable diapers. For our first child, we used all disposables, and with our second child, we started using (testing out) cloth baby diapers. Another family member had a new baby at the same time we did, and this is when we both decided to try cloth diapers. Because newborns need a lot of diaper changes daily, we found it to be very cost effective to use cloth diapers for the first 6 months or so. The downside of it was the extra loads of laundry we had. As our babies got bigger, we started using disposable diapers again as they required fewer diaper changes throughout the day. The convenience and the lessening of the laundry load was a big deciding factor in us choosing disposable diapers. With 3 little ones running around keeping us extremely busy, it's much easier to deal with disposable diapers day in and day out.

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