Diapers – Cloth or Disposable?

baby-in-diaperThere really does not appear to be any clear cut winner in the debate of cloth versus disposable diapers.  It really comes down to the personal preference of the parent.

Some will argue that since disposable diapers need more raw materials to manufacture, create more solid waste in the landfill and do not degrade for a very long time they are harmful to the environment and thus cloth diapers are better.  However, it takes more water and electricity to wash and dry cloth diapers and if you are using a diaper service it uses fuel for delivery trucks which create air pollution.  There does not appear to be much difference on the environment regardless of whether you use cloth diapers or disposable ones.

Over the course of time your baby will be using diapers you will spend more if you use disposable then if you purchase cloth diapers and launder them yourself.  You will spend even less money if you have more than one baby and hand down cloth diapers from one child to the next.  If you use a diaper service for your cloth diapers there is not a significant difference in the cost between cloth or disposable diapers.

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You no longer need to know how to fold a cloth diaper and worry with securing it with pins.  Many cloth diapers now come pre-folded and have either Velcro or snap closures.  Cloth diapers now are available in a variety of materials including cotton, terry cloth and flannel.  They also come with liners some of which are flushable.

You baby will need to be changed more often with a cloth diaper than with the disposable diaper.  Since the disposable diapers keep moisture away from babies bottom they may help to prevent diaper rash.

Pediatricians do not seem to have a consensus of opinion on which is better to use the cloth or disposable diapers.

Even if you are a cloth diaper user the disposable diapers work better when you are traveling or out and about.  It is a little difficult to manage a dirty cloth  diaper when you are away from home.  Most day care centers require the baby wear the disposable diaper.

When it comes to choosing the type diaper to use for  your baby it simply depends on what the parent feels most comfortable using and whether the cloth diaper or disposable diaper works best for your baby.