So many diapers! New parents spend a lot of time changing them, but which type do you choose: cloth diapers or disposable diapers? We'll help you find the best option for you and your little one.
Dirty diapers can be the arch-nemesis of many new parents. So if you're a new parent, chances are you're changing a lot of them. Families could use almost 3,000 diapers each year before toilet training. Most of them end up in the landfill since this waste cannot be recycled, and diapers aren't biodegradable. Who wants to leave a mountain of garbage for future generations? That's why more and more families are choosing cloth diapers.
But are cloth diapers really so much better for the environment? After all, constant washing increases the need for water and the detergent can have a negative environmental impact, too. In addition, their production – no matter the kind – also pollutes the environment. So which option is more environmentally friendly?
There is no current conclusive study that determines the eco-balance of different types of diapers. Even within the disposable or cloth sectors, certain brands are made with different materials and at different price points. You can find facts for and against both sides of the debate, but since cloth are reusable, you will need to buy far fewer of them over time. Most experts consider cloth diapering to be the more eco-friendly option.
Another benefit to cloth diapers is that they might be more gentle on baby skin. Babies with sensitive skin might have an allergic reaction or diaper rash when exposed to the chemicals, gels, and perfumes in some disposable diapers. Cloth is a skin-friendly and odorless alternative. Granted, any dirty diaper, whether cloth or disposable, will be an unpleasant smell.
Some parents also prefer cloth because of their colorful designs. People can collect limited edition diapers, which can they can later repurpose as burp cloths or even stuffed animals after they thoroughly wash them, of course!
Whether you're opting for disposable or cloth, you can keep your baby's bum fresh for a relatively small budget. If you have multiple children, cloth diapers can be incredibly cost-effective, since just a few hundred dollars could be your total financial investment over several years.
Disposable diapers are more expensive: an average of 4,000 diapers and 20 cents per diaper costs about 800 dollars - for just one child per year. There might also be additional garbage fees depending on the amount of extra trash you accumulate.
Even though they're more expensive, many people consider disposables to be a more convenient option. You have less laundry, and if you're ever traveling somewhere without a diaper, it's usually easier to buy a disposable.
Another travel benefit: since disposables can store more moisture than cloth, you don't have to change them as often. Whether hiking or on holiday without a washing machine – disposable diapers are then easier to handle.
If cloth is your diaper of choice, don't fret! Most parents of cloth diapered children develop totally creative solutions for such situations, which prove to be just as practical.
The good news with this debate is that there isn't one "best" option for everyone. Some people even opt to use both- maybe cloth at home and disposables when they're out. Just choose whichever option works best for your family, and if you need to change things up, that's great, too!
What have you chosen? Cloth, disposable, or a mixture of both? Let us know in the comments, or talk about your experiences with your family in our FamilyApp.