The cloth diapers decision: pros and cons
The decision between cloth or disposable diapers is very much an individual one. Parents schedule, budget, and personal opinions about what is best for themselves, the child and the environment must all be taken into account before choosing one over the other, but because of the cost, safety, health, and other benefits, I am going to build a case in favor of using cloth diapers.
Cloth diapers are the most cost effective option. Instead of spending up to $3,000 during your child’s diaper-wearing years, you would spend usually less than $500 for even the most expensive cloth ones. If you have multiple children, this is an outrageous amount to spend on diapers if you don’t have to. Cloth diapers can be a huge money saver, allowing you to spend the extra money you would have spent on disposables on more important things for your child.
Safe and environmentally friendly
If you’re worried about the dyes and chemicals used in disposable diapers, cloth is a natural and safe option for your child. Organic cloth diapers are available in cotton, microfiber, bamboo and hemp, and can come as either cloth liners or an all-in-one model (a diaper and cover that looks like a disposable diaper), giving you the choice to use what would work best for your needs and making an earth-friendly choice easy. For the organics, hemp is said to be very absorbent but less soft than bamboo.
For potty training
Many people feel that when children wear cloth diapers, they are more likely to start potty training earlier because they can feel wetness more easily, and don’t mind the switch to underwear at a younger age. The fact that disposable diapers are more absorbent means they can be worn longer (cloth diapers need to be changed more often), but this often results in more diaper rash from the skin being exposed to wetness longer.
The cons of cloth
One of the only issues that come along with cloth diapers is the lack of convenience. Obviously if you’re not using disposable diapers, you’re going to be doing a lot more cleaning and washing- usually up to two or three extra loads of laundry per week. The money you’ve saved from not buying disposable diapers might have to go to electricity and water bills. And cloth diapers can get quite messy, sometimes needing more than one wash. If you are someone who does not have a lot of time, this can be strong argument against cloth diapers. Disposable diapers are also very easy to change, thanks to the strips that attach the back and front, and the fact that you can buy them based on your baby’s age and size, for a good fit every time. They are convenient while travelling because they can simply be thrown away, versus needing to carry dirty cloth diapers with you until they can be washed.