Cloth Diapers v. Disposables – The Battle Rages On

When it comes to baby butts, you want only the best protection for their adorable onesies, your furniture and your sanity. So you look for just the right diaper to fit your baby’s butt. Do you reach for the washable cloth, or the easy disposal?

What do you do?

Well, here’s what I do. Both. That’s right. I reach across party lines and use both cloths and disposables. Disposables are great for when you’re on the go. Cloth diapers are so cheap and pretty easy. Here’s a breakdown of the pro’s and con’s of each one.


Cloth Pros

  • Cheap. They’re a significant investment at first, but once you’ve got everything, it’s just a little extra water and soap to keep it going. There’s nothing like not having to keep going to the store to buy diapers, shelling out $30 at costco for a giant box that you blaze through in two weeks.
  • Protective. A cloth diaper plus diaper cover rarely has a “blow-out.” For the most part, the double layer of awesome keeps everything inside, where it should be.
  • Comfortable. Gwen seems to really like Wearing cloth diapers.
  • Environmentally friendly. Less trash, plain and simple. Who doesn’t want to save the world?
  • Cheap. Did we mention cheap? Yeah, well I’m doing it again.
  • Adorable. The diaper covers are great. There are a huge variety of styles to choose from, and so many of them are just so cute. You never need those little baby undies, because you want to see what she’s got on. My personal favorite are these ones.

Cloth Cons

  • Gross. It’s true. You’re handling more crap than you’d expect. Pee-soaked disposables are just a matter of peeling it off and tossing it. A cloth diaper requires a bit more hands-on approach, often times requiring a lot of hand-washing.
  • Annoying. You’ve go to do a load of laundry at least every other day. You’ve got to bring a sealable bag with you on trips to contain the grossness til you get to your washing machine.
  • All those little snaps. The cloth diaper covers often come with a collection of snaps that you have to afix in place to get the best coverage. There’s a lot of them.
  • It takes longer. A disposable is just zip, zap – velcro done and done. Cloth diapers require folding, snapping, tucking and checking. It’s a process.
  • More work. You’ve got to wash em. You’ve got to stay on top of it, or you run out.
  • Changes more often. Cloth diapers are less absorbent than disposables. Pee once and you’ll need a replacement right quick.


Disposable Pros

  • ┬áSo simple. Grab a new one, toss the old one.
  • Portable. No need to drag around your used diapers til you can wash them. Just toss them in the trash can.
  • Sizing up is easy. Just buy a bigger size the next time around. No need to buy more covers.
  • Longer lasting. These suckers can fill up pretty good without too much baby complaining. In then end you’re changing less diapers throughout the day.
  • Easy. No snaps, no multiple pieces and parts, and almost everyone can figure them out. Cloth diapers require a lesson in folding and applying.

Disposable Cons

  • Not a ton of protection. The commercials for specialty diapers might brag about leak protection and protection from blowouts, but the fact is – a cloth diaper has two layers of tough protection. Disposables don’t fit as well, and there’s a gap in the back that lets poo creep up to the shoulders. It’s totes gross.
  • Expensive. We’ve been over this with the cloths – they just don’t compare in cost. Week after week you’re buying the things in bulk.
  • More trash. It’s smelly, there’s a lot of it, and it’s pretty nasty.

Well, there you have it. What works for us is a mix of the two. We primarily use cloth diapers for the cost reduction, and we use disposables when we’re on the go, or in between wash cycles. Also sometimes, when we’re just being lazy. It’s pretty great. Do what feels right for you.

Have you had a different experience with your diapers? Discuss it with us in the comments!

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