The truth about cloth vs. disposable diapers?

What’s the deal when it comes to cloth vs. disposable diapers? We’re expecting next month and this is one area that I get a ton of conflicting advice in. My mom used cloth diapers with all of her children, but this seems like a lot of hassle. I’m willing to do this, of course, if it’s really necessary. Are there alternatives?

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Lauren posted October 23, 2019

A common reason parents choose cloth diapers is because they think it’s better for the environment. This is true from a waste and landfill perspective. Consider the amount of water and energy used in the endless washing cycles you’re in for, though. That isn’t so great for the environment either (or your utilities bill). If you do go with cloth, make sure you follow the care instructions closely - the special absorbent materials aren’t cheap and can get ruined easily in a regular cycle. Cloth diapers are also a nightmare when traveling, so it’s likely you’ll end up having to use disposable from time to time either way. 0 Likes

Natalie posted October 23, 2019

I used cloth diapers with my own children and it’s not as daunting or gross as many moms fear it will be. The daycare we run is okay with cloth diapers, but many commercial daycare centers are not. If you choose cloth diapers and need to enroll in daycare at some point, it’s best to look at small home daycares where the providers are more flexible. They usually have more patience and time to cater to the individual preferences of each child/family. 1 Like

Sheeva posted October 23, 2019

Have you looked into any natural diaper brands? These offer a greener alternative to old-school disposable diapers. They weren’t widely available back when your mom was diapering babies, so she may not even be considering them as an option. Many are made from non-GMO corn and other natural and renewable materials. Plus, they are produced without the harsh chemicals used in most disposable diapers that can irritate your baby’s skin. 1 Like

Rhea posted October 29, 2019

We’ve been using cloth diapers with our 13 mo old since birth without much hassle. He’s in his second small in-home daycare and both places are comfortable with the cloth diapers. Baby will need to be changed more often than with disposable diapers so they need to be aware of that. There are many different diaper types/styles and brands to choose from and figuring out what worked/we liked and what didn’t like was a learning curve. But, in the end, we have identified some favorites (ImseVimse and BumGenius all in one diapes; Glowbug (solid colors seem to hold up longer than patterns) and Thirsties stuffable/sleeve diapers). We got all of our diapers and pads, bags, etc. used! You can find on FB marketplace, Craigslist, and many online baby sites. Washing is really simple, but do follow instructions. There’s also lots of great info here: (There are also diaper services that will launder for you. I believe that most/all of them do trifold style diapers though. I know people who use this style, but it wasn’t our favorite...) We store dirty diapers in a dry bucket with lid and wash a load every few days; when poop is just breast milk you can throw the dirty diapers into the wash directly; now that baby is older and poop is more solid, we knock it off into the toilet first. We usually wash twice. In SoCal there is so much free sunlight that we often hang dry the diapers. In the summer they dry really quickly and the sunlight helps bleach out stains and disinfects them too. Using the dryer is fine too though. We use cloth diapers during the day - even when we’re out and about, we just bring a cloth dirty diaper storage bag. Overnight we use a single Eco by Naty disposable diaper. When traveling without access to laundry cloth diapers are not practical. Hope this is helpful! Congratulations on your little one!! 0 Likes

Rhea posted October 29, 2019

If your plumbing is good, another option to consider is G diapers: 0 Likes

Carina posted October 29, 2019

Cloth diaper systems can be expensive but they are better for the environment if you are able to properly care for them. Cloth diapers often need to be “stripped ” which can be a hassle. Also, cloth diapers do need to be changed very often as the cloth doesn’t pull the urine away from your baby’s body as disposable ones do, leading to diaper rash. There are diaper cleaning services you can hire that will pick up a week’s worth of cloth diapers and drop off more. In mydaycare, it’s possible to use cloth diapers but I do prefer disposable bc it feels bad giving parents challenging laundry at the end of each day. But that’s just my feelings! 1 Like