Cloth Diapering vs. Disposable Diapers: Which Is Right for You?

The diaper debate is something every new parent must go through. Should you choose a cloth diaper? Or use disposables? What are the pros and cons to each? With so many amazing, innovative products on the market today, from diaper pails for disposable diapers to diaper inserts for cloth diapers, how do you possibly decide?

Cloth Diapers

cloth diapering

Cloth diapers can be made from several materials, but most commonly cloth diapers are made out of cotton, terry cloth or flannel. Cloth diapers are meant to be washed and reused, meaning parents that choose this route contribute less waste to landfills when their babies are in diapers.

Cloth Diaper Pros

  • Cloth diapers are a natural way of diapering. No need to worry what kinds of gels or synthetic ingredients might be touching your child’s skin.
  • When you cloth diaper, you reuse the components in your child’s diaper, meaning you don’t produce as much waste as households that use disposable diapers. Estimates say that children use about 2,500 disposable diapers in their first year and about 1,500 per year after that… That’s a lot of diapers!
  • Because cloth diapers don’t absorb wetness the way that disposable diapers do, children who wear cloth diapers tend to potty train earlier because they don’t like the wet feeling on their bottoms.
  • Kids who are cloth diapered may get less diaper rashes because cloth diapers require more frequent changes due to the lack of wetness absorption.
  • While cloth diapering will require a big investment at first to purchase all of the diapers (and inserts, if you go that route), there will be little in the way on ongoing or recurring costs, meaning you will likely save money in the long run by cloth diapering.
  • If you want to cloth diaper but worry about the initial cost, consider buying cloth diapers preloved (although some of the items for sale are brand new!) from Good Buy Gear! The selection is amazing and the prices can’t be beat.

Cloth Diaper Cons

  • Cloth diapering will increase the amount of laundry you have to do. Cloth diapering will require about two extra loads per week, and these extra loads will increase your water and electricity bills yearly.
  • Cloth diapering can be stinky! There are no smell-blocking chemicals used in cloth diapers. If you are on the go and need to change a dirty diaper, you will have to bring a bag of some sort to transport the soiled diaper home to be cleaned later.

Disposable Diapers

disposable diapering

Disposable diapers offer an unparalleled convenience to parents. After your child has done their business, simply toss a diaper in the trash can (or diaper pail!) and move on with your day. Easy? Yes. But good for the environment? Not so much.

Disposable Diaper Pros

  • Disposable diapers are easy for on-the-go because they can be tossed in a trash can after they are used.
  • Disposable diapers use gels and additives to help wick moisture away from your child’s skin, meaning that a disposable diaper keeps a child’s bottom drier, which, in turn, means disposable diapers can be used for longer per diaper than cloth diapers.
  • Because of additives in the diaper, disposable diapers don’t smell as much when soiled as their cloth counterparts.
  • Diapers are cute these days! Diaper companies have really upped their game in recent years, churning out diapers in a variety of cute prints and patterns to keep baby stylish no matter what!

Disposable Diaper Cons

  • Disposable diapers aren’t cheap! Depending on the size of the diaper you need and what brand you are purchasing, disposable diapers can really be a costly part of having kids.
  • Some parents worry about the chemicals used in diapers so close to their child’s skin. According to this article, a child’s skin can absorb up to 50 chemicals from disposable diapers.
  • Worried about the environment and the waste your family produces? Disposable diapers are a huge burden on landfills, with estimates saying that 27 billion diapers enter the landfill every year in the U.S. alone. Let that number sink in.

At the end of the day, there is no clear-cut answer to the age-old question about cloth diapers and disposable diapers. Which you choose is a personal decision that needs to work for you and your family.

Must-Have Diaper Accessories

Whether you cloth diaper or use disposable, there are some great products on the market to assist you in the early years of parenting. Check out these fantastic items from Good Buy Gear, all of which are preloved, meaning you get a great deal and help another parent declutter their space!

  • Diaper Pails: If you’ve decided that disposable diapers are the right choice for you, consider getting a diaper pail for the nursery. Diaper pails are designated disposal bins for soiled disposable diapers that keep the smell under wraps so the nursery always smells fresh.
  • Changing Pads: Whether you cloth diaper or use disposables, changing pads are a great, soft spot to lay babies and toddlers down to change. Not only can baby be buckled in so they don’t fall during a changing session, changing pads provide are easy to wipe clean should a mess happen.
  • Diaper Bags: Picking out a diaper bag is one of the coolest parts about being a new parent! Deciding which type, color and brand is right for you is a fun way to pick out an accessory that benefits baby but also shows off your personal style. If you want a top-end diaper bag without the high-dollar cost, consider buying preloved from Good Buy Gear!  

Still looking for diapering gear for life's messier moments? Check out our diapering assortment

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