Cloth diapers or disposable diapers? That is a question that every mother has to face. Undoubtedly a new mother has older relatives who recommend clothes and younger friends who recommend the convenience of disposables.
Before you try to make up your mind about which to use let me give you a few things to consider.
Cloth Diapers are Reusable
When you purchase cloth diapers you do not have to purchase them again. With cloth diapers, you get an item that can be cleaned and reused so in the long run you save money by using them.
Disposable diapers are quite expensive when you consider that the baby will need to be changed on average every two hours when they are newborns.
Cloth Diapers cause Less Irritation
When you use disposable diapers your baby can be allergic to the perfumes or the materials the diaper is made from. Cloth diapers are made from 100% cotton and your baby is not going to be allergic to them.
When your child is in a disposable diaper their bottoms cannot freely breathe, they get more heat rashes and more cases of bacteria-caused diaper rash. The disposable diaper can hold a lot of urine before it begins to leak. Often babies wear these urine-soaked items for a few hours and they develop rashes as a result.
When an infant urinates in a cloth diaper the mother can feel the wetness immediately. The baby also feels the wet diaper against their skin and they usually fuss until they are changed.
Babies that wear cloth nappies potty train faster than babies that wear disposable garments. The baby feels the moisture of the wet cloth and does not like it. When they wear a disposable garment, the moisture is pulled away and they do not feel it as being uncomfortable.
They are Environmentally Friendly
You know that we only have one earth, and our children will pay the consequences of the decisions we make today. A disposable diaper will take about 500 years to decompose in a landfill.
Useful Even after the Baby is Grown
Anyone that has ever had cloth diapers in their home will tell you that they are fantastic for things like dusting. They leave no lint behind when you dust. They are great for use as a burp rag to protect your clothes when you are burping the baby. They are perfect for straining berries when you are canning jellies and jams.
These diapers will last for many years. You can raise several children on them, and then use them around the house to help with cleaning and other things.
A cloth diaper can quickly become a hair cover or a cape for a child who is playing superhero.
They Grow with the Baby
When a baby grows you have to change the size of disposable diapers you are using. Sometimes babies can grow quickly and leave you with a package of diapers that you cannot use because they are too small, and you cannot return because the package is open.
Cloth diapers grow with the child. When the child grows you adjust the way you are folding the diaper so it still fits the baby perfectly.
Cons of Cloth Diapers
These diapers do have to be emptied into the toilet and then washed. Often moms have diaper pails that have a soak of water and gentle detergent in their laundry rooms. When the child gets a diaper change the soiled diaper is soaked in this pail until time to wash it. This eliminates the urine smell from being in the laundry room, and if the diaper was soiled with poo it allows stains to soak out of the cloth.
Cloth diapers have to be pinned on. The great thing about this is the diaper pins meant to hold the diaper in place have really changed over the years. There are even new pins that require only one pin to hold the diaper instead of two.
Cloth diapers let the urine get on the baby’s clothing or bedding faster. This is very true. They also make diaper covers and protectors that the baby can wear over their cloth diaper. The protector covers will stop the leakage from happening. The protector covers are also decorative and can be made to match the baby’s outfit.
You have to wash the diapers frequently. If you do not then you can find yourself needing a clean diaper and not having one. You have to be sure and buy plenty of disposable diapers because you can run out of those also.
Are cloth diapers worth the time and trouble it takes to keep them clean and ready to use? Yes, they are. As a mother and grandmother, I can tell you that cloth diapers are the best thing for the environment, your wallet, and best of, for your baby. But, besides cloth diapers don’t forget to check our overnight baby diaper post.
Dr. Leah Alexander, M.D., is a board-certified Pediatrician in New Jersey and has been working at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, Dr. Alexander has worked as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey.
She also has a passion for culinary arts that extends beyond the medical realm. After completing culinary school at the French Culinary Institute, she started Global Palate, LLC, a catering firm, in 2007. She ran her own catering company for six years and served small group parties as an owner and executive chef.