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Choosing reusable cloth diapers is a big decision that can lead to a rewarding journey for you and your baby. But where do you start? Here are the most commonly asked questions on how to start your cloth diaper journey.

Nicki's Diapers is a family business founded by Nicki and later joined by her husband Jesse. As a husband and wife team, they worked together to ensure the highest quality products while following responsible environmental and social business practices. The company is now located in Akron, Ohio.

The Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers and Disposable Diapers

As a new parent, choosing between cloth diapers vs disposable diapers can be a daunting task. Each option has its own set of pros and cons. Thus, it's important to consider all factors before making a decision. In this article, we'll discuss the pros and cons of cloth diapers and disposable diapers, giving you a clear understanding of what each option entails.

Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons

cloth diaper pros and cons

Cloth diapers have been around for centuries and are still a popular choice for many parents today. With a focus on sustainability and health, cloth diapers offer numerous advantages over disposable ones. Below, we’ve shared the various pros and cons to cloth diapers:

Pros of Cloth Diapers

1. Eco-Friendly 

One of the most significant pros of cloth diapers is that they're eco-friendly. Disposable diapers can take as long as 500 years to break down and are responsible for generating large landfill waste. In contrast, cloth diapers can be reused many times, thereby reducing landfill waste significantly.

More on this here: How Many Years Does It Take A Diaper To Decompose?

2. Cost-Effective 

Cloth diapers can be more cost-effective in the long run, as they’re reusable. You don't have to keep buying them every time you need them, like you do with disposable diapers. 

Plus, unlike disposables, cloth diapers can be passed down from child to child, or resold to other families. This means that the initial investment in cloth diapers can be used for multiple children, further reducing the cost. Parents who use cloth diapers can save thousands of dollars over the course of their child's diapering years.

3. Free of Harmful Chemicals 

Cloth diapers are free of harmful chemicals that can be found in some disposable diapers—for instance, dioxins, chlorine, phthalates, dyes, and fragrances.

4. Better Fit and Comfort 

Cloth diapers are available in various sizes and styles, providing a better fit and increased comfort for babies. Parents can choose from prefolds, pockets, all-in-ones, and more, depending on their baby's needs

5. Highly Customizable 

Cloth diapers are highly customizable when it comes to absorbency. They allow parents to adjust the absorbency level as the baby grows and their needs change. You can use different types of inserts, such as cotton, bamboo, or hemp, to tailor the diaper to suit your baby's requirements.

6. Decreased Risk of Diaper Rash 

Cloth diapers are less likely to cause diaper rash than disposable diapers. This is because cloth diapers are made of breathable materials like cotton, hemp, or bamboo. Thus, they allow for better air circulation and reduce the risk of moisture buildup and skin irritation.

7. Offer Dozens of Options 

Cloth diapers offer dozens of options. You can choose from different materials (like cotton, hemp, or bamboo blends) and styles (prefolds, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, pocket diapers, etc.) depending on your lifestyle and baby's needs.

What’s more, cloth diapers come in so many different cute prints! They’re like a blankie for your baby's tush—you can’t help but fall in love with these little fluff sacks. 

Consider reading our article, “Types of Cloth Diapers.” We think you'll find it a helpful guide when you're trying to decide which style is right for your family.

8. Can Be Used for Other Purposes 

Cloth diapers can also be used for other purposes. For instance, they can be used as burp cloths, cleaning rags, and even swim diapers. The possibilities are endless!

9. Early Potty Training 

cloth diaper for potty training

Cloth diapers are believed to promote early potty training. This is because babies can feel when they're wet, leading to an increased awareness of their bodily functions.

10. Fewer Trips to the Store

Because cloth diapers are reusable, parents who use them will have to make fewer trips to the store to buy more diapers. This not only further reduces their carbon footprint, but also saves tons of time.

11. Support Local Businesses

Cloth diapers tend to be sold by smaller businesses, as opposed to disposable diapers, which are mostly sold by large corporations. Thus, using cloth diapers can support local businesses that make and sell cloth diapers. (Hint: Many of the cloth diapers sold on Nicki's Diapers are produced by small businesses.) By purchasing cloth diapers from local businesses, you can contribute to the local economy.

Cons of Cloth Diapers

1. High Upfront Cost 

    One of the biggest cons of cloth diapers is the initial cost. Cloth diapers require a much larger initial investment than disposables—especially when you factor in not only the diapers themselves, but also accessories, such as liners and covers. This initial cost can be a barrier for some parents, especially those who are on a tight budget.

    Related Source: How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

    2. More Work

      Cloth diapers require more work than disposable diapers. They need to be washed, dried, and prepped before use. Parents who choose cloth diapers must also be prepared to handle soiled diapers and wash them regularly.

      Related Source: Best Detergent For Cloth Diapers

      3. Can Be Rather Bulky

        Cloth diapers can be a bit bulkier than disposable diapers, making them more difficult to fit under clothes. This can be especially challenging when it comes to dressing babies in tight-fitting outfits.

        4. May Require Additional Accessories

          Cloth diapers may require additional accessories, such as diaper liners, wet bags, and diaper sprayers, which can add to the overall cost.

          5. Harder to Travel With

            Traveling with cloth diapers can be challenging, since parents need to carry enough diapers for the entire trip and have a place to store dirty ones until they can be washed. This is particularly difficult when traveling long distances or staying in areas with limited access to laundry facilities.

            6. Not Ideal for Daycare or Babysitters

              Using cloth diapers may not be suitable for daycare or babysitters. This is because not all facilities or providers are willing or equipped to use them. This limits parents' options for childcare, and may require extra training for those unfamiliar with their use.

              Disposable Diapers Pros and Cons

              disposable diaper vs cloth diapers

              Disposable diapers have become the go-to choice for busy parents due to their convenience and ease of use. Below, we’ve shared the pros and cons of disposable diapers:

              Pros of Disposable Diapers

              1. Convenient and Easy to Use

                Disposable diapers are a hassle-free option for busy parents, since they come ready to wear and need no preparation or cleaning. You simply need to remove the dirty diaper and replace it with a new one!

                2. Less Upfront Cost

                  Disposable diapers have a lower upfront cost compared with cloth diapers, which can be more affordable for some families.

                  3. Portable

                    Disposable diapers are portable and easy to take with you on the go. They don't need any extra accessories, making them a convenient option for families who are constantly running around.

                    4. Wide Range of Sizes and Styles

                      Similar to cloth diapers, disposable diapers are also available in a wide range of sizes and styles to accommodate the needs of babies at all ages and sizes.

                      5. Eco-Friendly Options Available (at a Cost)

                        Although disposable diapers are not typically eco-friendly, there are now somewhat more eco-friendly options available, made from sustainable, biodegradable materials. However, these options may come at a higher price than traditional disposable diapers.

                        6. Widely Accepted by Daycare or Babysitters

                          Disposable diapers are widely accepted by daycare facilities and babysitters, making them a convenient option for parents who rely on outside help for childcare.

                          Cons of Disposable Diapers

                          1. Not So Eco-Friendly

                          disposable diapers not eco-friendly than the cloth diapers

                            One of the biggest cons of disposable diapers is that they’re not eco-friendly. They’re made from materials that don’t biodegrade quickly and often end up in landfills, where they can take hundreds of years to decompose. 

                            Furthermore, the manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of disposables to the end consumer significantly impacts the environment. That's why they're the third biggest contributors to landfills.  

                            2. Baby Waste Risks for Garbage Handlers

                              Baby waste can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted to those who handle the garbage. This can be a significant health risk for workers in waste management and can pollute the environment.

                              3. Expensive in the Long Run

                                Although disposable diapers have a lower upfront cost, they are more expensive in the long run, with a monthly expense of $60-$80. Over 2.5 years (or 30 months) of diaper use, this can amount to $1,800-$2,400. Cloth diapering, on the other hand, has a one-time cost of $300-$500, making it a more cost-effective option.

                                4. Chemical Exposure

                                  Disposable diapers contain chemicals such as dyes, chlorine, phthalates, fragrances, and absorbent gels. These chemicals can be harmful to a baby's skin and may cause allergic reactions or irritations.

                                  5. May Cause Diaper Rash

                                    Disposable diapers can cause skin irritation, which leads to diaper rash, due to the chemicals and lack of breathability. This can be uncomfortable for babies and require additional treatment.

                                    6. Lack of Customization

                                      Disposable diapers do come in different sizes and styles, but they're not as customizable as cloth diapers. So, you might find that the fit isn't quite perfect for your little one, which could cause some leaks and make them uncomfortable. Plus, you know how fast babies grow, right? If they outgrow a size before you finish the pack, or you find that a certain brand or size doesn’t quite fit right, you might end up with unused diapers, and that's just more money down the drain.

                                      7. Delayed Potty Training

                                        Disposable diapers can delay toilet training as they are highly absorbent, which can make it difficult for babies to feel wetness or discomfort. This can hinder parents’ efforts to start potty training, since babies may not understand the connection between urination and discomfort.

                                        Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons vs. Disposable Diapers: Which One Wins?

                                        To help you make an informed decision about which type of diaper is right for you and your baby, here’s a quick comparison of the cloth diaper pros and cons versus disposable diapers. Take a look at the table below to see which option aligns with your priorities and values:




                                        Cheaper in the long run

                                        Easy to use

                                        Better for environment

                                        Better for baby’s skin and health

                                        Less laundry 

                                        Less messy 

                                        Free from harsh chemicals

                                        Comes in a wide variety of sizes and styles

                                        Reduces rashes

                                        Helps with potty training

                                        Better comfort and fit

                                        The Bottom Line for Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers and Disposable Diapers

                                        In conclusion, both cloth and disposable diapers have their pros and cons. While disposable diapers are convenient and easy to use, they come with a high cost and have negative impacts on the environment. On the other hand, cloth diapers are more economical, eco-friendly, flexible, and customizable. 

                                        We do admit that cloth diapering requires some extra effort—but the benefits outweigh the challenges. They're also a better option for parents who want to save money and reduce their environmental impact. 

                                        All in all, with a one-time cost and a little extra laundry, cloth diapers offer a great solution. We highly recommend cloth diapers as a better option for parents.

                                        Now that you know all the cloth diapers' pros and cons, what are you still waiting for? Upgrade to hassle-free cloth diapering with our convenient “Cloth Diapering Packages.” Order now and start saving money and the planet!