3.5 Millions Tons of Waste
That's how much disposable diaper waste there is yearly in just the United States.
In case you didn't know, that's a lot of waste.
In fact, that waste is as tall as the Leaning Tower of Pisa...
When a disposable diaper has been used it goes into the trash.
A cloth diaper is washed, reused, and it doesn’t stop there!
Cloth Diapers can be resold, donated, or upcycled!
Today, I'm breaking down the oldest debate in the diaper world - Cloth vs Disposable Diapers.
Our answer might just surprise you too! Let's jump in!
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: Health
There’s no contest here.
Cloth diapers ARE better for your baby’s skin.
Cloth diapers are made with fabric - and it ends there.
Did you know that your baby is LESS likely to have a diaper rash with cloth? It’s true!
Disposable Diapers are full of chemicals that we can’t pronounce.
These chemicals can cause chemical burns on babys sensitive skin.
Did you know that your child can actually be allergic to disposable diapers?
Even those more natural brands?
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: Comfort
I know this going to come as a shock, but cloth diapers are actually more breathable than sposies.
Cloth diapers also come in the softest of fabrics including organic cotton and bamboo viscose!
Can I get some undies made of bamboo viscose, please???
Are they wet though? This comes down to brand and type.
Some brands, such as Kanga Care and Twinkie Tush offer a feel-dry velour lining.
Most pocket diapers and all-in-one cloth diapers such as Nicki’s Diapers offer a stay-dry fleece keeping babys skin dry to the touch.
Do you know that diaper feeling you get when you’ve worn a disposable feminine pad?
Imagine wearing that all day, every day for the next two to three years.
I will say though, that all disposable diapers will have your baby feeling dry, while it’s not built in all types of cloth diapers.
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: Convenience
Think cloth diapers aren’t convenient?
Cloth diapers will save you from poopsplosions!
Those messy-up the backer poops.
Have you ever had to deal with one of those on the go? It’s the worst.
I’m not saying you’ll never experience this - sometimes there’s no containing that poop, but it will significantly reduce those cleanups.
The important factor though?
Not having to run to the fluffing store! Honestly.
Those last-minute trips to the store to pick up a pack of diapers because your little went through more diapers than normal for whatever reasons are gone.
I can’t argue that it’s not easier to just throw something away.
Our lives have been centered around convenience from drive-thrus, 2-day shipping, and all of the other disposable items we have been using all of our lives.
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Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: Style
LOOK AT THAT BUM! Cloth diapers are effing cute!
Any style, color scheme, theme, animal, or whatever floats your boat probably exists!
Cloth diapers negate the need for those bloomers or pants in the warmer months.
If you’re planning a photoshoot a cloth diaper can elevate your pics in a way that a disposable diaper just can’t.
Sure, there are some companies putting out prints now, but they don’t hold a candle to cloth diaper prints.
Nor do the prints look as crisp or saturated as cloth diapers do.
Also, cloth diapers never have that sag- and that’s never stylish.
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: Environment
Cloth diapers are reusable and will last at least two children from birth to potty training.
If you take care of your cloth diapers they’ll last you 3, 4, and even 5 kids!
One of the biggest ways cloth diapers reduce our carbon footprint is that you can buy pre-loved diapers.
I promise it’s not as gross as that sounds.
There’s no manufacturing or raw materials going into that diaper.
It’s been produced and can now be used on another child through potty training with zero environmental impact outside of washing- which is no different than the laundry you’re already doing!
I’m just going to hit you with some cold hard facts.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that about 20 billion disposable diapers are dumped in landfills each year, accounting for more than 3.5 million tons of waste.
Disposable diapers are the third-largest single consumer item in landfills and represent about 4% of solid waste.
In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
That’s a huge environmental impact in the worst way.
Cloth vs Disposable Diapers: Price
On the low end of a cloth diaper stash expect to spend about $200.
On the high end with some extras, you’ll spend upwards of $400.
If you go overboard *cough cough* like me *cough cough* you could spend significantly more if you become obsessed with new prints or choose a spendier system like fitteds.
This is a one-time expense though- you won’t have to budget weekly or monthly diaper monies.
You can grab a pack of disposable diapers for under $10.
That may not be the best brand and that pack may only last you a few days, but it is significantly cheaper in the short term to use disposables.
The downside though is that it’s a recurring expense that will cost you anywhere from $1,500 for generics to $2,500+.
If your kiddo has a tummy bug you’ve just doubled your disposable cost that week.
Tabs broke off that diaper? That’s a quarter in the trash.
Conclusion: Cloth vs Disposable Diapers
There will always be pros and cons to everything in life.
The Cloth vs Disposable Diapers conversations is no different.
One thing I will say though - Cloth doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
If you cloth diaper only at home you’re saving money, the planet, and exposing your little to fewer chemicals.
Do what you can and skip what you can’t.
Are you wanting to try out cloth diapers, but don’t know how or where to start?
I’d try a pocket diaper.
They’re where most cloth parents start out, because they’re an easy system, stay dry, and pretty friendly on the wallet.
Click HERE to take a look at Nicki’s Diapers Pocket Diapers!