Cloth Diapering vs. Disposables, and Why I Use Both

Cloth Diapering vs. Disposables, and Why I Use Both

Cloth diapering is a lot of work sometimes. Every two days you have to do laundry. While this isn’t a difficult prospect for me because I have to do laundry every day, it would be a huge annoyance for many. My son gets sick, a lot. We measure the necessary size of his wardrobe by how many outfits he needs to get through a single day.

There’s also the up front cost. If you have no idea what you’re doing when you start (most of us don’t) then you probably want an all-in-one solution which is more expensive than the alternative, sometimes by as much as double the price or more. It’s a big commitment. If you change your mind, you may be left with several hundred dollars of useless objects. It’s nice to save the environment and all, but in this case it’s a significant amount of extra work and money up front. Not everyone can handle that.

Disposables are convenient. As long as your child hasn’t pooped in the diaper you can toss it away wherever you are and simply throw on a new one. I loved this for about the first year. After that I realized that half of our trash every week was plastic bundles of tightly compressed diapers. It was going to get worse, because the diapers kept getting bigger as he grew.

The change in size makes diaper prices extremely deceptive! You start out with this box, and there’s so many diapers in it! You look around at all the diaper sizes and stand amazed that the price never goes up. It’s like magic. You pay the same price for the same sized box no matter what size you need!  Except it’s not amazing. The number of diapers in the box goes down every size increase. Before you know it, that box that was lasting you a month is gone in two weeks, and you suddenly wonder how diapers got so expensive all of a sudden.

I find using both suites me best. I don’t feel as bothered by the disposables in the trash when I know we’re only using a few of them each night. I don’t mind the up front cost of the cloth diapers because I know I’ll have the time to do the extra laundry. It’s just a minor adjustment from what I already have to do. It does save us a lot of money to use cloth. A box of disposable diapers that was lasting us a month has lasted us two so far and we’re only about half way through it. We’re well on our way to recouping the cost of the cloth diapers in just a few months, even without a full transition.

What do I recommend? I recommend doing what works best for you! Just, when you’re reading all of those articles about how you should use cloth, or disposables, remember… you can do whatever you want. If you would rather not choose, then don’t.

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