Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers

There are so many posts out there providing an opinion on why you should use cloth diapers instead of disposables. THIS, is not one of those posts!

My journey to motherhood was not so traditional and through it I had to adjust my expectations about certain things that I’d get to do for my first baby girl.  In my early days of dreaming of a baby I envisioned being an all out crunchy mom.  I had researched birthing centers, knew all the benefits of breastfeeding and was gung-ho on cloth diapers because *of course* my new little being wouldn’t also contribute to our environmental problems. 

Then natural birth and breastfeeding weren’t exactly an option, so I focused on the thing I could still do, cloth diapers! 

They are not your mom’s cloth diapers anymore, with the big white clothes and huge safety pins that you just pray you don’t poke your baby with.  These diapers come in cute colors and patterned covers.  You can even do an All-in-One so it’s like changing a disposable each time, no internal pieces to swap out or anything!  I was determined, even though my husband opposed and bought my set, an initial investment that is said to be the equivalent to 4-5 months of disposables.

Several months in and one shocking pregnancy test later, in the thick of morning sickness, I just.couldn’ anymore.  I couldn’t take the smell as I dumped my diapers into the washer.  That was that, we were done with cloth diapering for my oldest daughter.  I embraced disposables and never looked back!  And when baby girl made her debut, I never even opened up the Rubbermaid container full of all those cute cloth diapers. 

Do I feel a little guilty?  Sometimes, but with that, here’s my list of pros and cons to each because there really are some great things about each option.  Whichever you choose, don’t feel guilty, there are so many more things that will take up your Mom guilt and diapers just aren’t worth it in my opinion.  You do what works for your family!


Cloth Diapers


Flexible options to fit various lifestyles – All-in-One’s, Hybrids, Pockets, Prefolds

Less diaper rash – no harmful chemicals in the diaper that will irritate baby’s skin

Environmentally friendly – no filling up landfills!

Less expensive long term – initial investment is required but considering so many brands offer options that grow with your child, you can invest in one set and use through potty training!



Cleaning process – you can’t just tape up and throw away, you’ll need a handy bacterial spray (I used Bac-Out) to pretreat and then wash diapers every 2-3 days

Cleaning Service – this could take care of the process “con” but then consider the increased cost in paying a service to pick up diapers and clean them.

Smell – all diapers will smell but the stench that builds up as multiple diapers are in the pail awaiting washing… ew! 

Convenience – you’ll need a travel wet bag for when you’re on the go

Child care – check with your child care provider, they may not all be willing to handle cloth diapers


Disposable Diapers


Convenience – Hands down disposables are easy to deal with on the go!  Toss the dirty diaper in a nearby trash can and you’re done

Cost – I know Cloth can be less expensive in the long term but with options like Subscribe and Save, Honest Bundles and other services, you can find great deals on disposables to help keep costs down

Cute prints – You can still get the cute prints in various brands of disposable diapers!



Not so environmentally friendly – There are multiple brands that are biodegradable but they do still take time to breakdown and fill landfills in the mean time

Harmful chemicals – A lot of disposables to use harmful chemicals such as dioxin and TBT which are carcinogens and hormone disrupters.  Those chemicals can also irritate your baby’s sweet bum and make diaper rash worse

Cost – If you are lucky enough to have an early potty-trainer then you’re looking at 2 years worth of diapers at a minimum but, probably closer to 3 taking into account use of any training pants. No matter what savings are out there, it still adds up and puts a dent in the budget!


So consider the factors and then do what’s right for you! 

Either way, both get you dirty and you are still a slave to handling your cute little person’s poo! 😊


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here