Diaper wars has been going on a while now and parents still wonder which one is better than the other when it comes to choosing a cloth vs. disposable diaper. After much extensive research we have put together this information in a most simple way in graphic form.
Many parents seem to consider the choice of using disposable diapers with heavy heart. We keep hearing that cloth diapers are very eco-friendly but disposable diapers are full of harmful chemicals but they are more appropriate to use. Lawyers for both cloth and disposable diapers often claim drawbacks of each. It depends on you to choose which diaper is healthier, cheaper, ecologically safe, durable, versatile and convenient to use for your baby. First of all, let’s review on diaper rash and skin health of baby.
Diaper rash and skin health
Users of both cloth and disposable diapers both claim that babies wearing their chosen diaper type have less diaper rash. We discussed this topic with dermatologists and after reviewing scientific literature on this topic, it is very clear to us that disposable diapers prevent the most common type of diaper rash. Dermatologists told us that skin is largely better off with disposable diapers because they have superabsorbent polymers, which take in and retain many times their weight in liquid, but still some babies can develop allergic rashes from certain ingredients used in disposable diapers such as rubber and fragrances, dyes etc. Now let’s see most common differences between cloth and disposable diapers.
1. Environmental impact of disposable diapers vs cloth diapers
After Cloth Diapers are rough and are not able to be used as diapers they can be used as washcloths, changing pads or whatever you want. Cloth diapers are environmental friendly and simple to use. When we see at most common comparisons between these products then we came to know about some general facts.
2. Healthy for baby
There is no significant difference between cloth and disposable diapers, which can affect directly baby’s overall health. Leaving on soiled diaper for too long can result in diaper rash. Most disposable diapers contain a chemical which helps in absorption of urine and chemicals used in these diapers are tested to be non-irritable to babies and they are safe.
3. Comfort for baby
Disposable diapers as compared to cloth diapers are more breathable. They can be adjusted more easier than cloth diapers because cloth diapers needed to be pinned or buttoned into place. Disposable diapers as compared to cloth diapers are more comfortable due to its adjust ability and flexibility which is much more than cloth diaper. On the other hand cloth diapers are more softer for baby but don’t have the absorbency chemicals which are used in disposable diapers.
Diapering is often too much expensive for parents of new babies. Many people often reach out how to do it more cheaply. Whether disposable or cloth diapers ends up being a cheaper option on a number of diapers used. Disposable diapers cost varies greatly depending on diapers brand. For example , a year’s expense of Honest Company disposable diapers is atleast 850$. On the other hand for cloth diapers, a company BumGenius 5.0 pocket diapers, 36 inserts cost about 300$. But it still depends upon how much diapers you’ll use a day.
Types of Disposable diapers
Even if a diaper is made up of such materials which can easily break down when exposed to air, water, and sunlight. Most disposable diapers end up in dark, airless landfills where they will remain unchanged for centuries. Governments are now working to make more eco-friendly diapers.
Chlorine free diapers
Most diapers are bleached with toxic chlorine. This bleaching process leaves toxins called dioxins, which can cause cancer and damage to reproductive organs. Diapers contain only tiny amounts of dioxins and they don’t contain dangerous form of chemicals.
Dye and fragrance free
Some babies are allergic to fragrances and dyes used in disposable diapers. Using fragrances doesn’t do much to improve dirty diapers smell. These fragrances and dyes used in them are often toxic and cause severe type of rashes.
Hypoallergenic products are using in diapers now a days which protects baby from any kind of allergic reaction or rashes etc. This product affects are very good on baby’s sensitive skin. Best way to choose diaper is to choose one without fragrance and dyes.
Types of cloth diapers
These are basic cloth diapers, a flat rectangle shaped cloth and thicker in the middle. They are called prefold to differentiate them from older flat diapers. However, they still need some more folding before you can fasten them on the baby. Prefold diapers are versatile and easy to clean but they’re also bulkier than other type of cloth diapers.
A fitted diaper is built much similar to disposable diaper, with multiple layers of absorbent materials, hook-and-loop tape and leg n back elastic to hold them in place. However, they don’t have a waterproof outer layer so they require a separate cover. Fitted diapers are more expensive than prefold diapers but they’re more absorbent and easier to fasten.
Hybrid diapers are a particular type with disposable inserts, making them a hybrid between cloth and disposable diapers. We can use cloth liners at home for their greater absorbency, then switch to disposable liners for more convenience.
Pros of disposable diapers
- They are very convenient to use.
- They are available at every store and even you can purchase it from online.
- They prevent baby from allergic reactions because they are mostly hypoallergenic.
- They are easily adjustable.
- They are waterproof. It has waterproof band which keeps leak in.
Cons of disposable diapers
- Some babies can have an allergic reaction due to use of disposable diapers as they contains some chemicals.
- They are not eco-friendly and causes huge negative impact on environment.
- It makes potty training hard.
- They are expensive and can’t be used again as cloth diaper can be used again after washing.
Pros of cloth diapers
- They are available in cotton, flannel and also in hybrid form similar to disposable diapers.
- They are usually cheaper because they can be re-used again after washing.
- They don’t have dyes, gels and other toxic chemicals as compared to disposable diapers.
- It may be easier to start potty training as kids notice they will wet sooner.
Cons of cloth diapers
- Cloth diapers are very expensive specially when you consider that a baby can use about 8-10 diapers in a day on average.
- Cloth diapers have some wetness on its paper. Any wetness on paper may lead to skin rashes or irritation etc