One of the many decisions you’ll have to make after having your newborn is whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. They both have their pros and cons from cost to cleaning and cuteness to comfort. You may want to try out both types of diapers to see if there any major differences in your baby’s response and of course what your opinion is on either. Changing diapers becomes a common part of your daily routine, so it’s important to find a system that works best for you.

Cloth Diapers: Pros 

  • Time-saver: You’ll save time from making trips to the store to purchase fresh diapers. It’s true, you can purchase several all at once and never have to go to the store unless it’s necessary. Of course, you can always purchase online and then definitely not need to go to the store.
  • Next-level cuteness: Between farm animals, sail boats, stars and skulls, you’ll have so many options to choose from. Cloth diapers have become distinctly known for their colorful patterns. On warm days your baby may not even need pants because the cloth diaper is just too cute not to show off. 
  • Money-saver: This one really depends on a number of factors. You’ll have to take into consideration that generally a cloth diaper with a couple inserts can be between $6-12. Whereas a case of 180 Huggies can be about $24, or .13 cents a diaper. However, taking into consideration how many times a day you’ll need to change your baby, a few cloth diapers will likely save you more money in the long run, than disposable diapers. Even with the extra cost of laundry, cloth diapers will save you a bit more longterm.

Cloth Diapers: Cons

  • Lots of Laundry: You’ll increase your laundry load, but not by much. It’s as much as adding an extra load of laundry, at most.
  • Extra diapers: You’ll eventually have a lot of extra cloth diapers as your baby grows out of them. It’s not as easy as disposable diapers where you throw away and never see them again. You’ll be stuck with several $10-$20 diapers. Fear not! Do some good and donate them to an organization that will find a home who needs the diapers.
  • Not so portable: If you’re out for the day and your baby goes to the bathroom big time, you’ll change his/her diaper, but then you’re left with a stinky one. There are however, a few options around this. You can either keep a wet/dry bag to store and seal the dirty one, or if you’re without the bag, you’ll have to take the loss for the diaper. 

Disposable Diapers: Pros

  • Convenience: Changing your baby with disposable diapers is a much more straightforward process of just tossing the dirty diaper away.
  • Portable: When you’re out with your baby and he/she goes to the bathroom, you can easily change him/her without having to worry about what to do with the dirty one. 

Disposable Diapers: Cons

  • Environmental Implications: A disposable diaper takes 250-300 years to decompose versus the 1-25 years of a cloth diaper (depending on the mix of textile). However the environmental impact of using water and electricity for cloth diapers should also be taken into consideration here.
  • A pretty penny: According to What to Expect, the average cost for two years worth of disposable diapers is $1600 versus the same timeline and $500 in cloth diapers.
  • Watch out for blowouts: When your baby has a blowout, it’s not as easy to contain in a disposable diaper. This means you may have to get your hands dirty.

Of course, there’s not right or wrong answer, but it’s best to test out the two different methods and then make your decision. Just be sure to stay conscious of how your baby is reacting to both disposable and cloth diapers.