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The Diaper Debate - Cloth or Disposable?

Published July 31, 2010        by Kim

Pink Little Lamb Diaper Cake
Pink Little Lamb Diaper Cake

The debate has long raged on between families who use cloth diapers versus families who use disposable diapers. Both sides have a good argument. Before you decide which you’ll use, check out some of the features and benefits of both.

Cloth Diapers
When you choose cloth diapers, first and foremost you are helping the environment because you are creating less waste that will sit in landfills. You are also using fewer diapers, as cloth diapers are washable and reusable. You can toss them in the washing machine, or you can hire a diaper service. With cloth diapers, there’s no chemical or manufacturing process that could harm the environment. The cloth is a natural cotton fiber that is wonderfully soft against baby’s delicate skin. You can also reuse them later as rags for washing the car and other odd jobs.


Cloth diapers are definitely more work. You’ll need to master the art of safety pinning a diaper onto a baby whose legs are flailing in the air. You will need a diaper pail for the sole purpose of storing dirty diapers until you can wash them or they are picked up by the service.  Do you really want a pail full of soiled diapers sitting around? Also, you will have to put a plastic waterproof liner on your baby outside the diaper as leaks are plentiful. Cloth can’t hold nearly as much fluid as high-tech modern disposables. So you’ll be changing your baby more often, and there’s also a fairly good chance that leaks will happen.
Disposable Diapers
Today’s disposables are so technologically advanced that they can hold cups and cups of fluid and never leak. They’ve gotten so good that you won’t even know baby is wet. The protective fibers wick moisture away from baby’s tender skin so he are not sitting in wetness between diaper changes. Disposable diapers are also convenient to carry along with you on outings, and once they’re used you toss them and forget about them. They’re easy for novices to get the hang of and require no pins. Plus, you don’t have to carve out time in an already hectic schedule to wash a pail of diapers. When the traffic is unexpectedly delayed or you’re at a place where there’s no changing area, you’ll be glad that the disposable will go the extra mile and hold many times its weight.


Disposables have to go somewhere and that somewhere is the landfill. Yes, they do biodegrade over time, but for now they’re adding to the trash piles. You’ll use lots of diapers over the years and will have to keep buying new one, so you’re using more resources both in the money you spend and in the materials needed to make them. The diapers are made to wick moisture away from baby’s bottom, but baby is still wrapped essentially in a plastic covering, so some diaper rash will likely occur from time to time.

The choice between cloth or disposable diapers is personal. Either method works just fine. Weigh all the facts and then stick to your guns when a mom scrunches up her nose in judgment at your choice. Both sides think they’ve made the better choice; however, when it comes to your baby, the choice is yours. Just be ready for the occasional debate!

If you know Mom will be using disposable diapers, then one of the all-time best shower gifts is a baby diaper cake.  They can do double duty as the baby shower centerpiece and as a gift for the mom-to-be.  Every new parent can utilize diapers so this is one gift you know won't be returned!

baby diaper cake The Diaper Debate   Cloth or Disposable?