Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers

Until most youngsters reach the age of being potty trained, most parents need to make the inevitable investment in diapers. A lot of people build into their budget money expressly set aside for diapers. After all, an infant can go through 10 to 12 pairs per day, and having a backup to the backup is very handy when dealing with a child who might be ill with stomach related issues as well. Daycares also need their stash of diapers, of course. The diapers are used and disposed of, but not in call cases. Cloth diapers are a somewhat popular option for people who choose not to pursue the use and toss diapers. Are these advantageous? Let’s look at the pros and cons of using cloth diapers.

pros and cons of using cloth diapers
Photo by Laura Ohlman on Unsplash

Pros of Using Cloth Diapers:

●     They Save money: On average, a typical baby requires anywhere from $800 to $1500 worth of disposable diapers over a year. With cloth diapers, you would just be buying a large amount once, and then reused for the duration of your child needing diapers. These may occasionally need to be updated, but over a year, this easily comes in half the cost (or less than disposable diapers).

●     Environmentally friendly. In the US alone, around 20 billion disposable diapers get dumped into the landfill every year, and the population is growing, meaning that this number is likely to rise. Cloth diapers are reusable, and even after the child no longer needs them, they’re useful for other household purposes. Cloth diapers can be washed, sanitized, and donated, or passed on to younger children of friends or family. With climate change getting worse, reducing environmental waste is getting more important by the day.

●     Gentler on sensitive skin. Disposable diapers are composed of more chemicals for a wide variety of reasons. Cloth diapers have none, and therefore are less likely to cause diaper rashes, especially for kids with skin sensitivities from the chemical make up.

●     Make potty training more accessible. Because disposable diapers are more absorbent, children can get used to the feeling of wetness that comes after they soil their diaper. With cloth diapers, the wetness is a lot more notable. Children in cloth diapers tend to want to abandon that wet feeling faster, so they tend to adapt to using the toilet quicker.  

Cons of Using Cloth Diapers:

●     Retention of dirty diapers. If you are out in public with a diaper-wearing child and the diaper is soiled, you can take it off and toss it. With a cloth diaper, this is more difficult. As the whole idea is to keep the cloth diapers for reuse, you have to take the soiled diaper with you. Sure, you can put it in a plastic bag and seal it up tight so that it does not smell, but at some point, you will open the bag and need to clean the diaper. If enough time passes, the odor will decay, making it an incredibly unpleasant process to conduct.

●     Uses more water/electricity. It would be best if you sanitized cloth diapers thoroughly, which means you need to wash them often. Kids will go through a lot of diapers in a day, especially when they are very young, which means significant energy and water expense as you run your washing machine, potentially daily, to wash a large number of cloth diapers. If you wait to save energy, you are now amassing a pile of less than pleasant smelling diapers, which you have to store somewhere, and somehow contain the smell that will escape every time you need to add to the load. Additionally, you need to consider which type of detergent you use as many affect the baby’s skin. 

●     Need to be changed more often. The cloth diapers are not as absorbent, even if you double them up, so the wetness could irritate the child’s skin if not changed often enough. 

●     Daycare conflicts. Some daycare centers may have a policy, for sanitation reasons, that they only use disposable diapers. This may force you to spend money and effort on cloth diapers, only also to need to purchase disposable ones as well regularly.

Travis King
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