Are Cloth Diapers Worth It?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: September 3, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

As you prepare your home for the birth of a new child, you’ll likely find yourself asking a lot more questions than usual about the products you bring into your home. 

This is an essential stage of preparing. 

Babies are much more sensitive than adults to synthetic materials such as plastics, scents, toxins, and other common product elements you may not have been concerned with before now.

You’ll want to be particularly discerning when it comes to products designed for your children, which is understandable. 

Diapers are a common hot-button issue in the parenting community, with some parents firmly standing by disposables and others insisting that cloth diapers are a better alternative. 

Whether or not cloth diapers are worth it must be a personal choice that each household makes on their own.

There are pros and cons to cloth diapers and disposable diapers alike. 

Deciding which one is the best option for your family should be based on your lifestyle. 

If your main concern regarding diapers is the environmental impact of your household’s diaper usage, cloth diapers will likely be worth it for you.

What Are Cloth Diapers?

When it comes to cloth diapers, you actually have a lot more options than you did even just a decade ago.

In the past, cloth diapers have literally just been an exceptionally absorbent cotton blend that had no waterproof layer or shell. 

Instead, these all-cloth diapers are wrapped around the baby’s bottom and then tied or safety-pinned in place.

Today, the modern cloth diaper provides a lot more protection by using a plastic, waterproof layer on the outside, referred to as a shell. 

The inside of the diaper is fitted with absorbent inserts, which may be washable or disposable. 

These absorbent inserts can be made from many materials, including-

  • Cotton
  • Bamboo
  • Hemp
  • Synthetic Microfibers

Many modern cloth diapers also have built-in plastic fasteners or velcro to keep the diaper securely on your little bundle of joy.

Is It Better To Use Cloth Diapers Or Disposables?

Again, if your primary concern regarding diapers is the environmental impact or eco-footprint, cloth diapers are worth the extra effort compared to disposable diapers. 

While there are some biodegradable disposable options available now, the sudden increase in the availability of biodegradable products is causing its own set of problems for the environment. 

This includes an increased release of methane and carbon dioxide into our air.

Consider how many diapers the average child uses before their potty training is complete. 

For the average infant, you’ll use about 12 diapers per day for the first year. 

This number will slowly dwindle to a lower number of daily changes as your child ages out of needing them altogether

Over roughly two and half years, that’s nearly 7,000 diaper changes per child.

Is It Cheaper To Use Disposables Or Cloth Diapers?

Let’s use the statistics above to compare the overall cost of using cloth diapers versus disposable diapers. 

At a price of roughly 26 cents per disposable diaper, 7,000 diapers will cost around $1800. 

Cloth diapers have a startup cost of approximately $400-500 dollars, and afterward, inserts run about 10 cents each.

At the same use rate, cloth diaper inserts for two and a half years’ worth of diapering will cost roughly $700. 

Keeping in mind that initial startup investment of $400-500, cloth diapering for two and a half years should cost just under $1200. 

However, you still have to consider your water use and service truck fees if you use a diaper delivery service. 

Many parents say that they don’t see financial savings in their first year of using cloth diapers. 

However, they do start to see significant savings in the second year of use. If you save your cloth diapers for your next-born or resell them, you stand to save even more. 

Are Cloth Diapers More Environmentally Friendly?

While both diapering options take their toll on the environment, cloth diapers are clearly more environmentally friendly than their disposable counterparts. 

However, some sources say that the water usage required to clean cloth diapers is equally detrimental to the environment. 

However, these sources neglect to mention the water usage required to process the pulp and cotton used in disposable diaper production methods. 

It uses 2.3 times as much water to manufacture disposable diapers as it does to wash cloth diapers for their average duration of use.

The fact is, the majority of disposable diapers require a great deal of chemical processing, pesticides, scented chemicals, virgin forest softwoods, and water usage to produce. 

So even before they hit the landfill and start creating problems there, they are already worse for the environment than cloth diaper alternatives. 

Are Cloth Diapers A Lot Of Work?

There is no denying it; cloth diapers are more work than disposables. 

Having a good schedule and system for handling your soiled cloth diapers will make non-disposable diapering a much easier, more pleasant experience for the entire family. 

Many parents who use cloth diapers suggest that you keep a resealable wet bag available for tossing in soiled diapers until it is time to wash them up. 

If you choose to go with cloth diapers, save yourself some time and headache by establishing a cleaning schedule that fits into your existing family schedule. 

For many families, the perfect time to do a load of soiled laundry is in the evening; for others, it is in the morning as the day is starting. 

Finding the right time to take care of your cloth diapers will be much less stressful than trying to wash them throughout the day as they are changed. 

Keep that in mind, and you should be able to avoid feeling overwhelmed with those poopy diapers.

Are Cloth Diapers Worth It?

While studies show that around 90% of parents choose disposable options for diapering their children, the 10% that choose to use cloth diapers are adamant about the benefits. 

So if you’re even considering cloth diapers for your young ones, the chances are good that you’ll find that cloth diapers are, in fact, worth it for your family.

If you’re concerned about the products your baby comes into contact with, using cloth diapers will take a massive weight off of your mind.

How to Dispose of Old Underwear

Previous Post

How to Dispose of Old Underwear – 5 Eco-Friendly Tips

Next Post

Is Biodegradable Plastic Recyclable?

Is Biodegradable Plastic Recyclable?