0 - 12 Weeks

Cloth diapers: the pros and cons

Mother putting on a baby's diaper

Thinking of trying cloth diapers? While they may sound like the more environmentally responsible choice, the thought of endless laundry and constant messes can be off-putting 🙃

Before deciding, there are some important factors to consider, like ease of use, environmental impact, and cost. To help guide you, here’s a look at the facts.  

5 pros of reusable cloth diapers

  1. Even though the upfront cost is higher, cloth diapers will end up being significantly cheaper than disposables by the time your child is potty trained—even when you factor in the cost of the detergent, water, and electricity needed to wash them. By some estimates, the total savings can be in the thousands of dollars.
  2. Since they don’t end up in landfills, they’re much better for the environment. Most estimates show babies use between 2,500 and 3,000 disposable diapers in their first year of life, which makes for a lot of garbage.
  3. You can reuse cloth diapers for a future baby, and they tend to have decent resale value if you take good care of them. 
  4. Because they’re less absorbent, cloth diapers get changed more often, which can result in fewer diaper rashes. The lack of absorbency also helps your child recognize when they’re wet and when they need to go, which can help with potty training later on. Even with extra liners, cloth diapers may not stay dry all night.
  5. Cloth diapers aren’t made with dyes or perfumes, as many disposable diapers are.

5 cons of reusable cloth diapers

  1. They’re definitely more work than disposable diapers, especially with a newborn who poops and pees all the time. Many families who choose cloth diapers use disposables for the first few weeks.
  2. You’ll be doing a lot more laundry. Babies go through diapers quickly, so no matter which kind of cloth diaper you choose, they’ll need frequent washing. 
  3. You have to dispose of the poop yourself, and poop disposal gets harder after your baby starts eating solids. Even though there are convenient tools like spray nozzles that attach directly to your toilet’s water supply, you’ll be spending more time directly dealing with messes.
  4. When your baby has a blowout, you can’t just toss the diaper away. If you’re out and about, you’ll likely be toting some full diapers back home—so be sure to get a smell-proof wet bag.
  5. Because cloth diapers are less absorbent than disposables, you may end up with more leaks.

Other considerations

  • Some families choose a diaper service, which is an added cost but allows them to use cloth diapers with much less work.
  • Many families settle on a mix of the two—cloth diapers when they’re home and in a regular routine, disposables when they’re out and about or on a trip. You can always change your mind.


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Posted in: 0 - 12 Weeks, Routine, Newborn Care, Lovevery App, Child Development

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