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Babies Encyclopedia: Are cloth diapers better then disposable diapers?

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Asked by CafeMom Team at 12:12 PM on Sep. 7, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 11 (576 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • Yes and no. They are better in the way if you are always tight on budget. Buying diapers over the years can really add up. Also your child may be less likely to get a rash on bottom. No because you have to make sure they are always clean and you have enough on hand if you can't get to the wash right away.

    Answer by itsallabtthem84 at 12:15 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Not in my opinion. I feel like disposables are easier and cleaner.

    Answer by lovinangels at 12:17 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I think cloth diapers are better than disposables. I used disposable on my son for the first 22 months, and them switched to cloth, then with my little girl started cloth from birth. I think that cloth are better for several reasons. I have never had a blow-out with them, they are simple to use, better for the environment, cheaper, easier to transition to potty training, and more comfortable on the child. After my son used the cloth, I had to put disposable on him one day while at grandma's house, and he complained and said he wanted his soft diapers. I have been so glad I switched, and wish I would have done it sooner. They are also super cute!!

    Answer by coffeemom86 at 12:17 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Yes, they have no chemicals, they have to be changed more often(meaning baby sits in urine less time), better for the environment, less cost overall, disposable diapers do not breathe like cloth diapers do, cloth kids potty train faster.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 12:18 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • Cloth diapers are better for the environment and some moms report less irritation from diaper rash. This is usually related to the fact that cloth diapers are changed more frequently than disposable.
    Disposable diapers have been known to hold fragrances that irritate sensitive skin. However, many moms like the convenience of the remove and throw method rather than washing out and reusing.


    Answer by Jademom07 at 12:19 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • It depends on what you think of as BETTER... They are cheaper, chemically cleaner, and can be healthier... HOWEVER, they are more work and you may run in to issues when friends or family are changing your baby. There is also the risk that you'll spend tons of money on the perfect cloth diapers only for them to leak everywhere because that style isn't perfect for your baby... Disposables will keep baby dryer in many cases, which can help to prevent rashes (I know a few that had to go to disposables because of this issue). But, they are wasteful, expensive and full of chemicals... So what is better for one isn't always better for another.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:25 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • It really depends on what feature you're asking about in terms of "better". Disposable are more convenient since you can buy them almost anywhere, and can just toss them in the trash (going on longer trips with cloth is a PAIN). Some kids are more sensitive to the disposables, some are more sensitive to the detergent/etc used to wash the cloth. I've had FAR fewer blow outs with the cloth diapers. DH claims the disposables 'stink more' (once they're wet the absorbent stuff smells). In terms of which is "greener"... disposables will put more in the landfills, etc, however laundering the cloth diapers leaves more muck in the water. Neither option is without it's down sides, I recommend trying both to determine what is right for YOU.

    We've done cloth (using a service) from birth, except when traveling.

    Answer by coder_chick at 12:33 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • In my opinion, yes. They are better for the environment and better for the pocket book. I'm not really very do or die about anything, including cloth diapers. We use them and they save us a lot of money, but they leak at night and I think it's gross to haul around pee/poop diapers when we are out and about, so we use disposables at night and when we are out. Even though we don't use cloth full time, it still saves us a lot of money and saves a lot of waste.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 12:34 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I have a 6 month old. I started out using disp. for the first 2 months. The Huggies leaked and smelled like pee everytime my son peed. Then pampers starting using Drymax and people started having rash problems with their babies. There was noooooo way I was going to put something like that on my baby, and then find out 2 years from now that the drymax crap probably causes cancer too!!
    I have been using cloth pocket diapers by Bum genius for 4 months. I have never had a leak or rash. I spent $150 on the cloth diapers, they will last until potty training because they are a One Size diaper.
    How many disposable diapers would I have gone thru in the next 2.5 years? it would have been roughly $1100 worth.

    Answer by wood1980 at 12:41 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I believe cloth is better than disposables. I used disposable diapers on my son for 10 months. They are expensive & he would often get a rash on his bottom. Once I switched the rashes nearly went away. Disposables have all sorts of chemicals in them, & those chemicals are encompassing your child's genitals. Testicular cancer? Prostate cancer? There have been studies that have showed that baby boys who've been diapered in disposables may be more likely to get these cancers. Disposable diapers take 500 years to decompose, & an average baby goes through 8 diapers a day (more in the beginning, less in the end) this translates to 2920 diapers per year & the average age of potty learning is 3 years- that's 8760 over the diapering lifetime of ONE baby. Imagine that many diapers in your back yard. Times it by how many children you have, then by all the children on your block etc. That's a lot of waste!

    Answer by CrnchyMamaCraig at 12:45 PM on Sep. 7, 2010

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