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Should I use cloth or disposable diapers?

Should I use cloth or disposable diapers?
Submitted by Parents Team

It's really a matter of what you're more comfortable with, since both types of diapers have their pros and cons. Most moms consider disposables much more convenient than using cloth diapers. And while cloth is softer, it can also lead to more frequent diaper rash. Disposables have better absorbency, which keeps your baby's skin drier and less prone to irritation.
But cloth diapers win on the money- and environment-saving side of the fence. According to Diaper Changes: The Complete Diapering Book and Resource Guide, it costs from $3.50 to $9.60 a week to launder cloth diapers yourself or $12 to $15 to use a diaper service, compared with $17 for a week's worth of disposables. Over the course of three years, this can add up to a difference of more than a thousand dollars. There's also a strong argument that diapering with cloth is gentler on the environment. In fact, one of the only studies on the topic found that more than 18 billion disposables are tossed into the trash each year. --Sally Farhat

Originally published in Parents magazine, May 2004. Updated 2009.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I've been using cloth diapers since my lil one was a week old. I actually got a diaper service so I don't even have to wash them! In the first week, when we used disposables, he got a diaper rash. We went to cloth and he hasn't had one since. We change his diaper every feeding. (could be five hours in btwn at night). I use thirstie duo size one covers right now (way better than the other covers I have!) With the snaps, but they also make Velcro, I just don't think its as comfortable for him.
Submitted by eby14
We use cloth diapers during the day and disposables at night, and it is working really well! We chose the Real Nappies brand and bought the Birth to Potty Pack. It's a New Zealand company but they are available in the States. It's already paid for itself in the money we've saved by only using disposables sometimes. Our baby is almost 4 months old and has not had diaper rash at all, and the only leaks we've had have been with the disposables. I highly recommend these cloth diapers!
Submitted by ErinB2011
Cloth!! The article is wrong. With modern cloth diapers, especially pockets or all-in-ones, there is much LESS diaper rash than with disposables. And you keep all those nasty chemicals from disposables off your baby. And they look so incredibly cute (great colors!). Much better for environment, better for baby, more comfortable (who want to wear paper/plastic underwear?), and cheaper. Who exactly would actually choose to use disposables. Check out FuzziBunz, Bumgenius, RumpaRooz.
Submitted by lori.kreisman
I would definitly recommend cloth diapering. It saves you a ton of money and just think of how many less diapers will be in the dump because of one person. Washing cloth diapers is a breeze as you can buy liners that you can flush down the toilet when they have pooped and I make my own laundry detergent that is gentle enough for the diapers and it saves me even more money. cloth diapering takes some getting used to but overall i for sure recommend them. bummis has great diapering products.
Submitted by ducky17