Sep 9, 2011

Cloth Vs. Disposable Diapers/Nappies

Ok, I think its time to start talking about a few decisions that need to be made before baby gets here. First up, Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers/Nappies. I really am on the fence about this one.  I think cloth sound filthy but also very, very cost effective, especially for someone on their first child.  I have also read that cloth diapers have come such a long way that they are not nearly as gross and archaic anymore.

My Husband’s first response when I mentioned using cloth was “ Hell no, Baby, I cannot clean out a runny diarrhea cloth nappy, the S#!t runs out the sides of them, the pins and all that, nope I won’t do it.  I’ll spend the extra money on the disposables.” And, that was that for him. I started in on how Cloth has changed drastically, but quickly realized I need to do my own research and then build a case if need be.  I have to admit, my first thought of using a Cloth was, ‘Oh Hell NO, I’m not dealing with it!” 

I am not a Tree Hugger, Hippie or Granola Muncher by any stretch of the imagination. I recycle and understand the importance of using reusable resources as much as possible, but when it comes to this issue I am only seriously considering it for the cost effectiveness. The eco-friendliness is an added bonus, plus there are eco friendly disposables I will seriously consider as a second option.

According to Consumer reports…You can expect to spend $1,500 to $2,000 or more on disposables by the time your baby is out of them. If you use “eco-friendly” disposable diapers, which are biodegradable or not bleached with chlorine, you’ll pay even more, an average of $1,600 to $2,500, depending on the number of diaper changes per day.

Cloth diapers can be much less expensive, especially if you wash them yourself. After paying the start-up costs—namely the waterproof covers you’ll need to lock in moisture, the diapers, diaper inserts (cloth pads added to increase absorbency), and flushable liners that help contain the mess and eliminate the need to rinse cloth diapers before depositing them in a diaper pail—you’ll spend hundreds of dollars less in diapering supplies over the years because you’ll wash and reuse them again and again. You might even be able to use them for more than one baby.

Ok, so it is clear that there is a huge price difference, especially if you are like me and on baby one of at least two. My biggest issue is the fact that I’m absolutely disgusted by the thought cleaning out a dirty diaper.  I don’t want to have to shake the poo out in the toilet and and then wash the filthy diaper in the same washing machine that I wash my clothes in. Then I learned about inserts that are flushable to minimize mess and clean up.  I know I am adding an extra cost but I am fairly certain that I am still not going to come close to the cost of disposables. 

Still, I just don’t know if I'm up for the constant mess and time consuming cleaning.  I shared my thoughts on cloth diapers with a friend who is a mother of two, who did use disposables but still said, “that baby is going to puke on you and itself multiple times a day, so get used to cleaning up bodily fluids and doing at least one load of laundry a day.” Ugh!  I guess it comes down to, To Save? Or Not To Save? Maybe I will just buy a sample pack and if I like it I will keep it up.  I have read a lot of posts that say always buy the ones with multiple snaps so the baby can grow into them and Bum Genius is a great one to try. If I hate it I will blow my money on disposable and still be a great mom at the end of the day! 

What do you think?  Do you have any experience with either or both you can share?

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit


  1. Girl, you live in a city = diaper service till s/he is out of the small size. You don't have to deal with the start up cost or mess and by then you'll know if you want to fool with reuseables. There is at least one brand that has cut outs for the newborn umbilical stump.

    As for myself, I want to blend and use both reuseables when I can, disposables when I can't. And as for infant side leaks, check out hemp inserts and these adorable little wool covers that go over the whole shebang. And if it turns out you bottle feed, the poo will not be as messy. But really there's no shaking, it's a dunk and flush, then into a bucket of borax. I'm still trying to figure out how to put the changing table in our bathroom.

  2. Moonshine0100September 09, 2011

    We're using a combination of disposables and cloth. Until she's big enough for the cloth diapers, we'll use the newborn disposables (they grow so quickly, I didn't see any point in getting the smallest size). After that, we're planning on using cloth unless the grandparents or someone else is caring for her. I have two friends who use cloth exclusively and have not had any issues at all. As long as you do laundry every two days, there isn't a smell issue apparently. And as for blowouts, they've had more problems with disposables than they have with the cloth diapers. There are also little contraptions that you can add to your toilet (they look kind of like the sink hoses in kitchens) that aid with poo removal.

    To FoodPixie:
    Have you thought about trying to install a fold-down changing table on the back of the door? I don't think they have any on the market, but I bet you could adapt a hanging, fold down ironing board to fit your needs!

  3. I am a first time mom to be and I am planning to use cloth (with the flushable liners) right from the get go and wash them myself. The diapers are ridiculously cute.
    I just bought this book:

  4. The cover of that book is too cute! I love that little cow hide booty! I am going to start with cloth and have disposables for back ups. I see the value in both but more a huge waste of money and landfill space in disposables. I just hope it's not as yucky as I think
    It is going to be. Lol