ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cloth Diapers vs. Disposable Diapers

Updated on August 19, 2010


A cloth diaper or a disposable diaper, which is better?  There has been great debate over the years about what is better.  Cloth diapers have change quite a bit over the years.  Cloth diapers come in a variety of styles.  There are still the plain white cloth diapers with the pins but there are also All-in-One diapers, One-size diapers and Bamboo diapers to name a few all of which have snaps or Velcro. 

The debate has been which is better for your baby, but also which diaper is better for the environment.  Disposable diapers come in a range of sizes and shapes and very absorbent.  However, they only have one use before they get thrown out.  The pros for disposable diapers are:

  • Ease of use, they are convenient to travel with
  • They can be thrown away after use and don’t require washing
  • Have a snug fit so they leak less and are absorbent

Some of the cons for disposable diapers are:

  • When compared to price of buying cloth diapers, disposable diapers are more expensive of the years that your child will be wearing diapers
  • Disposable diapers add to the landfill and can take hundreds of years to breakdown, which is bad for the environment
  • Toddlers won’t feel wet so it could become more difficult to potty train
  • Parents tend to find babies have more diaper rashes with disposable diapers
  • The chemical used for the super absorbency of the diaper, Sodium polyacrylate, can be bad for certain babies and has been linked with Toxic Shock Syndrome and can cause allergic reactions

Some of the pros for cloth diapers are:

  • You will spend less money on diapers over the course of your baby’s life in diapers
  • If you plan to have more than one child you can re-use the cloth diapers
  • Cloth diapers tend to result in less diaper rashes because the natural fibers found in cloth diapers breathe better
  • Toddlers tend to potty train earlier because the moisture is held closer to the skin
  • Most cloth diapers now have snaps or Velcro to fasten them, not pins

Some cons for cloth diapers are:

  • Some daycare centers will not accept cloth diapers
  • Can be messy to travel with for soiled diapers (some cloth diaper users actually use disposable diapers while traveling)
  • If not properly sealed or fastened, cloth diapers can leak more than disposable
  • Adds at least one additional load of laundry a week

When looking at the environmental consequences of cloth diapers and disposable diapers the biggest concerns are that cloth diapers use more energy, use more water and add more waste to the water being filtered at wastewater plants.  However it should be noted that the additional water used to wash cloth diapers at home is the same as an adult flushing the toilet four to five times a week.  Finally, flushing the solid waste down the toilet and washing the diapers in the washing machine funnels the dirty water into the sewer system, which then is taken to wastewater plants to be treated. 

However, with disposable diapers, the solid waste and urine can be leeched into the ground, which could then contaminate ground water supplies.  As well it can take up to hundreds of years for disposable diapers to be broken down.  As most diapers are tossed into garbage bags where oxygen doesn’t get at the diapers, which slows down its decomposition.

In the end you need to select the diaper that suits your needs and what you feel is best for your baby.  There will always be people second guessing your choice.  Do your own research and make the decision that you feel is right.  Is it cloth diapers or is it disposable diapers or is it both? 

For more information on children take a look at How to Relieve Infant Gas, Cold Remedies for Infants, Facts for New Parents, Tips for a New Father and Umbrella Stroller Information.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      A very common factor but still the huge credit goes to cloth diapers especially the cost.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)