The Debate Over Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers: Pros and Cons

February 13, 2023 6 min read

The Debate Over Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers: Pros and Cons

Most people would assume that dads don’t care what kind of diapers their babies wear, but this just isn’t the case. There are many reasons why dads care about diapers but the number one reason is that diapers are an investment! Whether you choose to use cloth diapers or disposable diapers, there are pros and cons to both.

Pros of Cloth Diapers

I have a lot of respect for those who use cloth diapers for their babies and there are actually a lot of pros to investing in cloth diapers for your baby!

Environmental Benefits

Disposable diapers leave a carbon footprint, there is no denying that, which is why I’d have to say one of the major pros of cloth diapers is that they don’t harm the environment as badly as their disposable counterparts.


Cost Savigns

One of my favorite parts of cloth diapers is that you put forth the initial investment and, from there, you save a lot of money. The initial cost of cloth diapers can be anywhere from $800 to $1,000 for one baby. You can break up that cost by slowly buying the stash while your baby is growing inside the womb. However, it’s also wise to note that washing cloth diapers is not free.

Reusing Cloth Diapers

Keep in mind that you also save money by reusing the cloth diapers for other children. Whether you have 1,2, 3, or 5 kids, the cloth diapers can be reused over and over again! There might be some wear and tear after the second kid, but you can again slowly invest in the cloth diapers over time.

Resell the Cloth Diapers

If for any reason you don’t want to use cloth diapers anymore, you can always resell them. This is a huge bonus because then you can get part of your investment back! To get the maximum dollar amount back, make sure you’re doing a great job cleaning the diapers while you’re using them. Selling them in large quantities will also help you make the most money.

Potty Training Ease

Proponents of cloth diapers say that potty training is much easier when you use cloth diapers for your child. The modern technology in diapers today means that the disposable diapers are meant to wick moisture away from your baby’s skin. While this is great from one perspective, it can also mean that it can become more difficult during potty training when your baby never actually feels wet.

Cons of Cloth Diapers


When you are looking at purchasing something for your baby, you have to look at the pros and the cons. Of course, the cons can be tough to spend time looking at, but they are just as essential. Let’s talk about some of the cons of cloth diapering.

Time and Effort

One of the biggest cons for cloth diapering is the time and effort that goes into the care of the diapers. You will have to wash, dry, stuff, and store them. While that doesn’t seem like a lot of time and effort, it is a little more work than just opening a box.

Frequent Washing and Drying

Babies go through anywhere from 10-12 diapers a day. If you don’t have a large stash of cloth diapers, then this might feel like a large task. That means every day you will have to wash and dry the cloth diapers to ensure you have enough ready for the next day. Try to make sure you have at least 2 days worth of diapers so that you don’t have to wash laundry every single day.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cloth diapers do require some cleaning and maintenance. The first thing you should make sure you have is a diaper-friendly detergent. I feel as though this goes along with washing and drying, but you should check for wear and tear on cloth diapers as time goes on and your child wears them. You may need to replace some of your stash every so often.

Leaving the House

Cloth diapering is a lot easier when you are at your own home. However, as everyone knows, you will at one point in time have to leave your house. You will need a wet bag when you leave your home. You can get a wet bag that is medium sized and it will hold 5-6 diapers. Leaving the house isn’t impossible when you cloth diaper, it’s just a little more work!


If you’ve decided the investment of cloth diapering is worth it for your family, then you most likely are not going to use disposable wipes either. This not only means an additional purchase for the wipes, but it also means you will need access to a water source during diaper changes. Again, not impossible, but just sometimes a little tricky to come up with a plan, both at home and also while on the go.

Pros of Disposable Diapers

Now it’s time to talk about the pros of disposable diapers. I think there are a lot of pros to using disposable diapers, but let’s go through some of them!



There is so much convenience in using disposable diapers. You buy them, open the box, and then they are ready to use. It doesn’t get much easier than that! If the baby poops or pees in the diaper, then you just throw them away. There is no washing or recycling, straight to the trash they go!

Widely Available and Accessible

One of my favorite parts of disposable diapers is that they are so widely available. You can go into almost any store and find diapers. If you don’t like the store brand, then you can always find another brand of diapers you like.

Time Saving

Another pro of using disposable diapers is that you save a lot of time. There really is no time investment in disposable diapers. You can order them online and they are shipped right to your door! Parents these days are overly busy. Adding ‘washing, drying, folding, and stuffing cloth diapers’ to an already overly-long list of to-do items can just seem like too much for lots of today’s parents.

Leak Protection

If you buy the right kind of disposable diaper, you usually don’t have to worry about leaks. If the diaper is left on too long it might leak, however, for the most part, your baby will be leak-free when you use disposable diapers.



Cons of Disposable Diapers

Environmental impact

The big elephant in the room when it comes to the cons of disposable diapers is the environmental impact they have. Think about this fact: over 20,000,000,000 pieces of disposable diapers end up in the landfill every year. In just the first two years of life, babies will use 6,000 diapers! That’s a whole lot of diapers for one baby! Source

Diaper Rash and Skin Irritation

The not so fun part of using disposable diapers is the diaper rash and skin irritation. Most babies are prone to getting some sort of rash from diapers. This is never fun and it can be expensive to figure out what is causing the rash!

Chemicals and Fragrances

The truth is that just because you’re putting a diaper on your baby, it doesn’t mean you know what is in the diaper. It’s important to go to the website of the diapers you’re buying to see exactly what’s in them. There are diapers that don’t use chemicals and fragrances, you just have to figure out which brands you like best!

Cost of Disposable Diapers

Without a doubt, one of the major cons of disposable diapers is the cost! Did you know that the average cost of a disposable diaper in the USA is 29 cents? That really adds up over time and diapers can be a huge financial burden.

The debate over cloth vs. disposable diapers is a great one. As you can see, there are many pros and cons. As parents, it’s our job to weigh the pros and cons and see what works best for our families.


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