Cloth vs disposable diapers. Click for more info. #nappies #diapers #baby

Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

Cloth vs disposable diapers. Click for more info. #nappies #diapers #baby

When I first mentioned to people I wanted to use cloth nappies responses ranged from the mild “That’s going to be a lot of work…” to “Yuck how unsanitary!” But the more I researched the more I became convinced that they would be the right choice for our family. Gone are the days when reusables meant huge safety pins, rubber pants and boiling soggy cotton inners! Its a movement that’s growing in popularity too, celebrities like Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Michelle Williams all use them and here’s why:

They are better for the environment.

About 8 million nappies are sent to landfill everyday in the UK alone, this accounts for half of the weekly rubbish for a family with a baby up to a year! Disposable nappies have a global warming impact of 550kg of carbon dioxide over the 2 and a half years a child is in nappies, when laundered responsibly and reused for subsequent children, a cloth nappy system releases 200kg.

Cost effective.

Cost is very hard to quantify, it varies greatly with what kind of disposables you compare against and how much you spend on reusables (they are very addictive!) If we assume that you buy own brand disposable nappies it works out at about $1000 from birth until 2 1/2yrs old. The cheapest nappy system with the minimum of 20 nappies costs around $110, with annual laundry costs ranging from negligible (if washing less than 3 times a week, under 60°C and no tumble drying) to about $80. So you can see the savings are huge, even more so if you use them for other children! You can also sell your pre-loved fluff once your children are out of nappies and recoup some of the start up money! Yay! You can also buy a starter nappy kit.

Better for baby.

There are a whole range of health benefits for your little bundle of joy! Ranging from better postural support, helping prevent nappy rash and enabling the child to become aware of their bodily functions at an earlier age. For us they helped our DD over come a particularly nasty bout of constipation, the cozy-ness of the cloth (as she remarked herself “Softies!”) soothed her and the bulk helped to prevent her from withholding and making the issue worse.

Disadvantages of cloth:

  • Extra laundry- Stuffing and putting away does take up more time in your busy schedule.
  • Bulky to transport- Why oh why cant I have a Mary Poppins bag?!
  • Less convenient when out and about- You need a wet bag to hold used nappies and a spot to store it too.
  • The unknown factor- Family members may need guidance on how to use them, often nurseries will too.
  • Squeamishness- The poor Husband still has flashbacks to weaning poop.

Three types of cloth nappies

  1. Two-piece systems – A separate nappy and waterproof wrap.
  2. All-in-one nappies, meaning the nappy and wrap parts are built together.
  3. Pocket nappies , where the wrap is stuffed with different kinds of absorbent inserts.

Finding the type of nappy that works for your child can take some doing so I would recommend before making any large purchases either hiring a trial kit or investigating your local nappy library. You can find these often on Facebook or through your council’s website.

Nappies are available in different sizes too, a sized system which may require 2 or 3 different sizes while your child grows, or a birth to potty which is one size of nappy which is adjusted to fit with poppers. There are pros and cons to each kind. With sized nappies you get a perfect fit for your child’s height and weight – meaning less likely to leak but they tend to be more expensive. A birth to potty nappy will fit a certain sized child, if your little one has a sudden growth spurt you may suddenly find they no longer fit quite as well but they are much cheaper overall.

So what do you need to get started using your chosen type of reusable nappy? Here’s a handy list of the basics to get you started:

  • Your nappies- Whether pockets, all in ones or two part you will need at least 20 with at least two night nappies that are extra absorbent.
  • Liners- These come in disposable paper liners that you can bundle up then throw away or flush and reusable liners, these liners can be washed and reused.
  • A lidded nappy bucket
  • A waterproof wet bag for outings

There are other items that you can purchase to make clothing easier such as a mesh bag to place in your nappy bin. This makes transferring your nappies from bin to washer a lot quicker but is definitely not necessary.

I hope you now have an idea of the basics of reusable nappies and enjoy researching further!


Get started or add to your cloth nappies today!

Thirsties Ocean Collection Duo Wrap Snap Diaper

Baby cloth diaper waterproof on Amazon. #baby #save #clothdiapers

  • 100% polyester with urethane coating
  • Made in US
  • Package includes 4 collection print diapers, 1 collection solid diaper, and a complimentary copy of the clam jam band book
  • Pliable, breathable ultra-comfortable waterproof fabric
  • Wipe wrap clean between diaper changes

Lil Bums Cloth Diapers Starter Kit 18 Pack

Cute baby cloth diaper starter kit

  • 18 Lil Bums Cloth Diapers, 18 Bamboo Cotton Inserts, 18 Microfiber Inserts, 1 Large Hamper Wet Bag and 1 Travel Wet Bag
  • Adjustable to fit newborns to toddlers.
  • If you prefer primarily boy or girl colors, please send a note with your order, otherwise a variety will be selected for you.

Still prefer disposables? Try Amazon Mom!

20% discount off diapers subscriptions with Subscribe & Save

Try Amazon Mom free for 30 days save on diapers, wipes and get free prime shipping.


More resources:


This post was written by Grace Biebly.

Thank you so much for your time and effort in giving us this information, Grace!

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