Poll: Diapers – Cloth or Disposable?

Sarah and I talked a bit tonight about diapers. Sarah’s mom, Karen, sent us a copy of the The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet. Sarah was reading the parts about diapers and she started talking about cloth diapers.

Hmmm. Cloth diapers. Yay…..I actually know that cloth diapers today are MUCH different than the cloth diapers from years ago and there are some pretty cool ones out there. In fact, my friend Chris was showing me some pretty cool cloth diapers they use for their new baby, and he was quite a fan of them.

So I’m interested in what you all have done or plan to do…what do you think? Cloth, disposable, or some combination of the two? Leave your vote down below and feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section at the bottom.


  1. says

    I used cloth for my first, it wasn’t really all that bad. But I only had 1. I have heard great things about Gdiapers which seem to be a nice mix. If you use chlorine free, eco-friendly disposables, I don’t think your damage to the earth is really all that worse than using cloth though, based on my research for #2

    • InHo says

      we’ve used cloth diaper service for our 1st for about 6 months before switching to 7th Generation diapers. The cost was similar and in our research, with the use of water and detergent for washing the cloth diapers, environmentally they are quite equal.

  2. Cherice says

    We used the old fashioned kind, just basic cotton with pins and plastic pants, and they worked just fine! After he stopped waking up at night we put a disposable on at night so he’d sleep longer, and we used disposables if we were gone someplace overnight or longer.

    Really cloth diapers aren’t that difficult! I’m not sure how much money you save if you get a fancier kind, but at least you’re not chucking them all in the landfill.

    Also, someone gave us a month of diaper service as a shower gift and that was great. We wouldn’t have wanted that forever because they wash and bleach the things 13 times before sending them back out! I think that probably uses at least as many resources as dispoables and pollutes the waterways with so much bleach! But it was really nice to have for the first month to get the hang of cloth diapers without having to do as much laundry.

  3. Jess says

    I would start out 100% cloth and when the twins are on solids consider disposable for night and going out (depending on how cloth is going).

    Cloth with newborns is seriously easier than disposables. I know it sounds weird, but it really is true. Less blowouts, no late night trips to the store because you ran out of diapers…throw the dirties into the wash and viola, more diapers. :)

  4. Camille says

    I never seriously considered cloth. The true environmental impact seems to be unclear when you take into account water, detergent & energy use.
    What I have heard is that it takes a big commitment on the part of the parents.
    You also have to consider childcare plans. Maybe it’s different out there, but around here most childcare places, schools, churches, etc, don’t allow cloth diapers. Perhaps that is when a combination comes in. But my daughter started school at 6 months at 4 days a week and it felt like the majority of diapers were used at school, not at home. So cloth usage would have been smaller for us.

    • Jennifer says

      About 1 gallon of water is used in manufacturing each disposable diaper…and about a gallon of water is used to wash a diaper.

  5. Sarah says

    It’s not only a question of ease and environment though. It’s also a question of cost. I think cloth can be a lot cheaper.

  6. Kristina says

    We’ve got a great system of “bum genius” cloth diapers for at home and short trips: basic diapers/covers for daytime with soaker-inserts for nights. We were gifted a diaper rinsing device that gets installed in-line with the toilet intake line (I call it “The Poop Blaster!”). Since I wanted to minimize exposure to the chemicals and the disposable nature of “wipes” — we already wash many washcloths, so adding diapers is just part of the mix. We bought a super Energy Star front loading washer when we moved into the house – so I suppose that makes it easier….

    However, when we’re on the road we use disposable (from 7th Generation or Earth’s Best) – since it doesn’t seem like a great plan to be carrying around dirty diapers for days and days in the car or on the train.

    I have a friend who took a class on diaper systems… maybe there is one in the East Bay? Good Luck!

  7. says

    Cloth? You must live in the bay area. :)

    Nah, seriously. You have way more important things to worry about. Disposable all the way.

    The cloth craze is just another yuppy concern IMO.

  8. Jennifer says

    Diapers stink. All of them. The difference is that disposable diapers stink in the usual way PLUS they stink like the chemicals they’re full of.

    If you can afford it (or it makes a good shower gift) having a diaper service that drops off and picks up is amazing and makes life so much easier.

  9. Becca says

    You know if you really want to save money AND save the world you would do elimination communication. You basically have your child potty trained from the moment they are born. No diapers at all. You hold them over like a potty chair or the regular potty or some parents use like a bowl while their baby is still all floppy. :)

  10. Brittany says

    I am a twin mom who uses cloth and washes them myself. They are not bad at all. I feel so much better about what I am putting on my baby and what I am not putting in the landfill. On top of that, I’ve NEVER had a blow out. We use bumgenius all-in-one. Way to go for even thinking about it!

  11. Betsy says

    I don’t have kids, but I think a combination is the way to go.

    Disposables for longer periods (like the overnight thing if you think it’s interfering with their sleep) and for when other people are keeping the kids (childcare, nursery at church, etc). I think diaper service sounds great, if you can afford it, but then you need factor in the gas used to deliver and pick them up to your environmental comparison.

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