October 13th, 2010 by

Disposables vs. Cloth Diapers From a Disposable Diapering Mama

I think the blog has a lot of posts from cloth diaperers so I wanted to write up something from a different perspective. I think disposable diapering gets a bad rap. I happen to think there are a lot of pros to disposable diapering and I don’t just mean convenience. And no, I am not just dishing out Pampers propaganda. I like Pampers but I do think for myself. I have put a lot of thought into this.

Reasons why I choose disposable diapering for my baby’s bottom.

Diaper rash

My number one reason is because I believe that disposables are better for baby’s bottom. I tried cloths with my first and it was a bad experience. He had constant diaper rash. It wasn’t just an irritated bottom. His butt was red, sore and bleeding. Every time I would put him in disposables it would clear up. Every time I’d put him in cloths it would come back. Now, I have heard that this could be because of the detergent I used. I actually seriously thought about using cloths again but decided to do some reading before I went out and spent a lot of money on cloths. I have found that I am not alone in my experience. When I do a google search I find that the cloth diapering sites are more prominently found in search engines and they all say cloths are better for diaper rash. No surprise there.

I do not think that all babies that use cloths have diaper rash. I am sure that there are plenty of moms that have had better experiences with cloths when it comes to diaper rash but the voices of moms who have had bad experiences I feel get squelched. You just don’t hear about them. I did some searching on JM’s forums and sure enough there are plenty of posts confirming similar experiences as mine. I am not just a disgruntled cloth diapering failure.

Cost

Okay this is going to sound ironic because of all the hype you hear about cloth diapering being so much cheaper. But, from my experience it isn’t really. I think they cost about the same. Now, keep in mind I am a frugal shopper. I have bought what I think will be all the diapers and wipes I need for baby’s first year for under $400. These are Pampers too. If I went with generics or a lower priced brand I could probably have done this for even cheaper. I know I may have a second year to buy but I still don’t think they are that expensive.

Have you checked out the price of cloth diapers? I am sure that if you are also a frugal shopper with cloths you can probably get them inexpensively too but my point is that I am not saving a remarkable amount by using cloths. Not to mention that it costs around 50 cents a load to wash and dry your diapers. If you wash diapers 3 times a week that’s $1.50 a week or $78 a year to add to your cloth diapering expenses.

Convenience

Yeh, I know this one is obvious and no I am not lazy. I already have to wash 2 loads of laundry a day to keep up with my family. Why would I want to add a third load? It would make sense to me if cloths were exceptionally cheaper and exceptionally better but to me they are not.

Sanitation

If your baby gets a yeast rash, a staph infection, bacteria or something that could be sitting in your diapers, will it get truly disinfected in the wash? After a little reading I have discovered that most washing machines don’t get the water hot enough water to kill bacteria. Bleach will kill bacteria but bleach is also an irritant to baby’s bottom. I am not sure how most of the cloth diapering moms handle this issue. I am sure there must be a solution because we have too many cloth diapering mamas with babies who have healthy bums for this to be an issue for everyone, but it is something that makes me feel better about using disposables.

I really don’t want to be offensive with my post. I just feel like every time I look for a pros and cons type discussion on cloth vs. disposable all I hear is the pros for cloth and the cons for disposables. OR if I hear the pros for disposables it’s only about convenience. For me, the primary reason I choose disposables is because I want my baby to have a healthy bottom.

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3 Responses to “Disposables vs. Cloth Diapers From a Disposable Diapering Mama”

  1. avatar Brittanie says:

    Thanks for posting this! I, too, find the debate rather devoid of honest answers on both sides. I’m debating right now, I’ll have to research further.

    My kids’ bums hate pampers though.

  2. Brittanie thanks for your comment. I really was nervous about posting this. My sis is using cloths this time and is really liking them. I tried to convince myself to give cloths another try and then said to myself why am I doing this. I am allowed to like disposables better.

  3. avatar Heidi says:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using disposables. I think you all know how I feel about the new Pampers (cough cough liars cough cough) ;D but I don’t think there’s a clear-cut winner in cloth vs disposable. I used Huggies and Pampers for my first 3 kids and never had any issues. I started using cloth on Hobie at 4 months, so we’ve been at it for almost 6 months now. We did it for 2 reasons : money and quality control. I was spending about $60/month on Huggies for the baby, Pull-Ups for nights for my pre-schooler, and baby wipes. Now I spend about $15/month washing diapers, and I only put about $180 in to my collection for both kids, so they were paid off the first 3 months we used them. It is a really nice feeling not having to budget for diapers anymore!

    That said, if the baby gets a rash (he has food allergies) I actually switch TO disposables until it clears. And as he gets older, if cloth diapering a toddler is nasty, I’m not afraid to switch back. I know my comfort zone.

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