Parenting & Family

Cloth or Disposable Diapers?

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  • Feb 14th, 2016 1:04 am
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[OP]
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17115 posts
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Cloth or Disposable Diapers?

We are nearing the point where we have to decide between cloth and disposable diapers. We have no experience with either, and our families have not had kids for decades. Those we talk to still remember receiving a square towel they had to fold into a diaper (I would assume we are far past that now). If we went cloth, we would also most likely look into a diaper service ($25/mo for our city, but it doesn't include the covers and that it states).

One interesting twist is that our city also composts/recycles diapers, so the environmental impact of disposables is much less (yes, I understand there is still a lot of waste generated through manufacturing, shipping, etc.).


What did you choose and why? Some seem to say they only use cloth for a short period of time at the beginning, then switch to disposables. We found this blog of someone's experience, and they make it sound like cloth diapers have a good chance of leaking and such:
http://modernmama.com/st-albert/cloth-d ... xperience/

After reading through that blog, we really hesitated but I assume some babies are more prone to diaper rash, etc. so I would think I cannot take this opinion as proof. And at $25/week for a diaper service, I assume disposables are about the same price (from just a brief look when going through Costco)?
47 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
Disposable and discard!
I don't want to clean soiled cloth types nor exchange for washed ones from a servicing company!
Newbie
Aug 19, 2012
45 posts
30 upvotes
Montreal, QC
I can't imagine having to deal with cloth diapers. I want to be environmentally friendly and all, but trying to stay sane was our number one priority with our newborn. Disposables are as no fuss as can be, they wick away moisture and you don't have to hold on to them when you're done. Never had a diaper rash issue so far either. Also, in reference to the article, powder is supposedly a no-no (babies noses can't yet filter fine dust).
Member
Apr 4, 2010
363 posts
174 upvotes
I have known many friends starting the cloth diaper route. Out of at least 10 couples, only 1 couple did exclusively cloth diaper until their only son was out of diapers.

The rest started with the whole "but it is good for the environment, good for baby's skin" blah blah blah ... seriously good for them - but after a few months, or for outings or for convenience at grandma's/the babysitters etc they would switch to disposable diapers.

Just wanted to throw that out there, seems to me like the cost for cloth diapering is very high if you are not gonna do it exclusively.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
My sister in law who's a hippie at heart was going to go that route. They tried and said forget it and went with disposable. I think it was better for their daughter's diaper rash too.
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Oct 16, 2001
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When we had kids we were going to do cloth, try and save some money, better for the environment, etc. Then commen sense kicked in
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
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Disposable.

Put them in the green bin.

The absorptive material is actually great for gardens as well...
Banned
Apr 26, 2015
141 posts
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ON
Guess you take your own sheets to hotels/motels/B&Bs then when you stay? How can disposable diapers, tampons, period pads all be good for the environment?????
vkizzle wrote: Disposable and discard!
I don't want to clean soiled cloth types nor exchange for washed ones from a servicing company!
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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aprilshowers wrote: Guess you take your own sheets to hotels/motels/B&Bs then when you stay? How can disposable diapers, tampons, period pads all be good for the environment?????
Funny you say that, because we do bring our own sheets, pillow covers and a light microfiber queen size blanket.

Lol with reference to tampons and pads (I'm a dude for the record) and if you are willing to reuse those types of female hygienic products, all for the good of the environment...good on you.
Deal Addict
Aug 17, 2008
4128 posts
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Sask.
Please don't only go by that one mom's experience - if you google, you will find many positive experiences with cloth diapers.

We used cloth diapers for our son, and it was wonderful - both for him comfort-wise (I think he was the only baby we knew of who never-ever had diaper rash), and for us cost-wise.
We didn't use a diaper service, but if you can afford it - go for it!

Really, using liners, it's rare that there is a big mess. Soaking/washing them was no big deal at all.
We did use disposables on the occasions when we would go out.
We kept him in cloth til he was of the age that he was getting into the next biggest size - I think that was just under a year.

Your choice - you know your lifestyle and how well you will be able to deal with everything.
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Mar 23, 2008
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Toronto
I had my daughter wear cloth diapers for a while until she grew out of them. I have a mixed review about them.

First and foremost, it takes at least 10 washes and dries before the cloth becomes fully liquid absorbable. It was quite frustrating at first because the cloth was new and would not absorb liquid. If you buy cloth diapers, make sure you wash and dry them at least 10 times before being worn, or else liquid will bead off the fabric.

Does it save money? Yes, a boatload of money. Is it a pain to wash? Yes, and it's very smelly when they are soiled.

Would I recommend? No not really. After my daughter grew out of them we found a local supplier for bulk diapers which averaged to be 35% of the cost at your local walmart.
Deal Guru
Dec 10, 2004
12334 posts
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Kanata
We did cloth diapers for both our boys. Never regretted it and sold them after we were done for about 80% of the cost. I never found them to be a hassle at all.
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Jan 11, 2008
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GTA
We use disposables. In our area diaper service was expensive ($25/month is your area is a great price). I didn't want to wash my own (and am glad I made that decision - in the early days we were doing tons of laundry and I wouldn't have wanted to add diapers on top of that). I'm looking forward to the day when we are finished with diapers, but I don't regret our choice about going with disposables.
When your mind says give up, hope whispers "one more try"
Never say never
Deal Addict
Mar 29, 2015
1999 posts
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Wood Bridge
do u wash the cloth diapers in your washing machine?
Deal Addict
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Apr 4, 2004
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Stronzo1 wrote: do u wash the cloth diapers in your washing machine?
We did, but OP looks like he's subscribing to a service, so won't be washing them.

OP, we used cloth exclusively on our first, and went from cloth to disposable on our second (both boys). Neither boy ever developed a diaper rash, so if that's your concern, I say wait and see if that is an issue, before you decide to commit to cloth.

I forgot which brand of diaper we used (wasn't a service), but we didn't experience any leaks, just as long as the fasteners (buttons) and elastic around the legs were not worn out. I found the bulk of the cloth diapers to be really cumbersome.

TBH, I would never recommend using cloth, unless you have to (i.e. preventing rash, save money). I also don't believe the environmental claims hold up when many municipalities compost the diapers. The amount of water and energy used to clean diapers was incredibly wasteful.
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Mar 29, 2015
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Wood Bridge
The reason I asked is doesnt the poop spread all over the inside of your washing machine? poop has e-coli and all kinds of bateria in it? no? do u want to wash your load of laundry in a dirty filthy bacteria ridden wash?
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Apr 4, 2004
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Stronzo1 wrote: The reason I asked is doesnt the poop spread all over the inside of your washing machine? poop has e-coli and all kinds of bateria in it? no? do u want to wash your load of laundry in a dirty filthy bacteria ridden wash?
I think most cloth diapers brands recommend washing off the solid waste into the toilet before throwing into the washing machine. We also ran it on the highest settings (i.e. max soil, sanitize, etc...), and occasionally did two washes. We did not mix other laundry with diapers and were careful what surfaces came into contact with the soiled diapers. So yeah, total pain, and not worth the hassle.
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Aug 22, 2011
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mjl_toronto wrote: I think most cloth diapers brands recommend washing off the solid waste into the toilet before throwing into the washing machine. We also ran it on the highest settings (i.e. max soil, sanitize, etc...), and occasionally did two washes. We did not mix other laundry with diapers and were careful what surfaces came into contact with the soiled diapers. So yeah, total pain, and not worth the hassle.
Thanks for sharing your experiences.
It would be fair to say, that cloth are not any more environmentally friendly than disposables; considering you would have to flush the poop first (using water) and go through an average of 2 wash cycles (more water).
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Mar 29, 2015
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Wood Bridge
vkizzle wrote: Thanks for sharing your experiences.
It would be fair to say, that cloth are not any more environmentally friendly than disposables; considering you would have to flush the poop first (using water) and go through an average of 2 wash cycles (more water).
ya uses more water, more detergent, more hydro, and the more hydro we use, the more emissions at the gas powered plant which generates the hydro, etc. people dont realize the chain effect they think their being more green

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