Cloth or Disposables: What to Consider When Choosing Baby Diapers

Cloth or Disposables: What to Consider When Choosing Baby Diapers

Which is better — cloth or disposable diapers? Learn more about them today so you can choose what's best for you and your baby.

As soon as your little one arrives, changing dirty diapers is something you’ll have to get used to for the next three years or so (depending on how soon she will start using the potty), so it’s important you figure out which type of diaper works best for you and your baby.

You have two choices – reusable cloth diapers, or disposable diapers.

We list out what are the pros and cons of both types to help you make the right choice.

History of disposable diapers

Cloth or Disposables: What to Consider When Choosing Baby Diapers

Disposable diapers are convenient and easy to use.

The increased necessity for mothers to work outside the home during WWII brought with it the need for easier childcare amenities all around the world.

It was because of this that Marion Donovan invented plastic coverings for cloth diapers with handy snaps to replace those sharp diaper pins, which were a little tricky to put on and were quite dangerous.

One thing eventually led to another and in 1961, the infamous Pampers were hitting the shelves in stores and nurseries everywhere!

They also came up with easier-to-use tape closures — meaning no more fumbling with diaper pins for fear of poking yourself or your little one!

Pros and cons of disposable diapers

Disposable diapers have really come a long way and they now have cute designs printed on the outside, are softer than those of the past and fit better.


  • Disposable (no icky laundry to do!)
  • Easy to use (with adhesive tabs)
  • Less leakage
  • Travel-friendly (no need to store stinky diapers in your bag to be washed later)
  • Easily found in most shops (in case of emergencies!)


  • Non-biodegradable so is bad for the environment
  • Human waste from the diapers seeps into the ground, groundwater and eventually into our rivers and streams
  • Expensive
  • More diaper rash
  • Some chemicals used may cause allergic reactions

Total cost

An average child will use 3796 diapers in a lifetime, multiply that by about 30 cents per piece and you will have to fork out $1138.80.

But using disposable diapers will save you a lot of precious time and you won’t have to deal with your bundle of joy’s ‘steaming bundle’!

The other option: Cloth diapers

Cloth or Disposables: What to Consider When Choosing Baby Diapers

Cloth diapers cause less diaper rash.

Remember the good old days when mothers used washable cloth diapers to cover their babies’ bottoms?

Today’s mums have the choice of traditional cloth diapers, pre-folded traditional cloth diapers (to be used with diaper pins or diaper snaps to hold the diaper in place) or the relatively new fitted cloth diapers.

Pros and cons of cloth diapers

Although cloth diapers were mostly used in the past, many parents today are opting for cloth diapers for their little ones.


  • Better for the environment
  • Cheaper
  • Less diaper rash
  • Can also be used for your next baby
  • Easier to potty train (cloth-diapered kids won’t like the feeling of wetness close to the skin)


  • Dirty diapers to wash (yikes!)
  • Prone to leakage if not used correctly
  • Some childcare centres or preschools don’t want to use cloth diapers
  • Not travel-friendly (messy and where will you keep the soiled diapers?)
  • Not as easy to use (depending on brand and features)

Total cost

About $22.50 per piece, multiplied by 21 washable cloth diapers needed in a week and you’ll have to set aside $472.50.

Are cloth diapers worth the ‘trouble’?

Washing poopy cloth diapers may not sound like the most ideal way to spend the weekend, but in greater light of things, there are potentially more savings when it comes to using cloth diapers versus buying disposable ones.

If your little one has sensitive skin, cloth diapers might just be the solution to free his bum from diaper rash, thanks to the natural materials used.

No harmful chemicals

Babykicks cloth diapers are made of incredibly soft and comfortable Certified Organic Cotton and Rayon from Bamboo, which is known to keep their softness and absorbency even after multiple washes.

They come in one size – which takes him from newborn to toddler until he’s ready for potty-training.

This is the beauty of modern cloth diapers, as they come with intuitive snap-down buttons for easy adjustment on the front, to provide the perfect fit as your baby grows.

The soft fleece lining and air gussets made of special fleece material is free of PUL, so the cloth diapers wrap comfortably around the crotch area and legs, without restricting movement or creating friction on his delicate skin.

How to prevent leakage

Leakage is one of our worst nightmares as parents (especially if it’s an explosive poop!) – but it’s easy to slide in a Joey Bunz insert for additional absorbency.

Despite its trim and slim feature, these diaper inserts boast six layers of hemp and cotton jersey that are only ⅛ of an inch thick!

It does the job with the baby-loving contours, yet keeps your bub’s skin dry and protected with its natural anti-microbial properties.

Best of all, hemp is a natural product, grown without pesticides and not bleached – so only natural goodness for your babies.

Disposable or cloth?

Cloth or Disposables: What to Consider When Choosing Baby Diapers

There may be many benefits of using cloth diapers as compared to disposable ones – not only is it significantly cheaper, it is also a lot better for our environment and is less harsh for your baby’s bum.

By choosing cloth diapers, you can do your part to leave a smaller carbon footprint behind and at the same time keep harmful chemicals away from your bub’s skin.

But disposable diapers were invented for a reason – for the convenience of modern parents who need something quick and easy to help them out with their little ones.

In this day and age, it is not uncommon for both parents to be working full-time and besides that, not everyone has the luxury of hiring a domestic helper to handle household chores such as washing those reusable diapers.

After weighing out the pros and cons of both types of diapers, you should also consider what is right for you and your family’s situation.

Whatever your choice of diaper is, just remember to stock up on them before your bundle of joy arrives!

Cloth or disposable diapers? What will it be for your little one? Share your decision and reasons for your choice by leaving a comment below!

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Any views or opinions expressed in this article are personal and belong solely to the author; and do not represent those of theAsianparent or its clients.

Written by

Paige Li

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