The Diaper Debate: Cloth vs. Disposable

Babies poop, and they poop a lot. So recently, some Baby Mamas, a Baby-Mama-To-Be, and I were talking about a really important subject: diapers. The To-Be is trying to decide if she should use cloth or disposable and we all had different answers even though our concern was the same: the environment (after what was best for our babies, of course).


The cloth argument went something like this: "Disposable diapers (the thousands you use in the baby's first few years) end up in a landfill. Cloth is better because you re-use the diapers and that's ultimately better for the planet. Many disposable diapers have chemicals from the bleach and moisturizers in the linings that are bad for your baby."

The disposable argument went something like this: "The amount of water you use to clean cloth diapers, the energy needed to run the washing machine and dryer, the gas if you use a diaper service, the detergent you need to clean them—all add up and harm the environment more than disposables. The detergents used to clean the diapers can irritate your baby's skin and cloth diapers result in more diaper rash."

One thing none of us considered was cost (and it's not like we're rich or anything). Apparently there is also a great debate about whether cloth or disposable is cheaper.

There's a good article that just appeared in the Boston Globe addressing all of theses very important cloth vs disposable diaper issues.

So how about you—do you use cloth or disposable diapers?


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