Reusable Vs Disposable Diapers

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Becoming pregnant is a joy to every woman.

With that pleasure also comes the weight of many burdensome tasks when the baby finally arrives.

​All new parents face a sudden change in priorities, added workload and tons of adjustments to make very quickly with no guidance.

​Among the huge range of other things that parenting a baby involves, it is often the problem of changing diapers on an ongoing basis that gives the biggest headaches. Changing diapers can be not only tasky but expensive as well. It also leads to a disruption in sleep with your baby up at all hours of the night.

Parents, especially new moms, have to deal with whether they are going to give their baby reusable/cloth diapers or the disposable ones instead.

​More often than not, mothers struggle with which one represents the best option for their baby’s fragile bottoms.

  • ​The debate on which diapers are better has been ongoing for decades since the disposable variety were introduced to the market.

​In this article we will tackle the comparison of these types of diaper along with the pros and cons of each style.

​Reusable Vs Disposable Diapers

  • Appearance

Modern reusable diapers come with either Velcro or snaps.

Conventional, rectangular ones are still secured by pins, though.

  • The texture is soft, it is cool to the skin unless soiled and it does not cause any irritation to the baby so they are a very comfy option.

The new designs of cloth diapers are similar to the disposable ones. They are also waterproof which will give added comfort to your baby. These diapers also come in an array of sizes that will fit any baby. They are shaped just like disposable diapers.

There are also the so-called pre-fold diapers. These are placed in the middle of the diaper cover and are the types that touch the baby’s skin. But even though there are no harmful chemicals in a cloth diaper, if you choose to soak it in sodium chloride or disinfecting bleach to remove the smells and stains, these products can irritate your baby’s delicate skin if not rinsed thoroughly.

  • Disposable diapers, on the other hand, are made up of absorbent cotton and polymer which gives the waterproof, no leakage properties.
  • Eco disposable diapers have safe components that can protect the baby’s skin. These are polypropylene as the inner material and the bioplastic outer wrap that is made from vegetable oil.

Older designs that are still on the market are made up of harmful materials such as polyethylene film, dyes and even perfumes to give the diaper its scented charm. They are also secured by Velcro or adhesives.

  • Comfort

When it comes to coziness, both modern cloth and disposable diapers give the same dry feeling.

​The only problem comes when they are totally filled and they become heavy. Sometimes, the adhesive can no longer hold them.

​And of course, if you choose to use the conventional cloth diapers like the ones your grandmother used on your mom, expect frequent cries of irritation from your baby when they pee and poop. Old style diapers are plain cloth that is not remotely waterproof. These are definitely not advisable at night. If you are trying to economize, better to stick to this type during the day.

  • Convenience

Disposable diapers win in this aspect.

  • This is principally because with this diaper you only need to remove it and afterwards discard it after replacing the soiled one.

Disposables are also highly convenient to use when going out with your baby, especially on long trips when washing is not practical.

On the other hand, reusables need to be washed, dried outside to disinfect them then ironed out for bacteria-free usage. Not to mention dropping the poop at the toilet bowl before washing the diaper. You’ll also need to bleach them every once in a while to remove any lingering stains.

Both reusable and disposables can cause rashes if not replaced immediately so avoid letting them sit on your baby’s bottom too long. Replace it even if they are not yet fully soiled because diapers can also get dirty through mere sweating and this can cause bacteria to form.

Health Matters

Generally speaking, all cloth diapers are safe to use.

They do not possess any toxic chemicals within that are likely to harm your baby’s health. The only thing that might pose untoward skin reactions is bleaching agents that you might try in order to remove the stains and odor of pees or poop. But that will only happen if you fail to rinse the diaper thoroughly.

Since disposables are chemically made, need we say more of the harmful effects they can bring to your child’s body? As mentioned in a previous article about disposables, they are non-biodegradable. This means they cannot be easily destroyed and one diaper will take 500 years before it decomposes totally. Until then, the poison it brings to our air will stay with us.

Added to that, disposable diapers have a chemical dioxin that has been referred to as the most toxic of all carcinogens. Also, this type of diaper contains phthalates (a chemical toxic to the endocrine glands) and sodium polyacrylate, the chemical in the inner pads of disposables which gives its super absorbency action.

It is also the chemical that was found in tampons in the 80’s and believed to have caused toxic shock syndrome in women using it. They also contain styrene which is harmful to the respiratory system and is believed to cause asthma when inhaled by babies.

With regards to eco disposable diapers, these do not contain dyes, are not scented, have no chlorine content and are latex-free but they are still part non-biodegradable and some of them cannot control leakages properly.

Price Issues

  • When it comes to price, you could save anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 each year if you use only cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.
  • Eco-friendly disposable diapers are even more expensive so this would translate to even more savings.


To conclude, after exploring the advantages and disadvantages of reusable and disposable diapers, the decision is still very much personal.

  • Parents usually know what feels right for their children, especially newborns.
  • We suggest you follow your instincts and do what you think will benefit your babies most.

If you have any questions about diapers or any other aspect of babies and caring for them, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Hi there, I’m Mary, editor at My Mommy Guide. I want to help make every step of the journey with your new baby easier. My goal is to inform you about as wide a range of subjects related to newborns as possible. Whether you are a new mother or the parents of several kids, this site aims to cater for all. Although there are no rules for being a parent, there is certainly plenty of sound practice. I will bring you ongoing, fresh content and always encourage your feedback. Welcome to our site!
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