Advantages and disadvantages of cloth diapers

Cloth diapers offer an attractive alternative to popular plastic diapers. They provide both pros and cons when compared to plastic diapers. Parents should consider all of the advantages and disadvantages when deciding whether they are right for them and their baby.

Pros of cloth diapers


One of the largest advantages of cloth diapers is cost savings, according to National Geographic. Plastic diapers cost a great deal of money, and most children use them for at least two years and sometimes three or more. Diapers for larger children can easily rise to $.50 or more per diaper and kids can go through ten or more in a day. With cloth diapers, you only have to buy the diapers once and you can reuse them. Of course, you do have to incur the cost of washing the diapers, but because they are small, this is generally far less than buying disposable diapers. Even if you employ a diaper service to wash them for you, you are still likely to pay less than with the plastic diapers.

Environmental Benefits

Plastic diapers produce a lot of waste that can harm the environment. Plastic does not break down easily and the diapers may sit in a landfill for a long time after they are used. They use many different chemicals in making the diapers, which may then enter the environment. With cloth diapers, you use the diapers over and over again and thus produce less waste.


Many parents feel that cloth diapers are far more comfortable for their children than plastic diapers. Cloth diapers typically feel softer and are less bulky. Disposable diapers can feel like bulky plastic, which many parents consider uncomfortable.  

Cons of cloth diapers


There is no doubt that it is convenient to take a used diaper and simply throw it in the trash. With cloth diapers you have to remove the soiled diaper and then carry it with you. This is not a fun thing to do, and you may have to carry quite a few of them if you are on a day outing.


Parents do not relish the chore of cleaning used cloth diapers. They may feel it is simply too disgusting or undesirable a job. They may not feel that they can get them as clean as possible. Of course you can use a service, but this does cost extra money, and parents may not like using diapers from a communal group.

Cloth diapers provide both advantages and disadvantages, and no one outweighs the other for everyone. Parents should research the options available in their area as well as their own preferences when making their decision.