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Laundering And Other Concerns When Choosing Cloth Or Disposable Diapers

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Having your first baby is an overwhelming time. You have many decisions to make, and little experience to base them on. One choice you have to make is if you'll use cloth or disposable diapers. You may want to use cloth because they are gentler on the environment, yet you may want the convenience of disposable diapers. Each type has its advantages, so you'll need to consider some of these points before you decide.

Laundry Concerns With Cloth Diapers

One of the biggest drawbacks of cloth diapers is the need to launder them. You may get around this if there is a diaper service in your area that picks up dirty diapers and delivers clean ones each week. Chances are though, you'll be laundering the cloth diapers on a daily basis. If you currently have a hectic lifestyle, and think you'll have difficulty keeping up with washing diapers, then the disposable variety might be a better choice.

Keep in mind, diapers and other baby clothes accumulate a lot of stains, so you'll need to tend to your baby's laundry quickly before stains set in. If you don't, you may need to use harsh chemical stain removers to get the diapers clean again. Another thing to remember is that cloth diapers are not as absorbent as disposable ones, so you'll need to change them more often, which results in more dirty diapers to deal with daily.

Ridding the diapers of stains and foul odors can be a challenge because you don't want to use typical laundry detergent that contains harsh petroleum-based chemicals. Instead, you'll need to read product labels and avoid detergents that contain fragrances and other irritants. Fortunately, you can find a chemical free laundry detergent for babies made with plant ingredients that is gentle on skin. Some diaper detergents are made with food grade ingredients, so you can feel confident they are safe. Others include enzyme cleaners or oxygen bleach, so the diapers come out smelling fresh and free from stains.

Diaper Expense

You'll save money in the long run when you use cloth diapers. However, the initial expense will be more since you'll need to invest in a supply of diapers at the start along with quality chemical-free detergent. Since you use the diapers over and over, there is no need to buy new ones all the time like you do with disposable diapers. In fact, you can save your cloth diapers and use them with other children you have. Cloth diapers are a much better investment unless you put a high price on convenience. You may be willing to pay more for disposable diapers so you can throw the dirty ones away each time.

The Convenience Factor

It's hard to overlook the convenience of disposable diapers. If you have an active lifestyle and plan to be on the go with your baby, it's much easier to deal with diaper changes and cleaning up messes when you use disposable diapers. If your child will go into daycare, your only option may be disposable diapers except for when your child is at home. You may also want to consider your babysitter's preferences. If you take your baby to your parent's home for the weekend, they may appreciate being able to throw out diapers rather than having to deal with the cloth variety.

Benefits Of Cloth

While disposable diapers have convenience going for them, cloth diapers have other, more important benefits. For one, you'll need to change the diapers more frequently since they are less absorbent. This combined with natural cloth fabric might reduce or eliminate problems with diaper rash. Plus, natural cloth fabric not only breathes, it doesn't contain chemicals and artificial materials that are present in disposable diapers. As long as you wash the cloth diapers in a chemical-free detergent, you won't have to worry about your child's delicate skin being exposed to irritants all day long.

Deciding on whether to go cloth or disposable is an important decision that could affect your child's comfort as well as the environment since disposable diapers end up in landfills. You may find the best solution is to use cloth diapers at home when it's easy to launder them and save disposable diapers for times when you're on the go and more likely to appreciate their convenience.