DISPOSABLE OR CLOTH NAPPIES: Is there a ‘right’ choice?
When it comes to choosing between cloth nappies or disposable nappies for your baby, there are many different pros and cons that need to be considered for both.
Disposable nappies are definitely the more convenient option. They’re quick and easy to use, and have a layer of super-absorbent chemicals that maximise dryness. They also come in a range of sizes for babies of different ages and weight.
Cloth nappies, on the other hand, are more time consuming when it comes to fastening them and washing them. A newborn needs roughly twelve nappies a day, and around six to eight for a toddler - that’s a fair bit of washing to do!
When using disposable nappies, you need to buy them regularly. This cost adds up quickly, and often increases the financial strain on new families. Cloth nappies are often the favourable alternative in this case as they can be reused once washed!
The cost involved with cloth nappies is the washing cost, depending on how often you need to wash them, your washing machine, detergent, etc.
Environmentally speaking, cloth nappies are the obvious choice. Disposable nappies contribute to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of landfill worldwide each year, and their manufacturing involves excessive use of water and energy, thus contributing to their environmental impact.
Biodegradable nappies are available, but they are more expensive and their biodegradability depends on landfill conditions. Therefore, they often don’t make much of a difference.
Cloth nappies are by far more environmentally sustainable than disposable nappies. Just be sure to employ sustainable washing practices!
In terms of performance, cloth nappies are more prone to leaks than disposable nappies with enhanced chemically absorbent properties.
This being said, cloth nappies are still effective. Using cloth nappies during the day and disposables at bedtime is a good way to ensure a dry night.
Baby bum health:
Now, in terms of baby bum health and sensitivity (our forte), the answer gets a bit trickier.
Nappy rash is caused by infrequent nappy changes, regardless of which type of nappy you choose. However, it has been found that disposable diapers actually keep your baby’s bum drier due to the super-absorbent chemicals, hence reducing the risk of nappy rash! On the other hand, these chemicals can be irritating in and of themselves, which is avoidable with cloth nappies.
In our opinion, so long as you frequently change your baby’s nappy as needed (using the BBS for amazing results, of course) your baby’s bum will likely be happy.
At the end of the day, everyone and their baby is different and has a different preference. It is often recommended to use cloth nappies at home when possible, and disposable nappies when you’re out and about with your baby. This way, you can cut costs and be more sustainable when possible, but also be efficient when you need to be!