Cloth Diapers Versus Disposable Diapers: Which Is Better?


September 18, 2022

Babies have been wearing diapers since the beginning of time. The cool thing about today’s day and age is that there are many kinds of diapers for babies! It’s no surprise that many parents choose to use cloth diapers, but is your choice really the right one? Now, cloth diapers versus disposable diapers may not be a traditional debate to have around here, but it’s one worth considering!

In this article, I’ll cover the pros and cons of each option so you can make the most informed decision. Let’s dive in!

an adult hand hulding two little feet and a dog sniffing the hand - part of the cloth diapers versus disposable diapers series

mom sitting on nursery chair holding a newborn while a dog sniffs the babys head.

Cloth Diapers versus Disposable Diapers

In this section, I’ll cover cloth diapers versus disposable diapers, what they are, along with the pros and cons of choosing each one.

Cloth Diapers

If you haven’t noticed yet, cloth diapers are quickly becoming the preferred option for a number of reasons They are made out of natural materials like cotton or hemp. They come in different varieties, including fitted and all-in-one styles. Let’s break it down a little more.

Pros Of Cloth Diapers

  • They are reusable which means that you don’t have to buy them every time you need one.
  • They save you money because they can be used for years.
  • It helps the environment because less waste is produced during the process of manufacturing these products.
  • It provides comfort for the baby because they feel more secure when they are wearing them than if they were wearing disposable ones.
  • There are no chemicals in them so they don’t irritate any part of your baby’s body like some traditional diaper brands.

Check out this incredible Washington DC company that specializes in cloth diapers!

Cons Of Cloth Diapers

  • They’re more expensive than disposable diapers up front.
  • You will need to wash them often, and they can’t be simply thrown into the wash with other laundry.
  • They need to be rinsed and dried in a washing machine, so you’ll have to get used to doing that regularly.
  • They’re not always easy to come by in stores. You might have to order them online or buy them from an online retailer, which can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing!

*As a newborn photographer in Northern Virginia, I’ve seen newborns with cloth diapers on during several of my newborn photography sessions and I gotta say…they look pretty comfy!

Mom holding her newborn sitting in a chair in the nursery

picture of a newborn looking at the camera. Added for the series on cloth diapers versus disposable diapers

cloth diapers versus disposable diapers, mom and dad holding a newborn baby on the floor of the nursery.

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers on the other hand are made from microfiber and have an absorbent core contained within a waterproof outer layer. They are convenient, but they aren’t always the best choice.

Pros Of Disposable Diapers

  • Disposable diapers are made of plastic materials and are disposable.
  • You don’t have to worry about having extra laundry on your hands.
  • They’re more affordable in terms of individual cost
  • They’re easy to use. Just place it on the baby’s bottom, and you’re ready to go!

Cons Of Disposable Diapers

  • They have an environmental impact. A disposable diaper is made from plastic, which requires energy and water to create.
  • They’re not environmentally friendly.
  • They usually don’t fit as well as cloth diapers
  • They aren’t biodegradable

cloth diapers versus disposable diapers, mom, dad, and baby sitting in a nursery chair

baby hand captured by a northern virginia newborn photographer

a newborn baby closing their eyes captured by a northern virginia newborn photographerFinal Thoughts: Cloth Diapers Versus Disposable Diapers

When it comes to cloth diapers vs disposable diapers, many factors need to be considered. You have to think about cost, health concerns for your baby, efficiency, and convenience. It seems that cloth diapers are in a class of their own. Their unique method of absorbing liquid, their price, the time and effort required to wash them, and the fact that they will last a long time with proper maintenance make all other disposables look like a poor choice.

I hope you found this article on cloth diapers versus disposable diapers beneficial. As a Washington DC newborn photographer, I’ve seen babies in both cloth and traditional diapers during my newborn sessions. They both seem to have their pros and cons. Which one do you use? Let me know down in the comments!

Want even more resources? Check out some of my other posts below:

  1. Stacey says:

    I think this post is very educational. Especially as a new mom who is considering both types of diapers for their little one. Not sure if I would have the energy for cloth diapers but I think if it was marketed more then it would become a normal to mom’s and I’d reconsider. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Colleen says:

    I love your black and white photos in addition to the color ones. They really draw the eye to the details. Both of my babies were in disposable diapers, but if I have another, I think I will do reusable!

  3. Samantha says:

    Such helpful info, Steph! It was so confusing figuring this all out when I was a first time mom, great to see a concise guide to it! And beautiful photos, as always.

  4. What a great post and beautiful documentary newborn photography. I tried cloth nappies (as we call them on the other side of the pond) and gave up.

  5. Becky says:

    As a mama that cloth diapered three babies (all at once for awhile), it is definitely doable. I loved pocket diapers and all of the cute designs! I think newborns look absolutely adorable in cloth as well!

  6. Beth says:

    Such helpful information and sweet photos!

  7. Kate says:

    This post was so helpful! I never considered the fit of a cloth diaper vs a disposable, but having a child who is on the smaller side, I may have to check the cloth diaper options out! Thank you for the info! Also, can we discuss how gorgeous these photos are? I especially love the one peeking through the door at mom and baby – such a sweet moment!

  8. Donna says:

    I always wondered what the benefits of cloth diapers were – now I know, thanks! I am probably more the type to stick with disposable but I can definitely see why others would chose cloth. These pics are so so beautiful, you have an amazing eye for moment and detail.

  9. What a sweet newborn session! I love that their fur baby got to be a part of this session as well! I haven’t tried cloth diapers yet, but I recently learned of plant-based diapers that are supposed to be biodegradable and safer for babies.

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