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Cloth Diaper vs. Disposable Diaper

Good reasons for your decision to choose cloth diapers as a sustainable alternative to disoposable diapers.


The decision to diaper your child with disposable or cloth diapers is always highly individual and may also depend on your current life situation. Below, I'd like to outline the key reasons why it's worth considering using cloth diapers from the start or transitioning to this natural and sustainable diapering method if you've started with disposable diapers.

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Cloth Diaper vs. Disposable Diaper

Better for the Environment

It's probably clear to most that disposable diapers generate a significant amount of waste. However, what few realize is the astonishing quantity of diapers a child requires until they are potty-trained. After all, diaper waste is typically transported away, so it doesn't accumulate in front of your own doorstep. On average, a child uses about 5,000 disposable diapers, which amounts to approximately 1.5 tons of diaper waste. Clearly, using cloth diapers can help save a considerable amount of waste, making them a more environmentally friendly and sustainable option, even when considering the water and energy resources required for washing cloth diapers.

Better for Your Wallet

At first glance, the individual price of a cloth diaper (around €25) compared to a disposable diaper (a few cents) may seem contradictory to the idea that cloth diapering is more cost-effective. However, you need to consider the entire diapering period. The cost of using 5,000 disposable diapers, assuming an average price per diaper of €0.25 (depending on the diaper brand), adds up to €1,250 spent by the end of the diapering period. In contrast, cloth diapers have an initial cost of €300 - €800, depending on the manufacturer and cloth diaper system. These costs are typically one-time expenses since cloth diapers are adjustable in size, and they can be passed down to siblings or sold at the end of the diapering period, recouping some of the investment. To help alleviate the initial cost for parents and encourage sustainable diapering with cloth diapers, some cities and counties offer a diaper subsidy. You can easily check whether your city/county supports sustainable diapering at

Better for Health and Child Development

Compared to disposable diapers, cloth diapers are free from chemicals and harmful substances, making them an excellent choice for your baby's sensitive skin. You can freely choose from the various absorbent materials available on the market, selecting the one that suits your needs and is best for your child. Due to the breathable properties of the materials used in cloth diapers, air circulates well, and it's even scientifically proven that the temperature inside a cloth diaper can be up to 2°C cooler than inside a disposable diaper. The warm, moist environment within a disposable diaper encourages bacteria growth and fungal development, which can lead to increased skin irritations in infants. Using cloth diapers can help prevent these and other contact allergies. Unlike disposable diapers with superabsorbent materials, cloth diapers provide immediate wetness feedback to the child, allowing them to perceive and communicate their elimination behavior. For this reason, cloth diapers can facilitate (early) potty training.

Furthermore, modern cloth diapers are just as easy to use and practical as disposable diapers, and they are even more leak-proof. If diapers run out at an inconvenient time, such as on a holiday or after stores have closed, there's no need to stress about where to find the necessary diapers for the next few hours. Simply start a diaper washing cycle, and you'll have fresh diapers ready after a few hours.

Last but not least, cloth diapers look better than disposable diapers and can be used as fashionable clothing items, particularly in the summer, making your baby's bottom a real eye-catcher. Modern cloth diapers can make the diapering process a positive experience and enhance the joy of diapering sustainably.


If the reasons mentioned haven't convinced you to consider cloth diapers, feel free to attend a cloth diaper consultation or workshop with me. We can explore all the details, and you'll have the opportunity to touch and try out cloth diapers firsthand.

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