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Diaper Wars: We Get the Scoop on Cloth vs Disposable!

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Decide for yourself which is best for you and bub as we give you the pros and cons of disposable and cloth diapers.

I bet that before becoming a parent, ‘diapers’ was not a word that crossed your mind. And yet, one of the first decisions you’ll make as a new parent is whether to use disposable or cloth diapers. Before you know it, you’ll be sitting around a dinner table with other young parents debating over what kind is best for your kiddo.

Some sure facts are that your child will be spending approximately 22,000 hours in a diaper and need about 6,500 changes in their first years of life! So, your decision to use either disposable or cloth diapers will not only have a great impact on your baby’s comfort and health, it can also impact the environment and your finances.

       Read more: 7 Reasons to Switch to Cloth Diapers in Singapore

At the end of the day, the decision is one only you and your family can make, so being informed is very important. Here are some pros and cons for each option: the rest is up to you!

The Pros & Cons of Disposable Diapers
Disposable diapers have been around since the sixties. The actual first mention of them was made in 1942, but they didn’t become popular until later. Their popularity has never stopped growing since then, although they have seen many changes along the way.

The Pros:

– Easy to use: Disposables seem like the easier choice; they are an all-in-one product, with less fuss than cloth.

– Disposable: They can be thrown away once used, unlike cloth that needs to be washed (so a lower ick factor).

– Travel-friendly: Disposables are the easy choice to use when travelling.

– Less leaks: Disposables tend to leak less than cloth. They have a tight, snug fit and are very absorbent.

The Cons:

More expensive: Over the years, you will probably spend around $3,000 diapering your baby in disposables.

– Bad for the environment: It is estimated that around 1 ton of non-biodegradable waste is deposited into landfills per child.

– Harder to potty-train: Toddlers can’t feel wetness as much with disposables, so it’s harder for them to potty-train.

– More diaper-rash: According to one study, 78% of babies in disposable diapers get diaper-rash, compared to only 7% of cloth diapered babies.

– Baby’s health: The chemical used to make the super-absorbency of disposable diapers is sodium polyacrylate, which has been linked to TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) and can cause allergic reactions. Furthermore, many studies have shown that scrotal temperature is increased in boys wearing disposable diapers, and that prolonged use of disposable diapers can have some effect in the physiological cooling mechanism important for normal spermatogenesis. On the bright side, the last few years have seen great advances in eco-friendly diapers, with brands like Seventh Generation, Attitude, and Earth’s Best all available in Singapore (though they can often cost twice the price of mass-market brands!).

The Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapering has been around since the age of time. It has had many changes over the years, and continues to grow in popularity. Some cloth diapers now have double or triple layers and a multi-ply, fibre-filled strip, making them more absorbent than older styles.

The Pros:

– Cost-friendly: Cloth diapers can be expensive for the initial set-up (SGD$300-500), but in the long run they work out a lot cheaper than disposables.

– Less diaper-rash: Cloth diapered babies tend to have less diaper-rash, because natural cotton fibres breathe more easily.

– Can be used for subsequent children: Works out even cheaper because you can use for any more children you have later.

– Easier to potty-train: Since the cloth tends to hold moisture closer to baby’s skin, cloth diapered children tend to potty-train earlier.

– Stylish: You can now find cloth diapers with Velcro or snap fasteners and in a variety of colors and designs.

The Cons:

– Activities/Schools: Some daycare/playgroups/pre-schools won’t want to use them.

– Not very travel-friendly: They can be messy and not appropriate for travel. Most cloth-diaper users will use disposables when travelling or just being out and about.

– Can leak more than disposables…if not used properly!

Overall, making the decision to use disposable diapers or cloth diapers is a personal one; choose what is best for you and your family and your schedule. There is no one right answer for everyone!


Whatever you decide, we wish you a dry infanthood that’s blissfully free of blowouts!


Lead image sourced via Pinterest

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