Are Reusable Diapers Good or Bad? Everything you need to know

Valerie Deiloff 2021-08-04

Reusable diapers have started to become more popular lately and all their bright colors and fun patterns are really attractive. And along with it, the ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ debate has shown up too. So, as a parent, some questions may show up: how good are they? Are reusable diapers good or bad? Is a reusable diaper good for my baby? Don’t worry, we are here to help! Let’s learn all the pros and cons about cloth diapers and clear some doubts.

PROS

You may have read about reusable diapers on social media. They are often known as the eco-friendly alternative to disposable diapers, but that’s not the only advantage. Cloth diapers have a lot of pros that aren’t usually mentioned on social media and are as good as the eco-friendly advantage. Let’s take a look at them.

1. YOU SAVE MONEY

If you’ve looked up the price for a reusable diaper, don’t doubt this yet. Yes, cloth diapers are expensive when you first buy them. But, in the long run, the ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ debate has estimated to let you save around $2000 and that considering your baby is potty trained by the age of two, otherwise, the savings are bigger! And, if you’re planning to have another baby in the future, you can reuse the same cloth diapers, which is a double saving. Another option would be to give the reusable diapers away once your baby doesn’t need them anymore. That way you could take it to a donation center or to a friend who is considering using cloth diapers for their baby.

2. THEY ARE MORE ECO-FRIENDLY

When we compare cloth diapers to disposable diapers, reusable diapers are more eco-friendly because they produce less waste. Disposable diapers can cover large lands of trash and that’s not good for the environment.


Anyways, there’s something to take into account when we say they are sustainable. The debate about ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ has shown that, in order for cloth diapers to be eco-friendly, you need to wash them with other diapers at the same time. If you use the washing machine and the dryer for only one reusable diaper, it’s not so eco-friendly because it requires a lot of water and power to function.

3. THEY ARE ADJUSTABLE

This is one of the best things about reusable diapers. They are adjustable, which means that it doesn’t matter how fast or how much your baby grows, the diaper can be adjusted to their body size and there’s no need to buy new diapers.

4. LESS HARMFUL TO YOUR BABY’S SKIN

Reusable diapers contain fewer chemicals in comparison to disposable diapers, which means that there are fewer chances of your baby getting a rash or eczema because of the diapers.


When we talk about chemicals in cloth diapers, we mean the ones that can be found in the cloth. There are lots of types of reusable diapers, so try to find one that has the kind of cloth material you like and it’s nicer to your baby’s skin.

5. THEY ARE MORE BREATHABLE

Because the cloth of the diaper allows more airflow, this is another reason why there are fewer chances of your baby getting a rash. Plus, they are more comfortable for your baby.

6. YOU CAN SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES

By getting reusable diapers, you have the chance of helping small businesses. You will save money, be sustainable and you will also help boost your local economy. Look up small businesses on social media and you will find lots of them. If there’s one that’s close to your home and has pretty patterns, go for it! Someone will appreciate your purchase and you can enjoy helping a small business.

7. LOTS OF DESIGNS!

Reusable diapers have a lot (really, a lot) of patterns. You can choose them by color, pattern, design, character, whatever you want based on what you like most for your baby, how cute is that? You can even match them with the baby’s clothes!

Four cloth diapers piled up on each other, with various colors and designs.
Picture by Pamela Kiefer

CONS

Sadly, not everything can be perfect. The debate about ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ has brought up some cons too. We’ve talked about the advantages of reusable diapers. Now, let’s take a look at the disadvantages. Is a reusable diaper good for my baby? How convenient are they? There are some common doubts that show up when we think about cloth diapers.

1. THE PRICE

As we said earlier, reusable diapers are expensive when you first buy them. They can involve a big investment and, in order to use them full time, you need around 20 or 25 cloth diapers, which is a lot of money to spend at once. This means that, if you are not really convinced, the price might make you say ‘no’ to cloth diapers.


But wait, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle. If you are asking yourself ‘are reusable diapers good or bad?’ and want to try them and see how they work for you and your baby, start by buying one or two reusable diapers. This will let you learn about them, figure them out and, if they work out, you can get more. Because yes, they are expensive but remember that they will let you save a lot of money in the long run too.

2. THEY ARE BULKY

This is one of the disadvantages in the ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ debate. It can cause a problem when we are talking about baby’s clothes because you will need bigger sizes for the diaper to fit.

3. MORE THINGS TO WASH

Even if we use a washing machine, using reusable diapers will involve more things to wash. It can become a little bit uncomfortable if you use community laundry, but it’s not impossible. As we said earlier, if you wash many reusable diapers at the same time, it’s worth it.

4. USING THEM OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE

When you use reusable diapers in the comfort of your house, you know where to find everything you need. The laundry bin, the washing machine, among others. But something very different is to use them outside your home. It’s not impossible, you can easily do it, but you will need to carry a bag to put the dirty diapers in and wash them when you get home.

5. OH NO, POOP!

When you use reusable diapers, you will probably touch poop when you are getting the diapers ready to wash them. However, this can happen with disposable diapers too. If the diaper leaks, you will touch poop too, so it’s not that different. Nothing that a good hand wash can’t handle.

6. FREQUENT CHANGES

Reusable diapers have fewer chances of causing your baby a rash, but this doesn’t mean it won’t happen. You will have to change your baby’s diaper frequently to avoid this from happening.

There\'s the bottom of a baby wearing a bulky, cloth diaper with an owl design.
Picture by Laura Ohlman

Now, it’s your turn to take place in the ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ debate and decide if cloth diapers are a good option for your baby. Every person is different, so you will need to consider all of these pros and cons according to your family’s lifestyle. We encourage you to ask yourself the five following questions when you ask yourself: ‘is a reusable diaper good for my baby?’

1. Is my baby going to use reusable diapers when we are not home?

If you are going on holiday or leaving the house for any reason, this is something you might want to consider.

2. Is my baby going to use cloth diapers when someone’s babysitting?

How comfortable will the person babysitting feel using reusable diapers? We recommend asking the person and if they say it’s okay, go for it!

3. Is a reusable diaper good for my baby?

If your baby has sensitive skin or you want to avoid the disposable diapers’ chemicals, it’s a great option.

4. Are reusable diapers good or bad to include in my lifestyle?

Is washing the diapers something that would bother you? How much money would you save if your baby uses them?

5. Does poop really bother me?

When we read the word ‘poop’, it’s a little bit disgusting, we are not gonna lie. But think it through. Your baby will poop probably everyday, using either disposable or reusable diapers and the chances of touching poop exist using one or the other. So, are you going to say ‘no’ to reusable diapers for something that can happen with disposable diapers too?

And remember, being sustainable is about taking baby steps! No pun intended :) Getting used to reusable diapers takes some time, so if you want to start slow, you can use a hybrid system. The hybrid system is about using reusable and disposable diapers. Once you get used to cloth diapers, you can go full time with them. So let us know, it’s up to you now. What do you think about the ‘reusable diapers: good or bad?’ debate? Is a reusable diaper good to start using in your daily routine? What would you tell someone who asked you ‘are reusable diapers good or bad??

Now, you can check this article: What are the Best Reusable Diapers? Plus: Extra Accessories!

Valerie Deiloff

A 21 year-old woman trying to make a better world. Hopefully achieving it.

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