Big decision.  Lots of choices.  Lots to weigh up. This is seriously one of the most perplexing questions that parents face.  Of course, for some the choice is simple, but I would say that I have spent a lot more hours discussing nappy choice than pram choice.

Firstly it will have more skin to skin contact with baby than you will.  And we spend a lot of time changing them, so they are omnipresent.  (And they do take up a lot of space.)

Here is some food for thought.  (And don’t forget to check out our older posts on this subject.)

Cloth

  Baby Bare Cloth Nappy

Baby Bare Cloth Nappy

  • Once you buy the full set, the main expense is done (only need to buy liners      which are relatively inexpensive)
  • Easier to toilet train – uncomfortable in wet diaper
  • Limited landfill issues
  • Good quality nappies can last multiple children
  • Better absorbency in the newer, modern cloth nappies
  • Home-delivery for cloth is an option although this obviously increases the cost
  • Cot linen changes likely
  • More likely to cause nappy rash
  • Smell from soaking nappies
  • Detergent, Power & Water usage increase, plus time for washing/drying
  • Can be slow drying depending on the cloth used
  • Can be reused for baby number 2 and even 3

Disposable

  • Highly absorbent
  • Minimising night time changing – maybe more sleep for parents
  • Less chance of nappy rash – with frequent changing
  • Don’t require any accessories –they are an all in one solution
  • Higher cost over the lifecycle of nappy usage
  • May increase difficulty of potty training
  • Environmentally unfriendly – take a long time to degrade in landfills

Cost

  • In the first year the costs work out to be quite similar (we based our costs on Huggies 144 packs of nappies versus Pikapu All-in-One Full Time Pack of Cloth nappies)
  • Year 1: cloth $1,308.55; Disposable $1,318.88
  • Year 2: cloth $653.35; Disposable $1,271.42 (cloth cost is based on using disposable liners for every nappy change)
  • Obviously kids toilet habits are different, volumes may differ; there are cheaper   & more expensive nappies on the market than Huggies; and costs fluctuate. The above does not include costs for buckets and nappy covers.  You need to do the exercise for yourself considering the brands you want.

     

     

    My advice – don’t sweat it.  And don’t be black and white about it.  It doesn't have to be either/or – it can be a combination.  Don’t forget that there are great disposable options now that decompose quicker than the mainstream nappies, if you are trying to balance environment with convenience.

    I am a combination user – the cloth nappies I have are amazing.  They just don’t leak.  They don’t.  Even when there is major stuff leaking out of the baby.  But I use them at home and during the day only.   

    Ultimately, you have to do what you feel is right for you.