women
Choosing diapers can be something of a minefield. The good news is that there are now plenty of options, and you can make informed choices that are right for you and your family.
  • Whatever you choose, remember that babies go through 10 or more diapers a day in the early weeks, and you’ll need to be prepared

  • Don’t buy too many of the same size—babies grow very quickly

  • Some parents mix and match, choosing to use disposables while out and about and/or at night, and cloth diapers the rest of the time

Cloth diapers

Pros

  • Your baby will be wearing soft, natural fibers next to her skin

  • They come in a range of colors and styles

  • Velcro-closing reusable diapers are now available

  • Despite the larger initial investment, they are cheaper in the long run

  • Cloth diapers produce less waste, and use fewer raw materials

Cons

  • Washing produces a lot of waste water, and uses cleansing agents and chemicals; however, on balance, reusables do less environmental damage than disposables

  • Washing can be time-consuming

  • They take time to air-dry, and using a tumble dryer undermines their environmental advantage

  • Your baby will need to be changed more often, as reusables tend to be less absorbent

  • You will need to purchase accessories such as liners and covers

  • You will have to carry wet and soiled diapers home when you are out

Disposable diapers

Pros

  • They are more convenient

  • They do not require any additional accessories

  • They are super-absorbent, so fewer changes are required

  • They cause fewer cases of diaper rash

  • They often fit better, with fewer leaks

  • Biodegradable versions made from natural materials are now available

Cons

  • They are much more expensive

  • They require proper disposal

  • They produce high levels of waste, causing a negative environmental impact

  • They usually contain manmade chemicals

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