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Diapering: Disposable vs. Cloth

Here are the basics:


8-10 per child, per day. At first use newborn with cut-out for umbilical cord stump. If unavailable, then you just turn the front of the diaper down so that the stump is not irritated.

TWINS OR MORE: Definitely no sharing here! same 8-10 per child per day!!!

Don’t forget a Diaper Disposal system !

Worth it. There are several brands available. Choose a popular brand so that refills aren’t an issue.

TWINS OR MORE: You’ll only need one unless the babies will be changed in separate rooms, in which case it would be better to have 1 per room where changing will occur.


I must admit that when I was diapering my children, I bought into the argument that cloth was just as, if not more, harmful to the environment as disposable due to heavy water & detergent usage for washing. Apparently that is not the case today.

With the variety of new detergents available that are less harmful to the environment as well as more efficient laundry machines, the negative environmental impact from laundering cloth diapers has been diminished.

I visited Bummis & got a “crash course” in cloth diapering. I could not believe how easy it can be. I feel slightly nauseous about the thousands of diapers, (over 20,000 to be more precise) that my family disposed of that will be rotting away over the next 300 years or so.

That being said – here’s the deal with cloth diapers:

There are 3 components:

  1. The diaper (The portion that sits on your baby & does the absorbing)
  2. The cover (That holds the diaper in place & helps to prevent leaks)
  3. The liner- reusable or paper (about thickness of toilet paper) that “catches” any solids you may choose to toss in the toilet. The paper version is flushable.
  • There are no more pins!
  • They do not need to be soaked & bleached prior to laundering
  • A variety of fabrics are available, including organic cotton, non-organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, and Microfiber
  • There are a variety of models available: a flat diaper, which is used with a diaper cover & a liner
    • a fitted diaper, which is also used with a diaper cover & a liner
    • an all-in-one diaper with a pocket in which you can insert a liner
    • an all-in-one with built-in liner (very similar to disposable)
  • Flat diapers need to be folded prior to inserting them into the cover, you top with a liner & onto your baby it goes.
  • Fitted diapers don’t need folding, just top with a liner, adjust the Velcro so that it fits comfortably on your baby set all into the diaper cover and voila!
  • The all-in-ones are easiest to use- just top with a liner, place on baby & go! (There is even a model that is adjustable from newborn to 24 months! It’s an impressive design!)

It’s advisable to have 24 diapers per child, (roughly a 2-day supply) Depending on how often you do laundry, you may choose to have more. Costs vary depending on the model you choose- but even the most expensive option is a fraction of the cost of disposable.

It’s worthwhile to consider the cloth diaper option. I would suggest stopping by Bummis or another retailer to get more information as well as to see & feel how nice & easy these systems can be. I was thoroughly impressed & I honestly regret not having tried this option.

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