Types of Diapers

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When searching for the best diaper for your baby you are not only looking for reliability and comfort, but you are also making sure you won’t be breaking the bank in the process. One of the most difficult choices you have to make when looking for the right diaper is finding the perfect balance in-between quality and quantity. You can be on Google all day looking for the “right” answer to this question but at the end of the day the best diaper for your baby is the diaper that you think is the best. Of course, knowledge about the different types, prices, pros, and cons does help in making that decision!

The first thing you want to think about is what kind of diaper to use; disposable or natural cloth? We all know about disposable diapers (Pampers, Huggies, Luvs), these are mostly known for their convenience when cleaning and traveling.  Then there’s cloth diapers (Gdiapers, Charlie Banana, BumGenius), known for being cost effective and free of toxins. There are advantages and disadvantages for both disposable and cloth diapers. When it comes to figuring out which one’s you’ll want to use just remember you will always hear conflicting opinions about this stuff so just look at the facts and go from there.

Disposable diapers are the most common because they are easy to use, absorbent, and when they’re dirty you just throw them out. As a parent you are already cleaning up messes all day long and when changing your baby is something that happens about every two hours, the last thing you want to do is add to your busy day with a load of dirty diapers and with disposable diapers you don’t have to. Sounds great right? Well unfortunately, disposable diapers also carry toxins such as dioxin and sodium polyacrylate that can have a negative effect on your child’s health in the long run. Sodium polyacrylate and dioxin were banned from tampons for being harmful to a woman’s reproductive system. Because of these diapers being man-made and packed with chemicals they are not environmentally friendly either.

Natural cloth diapers are back on the rise because they are significantly cheaper, most are biodegradable, and they don’t have any harmful toxins or chemicals in them. There are a few different kinds of cloth diapers such as prefolds, AIO (all in one), and fitted diapers. The main difference being prefolds require a cover and pin to hold everything in place while AIO’s and fitted diapers do not. Natural diapers typically last 2-3 years sometimes up to 4 if they are well taken care of. What makes these diapers not as popular is having to scrape the mess off of them and then having to wash them at the end of the day. In a normal 12 hour day filled with work, daycare, cooking, cleaning, etc. you’ll have a load of around 24 dirty diapers to add to your list each night.

The cost breakdown: the average box of 252 (disposable) Pampers is around $47, you will probably go through this in about 3 weeks. In a year that’s going to rack up close to $800 in diapers and that’s not including wipes and baby powder. If you were to buy a 6-pack of (cloth) Gdiapers it would be about $80, and you will definitely need more than 6 diapers to get through the day. So let’s just say you want to have a good size stash of 24 cloth diapers, that’s going to be around $350. While that does sound significantly cheaper you also have to keep in mind all the laundry you will be doing and all the soap it’s going to require each day.

If you are a low-income family or a single parent with limited resources and those numbers above exceed your budget there are diaper banks available to you. On the Resources section of EPAOA we provide you a National List of Diaper Banks in your area.

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