Cloth vs Disposable

I use both for Baby Critter & did the same with Big Critter. Over the years I get various reactions from people mostly positive & many full of excuses why they don’t use them people feel guilty & feel have to justify so I tell them my secret I use both so it’s ok.

There is pros & cons to both options so I thought I would fight it out.



  • convenient
  • easier to throw away- less mess when poop is in residence
  • baby stays drier for longer- magic moisture lock away technology
  • easy to grab without having to stuff or fold various parts
  • don’t have to remember to wash them


  • babies can react to the materials used & can rarely be dangerous
  • prone to leak especially with poorly tums
  • have to remember to buy them so have a stock to use
  • they take 250-500 years to decompose meaning when your great great  grandkids are old & grey nappies from your babyhood will probably still be decomposing!
  • over course of nappy years it costs a lot to keep buying them
  • disposable nappies produce seven times more solid waste when discarded and three times more waste in the manufacturing process
  • effluents from the plastic, pulp, and paper industries are far more hazardous than those from the cotton-growing and -manufacturing processes
  • Even the more organic disposable nappies that claim to be better only have “some” biodegradable components.
  • If you use ‘eco’ nappies & place with your household rubbish they still take hundreds of years to decompose



  • cloth nappies use less water then flushing the toilet 1 time
  • over course of nappy hood you spend a LOT less
  • contrary to popular believe you use less washing powder, fabric softner is strictly forbidden & you don’t need to tumble dry to use them so less cost there for a start
  • cute designs
  • less change of reactions
  • can use for all your children cutting costs the more kids you use them for
  • some councils offer cash back or free trial of laundry service if you try them
  • babies skin can breath better especially if use certain combinations
  • always got them in & ready to use
  • they become a part of your washing routine & are no more messy after a while than disposables
  • newborn breastfed baby poop is able to be placed straight in machine as disintergrates & leaves no residue in machine
  • for us was less washing because fewer leaks & less clothes changes
  • can use from birth to potty without buying more
  • for some childrens theres a possible link between early potty training as feel the wetness more. not sure this is proven but certainly one to think about
  • effluents from the plastic, pulp, and paper industries are far more hazardous than those from the cotton-growing and -manufacturing processes.


  • initial outlay can put some people off
  • you have to rinse or scrape off poop before washing when baby is younger
  • for some carrying them about all day if out & about is not nice
  • having a bucket full of stinky nappies puts some off
  • I’m reluctant to put this here because for some isn’t true but for others increases wash load by about 3 more a week however see cons for why this is more eco than disposables
  • have to rely on a working washing machine to keep them clean
  • some materials can take bit longer to dry so unless wash daily and/or have a tumble drier have to make sure have a good amount so never run out
  • can leak if don’t get washing powder consistency right when washing but also is easy to solve
  • last 3 hours in day compared to 4-5 with disposables
  • have to pre-wash before use sometimes more than once with certain fabrics

So to clear up some of the myths:

Costs more to set up with cloth– yes it can but also it needn’t. there are many nappies to suit many budgets all work different but all work & you can set up for as little as £50 which spread over a few months is cheaper than how much would spend on disposables in that time. You can also buy pre-loved, this puts some off but there’s no reason you can’t as all fully washed & perfectly hygienic to reuse plus cheaper.

Use washing machine more– for us disposables leak a LOT so we were doing at least 2-3 changes a day of clothes this was part of the decision to swap to cloth. within the first week we had 1 leak compared to 2-3 a day before.

They don’t last for more than 3 hours whereas disposables last longer- this is true however if you boost your cloth right you can happily use them overnight for 12 hours solid! as for day time changing every 3 hours probably amount to just 1 extra nappy change with cloth

Have to rinse & scrape poop gross!– we rinse under the shower head when babies are small & there poop is less formed lets say however as they get older you can use paper and/or fleece liners to drop the poop into the loo this is especially good when out as means not carrying poop with you.

Have to carry dirty nappies around during day– you can buy wet bags that you place your used nappies in when out it locks in smells & can be placed straight in machine without opening bag. If you go out ALL day & will likely have up top 6 nappies with you you will nneed a bigger bag & possibly extra bag to place them in however im naughty & will use disposables at that point

The bucket smells if leave the nappies– it can sometimes especially if baby has pooped a lot or is teething & wee can smell stronger however you can use tea tree, lavender & other essential oils to stop the smells & growth of bacteria, there is also nappy pail powders that can be used. alternatively you should have a good enough sized load to wash every other day. Always use a lidded bucket also .

On from cloth nappies you can also use washable wipes which hold many benefits also like less irritation to skin, always to hand & cost less!

So I hope I helped dispel some myths for you &  I hope I encourage just 1 person to try them. If yo uwish to get more help or advice or just chat then please join us on facebook: cloth nappy chat & advice group 



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