natural family living, natural home,  natural home magazine, natural parenting, natural family

Featured Advertisers: Natural Products Guide | Birthstone Jewelry

Why the changes to the site?
We look a bit messy while make some extreme changes to the look and the way we publish the website.
Scroll down to continue to enjoy our great articles!

We're your "how-to" resource for natural family living, natural beauty, natural home, health & wellness, and natural parenting. No matter what your personal or parenting style, we offer tips, tools and information everyone can use!
Why do we have advertising on our site?
NFO Home
Bookmark us
NFO Chat Groups
Can't find what you need? Use our web search function near the bottom!
Subscribe to NFO's free eNewsletter!
Natural Living
Natural Living
Entertaining & Holidays
Natural Beauty
Natural Pets
Product Reviews
Book Reviews
Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness
Children's Health
Natural Soulooooo
Vegetarian Lifestyle
Attachment Parenting
Babies & Children<empty> 
Natural Family Living
Pregnancy & Birth
Free Baby Website - Affordable Baby Web Site
FREE safe and secure baby & toddler websites!
Buy Books!
Mountain Rose Herbs
FREE Baby or Child Website
Balter Catalogue Co.
Resource Links

Contact & Reprints
NFO Staff & Contributors
Advertise with us
Writer's guidelines
Google ads are not personally selected by our admin team.
Find out more.

Babies & Children
Join our newsletter for new article updates!

Purchase the "Do It Yourself" Cloth Diapering Handbook: The most complete and comprehensive introduction to cloth diapering today! Endorsed by Natural Family Online.

Cloth or Disposables?

By Elizabeth Pantley

Take this quiz to help you determine which type of diapers would be most suited to you, your baby and your lifestyle. Add the scores next to your answers. Then consult the chart below for more information and insight on your answers.

1. I’m always on the go with a busy schedule; driving from place to place is a big part of my day.
Always 3 Sometimes 1 Rarely or Never 0
2. I recycle everything; I even take home pop cans from a day at the park.
Always 0 Sometimes 2 Rarely or Never 3
3. This baby is my:
First 0 Second 2 Third or more 4
4. My laundry is always caught up; there’s never a pile in my house!
Always 0 Sometimes 1 Rarely or Never 4
5. My child does (or will) attend daycare in a commercial day care facility.
Full time 3 Part time 1 Not at all 0
6. I often run out of grocery staples such as bread and milk.
Often 0 One in a while 1 Rarely or Never 2
7. My baby has a disability or health problem that requires I carefully monitor his food intake and wet diapers.
Yes 0 No 2  
8. I live on a very tight budget; every penny counts.
Yes 0 No 2  
9. My time is more valuable than money. I’m always too busy.
Always 3 Sometimes 1 Rarely or Never 0
10. I’m pretty squeamish; vomit and cleaning out the toilet make me queasy.
Always 3 Sometimes 1 Rarely or Never 0
11. We live in a community with water shortage problems.
Yes 3 No 0  
12. We live in a large city.
Yes 0 No 3  
Happy Heinys Cloth Pocket Diapers - Stacinator Cloth Diaper Covers - Pocket Diapers
Looking for Diapers & Accessories?
Diapers, covers, wet bags, PUL tote bags, inserts, novelty items, wipes & more! At the Balter Catalogue Company.

The following scoring breakdown may be helpful. Keep in mind, though, that for any given family, one or more of the above items may weigh in as more important than the others. Looking at each answer more closely will provide further help as you make this decision. Also, keep in mind that while the initial investment of cloth diapers is a consideration, you can always buy a few and try out both types before you decide which to use.

Add up your total points: __________

0 to 10 points — Cloth diapers may suit your lifestyle best. Many types and options are available.

10 to 15 points — You may want to combine cloth and disposable for different times of the day and night and for different schedules and activities.

15 points and up — Disposable diapers may be your best choice.

Your raw score can give you a quick idea of your best diaper choice. To further analyze this decision, read the information provided below for each question.

1. I’m always on the go with a busy schedule, driving from place to place. It’s a challenge to carry around smelly diapers in your already over-filled diaper bag. If you’re already very busy, it might be difficult to add laundering diapers to your schedule.

2. I recycle everything. I even take home pop cans from a day at the park. While neither reusable diapers nor disposables are perfect for our environment, current thinking is that cloth diapers have the edge when it comes to environmental concerns. If you are focused on doing your part to save our planet, the use of cloth diapers is one way you can help. Of course, this is just one aspect of a family’s commitment to the environment. You can be environmentally conscious and still use disposable diapers, since recycling, reusing and careful purchasing of all of your household products combine as parts of your effort to protect and conserve our environment.

3. This baby is my: First? Second? Third or more? It stands to reason that the more children you have in your household, the busier your daily parenting tasks and the higher your laundry pile. The extra task of handling cloth diapers may be more than you choose to handle. Of course, another option is a diaper service that can do most of the work for you.

4. My laundry is always caught up; there’s never a pile in my house! If you’ve already got stacks of laundry taking over your house, you probably don’t want to add to the mountain. But again, if you are organized enough to use a diaper service properly, this can be an option for you.

5. My child does (or will) attend day care in a commercial daycare facility. Many day care centers require the use of disposable diapers since workers don’t want to (or can't, due to health-related concerns and restrictions) handle multiple babies’ cloth diapers all day long. If your baby is in day care, it’s likely that you’ll need to use disposables during day care hours. Of course, you can use cloth at home if you prefer.

6. I often run out of grocery staples such as bread and milk. There’s nothing worse than a poopy diaper in the middle of the night and no more diapers in the sack! If you choose to use disposables, keep a backup supply of cloth on hand in case of emergency.

7. My baby has a disability or health problem that requires I carefully monitor his food intake and wet diapers. Discerning wetness in a disposable diaper can be difficult, so if you are monitoring wet diapers, cloth might be the better choice. While you can learn ways to gauge the wetness of a disposable, this takes careful scrutiny and practice.

8. I live on a very tight budget; every penny counts. Disposal diapers cost hundreds of dollars more than cloth per year. Many families feel that the convenience is worth it — but if you're on a tight budget, it may not be. This is true, of course, only if you do the laundering yourself. When you add the cost of a diaper service, the gap between the two closes.

9. My time is more valuable than money. I’m always too busy. Some studies show that up to 90 percent of diapers used are disposables. This is most likely because many parents today opt for the convenience of disposable diapers.

10. I’m pretty squeamish: vomit and cleaning out the toilet make me queasy. Using cloth diapers, even with a diaper service, does require more handling of the mess than if you use disposables. If you’re truly bothered by this task, disposables may save your stomach. Keep in mind though, that after the first hundred or so diapers even the most squeamish among us do toughen up!

11. We live in a community with water shortage problems. You’ll need to consider the large amount of water required to wash and disinfect cloth diapers. Laundering diapers can use up to 4,000 gallons of water per year. Additionally, if you live in an area plagued by high energy costs, remember that this water must be very hot to sanitize the diapers.

12. We live in a large city. Highly populated areas have more landfill-bound trash that they must store or use additional energy to transport. This may be something to consider in your area.

As with every choice we make, there's no single right answer. Every family must make their own best choice.

© Elizabeth Pantley; excerpted from Gentle Baby Care by Elizabeth Pantley

Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is the author of numerous parenting books, including the widely cited The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night. Buy her books at She is a regular radio show guest and is quoted frequently on the web and in national family and women’s publications. Elizabeth lives in Washington state with her husband, their four children and her mother. Visit her at

Google ads are not personally selected. Find out more.


Natural Family Online Home Baby Care Feeding Baby Solids Parenting Teens
FREE Baby or Child Website Baby & Kids' Teeth Flu Articles PMS Articles
Free NFO eNewsletter Baby Sleeping Gentle Child Discipline Positive Parenting
NFO Chat Groups Babywearing - Baby Slings Homeopathy Articles Potty - Infant
Balter Baby Breastfeeding Information How to Use Homeopathy Potty Learning - Potty Training
Balter Catalogue Company Breastfeeding Problems Homeschooling Articles Pregnancy Health
Balter Wholesale Company Breastfeeding Milk Supply Healthy Body Pregnancy Homeopathy
Balter Catalogue Blog Breastfeeding - Other Healthy Home Pregnancy Morning Sickness
NFO Shopping Pages Breastfeeding in Public Healthy Mind & Mental Health Pregnancy Nutrition
Natural Family Resource Links Breastfeeding & Thrush Health & Wellbeing Pregnancy Problems
Natural Family Online Blog Breastfeeding Weaning Herbalism Pregnancy & Relationships
Blame Mama Zine Children & Healthy Eating Internal Cleansing Pregnancy Articles
Blame Mama 411 Circumcision - Circumcise Kid's Education Reading to Kids
Disclaimer and user agreement Cloth Diapering Kids & War Sleep Articles
<empty> Co-sleeping & the Family Bed Natural Cleaning Stress Articles
<empty> Dad Articles Natural Family Lifestyles Unschool Articles
<empty> Diaper Rash Natural Family Meals Vacation Articles
Natural Family Article Index Do it Yourself Gardening Natural Family Planning Vaccination Articles
Alcoholism & Homeopathy Do it Yourself - Home Natural Labor & Delivery Vitamins & Minerals
ADD - ADHD Do it Yourself - Hygiene Natural Parenting Winter Health & Family Articles
Attachment Parenting articles Do it Yourself - Kid's Crafts Natural Soul - Home Articles Women's Health
What is Attachment Parenting? Emotional Intelligence in Kids Organic Food Articles Yoga Articles
Baby & Child Natural Remedies Exercise Articles Parenting Stress <empty>

© 2003, 2004, 2005 Blame Mama Media All Rights Reserved. Web Hosting by Blame Mama Media. Most Graphics by .