Featured Advertiser:


 
 
 
 
 
What is NFO?
Natural Family Online is your down-to-earth, "how-to" resource for natural family living. We offer natural tips, tools and information every family can use!
 
Natural Family Online Home Page
 
Natural Family and Parenting Community Message boards
Visit our chat boards for great natural family discussions
 
Read about natural parenting tools every family can use
Natural Family Living
Attachment Parenting
Bookshelf
The Bottom Line
Breastfeeding
Education & Learning
Pregnancy, Birth & Fertility
Questions & Answers
Resource Guide
Your Family's Health
 
 
Join now for article updates and exclusive articles only found on NFO eUpdate!
 
 
 
Shop for natural items every family can use

Product Reviews

Bookshelf

Shopping

 
 
Write to us or get writers guidelines

Reprint Permissions

Send Us Feedback

 

We're looking for writers! Visit our Writer’s Guidelines for more details.

 
 

Contact us or read about us

About NFO

Advertise with us
Contact NFO &
Read Testimonials
Media Page: Who's talking about us?
 
 
NFO is going to print!
Interested in getting NFO by mail? Send us a YES here. Be sure to include your full name, e-mail and mailing address.
 
 
 
 

Join our newsletter for new article updates!
More BL articles

Other Articles:
Cloth diapering made simple
The True Cost of Diapering
Save Thousands of dollars with Cloth Diapering

These Ain't Your Grandma's Cloth Diapers!

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  

Please visit our BL sponsor:

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


NFO Contributor Elizabeth Pantley is the author of numerous parenting books. Read more about Elizabeth

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Being a parent is only natural, so why not parent more naturally?
Let NFO show you how.
"The media have become the mainstream culture in children's lives. Parents have become the alternative. Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to it."
-- Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe columnist

About Us | Contact Us | Natural Family Online Home | Read Natural Family, Natural Parenting & Natural Health Articles | Natural Family eUpdate Newsletter | Natural Parenting & Family Message Boards | Natural Family Products & Shopping | Natural Family Online Writer's Submission Guidelines |Natural Family online Advertising | Natural Family Living | Attachment Parenting | Natural Family Health | Natural Family Questions & Answers | Pregnancy, Birth & Fertility |
|
Breastfeeding | BOOKS for Natural Family, Natural Parenting & Natural Health
|
Cloth Diapering & Training | Education & Life Long Learning, Homeschooling & Unschooling | Resources and Links | Natural Product Reviews |
| Home, Business & Travel Solutions | Cognigen Business Opportunity | Organic tea and other goodies | Spa products, Cosmetics and Skincare


NFO is an open forum for the public exchange of information and statements made pertaining to the properties and functions of foods, supplements, herbs, medicines and other nutritional products as well as to strategies and procedures have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. We are a commercial website and use third-party advertisers. We are not liable for any link that leads you away from Natural Family Online. Natural Family Online™ and Blame Mama Media™ are not affiliated with any political or religious organization and do not endorse the personal opinions of the individual writers presented on this web site. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement. Natural Family Online (NFO) is © 2003, 2004 Blame Mama Media™. All Rights Reserved. Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Graphics by . Hosting, Design and Management by Blame Mama Media.