Since 1960, disposable diapers have taken the world by storm. They were quick, convenient, initially cheap to buy, and easy to dispose. Cloth diapers were the old kid on the block back then, and parents simply saw a new, convenient technology as the way forward. It was a different time.
Today, we are faced with rising inflation, rising inequality, and generational environmental concerns. The modern parent must consider the impact of their decisions, so we wanted to break down the differences and comparisons between cloth diapers and disposable diapers. We will compare them both under different categories so you can make an informed decision on which route you wish to go.
We mean it when say cloth diapers can save up to $3000 per child. Let us break this down for you.
Disposable diapers cost $0.35 on average across USA per diaper. Your baby will need roughly 8750 diapers. This comes to $3062.50. Now you will need disposable wipes to clean up your baby, at a cost of $1.50 per pack, you will go through two packs a week for a total cost of $468. Add in some simple diaper storage for $50. And finally, you will have to factor in refuse charges on your own, in addition to their above costs. That gives a minimum of $3530 to use disposable diapers on your baby. And if you have twins, or have another, you essentially must start from scratch again.
Bayrli cloth diapers come in many different designs for different needs and lifestyles, but for now we’ll focus on our premium deluxe kits for a comparison. Our full kit, including our wipes, will cost you $575 and you do have the option to use interest free instalments as well. For cloth diapers, you will need to see if you have water charges, and this would be an additional load or two of laundry a week. The electricity cost of this would be negligible, but please bear it in mind. Our kit includes all your diapers, your inserts, your organic cloth wipes, and your storage options. No need for any disposables.
A simple fact to begin: It takes almost 20 times more water to manufacture disposable diapers than it takes to wash cloth diapers from birth to potty training.
Disposable diapers primarily consist of plastics and pulp, and the creation and manufacturing of these two materials requires an exorbitant amount of water. The manufacturing of disposable diapers for one baby for one week uses close to 2,000 litres of water. If you choose to wash cloth diapers twice a week you will use roughly 120 litres of water. That is almost a twenty times increase when using disposables instead of reusables; imagine multiplying this over 2-3 years.
Every year, an estimated 170 billion disposable diapers are produced globally, requiring nearly 250 million barrels of crude oil. Because of the mix of materials involved, and the addition of human waste to it, they are very hard to break down and recycle. Globally, every single minute, more than 300,000 disposable diapers are sent to landfill, incinerated or end up in our wider environment, including the in rivers used for drinking water and the ocean.
We must however also mention the manufacturing of pulp. To manufacture enough pulp to cater for every baby of diapering age in the USA, we must cut down a lot of trees. Disposable diaper brands will argue these trees are part of a sustainable forestation plan, but that would mean 21 million trees are chopped every year. Pulp must be bleached, and the disposing of this creates large swathes of carcinogenic pollutants that unfortunately often end up in rivers and oceans in developing countries. Recycling isn’t the solution; fixing the source is.
With cloth diapers, your waste water is directed to a water treatment plant and is safe for use again. The difference is stark.
Disposable diapers end up in landfills. If we ignore the rising prices of refuse collection, and simply focus on what happens to the diapers when they’re collected by a dumpster, we are met with a stark statistic. The materials within a disposable diaper will take well over 100 years to break down if the landfill doesn’t have an incinerator as most do not. That means that the very first disposable diaper is still decomposing. In the USA, we add roughly 10 billion diapers to landfill every single year. Some estimates predict that single use diapers are responsible for up to 15% of all landfill waste.
Quality and Reliability
A single use diaper comes with no warranty. If the wrap breaks as you try to put it on your baby, you must get another one. If the disposable diaper has a tear in it, you throw it away and fetch another. However, if the diaper does fit on your baby, you can be assured of excellent absorption properties, giving you relative peace of mind. It will catch most solids and urine, and is incredibly easy to dispose in your refuse.
Bayrli diapers come with a lifetime warranty. Our diapers won’t suddenly fail, nor will the button snap off, or the elastic come loose. Our diapers are carefully designed to be leak-proof, blow-out proof, and odour free. There are no hidden catches.
Disposable diapers are incredibly stretchy, and whilst this is often the root cause of failures with the elastics, this stretchiness does provide some really good absorbency. Single use diapers are also easy to fit; it is undoubtedly a simple process to put them on your baby. They are sized, so you do need to know what size your baby needs, and they can be purchased at most major grocery stores and supermarkets.
Cloth diapers and reusable diapers also have a very stretchy waist and are adjustable and customisable; the vast majority of all brands will fit your baby from just after birth to potty training age. Our Bayrli diapers are carefully designed to offer this adaptability for you as well. Our diapers grow with your baby, whilst maintaining both a comfortable fit and our renowned leak-proof and blow-out proof features. Bayrli diapers are also made from recycled plastic, and retain their value over time should you wish to sell them or reuse them with another baby.
Cloth diapers are often made from natural fibres, and this is preferable as the material of choice in contact with your baby’s skin. There is also a widespread belief that this use of natural materials reduces the incidence of diaper rash with your baby.
Whilst most disposable diapers are fundamentally the same, a major attractive aspect to reusable cloth diapers is their flexibility; there are multiple different styles for differing lifestyles and scenarios. A Bayrli hemp fitted Inner will easily last your baby all night long, yet you may opt to switch to an Everyday Diaper for day time use as it is slimmer and lighter.
Disposable diapers are undoubtedly easy and convenient. If you walk into any grocery store, you will find numerous brands of disposable, single use diapers if they are in stock. From any large superstore to your local grocery store, the chances are that disposable diapers will be stocked by them. These one time use diapers will also come in many sizes, from birth size up to infant size and beyond.
Currently, Bayrli products are sold direct from us, from select trusted partners, and from our Amazon store. Plans are in the works to have Bayrli products in more stores worldwide. Our products are generally one size fits all thanks to considerate design and durable materials.
Many major disposable diaper manufacturers and brands will have incredibly detailed websites with guides on how to use their products, and how to get the right fit. But so do many cloth diaper brands, and their partner retailers. These small business stake their reputation on giving accurate and tailored advice when you need it. At Bayrli, we’re the same. We pride ourselves on giving you unlimited pre and post purchase support. Got a question? We’ve got the answer. We know we don’t have the resources of a multinational conglomerate, but we will ensure that you have 100% of what you need.
We won’t deny that disposable diapers are simply easy to use. They are utterly perfect for grab and go, throw away and be done. They do still have their place, even for the parent who is utterly focused on using reusable diapers only. A Bayrli cloth diaper will last longer than a disposable diaper, and our diapers are carefully manufactured by hand to ensure they are blowout-proof and leak-proof. Yet even we still cannot bring ourselves to say use cloth only; because we know, if you choose to use cloth diapers on your baby full-time, there will still be an occasion when a disposable diaper is simply more convenient.
We realise we are a cloth diaper manufacturer, and we realise the above conclusions are subjective even if the facts are undeniable. But we hope its a starting comparison for you to make an informed choice on which route you wish to take with your little baby.