When To Use Cloth Diapers, When To Use Disposable

There are times when you will want to use disposable diapers. Living a cloth diaper lifestyle does not need to be cloth diaper exclusive. Despite everything you’ve read online and heard, you do not need to pick a side in the cloth diaper vs disposable diaper debate. These are diaper decisions. This isn’t making a commitment to being a vegetarian or meat eater. It is not cheating to use disposable diapers. Find a balance of when it makes sense for your family to use cloth diapers and when it makes sense to use disposables.

When to use disposable diapers

  • Gifted disposable diapers: Some parents are lucky enough to be gifted diapers. Depending on where they were bought you may be able to exchange or return gifted disposable. When you can’t return them, use them (or better yet donate to a diaper bank!)
  • Newborns: Sometimes it’s hard to get a fit with cloth for newborns. Or maybe it just doesn’t make sense to splurge on buying both newborn cloth diapers and normal cloth diapers.
  • Bed time and nap time: Some kids are naturally heavy wetters. Try cloth diapers during these times, but if you are experiencing a lot of leaks (even after extra inserts,) try disposable. Many experienced cloth diaper parents use disposable during these times to avoid extra laundry. When leaks happen in the crib you have sheets, mattress, and clothes to wash. If you already have enough laundry, use disposable diapers.
  • You’re going somewhere and don’t want to bring a wet bag: Depending on how long you’re going to be out of the house, it may be less cumbersome to grab two or three disposable diapers. If you’re taking cloth, you will want to make sure you have one or two extra- in case of leaks. Cloth diapers take up a bit more space in the diaper bag. Depending on the other things you need to bring along, sometimes disposable makes more sense. For more information in wet bags see our Cloth Diaper Wet Bag Complete Overview.
  • Traveling: When planning your trips as a cloth diaper parent, you have to decide how to cover your baby’s bum. If your travel plans include access to a washer and dryer, and you’re okay spending part of your vacation cleaning diapers, use cloth. If you’re in a hotel or camping and won’t have access to a washer and dryer, then use disposable diapers.
  • Emergencies: Sometimes you just don’t have what you need and need to stop at the store and buy diapers. More stores have disposable diapers than cloth diapers. Other times you may need to borrow a diaper from a friend that doesn’t do cloth diapers. Things come up, and disposable diapers are much more accessible.

All of these scenarios and more are ok. Do what works for you. But don’t feel like you need to pick a side in the cloth vs disposable diaper debate.

ClothDiaperBasics.com Favorite Disposable Diapers

When to use them: Pampers Swaddlers, newborn are perfect if you want to avoid stocking up on a large quantity of newborn size cloth diapers. Newborn size typically fit up to 8 lbs, but depending on your babies body, they may last a bit longer.

Why we like them: Pampers Swaddlers are soft, absorbent, and provide a great fit.

When to use them: These newborn size are perfect until your new little is ready for his or her fluff.

Why we like them: Huggies Special Delivery are hypoallergenic and great if your little has sensitive skin, or has reacted to other disposables.

When to use them: These Hello Bello are great for overnights if you have a heavy wetter.

Why we like them: Overnights from Hello Bellow are absorbent, and will prevent leaks, and save you from changing sheets daily.

Bottom line: You decide when to use cloth diapers vs disposable diapers.

You do not need to pick a side. This is not an all or none decision. It is not cheating to use disposable diapers from time to time. Every family and house has different needs. No two days will look a like. Find the balance that works for you and your baby.

Happy Fluffing!

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