The Diaper Wars

There's no one best diaper for baby. Just choose the one that suits your style.

Cloth versus disposable diapers for infants. What's the difference?

A generation ago, the relative merits of cloth versus disposable diapers is something you would have discussed with your neighbor over the backyard clothesline. Not anymore. Today, moms fill Internet chat rooms and argue the advantages of one method over another, debate which brand of disposables is best, and talk about prefolds versus contours, wool covers versus fleece.

What’s a new mother to do? Start surfing! Begin with any decent search engine (we prefer Google), and type in “cloth diaper.” You’ll discover dozens of Web sites devoted to the subject.

You’ll learn that the average family spends $1,500-$1,800 a year on disposable diapers and that many children are allergic to the chemicals in the wood pulp fiber that make them so absorbent. If rashes are common on your baby’s behind, or if you feel like saving a billion trees a year (4.5 trees per baby), you may want to consider using cloth diapers instead of disposables.

One Web site thats explain the how-tos of cloth diapering is It seems to be a labor of love, not necessarily tied to any particular corporate sponsor or diaper company. For contoured or fitted diapers, check out the Web sites for Natural Baby or BabyBunz. Popular sites for diaper covers are MotherEase and Natural Baby.

Of course, it’s other moms who can offer the best advice. You’ll find out exactly how to make a “poop pocket,” wash diapers and wraps so they stay stain-free, and find the best sites for ordering diapers on the Internet when you talk to parents in person, or online.


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