Are cloth diapers or disposable diapers safer for my child?

Safety Concerns with Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapers have come a long way since the early days of saggy layers of damp cotton held together with oversized safety pins. And compared to disposable diapers, they come with considerably fewer health hazards. But there are some. With advances in cloth diapers, some polymer chemicals are showing up in the newer models, such as vinyl, polyester and water-repellent finishes. Fortunately, the traditional 100 percent cotton diapers are still readily available, so this is easily avoided. If you use a laundry service, it's likely they'll use chlorine bleach, which can be irritating to a baby's skin. And it's important that diapers are washed properly so that all bacteria are killed to prevent infections. Washing at high temperatures are usually effective in accomplishing this. You may have issues with cloth retaining a stinky smell, but this is more of an inconvenience than a safety issue. And of course, there's always the risk of poking that sweet baby skin with a safety pin. But overall, cloth diapers are considered to be a safer choice than disposable.

Related Articles


  • Becker, Shari. "Should You Use Cloth Diapers?", 2010.
  • "Cloth vs Disposable Diapers - Compare for Yourself.", 2010.
  • "Cloth vs disposable diapers: Getting started.", July 8, 2009.
  • "Diapers, Diapers & More Diapers.", 2010.
  • Pehkonen, Marc and Taylor, Lori. "Artificial Materials and Cloth Diapering.", 2010.
  • Washko, T. "Disposable Diapers Exposed! What Are Disposable Diaper Manufacturers Hiding Anyway?" The Diaper Jungle, 2010.

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