Decades ago, there were no options. Cloth diapers were the only choice, and the only decision was which cute little diaper pins to use.
That all changed with Marion Donovan’s invention of the disposable diaper in 1961, when the great debate between proponents of disposable and cloth diapers began.
Today’s cloth diaper is not the same cloth square folded into a neat little triangle and pinned at the hips. Modern cloth diapers are available with Velcro strips to replace the pins, and in new shapes. The cloth diapers found today are now little more than absorbent pads placed inside a leak-proof cover.
The pads are much more absorbent than traditional soft cotton diapers, using multi-layered fiber-filled strips, not unlike feminine hygiene pads.
The two main arguments that proponents of cloth diapers use are cost and environmental friendliness. While the initial layout for cloth diapers is high, since they are reusable, the cost evens out after time. While they make one-size adjustable cloth diapers, many parents prefer to purchase diapers sized for each stage of their growing baby.
There is also the added cost of cleaning, including of detergent and running the washer and dryer. Factoring the cost of using cloth diapers must include variables such as the size of a typical laundry load, the cost and type of detergent used, the number of steps gone through to clean and sanitize the diapers, and the efficiency of the washing machine and dryer.