Ask Kat: Cloth vs Disposable Diapers

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As the mum of three small boys, an expert in baby products and a no-nonsense parent, resident blogger Kat Armstrong always seems to be called upon by friends, family and strangers to answer tough parenting questions. We thought it was high time she shared this knowledge with you, and her series Ask Kat was born. If you have questions for Kat, you can email her at


Dear Kat,

We are about to have our first baby, but we cannot decide between cloth diapers and disposables! We are generally very eco conscious but the up front cost and all the laundry associated with cloth seems overwhelming. Disposables seem so bad for the environment. We live in a triplex with shared laundry, but do not want to spend on a diaper service.


Marie, Kingston


There’s so much to think about, isn’t there? It’s very hard to know what the right answer is for diapering, but, as with everything else, it comes down to what will work best for you and your family.

With our first, we lived in a triplex with shared laundry as well, and we found that the cloth diapering was easy! It was about two extra loads of diapers per week and as part of our regular routine, it was a walk in the park.

One thing we didn’t do with any of our kids was go 100% one way or the other. We did about 75% cloth with our first and only used disposables when we were out for longer periods of time. With our second, we found that doing disposables at night and when we were out was the most convenient for us; and with our third, we are now slowly phasing the cloth out because three kids.

Luckily, with so many wonderful eco options in disposable diapers these days, you can actually get away with using them and not feel bad about the environment. Depending on your city’s green collection, you may also be able to put used diapers in the green bin! Our favourite “green” diaper is the Delora Eco Diaper from Germany, which David Suzuki named the most eco friendly diaper on the market.

One great piece of advice I got, and I always pass on is that you shouldn’t feel pressure to start with cloth immediately with your first baby. Spending the first few weeks in disposables while you get your bearings is totally fine, and allows you to get used to just being a parent. It’s never to late to start cloth diapering, and you’ll never regret doing what’s right for your family.

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