Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Organic Diapers

 Just as is the case with organic baby clothes across the board, the debates rage on as to whether or not organic diapers represent a sound investment for both baby and planet alike, or are largely more trouble than they’re worth. By this stage in time, most will already know that it takes a good 300 to 500 years for a standard disposable to decompose, but at the same time it would be unfair to call either of the options on the table a perfect solution.

So, when it comes to making the decision for yourself, what are the main ups and down of organic diapers to consider against the conventional?


First and foremost, there is no option at the disposal of any parent quite as simple as the standard diapers that a used, thrown in the trash and replaced as and when needed…period. Even when used as an addition to a regular disposable diaper regime, organics can eat up a huge chunk of time and effort in their cleaning, drying and preparation, which is something most parents simply don’t have enough of anyway.

On the plus side however, once the diapers have been bought they are able to go on being used for many months at least, which offers huge convenience over the upheaval of having to go out and buy new stocks practically on a daily basis.


Some argue that the very nature of disposable nappies and their elasticated materials means that they offer a much more snug fit and a vastly less prone to problems like the oft-hideous blowout here and there than an organic diaper.

On the other hand, organic diapers made from 100% organic materials are soft, comfortable, durable and can be modified in a thousand and one ways to make them comfortable and perfectly-fitted for the long-haul, unlike their disposal cousins.

Eco Concerns

Here’s where things get even more cloudy, as on the surface of things you’d assume that nothing could be worse than throwing away thousands of disposable nappies that take up to five-centuries to decompose. However, some argue that while organic diapers pose no such problems, they nonetheless require an abundance of water, electricity, gas and detergent to keep clean and dry, which in turn poses an equally high threat to the environment.

It therefore all depends how many are used and how frequently laundry is done, making the matter not quite as black and white as most would think.


Next up, some automatically rule out organic diapers and claim fervently that disposables are more hygienic, for reasons that seem obvious. However, given the fact that there is no way of knowing the full processes that have been used to create disposables in most cases, there is no telling how many unpleasant and downright dangerous products and preparations have been used in their creation – all of which can pose health and hygiene problems to parents and babies alike.


Last but not least, the subject of cost is another that’s relative to use as while disposable diapers will always costs considerably more to keep buying, organic diapers nonetheless have to be carefully washed and dried in abundance every day. As such, while disposable diapers appear to be the cheapest option on a per- unit basis, it all depends on the long-term and will differ for most parents and babies across the board.

Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.

By Gareth Barker

Gareth Barker is a full-time father of three from Cambridge who owns a small independent organic baby clothes business on the web with his wife of three years. The couple are fervent activists for all pressing eco concerns, though take pride in blogging about all sides of all subjects to promote rational thought and understanding.

1 comment:

MyLittlePickle said...

Some organic baby clothes may not be washable. However, Hatley and Emile et Rose are two designers that offer organic baby clothes and non-organic options that withstand many washings without fading or stretching. Because babies may spit up, they tend to go through many clothing changes at first.Parents want clothing that won’t cause their baby skin rashes and won’t have to be taken to the cleaners after every wearing. They do not to have to pay an additional cleaning bill because they bought organic baby clothes. Parents should consider the ease of wash and wear before they look at the price tag. Even cheap organic baby clothes are not worth the cost if they require additional care instructions or an additional trip to the dry cleaners.