There are some pros and cons to the cloth diapering option. Personally I see the pros outweighing the cons by a long shot, but depending on your circumstances and family dynamics it may differ.
Saves money – You can easily build a decent stash for around $300 which will last multiple years of diapering and multiple children if necessary. Last I checked disposables can cost about $1500 a year.
Less waste – A newborn can easily go through 12 diapers in a day. Think of how much waste that is in the landfills. And consider the packaging for all of those diapers.
Better for environment – Less waste is better for the environment. Yeah, your using more water, but it also takes a lot of water and resources to manufacture disposable diapers. And again the packaging. The boxes are recyclable but many disposables are in plastic. Not so good. Avoid all that with cloth.
No chemicals on baby – Cloth diapers will be free of the chemicals that go into making disposable diapers more absorbent. Personally, it doesn’t seem like a good idea to put a bunch of chemicals right next to the sensitive parts of a little baby.
Easier than you think – Cloth diapering is only complicated if you make it so. A simple routine and a “this is what we do” attitude really make it easy.
Less chance of rashes – Rashes from the diapers will most likely not occur. There could be rashes from other causes such as diet or ammonia build up, but from the cloth itself? Not an issue.
Cute colors and patterns – If style is your thing, you will enjoy the abundant array of colors and patterns! It almost makes it hard to stop adding to your stash. There’s always a cute new diaper out there.
Could open your mind to a more natural lifestyle – Cloth could be the first step to a healthier life that focuses on natural products and removes chemicals from your home.
Can get messy – One word. Poop.
Extra Laundry – Launder never ends anyway so why not throw an extra load in?
Slightly more time consuming – It does take a little more time out of my day to tend to the washing or folding of the diapers, but this is easily managed with Little Man “assisting” (playing with the pile of wipes while I fold the other items). I honestly don’t think putting the diapers on the baby actually takes any more times. There’s still the wiping of the bum, lifting, laying, adjusting the fit, all part of putting on any type of diaper.
Not always daycare/caretaker friendly – Unfortunately, many daycares will not accept cloth diapers. I’m not sure why, possibly a sanitary issue (although I feel that cloth is more sanitary considering the waste).
Takes up more space – Cloth diapers are bulkier than disposable. And although storage of cloth diapers may take up more room, that might be negligible since you would probably need more on hand of the disposables, thus filling the same amount of space. Hm.
Makes clothes fit differently – Hubby names our diapers “spaceship diapers” since they look so big on Little Man. I’ve noticed that he has to wear bigger sized clothing to make up for that extra bulk. The size was especially noticeable when he was itty bitty. He’s definitely grown into them quite a bit now.
These are just some of the pros and cons that came to mind for me when choosing cloth diapers. I feel really good about our decision. Even when traveling cloth has worked out great! I hope this may help you in your decision when looking into cloth diapers. If you have any other suggestions on pros or cons let me know! I’d love to know what added to your choice on cloth or not.