pile of cloth diapers and disposable diapers
Motherhood

Can you Use Both Cloth and Disposable Diapers? Absolutely, and Here’s Why

You’re interested in using cloth diapers, but you are so overwhelmed and you don’t know where to start. I know exactly how you feel since I’ve been there before. You may be wondering if cloth diapers have to be all-in. So can you use both cloth and disposable diapers? The answer is: absolutely, you can use both.

When you are considering cloth, know that disposable diapers are still an option.  It definitely does not have to be all-or-nothing. After cloth diapering two babies for a combined 5 years, we understand that sometimes, disposable diapers are just the way to go. This blog post will go through instances where you may use both cloth and disposable diapers.

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The Newborn Phase

When you first have your baby, there are so many things going on. If you had a hospital birth, it may be too much to pack cloth diapers along with all the other essentials. So you may decide it’s easier to use the disposable diapers that the hospital provides.

In the newborn phase, your baby may be too small to use one-size diapers. They have such skinny legs and waists that a cloth diaper may be extra bulky. You can opt for newborn cloth diapers that are made for tiny newborn bums. But, disposable diapers can be an option until your baby chunks up. 🥰

Cloth diapers do not have to be all-or-nothing.

During the newborn phase, the baby also pees. A lot. Like 6-8 times a day! You may decide it’s easier to reach for disposable diapers over cloth diapers while the baby pees this frequently. Also, disposables will simplify your laundry. This is helpful while you’re recovering from childbirth as well as bonding with your baby.

After the newborn phase, you can then switch to cloth diapers!

Newborn Cloth Diaper 1

Transitioning to Cloth Diapers

Speaking of changing to cloth diapers, what happens if you decide to start when your baby is older? To make this transition easier, you can try out cloth diapers for a few changes throughout the day. For the rest of the time, keep using disposable ones!

As you and your family feel more comfortable using cloth diapers, use them for more diaper changes. Pretty soon, you’ll be 100% cloth, but only if you choose so. There’s no right or wrong here.

Daytime Versus Overnight

Even if you use cloth diapers during the day, you may decide to still use disposable ones overnight. You may opt to do this to make those 2 am diaper changes a little easier on a sleep-deprived parent.

If your little one sleeps through the night, you’ll need to find an overnight cloth diaper solution. You have to find a combination of inserts that will last 11-12 hours and withstand all the baby’s sleeping positions. Thus, it may be easier to use disposable diapers in this situation.

In our family, we do cloth diapers during the day and disposables at night. We felt this decision was the right one for our family and helped our sanity.

baby sleeping in disposable diaper which shows you can do both cloth and disposable diapers

Running Errands

Similar to daytime versus overnight, you may choose not to use cloth diapers while you’re running errands. You may not have enough room in your diaper bag for multiple cloth diapers and wet bags. Or you will be going to places where it is not the most convenient to be toting around dirty diapers.

In our experience, wet bags are great at keeping everything dry, but even the stinkiest of smells cannot be fully contained. Thus, if you are going somewhere and you’ll be near other people, it may be best to use disposable diapers. This way, those stink bombs can be tossed in a public bathroom and you won’t have to worry about causing odors.

However, if we are doing a quick grocery or Target run, we know we won’t be out for long, so we opt to continue using cloth diapers. We have even perfected how to pack enough cloth diapers and other essentials in our favorite backpack diaper bag.

Diaper Bag Essentials Featured Image

Daycare

When considering a daycare provider, be sure to ask about their policy about cloth diapers. Hopefully, they are open to learning and willing to try with your child. It’s even better if they have experience already using cloth diapers.

If the daycare is hesitant, they may be worried about sanitation and logistics. This guide walks you through how to use cloth diapers at daycare. There are talking points on how to educate and convince a daycare to at least do a trial of cloth diapers. Then once you are given the okay, this guide also provides tips on how to pack the essentials for daycare.

How to Use Cloth Diapers at Daycare 7

Yet, if the daycare will still not allow cloth diapers, it’s okay! There is no other option but to use disposable diapers while in the care of the school. But you can still use cloth diapers at home.

This may not be your ideal situation. But, you can still use cloth diapers even in the evenings and weekends. You’re making positive impact on the environment by lowering your carbon footprint.  You go, mama!

Other Caregivers

Some family members or caregivers may be uncomfortable with cloth diapers. A grandparent may have a hard time snapping the snaps on a wriggly baby. (We’ve all been there). Or a babysitter prefers to use disposable diapers while the little one is in their care. This is despite the fact that cloth diapers are just as simple as “sposies”.

Whatever the reason, you can use disposable diapers in these special situations. But still use cloth diapers the rest of the time!

Eventually, you can show your family members the benefits and ease of cloth diapers. They are exactly like disposable ones except they are tossed in the laundry instead of the landfill! One can only hope! (Note: My mother-in-law was adamantly against cloth diapers in the beginning. After a while, I convinced my mother-in-law how amazing they were and she raves about them to her friends 🤣)

Travel

Travel is probably the most common situation where you may consider using disposable diapers over cloth. Many factors can come into play in this decision:

  • How long are you traveling for? How many cloth diapers will you have to pack?
  • Is there room in the luggage to pack enough cloth diapers to last between wash days?
  • Are you packing the cloth diapers in a checked bag? Will it be okay if this luggage was lost?
  • Is there a washing machine and dryer accessible to you where you are staying?

For weekend trips to a family’s house, cloth diapering may be more feasible. But, this may be more difficult if you were to travel for 2 weeks to an international location. Disposable diapers may be more convenient in this situation.

Cloth diapering during travel is not impossible. But it will require some careful pre-planning and research.

pile of disposable diapers and cloth diapers

Using Both Cloth and Disposable Diapers

To answer the initial question on if you can use both cloth and disposable diapers, it is a resounding yes, you can. There are situations where disposable diapers are more convenient (travel) and necessary (daycare policy).

Cloth diapers do not have to be all-or-nothing. There is no cloth diaper police that will enforce cloth diapers 100% of the time. Do what is right and comfortable for your family. And even if you find out that cloth diapers are not for you, it’s okay! Motherhood is all about trial and error. And surviving. 🤣

Do you use both cloth and disposable diapers? When do you prefer to use each kind? Comment below and let’s chat!

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