You have a lot of decisions to make as a new parent -- from where your little one is going to sleep to the breastfeeding versus formula debate, the combinations are endless. In fact, you might be so distracted that you don't have time to think about diapering decisions. Choosing the right type of diapers for your little one may boil down to trial and error and can make a big difference in your parenting experience. Know what to look for so you can make an educated decision.
One of the biggest factors in choosing the type of diaper you'll use is the cost. If you're looking at budget, you'll need to consider a range of factors. Even cloth diapers, which are traditionally pricier upfront, but are then lower in cost later, have the added cost of laundering the diapers. As of 2013, if you use disposable diapers, by the time your child is potty trained, you'll have spent $1,500 to $2,000 in basic disposable diapers and up to $2,500, if you use the nicer diapers, according to Consumer Reports. When cloth diapering, your startup costs will be more -- you'll pay a specific price per diaper -- but after purchasing the diapers, your only other costs will be laundering or purchasing cloth diaper liners.
Any mom who has ever suffered through a diaper blowout knows that functionality is the most important factor for a diaper brand or type. This is where trial and error may come in handy -- what worked for your best friend might not work for you. If you already have a busy schedule, you may not have the time to wash cloth diapers and you might prefer a disposable brand, instead.
If your concern is for the environment, you'll need to consider how your choice of diapers will impact the earth. For disposable diapers, the biggest environmental impact comes from the manufacturing process, according to The Daily Green. For cloth diapers, it's the laundering. If you still prefer disposable diapers, you can look for brands that are more eco-friendly, since they're usually made with materials that break down more easily once tossed in the trash.
Don't make the mistake of sizing up your little one as soon as he starts to grow, warns Consumer Reports. The size of diaper you choose directly affects the price, especially when it comes to disposable diapers -- the number of diapers per package decreases the larger you go. When possible, choose the smallest size your little one can wear and you'll stretch your dollar further.
Some babies simply have more sensitive skin, especially when combined with the chemicals sometimes used in disposable diapers, like chlorine. If your baby has a reaction to one type of diaper, it may be time to try another brand or a cloth diaper. Just keep in mind that the products used to launder cloth diapers can also serve as an irritant to your baby's sensitive skin, according to MayoClinic.com..