The Great Diaper Debate

New parents are often surprised to learn just how much they have to look at, analyze, and talk about poop—with each other, with daycare providers, with the pediatrician.

The texture, the color, the frequency. Poop. It’s a thing parents have to talk about

So knowing what kind of diapers to use is an important part of the poop conversation. And with so many options to choose from—cloth, disposable, hybrid, biodegradable—it can get confusing.

Here’s the scoop on all the poop-catchers:

Are Disposable Diapers Biodegradable?

In a word, no. Even with a host of more eco-friendly disposable options looking to take center stage these days, finding reliable, affordable access to truly eco-friendly and biodegradable diapers can be challenging. Your typical disposable diaper can take hundreds of years to fully decompose—which means, according to the Environmental Protection Agency—that potentially toxic waste is left to sit inside plastic diapers for centuries! What? There’s more. On average, one child goes through more than 6,500 diapers before potty-training, making disposable diapers the third largest source of household waste in the US. Poop-catching just got serious.

What Are Some Environmentally Friendly Options to Diapering?

If you’re looking for the most environmentally friendly diapering option, reusable cloth diapers ALWAYS win (and are usually also the most cost-effective way to diaper your baby). Instead of putting 6,500 diapers into a landfill, you could purchase a few dozen cloth diapers and be completely prepared until your baby is potty-trained.

Fewer diapers for your baby also means fewer resources are used to produce them… so not only will your pocketbook be happy, but so will Mother Earth! Another more environmentally friendly option is the hybrid diaper, which combines reusable and truly biodegradable components.

What’s the deal with Cloth Diapers?

Like leg warmers, disco music, and Betty White, cloth diapers are experiencing a resurgent popularity… and for good reason! With their positive impacts on the environment, infant health, and family finances, cloth diapers present tremendous benefits to the families who use them and to society at large, because we all live on this planet together. Cloth diaper users ensure that baby waste is flushed down the toilet and into an appropriate treatment system. And families who use cloth diapers also make a significant impact on the number of disposable diapers headed to the landfill.

(To find out more about cloth diapers, read this article - Why Use Cloth Diapers?)

What’s A Hybrid Diaper?

Because parents today have become more environmentally conscious, some diaper companies have combined both cloth and eco-friendly disposable components to make what is referred to as a hybrid diaper. GroVia proudly offers one of the best-known hybrid diapers, which consists of a Shell (aka: a waterproof diaper cover) and a menu of absorbency options. The parent or caregiver then chooses between cloth absorbency or an absorbency option called a BioSoaker that is made primarily from biodegradable and compostable materials. Designed to decompose faster than a conventional disposable diaper, the GroVia BioSoaker is also produced without the use of chlorine and perfumes and can be used and thrown away just like a standard disposable diaper. Hybrid diapers are a simple, flexible, and earth-friendly solution to the problem of disposable diapers, and even better… are a way for families to ease into primarily using cloth diapers.