While raising my children, we used cotton cloth diapers while the children were in their infancy. We did so even though disposable diapers had already been in wide use. We also home laundered those cloth diapers rather than using a diaper service.
Nowadays, it seems to me as though most parents are just too darn lazy to use cloth diapers that in my opinion are not only financially prudent but are also environmentally safe. Instead modern parents seem to take a much, much more expensive route, even though they may be strapped financially, in their use of disposable diapers which in my opinion not only clutter the environment but are also hazardous to the environment.
Let us briefly look at the history of the diaper from Wikipedia:
…Wrapping children not yet toilet trained, in some absorbent barrier, is as old as human history…
In the 19th century, the modern diaper/ nappy began to take shape and mothers in many parts of the world used cotton material, held in place with a fastening – eventually the safety pin. Cloth diapers in the United States were first mass produced in 1887 by Maria Allen.
…In 1956, Procter & Gamble began researching disposable diapers. … invented what would be trademarked “Pampers”. … Although Pampers were conceptualized in 1959, the diapers themselves were not launched into the market until 1961. …
Read the entire Wikipedia Diaper article; just click on its title.
I have found a couple web pages on the cyber information highway that I suggest you read (click on their titles to do so):
The Great Disposable Diaper Debate from The Donella Meadows Archive, Voice of a Global Citizen
Diapers, Diapers & More Diapers, “Cloth vs. Disposable” from The New Parents Guide ™