3 More Reasons That Cloth Diapering is Easier Than You Think 3
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3 More Reasons That Cloth Diapering is Easier Than You Think

3 More Reasons That Cloth Diapering is Easier Than You Think

Last week, I began to dispel some commonly held myths about cloth diapering.

I began with two of the biggest myths, that cloth diapering is more expensive and that it is more disgusting. The reader response was fantastic and I think that you will find the comments section extremely valuable to take a read through.

{As well, the cloth diapering $75 gift certificate giveaway is still going for a few more days… go get entered!}

Today I want to continue on with three more myths, that cloth diapering is more time consuming, more inconvenient, and only for hippies. Au contraire, my friends!

Cloth diapering isn’t more time consuming

Over the years, I have found that cloth diapering fits more and more seamlessly in with my regular routines and I hardly even notice that I’m doing it.

Here is the time that I consistently spend on cloth diapering my little ones (yes, I still have one in diapers full time, and one at night time only):

  • Regular diaper changes and then putting that diaper in the pail. Every day or two, I add on maybe 2-3 minutes to do a toilet “swish” with a poopy diaper. (But, I don’t have to spend extra time messing with a Diaper Genie, or taking garbage bags out to the trash)
  • My wash routine consists of throwing the load into a rinse cycle (no detergent), then turning that cycle into a hot wash cycle (with detergent). It takes me about 5 minutes total, to set up both loads and give my pail a quick rinse. I do this 2-3 times a week, so maybe 15 minutes a week in total.
  • Hanging my diapers to dry takes about 5 minutes or less, again 2-3 times per week. So we’re talking 30 minutes weekly (absolute maximum) for my wash and dry routine.
  • I don’t fold or carefully put away my diapers. I dump all the diapers and inserts into a large basket, and the cloth wipes into a small one beside it. That’s it. It’s the easiest load of laundry I do!
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No, doing laundry won't become your life.

When babies are very small, it is slightly more time consuming but hardly. The tasks are still the same, but you might do laundry more often (which happens anyways with a newborn).

I have found that because each component I mentioned is such a simple and quick task in and of itself, I can easily throw on a load while I wait on the phone on hold, or when I have 2 minutes before we need to run out the door, or when I’m waiting for a child to finish going to the bathroom or getting their shoes on.

As with any other common mothering tasks, all of these little things just become part and parcel of our daily and weekly routines. I have never felt cloth diapering to add a burdensome weight onto my schedule. Even when I was diapering my third baby as a newborn (with the extra wash that entails) and caring for two other young children, it still felt like the least of my worries

Cloth diapering isn’t more inconvenient

When my firstborn was a baby, I held off on cloth diapering during outings for quite a long time, continuing to use disposables for going to church, to a friend’s house, to the grocery store, etc.

I’m not sure why I thought it would be more difficult, but I did. When I finally got over it and gave it a try, I was thoroughly relieved to find that it was no more trouble than anything else.

So long as I brought the necessary diapers with me, and a bag of some sort for bringing them home with me, it was just as easy as doing a disposable change. Sometimes easier because I didn’t have to seek out an appropriate garbage for disposing of the diaper (ever been to a home without children where they couldn’t fathom what to do with a dirty diaper, so you ended up carrying it home anyways?).

etsy wet bag

I found this adorable wet bag at Etsy shop Snuggy Baby (lots of other great designs, too!)

A few ways to make cloth diapering even more convenient:

  • I used to use a ziploc bag way back in the day, but now I use a zippered, washable wet bag which I love. It gets tossed in the wash and keeps my diaper bag totally free of stink.
  • As I mentioned in the last post, rather than a diaper pail that needs the occasional scrub, try using a larger washable hanging wet bag which simply gets added in to your diaper wash.
  • Use pocket diapers, which do up with either snaps or velcro very similarly to a disposable diaper. I’ve taught my babysitter to use them, my hubby doesn’t mind, and the grandparents haven’t found them complicated either. Additionally, if you pre-stuff (add the insert) before you leave the house, you just tuck the one piece into your bag, rather than dealing with a separate diaper and cover while you’re out.

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Image by Radio Saigon

Cloth diapering isn’t for hippies only

I suppose it depends on your definition of hippie. In my opinion, I am far from a “hippie”, despite all of my natural leanings. I live in a middle-class suburb, drive a minivan, use a cell phone and a MacBook, do not own a long flowing flowered skirt, have only 2 piercings and shoulder length hair, and I can’t stand Bob Dylan.

That said, I do buy plenty of traditional, wholesome and naturally-raised food, as seasonal and local as possible. I keep my home free of toxins in my cleaners and in my beauty care routine. I do my best to reduce waste. I have an organic garden in my backyard (but no chickens or goats… yet). I cloth diaper my babies because I think it’s gentler on them, the earth and my budget.

Living more sustainably isn’t an option that’s relegated to hippies any longer.

Green is the new black, and though I started this natural-living blog as somewhat of a lone ranger, these days everyone from big-city yuppies to high school kids to small town folk to my grandma are starting to learn that natural and sustainable living is for everyone.

Cloth diapering has really expanded to a wide-variety of people, far beyond the stereotypes that we might think of. And with the wide range of options available for cloth diapering, there’s something for everyone:

  • Hybrids like gDiapers (part reusable, part disposable) for those wanting something more ecological yet not prepared to go all the way with cloth
  • Pocket diapers and all-in-one diapers that function and fit very similarly to disposables- super easy for dads, babysitters, grandparents, everyone.
  • Traditional cloth diapers like fitteds with covers, or even simple prefolds with covers. Cheaper to buy and more like what mom or grandma used to use.
  • Truly sustainable diapers made with textiles like organic hemp, bamboo and wool, 100% natural for baby’s skin and for the earth.

Come clean, fellow hippies (just kidding!), do you find cloth diapering more inconvenient or time consuming?

For those not sold yet, I would love to hear your questions and concerns about cloth diapering, which I will do my best to answer in next week’s post!

Top image by simplyla. Image of old-fashioned scrub board by CedarBendDrive.

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  1. We cloth diaper and if anything, I think it’s more convenient than disposables…the lazy mom’s option I’d you will. I never have to remember to go to the store to buy more diapers. I don’t have to buy special bags for or mess with a diaper genie contraption. And I do less poopy Landry b/c the cloth diapers contain blowouts so well that it stays in the diaper and doesn’t get ground into clothes that I need to scrub by hand or pretreat any special way.

  2. I cloth diaper both my newborn and 18 month old (I use prefolds and covers like thirsties, gdiapers, and flips)… I have to say, I do find it a bit more inconvienient and time consuming than sposies, but not much. I often use disposables when we are out, primarily because I don’t have to change them as frequently. I also use sposies at night on the 18 month old because she leaks through cloth after that long without a change. Between dealing with pooped diapers, wash, and folding I would say I spend at least an hour a week on cloth- Still, I find cloth diapering to be worth it.

    1. @Laura,
      You should try a pocket diaper at night for your 18 month old. Better than prefolds for sleeping overnight. I have even used 3 inserts at night if my (almost 2 yr old) daughter has had a good bit of drink before bed.

      Also, not wagging my finger…but if you’re leaving your babies in a dirty diaper for longer…especially if it’s a disposable…they’re precious hineys are being exposed to all sorts of nasty chemicals for that extended period your getting. =( Consider that….I was nervous to go out in cloth at first too…but my story is like Stephanie’s…when I finally did it, I regretted not starting earlier because it’s no different if you have a wet bag. And it’s a great conversation starter when people notice youre changing an adorable cloth diaper rather than a nasty disposable! =)

      Also, have you tried a diaper sprayer? Makes poops EASY!

      I agree with Stephanie, it’s just minutes more a week when you take a simple route. And so worth it!

      1. @Andrea,
        I do have one pocket diaper… I’ll have to pull it out and try it again at night. If it works well it would be worth buying a few more… if it don’t then its just not worth the trouble of having to strip her bed 4 times a week.

        As far as being able to keep her in a sposie longer, I do realize that there are chemicals both in the sposie and in her pee (obviously any poos get changed promptly regardless of the type of diaper), BUT frankly I’m just not not that concerned about it. Also, I know my babysitters prefer sposies. Sometimes we do use cloth when we go out- it depends on the situation, but sometimes the ease of sposies is just worth it to me. I did not go into parenting planning on cloth, and I’m not an all or nothing type person, so this works well for us.
        As far as a sprayer for poo- I actually have a deep sink in my laundry room that works awesome! 🙂

    2. @Laura, This is what I’m doing so far with my 2 1/2 week old! Cloth during the day, sposies when out and at night. I think we’ll eventually go to cloth at night, but just not yet!

  3. We have been using cloth diapers (prefolds and wool covers) on our son since the meconium was gone. We do not find it a hassle at all, and actually it’s more convenient in another way, over the disposables.

    When my son has a dirty diaper, the fitted cover keeps everything contained, which we found was not the case with disposables. Grandma insisted on the disposables for outings the first three of months, and after 3 incidents where he shared his dirty diaper with her, we were able to drop the issue and stick with cloth. 🙂

    As for convenience and time spent, I think my husband is the best proof in our life. He never cared for kids in diapers before our son, so he mostly uses cloth with the limited disposables in the beginning. He is a diaper champ – helps out with changes and laundry as well. I’ve actually heard him tell other dads at church or out at functions how cloth diapers aren’t as bad as they think. He talked with our last landlord about cloth and actually sparked their interest. Once the myths talked about here were dispelled, they converted their kids to cloth. Way to go hubby!

    Overall we love our cloth diapers. And now that I just received my first sewing machine, I look forward to being able to make my own!

  4. They do take a bit of time but like anything you get used to it really quickly. Every time I feel like moaning about it I remind myself that not one single disposable nappy has decomposed yet and won’t for about another 400 years. That horrifies me so much that my love of cloth is re-kindled! (Also I remember that people used cloth without washing machines and so I feel I have very little right to complain!)

  5. Intrigued, but to be honest, still not sold on it. Why not?

    + my weak stomach. Though the washable bag option helps that one.
    + my limited time. For now, I’ll need to go back to work (teaching high school) a short 6 weeks after baby arrives. I’m not convinced I’d have the time. But this will be my firstborn, so maybe its because I’m unsure how ANY routines will go.
    + the price up front.

    1. @Connie Z.,
      I had to go back to work right away after my first and was cloth diapering. I found that it was really easy to toss a load in every other evening as soon as I got home and then toss in the dryer before getting in bed – in total it probably took 5 minutes. I would walk in the door and set the carseat on top of the dryer, throw the diapers in the wash (4 minute cold pre-wash) then feed my daughter. By time she was finished eating I could start the hot wash cycle (with detergent) and be on with my evening routine.

  6. I find cloth diapers to be more convenient, but perhaps not in a predictable way. It takes slightly longer to change a cloth diaper (if using a prefold and snappi) but only a few seconds longer. When my daughter suddenly filled a clean disposable diaper during a diaper change I was almost counting the cost in my head. With cloth I just tossed it in the pail and grabbed a clean one. I actually found the laundry was about the same using cloth. When my daughter was a newborn in disposables her disposable diapers often leaked on her clothes. At least with cloth all the poop was confined to the diaper pail. I also used to use disposables for church, but soon decided not to when I was given a set of pocket diapers by my father-in-law as a gift. It was definitely easier and cheaper to use cloth. Half the time I was lugging dirty disposable diapers around with me anyway because I didn’t want to cause an offensive smell in a public garbage can. (Our nursing mother’s room at church has a diaper changing table but a sign asking mothers to take their dirty diapers with them since the garbage can in that room doesn’t get changed as often, though plastic bags are provided). Sometimes I don’t like having to run diaper laundry now that my daughter is older and we only do clothes laundry once a week, but it’s still more convenient than running to a nearby store and paying top dollar because I’m out of diapers. I think cloth wipes are probably even more convenient and cost saving than the diapers themselves.

  7. Avoding the poop up the back, disposable diaper blow outs are time saving enough for me! Disposables absolutely do not hold in poops like cloth…it’s no contest.

    I was completely against cloth diapering, it was my husband who insisted….I just agreed out of respect…and I’m so glad I did it.

  8. Hi- I have six children under 12 and have cloth diapered most of the way through. It’s not more work it’s different work and I truly believe that potty training is easier using cloth.
    I’m not a hippie- hey, but I do have chickens and goats, long hair, barefoot, home school, and by the end of the day my skirt drags the floor!

  9. Cloth is WAY easier for me. In the few months I used disposables, I can’t count how many times that I had to run to the store last-minute just to buy diapers. I don’t do that with cloth — I just toss a load of laundry in. I’d rather carry my diapers when we travel because I do have a totally involved system and I don’t have to constantly ask “Uh, where do I put this dirty diaper?” or get stuck without a trash can in a public place or my car and not have anywhere to keep said dirty diaper. I always have a place!

    Laundry? Please, no big deal. And I hate laundry. It really is the easiest laundry and the only kind I consistenly keep up on. I always use wet bags in my diaper pails, and sometimes instead of diaper pails (upstairs I don’t bother with a pail). I rarely have to do anything with the pail itself, maybe just some spray here and there.

    My husband far prefers cloth too. The grandparents have found it much easier than they had thought, and some even said that they would have used cloth if it had been as easy as it is for me! (They had plastic pants and pins of course.)

    As for ‘hippies,’ well, we’re like you. 🙂 There are plenty of things we do that could be considered hippie-ish, like sourcing local and sustainable foods and turning to natural medicine and so on. But we are also rather conservative Christians! Definitely not your traditional hippie! These days it’s just smart to use cloth.

  10. This week, we will be 6 months pregnant. A few years ago, I bought a handful of cloth diapers (mostly Bum Genius) from Craigslist. Total, I think I have around 9 diapers- some are mediums, some large, and some one size fits all. Because of our past history, we will be delivering no later than 36 weeks, so this post, and the one about diapering a newborn, have been very helpful! I know I need to get more, I just haven’t figured out which ones to try yet.

    So, my question is: what detergent do you use? Do you use this for all your laundry? I have been making my own detergent for a while and would like to continue doing so when we are doing cloth, but don’t want to hurt the integrity of the diapers. A few years ago, in anticipation of cloth diapering, we purchased a washer with the sanitize option. I don’t know if we need it, but I felt better knowing I could kill everything in there with heat every now and then!

    1. @Shannon, I use Allens Soap, as is recommended to use for diapers. I was told not to use anything with oils as this can affect the absorbency of the diaper. I had planned on using Nellie’s soap but the store told me not to and recommended Allens Soap or Rockin Green.

    2. @Shannon, Washing was the most intimidating aspect of my research on cloth. I settled on Gro-via’s Tiny Bubbles detergent on my diapers because it had terrific reviews & I could buy it bulk (on-line) at Costco. I ordered one container through Amazon & it has lasted me three months without any problems. I’m using pockets and prefolds+covers of several different brands & materials because I’m still figuring out what will work for us. Check out diaperpin.com’s website and their laudry forum. There is great advice on this issue there. Good luck!

        1. @Amy, I use an Ivory soap bar, borax and washing soda to make it. You can find directions just by searching homemade laundry detergent. I’ve never had a problem with using it. I love it because it’s super cheap, it makes a TON at a time, it’s easy to make and I know exactly what goes into it and it’s all gently ingredients. Sometimes if I remember I put some orange essential oil in it after I finish making it.

  11. I have been cloth diapering my 8 week old for approximately 4 weeks and we LOVE it!! We use gDiapers which by the way now have a gcloth option opposed to the disposable insert. We actually use prefolds inside ours and it works great! So it is all washable not just part of it. We use a wetbag for when we are out and are actually getting our hanging wetbag in the mail today to keep dirties in at home until wash day. Cloth diapering becomes an addiction I think once you start, or at least with gDiapers it is that way, because they come out with all types of new prints and colors and you want more. (but only 6-8 of each size is needed). Thanks for your blog it excites me that so many people use cloth. 🙂

  12. 3 kids and 5 years of cloth diapering and I’ve never felt it to be a hassle, just part of daily life. I do find they hit an age where I have to use a disposable over night, they just seem to leak out of the cloth diapers. What do you use to overnight your kids?

    1. @Marci, I’ve never had an issue with this and I use prefolds. What I do is that I use a toddler prefold and then inside that I fold in an infant prefold. Inside that I lay another liner like a stay dry liner that has mesh and some absorbency or a washcloth wipe and microfleece. Then I add a diaper cover over this one size larger than what they wear in the day (to accomodate the bulk). So for my 2 1/2 year old I use a large Bummis Super Whisper Wrap over this. I call it double diapering but it has the benefit of the stay dry part with the mesh or microfleece liner (actually I lay a few microfleece liners in there on top of everything else side by side for complete coverage.)

      I’ve never had leaks but I did when I didn’t use the one size up diaper cover. Yes double diapering is bulky but its really not that bad and my kids have never minded. However we started them like this ever since they stopped pooping at night around a few weeks old.

      I tried a Bum Genius with an extra insert at night and had leaks galore. Thats the only other thing I’ve ever tried. Prefolds are also super cheap so you could buy a few just to try this.

    2. @Marci, Mine seem to be able to get through the night (95% of the time) in a diaper with doubled up inserts. I also often use a hemp in addition to a microfiber insert, because I find that combo to be effective. Very occasionally, I have a leak, but not often. Perhaps my kids are lighter wetters than others? But then again, my daughter does take a bottle of water to bed with her every night and it’s usually empty by morning, so I know she’s definitely drinking and peeing.

  13. With my son, I started cloth diapering when he was about three and half months old. I wish I would have started sooner! While pregnant, I knew I was going to cloth diaper, but I didn’t know when I would start. I was trying to get into the routine of motherhood as a first time mom, and thought that adding cloth diapers into the mix to soon would be to much for me to handle. Since starting cloth diapers I can’t really say that it has added any more work to my load, nor has it been too expensive. I bought a huge stash from a used diaper sale at my local cloth diaper store which made the initial cost fairly cheap. Since then I have purchased my favorite brands as I have needed them. I now have enough diapers to last my son until potty training, plus we are hoping for future children to be able to use what we already have, so the diapers will pretty much pay for themselves in time!
    When we were using disposibles, my son broke into a horrible diaper rash. Since making the switch, he hasn’t had any more rashes! We currently use cloth diapers probably 80% of the time. My husband still isn’t quite on board yet, so he prefers to put on a disposible when he changes him. Overall I really love cloth diapering!

  14. Ditto Laura’s comment above.

    I strongly believe we are doing prospective cloth diapering people a disservice, when we downplay the additional work and time investment that IS definitely involved in cloth diapering as opposed to using disposables. I’d much rather prefer to be honest about it and stress the other factors which are much more in favor for doing cloth (less money, better environmentally, availability, sustainability, healthfulness, etc etc….). Less time and effort is NOT one of them.

    I do both, depending on life circumstances, and I have to say that cloth DOES take more time and energy out of my day and week, because:

    1. Cloth diaper changes do take more time than changes with disposables.
    I do mostly prefolds with snappies and wool covers. So I always have more layers to deal with. All-in-ones perhaps take less time to diaper, but are bulkier and take more time to air-dry on the clothes line. That’s why I don’t use them, and also because they cost more money up front.)

    2. Getting a load of poopy dipes prepared for the wash takes quite some time, too. There is no comparison time-wise to just taking the garbage out with the disposables. I clean our cloth dipes perhaps a bit more thoroughly before tossing them into the washing machine, but the cleaning results are better that way. And yes, it IS disgusting at times, no sugar coating it. To throw a load of dipes into the dryer would be more time efficient, but to line-dry them DOES take quite some time. To peel apart and put up one load of prefolds on the clothes line takes me around 15 minutes. I DID time it a number of times, because I was wondering about it myself. Then 5 more minutes to take them down, carry them back into the house, and 2 more minutes to put them back up on the changing table.

    But it is all worthwhile the hassle, for reasons outlined elsewhere on this website. For me personally, it is mostly the cost-factor for our budget.

    1. @Hanna, I do think it’s important to be upfront and honest about the investment that goes into cloth diapering. I can definitely understand from the way that you cloth diaper that it might take you longer each week than it takes me. I think that my use of pocket diapers, and perhaps prepping the dirty ones for the wash less thoroughly, makes it a quicker task. As well, I don’t really find that diaper changes take longer, but that’s because of the pockets as well. When I used to use fitteds and covers, it might have taken just slightly longer, but I know it’s faster than prefolds and snappies. My line drying is probably also stream-lined due to pocket diaper use as well.

      But, I totally hear what you’re saying. Some methods of diapering add extra time and work, and if you want to do it more cheaply (as many people do) there is a time investment to make it happen.

      I love that you’re still willing to do it for all of the other reasons that you mentioned. 🙂 Thanks for bringing your perspective and experience to the conversation!

  15. I don’t find it more time consuming or inconvenient. I think of how many times I’ve seen people at the grocery store with just diapers in their cart (they had to run out just to buy diapers since they were all out). I can just do a wash from the comfort of my home. I have always washed every 3rd day. I really don’t notice the extra laundry loads. When I had a few months off between my first and second child I didn’t really notice except for not having to change the diaper (which I would have noticed whether it was cloth or disposable).

    So overall after 5+ years combined of using cloth diapers I wouldn’t use the words inconvenient or time consuming at all! I know that some people have this idea that its inconvenient because of wet pails but modern cloth diapering means you don’t have to use a wet pail (and I am so happy about that!)

  16. I know that disposables are more expensive in the long run, but it’s a big expense up front to get the diapers and wipes for cloth. I guess I’m just worried that I’ll spend a couple hundred dollars and then discover that it doesn’t work out for us, or that I’ve picked the wrong kind of diaper. I wish I knew someone close by who did it. That might help me get up the courage to try it!

    1. @Teish,

      A lot of diaper stores let you do trials, which is an awesome way to test various diapers and see how convenient cloth really is. I did a diaper trial through Huckleberry Baby Shop and would suggest it to anyone considering cloth. She provides about 20 diapers of all styles and brands, wet bags, laundry soap, liners, etc… And you get to fully experience cloth for two weeks. It really helped me know what styles and brands I liked best so I spent my money wisely!

      Here is the link:

    2. @Teish, Most places allow you to buy only a few diapers or a few different kinds. Eg. you could buy one prefold, cover and snappi, one pocket, one all in one, and one fitted (the cover from the prefold would work with this) or more than that if you want, and try it. You can just use a plastic bag or ziploc while out until you want to invest in a wet bag, and you can just use any garbage can with a lid for a diaper pail (and then reuse it later if you decide not to do cloth). You could also just use disposable wipes until you are firm on using cloth, but in my opinion, it would also be worth it to buy a few (sometimes sold in bulk or in a pack of 6 or 12) or you could just buy some cheap washcloths or baby washcloths to try. In my opinion though its worth it to get quality actual cloth diaper wipes with texture on one side (like a washcloth) since they last longer than regular washcloths from my experience.

      Anyways…you could just try a few out and see how it goes with a minimal investment, and then if you didn’t want them, you could probably resell them since they’d hardly be used.

      I’ve always loved prefolds, and they are the cheapest option to try out first. Although some people don’t like them, I’ve found them to be the true work horse of diapers. Its not hard to snappi a prefold in place and put the cover over it, there are many videos and such online.

    3. @Teish, I think that talking to other moms who cloth diaper, even if it’s just online stuff like blog comments, is helpful.

      Another thing that might really help you is to read through the diaper reviews at The Diaper Pin- http://www.diaperpin.com/home.asp. This is a fantastic site with really thorough reviews on practically every cloth diapering product out there, and the reviews are very honest, helpful ones from regular moms (who even tell you how long they’ve been cloth diapering). I have often used it while trying to make purchasing decisions.

  17. Awesome post! I started using cloth diapers with my second child and it truly is so much easier than I ever thought it would be!

  18. We’ve been using cloth during the day because I’m still learning! But I’ve definitely noticed that no matter what I use (gdiapers, prefolds and covers, prefolds and soakers, fitteds and covers) I’ve yet to have a “blow out” and mess up her clothes in cloth! It happens quite often in disposables, but for some reason, not cloth! Love that!

  19. I love cloth diapering! I don’t find it inconvenient or a huge hassle. We have about 3 extra loads of laundry each week, but that’s so much better to me than extra bags of garbage or having to buy diapers all the time.

  20. We are on the fence here. Want to go for it, but all my friends who have tried it have all complained about leaks, hard time finding the right detergent, sour smells, and limiting activities, later potty training, etc. What do you think about these issues.

    1. Hi! I have never had a problem with leaks. If I don’t put the cover on correctly there might be an issue, but it’s not an every day thing. For detergent regular Tide works fine. I make my own with Borax, Washing Soda, and Fels Naptha soap. Sour smells? Maybe- if you let the diapers sit too long or have gone too long between changes. To me the smell isn’t any worse than a normal diaper pail or sposie diaper. I’m not to the potty training stage yet, but my friend is there and her daughter is rocking it at 18 months. I’ve never known cloth diapers to delay toilet training at all. It’s usually whenever the child is ready. Hope this was helpful!@RG,

    2. Later potty training? From my experience that is totally wrong! Kiddos who are in cloth typically potty train way earlier than their peers bc they actually feel wet in cloth vs a disposable!

    3. @RG, Every friend that has told me the same things did something wrong.

      Leaks- I know one friend, against my recommendation, bought the cheaper Sears brand Kushies diapers. DO NOT BUY THESE! They leak. At least they have for 3 people I know. Buy from a reputable cloth diaper store, not a store that does not specialize in cloth diapers. Some people I know also didn’t do the diaper up right- for example having some sticking out of the cover! Of course they’d leak.

      Detergent- It can be a bit tough to find the right detergent, yes. But its not undoable. Ask where you buy what they recommend. Follow their procedures. Everyone I know that has had major long term issues wanted to ignore all the advice and just use their regular detergent. I personally use nature clean powder which is recommended by Bummis whose products I use. I’ve also heard good things about Rockin Green and they have detergent for specific water types (hard, soft, regular) and unscented and naturally scented. Its made for cloth diapers.

      Limiting activities- not sure what you mean by this. Can you clarify? I’ve never felt limited by using cloth. But its certainly something that you can also do part time if you wanted to if you felt that it limited you in some way. Although your savings might not be as great.

      Later potty training- my first trained with no pressure from me at 32 months completely and has never gone back (now 5). My second is 30 months and has not yet trained. I think its fairly average for kids to be about 2 1/2 or a bit later to train even in disposables. I don’t figure that my first was “late” but I know some people would. I know I could have pushed it a bit earlier but was not interested in that personally. I know other friends who use cloth whose children also trained around 2 1/2. I can think of 4 other friends specifically.

      I hope this helps. I am sure others have opposite opinions. There always are on any issue! You could always buy a trial set of diapers or even a few to just try and see how it goes.

  21. We are currently in a rental and have limited access to a washer and dryer. Given that, I think we probably can’t do cloth diapering since it is so dependent on having easy access to a washer and dryer. I’d love to hear ideas to get around this since I do believe cloth is definitely better!!

  22. When I first brought my baby home I was SO afraid to start cloth diapering (even though I had everything I needed). I felt incredibly intimidated as a new mom to even venture to cloth diapering. I thought I was already too overloaded with caring for a baby that cloth diapering would be too overwhelming. One day I woke up and decided that we needed to try it to *at least* save money. Like you I also used disposables for outings. However yesterday we took her to church in a cloth diaper- huge step! I agree it’s soo much easier. (cloth wipes are WAY easier too- no more making homemade disposable wipes)

  23. Cloth diapers keep all those chemicals away from baby’s skin. Another step to a cheaper, more eco friendly life is cloth sanitary napkins. I made the switch 6 months ago and wondered why it took me so long. It is just as easy as cloth diapers, even more so. They feel great against sensitive skin, are easy to wash, easy to take on the road, and easy to make if you have a sewing machine.

    1. @Natasha, I agree. I switched to “mama cloth” after cloth diapering my first. I LOVE cloth pads and would never go back now. Mine are thin since they have PUL on the back. So worth it and has saved us hundreds now vs. the natural disposable ones I was buying due to rashes with the other kind.

  24. Stephanie, I agree with you on all five points of why cloth diapering is easier than most people think it is! My son is almost 11 months old and we have been so happy with our decision to go the cloth route. My sister had a baby around the same time that I did, and she thought I was crazy when I told her I was going to use cloth. Now, 11 months later, she has seen how all-around beneficial and simple it is, and she wishes that she would have invested in cloth too!

  25. I have a 5-month-old who I’ve been cloth diapering for 4 months. I do spend more time than you on the wash, but that’s because I stuff them and put them neatly away so that they’re ready for the next go round. But I don’t spend time stuffing them while changing the diaper… no, no… I don’t want any tee-tee messes while I dilly dally! Haha. But still with two cloth diaper loads a week, this adds about 30 minutes to my diaper experience. No big deal in my book. It’s just a part of my day, just as doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. And WE DON’T HAVE BLOW OUTS IN CLOTH!! That’s huge! Well worth my time to stuff diapers just so I don’t have to waste my time, stripping my baby and the car seat, washing the car seat, giving my baby a wipes bath – all while out and about! Yes, these 30 minutes are well worth my time!

    1. Oh and by the way, we just got chickens! 🙂 (We also live in the suburbs… not your rural farmer… just a suburb fam.)

  26. A lot of you are mentioning that with cloth there aren’t leaks…. It is true that I don’t have any poop blow outs with my cloth diapers (I use Fuzzi Bunz), but for some reason, my son often gets wet clothes when wearing cloth and I have to change his clothes. He is 4 months old. For this reason I use Disposables when I am out. Does anyone have any tips on keeping your baby’s clothes dry when using a Fuzzi Bunz cloth diaper. Am I doing the snaps too tight?

    1. @Lydia, I’ve never used Fuzzi Bunz but I also had occasional leaks but mine were due to a heavy wetter and me not changing him quick enough. He could really only wet the diaper once and be ok. We did have major leakage due to some family not snapping his diaper tight enough and he’d pee right out the top of it or the side of it which of course soaked his clothes.

    2. @Lydia, I find my son sometimes get wet around the sides of the snaps on his onesie, but that hapened with my older son in sposies too. The fabric presing into the edges of the diaper can wick it right out of the diaper onto the clothes instead!

    3. @Lydia, I’ve never used that type either but maybe do try laying another liner in there if its a heavy wetter issue that should help.

  27. I always wanted to use cloth but I couldn’t figure it out completely and, of course, I did not know anyone who used them. I have some FuzziBunz that I used with my youngest during potting training. If I had used them when mine were infants, how would I handle a poopy diaper? I could replace the insert but there is still poop on the inside of the diaper. I don’t understand how the inserts are more helpful seeing as most infant diapers are poopy. I would really like some insight into the actual steps in dealing with wet or poopy diapers. Do you toss the whole wet bag in to the laundry open or zipped up? I have lots of questions!

    1. @Laura, Hi Laura – My daughter is only 3.5 months old, so this might not be super helpful about the poo since she’s not on solids, but we just put here poopy diapers in the wet bag with everything else and wash it with the rest of her diapers. Wetbag is unzipped–and we usually roll the bag inside out into the washer opening so we don’t touch the diapers. We do a cold prerinse (no detergent), followed by a hot/cold wash with Tiny Bubbles detergent. So far, I’ve only had a tiny bit of staining on one cover which I put in the sun on my back porch for a few hours and it was gone. If you have a pocket diaper (i.e. FuzziBunz), then you put the entire diaper in the wet bag or pail–wet or poopy. if you have an insert with cover, when wet, we put the wet insert in the wet bag/pail, wipe the cover if needed, put a new insert down & snap up the cover. If it’s a poopy diaper, we put the whole diaper–insert & cover–in the wetbag/pail for washing.

    2. @Laura, We just used (he’s now potty trained) a wet bag hung in his room and if there was a poopy diaper and it was solid I’d dump it in the toilet and throw it in the bag. If the poop was loose and not something that could come off the diaper clean I’d throw it in the bag that way and wash as normal. I NEVER pulled the insert out of a diaper, everything just got dumped in the washer. The inserts will come out when washed a couple of times. I used a simple canvas bag as my “wet bag” and dumped the diapers out of it and threw it in to be washed with the diapers.
      I washed a cold load first then a hot load then a hot rinse. Then dry in a dryer on low heat or hang on a line.

    3. @Laura,

      If you are using a pocket diaper (like fuzzibuns) then the whole diaper goes into the laundry after each use – just the the stuffing out and toss. Some diapers use a waterproof cover over top of an absorbent part (prefolds, fitteds, flip, etc). With those the wet/dirty part gets tossed in the laundry, but the waterproof cover is usually still clean and can be reused.

      Wet diapers or diapers with newborn poop get thrown in the laundry and washed every 2-3 days. Poopy diapers (once they are eating solids) are quickly swished in the toilet to get the chunk out and then put into the laundry.

      Hope that helps!

  28. I’m still new to cloth, since my first born is only a 14 weeks. I’ve completely converted my convenience loving husband to cloth. As a working mom who loves her heels and drives an evil SUV/crossover, I’m far from a hippie, but the cost, convenience and sheer cuteness of cloth diapers has me addicted. I love that I have no pangs of guilt changing my daughter ten to twelve times a day in her early months. She peed in the diaper I just put on her 30 minutes ago? Who cares? I have to wash them anyway! For me, covers & inserts (at this stage, I love Babee Greens newborn inserts) are the best because the inserts take very little room in my diaper bag when out, and if I match the cover to her outfit, I can keep the same cover through most of the day (until a poo hits). I bought pockets because they are much easier for daycare–they don’t have to check to be sure the insert is fully tucked into the cover. I do wash every two days & let the covers dry overnight–but as my stash has grown, I’m stretching to three days in the next week. My friends are curious about this choice, and still hold these old fashioned images of pins and pails–poor things! I’m not looking to criticize anyone’s decision, laundry is not a big deal for me, but it may be for others–but since I keep getting questions, I’ll bet a few convert to try the cloth in the next few months. Great post Stephanie!

  29. I’ve tried both and I don’t find it more inconvenient than disposables. I’m certainly glad we don’t have to lug a hug garbage bag of diapers to the road anymore. I’d rather just toss something in the laundry.

  30. My 21-month old has been cloth diapered since birth and I love doing cloth, for all the reasons you’ve mentioned. It saves us money and I don’t mind doing the laundry. My biggest issue with cloth so far is that my baby is a little chubby and we use prefolds…trying to find pants that fit over everything is a real challenge. Maybe I’m the only one with that issue, but I’ve started sewing customized pants for her. I know we could switch to trimmer dipes, but we already have a full stash of covers and prefolds and don’t want to reinvest at this point. Still, cloth is the choice for us.

  31. I used disposable diaper when we go out, but at home I find cloth diaper more convenient to use because I just wash it then dry it, and it can be used again. It is less expensive and my baby is more comfortable wearing it. In addition, the fact that the more I used cloth diaper the lesser I contribute on diaper waste to the environment.

  32. I’m currently 30 wks, 4 days pregnant with twins, and have decided to try cloth diapering when they are born (hoping they stay put for AT LEAST 6 more weeks!!). Just wish I had done cloth diapering with my daughter, 5 yrs ago! A few years back I heard a news report of babies getting chemical burns from disposables and said that if I ever get pregnant again, I’d go the cloth diaper route!! Luckily, I never had that experience with my daughter, but it was enough for me to decide cloth going forward! We ordered our first batch of cloth diapers in bulk the other day (www.sunbabydiapers.com)…will try them out first, then decide whether to buy more from them or get another brand.

    Thankfully I have a few friends who have ‘been-there-done-that’ with cloth diapering, and they are giving me wonderful advice. For instance – not every cloth diaper will work for/fit your baby. On some babies, BumGenius works great…but on others, they leak. So I was told to buy a few of each different brand to see what will fit best on my babies, when the time comes. And typically, twins are born smaller…although at the rate I am going, and with my family history, they’ll probably be close to normal size at birth!

    I am however, still learning, and the babies havent even arrived yet (although, they did attempt to come sooner, at 26 wks, but after 2 days in the hospital and meds to stop the contractions, Im doing better, thank God!!).

    I’m thankful for sites like this, where Moms can read about cloth diapering, as well as get other Mom’s opinions based on their experience. Everyone that I have told thinks I am crazy for wanting to do cloth diapering and that its going to be so much more time consuming, etc. We shall see!! I’m also considering handwashing them…but Im not sure what kind of time I will have with twins 🙂

    Anyways – have any Moms out there heard of sunbabydiapers before?? They seem to be a really good price for cloth diapers (one size) sold in bulk.

  33. I managed to cloth diaper my twins (though some times I’m not sure how, lol). But I’m so glad I did. I’ve used disposables at different times, but they have given the girls a lot of problems. The biggest reason I did it was how much money we saved. I calucated it up on the blog. Any time I was tired of using cloth diapers I would just think of how much money I was saving our family.

  34. For those of us who don’t own a washer or dryer, would this actually be cost efficient? If I did one load of diapers every other day plus regular laundry, it would cost me $13 a week, not to mention depleting our dedergent three times as fast. Would cloth still be cheaper? I really like the idea but living in an apartment building with a shared washer/dryer I’m not sure how it would even out. Definitely interested in more details!

    1. @Natashya Newman, Hi Natashya I don’t have children yet, so I have no diapering experience, but I make my own laundry detergent and I’ve been practicing sewing diapers. I think it would definitely be cheaper if you switched to cloth diapers and homemade detergent. Heres my recipe:
      1/7 bar Zote soap (14.1 oz bar 99¢ at my Walmart)
      1/2 cup Super Washing soda
      1/2 cup Borax (a color safe bleach alternative)
      1/2 cup baking soda (optional for deodorizing)
      Grate soap and melt it in 4cups of water on the stove on medium heat. Do not boil. In a big pot or bucket put 1 gallon plus 3quarts of hot sink water and powders. Pour the melted soap water in the bucket. Stir about 2 minutes Let it get overnight and its ready the next day. It seperates easily so you have to shake it before pouring it each time. I use 1/2 cup per normal load of laundry. Makes 2 gallons. It costs me .01¢ per load of laundry because the boxes last for several batches and I buy the ingredients at Walmart. You can use other soap or all natural soap from the health food store, just use about 2-4 oz depending on how strong it cleans. God Bless you 🙂

  35. We have cloth diapered both our children. We cloth diapered our second child from birth and first after the first month. It has been easier, more affordable and more convenient.

    We actually put our daughter in disposable diapers a few weeks ago for the first time to get rid of a nasty rash. I didn’t realize what a pain in the butt disposables were. They were hard to change in the middle of the nights (tabs were hard to find), they didn’t hold as much in them and they smelled up my entire house – yuck! They felt uncomfortable and had a weird smell to them.

    I am so glad we use cloth diapers on our children. I also find the diaper folding to be somewhat therapeutic.lol!

  36. Does anyone know the figures for hot water costs? It seems most people are saying they only do a reg hot wash cycle after a very short pre-rinse. On a local diaper service site they say they wash in hot for 60min after rinsing. It seems like the cost of hot water could add up pretty quickly and I am trying to decide if it is cost comparitive to using a service. It seems like using a cloth service company would make it the very best of both worlds, but I want to be frugal as well. What are mamas of newborns really spending in energy costs with cloth when weather does not permit line drying?

  37. I have four kids (5,4,2,6months) and have used disposables with all of them. It never crossed my mind before I had #3, and I honestly didn’t know anyone who used them. I heard some about it and read things about it before #3, but decided against it. And now with #4, I don’t want to shell out for them because this is probably our last baby. If I had known more earlier, I might have considered it more, but even so, I’m not sure. The grossness factor is my main objection. I just don’t like dealing with poop. Wiping a bottom is one thing, but cleaning out diapers in order to throw them in my washer – that’s just nasty to me. And also, I do not like the idea of washing all my other clothes after washing poopy diapers. I’d have to do extra rinses, etc. before washing clothes. (Which would also cut down on the cost benefit.)

  38. I used disposables on my first two children and switched to cloth for my third. I have loved so many things about it, but am still having to tweak my laundry routine almost a year in. I will get rid of diaper rash and then it comes back again. I am beginning to get frustrated but still love so many things about cloth. And I think it really is easier than people think. I love dumping the poop in the toilet instead of wrapping it up and taking it out to the garbage can in the garage. And I LOVE that I am not spending extra time scrubbing poop out of my daughters laundry. It stays in the diapers. Excellent!

  39. I used cloth diapers with my first baby from the start. I loved that I never had poop leaks with them (every time she pooped in a sposie, it leaked) and it wasn’t inconvenient to use them, even travelling. As she got older though, I had trouble getting them clean. I SERIOUSLY tried everything out there. There were so many times I had to rewash, and even rewash again, to get the ammonia out, and sometimes that didn’t even work. When my 2nd baby was born, there was the opposite problem, poop leaked out of every brand/kind I tried, plus he has such sensitive skin I had to change him immediately when he was wet – which was constantly and even then he was still getting diaper rash. For me, with the washing issues (using so much water & trying many different detergents/wash methods,) all the different types/brands of diapers I had bought (even making my own,) the CONSTANT changing because of wetness (and needing a large supply of diapers because of that,) having to use diaper cream which isn’t supposed to be used with cloth, not having anywhere to hang them to dry, and having all the poop leaks were just not worth it. I kept using cloth wipes, though, because every brand of wipes irritated my son’s skin, but then I started having trouble with the washing machine stinking from them. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. That was it for me. I really hate when people consider using sposies the lazy way out, because I put a ton of effort into getting cloth to work. I really wanted it to work & would try again with #3 if I could figure out how to get them clean without having to rewash all the time. Maybe I need a new washing machine. But then, that certainly wouldn’t make cloth inexpensive, would it?!

    1. It may not be the best thing for the environment, but we use Calgon now, and it has made a HUGE difference. Our water in Kentucky is really hard, harder than I had any idea of, and I tried everything: vinegar, baking soda, borax, etc! Calgon not only did away with the diaper funk but finally got my husband’s shirts to stop stinking. I was about to throw them out and start over I was so frustrated. We use liquid Calgon (bought at Kroger) for the laundry, and it also got rid of the saop scum in the dishwasher that caused us to buy a new one before we figured it out (powdered from Amazon). If something more natural had worked I would have rejoiced, but dishes are my least favorite thing in the whole house and when we had to rewash more than half of each dishwasher load, it was time for another solution.
      You’ve probably had #3 long before now, but I thought I’d share.

  40. I’m definitely interested in cloth diapering. We were planning on doing it with our firstborn, but then someone gave us a year supply of diapers so it got put on the back burner. We’re currently expecting, and I’m thinking maybe cloth diapers wouldn’t be that bad. But, my question is, what kind should I get? Are the cloth diapers at Target/Wal-Mart and Gerber rubber pants good? Or are there alternatives out there that would work out better? Plus my son has a bit of a sensitive stomach and I don’t want to feel like I’m constantly playing with poop. lol

  41. We have cloth diapered since day one and we’re now at toddlerhood. Cloth diapering is so easy, and so convenient. It did take a couple of times to show the grandparents and daycare how to snap a FuzziBunz, but now they are all on board and we cloth diaper 100% – no matter where we are or who our son is visiting with.

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