See ya, cloth

After what-if-ing and maybe-ing, I finally just gave the cloth diapers to a friend to see if she wants them. She has a little boy and has been really wanting to try it out, so when they came over to play on Friday, I asked her to take the diapers and detergent with her.

I really wanted to love cloth diapers.


When it came down to it, it just wasn’t for us. The actual act of using the diapers ended up being much easier than I anticipated -the wet bag is a genius invention-


however, I don’t like them for a pretty lame reason: they make Liv’s clothes fit her strangely. They’re extremely bulky (even the streamlined all-in-one pocket diapers I had) and it just seemed silly to have to go out and buy all new pants for her, when she has plenty that fit her. We’re also very fortunate to have been given a lot of adorable hand-me-downs from a friend who found out she’s pregnant with a boy, and they all fit Liv right now. 

Like I said, using the diapers was pretty easy. We didn’t have any leaks, and when I changed Liv, I’d flush the diaper liner and then take the insert out, put both into the wet bag and zip. There was no smell at all, which was a pleasant surprise. I ended up washing the diapers on the day we used them (rinse, hot wash, 2 rinses, line dry), since I didn’t have a ton of diapers, and we used disposables for naps and when we left the house.

Then, there was the great stink incident of 2012. 

Of course, the only time very recently I decided to use a cloth diaper on Liv, was the one time I didn’t put in a liner.

It needed to have a liner.

I went to change her and was like, “oh god, what do I do with this?!”

Tom was DYING laughing and said, “Just throw it away!”

“I’m not throwing this away- it was $25!”

“Well I probably wouldn’t put it in the washer like that…”

So after changing Livi into a disposable diap, there I was, outside, hosing the diaper off into the gravel on the side yard (I know, totally gross but I didn’t know what else to do). Tom and I were laughing so hard, we were crying, and Liv was looking at both of us like we were crazy. 

That was the last time I used a cloth diaper.

Since then, I’ve been wondering if I’ll want to use them when she’s a little older, or maybe for our next baby, and then I decided to just call it good. It’s funny because everyone I’ve talked to who cloth diapers is absolutely in love with it, or not using it at all, and I was kind of in the middle of the spectrum. I liked it, but not enough to keep doing it. That’s definitely one of the tricky things about raising a baby- you want to plan and prepare as much as possible, but you don’t really know what will work best for your family until the baby is here.


So, since I’ve bid adieu to cloth, I wanted to ask if there were other suggestions to be more “green” in our household. We do little things, like shower instead of take baths, use all-natural cleaning products and recycle (one of the major things I love about our house: recycling! In Valdosta, we didn’t have neighborhood recycling, so Tom had to fill his Jeep with paper bags full of recyclables and drop them off at the base recycling center every week. It was a PITA to say the least), but I’d love any of your ideas!

Previous cloth diaper posts:

The great diaper debacle

Cloth Diapering 101

First CD update

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  1. Kerry @ Totes My Oats on October 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    That story is too funny! At least you gave the cloth diapers a shot, though!

  2. Jaimie on October 22, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    THE LITTLE FEET! Holy cow, that is cute!! : )

  3. Kelly @ Femme Fitale on October 22, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    So glad you posted on this issue. I’m in the process of deliberating this right now. What’s the right thing to do? I can’t explain it, but I almost feel guilty for going disposable…but I’m pretty sure that’s the direction I’ll be heading for numerous reasons. You’re right: everyone needs to do what works and what is best for them, and hopefully others won’t be judgemental of these choices.

    I like your idea of making up for the green-liness factor in other ways 🙂

  4. avery on October 22, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Haha! This story made me laugh. And the little picture of her perfect baby toes makes my heart explode!

    Bottom line, you gave it a try and… oh well! There is no such thing as “perfect parenting”, you gotta do what works for you!

  5. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I loved cloth diapering my *older* baby. Ages 6 to 18 mos or so we used them. Couldn’t have done it in the early newborn days; too cumbersome, too sleep deprived, too much. But you are so right, the pants situation is really tricky sometimes! I had to buy a size (or two) up and even then, some times it wasn’t perfect. I fell in love with cloth diapers the way some women fall in love with shoes. I seriously was INTO the cuteness factor and it was a sad day when a fave diaper was outgrown. Lol

    Good for you for passing them onto a friend. I wish I had a little baby to take that pink fuzzy bunz? off your hands. So cute 🙂

  6. Angie on October 22, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    I’m glad you posted this. I’m due in Feb and I’m still so undecided!!! I wish I had some to see if it would work, or not. I think I’ll just buy like, 3-4 and get the liners to try it out but I don’t know. I see what you mean about it just being convenient, and what do you do when you go out? Its so hard! You gotta use the disposable anyway!! Decisions. Your friend got lucky!! Oh well, you tried and it didn’t work out 🙂 ADORABLE feet pic!!

  7. Dani on October 22, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    “Green” idea: I save all the tops and ends and nibs and nubbs and skins and peels of vegetables when I cut them up in a large ziplock bag in my freezer. Then, after a few weeks/months when the bag gets filled I boil it all in a huge pot of water with salt to make homemade veggie broth. So easy!

    • Amy @ purewellnessamy on October 24, 2012 at 11:51 am

      That is a super idea. We compost all of our food scraps (and that’s what I was going to suggest to Gina as a means of being more “green”) but making veggie broth is certainly more useful! Gina, you could still compost egg shells and coffee grounds!

      • Amy @ purewellnessamy on October 24, 2012 at 11:52 am

        …and fruit scraps 🙂

      • Fitnessista on October 26, 2012 at 12:01 am

        this is kind of interesting but i actually save all of my egg shells for a friend, since i eat so many. she grinds them into a powder and eats it for calcium.
        what do i do with the coffee grounds?

  8. krista@2ndStreetStyle on October 22, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I totally did the same thing with cloth diapers!! I bought tons though and spent a FORTUNE and then switched to disposable. Made my husband crabby to say the least. All my kids have short legs so add that to the huge diaper bum and pants would never ever fit!

    Recycling idea…thrift fashion.

  9. Kayla on October 22, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I feel like I could’ve written this post word for word. I wanted to love cloth diapering this time around, but I didn’t. We did it for a while, though so we did get our money’s worth out of the investment we made.
    As far as green goes–we make sure to turn off everything at night, including laptops & computers. I also line dry or hang a lot of my clothes to save energy usage & electric costs & handwash/dry alot of dishes instead of using the dishwasher. They’re pretty simple, but I like how it teaches my kids to be more “green” and also gets them more involved with housework & chores, hehe 😀

  10. Andrea on October 22, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Re: about putting clothes outside to dry, my husband is an allergist and if you don’t have allergies it is a great idea. If you HAVE allergies then it isn’t a good idea because the allergens get and stay on your clothes and can make you miserable. If you live in a cold weather climate the. It isnt an issue because everything is dead. Unfortunately I live in Tucson too and our allergy season is year round!!!

  11. Ashley on October 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Clothes would not fit my kids if it weren’t for their cloth diapers! they help hold up their pants.

  12. Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty on October 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Love this! I keep telling people I don’t think cloth diapering is for me (currently 5 months preggo) and they say it’s not that bad, but this just confirmed it for me! No way, no thank you!

    One thing I did was switch to a diva cup – google it, it’s amazing. I won’t go into details, but just tell you that it was a very good choice for me, and it’s so nice not to have to toss (or flush) all that waste!

    I also use homemade cleaners – aka – vinegar/water etc both at home and work! Doing my part the best I can!! Also unsubscribing from newspaper delivery and just reading online! 🙂

    • grace on October 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Aw yeah! Diva Cup FTW!

  13. Kaitlyn @ Keeping up with Kaitlyn on October 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    haha the story is TOO funny!! Her baby feet are just so cute!!

  14. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on October 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Thinking about washing a cloth diaper skeeves me out a little bit. At the end of the day you have to do what’s right for you and your family. Liv’s little feet are so adorable!

  15. natasha on October 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I gave cloth diapers a good try too with my 3rd baby and gave up for similar reasons. They made her pants fit funny and all the kinds I tried also leaked. Cloth wipes are my green contribution. I have been using them instead of disposable diaper wipes for over two years and love them.

  16. char eats greens on October 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    My baby’s due in just over three weeks although we’ve bought some “green” newborn diapers, I do plan on cloth diapering. I’m going with gDiapers because they look like they rock, plus we had some handed down to us (although they are in medium and large sizes so they don’t really help with a newborn!). I’m *hoping* that they work out good, but because I’m not a mom yet, I have no idea.

    At least you gave them a chance. I want to try really hard to give them a chance too just because I really don’t agree with how long disposable diapers sit in landfills for. I wanna think that, that reason alone with prevent me from using them even if we have poo explosions also lol, but I guess we’ll see!!

  17. Lisa on October 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Cloth diapers are so easy to use! Even with poop and no liner. We have never used a liner with either of our 2 babies. As for cloth diapers being bulky, did you try prefolds with a cover?!? Prefolds and covers are amazingly trim for cloth diapers. I’m sad to see that you have chosen to not only formula feed but also use disposables. I find this post so discouraging to other moms to be who are planning to cloth diaper.

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      i did not choose to formula feed. formula was the only way i could make sure my baby got enough nourishment.

      “so discouraging?” i said it was easier than anticipated, but something we’re choosing not to do. i’m sad to see you judging, even more so if you’re a fellow mom. it’s challenging enough to find what works best for your family, no need to have “holier than thous” turning their nose up at you along the way.

      • Katie on October 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        My baby is only 5 weeks old and I have already learned how hard and personal it is to make parenting choices. No mother should judge another for the decisions that they make about what is right for their baby and their family. We are all trying our best! Let’s spread the mommy love instead of the mommy judgment <3

      • Amanda on October 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        Amen! The only “discouraging” thing about this post was that comment! I’m so sad to see women STILL judging other women as to the way they feed/diaper/etc. their kids. Aren’t we past that people!! Goodness!

      • Erin L. on October 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm

        I thought you did a very good job at explaining why you HAD to use formula. It seemed like you did more than most would do to make breast feeding work as long as possible.

        As far a cloth diapers, I think you are being very honest about your family situation. I’m not even a mom and I found your previous posts about cloth diapers were informational.

        When I read Lisa’s comment the first thing I thought was she must have not read many of your previous posts. Maybe she should go back and look at some of your previous posts.

      • Ashley H. on October 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        These mommy wars are horrible. Our little girl is 5 months and I’ve never felt so judged in my life. We formula feed and use disposables. Yes I have reasonings for the formula feeding but why is it anyone’s problem? Our little girl is healthy, happy and thriving. Let me starve my child and then see the reactions I get. Either way I’m considered a horrible mom.

        You are doing the right thing Gina and that’s because it’s right for YOUR family. At the end of the day that is all that matters.

        • Fitnessista on October 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

          one of my good friends said it best: being a mom is like being punched in the face. you’re judged for everything, but the people judging seem to miss the fact that your baby is healthy, happy, safe, fed and has a huge smile on their face.
          you’re doing an amazing job and keep up the great work <3

          • Amanda on October 23, 2012 at 11:58 pm

            You’re an awesome mom, Gina!

          • Callie on October 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm

            Some moms are so judgy.They think they are so perfect and if you don’t do the exact same perfect things your horrible and selfish.I used formula and disposable diapers.So what?Obviously Olivia looks pretty happy 🙂

          • Fitnessista on October 26, 2012 at 12:13 am


    • JennP on October 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

      Comments like Lisa’s are so disheartening. We’re supposed to be teaching our kids to be respectful and courteous to others, no matter what their differences. Sad to see moms not practicing it themselves!

      • Fitnessista on October 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        i couldn’t agree more. “be kind to others and treat them the way you want to be treated! now excuse mama while i get on the internet and write rude things to/about someone i’ve never met.” sad.

    • Alicia on October 22, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Dear Lisa, I too am a firm believer in breast feeding and cloth diapering. However, your decision to judge another mom on what she has decided to do after giving them a try is in excusable! If you go back and read some of the previous posts you may not feel the same. Remember that you can not choose to judge someone till you have walked in their shoes. Those may not be the choices you or I would make, but we are not in their family. Gina-good for you for knowing what’s best for your family and being a fantastic mommy!

  18. Kelly on October 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Good for you Gina – I love reading your posts (ALL OF THEM) and even though my kids are long out of the diaper stage it’s nice to have great options that work for you and your family. You Rock!

  19. Hilary on October 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    With really poopy diapers, you just dunk it and scrub it a bit in the toilet, then throw it in the wet bag. Or you can go ahead and wash your load of diapers so it doesn’t sit in there for a day or so. It sounds kinda gross, but really, toilets are pretty clean!

    I’m one of those that love cloth! Yes, they are bulkier and clothes don’t fit as well, but really, you have to buy bigger clothes eventually because babies grow, so I don’t see that as a disadvantage to cloth. I think people get caught up in the new type of cloth diapers that are $$$ to buy, but the prefolds and covers are so easy and really economical.

    I’m really not a Save-the-Earth kinda person, but when I use disposables, I feel bad about it! I’m like, I should have just used our normal ones! This is gonna sit around foreeeeever. With lots of things in life, not just diapering, I try and remember that not too long ago, no one had as many choices – you just had to do it. How fortunate are we to have so many alternatives! Thanks for being honest with your experience. With all things child-related, people are polarized in their opinions and think they are doing the ‘right’ thing.

  20. Liz on October 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    You could stop driving an SUV. (Hey, you asked.)

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      I have a sedan, which gets awesome gas mileage.

      • Liz on October 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm

        I misunderstood and thought you were asking for tips on what your whole household could do to improve its environmental impact — I was referring to your husband’s vehicle.

        • Fitnessista on October 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm

          Oh, gotcha- He only really drives to base and back, and carpools w another squadron guy.

          • Irene on October 23, 2012 at 5:39 pm

            Carpooling is huge – and something I am so bad about. I love my autonomy! I’ll keep working on it!

  21. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries on October 22, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote this post! It’s always nice to hear other people’s experiences and thoughts on this issue. I’m thinking we’ll start with disposables the first couple months (to keep me sane and since the baby will be so tiny at first), and I’ll buy a few cloth diapers to see how we like them after that. If we aren’t fans, I won’t feel bad for splurging on a bunch of diapers we won’t use, and if we do like them, I can always buy more!

  22. Sarabell on October 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Definitely a good lesson… gotta do what works for you!

  23. Amanda on October 22, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    We chose to use disposables, but picked Earth’s Best as our brand. It was my little way of attempting to make the best choice that also worked for our family. A little pricier, but they break down quicker when thrown away and are made of natural ingredients. No little beads in the lining. They also don’t have the chemical smell that I found in several of the other brands.

    As for other “green” solutions, we do a lot! We compost, which has made a huge difference in how much garbage we have each week — and we don’t even have a garden, we just give the finished compost to our neighbors.

    We try to combine errands (not going out once a day, but once every few days and getting several things done) and walking everywhere we can. We get books from the library or used bookstore, rather than buying new and we try to get as much of our own “stuff” used, as well. Freecycle is a great resource for all sorts of free stuff and Craigslist/resale/consignment shops are where we buy most of our son’s clothes/big toys.

    Hope that helps!

  24. Abby on October 22, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Go you for trying cloth diapers! I was too intimidated to even attempt cloth diapering. I love how you write about your experiences and what works for your family but are also open to everyone elses experiences! We must stop the mommy wars!

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      i think the mommy wars are the most ridiculous thing- every baby and family are so different

  25. Erin L. on October 22, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Do you compost? I can’t recall if you mentioned this before.

    It seems like you do many other green things, there isn’t much else I can think of right now.

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2012 at 10:17 pm

      no, i have a cactus garden that doesn’t seem to need it 😉 i would love to have a real garden and need for compost one of these days

      • Sylvia on October 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

        Some towns have a compost pickup! Look into it.

  26. Kristen on October 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I think it’s perfectly fine that you chose to give up the cloths. It doesn’t make or break your “greenness” (I’m sure that’s not a word). Anyway, you seem to do pretty well in a lot of other areas so I don’t think you should feel guilty.

    I use disposables, but I also:
    • recycle everything possible
    • use a lot of hand-me-downs for my child
    • drive a very Eco friendly vehicle
    • have started thrifting more thanks to Meg’s fashion posts 🙂
    • make my own cleaners
    • turn off lights when I’m not in the room
    • do Fitnessista workouts at home (no driving to the gym)
    • use a hand towel in the kitchen for drying hands instead of paper towels
    • make my baby’s food
    • carry my own bags for groceries and if I do get plastic bags, I use them as trashcan liners in the bathroom
    • cut up old shirts to use for dusting and just wash them with my towels and reuse them
    • wipe with leaves so I don’t use toilet….bahaha, just thought I’d add that one in there for the green extremists out there!! Totally joking!

    I have to stop now. I feel I’m rambling, but really it’s all the little things that really add up!

    • Fitnessista on October 22, 2012 at 10:19 pm

      haha the last one cracked me up!
      i love the tshirt idea as a rag- i’ll try that 🙂

    • Megan on October 23, 2012 at 3:51 am

      Yep! Exactly.

  27. Jen on October 22, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Good for you to try! I looked into it, did TONS of research and alas we are disposables over here (to a crazy amount of judgment btw). We try to reduce our carbon footprint in other ways and give high fives to mommas who cloth diaper.

    We DO try to (when we are home) use our own wipes! We cut up old receiving blankets, use our wipes warmer and I have a solution of water, coconut oil and a bit of baby wash – Evan’s bottom smells good enough to eat lol – but they aren’t for on the go although I’m sure I could put them in some sort of Tupperware…

    We are t-shirt rag people here too! They soak things up quite nicely!

  28. Jaime on October 22, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I appreciate this post- I had finally decided to take the cloth diapering plunge because I, too, noticed that it seemed like everyone who uses cloth LOVES them to the extreme. I’m not crazy about the cloth- after a couple months I’ve been having issues with a funk that won’t go away. I won’t switch to disposable because of budgeting issues, but I can totally understand why a person would want to. As usual, thanks for your honesty!

    Green tip that I wish I followed more: Buy clothing made in the USA, and invest in it wisely

    Also- I do loooooove my cloth wipes- I made some out of hemp flannel, and they are so soft and sturdy and durable. They’re easy to clean because you don’t have to be so concerned with the proper care and line drying and all that. It’s fun to find the perfect scent for them too!

    • Allison k on October 23, 2012 at 8:53 am

      Have you tried stripping your diapers? Or even boiling them for the smell?

      • Jaime on October 23, 2012 at 10:53 am

        Yes, I think the problem is our hard water. Adding a little vinegar was helping for awhile, but not anymore… It smells like my baby is eating a boatload of asparagus!!

        Thanks for the tips 🙂

    • Jessica on October 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Head to, the forum called ‘Diaper Chatter and Q & A’ and either do a search with the word ‘smell’ in the subject, or start a thread of your own. Those ladies will give you all the tips on getting rid of the smell.

  29. Michelle on October 22, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I wanted to give cloth diapers a try but hubby wasn’t on board.

    As for the green factor, the only thing I can think of is with the wipes. My mom taught me that if Avery ever gets a diaper rash to not use wipes on her because it’ll hurt. Just use a soft wet washcloth to clean her. Ive only had to do it a couple times but it worked just as well. So an option might be to just have a separate stack of washcloths to use for diaper changes regularly.

  30. Stephanie on October 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Thank you for your honest post about the cloth diapers! I really appreciate it since most people probably don’t want to admit that it’s just not working for them.
    I’m also expecting a baby in February and I loved your pictures of the cute cloth diapers! I don’t think we’ll use them in the beginning, but I would definitely give them a try later.

    And don’t take that comment about the formula to serious! Anyone who reads this blog knows how hard you tried to breastfeed!!!

    Different question: how many clothes did you buy for Liv before she was born? Did you get a lot of newborn sized clothes? And if so how long did they fit? Baby clothes are my new obsession, but I don’t want to get a bunch that end up being too small.

    • Fitnessista on October 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

      thank you, stephanie! i’m so excited for you- feb will be here before you know it 🙂
      i didn’t buy a ton of newborn clothes- just a few onesies, pants (it was cold here in jan) and some jammies. i knew she would outgrow them quickly, and she did. she wore the 0-3 clothes for much longer. i bought a ton of baby clothes while i was pregnant because i’d find them on clearance- i’d just get a variety of sizes and guess which size she’s be wearing for each season (she ended up being pretty true to size. she’s almost 10 months and the 6-12 month clothes fit her perfectly)

    • JennP on October 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

      One consideration is that newborns spit up constantly and blow out their diapers and often need to be changed several times during the day. My 2 year old can wear the same outfit from morning until bedtime, whereas my 2 month old is sometimes on her third onesie by 11am. With both of my kids, I’ve stocked up on plenty of cozy but inexpensive sleepers and onesies for the early months. When I see an adorable, more expensive outfit that I can’t resist, I buy it in a larger size so that she can get more use out of it at an older age!! I guess that would count as a green tip too 🙂 You’ll be so glad when your baby grows into 18m and you open up the drawer and find all this cute stuff that you forgot you had!

  31. @pluvk on October 23, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Oh, I love toes on babies! So cute! My mom once told me that she used cloth diapers with me. No diaper liners back then, so she did EXACTLY what you did… hose it off in the yard before throwing it into the wash. I give her A LOT of credit!

  32. Megan on October 23, 2012 at 3:48 am

    I felt cloth diapering was too much effort for our family. My husband is gone 6 months out of the year, and we live in Europe, where a load of laundry takes about 4 hours plus, no joke, and the washer is a quarter the size of an American one. (We’re an AF family, stationed in Germany)….so it was just way too hard. In a perfect world, where I have a husband home every night to watch my daughter while I launder / clean diapers, etc., we would revisit the idea. Where we live in Germany, we recycle EVERYTHING. Our actual trash is a tiny amount of what the typical American throws away. So, I just thought about ways to stay green other than cloth diapering/ economize on diapers. I use Amazon Mom and set up a recurring shipment for diapers, it’s super cheap that way. Cloth diapers are great, but not worth the effort and time for some families. I’m glad you posted on this! The real importance of raising your baby is the love you give her, not what kind of diaper you use.

    • Megan on October 23, 2012 at 3:53 am

      And, military mothers, where I live, it’s cheaper than PXTRA/commissary to use Amazon Mom. It may be a regional thing too.

  33. Annalisa on October 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

    We’ve been doing cloth since my baby girl was 7 months and she’s nearly 18 months now. We tried them initially but she was too small and we had leaks all the time. I ended up doing a 2 week trial with a local store and that was the best thing ever! Since there are so many brands/styles, I could see what fit, how it washed/dried, and how easy it was to use. My girl is tiny and yes, cloth can be bulky – we do fuzzibunz, happy heinys, and bummis AIO which are a bit trimmer. I can’t stress trying them first since it really is very helpful. I only have 11 diapers that we wash/line dry overnight. I don’t use a diaper sprayer – a good shake in the toilet, pre-rinse before the wash and it’s good to go. I didn’t even buy a wet bag since I either put them directly into the washing machine during the day or throw them in a few plastic grocery bags. I should add that for the most part, I’m a SAHM so it is pretty darn easy with my lifestyle. I think if she was in daycare or with others it might not be as easy for them.

  34. Irene on October 23, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I think it is really great you tried cloth diapers Gina. I’m sure you’ll find other ways to be green. I’m working on it myself – I’ve been making a big effort to reduce the amount of foil, plastic wrap and ziplock bags I use and replace them with tupperware or dishes as much as possible. Also minimizing my paper towel usage. I could definitely do better, but I try.
    I don’t have kids (though I hope to in the not too distant future) but I have really admired your rolling with the punches attitude toward mothering. You tried to breastfeed, it only partially worked out for you, well ok, you did what you needed to do for your daughter. Same for diapering. I’ve gotten the sense that having a young baby is pretty much the hardest thing ever, so I applaud people for making the best of those first couple years how ever they have to as long as their child is happy and healthy! Keep it up!

  35. Laury on October 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Ugh the cloth diapering debate!! Before I ever got pregnant I watched my sister in law and a few friends go through them and decide later they were not for them. I decided to not even try. Why invest all of the money? I don’t care if people judge me for it, I think I’ve done a pretty great job as a mom thus far! We recycle, I still nurse and I use Eco friendly cleaning products (or ones I make). But who’s keeping score? Seriously.

    I feel like us moms can’t win. No matter what we are going to be judged. It’s sad. There’s a difference between enlightening someone who may not be aware of something, in a respectful manner. Then there’s straight up judging and laying on mommy guilt. Who needs it!

    Ps- love those littl toes!!

  36. Lisa on October 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I also tried cloth diapering (we did it for 4 months) and it just really wasn’t for us. I also hated the way it made my son’s clothes fit. It wasn’t necessarily HARD, but being in a small apartment seemed to make it harder. I finally sold most of them on craigslist. Now we use Earth’s Best and they seem to be my favorite diaper (holds more than 7th Gen, Whole Foods, and Huggies Natural). They are amazing, I never need diaper cream, and a few of my friends now use them over Pampers or Huggies (my son immediately gets a rash and I can’t take the chemical smell).

    I am frustrated with trying to be green. I thought I was doing well by using 7th Gen cleaning products, although on EWG they get awful ratings! I just bought Green Mission at Whole Foods (gets an A) and love it. Now I just need “greener” dishwashing liquid and other cleaners. EWG is a great resource for those things (oh and for baby shampoo safeness, too).

    It’s tough being a mom and trying to stay green also! I’m super crazy about recycling, too 🙂 Good for you for trying cloth diapering, and being honest about why it didn’t work. Love your blog!

  37. Erika on October 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I don’t know if someone has posted this already but I hardly use the dryer after I wash my clothes, I either do drying rack or a line. Sometimes I’ll throw things in for a few minutes when they are the end of air drying to add some softness.

    I also recycle as much as possible and have a little compost bucket that I give to a coworker (no garden of my own yet). I also try to buy clothes second-hand as much as possible (and just be gentle on the things I do own so they last a long time) and donate things instead of tossing them (unless they are broken).

    I have a teeny wee car and try to walk as much as possible, or carpool.

    My husband and I have also been doing meatless days during the week, which also helps on the grocery bill among other things!

  38. Amanda Lee on October 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I appreciate the realness of your blog. You don’t tell us something works for you just to make everyone happy. (Which is ridiculous btw). This actually helps the rest of us not feel bad if we don’t cloth diaper.. or if we ate that cookie this afternoon. 😀

    Everyone needs to remember we are all different. Nothing is one sized fits all. (even if it says so) 😉 So why should motherhood be considered that? You have a wonderful little family Gina.

    Thanks for sharing your trials so those of us who don’t have kids yet have some starting point- and it helps us feel better about trying out different things to find out what’s right for OUR family is OK.

  39. Jaclyn on October 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Ughhh I am not even a mother and I am already dreading the mommy wars and frankly am sick of reading/hearing it. It’s just negative energy out in the world. How is it any different in questioning someone’s beliefs or values?….

    Question- I am just curious if some of the cloth-diapering moms could weigh in on the difference in the carbon footprint of cloth vs disposable. Obviously there is much more physical waste, but I wonder about all the water used in the wash cycles (you said you did quite a few rinses/washes per load? and i read someone else blog who said she had to do at least 1-2 loads a day when they were cloth diapering) just curious how it measures up..

    • Laury on October 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Interesting you brought that up because it was something i considered when i was pregnant. A client asked me if I really thought cloth was more “green” with all of the water usage. My sister in law had a truck service that came for the dirty cloths and if you think about the truck, gas, water and all the bleach they use it doesn’t really seem too green! It’s a toss up. I’m sure there are still more pros to cloth diapering but it made me think! With disposable you’re taking the most biodegradable substance and wrapping it in plastic….so…i Just don’t know! I can’t imagine running all of that through my tiny washing machine that breaks every other month haha so we went with disposable! That and like unsaid above I saw a few friends and family who had a similar experience to Gina.

      Would love to know the stats on carbon footprint as well!

  40. Jen in MN on October 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Mommy Wars can die. Seriously, such a complete and utter waste of energy. Live and let live!!

    I’ll take it one further: SO WHAT if a mom doesn’t even try breastfeeding, or give it her all (whatever “all” is, that’s very subjective) before throwing in the towel? So what? It’s such a personal, individual choice. I’m just grateful to live in the modern age that we do, where safe and healthy formula is readily available.

    Nice post! I was never tempted to cloth diaper because I pretty much knew I wouldn’t want to mess with it (ha, pun intended). But good for you for giving it a try to see!

    Rolling with the punches, indeed. That’s mom-hood (-:

  41. Carrie on October 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience! It seems like it is so popular to cloth diaper nowadays and I never even considered it. I am a full time working mom and my little girl goes to daycare. It would have been really hard to swing it I think. Disposables are soooo convenient! Good for those who pull it off and love it though. 🙂

  42. Laura on October 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    This was a very timely post! I am just getting ready to start using the cloth diapers I have on my 2 month old. I was ALL about cloth diapers when I was pregnant. I haven’t been as anxious once I had a real living, breathing and pooping and peeing baby on my hands 🙂 I’m a little nervous that I won’t love it, just like you have described. I really hope that I do like it enough since I really hate the idea of continuing to use disposable diapers and the cost and waste.

  43. mary on October 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    The environmental argument should be a small portion of a rational person’s decision. The best thing for the environment? Don’t have babies. Don’t drive cars. Don’t build homes. End human existence. It’s all a cost/benefit trade-off. Is the convenience of disposables worth the costs to YOU? That’s all that matters.

    Disposables were totally worth all costs (incl. $, time and environmental) to me.

  44. Linda on October 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I used disposables for both my boys. I didn’t even consider cloth. I work full time and don’t have the time for that much laundry. Plus as someone mentioned above, it really is a tradeoff between landfill space and water waste. Cloth diapering takes a LOT of water plus a lot of electricity to heat up the water.

    Anywho, I’m a big believer in doing whatever works FOR YOU. When my boys were younger I would get advice about following such-and-such expert about how to feed/clothe/diaper/discipline/etc., and I got fed up with trying to do what someone else considers “perfect” and just did what worked best for us. Yay for you for figuring out what works best for you.

  45. Amanda on October 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Random little green ideas I’ve tried:

    Make your own veggie and chicken broth. It’s pretty easy, then you won’t need to buy a packaged kind every time you want soup. Bonus: you control the sodium.

    Fitness inspired- avoid exercise machines. Producing and replacing them takes a lot of natural resources, plus they guzzle electricity. Obviously they’re good sometimes, but whenever I have the option to go outside or do a class- anything that doesn’t require a machine- I’ll pick that first.

    Drive less. Consolidate your errands if possible, and/or do them on the way to/from work so it isn’t an extra trip. Your gas mileage will be better if you try to make all your errands in one trip so the engine doesn’t get cold in between. Less fuel, less maintenance, less money wasted, and you won’t have to replace your car as quickly. Americans’ use of cars is easily one of the worst things we do for the environment.

    When you buy online, don’t get overnight shipping. Better yet, buy local goods. Shipping our goods across the country takes a ton of fuel, and shipping them via plane (aka overnight) is even more wasteful.

    Try bulk groceries. Things I’ve gotten in bulk: all sorts of nuts and seeds (roasted and raw), lentils, beans, nut butters (fresh ground!), flours. Packaging creates a lot of waste. Some places even have bulk olive oil, honey, and coffee. Bonus is that it’s often cheaper for a high-quality item.

  46. Alex on October 27, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Cloth diapers, who knew it was such a touchie subject! I experienced quite the opposite. I knew that quitting work and staying home after having our daughter I would have to cut back on expenses and decided to look into cloth after seeing one of your posts. Thanks for all the info btw. Well I kept things hush for a while bc a lot of my friends/family have ‘opinions’ and are not very eco-friendly. Well once they found out we were doing cloth we really got nailed about it and were criticized to the point that people found it an inconvenience to change my babies diaper in the church nursery. Made me so mad! Anyway, im still using them 6 months later, I wouldnt say I LOVE it bc they are stinky diapers but its nice not having to worry about buying disposables. I guess theres always judgement.

    • Julie @ Better Life with Burgers on January 16, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      I feel like I’ll have this same problem–not many folks I know have used cloth, so I fear the judgment. But we’ve gotta do what works for us, right? Good for you for sticking to your guns!

  47. Michelle on October 28, 2012 at 12:00 am

    You’re husband could stop flying aviation fuel guzzling jets. KIDDING!! 🙂 America’s security is too valuable, hats off to him and other soldiers.
    We try to buying anything we can made locally. Crap from overseas goes by ship, rail and semi. Big drain on resources. We recycle & compost. We keep the heat lower, put on slippers. I plant hearty perennials and don’t water unnecessarily. We put in on demand hot water heater, high efficiency appliances and use timers and surge protectors for lamps and electronics. I bought some mesh produces bags. I was tired of using a body bag sized bags from the roll in the produce department. Serious, why are they 6 feet long?

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      hahaha touché 😉
      ohh, i love those ideas- thank you!

  48. Haily Foytik on October 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Sheesh. Some people are snark-city. I am a BFing / Cloth Diapering mommy, but there is stuff I do NOT do, just because it isn’t practical for me – like use or make “green” cleaning supplies. I like my bleach. Good for you for knowing what works and what doesn’t. BTW, your post about the sparkly TOMS for Livi, where you describe her gasping… can you please get that on video? It is probably adorable.

    • sara on October 29, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Same here! I don’t think there is a contradiction in liking some things natural, and some things with a heavy dose of bleach! I cloth diaper part time (when not traveling or staying somewhere other than home,) and I breastfeed, but you could NEVER get me to give birth without an epidural. My hat is totally off to you Gina for birthing au naturale, it was a wonderful thing you did for Olivia. For some weird reason many people have this ‘all or nothing’ mentality about being natural or green. If you delivered naturally you MUST be breastfeeding and cloth diapering; or if you had a c-section you MUST be formula feeding and using disposables. There is no black and white with parenting, there will always be shades of grey. Why do people feel that it’s their business anyway?
      I look up to you Gina, as a mother and as a health and fitness blogger, whether you formula feed, use disposables, or like to sing Gangham style in the shower, it’s all gravy with me! I’ll still love you as a person and I’ll still continue to read your blog. ERRRYDAY!

  49. Alli on November 6, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I cloth diapered my middle child, but then tried with my youngest and the diapers did not fit her the same way and leaked all the time. I should have sold/given away those and bought a different type, but at that point I was kind of over it, so we switched to disposables. Ah well I guess!

    One thing that we have done with all three children is potty-trained early–at around 19 months for each one (2 girls and a boy). I think this is easier than trying to train a defiant/independent toddler/pre-schooler and drastically cuts the amount of diapers you need to use over the “diapering lifetime” of each child. It took each kiddo about a week of accidents and then they caught right on and I was happy to not buy any more diapers!

  50. Julie @ Better Life with Burgers on January 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I’m 20 weeks pregnant and researching cloth diapers and disposables, so I knew I could come to your blog for some advice! I love your realistic take on raising a family–or just living life. I’m trying to switch to greener, healthier products all around the house, but it’s not easy (or friendly on the budget!). Still, it is frightening how quick people are to judge. Thanks for a refreshing dose of honesty and for being willing to share. I have a feeling our family will be a hybrid family as far as diapers, but who can say?

    By the way, have you thought about using The Honest Company’s diapers? Apparently they’re among the most biodegradable on the market, and they’re getting rave reviews–plus they have fun designs!

    • Fitnessista on January 17, 2014 at 12:25 am

      we use the 365 brand from whole foods and seventh generation. we’ve been really happy with them so far!
      the funny thing is that the judgiest ones are the ones who don’t have kids. once you get there, see how crazy/hard it can be, you stop caring what other people are doing. if the kid is happy, healthy and loved, that’s all that matters

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