What I Learned About Cloth Diapers

A few weeks ago, which ended up being a pretty stressful day, my friend Nicole taught me and my friend Kelly a TON about cloth diapering. At the time, I was apprehensive about it (for *these reasons*)

diapers

but by the time I left her house, I felt fully on board the cloth diaper train. It was so helpful to actually see how they worked, instead of just being confused by all of the online options.

Here are some of the things she taught us:

[I should have asked her to write this post for me because she’s an amazing resource, but maybe my once-clueless ways will help some CD curious friends]

What kinds of cloth diapers are there?

These are the types she showed us:

1) Pre-folds + covers

This is the most old-fashioned type, which she said she wasn’t the hugest fan of at first, but loves them now. They look like the softest, comfiest option and something I’m thinking of exploring for the newbown phase, since these will work with teeny tiny babies. [The all-in-ones and pocket diapers are often too big for newborns] I told my mom I was thinking about it, and she said that’s exactly what I wore when I was a baby and I never had a diaper rash.

2) Pocket

These diapers include a pocket in the back, with you can stuff with an insert, and also layer an extra insert on top of it for extra absorbency if the baby is older and will be wearing it overnight. When you wash these diapers, you pull the insert out, rinse if needed, and toss the entire thing (outer part and insert) into the wet bag.

pocket

3) All-in-ones

These diapers are the inserts and the actual waterproof outer portion combined into one. They’re the most convenient option, since they’re pretty much the cloth version of disposable diapers –no inserts or anything like that- but take a little longer to dry. I’ve heard that many people will just toss them into the clothes dryer, or lay them out in the sun to dry (which will naturally brighten the color of the diaper and take out any tiny stains)

and here’s a chart that breaks it down really well:

image Source

So how do I know what type to use?

You don’t at first. She recommended getting a variety of types because you won’t really know what brand or style will work best for your baby. For example: some diapers are great for tiny little legs, and others aren’t snug enough, and there are advantages for every style. The types that I like the most right now, which felt the softest and seem to work for many people are the FuzziBunz and Itti Bitti Tutto.

aqua Source    41P2fw8G5VL Source

How much extra wash is it?

An extra load, every day and a half or so. From someone who loathes laundry –laundry and dishes are my least favorite- I can totally deal with this. One thing I really liked that she said is that seeing all the diapers all fluffy and clean is different than washing clothes. It seems more fun to me, too.

How gross is it?

You guys know that this was one of my main concerns. I wasn’t too excited about washing my clothes in the same washer as items that have, ahem, body functions soaked into them. I know the washer sanitizes everything, but the idea was still a little weird to me. The good news is that we still have our old washer, which works but leaks a tiny bit of water out the front, and will hook it up in the garage. Having an extra washer is absolutely not necessary since the washer will sanitize everything and you often run the diapers on two cycles or more [I’m thinking about doing one rinse cycle and then a hot/cold one to see how it goes]

If you use a wet bag to hold the diapers, just open the wet bag, toss the diapers into the washer and the wet bag along with it. Wet bags have a zipper, which helps seal everything inside (i.e. smells are less likely to escape than with a regular trash bag) and gets washed every time the diapers get washed.

planet-wise-wetbags-featuresSource

The nursery will have a diaper pail, with some kind of baking soda freshener inside to keep smells at bay, and the wet bag, which I’ll toss diapers into.

As far as rinsing the diapers goes, I have heard that when you are breastfeeding, you don’t really need to since everything will easily wash off in the washer. When the baby is eating solid foods, you’ll plop the *goods* so to speak into the toilet, rinse the diaper, and toss it into the wetbag. There is a sprayer attachment you can attach to the toilet to make this easier:

mini-shower-toilet Source

We will probably go ahead and attach it now, and rinse the diapers anyway before putting them in the wetbag, just so they don’t stain.

They also have small wetbags available, which you can toss diapers into if you’re on-the-go. I might do this, or if we’re going to be out and about for a long amount of time, just roll with disposables for that time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

It is really a financial savings or with the water usage, notsomuch?

This one is kind of up in the air. You are using extra water, but an extra load every day and a half isn’t terribly significant. I’d imagine that it will still cost less than using disposables, and I really like how much softer the cloth diapers are. The good news is that we’ll be able to use the same diapers for our next baby, too.

I wasn’t sure how Tom would feel about cloth diapers, or if he’d think it’s weird, but he’s 100% on board. I asked him if he’d be grossed out to rinse them off and he said “I’ve dealt with Bella’s disasters. I can definitely deal with a baby’s.” True point. The fact that he’s down with it, and that it’s what my family had used in the past, I’m hoping with their support and knowledge it shouldn’t be too bad.

Any other tips, cloth diapering masters?

Would you cloth diaper, or prefer to stick to disposables?

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71 Comments

  1. Alicia on October 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I’m totally planning on cloth diapering! I too will use disposables as needed, but cloth will be our main go-to!

  2. chelsey @ clean eating chelsey on October 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I have always been a big “no way” kind of girl with cloth diapers, but the more I read about them, the more I like what I hear. Who knows really until I have one of my own!

  3. Dynamics on October 7, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Not familiar with the new diapers but I used to hang mine outside in the sun. I never had a stain. It is really old fashioned, but there is nothing like the smell of clean clothes that have been hanging outside and drying in the sun.

  4. Laury @ thefitnessdish on October 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Wow. All of this is so interesting! My sister in law did cloth diapers for a while then eventually switched to regular diapers. She used a service that came to her house and picked them up to be washed. I decided against them for a lot of the reasons you were weird about…and seeing what my sis in law went through with them.

    Many people do great with them though and love them. My nephew got lots of diaper rashes too not sure if it had anything to do with it….I know it can just be some babies urine is “stronger” or something. But Ella has never had a rash [knock on wood].

    I remember when a cloth diaper person came to train her with the diapers too…I was all about them a long time ago but was so undecided if the truck [and think the service used bleach to clean which I didn’t like] was more economical or using my tiny washer that breaks 3x a year, having to use all that water/extra rinse and work [on top of all other mom duties] would be worth it. I buy the organic chlorine free diapers. I would highly suggest having some on hand too [just from seeing my sis in law and her suggestion when I thought about cloth].

    Very cool about that sprayer attachment on the toilet. I don’t think I could deal with all of that though. So much easier to dump her poopy diaps in my diaper genie.

    Oh and we had to give Ella formula 1 time when I went back to work and ran out of supply [long story, I learned how to get my stock up since] and her poop was SO nasty that day compared to breastfed poop.

  5. Laury @ thefitnessdish on October 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    PS–I didn’t know about trying different brands so maybe baby #2 I will try them out [when we move and get a bigger/better washing machine]

  6. Sarah @TheExpatBride on October 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I don’t know….. I hate to poopoo something (pun intended) that some people are so excited about, but for me, the benefits would have to be overwhelming for me to do something like this.

  7. Natasha on October 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I wish I would have used cloth. My son is 2 1/2 and REFUSES to potty train and screams when I put undies on him….he wants his diaper. I think this issue would have been eliminated if we went from cloth diapers to undies. Also I wanted to mention that when it is your own childs poo and pee it is easier to deal with, at least this is how I feel. I figured that it would be ewwwwww gross, you change him, no you change him, but really it isn’t. Yes sometimes there is a bad one, but on the most part it is like “eh, poo no biggy”but I cringe at the thought of dealing with another person’s childs poo…. maybe I am strange? If I did use cloth though, I would keep some disposables in their size available for emergencys….maybe keep one in the diaper bag and a couple in the car… mainly because if you run out of cloth while you are out and about it would be nice to have an emergency back up that is disposable.

  8. Lauren on October 7, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I was all for cloth diapers… Until I had the baby. With everything else going on, it was easier to use 7th generation disposables. I should switch over to cloth now that she is 10 months, but some of those diapers.. I don’t think I could handle it..lol

  9. britt on October 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    you will LOVE cloth diapers! we use pockets, prefolds + covers, and hybrids and love them all. i usually don’t wash diapers but every 3-4 days so it really is a savings for us. i’m definitely excited to see what you think of it once you get started.

  10. Jaime on October 7, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    I’m highly considering CD. I’m considering the trials (I know of Jillian’s Drawers but if anyone knows other good websites) to figure out which style and brand I like before investing in a lot of diapers.
    i hope I can keep up with the laundry, I’m not very good at doing ours!

  11. Anon on October 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I love how thoughtful and reasonable you are about your decisions. My kids are 8 and 11…and there’s NO way I would’ve used cloth diapers. Being a full time mommy is a LOT of work, and cloth diapers seem like much more work for no added benefit. In addition, disposables really keep baby’s bottom dry even if the diaper is kinda wet. You can give both a try but I wouldn’t make a huge investment until you try them out. Disposables work great and are easy to use, carry, clean and toss. Good luck thru the end of your pregnancy – so excited for you.

    • Lauren on October 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

      There are added benefits, though. Much less waste, and it saves money! I have a baby due in April and am just starting to learn about all the CD options. Thanks for your post, Gina! It was very helpful. I plan to do cloth diapering at home, and then some disposables when away from the house.

  12. Ashley on October 7, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Young House Love has many lengthy posts about CD that are very helpful!!

  13. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on October 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I didn’t use cloth diapers but it was interesting learning more about them! I’ll be curious to see what you think when you start using them. 🙂

  14. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on October 7, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I loved CD’ing!!!
    “seeing all the diapers all fluffy and clean is different than washing clothes.” <— there is nothing better than seeing a huge stack of clean, folded or stuffed, diapers. Ok, only one thing better: seeing a freezer full of pumped milk 🙂 The things that excite you after you have a baby are just…different. And amazing.

    Skylar was and is tall and thin and her thighs were thin as a baby and now and the Fuzzy Bunz were cut a little too big for her thighs and we never got a good fit. Bum Genius tend to be cut "trimmer". Also, if you go on diaperswappers dot com there are all kinds of niche, one of a kind, and specialty diapers and many of those are cut trimmer than the mass produced ones, i.e. Happy Heiney's or Fuzzy Buns.

    The diaper sprayer is AWESOME. Highly recommend it and you are not going to want to put soiled dipes in your wetbag, even just in the breastfed poop stage. It's still too much to just…put in a bag. Dump it in the toilet and spray as needed.

    Also laundry detergents. BE VERY CAREFUL what you buy. The wrong thing and your lil girl will have the worst rash known to man OR you will erode your diapers, lining, coatings, etc…or you will end up with stinky diapers or diapers with laundry detergent buildup…so just do your research on that.

    Have fun and email me w/ any questions…I love talking diapers 🙂

    • Sarah on October 7, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Omg! I totally agree about the freezer of milk!! And a good pump session makes me feel complete.m so funny!

      • meagan on October 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm

        When I read “freezer full of pumped milk” I had to comment…because it is the best, absolute best, feeling in the world.

  15. Emily on October 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    I am due Jan 4th, and we plan on using cloth diapers as well! Most websites say that disposable can cost $2500-3000 for the estimated 2.5 years, cloth diapering can cost as little as $400 (including washing!!) for the 2.5 years depending what system you choose.

    We are going with prefolds and covers (bought used) for the newborn phase as usually newborn legs are too tiny for other systems even if they are the right poundage. Then we are planning to try Grovia AI2 (8-35 pounds) – we like them because the insert snaps on top so you can keep reusing the cover all day and only wash the inserts, plus you aren’t digging into a poopy wet diaper to get the insert out of a pocket. And they have biosoakers that are disposable but eco-friendly that you can lay in the cover.

    Disposable diapers take 500 years to decompose in a landfill, have chemicals that probably aren’t good for babies, cost more, and research shoes cloth diapered kids potty train faster! Cloth diapered babies have fewer rashes which means less creams and discomfort. Also, it’s technically illegal to throw human waste in the trash! weird!

    I hope it works for both of us!

    • Amy on October 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

      We have used disposables and cloth diapers with each of our 3 children, although the oldest only had cloth in emergencies when I ran out of disposables. There are times when I choose to go with disposable diapers for the convenience and also because for us with the cost of water/electricity/detergent costs us slightly less to use disposables. The cost savings for us to use disposables comes to about $10 a month so it’s not much but it still saves over using cloth. If you have hard water, you may have to do more rinses or buy special detergents or additives made for hard water, or both which can really bring up the costs. If your home has a water softening system then a regular rinse then wash should be fine.

      I love cloth, with the youngest two we’ve used it 90% of the time they’ve been in diapers so far. I just think that if savings is what people are using their decision to base on whether to use cloth or not they should run the numbers for themselves to see if it truly saves them money.

  16. Allison on October 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Had to chime in as a cloth diaper LOVER! From the way you sound now, I think you’ll love it. I didn’t start out with cloth, but switched when my little guy was a month old. You may actually prefer disposable for the first couple weeks, but then cloth all the way! I started out using disposables any time we went out and now I use cloth all the time including travel. If you want to you can make it work. It’s definitely not as much work as people think it is. I throw in a load at night and by morning it’s ready for the line or dryer. Honestly, one of the most fun parts is all the adorable prints you can get! I have a little boy, but the girl ones are soooo sweet! I use pockets. My favourite brand is Blueberry. My babe is long and skinny and they fit so well. Good luck! You’ll love it!

  17. Christina on October 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    We switched to cloth diapering with our second child and I’m so glad we did. We’ve used many disposables in there too for different reasons, but having the cloth there as our main source of diapering has been great for us. I know we’ve saved a ton of money since we are on child number 2 using them and we also bought the bulk of them second hand. I say go for it!

    I just wanted to make one suggestion for that newborn-ish stage where they have the little tiny legs. Check out Kissaluv fitteds size 0, also known as KL0’s. They are thee perfect fit on new babies, they are soft and cuddly and I loved them as our out-and-about option as well as our nighttime option because we were just dealing with snaps and a cover, as opposed to folding and using a snappy and then a cover (I was thankful for the snaps in the middle of the night when I was half asleep doing diaper changes). Oh, the BumGenius fitteds in the smallest size were also a really good fit for the new babies. I got the organic ones and they were incredibly soft.

    I loooove fitteds in general. They are easy to use and generally you can get super cute ones. GoodMama’s are an AWESOME option that are super absorbent and such soft materials. Good luck with your choices!

  18. Ali on October 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Wow, I am totally in awe of you. It is so much more convenient to use regular diapers, but it is so bad for the baby (bleached things touching their skin all the time) and the environment. Good for you guys

  19. Emily on October 7, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    I’m a total convert to cloth diapers! i was a little scared to try them, but now I’m never going back. They’re not too much extra work from disposables but we did the math and they are saving us a ton on diapers for our twins (plus any future babies!). We live on base so we don’t pay utilities so I really don’t mind the extra laundry 😉 prefolds and covers (thirsties and grovia) are my favs! Toss the prefolds and covers in the wash, prefolds in the dryer, covers take like 20 mins to dry and you’re dunzo! super easy! Plus you can use the covers for a changing or 2 so it cuts back on what you need to buy. I have a lot of pocket diapers (fuzzibunz and swaddlebees mostly) and they’re very easy, I think my hubby prefers those because he gets all flustered with a kicking baby making sure the cover is on snug and the prefold doesn’t get bunched or shift at all, so the pockets are a little easier for him 😉 I do have some AIO bumgenius. My only beef with them is that they take forever to dry, even if you take the insert out. So you would need a lot to use those, they take quite a few hours to dry completely so you have to keep up on the laundry. If you buy from certain websites they’ll send you samples (jackbenatural sent me some detergent and random things to try) so that might help you find a good detergent and some extras without having to buy a bunch. Just shopping around for sales and freebies is a great way to get started 😉

  20. Megan @ On the Road Again on October 7, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    We are also going the CD route since we feel more confident in ourselves after reading the Young House Love posts and talking to experienced CDers. Our go-to diapers will be the bumgenius pocket or fuzzibunz AIO. I really think it will be more manageable than I previously thoughtm plus the clothies are just so dang cute!

  21. Sarah on October 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    I can see the benefits, but I can’t imagine doing it. I think it’s great though. Try it out and see if you like it and then switch if needed. I just can’t imagine doing so much after each diaper change! I track all my baby’s diapers and I changed 12 diapers today..( I know you usually change less cloth diapers though). But, still, its alot to rinse and deal with each time especially when you have a crying baby you need to tend to. Also, many of the disposables are very soft now. My mom who cloth diapered all 4 of her children is surprised at how soft the disposables are today. Try pampers swaddles sensitive. They are the best! Good luck!

  22. Amy on October 7, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I used cloth in emergencies only with the oldest, I wanted to all the time but our daycare provider didn’t want to use them. With #2 I used cloth all the time except when we were traveling because it was easier for me. When I was pregnant with #3 we switched to disposable for a few months because it was to much work for me while pregnant. Currently #2 & #3 are in disposables, we’ve switched back and forth so many times over the past 6 months. I am switching them back to cloth when the disposables I have run out, sometime next week. I should probably start working with #2 on potty training, but it will most likely have to wait until the semester ends and I’m home all the time, I’m only gone for about 2 hours two days a week now, but I don’t know how well my husband would deal with the accidents.

  23. Shan on October 7, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    You will be so happy that you decided to do cloth! I was so hesitant at first and now I think it is one of the best decisions in our early parenting life we’ve made so far! You may want to have a few disposables on hand in the event you forget to do a load (or forget to hang them/put them in the dryer before you go to bed as I did the other night)! And I definitely recommend getting a smaller wetbag to throw in your diaper bag. I have 2 smaller ones in case the other one is drying when we are ready to go out.

    If the extra laundry seems overwhelming at first, don’t give up! I felt like all I did was laundry for the first month (and that was even before we switched to cloth). Eventually you won’t even notice the laundry at all. It will all just become part of your new routine!

    PS- I have been cloth diapering for almost 3 months and have only used my dryer to dry them once. They felt so nice and soft afterwards, but I figure the less energy I use the better for the environment and our pocketbook :).

    Good luck!

    • Amy on October 7, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      One thing I did with the line drying was toss the diapers into the dryer for 5 minutes to fluff them so they were nice and soft after drying on the line.

  24. maria @ a life to bragg about on October 8, 2011 at 12:03 am

    We’re cloth diapering and I’m so excited to! I wasn’t on board at first, it was actually my hubs that suggested it but after pricing everything out and realizing how much we’d save, I’m now 100% for it. We’ve gotten a mix of Sunbaby Diapers (SO CHEAP but seems decent), BumGenius AIO’s and FuzziBunz pocket diapers so far and I’m loving how soft and cute they are. Especially the patterns. One more month till I start, yay! I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

  25. Lauren on October 8, 2011 at 12:07 am

    I cloth diapered for 16 months but I’m using many more disposables because of potty training. I loved just using covers and inserts, so easy. I really liked the biodegradable liners so you don’t have to deal with much poo. And even after 24 hours things can get a bit smelly so I put a cloth wipe(made my own with hubby’s old t shirts which are super soft and don’t fray so no sewing required) with a few drops of tea tree oil at the bottom of every wet bag because its a wonderful anti-bacterial. A drop of tea tree in the wash works wonders too, but, seriously, all you need is a drop and things will be so much fresher. It’s really easy nowadays and cloth diapers are waaaay cuter than disposables.

  26. Lucy on October 8, 2011 at 12:32 am

    We used cloth diapers (and cloth training pants for potty training) for our three children, but we were lucky enough to have a great baby diaper service in the area. The service delivered clean diapers and picked up the dirty ones every week, plus providing a great diaper pail with deodorant discs. The diapers never smelled, and they were always willing to adjust how the diapers were cleaned if there were any skin issues. A couple of friends did wash all their own diapers, using detergents deigned for infants’ skin and they said that once you got in the routine of washing diapers was not that much more work, and so much better for their babies’ skins and they saved $. Cloth diapers are the way to go-good luck!

  27. Tamara on October 8, 2011 at 3:57 am

    When my kids were babies I used cloth! I had to fold these HUGE squares into diaper triangles and use diaper pins. Ugh. Crazy stuff compared to the very cool stuff they have now.

  28. sarah (the SHU box) on October 8, 2011 at 7:49 am

    i think it’s great that many are embracing cloth diapers, but i know with my job and schedule i will need to make things as easy as possible – so i’m going disposable. will definitely look into biodegradable/bleach-free options though!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

      there are a lot out there, too! my friends have said the seventh generation ones are awesome

  29. Kim @ girlevolving on October 8, 2011 at 7:57 am

    We do cloth diapers (Leo is 7 weeks and we’ve been doing them for about 4 weeks now) and really really love them. We do spray off the diapers (I breastfeed) before putting them in the wetbag. It’s not a big deal and it really isn’t gross at all. Neither my husband or I mind it! We also do cloth wipes, which are really easy to make (mix a dab of baby wash and a little oil with water and soak your wipes, then wring out and stack). It’s easier to just toss all cloth stuff in the wet bag than have to separate out cloth diapers from disposable wipes. Saves money AND nicer on your baby’s butt, too!

  30. mary on October 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I’m too into modern conveniences, especially as a working mom. Like I said before, I’d drive a smaller engined car first, if it was really about the environment.

    I’m curious… So after you use the toilet hose on a poopy diaper, you have to hand-wring out the diaper or do you just toss it soaked and dripping into the wet bag? Isn’t there concern about poo overspray in your bathroom, on yourself, etc.? Urine is sterile but poo is a bacterial hothouse. I don’t like the thought of spraying it. Maybe it’s more like a drizzle hose than a dish sprayer. Is there a lockout mechanism for the hose for once the kid’s toddling?

    Last comment- I think you quit Costco but if not, they’ve had cloth diaper road shows around AZ this year. Not sure the deal but usually you can’t beat a Costco deal, if you’re willing to buy a bunch at once.

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

      i’m not sure- i think you should be able to lock the water sprayer or turn the pressure down. otherwise, that’s a disaster waiting to happen 🙂
      we still have a costco membership (and love it!) so i’ll definitely have to stay on the lookout for that

  31. Liz on October 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Even if on paper cloth diapers work out to break even with disposables because of water usage, you can still consider it a savings because of the reduced cost to the earth. Water is a (somewhat) renewable resource – disposables just sit in a landfill forever.

  32. Kristi on October 8, 2011 at 11:18 am

    I am so grateful that when I had my baby (she’s almost 21 now) that there were still diaper services for a very reasonable price. We just took the diaper off, put it in the hamper and on Monday mornings someone came for the dirties and left a bag of fluffy white clean diapers for the week. At the time, the price was just about the same as disposables. Now I realize how spoiled we were!

  33. jenny rosemann on October 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I too was unknowingly duped into disposables with with my daughter but whatever kiddos may come in the future I would like to go this route. One of my friends that I used to work with a long time go actually has her own website for this….www.bippydiapers.com. She has taken me over to the dark side 🙂

  34. char @ char on a mission on October 8, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    I think you’ve honestly convinced me of cloth diapers. I never really thought about them before you mentioned them. But I’m all for environmental, healthy and safe so I think that far outweighs the increase in using the washing machine! I’ll dig deeper into this once I’m preggers 😉

  35. olivia on October 8, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    i am glad you are considering cloth again. it can be overwhelming with all the different types but i think that is true with any kind of baby related items, like what kind of stroller to get. you want to make sure you put in enough research to make sure you get the right one and use it properly. as for using them, i use AI2 and AIO from grovia and i love them. i was looking at baby stuff on costco.com (<3 costco!) and saw grovia on there which is what got me into them and cloth diapering. everyone was initially against cloth diapering but i proved them all wrong!

    also, the cloth diaper community is so supportive and full of info. you will be surprised how many people do cloth diapering and they are all so willing to help you with any issues you are having. i am a fan of grovia on facebook and their customer service and other fans are so nice and helpful, they've helped me with all sorts of stuff. honestly, once you start to use the cloth dipes, it is intimidating but its not hard. it just takes some trial/error like anything you do with your baby, like feeding, putting to sleep, etc. and you will be doing plenty of laundry for the baby so it won't be that much more. i actually get away with washing them every 3-4 days, originally i did it every other day but my daycare refuses to cloth diaper, so he doesn't wear cloth that frequently during the week, only when hes at home. it saves me time/resources to not have to wash 2-4 diapers in a load. i guarantee you will cloth diaper and not look back at all.

    the daycare gives me disposables so when i bring my baby to daycare he has a disposable on to wear. i have gotten my husband (who was not on board at ALL, took him a few months to get used to using them with no griping) and my mom (who watches him once a week) to use the cloth dipes, even tho there are a couple of disposables lying around. one thing i recently invested in was wool dryer balls, they are GREAT in helping to cut down on drying time, cut my drying time by almost 1/2. also get a good diaper ointment that wont harm your cloth diapers, i use magic stick. my baby is 6 mo and eating solids finally, and it has made the cloth diapers much neater, with no crazy mess, i just dump the solid waste in the toilet. the AI2 has really came in handy when my baby had stomach virus twice. it made the diaper clean up much neater and helped with the spread of virus. you may want to look into AI2 just for that reason (or you can always use disposables too).

    it seems like a lot of your readers are all about the cloth diapers, and your family is all on board, so i bet you will have a great support system. cloth diapers rule!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

      thank you so much for all of the amazing tips!! i’m pretty excited about it.
      love your name, btw 😉

      • Lauren on October 10, 2011 at 7:58 am

        oh! oh!! I just put two and two (your comment + L, I, and A) together!!!! 🙂 Love it!!!!

  36. Cristina on October 8, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I use the All-in-one cloth diapers (my baby is 7 months) and I have to say that:
    – while he was a newborn we used the disposable because the cloth diapers were too big and it was easier to use the disposable diapers until we adjusted to the new routine and life style with a baby.
    – we’ve always used a dispisable diaper for the night. The extra layer ore the wool diapers are not enough to absorb 10 hours… at least based on my own experience.
    – while he was breastfeeding and washed the diapers as they were and came clean, not even one stain!
    – now that he eats solids, I wash the diapers with the rest of his cloths! We put a liner on the diaper that protects it from the poop. When he poops, I take the liner and the poop and flush it on the toilet bowl. His diapers have no stains, no odours.
    – we also used disposables when he was first introduce to solids: the poop is not yet solid os not like breastfeeding; it’s kind of messy and it was hard to wash the cloth diapers.
    – if you want to avoid a rush, the best thing is to wash the tiny butt ander water. I do it after each poop and when we wakes up. Never had a rush! It’s also cheaper than buying wet wipes and less waste.

  37. Jess on October 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I was a nanny and worked in a daycare center for awhile, and I had to deal with cloth diapers. I think the idea of them is great, but after awhile they just don’t seem practical. You spend a lot of time washing and it does get really disgusting. Disposables are my choice!

    • Fitnessista on October 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm

      i definitely plan to go into it with an open mind. if we hate it, we can always throw in the towel [diaper?] and go with disposables.

  38. Emma on October 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Everyone’s decision is their own, but I hate when people say that any environmental positives of cloth nappies are negated by the extra electricity/water to wash them, because the real issue with disposables is how long they sit in landfills for. I don’t have children yet but I do hope to CD when I have them! 🙂 Good luck I’m sure you’ll find the perfect balance for you once the little nugette gets here 😀

  39. Jen on October 8, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    The thought of using CD’s is very responsible, however, lots of work! I have two daughters and can’t imagine taking the extra time to clean and fold them when you have pumping, cleaning, spit up, cooking, working and everything else to fit in too (walking Bella). Disposable diapers are definitely a nice convenience! I do believe they have more natural options available as well. Just my two cents speaking from experience and cleaning up lots of blowouts. 🙂

  40. Melodie on October 8, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    you sure are giving a big-o hint here with the name. 🙂

  41. Andrea of Care to Breed on October 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I’m addicted to cloth diapers and keep buying more to try out, so I really haven’t saved any money yet. But, Bronwen is six months old, so that’s approximately 25-30 trash bags full of diapers that aren’t in landfills. That alone is worth it to me. I don’t know how much water is in Tucson, but here in Portland where it is plentiful, my last water bill only went up $40 – we are billed quarterly and that’s including all the lawn watering we did this summer. I’m guesstimating that our next bill will only be $20 higher than usual. Oh, and as far as smells in the diaper pail, it really does help to leave the lid/bag open during the day. Allowing air to circulate cuts down on the smell – sounds counterintuitive, but it does work.

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      good tip- i was planning on doing the opposite!

  42. Lindsay on October 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I am currently cloth diapering my second little girl. My water bill increased about 1-3 dollars a month. Barely noticeable. So yes, it is waaaay cheaper than disposables! (and you don’t have all those chemicals on their skin).

  43. Denise @ Kumara Mash on October 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    We call cloth diapers MCNs in NZ (modern cloth nappies), and I used them with my son Lucian until he was 2. I used Itti Bittis (and they didn’t have the Tuttos out then) in both the AIO and SIO. I trialled a couple of other brands, but the Itti Bittis were the best. I saved a lot of money using MCNs. In terms of water usage, it only equated to an extra 1 and a half loads of washing a week.

    I would recommend doing a ‘strip’ wash every 6 to 8 weeks to remove any build-up of washing detergent and other stuff. It also helps with retaining the absorption quality of the MCN you use.

    I just washed the cloth nappies in the same washing machine. I would recommend only using a cold wash, with a hot wash when doing a ‘strip’, as using too much hot/warm water when washing can also cause the material to deterioate faster. Also, another handy tip, is for any stains you can’t get out, just hang them in the sun for the day. I never used a dryer on my MCNs, again because it can cause them to deterioate faster and shrink the material.

    As for smell, no smell whatsoever when my son was only just breastfeeding. When I started solids, the smell wasn’t that noticeable (I was still breastfeeding and breastfed my son for 2 and a half years).

    As for the time factor, didn’t think it created more work (and I was working and studying full-time when I had my son).

    You’ll soon be addicted to MCNs and think you will have a ‘need’ to get regular fluffy mail 😉

  44. Anna on October 9, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    We used cloth diapers for both of our kids when they were babies but then unfortunately we got lazy and switched to disposable (we got the unbleached kind though). But when we were using the cloth and they started having bigger poops we got biodegradable liners that would catch the solids and let the liquid pass through, it was great because when there was poop we could take out the liner with the poop and flush it and then just toss the diaper in the wet bucket. It made life a little easier. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 9, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      genius!!! thank you for the tip

  45. April on October 10, 2011 at 5:25 am

    We love our cloth diapers! We started out with gDiapers and once he grew out of those we switched to a cheaper pocket diaper. Unfortunately, he’s soaking right through those lately, so we’ve been using disposables a little more, but we’ve only gone through a few cases of diapers in 18 months, so I definitely think it’s worth washing the extra load of laundry!

    It might be a little premature to think of this now, but we started EC (elimination communication) with our son a while back. It’s a diaper-free system, and it’s really worked for us. He’s totally open to potty training and he does really well telling us when he needs to go. Of course, we’ve had our share of misses, too, but it’s something to consider. Good luck!

  46. Mo on October 10, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Catching up on your posts! Funny diaper related story – I was born pretty small, just under 6 pounds. Back then, premie/tiny size diapers really weren’t available. So, my mom cut two holes in the corners of a sandwich baggy and used that over my diaper. How’s that for an image to make you giggle?

    Take care – Mo

    • Fitnessista on October 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      that is the cutest image ever!
      xoxo

  47. Beth on October 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I am totally planning on cloth diapering. I’m 34 weeks right now, and I took a class and think it will be a great way to save some money and the environment, and it’ll be nice and soft on our baby girl’s bottom 🙂

    Good luck!

  48. Jessica on October 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    OMG, your post is AWESOME. I am currently cloth diapering my third daughter and we LOVE them. Your post is one of the most informative cloth diaper “articles” I have ever seen, I hope it pops up when people google “cloth diapers”. Anyway, we use a sprayer and after only a few sprays, you really get the hang of it and I have yet to spray poop all over. We have used prefolds, secured with a snappi, and covers for all daughters. We also use a microfiber liner on top of the prefold, where the diaper touches baby. It helps pull away the wetness to prevent rashes and help baby feel dry. As for costs, we see very minimal increases in our water/elec bill when we have a baby in diapers, versus not. And our whole start-up was around $300 and we have been able to reuse it for 3 kids, so I would say it is a cost-saver 🙂 I havent seen you mention cloth wipes, are you planning on using those as well? We do and love them. Plus there are some super-cute ones out there. http://www.thelittleseedling.com/store/product/25283/Sheepish-Grins-Wipes-Girl/
    Good for you for giving this a shot!

    • Fitnessista on October 10, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      thank you! i read so many online and was even more confused after reading them. nicole taught me so much and really helped to break it down.
      i don’t think we’re going to use cloth wipes, but who knows, we may change our mind 🙂
      xoxo

  49. Dee on October 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    well it’s not yet time for me to make this decision (not preggo!) but, I have thought about it before and ruled out cloth mainly because of the gross-out factor. But thanks to this post, especially the cuteness of those polka dot ones, I think I might be open to cloth now!

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