Guest Post: My Journey to Cloth Diapers

Diaper_station

Guest Post by Andrea from Spoon and Shovel

Cloth diapers? Get real. Next you’ll
be telling me to install a butter churn in my kitchen. I hear you. But
you wouldn’t be on this website if you didn’t have a little voice
in your head that urges you to at least look into any viable money-saving
possibility there is.

While I can’t speak for butter churns, I can
tell you my diaper story. I made the switch to cloth, and it has been
surprisingly painless.

First off, as money-conscious, optimistic
expectant parents, my husband and I decided we’d do it. Seeing the
cost of a large pack of diapers at Sam’s Club made us start calculating
the tremendous output we were facing. I mean, we were already tearing
paper towels in half and reusing plastic baggies; cloth diapers just
made sense.

I was thrilled to hear about the “Cloth
Diaper Seminar” offered at my local Babies “R” Us, complete with
free food. So I went and sat in the glider rocker section with about
fifteen other women who were also great with child.

The woman conducting
the seminar began her speech by admitting to the room that she had no
clue how to pin a diaper. In fact, she had called her friend earlier
to get the scoop on pinning. This was disconcerting. To me, pinning
was the hard part. If she couldn’t explain that, what good was she?

She proceeded with her sketchy explanation of traditional, pre-fold
diapers—the one’s I thought of when I thought of cloth diapers at
all. It was glaringly obvious that she had no experience whatsoever
in this arena. On top of that, Babies “R” Us sold nothing to accommodate
those opting for this method—except the pins. Pre-fold diapers, apparently,
have become burp rags. I didn’t know that. And diapers snap, not pin,
these days

But then the keynote diaper seminar
speaker really got going as she moved into territory that was
her forte. Ladies, cloth is cool. I mean, your kid can wear diapers
that look more like sweaters than anything else, you can get diapers
with dinosaurs on them, you can get diapers with flushable liners, the
possibilities go on and on.

So, I was intrigued. But the price
of getting started was prohibitive in my mind. The sweater variety,
she told us, would set you back about $80–for one diaper! Okay,
I realize you can eat up $80 in a hurry on disposables, but let’s
just face it, one diaper is not going to cut it. We’re talking at
least two. And that’s if you want to wash it three times a day. Which
you can’t because the sweater kind takes three days to dry.

As the time got closer, I started really meditating on everything that
was about to change. I meekly asked my husband if we could use the disposables
from the baby shower exclusively until I got used to the whole baby
idea. Then we could think about cloth. He was, as always, very understanding.

Besides, I was working. I worked part
time until Paul was 4 months old. He was in a great day care on the
campus of the university I worked for in a building next door to mine,
but cloth diapers were not welcome. No surprising!

So, four months passed, during
which time we used up all the diapers from the baby shower (and from
the grandmothers) and had to put up our own funds for, I think, something
like three packs of diapers. We weren’t really seeing the budget crunch
yet, but we knew it was coming.

Then I went to Ashlyn’s house for
someone else’s shower. See, Ashlyn uses cloth. That’s what did me
in. I decided I could do it when I saw a real person’s diapers and
talked with her about how she cleans them and where she buys them. That’s
why I’m writing this. Perhaps knowing a real story will encourage
you to take the plunge yourself. Thanks, Ashlyn.

Here’s what I found out from Ashlyn
along with some of what I’ve learned in the last ten or so months:

Where do you get them? Bella Bottoms. I haven’t looked at every single site
out there, but of the ones I’ve perused, her prices are the best.

What did you buy?
I started with 12 terrycloth diapers, 6 covers, 2 all-in-one diapers,
and a few doublers. She threw in some wipes with that order.

Later,
when the baby outgrew the covers, I ordered 8 more larger all-in-ones
because I realized that (with Bella Bottoms anyway) an all-in-one is
a cover with a pouch. So I use the all-in-ones without the inserts as
covers and with the inserts as diapers. The terrycloth diapers are one-size,
so he’ll wear those until he’s trained. 12 is all I need (since
I’ve got the all-in-one option to fall back on) because, regardless
of how many you’ve got, 2 or 3 days between washes is their limit.

What do they cost? It was about
a $200 initial investment for us. The next order (of all-in-ones) was
more like $90.

How do you store them until washing?
Ashlyn puts them straight into her washer filled with water (after emptying
them). When she gets enough for a load, she’ll start it. I use a trash
can with a springy pop-up lid (again, after emptying them). No water
in the trash can. Just wet and dirty diapers.

Washing_tools

Washing Tools

How do you wash them? Lots of water. That’s a drawback, but I’ve got to do it this way
to keep them smelling fresh. I do a hot wash/cold rinse with nothing
else. Then a hot wash/cold rinse with a tiny bit (2 tablespoons?) of
detergent and ¼ cup of baking soda. Then a hot wash/cold rinse with
½ cup of vinegar. I dry them all on low heat, remove the vinyl covers
from the dryer, and finish drying the diapers on high heat. No fabric
softener, of course.

Do they work? Yes. Even at
night (with a doubler) once Paul stopped nursing in the middle of the
night.

Are they gross? Well, yes.
Occasionally.

Do they stink up your house?
No. Not even the room with the pail.

What about wipes?
You know how baby washcloths wear out really fast? I cut old ones in
half (so as to distinguish them from the non-wipe washcloths mostly)
and stack a bunch next to the diaper station. I’ve got a squirt-top
bottle (a spray bottle works too) filled with water and a smidge of
baby shampoo/soap. I wet them down on the spot and wipe. Think about
it. Where would you put a disposable wipe if you’re using a cloth
diaper? I actually prefer the cloth wipes straight up over disposables.

Can your kid wear them out in public?
Yes. Just pack a grocery bag in your diaper bag. Hand sanitizer is nice
too. (To date, I’ve never changed a dirty cloth diaper away from my
house. Odds are, it’s coming though.)

But I have so much fun getting
free diapers at CVS!
Never fear. You’ll still need diapers. I
buy about one pack a month. I think the church nursery workers appreciate
my not springing cloth on them.

Will they really save me money?
Depends on how many of your diapers are free, I guess. Besides the cost
of the diapers, you do need to consider the water output. I wash about
2½ times a week. Here’s how we look at it. I think we will
come out ahead on Paul. However, chances are, Paul’s not the youngest,
and the cloth diapers are still going strong.

There you have it. If you know anything
about butter churns, I’d love you hear your story.

Andrea desires to bring honor to her Savior as a wife to her wonderful
husband Jon and mother to their 14-month-old son, Paul. She am thankful to
be able to stay at home full-time. She and her family live in South Carolina and minister their local church while seeking God’s direction concerning missionary
service in Latin America. She blogs at
Spoon and Shovel.

———————————–
From Crystal: If you would like to learn more about cloth diapering, Tammy has written extensively on her blog about how she does it. Check out her posts here, here, and here. Also, I found The Cloth Diaper Handbook to be extremely helpful and informative.

I used Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers almost exclusively with my first child and loved those, though I know everyone has their own preferences. My advice, if you’re new to the idea of cloth diapering, is that you do lots of research. Ask around and see if any of your friends use cloth diapers and get their take on what works for them. Secondly, give yourself a few months to adjust to being a mommy of a newborn before attempting cloth diapering–especially if you are a first-time mommy. Lastly, don’t invest hundreds of dollars without first trying cloth diapers out on a small scale and determining what works for you.

I’d love to hear from other moms out there who have cloth diapered. What are your favorite brands of cloth diapers? What advice would you have for someone who is considering switching to cloth? Also, if you’ve blogged on the subject of cloth diapering, please do leave the link to your post in the comments section. I know many moms would appreciate that!

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Comments

  1. Amie says

    I cloth diapered my daughter from 6 weeks to 8 months when I realized that it was costing me more then disposibles. The reason…we have a well and they are expensive to run and all those extra washes were costly. That and our hot water is propane fed. So monthly is was costing $120 to $150 a month to wash the cloth. I cannot afford that right now.

    Now if you don’t have a well and all that…I highly recommend cloth. I do miss the cuteness of it and plan to get back into it next year unless my daughter potty trains.

    So in a nutshell, they can save money and are good the environment.

  2. Judith says

    LOL – I know I’m old, but I used nothing but cloth diapers on my daughter. They were not the fancy ones that I see today, but I guess you would call them pre-fold (now used as burp cloths). It did give me a giggle that the lady teaching the seminar did not know how to pin the diapers, and I’m sure she didn’t know the different folds for boys or girls. I still have one or two of the diapers, washed a zillion times and as soft as cashmere……..
    And Penny, you don’t need a blender to make butter…….just put the milk (fresh, NOT homogenized) into a large screw top jar and gently roll it back and forth on your lap while you watch television – you’ll see the butter begin to form in little flakes. After a while, strain through cheesecloth and either mold or pat it into shape.

  3. says

    I use cloth diapers and now trainers (DD will be 2 on 10/31) at home, and disposables for daycare. I empty them and throw into the washer filled with water, detergent, and washing soda. Just a bit of the washing soda. This is different from baking soda!

    I use fitted motherease and a variety of covers. Honestly, the Gerber “rubber pants” are available at BRU and Target and work fine over a fitted diaper. They are inexpensive and they fit large– my DD is 31# and still fits in the 18-24 month Gerber covers, but wears 2t/3t clothes.

  4. Becky says

    I’ve actually written 2 posts about cloth diapering (complete with frugal resource links)…

    This is about cloth diapering my newborn daughter: http://widdershinstowednesdays.blogspot.com/2008/10/cloth-diapering-newborn-rocks.html

    This post has good information about cloth diapering but it’s a little buried- look at the 5th paragraph. http://widdershinstowednesdays.blogspot.com/2008/01/accidental-conservative.html

    Finally, I can’t say enough good things about the try cloth program at jilliansdrawers.com She sends you a variety of diapers for you to try out for a little over $100 and if you hate it and return them all, you’re only out $10. Her customer service is great.

  5. says

    What a lovely post! We also cloth diaper. We have 5 children and sadly, I didn’t think to cloth diaper until we had our youngest and I read an article in Mothering magazine. I’d always thought cloth diapering was the old rags with the plastic pants- now I know better! We use primarily Steph Thesis’ diapers, called Pampered Cheeks. (pamperedcheeks.com) She is a stay at home Christian mother of 6 with one on the way, and her diapers are fabulous- they are very close to the top of the chart on the diaper pin, up there with mass produced ones. (I tend to give her rave reviews when I talk about diapers- she is great, a sweetheart, and I love my diapers from her) I also use Fuzzi Bunz, because we were given 5 as a gift- otherwise I most likely wouldn’t have bought them, I just prefer to help out home mamas. Then after getting them I found out that Tereson is a mum inventor who started her business small like Steph’s and just let it grow and grow. She is very friendly, as well. And those diapers are fabulous!

    A note for beginners- while velcro closure is nice and makes it seem a bit more like disposables, think twice! The velcro can get fuzzys in it from pjs and other clothing- and it is all too easy for a one year old to undo the velcro when they like to be nekkie. You may not be an exhibitionist, but you just might have a kid who is! We have snaps on all ours except the first few we bought, and I love the ease in washing and the fact that my daughter cannot take off her diaper from under her dress in church!

    As for the butter- sounded interesting to me, so I googled it- found this site which was kind of informative as to the process but had interesting facts like you can freeze homemade butter for up to 3 months! woo hoo! I’m trying it this weekend. :)

    thanks for a great post!

  6. says

    I used cloth with my son exclusively for almost the first year. He had such a problem with rashes from the disposables and had to have a prescription steroid cream for the rash…I really didn’t want that.

    I tried the ones with the snaps…but found them to be messy…my son wet a lot and I didn’t really want to touch that wet mess. I used the traditional prefolds and folded them along the sections (into thirds) and just lay that into the velcro cloth diaper covers. That was more economical because the prefolds were a lot less expensive and easier to change because I could just dump the wet cloth into my diaper bucket.

    I had also received a wipe warmer as a shower present…but I just kept water in it and would dunk a baby wash cloth into that to wipe him with. The used cloth would go into the bucket too. The diaper bucket had water and baking soda in it. I would then every morning, dump the whole bucket into the washer with my detergent and vinegar in the rinse cycle. We never had a problem with odor either.

  7. Ramie says

    We cloth diapered both of our kids (5 & 2 now) and I’m on the hunt for cloth training pants with open up sides (like pull ups) for my 2yr old now…he’s a big boy and needs size 4′s!

    Started cd’ing DD when she was 4 weeks old. Used ProWrap covers and prefolds for liners…loved the system. Initial investment was $250, (6 covers, 36 prefolds), and then we ordered 2 more sets of covers as she grew, so probably spent another $100. She potty trained at about 2yrs old.

    As she grew out of the covers, I passed them on to my niece, who was 10mos younger….she wore them til she potty trained at 2.5yrs old.

    Then they came back to me when DS was born, and he wore them from 3weeks to 18months, when he outgrew the largest size covers that ProWraps makes. He’s been in disposable since, and I want to go back to cd’ing! (I think he’d be potty trained by now if they didn’t absorb and wick away the moisture as well!).

    I’ve now passed our diaper stash back to my sister, for her 2nd baby. So, $350 in diapers has fully diapered 3 kids as of now, and is being used by the 4th. I KNOW that we’d have spent at least that in just a few months with disposable. (We did use disposable at night, and while we were out and about most of the time–if we were going to friends houses, or someplace “comfy”, we left them in cloth, but it was disposable for day trips, etc).

    I know cd’ing isn’t for everyone, but even my husband, who swore he’d never change one, got “into” it when he realized how much money we were saving. And when DS had to have Alimentum hypoallergenic formula for 8 months (at $25 a can…about 3 days worth), it was a HUGE blessing that we didn’t have to buy diapers too!!

    Here’s hoping we can save the planet, one baby at a time!!

  8. says

    This is so funny! We have 5 children. I have always used disposable diapers! Then about 2 months ago I thought of more ways to make our dollar stretch. I am always trying to be more frugal with the amount of people in our home. I started doing research for about 2 weeks. I then bought 2 new diapers (2 different kinds) and thought I would see how they worked.. we’ll I LOVED them and so did my daughter. We then proceeded to find more that we could get our hands on. We haven’t looked back since. I have just a few disposables around the house for whatever… but we love them and even my kids and hubby don’t mind changing the cloth. If the Lord blesses and we have more children we will most surley be using cloth with them. Thanks for posting this. I too thought of the old tyme way of cloth and was shocked at all the new creations from cloth. We use FuzziBunz, BumGenius, and then just some cloth with covers.. plenty of extra inserts for night time. My favorite are the FuzziBunz & BumGenius though.

  9. says

    I used cloth for my first two… and I had about a year when they were both in diapers at the same time.

    I never didn’t use them. I figured if I came home and just jumped right into cloth diapers, I’d never know what I was missing with disposables.

    I did not use terry cloth diapers. I ‘diaper service’ diapers that were 100% cotton, and prefolded. This means that they had a center with extra layers for absorption. Some diapers are out there that are prefolded, but the center is not cotton, so it is not as absorbent. Watch for that.

    Also, I stayed away from the snap kinds of diapers because they are just more expensive. Don’t let anyone tell you that pinning a diaper is hard. Since when is pinning two pieces of fabric together hard? You will be surprised how easy it really is, then you’ll wonder why everyone thinks it is hard!

    When nursing, I never used a liner because the mess wasn’t much to deal with. But when my children started eating solid foods, I used rice paper liners. If the diaper is dirtied, the liner can be lifted out and flushed. If the diaper is just wet, the liner can be washed and reused.

    I also used nylon diaper covers called ‘Alexis’ covers. They breathe (unlike plastic covers) so that the bottom doesn’t develop a rash, but they keep clothes dry. Do not be fooled by cheap store-brand nylon covers! They often have gussets around the leg/waist openings that are NOT made of nylon and end up wicking wetness all over the baby. Alexis covers were about $9 per pair when I bought them, but they wash just like a piece of clothing and dry in no time. I highly recommend them.

    I kept dirtied and wet diapers in separate pails. No water or solutions in the pails, just diapers. I washed dirties first in cold, then added in wets for a second wash in hot. I did use Arm and Hammer Washing soda with my detergent, and occasionally did an additional rinse with vinegar. (I don’t think you need special detergent for this unless your baby has sensitive skin.) Dried without fabric softener, since this makes them more absorbent. I washed diapers about once a week, and we never had a problem with odor from the pails.

    GO YOU if you are considering cloth diapering. You CAN do it, and IT ISN’T HARD!

  10. says

    Cloth dipes ROCK! I have cloth diapered all 3 of my children. We LOVE them. My husband was hesitant when we were pregnant with our first child. & all the family thought I was crazy as nobody knew anyone doing it around where I live 6 years ago.

    I must add that there is a lot of FLUFF out there in the diaper world… not that it is not pretty or anything, but I was in it for economical reasons & earth friendly reasons to start…. We were pretty broke and I knew I wanted to stay home… Anyhow, prefolds and a wrap are much cheaper and work better in my opinion. They wash and dry easier and quicker too. I love PRORAPS brand wraps and just your regular chinese prefold. I have used the same prefolds with all 3 kids… plus have passed on to a friend the ones my youngest is out of.

    I do 2 cycles…. first with detg. on cold/cold… then on hot/cold with no detg. That is it!

    Another thing I will say is that my 1st boy was fully potty trained night time and all at 22 months… He began becoming aware of when he tee-tee’d at about 14 months and would pull off his diaper. (velcro tabs)… I simply kept shorts or pants on him at that point :)

    My daughter began training early too… and at 18 months was wearing reg. panties during the entire day (except naps)… & it was when she was about 2 years old when she was fully trained including night time :)

    My youngest is now 17 months…. also showing the same signs of becoming aware when he goes… & showing interest in the potty.

    I fully attribute it to the cloth diapers… Which IMO only adds to the benefits of cloth… I mean how great is it when you are done with diaper changes! Never have I had more than 1 kid in diapers at one time and they are all within 4 years :)

  11. Jackie says

    Thanks for these great tips about cloth diapers. My husband and I were actually talking about this the other day. We dont have kids yet but are already planning!!

  12. says

    We have been using cloth ever since our first was born (He’s 2 1/2 and only uses one at night now) and our second is on the way. We plan to cloth diaper #2 as well.
    We LOVE gDiapers. They are a great hybrid of sorts. Mostly we use prefolds in them but have the flushables available for outings and time with Grandma or babysitters. I love it that I still have the ‘disposable’ option but it doesn’t fill the landfill or harm the environment!

  13. says

    I’m a throwback to the old Gerber flat folds and plastic pants. They were uber-cheap, and really take very little extra effort compared to the more expensive brands. I also find it’s more flexible/easy to change as she gets older (no needing to buy bigger sizes of diapers, only the cheap plastic covers, and easy to double-diaper at night). I also go super-easy on the washing. Modern washing machines are really effective at washing, so I just wash them in hot water with our socks/underwear/rags (it makes the load full, which is more efficient) and line dry them to bleach the stains away. They never smell funky after being washed, and the line drying makes them look great.

  14. says

    We switched to cloth when my daughter was 6 months old. We’ve always done little things to “save the planet” but since i am a SAHM i wanted to do more. After many bouts of diaper rash and that weird jell feeling when the disposable diapers get wet (the last straw was seeing a video of how much the disposables hold!) i was ready to investigate.

    For our family, being on one income, cost was the key. After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge on the cheap side of things. I purchased 24 pre-folded diapers from diaper swappers (never used, but prepped already) and 4 covers and a snappi.

    after a minor learning curve with the snappi, since i know no one in real life who cloth diapers, i was hooked! they were so easy. So for an initial investment of around 120$ i have yet to need any additional covers or prefolds in 3 months. We did choose to use Thirsties AIO diapers (which have a pocket) and stuff them with an extra insert for over night. But we only need 2 of those (3 at most).

    i did notice that in the original article she uses a TON of water. that may be related to her washing situation (coin operated washers, etc.) our normal wash routine, every 2-3 days, is cold rinse (after cleaning off the diapers), hot wash/cold rinse with 1tbs of Crunchy Clean detergent and 1/4 cup of vinegar added to a downy ball, and an extra cold rinse at the end. We’ve never had a stink problem or dirty diapers with that combination.

  15. says

    I used cloth with my second child! I would recommend also checking out Lilbunz.com and Babycottonbottoms.com. You can buy gently used all-in-ones for a fraction of the cost! I got Fuzzi Bunz (my nighttime diaper) for less than $20 each!

    Also, no one told me that using cloth diapers would cause my daugther to need at least one size up in clothing! I had been stocking up on Old Navy clearance sales, etc. when she was born. The diaper made her bottom and waist so big that when she should have been in 6-9 month clothes in the fall, I had to go buy some 24 month pants at Target and hem them! Be forewarned!!

  16. AudreyB says

    When I had my first kid we used a diaper service and found it to be comparably priced. Then we moved and I was pregnant with our second. I was able to buy “used” diapers from the diaper service at a pretty good price. I had to do my own “work” the second time around, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. And there is a sense of satisfaction to see the clothesline full of diapers drying in the breeze! :)

  17. Alisha says

    I used Gerber cloth diapers and vinal pants, and had about 10 Kushies. I sewed velcro on the Gerbers and ended up liking them better than the Kushies.

    I stopped cloth diapering when the our top loading washer died and we bought a front loading washer (plus my husband never did like the cloth which was reason enough to stop). The front loader didn’t seem to get them clean enough.

  18. Alisha says

    I forgot to add that in my experience, it is not cheaper to make your own butter. Butter is made from heavy cream, and only half of the container turns to butter. You do get very nice buttermilk from the other half, but on a whole it costs the same amount.

  19. says

    We used Happy Heinys and LOVED them. I actually did use Fuzzi Bunz for the first 6 months and they were great too. They were borrowed from a friend, which I would encourage anyone to do when deciding on diapers. I like HH because you can get the one size and they can grow with your child. I wrote up a page on cloth diapering – http://babygetgreen.com/clothdiapers.html – that answers questions and gives lots of info.

  20. says

    Hi, we have been cloth diapering (and cloth wiping) since my son was born 18 months ago. We love it!! My all time favorite diaper (and the one that makes up most of my diaper stash) is Bumgenius! They are SO easy to use, and SO cute!! I got mine from http://www.cottonbabies.com , but you can get them at any of the online cloth diapering spots. My wipes are mostly baby washcloths, and some from kissaluvs.

    I don’t use a pail, just a large wet bag. The kind you can hangs over the door knob (I think I got this at http://www.nopins4baby.com ), I even used it in the hospital when he was born!!

    Washing is easy, since I use the cloth wipes.. I simply take them apart, and drop them all in the washer (with the wet bag) , with a little Dawn. I wash a cold cycle first, then 2 Hot cycles, and dry. Sometimes I use baking soda for extra freshening, and sometimes only 2 capfuls of bleach if they are really bad, or if he has been sick, and had diarrhea or any other sickness. In the summer, it’s VERY nice to hang them out to dry, they are fresher, and the sparkling white!!!

    I hope others do this, as it is a money saver and truly lots of fun!

  21. Maribeth says

    I’ve cloth diapered all of my kids. The youngest two are still in cloth, my oldest potty trained about 14 years ago, LOL

    Spending $80 a diaper is SO not necessariy. Neither are pins. Diapers are the second easist thing to sew, next to pillow cases. Making my own with all brand new materials, costs me about $2.50 for a small diaper, and $4 for a large diaper. And when they’re outgrown, I can sell them on Craigslist for $6 or $7 each.

    That means, I’m diapering my children, FOR FREE. Obviously, that doesn’t count the time involved in sewing a diaper. For me, thats about an hour and a half, for one diaper, for everything – cutting, sewing, matching fabrics, etc.

    From a hassle point of view, they are just as easy to put on as disposables. Washing, well, my machine takes care of that – I do one cycle, and don’t have odor issues.

    There are lots of internet resources if you want to sew your own diapers – starting with the yahoo group, sewyourowndiapers, and including lots of sites with free patterns and instructions.

    For me, it’s a win/win/win situation – I’m being better for the environment, saving a TON of money, and excercising my crafty side!

  22. says

    Okay, you guys are making want to make diapers. I have a sewing machine, and I’ve taken an informal little skirt-making class. So I know the basics, but I’ve never made anything by myself. Not even a pillowcase.

    Can anyone give me a website or something with info for the uneducated? I’d need patterns, type and amount of cloth to buy, thread advice. . . .

    It occurs to me that if I ever have 2 kids in diapers at once, I’ll need more than I’ve got.

    P.S. I’ve also become emboldened to cut down on the hot water output and see what happens. Thanks, guys.

  23. April Simpson says

    I have used cloth diapers for 4 years. I started with my first born. At first we used a sampling of all different kinds given to us by a neighbor, after a few months we purchased 12 Fuzzi Bunz (my fave)! He was toliet trained by 2 years of age and his newborn brother immediately went into his old diapers. My second son is toliet training now to get ready for his newborn baby sibling who will be here soon. The diapers are still going strong! I’d say my total investment has been under $200. That’s with buying more over the years. They make great birthday and Christmas presents for the first year!

  24. Amanda says

    I have a 10 mo old that I have been cloth diapering since about 2 mos. Thankfully my brother and sister-in-law also clothed diapered and they handed their diapers down to us, so we have not had buy any at first. They had gotten a variety, which was nice because it does give you an idea of what you like and what works for you. We use a lot of the fuzzibunz, which I like, but find they will leak if you do not change them soon enough. I just make sure that they get changed about every 2 hours. However, we have recently had to buy some (in-laws have a young one also, who is still in cloth diapers and mine caught up to her size) and found that we love the Mother-ease. I have never had them leak, even if they get left on for an extra hour or two (sometimes you just never know when they are going to fall asleep for a long nap). They don’t seem to be as easy to find as other brands, so I just ordered them straight from their website. They are an all in one, so you don’t have to mess with inserts or covers. They snap on the side and the larger size goes from 20lbs to 35 (I think). My son is not quite 20lbs yet and they still fit him without leaking. About the only time we use disposable is when we go to church, someone is keeping him or at night. I think they are definitely worth the investment.

  25. Erin says

    Cloth diapering is addicting! We switched several months ago with our two and I love it. We primarily use prefolds but have a very small assortment of fitteds, pockets, and all-in-ones for nighttime & naps. Prefolds are easy to use (with a snappi to fasten) and very inexpensive. My favorite covers are Imse Vimse organic cotton covers. I’ve ordered from several online vendors and highly recommend Jillian’s Drawers – http://www.jilliansdrawers.com.

  26. says

    I used a combination of disposable and Kushies all in ones for my twins 8 years ago. They were ok, but leaked too much. I donated them to an orphanage in Africa which needed cloth diapers. This time around (baby is 4 mo. old) I bought Chinese prefolds and Lite Wraps covers. I loved them! They leak less than disposables and she can even go 10-11 hours at night without wetting through. After she outgrew the newborn size covers I ordered the small size and they were huge–too big to use. So I returned them and switched to Thirsties with work just as well. I just prefer the feel of the Lite Wraps. And the Lite Wraps are the cheapest covers I’ve found. I buy from Babyworks.com which has excellent customer service and return policy. Just last week I bought 3 Bum Genius 2.0 on Amazon for $12 each and like them too. I still prefer my prefolds and covers, but the BG are really soft and cute. They even fit my 3 1/2 year old who is 38 lbs! Wish I didn’t have to diaper her, but since I do, I’ll use the BG when convenient. I also use flushable liners–at least until baby is eating solids. I use a dry diaper pail. I have a front loading washer. I put the dirty/wet diapers in, rinse with warm water and a little vinegar. When that ends I add the covers and Charlie’s Soap. I either dry in the dryer or hang on the line. Be aware that the all in ones take a long time to dry–another reason I like the prefolds. I don’t use a snappi or pins. I tried the snappi but found it unnecessary. Give it a try! It’s not difficult!

  27. says

    I’m anothe mommy who is in love with cloth diapers! I wanted to do it for the cost savings and the lesser environmental impact. I found a great overview at MomAdvice.com where Amy explains all the terms…that was my most scary thing at first. I was so overwhelmed trying to decide what to get!

    I ended up getting all my diapers used (except for 2 we got as shower gifts) and you would never know they were! I splurged a bit and got Kissaluv’s for the beginning because of the great reviews they got for nursing babies. We bought about 26 of those and then got 12 prefolds and 5 covers as back up. It turned out I didn’t have to do laundry more than 2x/week after the 2 weeks. We threw them in a dry garbage pail and then threw them in the wash. I only did 1 wash cycle with 2 rinses (hot wash/cold rinse). They got put out in the sun on a drying rack and that was it! It is soooo easy. We had him in these on day 5 and thought he’d be in the KL0s for a few months. It turned out he is a fast grower and we moved to our one size diapers at about 2 months.

    We now have about 19 Happy Heinys and bumGenuis. That’s 19 total…not each! These get washed every 3rd day the same way as the others were. Again, it is so easy and lots of disposable friends are amazed. I think we’ve got a few converts! I really believe that anyone could do it and even with our having bought extras for the beginning we will still be ahead cost wise after he is 4 months old. Then for the rest of his time in diapers and all other kids it will be free. Of course, if they are still in good shape when we are done we can sell them and even make some money back! It is so worth it! I can go on and on about why cloth is the way to go. I found my diapers on craigslist.com, diaperswappers.com and by talking to a mom at a rummage sale.

    Best of luck to other mommys who are deciding…go cloth, you won’t regret it!
    heather@pagesbyheather.com

  28. says

    we love cloth diapering, and though getting started can be a little pricey, it is SO NICE to not have to continue to buy diapers or wipes, and i know we’re saving hundreds of dollars. plus–we feel good about doing our best to take care of the earth. and we’ve found that cloth is so good for our daughter’s skin.

    my big tip–wait a little while, at least until your baby stops pooping 10x a day. then you’ll be unlikely to get frustrated and give up. (we started at three months)

    this is what’s worked for our family and the system we’ve developed for cloth diapering:
    http://suzannahpaul.blogspot.com/2008/07/cloth-diapering-411.html

  29. says

    I did cloth diapers with my first 2 kids. Chinese prefolds with a Snappi closure (as opposed to pins) with Prowraps was my favorite combo. I did cloth wipes with a lavendar and tea tree oil wipe solution in a wipe warmer. I washed myself. I was the only one I knew who did it and at playgroups people thought I was nuts.

  30. Priscilla says

    What brands/products (machine washable) are recommended to use when toilet training a toddler? I’d like to find cloth training pants. It would be nice to have some type of cover to keep from leaking all over? What is comfy for toddlers & still gets the job done? Where best to purchase them? Thanks!

  31. kattmaxx says

    Here is the old mom perspective. I’ve had 5 children all cloth diapered in some form or amount. My advice is to use disposables at night and away from home. Prefolds, preferably diaper service quality are the way I did it. I like nylon covers and regular diaper pins. Keep a bar of soap on the changing table to stick the pins in between changes. It helps them to go in smoothly. For safety sake, pin the heads towards the baby’s hip with your fingers underneath. Replace pins every couple months because they do wear out and will break. When washing use hot water and dye and fragrance free detergent and no fabric softener, put white vinager in the rinse instead. Do a second soak and rinse afterwards to get any detergent or odor out. Hang covers to dry. If you have to bleach your diapers rinse them very well as this can be hard on baby skin. However, direct sunlight will fade out most diaper stains.

  32. says

    Ok, I have to wonder if I was the cloth diaper speaker mentioned!? It sounds just like my babies R us spiel! Small world or coincidence?

    But, yeah…cloth diapers are wonderful!

  33. says

    To those asking about flushable liners:

    I bought rice paper diaper liners in packs of 100 for $5. You only flush them if the diaper is dirty, otherwise you can wash and reuse them. I don’t remember the brand I used, but I did a quick search and it looks like Imse Vimse has something comparable, if not the same.

    Catherine: they also have toddler liners, which might be what you are looking for.

  34. catherine says

    Thank you to those who commented on where to find the flushable wipes and the advice about the stepstool.

  35. says

    We got the Washer/Dryer installed Thursday. We out of town Friday/Saturday. (got the diapers Friday).

    So I had him in cloth diapers for the first time today.

    1st diaper (not 15 minutes after putting it on): single turd. No problem. Flick it into the toilet. On we go.

    2nd diaper: 1 large, smooshed turd. Doesn’t flick so well. Leaves part of it behind on the diaper. Have to actually get my hands in the stuff. Yuck

    3rd diaper: Diaper explosion. Can you believe we have RARELY had a diaper explosion in disposables? And yet our third cloth diaper not only has a explosion, gets it all over the clothes, but ALSO on the carpet! Yuck.

    baby is in disposables right now.

  36. says

    Okay, this is my FOURTH comment on this post. That’s a record, I think.

    But I misrepresented the cost of Alexis diaper covers. They were about $9 for a 2 pack of covers. I made it sound like they were $9 each. I loved them because they worked so well, and because they were among the least expensive covers I could find, so I felt like I should clarify that!

  37. says

    I second the positive opinions on Mother-Ease CD’s. I’ve NEVER had a leak or blow-out with the Sandy’s and I have an odd baby– one GIANT poo a day. We’ve been using them since she was about a month old–her butt was too small. I think for the next one, I’m going to buy the xs size. I’ve found that it’s super easy to do.

  38. says

    I just did a post on cloth diapering on my blog, as I’m trying to talk my sister into it.

    http://5littlemen.blogspot.com/2008/10/cloth-diapering-part-1.html

    We mostly use gDiapers, but we have some AIO’s in our stash as well. After I flush the liner, I use a wet pail with a little bit of Charlie’s Soap in it to soak the diapers or cloth inserts until I’m doing a white load. The diapers are washed with my regular clothes, without any extra pre-wash or rinse cycles.

    If expenses are an issue in getting started, you can usually find good deals on Craigslist or DiaperSwappers.