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Cloth Diapering 101

Guest post by Brittany at Mom Answers With Brit

More and more parents are choosing to use cloth diapers instead of disposables. They are more comfortable for the baby, they are good for the environment and, in most cases, they save you money. I must be honest, the main reason we chose to use cloth diapers is the last one.

As I started researching cloth diapers online I was instantly overwhelmed. I was blessed to have friends and family around to help guide and teach me the “diaper lingo.” After much research (and convincing my husband) we decided to change to cloth diapers, and now we are addicted! Using cloth actually makes changing diapers, dare I say it, fun.

How to get started using cloth diapers:

1. Calculate how much money using cloth diapers will save you.

The Diaper Pin has a cloth diaper calculator online to see how much you will save by using cloth diapers. This is a great tool to use to determine if it is worth it for you to switch to cloth diapers and to decide how much you want to invest upfront. The calculator computes water/electricity usage for cleaning them.

The total we spent on our infant was $550 (this is with choosing a more expensive kind of cloth diapers, and choosing to use sized and not one-size diapers). If you normally purchase diapers on sale with coupons, you’ll probably spend at least that much — if not more — in a year by buying disposables. While you still have to add in the water and electricity costs for washing the diapers, if you plan to use them for longer than a year and if you use the same cloth diapers for multiple children you can save a significant amount of money by using cloth diapers.

2. Decide what kind of diapers to use.

As you start looking online, you will see that there are several different types/brands of cloth diapers. Most people I know use either an AIO (all-in-one) or a pocket diaper.

We chose to use FuzziBunz pocket diapers, and we absolutely love them! Be encouraged that there is definitely not one perfect brand or type. It was very overwhelming for me to decide, and our primary reason we chose FuzziBunz Pocket Diapers was because I found a good deal on them. Many parents are happy with many different types/brands of cloth diapers.

3. Find the best deal on cloth diapers.

Most of the best cloth diaper deals are found online, but some areas also have local cloth diaper stores. In Kansas City, we are blessed to have a wonderful cloth diaper store and we found it very helpful to actually go to the store and see the diapers face-to-face instead of just reading about them online.

It is sometimes hard to find really good deals for cloth diapers, but there are sales out there. The Diaper Pin has a list of cloth diaper sales and deals on their homepage.

If you are expecting and someone will be throwing a shower for you, ask for them for shower gifts or request gift cards to online cloth diaper companies.

If you want to get creative, here’s an article on How to Cloth Diaper for Practically Free. Or, you can also read how to make your own cloth diapers.

4. Don’t buy accessories that you don’t need.

Don’t feel like you need everything out there (like the diaper sprayer). I would say the basics are: diapers, extra liners for night-time use, pail-liners, bacteria killing spray and detergent. I also enjoy having a wet bag for the diaper bag, but if you don’t go out much, a plastic bag will work just fine!

Cloth diapers are not for everyone, but I hope to encourage you to look at them a little differently. You don’t have to get your hands gross or worry about poking your baby with a pin. Today’s generation of cloth diapers have improved immensely from what our parents/grandparent’s experienced.

Brittany Grim is a wife and mother to her son, Isaiah. She works full-time in the insurance industry in addition to blogging at Mom Answers With Brit. She loves to share what she has experienced and researched with other moms. She loves God, her family and reading!

photo from Baby Hoots

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160 Comments

  • MamaLaundry says:

    This is a wonderfully written post on cloth diapering!

    When researching diapers online, it can be really confusing and this explains the financial end of it well.

    I completely agree that only the basics are necessary. I am so glad that we decided to (mostly) cloth diaper our children. It’s made diapering seem easy.

  • Kristi says:

    instead of using a pail with pail liners, you can use a wet bag and that doubles as a bag for when you go to the pool and such you can toss wet clothing swimsuits and such in it!

    We use bum genius 3.0 and 4.0 All in ones & kissaluvs all in one too.

  • Sonya Parga says:

    Cloth diapers are definitely more economical! I used them on all my children (5) and with the last 2 we had wonderful clothes lines in the back yard that I would hang them out on, they not only were softer and IMO better for my children but the cost savings was astronomical!

  • Evie says:

    There is inexpensive, yet good cloth diapers out there. I LOVE one size because I do not have to buy many sizes and I can make them fit custom to the rise and width of my child. I was overseas as a missionary when I had my first and was given a grant through Cotton Babies for bumgenius that I loved. So I am loyal to them. With my second, we could not afford to get the more expensive kind, and my sons diapers were well worn. I found that sunbabydiapers are GREAT. It is 60 dollars for 12 diapers and inserts. Best of luck to you all

    • Elizabeth says:

      I was wondering if you could elaborate on the grant you received as a missionary overseas. My sister and her husband are missionaries planning to go to Africa and expecting. I was curious if this would be something available for them.

      • Evie says:

        Cotton Babies offers a grant to missionaries over seas. I ended up getting 13 BG’s onesize (I think it was the 3.0s then) a wet bag, that i still use now, some wipes, and a few other things. Here is the link http://www.cottonbabies.com/index.php?cPath=58 All they have to prove is that disposables are not really accessible (in India no one diapers let alone uses disposables) If she is to get it, it would be great to get them before she goes. They will not ship them overseas, so my mom brought them to me when she came for the birth of my son. I am sure that they could get it. They are WONDERFUL there. Cotton Babies still get our monthly newsletters.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Thank you so much!! I am sending her the link and hope this might work out for them. They are currently in language school in France and plan to be in Africa next year. I really appreciate your information!! This would be a great help for them and it seems like an awesome ministry to missionaries!

          • Evie says:

            no problem, it was a HUGE blessing for us and I know the financial situation of missionaries, so I pass it on. People can even donate to Cotton Babies to help fund this grant. Blessings to your sister as they go!!!

  • Lachelle says:

    I LOVE CD and have done it with our daughter (who is now 2 1/2) since newborn days and am looking forward to November when I welcome our son to the family! He will also be in Cloth because it is cheaper and healthier, plus who could resist a cute little bottom in fluff!

  • Jen K. says:

    I also cloth! I love it, and while I’m not a purist (my daughter wears disposables at night) my main point in using cloth was to reduce the chemical exposure. It’s incredibly eye opening…and scary. #2 is on the way and I’m hoping I can get the baby’s bum in cloth at night!

    • Lacy says:

      what kind of diapers are you using? We use pocket diapers and for my almost 11 mo old I add a small hemp (similar to these http://www.kellyscloset.com/FuzziBunzR-Hemp-Inserts–3-Pack_p_4223.html) along with his regular insert. Works great for 12+ hours at night. If you use prefolds/covers they make hemp prefolds or you could get a hemp fitted and put a cover on it. Hemp gives us the absorbancy we need for night time with very little extra bulk.
      Good Luck!

      • Lacy says:

        Check out this website for used diapers and accessaries. I found my hemp inserts here for a fraction of the cost of new ones.
        http://hyenacart.com/Spots_corner/index.php?category=2

      • Jen K. says:

        Thanks for the reply. I have been thisclose to investing in some hemp liners, but haven’t gotten around to it. My daughter, despite being almost 2, still wakes up at night (a lot) and the feeling of being wet makes her uncomfortable and she won’t settle back down. She’s a very light sleeper, plus a restless sleeper. When I’ve tried cloth at night, she lets me know it’s time to change her…haha.

  • Laura says:

    I love my pre-folds (purchased clearance as seconds and I can’t tell they were “not top quality”) and thirsties covers for my two in diapers. Last fall when we were diapering 3 kids and spending more than $100 a month on diapers and my baby was blowing out of every brand with his messes, I switched to cloth. No more blow-outs, and now I’m only diapering two, but I’m expecting another baby and will have three in diapers again. The added time, which isn’t that much considering I don’t have to put 4 kids in the carseats to go get more diapers, and added laundry, which is only every other night, is nothing compared to the money saved and grief saved with improved leak protection and fewer rashes.

  • Megan Hopkins says:

    I started visiting craigslist daily as soon as I got pregnant, and I was able to find all the cloth diapers I’ll ever need for $150 from someone locally. I’m 14 months in and loving it. The two at-home daycares and one daycare center that this working mom have used have all agreed to use them.
    Things to think about:
    -many brands require special detergent
    -we use a 5-gallon bucket with a lid to store them between washings (every-other-day is recommended
    -I line-dry
    -I use “diaper liners” that collect the solids so I can just plop them into the diaper genie, and wash with diapers if it’s just liquid
    -I use disposables at night

  • Andrea Q says:

    If a baby wears an average of 6 diapers a day for the first year, that’s 2190 diapers. It is easy to find diapers for $0.15 to $0.18 each (even without coupons), which works out to less than $400. Using elimination communication (EC) and early potty learning decrease the cost of diapers even more.

    • Andrea Q says:

      That should read “disposable diapers for $0.15 to $0.18 each…”

    • Danielle says:

      Good points . . . my babies both used way more than 6 diapers a day the first year, though, and my first didn’t potty train until 2 1/2, so it would have been quite a bit more than that for us. Add to that the fact that cheaper diapers usually gave my daughter a rash . . . It just depends on your situation, but for us cloth diapers have ended up saving us quite a bit.

    • Ashlee says:

      My son went through a LOT more than 6 a day for the first year, especially those first months! 6 is average now that he is almost 2 though.

      • alicia says:

        Why would someone only change their child every four hours? My one year old needs 10-12 diapers a day, sometimes more. Just because a disposable can hold four hours worth of pee does not mean a child should sit in their own filth for money saving sake.

        • Dawn says:

          6 diapers in a day is really between 2 and 3 hours in between diaper changes if your baby sleeps 8 to 10 hours at night. My 2 year old is in diapers and I have one that wears them at night and I have only averaged about $225 per year on diapers and that is buying brands like Huggies and Pampers. I do like that cloth diapering is better for the environment, but since I will likely only have one more child I don’t think it would be worth the investment now.

          • Betsy says:

            My kids don’t potty train until nearly 3, which influences my thoughts. My (bought used) fuzzi bunz are on month number 53 of constant use, many, many of those months diapering two kids (so being washed twice as much). They aren’t in great shape, but they do the job, and they’ll make it through the next two years (until baby #3 potty trains) at least.

            With that sort of longevity, they absolutely save me money. My $40o investment has more than paid for itself.

          • Lacy says:

            cloth diapers hold their value well. Check out some sites that see used diapers and you will see that you can get most of your money back especially if you buy used in the first place.

    • Anitra says:

      But how many babies are potty-trained at a year? In the past three years, I’ve spent about $800 on cloth diapers (and maybe $200 on disposable diapers) for two children. I still have 2+ years of diapering ahead…. and I’ve already saved money versus buying nothing but disposables.

  • Danielle says:

    We use cloth diapers to save money also and we love it! We actually use prefolds/flats and covers-very affordable. There are cloth diapers out there for pretty much every budget–even if you have nothing to spend you can use receiving blankets as flats and find some fleece soakers online or some used covers on craigslist and you’ll be cloth diapering for next to nothing. I agree with not spending much on accessories; I use an old plastic storage bin for a diaper pail, have made most of my own wipes and just use plain water or a homemade wipes solution. I did want a sprayer so I asked my mother in law to get that for us as a baby gift.

  • Megan says:

    Having made my own diapers I can say two things…
    1) Unless you have a serger for the edges and are a more than moderate seamstress your diapers are probably going to come out only “moderate” in quality.
    2) Unless you are planning on using your old wool sweaters and cut up t-shirts, the cost of making them yourself (especially when you add in snaps and tools for putting them on, velcro, elastic, thread, and the time it took to do it) you probably aren’t coming out ahead (or at least, not by very much). Finding things like PUL (for the covers) for cheap isn’t a walk in the park either.

    If money saving is your ultimate goal, you are probably better off finding diapers on sale then buying only a few and stocking up as time goes on, buying used diapers (there’s lots of great ones out there!), or going with a cheaper brand (Lovely Pockets has them for only $7.5 or so! https://webstartsshoppingcart.com/shopping-cart/cart/catalog.php?userid=136696)

    One of the only major “pro’s” of making them yourself is that you can make them EXACTLY the way you want them. However, unless you have quite a bit of experience with diapering already, it can be hard to know “exactly” what you want and you may end up wasting money making a diaper you aren’t too excited about using (or heaven forbid, one that isn’t very functional!). However if you DO have the experience to know exactly what you want, and the know how to make it happen, I’d say GO FOR IT! Especially if you can manage to get all your materials for cheap!

    I will say this about making them yourself… there’s a never ending sense of pride when people look at your diaper on your sweet little baby and say “YOU MADE THAT?!?” 😀

    • Sarah G. says:

      I’ve made a stash of around 70 pocket diapers and inserts, with PUL, snaps, etc. for a total cost (including the pattern and snap pliers that can be used again) of around $220. 🙂 Which is just over $3 apiece, so that was worth it to me! I used the Darling Diapers pattern you can download, and it has a lot of different options and some great pictures and explanations for newbies to diaper sewing. I made the turned and top-stitched kind, so no serger needed.

      And now they are all stacked neatly in a box in my closet, waiting for the day when I can use them. 😛

    • Annie P says:

      My mom and I made a little over 20 diapers and barely spent anything! It definitely ended up being under $100. She had a stock pile of flannel, and we just bought a few yards that I really liked. We just did velcro instead of snaps, and although we did buy some PLU, we haven’t made covers with it yet. I bought the Gerber diaper covers for a couple dollars for 2. Not to mention second-hand stores…I’ve found a few covers there. I should say too though, that my mom is a professional seamstress, with a serger and all that jazz.

  • Michele says:

    Great post! I also did a lot of research before deciding and purchasing CDs. The one thing that I didn’t have was expierence! I originally bought pre-folds and a snappi (didn’t really use the snappi so this goes back to not buying extras!). After around 4 weeks of her being in cloths I found a deal to buy 5 bum genius 3.0 and get 1 free. As soon as I got them washed and on her I was sold! Loved the easy of use for at night. So I went back and bought the inserts to use with the covers I already had. Again, I loved them. A major plus was that the diaper was a whole lot less bulky. Originally I didn’t think that would be a big deal, but my daughter is so skinny and they just engulfed her! I really wish I had shopped around a lot more though. Even with the extra money spent from novice mistakes we have saved quite a bit of money. I’m so glad that more parents are deciding to CD, it really is a great option!

  • Catherine says:

    I tried cloth diapering, but I found that I had to constantly change my daughter every time she peed a little because the wetness made her uncomfortable. It seemed like no matter how many cloth diapers I bought/made I couldn’t keep up with the laundering.

    Once I tried disposable diapers, I had to change her so much less and her skin was less irritated from being wet (because of how the disposables trap in the wetness). She went from being changed 18-20 times/day to 4-6 times on average.

    I buy Walmart or grocery store brand diapers, and it only costs me about $9/week (and that’s now that she’s in size 5!). I was probably spending almost that much in electricity costs because I felt like my washer and dryer were running constantly with all those cloth diapers! (and they take FOREVER to dry!).

    Anyway, I wish that cloth diapering could have worked for me. I was super excited about it in the beginning, but I just couldn’t make it work 🙁

    • Sarah G. says:

      I’m curious as to what kind of cloth diapers you used? I know there are many with stay dry inners or you can buy stay dry liners as well. Just wondering it that’s the kind you had and they just didn’t work?

    • I’m sorry they didn’t work for you, but I think it’s great that you tried!

      I’m also curious what brand you used? We change our little one 6-8 times a day at 16 months, and we have never had any leaking problems.

  • ashley says:

    I love my cloth. You can find some great deals on diaperswappers.com and on ebay 🙂

    • I’ve heard of a lot of people using this to get good deals on gently used diapers. Great tip!

    • Ashley says:

      They (diaperswappers.com) also have a free for shipping section where people give you diapers and all you lay is shipping…. Sometimes they need to be fixed other times they are just passing on because they no longer need them 🙂

  • Michele says:

    One other advantage of cloth is the possible earlier potty training since the kids feel when they are wet.

    I cloth-diapered all three of my kids – now 9, 6, and almost 4. I loved them. We used Motherease. The first set lasted through 2 children. And the last set I bought in almost-new condition off CL and then sold them when I was done. We did disposables here and there.

    One last comment, I think she means “pin” in her paragraph rather than “pen” since the old cloth diapers used safety pins. 🙂

    • Evie says:

      For sure early potty training. My son was pee trained by 2. He is 3 and fully trained even at night.

    • I definitely agree with the early potty training. We’ve used Elimination Communication along with cloth diapers with all three of our children. Our youngest (16 months) now grunts and crawls/walks ti the potty when she needs to go.

      • Betsy says:

        I have heard about the earlier potty training, but…. Don’t count on it.

        Unless of course I choose to be an optimist. And, in that case, I’ll say that my kids were probably destined to potty train at age 8. The cloth allowed them to do it age 3.

        LOL

        • Elizabeth says:

          I’m right there with you… we’re working on 4 and still not getting it… so much for that theory! 🙂 But we still love CDing!

        • Tiffany says:

          I hear that about cloth diapers all the time yet the parents that I know that use cloth diapers had their child trained around age 3. Same age as my daughter, who used disposables.

          • kristi says:

            I started elimination communication around month 3 and he’s 7 months now….my best day was using only 2 diapers (morning to night) – so if you are able to stay at home – this is a great option and saves a ton on laundry/diapers.

  • Holly says:

    Happy to see this post! Each time I see coupons for diapers on MSM I cringe thinking of all the money readers could’ve saved by going cloth in the beginning! Prefolds and covers are a great affordable option in the beginning. You can do them for under 100$. To build up your pocket dipe stash buy 1 pocket diaper ( most retail for around $15-$25) for every pack of disposables you buy. You’ll have a stash in no time!

    Although I loved the piece, I do have to disagree with two little things Brittany said about accessories. DO invest in a wet bag. Not only will it save plastic bags from the landfill it helps your diapers breathe. Putting dipes in a plastic bag only creates more stink! You can get them for as little as 12$ or make your own drawstring bag from PUL.
    You also do NOT need a bacteria killing spray. If you are using a proper detergent ( be sure to use ONLY approved detergents for your diapers or you can ruin them) your dipes will be clean enough.
    Can you tell I am passionate about cloth? 🙂

    • Sarah says:

      Just wanted to say I’m one of those who is always thrilled to see the diaper coupons!

      My DH and I really wanted to CD for environmental reasons, however, we just couldn’t find a way for it to work for us. We live in an apartment with shared washer/dryers, and can only do laundry once a week. We pay $1.50 per load, not including detergent. We also aren’t allowed to hang laundry to dry outside our apartment building. Add to that a baby who, because of reflux medication, had chronic diarrhea for the first 9 months of life. We really wish we could CD, but it doesn’t seem like a good choice for our family at this time.

    • Anitra says:

      I use cloth, but disposables for night and for certain babysitters. I’m happy to see the diaper deals and coupons because it means I don’t have to search out deals on the 1 jumbo per month I usually buy.

  • Kimberly says:

    We just started cloth diapering our new arrival yesterday actually (he’s 3 weeks old). We went with some of the less-expensive pockets (comfyrumps and alvababy) and so far its great. I know I haven’t been at it very long. But, since I used up the diapers we were given as gifts, it is really nice not to have to hunt for diaper deals and know that I have everything I need on hand. I ended up making my cloth wipes out of some flannel I had on hand to help minimize the cost even more. I really think this is going to work well for us.

  • Sarah G. says:

    Yay for cloth diapers! I just wanted to say that I first heard about/became interested in cloth diapers because Crystal posted about using Fuzzi Bunz for Kathrynne years ago. So she’s to blame for me becoming addicted to cute fluffiness. 😉

    • Aren’t they great!?!? I just love my Fuzzi Bunz. I never thought growing up that diapers could be so exciting.

      • erika m says:

        This question is for Crystal and for the above poster….I am frustrated with my fuzzibunz! I purchased the One Size with inserts and….they always seem to leak at the thighs…tried everything in sight! I did make my own laundry detergent with borax, soap, and washing soda, thought thats what was doing it, switched to other detergents, then stripped them with dish detergent. My son is 8 months old and I am still with it..but I am frustrated! Any tips would be great…I know I should prob. invest in the Allen’s or Rockin Green soap too.

        • Crystal says:

          Did you try buying just one new fuzzi bunz and/or insert to see if still leaked? Other options would be to try snapping them every way you can think of to see if that makes any difference. Also, there are special thicker inserts you can buy (or make) that might work.

  • I love clothe diapers!!! I am not a mom yet, but my baby cousins and niece use them and I love how Green they are, and how you can save money. Not to mention – it has to feel better on their little baby butts.

    Fifi @ http://www.fififrugality.blogspot.c

  • Carrie says:

    http://www.sunbabydiapers.com <—these are great diapers and inexpensive also!

    • Michele says:

      I’ve thought about getting some of these!! They are inexpensive and from what I’ve heard they work really well. They have some really cute patterns too! Do you use them? What do you think?

      • Carrie says:

        Yes I use them and love them. I’ve always been a prefold/cover mama but these work excellent and the prints are too cute. It’s addictive to “collect” them. HA

    • sarah G says:

      Have you or someone you know ever used Sunbabudiapers.com?
      What are your reviews of them? I never heard of them before. Thanks!

      • Nicole says:

        I am currently using Sunbaby diapers for my 5 month old. They work well but do run a bit small compared to some other brands I have used. I would recommend getting something other than the microfiber inserts though. I used the MF and ended up stripping them a few times due to lack of absorbing. I HIGHLY recommend SoftBums. They are my all time favorite diapers and the inserts absorb amazingly. You can use them as pockets or covers, and they can be used 3-5 times before washing (unless they have been messed on the cover) They are fairly affordable considering the covers can be used a few times a day. And the inserts snap in so no un-stuffing pockets if you don’t like that.

  • Ashley says:

    Just potty trained my first CD baby and am expecting again in Aug. and have all the diapers ready to go. I used disposables at night b/c my experienced CD friends said everything they tried didn’t work. Does anyone have any recommendations? I would love to do cloth at night as well.

    • We use Fuzzi Bunz, and we just add an extra hemp insert for the night. Our son is a heavy wetter, and this works for him.

      The only problem we have had is that they are really bulky. I don’t care about the look since it’s just for the night, but we have had issues getting his PJ’s to zip up. If his PJ’s had snaps, it wasn’t an issue.

      You can buy hemp liners or doublers at almost any cloth diaper website. I would recommend getting 3, so you always have enough.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi,

      We use G-diapers at night,with two of the hemp inserts- it works GREAT, and is still trim.

    • Sarah G. says:

      I’ve heard that fitteds with wool covers are the nighttime answer for many CDers. 🙂

      • Betsy says:

        For my almost 3 year old, we do a fuzzi bunz in a size up (for him, that’s large), stuffed with a hemp stuff-in, plus 2 microfiber inserts. It’s the only thing that doesn’t leak (including sposies and expensive night time sposies) on him.

      • Danielle says:

        Yes, I’m one of those who swear by wool covers for nighttime–no leaks and no rashes for either of my heavy nighttime wetters. I crochet my own wool covers, also once I asked for Woolly Bottoms longies for both of them for Christmas. I just use my wool with doubled up prefolds instead of using fitteds and that has worked great for us.

    • Stephanie says:

      I never had luck with cloth overnight. Both girls would soak through BumGenius with triple/quadruple liners and no one was getting any sleep because changes were needed after a couple hours. The night I put a disposable on the first baby she (we) slept for ten hours straight (yes, she woke up QUITE hungry). Not only that but she became a new baby personality wise when she got enough rest. From that point on it has been cloth during the day and disposables at night.
      Now that she is in training pants we use Bummis cloth pants during the day and pullups at night. The nine month old is still in diapers 🙂

      • Anitra says:

        My daughter didn’t usually wake up from being wet, but she was SOAKED nearly every night (she usually poops overnight too, which doesn’t help). There were a lot of other things I tried, but I got tired of changing the sheets in her crib and dealing with wet, stinky PJs every morning. When we switched to disposables for overnight, we only had a leak once or twice a month.

        Now she’s in undies during the day, a cloth diaper at naptime, and Pull-Ups at night…. and our baby boy is using all the diapers she used to wear!

    • Chanda says:

      For overnights we always cover the pocket diaper with a Thirsties brand diaper cover (that we would otherwise use for prefolds). They seem to be the super leak solution!

    • Sarah says:

      We use Sandys plus a booster or Bumpers without an extra booster(a UK brand) with Motherease wraps at night on our 2 year and 5 month boy. He remains dry with this combination. He has been in cloth day and night since birth (except for holidays for convenience).

  • I am 2 months into cloth diapering our newborn and am actually enjoying and so glad I made the switch this time w/our 2nd child.
    A few points to add:
    -I bought several brands of diapers to find which ones I will really like – I bought Softbums, Thirsties Duo Wraps & prefolds, workhorse fitteds, Grovia, gDiapers, Applecheeks. I bought a few of each either on sale or used from craigslist and through diaper swap groups on FB. I found I didn’t like gDiapers and really like prefolds, fitteds, and Thirsties Duo Wraps and Applecheeks covers & bamboo inserts.
    -Enter cloth diaper giveaways – there are a TON out there in the blogosphere. I had entered many, many giveaways from January to March (baby was due in April) and won 8 diapers.
    So between buying used diapers cheaply and winning diapers, one can build a good stash.
    – cloth diapers have resale value! You can’t say that about disposables! I just sold off some of the diapers I found I didn’t like.

    And for those worried about baby feeling wet, use fleece liners or fleece lined inserts. It helps baby feel dry. I change my baby everytime my baby eats (every 3 hrs) unless she has a BM before her next meal.

  • AnneJisca says:

    I cloth diaper and usually love it. What was frustrating was not being able to keep my heavy-wetter dry at night, so I switched to disposables for night time. Then my second child was such a heavy wetter that until he fit my medium fuzzi bunz, I couldn’t cloth diaper without huge frustrations. I wish I could cloth diaper 24/7, but by only mostly cloth diapering, I get to save a lot of money and frustrations. 🙂

  • Aubrey says:

    We love our Fuzzi Bunz, too, but I will say that at the beginning when you need a lot of diapers, prefolds with a few affordable covers (we like Bummis) are a great way to get a sense of the work involved (we thought it was very easy and loved that it was so earth- and wallet-friendly). Diaperpin often has great sales from WAHM listed in their sales and announcements section. And while a diaper sprayer might seem unnecessary that first year if you mostly breast feed, believe me, once you hit the toddler years it is invaluable, and a very cheap one can be rigged from a sink sprayer from the hardware store.

    I do think the bacteria spray is unnecessary, but a great detergent will help a lot with that — we use Charlie’s (I get a great price on drugstore.com) and love it. It is all natural, no dyes or additives and great for all our cloths. Cloth is an incredible way to save money and save thousands of diapers from the landfills!

    • Candice says:

      I agree that the bacteria spray is unnecessary, and perhaps even dangerous. I’m CDing my third, and I’ve never actually heard of anything like that being popular (And I will say that I’m also in the cloth – diapering and mama/menstrual cloth – business, so I get around.)

      Any bacteria that would be problematic would be on the diaper, and once it’s been washed with detergent, it should be sanitary. If one is still skeptical, the PUL in the diapers is safe at high heat, so you can run the “sanitary” cycle.

      The reason I say it’s dangerous is that I’ve been a member of several prominent cloth diapering boards since 2006. Many, *many* times I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I just put a few drops of tea tree oil (or some other “disinfecting” essential oil) in the washer and it disinfects my diapers.” This scares me a lot, because the tea tree oil will get rid of a very small amount of germs, but unlike most over-the-counter disinfectants, tea tree oil, if not used in a solution that is sufficiently strong, causes the same germ resistance that we’ve seen with antibiotics. 4% seems to be the consensus so far – that’s 1.8 ounces for every gallon of water. At 4% you will kill everything and leave no strong germs behind.

      Anyway, I’m off my soap box! 😛

      One other thing I don’t find necessary, but very convenient, is cloth wipes – much easier to throw the whole diaper and wipes into the pail than to separate the wipes for the trash and the diaper for the pail. 🙂 (I will again own my association – I believe so much in wipes and soap solutions for the wipes, that I now sell them. I don’t believe that just water cleans a bum well enough. Disposable wipes use alcohol to remove germs from your baby’s bum. Soap will do the same thing. You don’t want poop germs shifting around into other important areas…:) )

  • I CD my daughter (now 4.5yo) and off/on with my son (nearly 1). When I had a friend interested in CD but didn’t want to make the investment, I allowed her to borrow various t ypes so she could decide. So ask around before buying!

  • Ashlee says:

    We love cloth diapers. I use disposables at night now that my son sleeps 12 hours straight and for out of the house (quick trips we still use cloth). We use mostly Bum Genius 4.0s one size diapers and some prefolds with econobum covers. I’ve been able to get GREAT deals on my diapers. So far I estimate we have spent about $270 on our stash of about 25 prefolds, 6 covers, 14 one size pockets, 3 wet bags, cloth wipes and liners/doublers.

    We buy mostly seconds from Cotton Babies. These are diapers that are new, but not perfect. Usually a stitch is out of place or a slight pen mark somewhere or something. I’ve never gotten one that looks less than perfect after being washed. If you buy used diapers you can save a good amount and be able to try different types.

    Also the part I love most about cloth is even though it is an upfront investment you can recoup a good amount of what you pay after you are done. Most diapers sell used for about 75% of what you pay.

    Many cloth stores have a try cloth program. Jullians Drawers has one that costs $10. You pay like $150, they ship enough diapers in lots of types and you try for 3 weeks. Then you ship them back and they refund all but $10. Its a good way to test out what you might like without spending tons of money.

  • Laura says:

    We used the cheap disposable diapers (usually found for around 5 dollars/pack at either wal-mart or Kroger) We were using a pack a week about for just one child. That was 20 bucks a month/240 bucks a year, and that was for one child. My older son is pretty much potty trained, but he still needs a diaper for sleep times, and the ONLY disposable diaper that would hold up for him are the special huggies overnights – so we had to buy those.

    We’ve switch to cloth for both boys for less than 200 dollars – using the “cheaper” options – such as sunbaby and alva baby diapers (and a kawaii good night heavy wetter for their overnights. One of those costs the same as a pack of the overnights – but I’m set.). (I even splurged and bought a few cute custom made diapers – but that was a want and not a need) We are now set for my youngest until he potty trains, and for my oldest until he is night trained. I can re-use the diapers if we decide to have a third, or sell them when I’m done to earn some of my money back. We’ve also switched to cloth wipes (which I made myself out of old receiving blankets that Eli doesn’t use anymore)

    I know it’s not for everyone, but I would like to tell anyone who is thinking about it that it is easier/cheaper than it seems. You can buy used on sites such as craigslist, diaper swappers, they have diaper swap boards on baby center and facebook… I know at first it seems overwhelming, but it helped me to look up videos on you tube to see how different diapers worked, how to wash, ect. And then I pretty much jumped right in and it worked out well for us. I’m really happy we made the switch.

  • Jennifer says:

    I love cloth diapering! I’ve been doing it for about 2 months, starting when my baby was 6 months. It is so much easier than I expected. The hardest part, by far, is sorting through ALL the information available on the internet! It can make your head swim.

    I use mostly prefolds and covers. If you go this route, I suggest investing in covers that fit well and that you really love, and what you stuff in there doesn’t matter so much. Most of my prefolds were used. They were stained, but so what.

    Fleece liners help baby feel dry and make easy clean-up for poopy diapers. I just bought a fleece remnant at the fabric store and cut it up.

  • Katherine says:

    We tried cloth diapering on our first but that didn’t work out. She’s a no-detergent, lots of creams and ointments child but that’s ok. The disposables were just kinder to her tush. I’ve saved them all, however, to try again on our second. Either way it works out, I’m ok with it.

  • maggie says:

    BumGenius 3.0 one-size pocket diapers are my favorites!

  • Ann says:

    I used pampers with my first two and cloth diaper my youngest due to her skin allergies. This is what I will say… I love cloth diapering it does take some time for laurdry but you don’t have to dry them, it better to line dry them anyways so you’re saving money there. Two I would not use generic diapers because they have caused rashes when I have had others give me them to try. I don’t know why you would limit the number of times you change your child, that’s why we are encouraging parents that can’t afford to change there child the 10-12 times a day that a newborn should be changed at the minimum. If you are leaving wet or soiled diapers on too long you increase the baby’s odd of getting uti.

    • Ann says:

      Everyone should use the system that works best for them! And we just needed to remember to do what’s best for our children! Let’s try to keep their bums dry and clean!!

  • Summer says:

    These are some good tips. Choosing to go cloth can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you do not know anyone to ask questions of! We have switched to cloth for our second child, and if we decide to have a third, I am pretty pumped about getting tons more use out of the diapers!

    You can always check discount outlet stores that carry random shipments of items weekly. That is how I found almost all of mine. I mainly have Thirsties and FuzziBunz and have been pretty pleased. I once came across a Charlie Banana diaper for 8 bucks and it is quite nice!

    Here is a bit of my input from my blog: http://thevfiles.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/cloth-confessions/

  • Carly says:

    The savings are even greater when you have a special needs child! We switched to cloth when our son was 13-14 months old and at 6, he’s still going through a few diapers a day. (He uses the potty the majority of the time but he is socially delayed so he doesn’t always care enough to make it there!) He has growth hormone deficiency as well, so he’s been in mediums for over 4 years. On the other hand, for larger special needs kids (or kids who will ultimately be in diapers for even longer) you will still see a big savings because the larger disposable diapers are quite expensive!

    • K says:

      The one thing to consider though when using cloth diapers with children with special needs is how this will affect them once they go to school. I teach at a school and have both typical students and varying degree of special need students, I do think it would make the diaper changes for some of my kids much more difficult. Just something to think about as they get older.

  • Emily says:

    I am cloth diapering our third child and this is the second one I’ve used cloth for. This time around I am having trouble with the smell! I am using Planet detergent and I just haven’t found a good washing method for them. They stink when she dirties them (especially urine) so badly that I’m considering going back to disposable. Has anyone found a good method or a good online resource for this??

    • We were recently having issues with this too. I changed to Norwex detergent and noticed a big difference! It is all natural and safe for CD.

      http://brittanygrim.norwex.biz/?p=n&sectid=4&cid=3&pid=1114

    • Candice says:

      It could be a build up of detergent. Try using less detergent next time you wash, and then rinsing several times. I don’t know if you do this, but I realized that I often use too much detergent in general. A chemist friend of mine explained that soap won’t rinse out well unless it has something other than the cloth to cling to – so if you put so much detergent in that there is detergent left after all the dirt is gone, it will stay in the cloth. I’ve learned to think about how many poopy diapers (or muddy socks!) I have in the washer and adjust my detergent scoop accordingly.

      Also, I use Rockin’ Green and that helps more than other brands I’ve tried. A lot, I think, has to do with finding the right detergent for your water. If I start to notice a smell, I usually presoak my diapers as well. I also occasionally use the “sanitary” cycle to really clean, particularly after illness.

    • Kelli says:

      I have cloth diapered my 2 1/2 year old and 9 month-old from birth and although CD with one was much easier than with two, I’m still glad we did it. My one problem has been this same stink issue. I’ve used the Planet and Rockin Green detergents and many other things, but still have problems occasionally. We did switch to an HE washer which I thought might be the culprit. Things did get better once I started doing a warm soak, then cold wash, then hot or sanitary wash. I’ve also had more problems with leaks. Since I bought as little as I possibly could (prefolds, which never have leaks or smells, and bumgenius for the rest) I’ve wondered if having to wash almost every day was the problem. Currently, I think I’m having more issues with the inserts being old. We double up for all diapers now, not just at night. It seems like a lot of hassle, but we committed to this and are taking the good with the bad.

    • BethB says:

      I agree with Candace that it could be detergent build up. This happens to us every few months or so. Just run them through a wash with OxyClean then a few cycles just plain old hot water. That should take care of it.

      For my pocket diapers I used Allen’s detergent which is pretty wicked expensive but you need so little I think I’ve only bought it 2-3 times in the past 3 years.

    • Carly says:

      I had that problem too. I went through every “natural” and “cloth diaper safe” detergent there is before finally switching to powdered Tide. Finally got the smell out!

    • Becky says:

      I don’t have a particular online recommendation, but searching “stripping cloth diapers” on a search engine should provide several articles about this issue. The general thought seems to be that the culprit, as others have mentioned, is usually detergent build-up. Solutions range from several consecutive no-detergent hot wash cycles to leaving clean diapers in the sun for several hours to adding vinegar to the final rinse to using a “regular” detergent (NOT “Free and clear” or “natural”). Our son’s bumgenius diapers definitely stink less (and stink less often) and leak less when I use original Tide detergent. I was using powder, but I’m not sure about using powder in our new frontloader, so now I use liquid. Original Tide and the occasional extra hot-water-only wash has kept our diapers fresh and generally leak-proof. When I’ve used other detergents I got with coupons & deals, we’ve had a gradual increase in the stinkiness and leakiness of the diapers … until I “strip” them and then go back to Tide.

  • Maura says:

    I am 15 months in and love Fuzzis! However, I have to totally disagree with the assertion that a diaper sprayer is “unnecessary.” Unless you have a really fancy/high-end washer, I would never go without it. A quick rinse with the diaper sprayer saves me several rounds of rinsing (ie time and money) with the washer. Totally worth the $25 bucks.

  • Pamela says:

    I have used cloth diapers on my first. Best deal out there is Econobum from Cotton Babies- they are a little less convinient than pocket diapers, but much cheaper. My second is due is November, and my diapers are almost all still going strong.
    Another plus of cloth diapers: my 19 month old son is almost potty trained. I really think he learned faster because he had been cloth diapered and could feel when he was wet. This saved me 1-2 years of diapering a child over disposibles.

    • kj says:

      Not to disagree 🙂 but I really think potty traing depends on the child. I am a very happy disposable diaper mom and all three of my children potty trained really early and easily (one was in a day, one was in 2 days). Again, just food for thought! 🙂

      • ah mom says:

        Ditto for my disposable kids…I know plenty of CD babies that took much longer. I just think each kid is different, regardless of how they are diapered.

  • Michelle says:

    I started using cloth training pants, the ones from One Step Ahead. Can anyone help me with what I should be using to wash/pre-treat them with to help keep down the smell? Right now rinse them immediately after taking them off my child and they get washed within 24hrs, using the second rinse cycle option on my machine but there is still an odor (the second rinse cycle has made a big difference but not completely eliminated it).

  • Sara says:

    What kind of laundry detergent would you CD mom’s recommend? Also, what washing methods do you like? I have heard do a cold/cold and than and hot/cold wash, but I would love to hear what you moms are doing. I’m expecting my first, and I think CD is the way I want to go. Thanks!

    • Chanda says:

      For a good chart to decide what detergent is best for you, check out:
      http://www.diaperjungle.com/detergent-chart.html
      I used to use Purex Free and Clear, but can’t find it anymore, now I use Trader Joe’s “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
      I always do a cold rinse cycle followed by a regular wash set on Hot/Cold (Hot wash with cold rinse).

    • Robbfamily7 says:

      We use Rockin Green. I get from soap.com when it’s on sale. Love the scents.

    • Becky says:

      Original Tide is the only product I’ve used that has kept the diapers stink-free and leak-free. Admittedly, I’ve not used some of the specialty products others have mentioned here. In my tiny neck of the woods, if Wal-Mart or Kroger doesn’t carry it, it has to be ordered online. I don’t object to other products, but Tide works for us. Side note: I use about half of the recommended amount because that’s what the leaflet that came with the cloth diapers said to do. Works well.

  • Mariah says:

    I love cloth diapering! we use prefolds or stay dry inserts with flip covers and about 14 pockets (BG, sunbabys) overall cost about $200 and they will hopefully last threw more babies….

    you can find great deals on used diapers at babycenter swap board, diaperswappers, and cottonbabies growing up cloth program…. i bought 4 BG 3.0 for $20 from cottonbabies used diaper program and i LOVE them… the key to saving money is dont get caught up in the hype i cannot stress that enough!

  • Camille says:

    We bought our set of Fuzzi Bunz on Craigslist. I paid around $200 for about 15 diapers, 30 inserts, and numerous bags for the diapers. These diapers had gone through the sellers 2 kids and now my 2 kids and I’ve only lost one diaper to wear and tear!

    I don’t use any “extras” at all. I just put the dirty diapers in a bucket in the laundry and wash them ever day or two. I use soap nuts to wash them, but I use the nuts on our regular laundry, too.

    I do use disposables for night time and when we go out (like church). It’s just easier. A small package of disposable diapers will last me a month or two. I’m definitely saving money!

  • Good post Brit!!!!!!! 🙂

  • Carla says:

    I cloth diapered my four children when they were babies for the vast majority of the time! LOVED it! (as much as you can love changing diapers)

  • Beka says:

    I’m a very experienced cloth diaper Mama as well. And yes, cloth diapering is FUN! Seriously, one load of laundry has never been a burden to me at all. I’m so anti-disposable diapers that I wouldn’t even use them when we went on vacation! Can you believe that… I used cloth diapers only for a 8 day road trip! (Did two loads of laundry while at the grandparents house). My favorite is an all-in-one Bum Genius. I used Fuzzi Bunz for a while but my little guys legs were just too chubby and in the hot Texas summer, they were HOT. I’ve really enjoyed the velcro BG’s, easy peasy! I’ve used lots of other kinds and liked them too. Money saving TIP: Buy used!! Buy from diaperswappers online or craigslist!! I’ve bought many diapers that way! I also like to support Christian stay-at-home mom’s who have cloth diapering businesses!

  • Beka says:

    I use Charlie’s soap for all my family’s laundry, including our cloth diapers and I really really like it! The diapers always come out super clean. And, I only use 1/3 of what the detergent instructions say to use! Make that soap last! Also, don’t feel like you need to buy anything besides the actual diapers and one wet bag, at least at first. I have used different “extras” from time to time, but now the ONLY things I use are my actual cloth diapers, a large wet bag, and a to-go wet bag.

  • Leighann says:

    WOW…I just used the estimator and I wouldn’t even break even for 81 MONTHS. Considering kids only stay in diapers for about 36 months….cloth diapering would cost us way more than save, in addition to having to wash the poopy diapers in the same machine we wash clothes in. No, thanks!

    • Crystal says:

      You’re cracking me up!

    • Carly says:

      My sister said the same thing about the poop! But before she switched to cloth, her breastfed baby was having daily diaper blow outs all over his clothes and bedding. So she was washing poop anyway. Plus, you have to take into account the money you can make back on your cloth diapers. You can’t sell used disposables though. Ha!

    • Elizabeth says:

      If you’ve got kids, you’ve got poop in your washing machine. Don’t let that discourage you.

      Also, you have to think about the costs to society as a whole of dumping human waste and thousands of pounds of plastic into landfills. And the chemicals that are sitting on your baby’s skin!

      We bought all our diapers used, and spent about $300 for 3 years worth of diapers (which we can use again for the next one). No way disposables are cheaper.

  • Beka says:

    Oh, and cloth wipes are GREAT to use as well! Either baby wash cloths designated as cloth wipes or buy some flannel and hem up your own. We use cloth wipes for everything disposables can do… on the go, for the diaper change, wipe the face (with a clean one obviously), etc. Disposable wipes are LOADED with chemicals, seriously so bad for your baby’s skin.
    And you might find, that you want to switch to cloth wipes for your own toilet paper as well! And then Mama Pads for your menstrual cycle! Fun stuff! Not gross at all! I have a post coming up soon on my blog (next week) with my cloth diaper wipes solution recipe!
    http://unconventionalhomemaker.wordpress.com/

  • Beka says:

    I generally try to pay about $10 per cloth diaper. I like to have 15 diapers. So that tells you how ‘off’ some estimations may be. Us moneysavingmom.com readers know how to get good deals, even on cloth diapers!

  • Cindy says:

    I am a HUGE fan of cloth diapers! We started with my daughter and were able to re-use most of hers when my twin boys arrived not quite two years later. Even with pricier cloth diapers (a variety of Fuzzibunz, Kissaluvs, Rumparooz and others), a few wet bags, and a diaper sprayer, we still came out WAAAAAAAYYYYYY ahead of where we would have been with disposables. A friend made me several nice flannel and terry wipes and gave me her recipe for a wipe solution. The best part was, in the end, I was able to sell my diaper stash to another mom for a bit more than 50% of what I’d paid new. Oh, and my daughter potty learned at two and my twin boys at two and a half, thanks largely to them being able to feel the wetness a bit more than they could in disposables.
    *I am always disheartened to read articles that reference the studies done showing that cloth diapers are more harmful than the environment, as the two key studies cited were both funded by the parent companies of disposable diaper manufacturers!

  • We cloth diapered both of our children part time. My favorite diapers were fuzzi bunz and bumgenius.

    My son did well with covers and prefolds but for some reason they didn’t work as well for my daughter.

    My daughter also has pretty sensitive skin and cloth diapers just didn’t seem to agree with her. So we stopped. I still do love cloth diapers though.

  • Michelle says:

    My 4th baby is due in 2 weeks and we’re going to try cloth diapering. I think I’ve spent between $175 and $200 on the “stash” I’ve built up. I’m doing mostly prefolds and covers, and I think I may have more than I need. 🙂 I bought some cute all-in-ones that I couldn’t resist but probably didn’t NEED either. I’m looking forward to saving money. I plan to line dry as much as possible on our back deck. We’re in a subdivision that may frown upon a clothesline with diapers, but the deck should be fine, and being in GA…. I think they’ll dry!

  • Frances says:

    I raised four children with cloth diapers . The first two , I wash by hand in water that was heated on the stove. I did not get a washing machine until the second was potty trained. I did not get a dryer until the forth was borned. There were no so called Pampers!!! There is no way we could have afforded to buy Pampers. I am 78 years old. YOUR generation is terribly Spoiled, and Pampered.

  • kristi says:

    Yay for a post on cloth dipes!! Thank you! So I didn’t read through all of the comments – but a super fabulous store in Wichita is Sweet Cheeks (I’m only a fan – not in business there) and every month they offer a diaper exchange where you can check out what other people are using and trade or buy whatever people bring. You can check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/kristi.fair?ref=name#!/event.php?eid=204836002893681

  • Dawn says:

    I would have been tempted to switch to cloth had I not discovered Amazon Mom and Swagbucks.com I earn a few swagbucks each day and cash them in for Amazon.com gift cards. The Amazon Mom program (free to join) gives you an automatic 30% off diapers when you use subscribe and save (which you can cancel as soon as your item is shipped). In the last 6 months I’ve spent a total of about $30 out of pocket for diapers for my 2 kids. I buy the GIGANTIC box of Luvs brand diapers (about 200 diapers) and retails for around $35. But with my swagbucks and 30% off I never pay more than $5 out of pocket for one box and 200 diapers lasts me over a month.

    I compared the $5 a month I spent on disposables and I could not justify the initial investment for the cloth diapers. The one’s that I looked at were about $20 each and I would need at least 10 – 15 for each kid to start out. And then I’d need to buy a bigger size within a year with that AIO’s. I just didn’t have that kind of money to pay so much $ up front.

  • Niki C says:

    After Crystal posted the article on diapering for practically free, I offered 2 dozen of these http://www.etsy.com/listing/64906667/not-just-a-flat-fold-cloth-diaper-easy?ref=pr_shop on the Heart4home blog.

    These diapers need inexpensive wraps and a pin or snappi. They wash better and dry faster than any other diapers I’ve used or made. Less energy means bigger savings!

  • BethB says:

    I’ve been cloth diapering for almost 5 years now and it works very well for our family. Our older son was in diapers until just past his third birthday and I expect the younger one to be similar so we’ve easily got another year to go.

    My personal preference for the first year is prefolds because they’re cheaper, easier to launder (no stuffing of diapers when you’ve got a newborn, simpler detergent choices), and breastfed poop is easier to deal with on them than on pockets or AIO, in my opinion. Both my kids were switched to pockets around their first birthday. We have Bum Geniuses which have held up with the exception of the velcro. I strongly, STRONGLY, advise against buying one size diapers with velcro. I had mine replaced with snaps and it saved me from having to buy a new stash.

    My biggest peice of advice is that it’s not an all or nothing thing. Both my kids have been in disposables at night since they were a few months old. My 4 y/o wears disposable pull ups at night and that’s what we used during potty training as I couldn’t find a cloth alternative. With my second son I’ve been much more laid back (ahem, lazy) and have used more disposables on a regular basis. If we’re going to be out of the house for a few hours, if I have him in the child care at the gym or church, or if he goes to grandparents’ house I slap him in a sposie. It’s much easier to keep a disposable diaper and wipes stashed in my purse, gym bag, and car than the supplies for cloth diapering. Any little bit helps both the environment and your pocketbook.

    Although I wouldn’t suggest my extreme laziness method of using sposies because the cloth are still in the dryer in the basement and I can’t be bothered to go get them. 🙂

  • Jamie says:

    Like many money-saving strategies, it can save you money or it can’t. You could argue that couponing, or making your own bread, or buying used clothing, doesn’t save you money and it won’t for some people. It all depends on where you live, what resources you have available, etc. CDing certainly CAN cost you more than disposables, especially if you choose a large amount of high-end cloth diapers and only use them for one child. Then you wouldn’t save money versus couponing for disposables. However, like other money-saving techniques, cloth diapering CAN save tons of money with very little effort.

  • Robbfamily7 says:

    We LOVE cloth diapering. This is actually our 6th child, but 1st to cloth diaper. I wish I had done this sooner. I love it. My hubby even likes it better. We use BumGenius 3.0’s and Sunbaby diapers. I like the BG’s better because they come in velcro. But the Sunbaby’s work great and have super cute prints. Sunbaby’s are only about $4-5 a piece, so very inexpensive. I purchased my BG’s used on diaperswappers and BabyCenter’s cloth diaper swap board. I paid on average $10 a piece. I have 13 BG’s and 8 Sunbaby’s. So about $170 worth of diapers. I wash every other day. My baby is 2 1/2 months old and cloth is working out very well for us.

    We also use cloth wipes. It’s so much easier than disposable wipes. I just wet them and then put them into an old wipe container on the changing table. I just toss them in the diaperpail with the diapers. So easy!

  • Tabitha says:

    I use cloth diapers at home ( I am a stay at home mom, and yes we spend most of our time at home, and I have no desire to carry around stinky diapers). But my favorite purchase for my cloth diapers is my diaper sprayer…yes I could live without it, but it makes cleaning out diapers so much easier. Not to mention it also makes cleaning out the little potty, that we use for potty training, much easier as well.

    I got my stash as gifts, I use BG 3.0s and flips…seriously what does a kid need for a first birthday or christmas really, not like they will remember they got diapers.

  • Paula says:

    I am also in love with CDs. Everyone I know knows it too. I have gotten good at not constantly talking about it after a year of cding. But I have converted quite a few friends. I joke with my hubby that I should get some kind of commission. Flip are my fave. I also got some fuzzibunz on sale black Friday that I have ready for when hubby is alone with them or for a babysitter.

  • Rachel says:

    My mother used cloth diapers when I was little. I really wanted to try them out and use them with my own daughter, but she hated them. The second they got wet at all she would scream until I changed her. She did not like it at all. She has sensitive skin and that is probably why. I switched back to disposable diapers and she was fine after that.

  • Allane says:

    Thanks for this post. I am 16 weeks, and was just thinking this morning about looking into the cloth diapers (my Mom always used cloth). I feel much more encouraged to try after reading so many positive comments about using them.

  • Jessica says:

    I have not ever really considered cloth diapers since I didn’t want to bother with washing and I know it wouldn’t save us money. I have kept an exact count of the diapers I’ve bought for my 15-month old daughter (third child) and the total cost is around $350. Even at my top price (0.14 per Parents’ Choice diaper at the current size 3), the total would come to $460 and I know I got most of them much cheaper than that. I’ll stick with disposable.

  • Susan says:

    I have been buying disposable diapers on sale and with coupons at CVS and Walgreens for the past year. I have also purchased ones from Amazon with coupons. I have only bought Pampers and Huggies. I have spent less than $100 on these disposable diapers. My baby is 9 months old and I decided to count the diapers that I have left. I still have over 800 diapers left. So you can get disposable diapers for pretty cheap. And the environmental impact on disposables is the same as the it is for cloth.

  • barbie says:

    I’ve been cloth diapering for about a year with my second kid. I have an assortment of sun babies and other homemade cds. I use disposables when we are traveling and at night. also, when life gets stressful I use disposable. I like the idea of cds so I keep trying but the truth for us is that they are less comfortable for my active daughter (bulky especially) and she had a constant diaper rash when we are using them. I’ve used cd safe creams and lots of different detergents (including charlies) and had little luck. I strip and wash them carefully but am constantly fighting an odor. I keep hanging in there but I def. don’t think it’s for everyone. I rec. starting slow and trying one or two at first before you invest lots of money in it. it also really backs up my laundry because I wash the diapers atleast 2 times, usually 3, and unless I’m sitting on top of the laundry – it takes time. so, give it a try, but don’t be too hard on yourself if its not for you!

    • erika m says:

      This is exactly my situation. It seems like my little guy actually gets a rash when I use cloth dipes…I thought it was the opposite! I use disposable on trips and as a fallback…I think I have used 1 pkg of disposable in the last 8 months.

    • Crystal says:

      I had a child with this, too. I tried lots of different kinds of diapers and finally realized I just wasn’t going to be able to CD her. She couldn’t wear anything by Pampers without breaking out in a bad rash. Gratefully, she’s all potty-trained now!

    • stacey says:

      I’ve cloth diapered two kids and been around cloth diapering boards for a long time! That said, I think you probably need to use a better detergent or use more. Diaper stink (ammonia) is the bi-product of bacteria and urine. If your diapers are not getting clean (they need that detergent!) the bacteria stays in the diaper and as soon as your child wets the diaper you’ll notice that awful nose burning ammonia. Detergent is your friend, it makes water more wet (so it can penetrate all those layers of material) and binds with the all the dirty stuff floating around in the washer water and doesn’t allow it to be redeposited on your laundry. If you have hard water you need to use more detergent because it will bind with the minerals already present in the water. I also think stripping diapers is one of those total myths that sounds like a good plan until you understand the science of what’s going on in your washer.

      My kiddos both have sensitive skin and neither has ever had a diaper rash or stinky diapers.

  • Cyndy says:

    Love cloth diapers! I would not consider a diaper sprayer negotiable, though. After using cloth diapers without one with my first 2, and then having one with my last two, I can tell you it makes rinsing off cloth diapers WAY more pleasant. I bought a sprayer on eBay, and then had my husband drill an off-center hole in the bottom of a trash can. Then when I had a dirty diaper I’d take the trash can and set it on top of the toilet and spray off the diaper while holding it in the can…the dirty water goes right into the toilet. No need to dunk! I kept a plastic lid next to the toilet to set the can on when not in use so it would not drip on the floor, and washed the lid in the dishwasher once a week. I would never use cloth diapers without these!

  • Anna says:

    I made my daughter’s diapers out of “diaper” material from the cloth store. I was dirt poor and needed to economize. My mother showed me how to make them and sew them and how to buy “rubber pants” for her when she was older. Later on, I bought store made cloth diapers for my other kids. For me disposable diapers were a luxury. My oldest is now a young teen and I still have one in diapers but I still use cloth diapers. I think that cloth diapers are better on skin and cuts down on rashes. Although I can’t wait until my last one is out of diapers. I’m done then!

  • Megan says:

    We love CDing! We have used cloth with my son who is 2 and are planning to use them with our second coming this fall. We use mostly BumGenius 3.0s. We got a few new diapers in the beginning as gifts, I bought some used at Cotton Babies, and we stocked up our stash at the Cotton Babies annual $1 sale. They sell used (some in not great shape, but definitely repairable) Bum Genius diapers for a $1 each. We have definitely saved money – especially now that we will be using them with baby #2. You can buy used diapers online at Cotton Babies website also, although not always as cheaply. They also sell repair kits online for $1 per kit. I’ll be repairing most of my diapers before baby #2 gets here. It’s nice to not have to think about buying diapers all the time.

    We like our diaper sprayer (after he started eating solids it was needed), wet bag for the diaper bag, and Allens for washing (it is expensive, but lasts forever). I made my own wipes out of flannel material and we use a mixture of 1 cup water, 1 tbs olive oil, and 1 tbs baby wash to wet the wipes.

    I also just read a post about using BumGenius pocket diapers as swim diapers also – you just use the diaper, without an insert.

  • Lacy says:

    Kellyscloset.com has a father’s day code available for a free diaper ($17 value) with a $39 purchase. Here’s a link http://www.kellyscloset.com/ I’m in no way offiliated with this website, just love a good deal 🙂 They have coupons available all the time!

  • WWadeII says:

    Wow Cloth Diapers have come a long way from when I was a kid. I had an allergy to whatever they were putting into diapers 30+ years ago and had to go with cloth diapers. They were the simple white cloth kind and my parents had to use some kind of service that delivered and picked up the dirty ones.

    When it comes to sanitized diapers at home look for the new Washers with a water heater in them. Not all High Efficiency washers have them. Usually you will see the sanitize option. And speaking of saving money an HE washer and dryer combo can cut your laundry bills in half or more. Just my 2 cents

  • Holli says:

    What is the anti-bacterial spray and detergent you use?

  • Kassi says:

    I am also a cloth diapering mama. When I started my search for cloth diapers we didn’t have a cloth diaper store in town. I am very visual and I wanted to see the diapers in action first. So I resorted to youtube. They have a cloth diaper channel with 6-8 women who can answer ANY question. Here is the link

    http://www.youtube.com/user/ClothDiaperChannel

    I use Best Bottoms AIO Hybrid. I bought 6 covers and 21 inserts (3 different sizes) for a total of $350.00.

    If you want to cloth diaper cheap then you might try econobum by bumgenius. It is 48.95 for a pack of 12 prefolds and 3 covers. If you buy 2 packs then you could easily cloth diaper full time for around 100.00.

  • We use Bac-Out spray or thristies pre-wash, and I’ve used Charlies soap and Norwex detergent (Norwex is my favorite). There are many kinds out there, just make sure that what you use is all natural so that you don’t cause a build up in your CD’s.

  • Carrie says:

    We love our cloth diapers! Whether they cost less or not, we loved that we could buy several years of diapers all at once and not have to worry about it again. It was easier to spend $250 at once (from our tax return) than fight to find $15 every week for disposables.

  • williamsmommyof5 says:

    We use Babyland diapers we got on Ebay for $2-$3 each and instead of liners we use folded flannel receiving blankets. We haven’t had any leaks and we love it 🙂

  • chelsea says:

    We cloth diapered our first but when our second child arrived, I could not keep up with the laundry of two in cloth diapers at the same time, and we went back to disposables. My husband was more than willing to put a line item in the budget for this! Now our third is 8 months old and though the older two kids are potty trained, I cannot imagine keeping up with three kids age three and under plus cloth diapers! We cloth diapered to save money, but found that for us, its better to make cuts elsewhere that won’t cost me my sanity 🙂

    • williamsmommyof5 says:

      I completely understand where you are coming from chelsea. I have 1 yr old twins and a 26 month old plus a 5 and 6 year old. Our twins are the first we cloth diapered and only because they are allergic to the absorbency crystals used in disposable diapers. If they didn’t have that problem I would still use disposables (and still do for my 2 year old that is not yet potty training). I can’t wait to be done. It is much more work than disposables and ONLY worth it because of the allergy. We do love it but it would be so much easier if it were diapers for one.

  • Megan says:

    I tried using cloth diapers for my second son. I used BumGenius3.0 mainly (I also had some Thirsties and prefolds). The reason I’ve stopped using them is that the moment my son wet in them, he smelled like a wet dog. It was a very strong, offensive smell! 🙂 I tried different wash routines, I bleached them, etc, and though they smelled fresh from the wash, they were awful as soon as he wet in them. I never used special detergent, just my regular detergent (whatever I could get on sale). Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m thinking of just selling the diapers. I can get a pack of diapers for $3 or less….so I’m not even sure if cloth is worth it for all the hassle. : /

    • erika m says:

      I think you should read the previous comments too! But I for one have heard that you should never bleach them, and that many of the detergents out there cause build up and possibly that wet dog smell. Especially if you have an HE washer, which uses way less water, the buildup mildewy smell is caused by an additive to many liquid detergents. My oldest had to be in the 7th generation disposables (Ididn’t clothe with him), because all the chemicals and bleaches would leave his bum red and RAW (bleed) seriously, it was not for lack of frequent changing. Even if you aren’t green ( I try to find a balance), you have to admit, throwing away so many diapers is kinda sad if you don’t have to….to each his own…happy diapering

    • Becky says:

      I have those same diapers. Original Tide is the only detergent I’ve been able to use that keeps the stink away. My recommendation would be to wash them 3-4 times in a row on the hottest setting with NO detergent at all (I know, I know, that’s a lot of water, but it’s just this one time), then try whatever detergent you decide on (again, my choice is original Tide). I’ve read (and found from experience) that “free & clear” and “natural” detergents tend to allow more build-up, resulting in stinkier and leakier diapers.

  • Cora-Sue says:

    They may be more improved than what I used. But they are also a lot more expensive. I had kids in diapers for 12 years and probably spent less than $200.00 total. They were about $8.99 a dozen and plastic pants to use over them were usually 2 for $1.50. It took forever for the diapers to wear out and when they did you just used them for dust rags. And we didn’t worry too much about sticking our babies with the pins we just kept our finger under the point until we got it through the diaper and fastened.

  • Kristin says:

    So, I am totally new to the cloth diapering thing. I love the idea of saving money and I like doing things naturally and in a way that is good for the environment, etc., but I just dread the thought of washing poopy diapers every day. No one really talked about that…how do you clean all those poopies?

    • Mariah says:

      if you baby is exclusively breast feed the first 6 months you dont have to worry about the poop… it has the consistancy of yogurt and you just throw it in the washer and wash it normal…. once they start solids you can use flushable liners, have a diaper sprayer attached to your toilet and rinse it off, or do the dunking method directly in the toilet…. my little one just started solids so ive been doing the dunk and swish method… so far so good…. later on when her poo is more soild you just dump it in the toilet and go on with your day….

      • williamsmommyof5 says:

        I use a separate trash can that I keep next to the toilet for my one year old twins diapers. I also swish and dunk (with rubber gloves) and the trash can has a solution of vinegar and baking soda and water in it to fight the funk. 🙂 I chose a trash can with handles and dump the entire contents of rinsed diapers and fluid directly into the wash add detergent and then put it through the longest hot wash with an extra rinse. This is my preference, but not necessary. It’s usually about one load for two babies

  • Rebecca says:

    I was so pleased to see this post on cloth diapering. I’ve been reading the blog for several months and every time I see a Huggies or Pampers coupon I think “If you are out to save money, why not cloth diaper?”

    We have chosen to cloth diaper our son and through good deals and buying some second hand diapers from a friend we have been able to save several hundred dollars just on one child!

  • I have found cloth diapering to be much easier than I thought it would be. I am amazed at how much I am saving. I have found most of my cloth diapers ( Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius) pre-owned and in great condition. I have a few photos of my cloth finds on my site because I know people have a hard time believing you can find good cloth diapers pre-owned. I never pay more than $8 per diaper.

  • Rachel says:

    I just wanted to add that although the new colorful cloth diapers are great (And I certainly wouldn’t mind using them!!), they are not the cheapest way to cloth diaper. Prefolds are the way it used to be done- you can get them online for usually around $1 a diaper. Fasten with a snappie or old fashioned diaper pins. Just get a cover (econobum sells them for $10, often they have BOGO sales so you can get them for $5) and you can resuse the cover throughout the day after wiping it off. SOOOOO much cheaper. I think I spent $70 on all my cloth diapers and I have enough to full-time cloth diaper from newborn through toddlerhood!

    You can also make you own, as I’m sure some have suggested. But even if you don’t have much sewing talent, prefolds are easy to make – you can even make them out of old t-shirts! so if you really don’t have money to spend, you can still diaper your baby. Just be creative and think of what people did in time’s past!

  • Jo says:

    We couldn’t face going the whole hog with cloth nappies, but we went for a half measure of using cloth wipes instead, something called Cheeky Wipes. They work out so much cheaper, and clean a lot better, much better for the environment, and have been brilliant for weaning as well. Not sure what the US equivalent is but definitely worth tracking some down.

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