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Guest Post: My Journey to Cloth Diapers


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.

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

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

Are they gross? Well, yes.

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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  • Charity says:

    My husband and I are adopting our first child, and dont have money left over to invest in cloth diapers, so I made mine. I recently tried them out on my friend’s baby, and they were awesome. I cant wait to use them.

    THere are tons fo sites out there that have great tutorials and tons of free patterns. Pick one that works for you and go for it. Make sure your material is breathable. Most of mine are cotton, but a few are poly cotton blends. There are special materials you can buy as well.

    Mine cost an average of about 3 dollars to make.

  • I recently posted about my cloth diapering experience so far: If you’re a seamstress, I’d definitely encourage you to consider making them! It’s much cheaper than buying nice ones, and SO much fun. Google “Diaper Sewing Divas” for a great diaper sewing board online.

  • Rachael says:

    I cloth diapered my son (he’s now potty trained) and plan to use cloth with our new baby as well. I preferred prefolds with a snappi plus covers (Thirsties are my favorite!) b/c they were the least expensive and most durable (and the most leakproof!).

    I started with cloth from the time my son was just a few days old and to be honest it wasn’t overwhelming or difficult – I just made sure to save the easiest diapers for nighttime when I knew I didn’t want to mess with a snappi ; ).

    I only purchased disposables a handful of times during my DS’s life and never bought disposable wipes – we used cloth everywhere we went and the only exception was when we went on a weeklong vacation without access to laundry facilities so I did buy some disposables then. I’m a bit sensitive to smell and the perfumed scent of disposables was very repugnant to me so I avoided it whenever possible.

    I highly recommend using cloth wipes along with cloth diapers – my favorite wipes were sewn for me by a friend and are flannel on one side and velour on the other. I just got a dozen or so wet with water at a time and put them in a plastic Pampers wipes container.

    My ‘how to cloth diaper’ tutorial (with pics of my diapers and wipes and diapering set-up):

    What diapers we have bought in each size and the total cost breakdown:

    I highly recommend cloth diapering!

  • catherine says:

    Where do you get those flushable liners you mentioned? My 4 year old just won’t go poop in the potty (only pee) and I do not want to put him back in pull-ups. So i’m thinking those liners might work for us. Any advice with potty training my son with #2 anyone might have will be great. Thanks for a great site.

  • Kelli says:

    We use Kushies All-in-ones with the flushable liners (which we don’t flush since they are biodegradable, saving water) and love them. The flushable liners (and Kushies, btw) are now available on and in some stores. You can get them shipped to the store to save money!

    Lots of people give Kushies bad reviews, but we have never had problems and consider them to be pretty affordable versus cloth, and very easy to use. I only wash them once every few days with a small amount of detergent on hot water/cold rinse and they come out smelling and looking fresh and clean.

    Catherine, this might be something you have already thought of, but some kids need to put their feet against something to push when going #2, so you might try putting a height appropriate stool by the toilet.

  • JW says:

    I’ve cloth diapered my oldest (now 22 months), since she was ~3 weeks old, and have cloth diapered my 2 month old since she was 3 days old. We do use disposables at night with both girls, as well as at church. I’d recommend either attending a seminar, or seeking out a local B&M store that carries several different kids to see how they actually work. Several baby thrift/consignment stores in my area carry cloth diapers. There are even one size diapers that fit from 8-30+ pounds, making them a great option (they’re under $20 each). Even if you decide to go a completely different route, or with different brands that you purchase online, you’ll at least have an idea of how the different kinds work. Most of my favorite diapers are all work at home mom made!

  • Andrea says:


    I don’t remember where the seminar ladies said they got them, but I believe the diapers with flushable liners are called “G Diapers.” They said you can buy the liners separately, and I’m pretty sure they said they could find them in a store (an earthy-type store), but I can’t remember which one. It was a while ago.

    Hope that’s kind of helpful!

  • Angela says:

    Hi. I am a huge cloth diaper user. The best thing is that up until they are eating “food”, you don’t even have to pre-rinse the diapers in the toilet! The breast-milk poo will just rinse out in the washer. Yes, it’s okay to do that. If your washer doesn’t smell after washing diapers then your washer is clean for your regular laundry. My favorites are the bummis whisper wraps and a pre fold diaper. No pins and no fuss. They are the most economical way to go! Happy Diapering!

  • Heather says:

    We have two little girls ages 2 and 1 and usually use cloth diapers (except when disposables are such a great deal that they’re cheaper!). Kushies are my favorite. They’re the all-in-one kind that use velcro to close the diaper.

    We dunk them in a 5-gallon bucket of vinegar water until we’re ready to wash (every 2.5 days, since we have two kids). Then we spin, rinse, and wash, and dry on low with a towel thrown in to decrease the drying time.

    When we go to town, I carry a wetbag that I made (from PUL, same fabric as the diapers are made of) for carrying the dirties.

    Cloth diapers work REALLY WELL for us. And it gives me a great feeling that I’m doing something good for the girls & good for our budget.

    I haven’t posted on this yet, but hope to do so soon!

  • Laura says:

    I am using cloth diapers on my daughter. I tried using the Gerber “cloth diapers” (aka burp cloths) from the baby store when she was first born, but quickly found out those DID NOT WORK! A friend loaned me her prefolds and covers, which we are still using. They are so much better. Once we got putting them on her down, neither DH or I have had any problems with them. They are being put to work in the third family (mine is at least the 3rd child to use them); they are extremely durable! I do not snappi or pin them right now, but I may have to when she starts crawling and such. We also have 3 one-size pocket diapers which I found used. We save these for when we are going out somewhere or for others to change. I have done hours and hours of research on the subject and have also decided to make some for my DD as she grows and also for the next child. There are many cloth diaper fabric websites out there that have everything you would ever need to make some. I have made a couple and I’m not exactly a experienced seamstress, but they were really pretty easy. Some websites I have found very helpful
    This site has tons of info about CDs and how to use them as well as sells them
    This is where I got my used one-size.
    This site sells diaper fabric, patterns, notions and also has a message board to help those sewing them.

    Once you get over the initial investment CD’s are so great! And as CDers are fond of saying “These aren’t your mama’s cloth diapers” (Actually I think that is one site’s slogan :))

  • Katie says:

    Thanks for this post! I’ve been following your blog for a while (bummed my Target didn’t have carrots today…) and have been considering CD’s for a while. My son is 15 months old now, but I figure we’ve still got around 9 months or more of diapers ahead of us. I just need to see if daycare is open to it!

    Good luck with your CDing adventures, I’ll be looking for any updates 🙂

  • Marla says:

    My favorite site for cloth diapers is – and she sells the flushable liners. Our favorite brand in the early days were Kissaluvs fitted diapers – size 0. Now, we almost exclusively use BumGenius – they make a one-size diaper, so it grows with the baby. There are several “sampler packs” available out there as well – I started out with one so I could try different brands and styles before settling on one.

    One more thing – a great way to save money is to buy used diapers. The idea may take some getting used to, but it’s really not that bad. Conversely, you can make back the money you spend on your cloth by reselling it when you’re finished with it! Check out for info on that.

  • Camille says:

    We switched to cloth diapers when my daughter was 10 months old and use Fuzzi Buns exclusively (they just work the best for us). I agree that a new mom should hang back a few months before investing — we waited 10 months! I also agree that you need to try out different brands. I bought all of mine used on Craigslist and they work great.

    I posted a short review of them on my blog here:

  • Karen says:

    I’ve used cloth one-size diapers since my son was a month old…the only reason we didn’t start out with them is that his little butt was just too tiny! My favorite site for diapers is . They carry one-size, all-in-ones, covers, wipes, etc. You can get unbleached cotton, organic cotton, bambo fiber…it’s really a great selection. Personally I think these are way simpler than the pocket diapers that a lot of people use, but that is probably just personal preference.

    If the gross-out factor is deterring you from giving cloth a try, I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t think it’s any worse than changing a disposable, which we do use for plane rides and, unfortunately, at my in-laws. Even out and about we just tie the dirty cloth diaper up in a plastic bag and take care of it as soon as we get home.

    The initial output can be pricey, but I really feel that for us they have already more than paid for themselves. Other than buying a few larger size covers and slightly higher utility bills, you’re in the clear once you’ve built up your supply. And with baby #2 on the way in just a few months I’ve very happy to know I don’t have to factor diapers into our already tight budget!

  • Julie says:

    great post. i use plain old prefolds though and haven’t had a problem. i also just run 2 wash cycles instead of 3, but whatever works!

  • chelssya says:

    I’ve used cloth diapers with both my sons and have really loved them. I used to put soiled diapers in a pail filled halfway with water and a couple tablespoons of borax. Then I’d dump the whole thing into the washer and wash on one cycle with an extra rinse. We now have a front-loading washer, so it’s tough to pour a pail filled with dirty water into the washer without spilling on the floor. So, I just omitted the water in the pail and have noticed no difference. My favorite brand is Sandy’s by Mother Ease, The diapers have snaps and elastic waists and legs. I really like their Rikki wraps, too. They’re a little more expensive than some out there, but I think they’re worth it. I spent $300 for everything and the diapers/wraps have been used on 3 kids (my sons and nephew). They’ll definitely hold up for at least a few more kids. We do use disposables on long car trips or long outings. I buy one jumbo box of diapers every other month, so the cost of disposables is negligible for me.

    Someone asked about the disposable liners (they’re flushable) . . The brand I’m familiar with is G Diapers and can be found at Whole Foods or grocery co-ops. You can’t use them with septic tanks and they can cause cause plumbing problems. I don’t think they’re very cost effective, either.

  • Wendy Johnson says:

    I love the Bum Genius 3.0. They are a little more expensive but they are a one-size fits all–my baby can wear them until she is 30lbs. The actually work better than disposables. I have not had a single poopy explosion but every time I have to use disposables I have one (the disposables don’t absorb it as fast).

  • Brittany says:

    I cloth diaper…first used BumGenius but (embarrassingly) didn’t read the directions and used a little bleach…the PUL layer didn’t stay around for So rather than buying more, I opted for the prefolds and then knitted my own covers…lanolizing them is quite easy. I love the prefolds much better…I really don’t know why (perhaps knowing they cost wayyyy less than the all in ones or pocket diapers). Oh- and I’m staying away from the bleach 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Cloth diapers!! Yeah!! I am about to have my third baby, and all have been in cloth. Love them! I use a fitted diaper (Snug-to-fit for after nursing, Kissaluvs for the nursing months) with a nylon diaper cover or gerber vinyl pants over them. I do not wash them as much as the auther of this post. I just dump the “dirties” out of the diaper into the potty using a little TP if necessary, flush, and then put the dry-but-dirty diaper into my pail (which has a nylon bag in it to keep the diaper pail clean. the bag washes w/ the diapers). Then, when my diaper pail is full, I dump the bag full of wet diapers, dirty diapers, wipes, diaper covers, etc. into the washing machine, turn the bag inside out and throw it in, and then do a cold rinse. Then I do a hot wash/cold rinse w/ a small amount of detergent and a splash of vinegar. Then throw the diapers and wipes in the dryer, and hang the bag and diaper covers to dry. I wash every other day, and have about 20 diapers for my just-turned-2yo. I have two different bags for my pail (wash one/use one) and about 10 diaper covers. And you can use anything (old rags, torn up flannel, etc.) as wipes. Easy and, actually, fun!

  • Nancy says:

    If you are new to cloth diapering I highly recommend that you visit There is a huge wealth of info on this site as well as reviews on different cloth diaper brands. Currently, my favorites are Bum Genius 3.0 one size, Happy Heiny’s one size. This way you don’t have to buy multiple covers and the hubby doesn’t mind using these b/c they’re pocket diapers. Also, I use regular prefolds with Bummi’s Super Whisper Wrap covers and a snappy. Another diaper system I really like is Motherease. Their covers DON’T LEAK.

    Cloth diapering is a smart investment. If you plan to have multiple children, it will really save you in the long run. Not to mention it’s a wonderful “green” practice.

    God bless you all!

    mommy to 7 so far

  • Jennifer says:

    I started cloth diapering with child #2 (who is now 4 months old). It really is fun! I think the best advice to someone considering it would be 2 things…(1)give yourself some time to settle into the new baby routine…maybe a month before you start cloth diapering (2) don’t buy all of one type or brand of cloth diaper – everyone likes something different (3) cloth diapering is not all or nothing. We also use disposables sometimes–I’m sure the church nursery workers at our church would not like the cloth sprung on them either! I’d also say consider buying good, but used diapers to save more money and to see what you like!

  • Lisa H says:

    Great post!
    We love our cloth diapers. We’ve used them almost 100% of the time on our 20-month-old, and, along with breast-feeding, it’s one of the best baby-rearing decisions we’ve made. I feel so good about saving money and lessening our environmental impact at the same time.

    My simple advice: don’t be scared of prefolds! With Snappis and covers, they are almost as quick as the all-in-ones for a lot less money. Using prefolds and covers is a true money-saver. We also use some snapping diapers (fitteds) and some pocket diapers and all-in-ones for the diaper bag/church nursery/babysitters. They are as easy as disposables.

    Also, use to buy gently used diapers so you can try a variety of styles/brands to find what you like, and resell what you don’t.
    And, unlike the poster, you don’t have to wash that often or use that much water. I usually wash every 4-5 days, and use much less water. (Cold rinse/hot wash/cold rinse.) We have NO problem with stinky diapers out of the wash. You find what works for you. The simpler diapers (cotton prefolds) are easier to care for than some of the fancier ones.

    We’ve spent about $650 on diapers and accessories, quite a bit more than necessary, because there were some cute and fun diapers I wanted to try above and beyond what was essential. But, even with that amount spent, I don’t think I’ll need to buy anything else until my daughter is potty-trained. And, my future children are set! And beyond them, I can give these diapers to others to use on their kids!

    To answer a previous poster, disposable liners are available here:

    Finally, the link here is to a post with an article I wrote on cloth diapering for my former newspaper. (I was a reporter before I was a mommy.)

  • Lisa says:

    I have been using cloth for about 2 months now and I LOVE it!! I got my diapers-the Bum Genius 3.0 at They are available at some Targets too.

    I cant sew so I had to buy and these are my favorite!!

    I dont know if the flushables would work for potty training but I dont think it would hurt to try. Check out most cloth diaper stores to find them.

    BTW-Fabulous post!! Thank you for highlighting what has ended up being one of my #1 money saving things.

  • Rebecca says:

    We’ve been using cloth for almost two months now. I started out slowly, buying just three diapers to see what it was like. Now we have seven (four different brands), and I’m ready to pick up four or five more to complete my stash. Diaper Swappers is a great resource! We use all pockets because I thought they would be easiest. There are cheaper options, but I like my pocket diapers! I’m glad that you had a guest post about cloth!

  • Well, I’m a dad, not a mom, but I’ll share our experience… 🙂

    My wife and I just switched to cloth diapers for our 7 month old, Brennan. We are very surprised by how easy they are to use. We got ours from, and they’re bumgenius brand. The neat thing is that we saved a TON of money by buying seconds, i.e. there’s a bit of cosmetic stitching off, etc. But they are functionally fine.

    We still keep a pack of disposables around for emergencies and if he stays overnight with his grandparents. We figure, even including the extra laundry, that we’ll come out $350 ahead this year!!

  • mommy to 5 angels says:

    We are preparing for #6 in 14 short weeks. When I found out I was expecting I immediately started researching cloth diapers. Because my mom is a wonderful seamstress and has lots of leftover fleece (and so do I) we decided to make our own diapers. We saw several sites that recommended fleece as a cover and since that makes our start-up costs small we went for it. Obviously we haven’t tried them out yet, but they sure did turn out cute.

    Once my friends found out what I was doing I got cloth diapers from everywhere. Most are pre-folded, but that is OK since they will go inside the cover. We also were given cloth that would work well for making doublers and some flannel for making wipes.

    We currently have about 30 diapers and about 40 wipes made. Is that enough wipes?

    I was excited when I saw this post and can’t wait to come back and see all the new comments and strategies!

  • Tonya says:

    I have cloth diapered my youngest since she was about 5 months old. I have the flushable liners for that messy breastfeeding stool. Now, they are not so hard to take care of. I just dump and flush. I have a pail that I put them into. They keep her dry at night and out in public too. We wash about every 2 -3 days and my water bill only went up $5 a month. I bought a lot of secondhand diapers from I just sanitized them really good in my washer. My favorites to date are BumGenius pockets and all in ones and Fuzzibunz. I do have 1 Blueberry that I got on there cheap that I really love, but would not pay the real price for. All of my Bumgenius my daughter has worn this all time as they are one size diapers. We are even thinking of doing cloth trainers when we get to that point and she outgrows the Bumgenius.

  • Jill says:

    You can purchase the flushable liners at the following page under accessories:

    You can get them elsewhere but this is a very informative site that may answer a lot of cloth diapering questions for others.

    I have a 20 month-old and one on the way and we have cloth diapers from day 1 and LOVED it for many, many reasons! And it is so awesome to know that we have everything we need for #2!!

  • Erin says:

    I have tried G-Diapers, Kushies, Happy Heinys and Bum Genius. Bum Genius all in one are my favorite. They claim to be ‘husband and grandparent proof’, that is, they go on just like a normal diaper, velcro and all.

    I always change mine when we are out and about. I just have a cute little ‘wet bag’ with me and my free sample size packages of wipes.

    I suggest trying a few different ones first and seeing what works for you. I have blogged a little on them here;

  • Lee Scott says:

    I really want to cloth diaper our next baby, and I really think it would be cost effective for us as well. Considering I usually would spend between $40-$60 on diapers a month there can be no comparrison. And since where I live we don’t pay water…I really will make out on the deal!

  • Alyssa says:

    We used cloth w/ my younger siblings-it’s not hard at all. We just kept an open pail in the bathroom. I do remember rinsing stinky ones in the sink before tossing into the pail, which is gross, but you kind of get used to it. My mom has a pretty fancy washer w/ an extra-hot sanitary cycle, which made it super easy. The only problem we had was our church nursery workers who flipped out at the sight of a cloth diaper- and they velcroed over just like disposables!! Lol. We carried a washable vinyl drawstring bag to put used diapers in when we were out, and just tossed it in the wash, too!

    I would love to cloth diaper, but I have to use my apt. washers which cost me $1 a load (plus $1 to dry) and the only options are cold, warm, or hot- and it’s a 25 min. cycle. I’m sure they would need more than one cycle, so I’m looking at at least $9/week if I washed 3x! I’m not even paying that much for disposables! (Thanks to MSM!) And I think my neighbors would flip if they saw me washing diapers in the public washers! I admit, I think I would too if I saw someone else doing it!
    (Just curious- has anyone else out there cloth diapered when you have to use coin washers?)

    Oh, well, maybe for the next baby! Meanwhile, I’m incredibly thankful for being able to find such great deals on disposables. And if I can someday, I will definitely try making my own. I could pick out cute fabrics and it would save a lot of money!

  • anna says:

    I went back to cloth (baby #4 22months old) just recently because our daughter has a latex allergy and the only disposable diapers that she can wear are very expensive. I posted to mothers and more, the trading post (a yahoo group) and the MOMYS group I belong to. I ended up with 15 unbleached chinese prefolds and six proraps toddler size… this all set me back $25. They are in pristene condition and she wears them all the time. I don’t wash them so many times though. I rinse the dirty ones of course but I through in a load of them once a day (front load, uses very little water) with a table spoon of charlies soap (ALL our laundry is washed in this) and a 1/4 cup of white vinigar in the rinse. There is no odor what so ever and everything is clean. ***Oh, and there are no pins or snappies here either, I just fold them on her and put the rap on and off she goes. (for a 30lber they stay on just right).
    Happy day.

  • Amy says:

    I use cloth diapers on my son and it is really easy. He is 2 1/2 and he still uses cloth diapers for naps and nights.

    I love cloth diapers. They can be a great cost savings. I have tried a ton of different types of diapers and I find that my favorites are prefolds for home and pockets for daycare and going out and about. We use cloth wipes at home and disposable wipes when away from home and at daycare. When I first started I hated prefolds, but now I love the simplicity and thriftiness of them. Flat diapers are also one size diapers that are very versatile. If you want to try prefold or flat diapers, you don’t have to use pins. There is a fastener called a Snappi that keeps them in place nicely and they are much less scary putting on a squirmy baby.

    The initial cost of cloth diapers is more upfront, but you can save a lot of money. I have bought some expensive diapers, but I still have saved a bunch of money. And when you are done diapering your child you can save them to reuse on your next baby or sell them and recoup about half the money you spent on them.

    The one thing I would add that is nice to have, if you have the money is a diaper pail liner. You can use it to line your diaper pail and it keeps you from having to clean the pail out all the time, you can just throw it into the wash. I also have a wet bag for my diaper bag. But, you can use grocery bags or use old Ziplocs instead of
    a wetbag for you diaperbag.

  • Amy says:

    I use cloth diapers on my ds and it is really easy.

    I love cloth diapers. They can be a great cost savings. I have tried a ton of different types of diapers and I find that my favorites are prefolds for home and pockets for daycare and going out and about. We use cloth wipes at home and disposable wipes out and about. When I first started I hated prefolds but now I love the simplicity and thriftiness of them. Flat diapers are also one size diapers that are very versatile. If you want to try prefold or flat diapers, you don’t have to use pins. There is a fastener called a Snappi that keeps them in place nicely and is less scary putting on a squirmy baby.

    The initial cost of cloth diapers is more upfront, but you can save a lot of money. I have bought some expensive diapers, but I still have saved a bunch of money. And when you are done diaper your child you can save them to reuse on your next baby or sell them and recoup about half the money you spent on them.

    The one thing I would add that is nice to have, if you have the money is a diaper pail liner. You can use it to line your diaper pail and it keeps you from having to clean the pail out all the time, you can just throw it into the wash. I also have a wet bag for my diaper bag. But, you can use grocery bags or use old Ziplocs instead of
    a wetbag for you diaperbag.

  • Erynn says:

    We cloth diapered almost exclusively with our son, and with another on the way, we plan as well. Most of our “stash” consists of diapers that I sewed for him. Some from fabric I purchased, some from old clothes I recycled. My favorite cloth diapers I purchases were bum genius one size diapers. I got them when they had a second quality sale. Never had problems with them, and I got them cheaper than first quality.

    As for liners, we didn’t need any while ds was exclusively breastfed, the poo just washes out in the washer, and no stink issues. However, once on solids, we had a few options. We did install a diaper sprayer, which works great, but still made a huge mess on the BIG jobs. I never have used the disposable liners, I felt they were too expensive. So…I just take old t-shirts and cut them up for inside the diaper. Wet liners get washed and reused, and the poopies just get thrown away.

  • Penny Raine says:

    uh, those of us that churn butter these days do it with a blender 🙂

    blessings, Penny Raine

  • Kim G says:

    I like cloth diapering because I do not like the chemicals that are in disposables. So even if it did not save me money I would choose to do it. I am currently cloth diapering my third baby. I wanted to use all natural fabrics rather then synthetic like PUL and Polar fleece. This time around, money was an issue, so I made my own. I used Rita’s Rump Pattern (RRP) It is a free pattern. I did add elastic in the back. I also made wool covers. I did spluge and bought bamboo fabric to stuff the diapers and bamboo velour to use as a liner. (But I did shop around and used a diaper fabric co-op. So it wasn’t a lot of extra money). I also made my own wipes. I do use cloth diapers out as long as I will be the one to change the baby. I recommend to first time diaper users to just try out a few things at the beginning rather than investing in one system. Also, while I know others re-use the diapers on another child, I wasn’t able to. Because my children were not close together, they had to sit for a year or two without use so that might have been an issue. Also, I tend to buy the diapers that can be use the whole time, so they really were used.

  • Jeri says:

    I cloth diapered all three of my kids, fromt he time my middle child was a newborn and my oldest was about 2 1/2. It was a great experience. My youngest is now three and potty learned about a year ago, so no more diapers for us unless we have more kids – and we’ll definitely use cloth if that happens!For the record, when I was cloth diapering 2 kids, I was also working full time, AND didn’t have my own washer! I didn’t think it could be done, but I did it – and it wasn’t even that hard!

  • Helen says:

    When people find out I use cloth, I sometimes get the look like I have just grown a second head. I use Imse Vimse cloth diapers and have since ds was just a few days old. They went up over his umbilical cord stump as a newborn, so the doc recommded using them after the cord dropped off. They have been wonderful for us. They are a little bit of extra work, but I stay at home so it is manageable. I think the key to using them for me was starting them when he was so young, before I became accustomed to disposables. I have used disposables when travelling but otherwise I stick with cloth.

  • Rachael says:

    re: Flushable Liners

    There are two companies that make them – Kushies and Imse Vimse. The kushies ones are inferior to the Imse Vimse on several counts – they are too narrow and long instead of being wider to fit across the diaper. Also, after being washed they get even more narrow.

    I love the Imse Vimse liners with the peanut-butter poo stage after babies start solids – you just roll the liner off into the toilet and flush. They can be washed up to three times if your baby just pees on them too so they don’t go to waste.

    My favorite place to buy cloth diapers is – she has free shipping on many items (including diaper covers) and has the best prices I’ve found on the internet.

    For buying prefolds, I have heard nothing but good things about, especially b/c she has special sizes like newborn and ones that are the absorbency of a premium but are shorter to cut down on bulk.

  • Beth Moore says:

    I am currently enjoying the joys of cloth diapering with my now 7 month old. I would have never imagined in a thousand years that I would EVER want to do such a crazy thing, but now I feel it is one of the best parenting decisions I have ever made! We never use disposables and as a result we are saving tons of money. Our water bill is no higher than it was before the cloth, (probably due to the fact that you take a lot less luxurious baths and showers as a new mom and dad, but hey….)

    We currently use inexpensive DSQ prefolds with Thirsties covers during the day and some fitted diapers with snap in soakers and the same Thirsties covers for night. We have yet to have a leak or blow out! (Ok, we had one, but it was due to user error, not a failing on the diaper’s part. )

    I would love to encourage anyone who is considering cloth to try it out! I certainly was pleasantly surprised with how easy, fun, and cute they are! Not only that, but we’re helping the environment, they are healthier for baby, and we’re saving a LOT of money!! =)

  • Mary says:

    I have been diapering with cloth for 3 years now, 2 kids. It is great, and a GREAT way to save money. Check out for products and create how-to and cost effectiveness articles.

  • I have gotten all my cloth diapering supplies from and love them!
    My daughter is 15 months and I have been cloth diapering since she was 2 weeks old. I use prefolds w/ a snappi and Imse Vimse covers while at home, and one-size pocket diapers (Bum Genius) while were out and at night (double stuffed). It really helped me to read all the product reviews on I really think the Imse Vimse covers are worth the couple more dollars that they cost. But it seems each kid is different and you have to find what works for you. My daughter is starting to soak through occasionally at night (even if she wears a disposable), so I might have to find another solution for then – I’ve heard bamboo is super absorbent…

  • Whitney says:

    We’ve been cloth diapering our 11-week-old since the day we brought him home from the hospital. We live near the Cotton Babies store (if you live in St. Louis, stop in sometime.. they’re so helpful!) and have purchased all of our diapering stuff from there. We use the Chinese prefolds with mostly Prowrap diaper covers. No pins, no Snappi. We have a Litewrap, which we hated at first but love now that our little guy has grown into it, and a Thirsties cover. We use the BumGenius cloth wipes, witch hazel and water for a wipe spray, and a Rubbermaid storage box for a diaper pail. We take gallon-sized Ziploc baggies when going out with the diaper bag.

    One thing I didn’t realize is that you have to account for the extra “padding” with the cloth diapers when considering clothing sizes. For a larger baby, newborn sized onesies may not fit well when using a cloth diaper, but will fit fine with a disposable. If you are going to use cloth while traveling (church, family outings, etc.), you’ll also need a bigger diaper bag. I’ve had to take two bags on one occasion when we were out of the house all day.

  • Andrea says:


    That is amazing! I really would like to learn how that is done. I assume it’s cheaper than buying butter. (Not to hijack the conversation, but I’ve never bought real butter since I’ve been married.) Plus, it sounds fun. 😉

    I’ll do some research on how to make butter in a blender!


  • I cloth diaper my kiddos, and I make most of their diapers. I actually did a tutorial on how to make a prefold, cheap and easy.

    And I also have some pictures of some fitteds I made:

  • Amy says:

    I have 6 kids all of which that have at least been part time cloth diapered. After almost 10 years of using them my favorites are still Mother-ease which is what I first bought 10 years ago when I decided to use cloth. I still have some of those original ones. They are getting pretty thin but are still usable. I ordered some new ones a few months ago and the new ones are definitely softer and fluffier. I use prefolds for small babies and then switch to Mother-ease and Bumgenius at 6 months. They grow so fast at first I can’t justify spending a lot on little diapers plus little babies are a lot easier to change than wrangling a toddler that doesn’t want to lay still for a change.

    We still buy 2-3 packs of diapers a month with 2 in diapers. I use them at night, for outtings, or if my laundry is getting backed up. For a long time we were a cloth only house but I really like having some disposables that I usually buy at CVS pretty cheap.

  • Shayna says:

    I have been using Bum Genius all in one diapers for about a month now. We love them! I HIGHLY recommend getting a diaper sprayer that hooks right onto the side of your toilet.(Around $30) It works exceptionally well. No soaking or anything. We spent about $200 for all the diapers and accessories. I’m using cloth wipes and I keep them in a diaper warmer, so they’re already wet when I need them. My daughter is almost 8 months old and only goes through about 5 diapers a day, so I only bought 12 BG diapers. It has been a perfect amount. We do use a disposable diaper every once in awhile, so I only have to do 2 extra loads of laundry a week. It’s so worth it!! Helps out the budget and the environment!

  • Joy says:

    I’m always interested in what cloth diaper techniques work! When I started menstruating I realized I reacted to the dioxin in regular sanitary pads (I ran high fevers). I had to look into cloth pads, which I turned out to love. One day when I have children of my own, I would definately use cloth for them as well. All of these tips will be great to chose though all of the different brands! By the way, I would like to caution about different washing machines if you need to replace your current one…we recently replaced our old one and it hardly uses any water…just sort of sprays them, which we don’t really like. This might be a huge problem if you need to soak/wash the diapers in a lot of water. Might be best to stick to the cheaper agitator washer which use alot more water.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jessica 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.

  • Becky says:

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

    This is about cloth diapering my newborn daughter:

    This post has good information about cloth diapering but it’s a little buried- look at the 5th paragraph.

    Finally, I can’t say enough good things about the try cloth program at 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.

  • trishia 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. ( 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!

  • Christy 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.

  • 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!!

  • Kim says:

    I wrote/am in the process of finishing my own Cloth Diaper Series (here–> spurrned out of our love of cloth. I never thought of cloth as an option until I started totalling up how much we would spend on disposables. Then there was really no other option!

    We have greatly enjoyed it and plan on continuing with future babes. We easily (and I mean EASILY) diaper 2 under 2 with no fuss.

  • 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.

  • Lori 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!

  • Lori says:

    I have also heard of a lot of people getting cloth diapers, covers, etc from e-bay for a really good price.

  • Jamie 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 🙂

  • Cassie says:

    I use BumGenius and love them! I also love not buying diapers.

  • 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!!

  • That is a plethora of information for new mothers to learn from.We have a new baby at home and i have recommended my sister to get tips from this blog about baby diaper caring.

  • Beth H 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!

  • bekah 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.

  • MeLisa 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.

  • Emily says:

    I used cloth with my second child! I would recommend also checking out and 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!!

  • 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! 🙂

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Jamie 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 – – that answers questions and gives lots of info.

  • Nichole 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 , 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 ), 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!

  • 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!

  • Andrea 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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 –

  • Theresa 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 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!

  • Heather 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 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, 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!

  • suzannah 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:

  • Sheila 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Julie 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!

  • Lori 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.

  • Alana Jo says:

    I cloth diapered my youngest from birth to potty training. Fuzzi Bunz worked best for us. is a great site as well as

  • catherine says:

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

  • 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.

  • Lori 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!

  • jen 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.

  • Sarah says:

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

    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.

  • monica says:

    I have used cloth diapers for both my daughters and it was the best investment I ever did! It makes me feel good about doing something good for the environment and I save soooo much money compared to disposables!
    One of the things that puts people off usually is having to clean them. Well, stop worrying 🙂 It doesn’t have to be hard at all! I wrote my top 10 tips on how to wash cloth diapers here:

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