#ClothDiapers: The Good, The Bad – The Honest

by Amanda Hearn · 108 comments

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If you’ve looked around the internet for information on cloth diapers, you’ve likely found many articles and posts that read something like the land of unicorns, rainbows and smiling puppy dogs.  Cloth is cute, there’s really no denying it.  Cute patterns, fluffy butts and let’s face it, fabric is just prettier than plastic.  Though it’s cute, it must be washed, and that comes with many reservations for parents new to the idea, and to those who haven’t tried cloth.

Many often have one of the following first reactions:

#1 Reusing something that your child poops in is just gross!
#2 Putting dirty diapers in the washing machine is gross!
#3 Touching poop is gross!

Okay, so I think we see a pattern forming here, and honestly I can relate.  I was there once, but I didn’t really know what cloth was all about.  After the initial thought of “gross” these thoughts typically follow:

#4 It’s more laundry.
#5 Cloth diapers are expensive and/or won’t really save me money.
#6 Cloth diapers aren’t convenient and/or are too much work.
#7 Cloth is so new to me, I just don’t know where to start or what to expect.

I’m sure there are more too, if you have one that you’d like covered, leave it in the comments section and I’ll do a follow up!  For now, let’s tackle this list.

#1, #2 & #3 – It’s gross!

The beautiful baby that you gave birth to, the one that lights up a room with his beautiful smile and sweet giggles… yea he poops and pees… a lot.  So here’s the deal, you’re going to have to deal with bodily waste, no matter what diapering method you choose, it’s as simple as that.  Disposables are known for blowouts!  Before I knew more, I just assumed that blowouts were one of those funny things that parents all had in common and joked about.

Mom #1: “Janie had the most insane blowout!”
Mom #2: “Oh my gosh, my Jack did too!  You should have seen it!”
*mommy laughter ensues*
 

If you’ve had a baby and have not dealt with many poop explosions, you are one very luck individual (or you use cloth!)  Seriously, I have never had to clean up so much poop in my life, as I did when I used disposable diapers.  I was constantly, desperately scrubbing clothing, blankets, swing covers, car seat covers, and many other items trying to keep them from being permanently stained and ruined by mustard yellow poops.  It was terrible, and sadly, this is just one of the realities of disposable diapers.

Bottom Line?
With cloth you know where the poop is going to go, and you don’t have to touch it or scrub it out.  When your child starts solid foods you will need to plop, scrape, or spray poop into a toilet, but that’s far better than hands-all-in and praying that it doesn’t stain the too-cute outfit you just bought for your bundle of joy!  Want an easier option?  Try flushable liners for a truly easy cloth diapering + poo experience.

#4 – Laundry

Parents already have plenty of laundry to do, right?  I mean we’re washing ours, his and now baby’s too!  The last thing most people want to do is wash more laundry.

So here’s the deal.  You will have to wash diapers if you use cloth.  Most cloth diapering parents wash diapers 2 times a week.  Some do less, some do more, but twice a week works well for most families.  Unlike standard laundry, diapers don’t require a lot of attention.  Your baby’s bottom won’t care if they are wrinkly and you don’t even have to fold them if you don’t want to!

Also consider that cloth diapering will save you time!  

  • With cloth there is no running to the store just to get diapers.
  • Cloth diapered babies tend to get rashes less, which means you won’t be running out for rash creams or to the doctor as often for rashes you have no clue what to do with.
  • Cloth diapered babies learn to use the potty an average of 12 months sooner than their disposable diapered playmates.  Babies in cloth know when they go because they can feel when they are wet.
  • As mentioned in our 1st point, you’ll also spend less time scrubbing fecal matter from items that you really don’t want it on, like clothes, blankets, car seats, swings and more.
What about those that only have access to community laundry facilities?
It can be done!  Many families do use cloth with limited access to washing machines.  I recommend going with a simpler diaper like prefolds and/or a hybrid system like Flip.  The covers can be wiped out or hand washed easily and the durable inserts may handle being washed just once a week better than more complex diapering systems.
 

If a laundromat is out of the question, you might check out this great video by Kim at Dirty Diaper Laundry.  In it she shows how to make a camp style washing machine suitable for washing small loads of diapers.  It’s not the ideal set up, but it is affordable and makes cloth possible for someone in a tight spot.

 
Bottom Line?
Cloth diapers do come with washing laundry, but it more than makes up for it the other areas discussed above.  When there are times that laundry isn’t an option, consider a hybrid system or other type of healthier disposable option.

#5 – Expense

When parents are first interested in cloth, an $18 or $25 price tag can throw them for a loop.  Money doesn’t come easy and even a $10 diaper cost can really add up.  Consider this, the average baby is changed just over 6 times per day over their diapering career.  If a baby is potty trained by 30 months (the average) that baby will have gone through approximately 5,600 diaper changes.  If the average disposable costs $0.25 that’s $1400 for one child.  Keep in mind that disposables can cost up to twice that and many children potty train far beyond a year and a half!

This is what 5,600 unused disposable diapers looks like.
Image them expanded to many times their own weight!
 

Now you may be wondering what 5,600 cloth diaper changes look like.  Let me share my stash!

You can’t see them all, but there are approximately three dozen bumGenius Elemental diapers in there (these are their old style, you can find their new style here.)  They are a favorite of ours from Cotton Babies.  You can buy these in dozens to save money, making them approximately $22.08 each.  That’s $795 for three dozen diapers, or just $0.14 per diaper change, based on 5,600 changes.

Want to save some real change?!  Use a diapering system like Econobum and slash that cost to just $147 for 3 dozen diapers, which is just less than $.03 per diaper change!  WOW.  Can it really get any better than that?!

Yea, it gets better.
Cloth is reusable right?  You can use the diapers you buy for not only your first child, but for any after that!  They might need repairs along the way, like elastic or new velcro (though I recommend snap diapers for durability!).  If you don’t want to hang on to your diapers until the next baby comes, you can even sell them!  Sites like DiaperSwappers and HyenaCart make it easy, even Ebay!  Most used diapers sell for 50-75% of the price new.  That is an amazing return, making your savings that much sweeter.


Bottom Line?
There’s just no comparison, cloth wins this one hands down, head over heels, etc. etc.  Cloth is a money saver!  Not thrilled about the initial investment?  Buy what you can afford, as you can afford it.  It’s well worth the effort!

#6 – Cloth Is Work

Take a look at questions #1-5.  Cloth does require work, but so do disposable diapers.  It’s all about learning a new system, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll see that cloth is actually easier.

Diapering in any form comes with potential ‘problems’.  When babies have poop and moisture against their skin rashes can occur no matter what diapering system you use.  Cloth requires a little bit of relearning as you’ll want to use creams that are safe for cloth diapers (and really better for your baby’s bottom too!)  I’m a huge fan of salve type rash ointments.  They heal quickly and are generally safe for cloth diapers.

You may have even heard scary terms like “ammonia” or “yeast”.  I promise that your diapers aren’t ruined and everything is fixable!  It would take a lot to truly ruin cloth diapers, so have no fear.  In most cases a hot wash with original Dawn dish soap will fix the issue (followed by several no-soap rinses).  This is called stripping.  Worst case, you use a little bleach.  I’m not a fan of bleach in general, but sometimes it can come in handy and you do what you’ve gotta do, right?

If full time cloth is just too much to jump into, try a hybrid system that gives you the option of cloth or disposable pads.  You’ll be surprised by how easy it really is.

Bottom Line?
You can do it, and chances are you’ll be thrilled that you did.  I know a lot of cloth diapering parents, and very few say that it just didn’t work for them.  Also, cloth can be flexible, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  Even using cloth part time saves you money and makes a big impact on the environment!

#7 – The Unknown

Trying something new can be a hard hurdle to jump.  We all like familiarity, it’s comforting and predictable, but just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean that it’s the best way for us.  Trying new things is a great way to explore the world around us and discover what works for us and our families.

Thanks to the internet there are so many amazing resources.  I offer a Cloth Diaper FAQ, but there are so many more great sites.  Try the following for a great start!

Dirty Diaper Laundry: Not sure what diaper brand might work for you?  Kim offers wonderfully detailed reviews and even a handy Cloth Diaper Finder to narrow your search based on the features you want.

The Cloth Diaper Whisperer: This is a great resource for all sorts of cloth diaper information, tips on great diaper deals and fun cloth diaper giveaways!

#ClothDiapers Twitter Chat: This isn’t a website, but each Monday night at 9pm EST Cotton Babies hosts a cloth diaper chat for new cloth users and old to spark conversation, share information and answer questions.  It’s always an enjoyable chat and open to everyone, so feel free to stop by and join the conversation.


Want something on paper?  Try this free, handy printable guide or pick up a copy of Changing Diapers: The Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapering.

Have a favorite resource? Leave it in the comments for others to discover!

Bottom Line?
I love cloth and can’t imagine it any other way.  I used disposables with our first child and then to start out with our second.  I used cloth exclusively on our third, who is nearly fully potty trained (with the exception of nights).  Life with three children is infinitely hectic, but using cloth is just one way that I can simplify and help keep everything manageable, affordable and under control.

This blog post was inspired by Jennifer Labit’s blog post “All I want for Christmas… is to tell the world about cloth diapers!“.

I hope that you have found this post helpful and I encourage you to share your cloth diapering stories and experiences in the comments section (remember, if I win you might too!)  Share on your own blog or Facebook page too.  Sharing your story may inspire others to try cloth as well! 

Together we can make a HUGE impact!

 

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{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

Sunflower Joy December 14, 2011 at 7:24 pm

The internet definetly helped with my decision to cloth diaper. My husband said it was fine and figured I could just do all of it. He now tells everyone about how easy the are. I really love that we have saved money and it is an incentive when having more kids cause we don't have to worry about buying disposables.

I love how cute they are and I find that to be the one true problem I have with cloth diapers. I want the new prints and colors:)

anjellfire at gmail dot com

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Dana Ann December 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

I don't think I could ever go to disposables after experiencing cloth. It was the best decision I ever made!

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TJ @ MeasuringFlower.com December 14, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Totally awesome post! I'm sharing this with my sister-in-law who's looking into using cloth. thank you! :-D

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Sarah December 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

This is a terrific post, and really dispels some of the anti-CD notions. I credit this blog with helping me CD both my kids.

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Jenni December 14, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for sharing! I have sent many people your way (customers and friends alike) and now can send them to this specific post. Thanks!

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lar1203 December 14, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for this informative post! I cloth diapered my first child and plan to with my next!

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Krista December 14, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I completely agree with what you said about poop and disposables. When my daughter was three months, she was in disposables for three days at our pedi's recommendation while recovering from a yeast rash. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME she pooped, it was a blowout. It came out the top, the legs, once even from the front. And she wound up with a nasty allergic reaction rash even though we were using eco-friendly sposies. I'm surprised every time I say it, but cloth is worth every single hassle that we've faced. I can't imagine diapering a kid any other way.

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Rebecca Majewski December 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm

I was inspired to try cloth diapers on my 2nd baby after a facebook friend blogged about how much she loved it for her 10 month old. My husband is still a little iffy on it. Especially the cost of each diaper! Right now we have to wash every 1.5 days because we have such a small stash, but I really am enjoying it. Even if it is a little more laundry!

majewskir777@gmail.com

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Valerie December 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

I used disposables with my first and had a terrible time with everything from leaks to blowouts to rashes so this time around I have decided to try cloth. I haven't had my baby yet to say how it's going but the way I figure both cloth and disposable diapers have a learning curve and considering my sposie experience my cloth experience can't be much worse *lol*!
The first thing I get from EVERYONE I tell that I am planning on using cloth is what I call the the poo factor and I always say whether it's in plastic or cloth u have to "deal" with it. It's a part of life!
Thanks for the great post I will def be sharing it with my FB friends!

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Sandra Jean December 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I feel like I sing the praises of cloth to people all the time! I have many friends having babies now who are all thinking about cloth! I always point people to your blog as a great starting point to learn about cloth! I have a great stash and would love to give one of my new mama friends 12 diapers to get them started.

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Sandra Jean December 14, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I feel like I sing the praises of cloth to people all the time! I have many friends having babies now who are all thinking about cloth! I always point people to your blog as a great starting point to learn about cloth! I have a great stash and would love to give one of my new mama friends 12 diapers to get them started.

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Jessica Pride December 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm

Love this! All I want for Christmas is more cloth diapers!!! LOL!!!

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Beth December 14, 2011 at 10:16 pm

This is a great post! I love our cloth diapers, and am happy to have a few friends who do too.

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Katie S December 14, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Awesome job on this post. I found out about cloth from my cousin and spent hours on the internet researching. I started out with just one cover and three inserts (Best Bottoms) that I was lucky to win in a giveaway. I think that starting out slowly really helped me to adjust. I just used cloth as I felt comfortable with it and never felt overwhelmed that way. So as a word of advice to those thinking about trying cloth, start small! You can ease your way into it and give yourself a chance to see if you really like it. I found I loved it! Even still, I use cloth when I want to and don't feel pressured to be all or nothing. there are some really great and nice people out there that are so willing to give help and advice. It's a fun community to be a part of!!

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LindaHnub December 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm

I LOVE your post! :) Thanks for sharing. I appreciate how you laid it out, sharing the good and the "bad" about cloth diapers. And in the end, bottom line, cloth really is doable. Thanks for all the info and resources. Also, Autumn Beck's blog is a wonderful resource too. I definitely read her blog when I first researched cloth diapers and was wanting to use cloth for my first son. So far, we've had a ton of success. Been cd'ing since the beginning for about 7 months now. WooHooo!!! :)

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Andrea December 15, 2011 at 12:23 am

Thanks for the great post!

A couple years ago a friend of mine was TTC (trying to conceive) and she talked about doing cloth diapers with her baby. I had never even thought about it as an option because you just don't see cloth anymore….or so I thought. After talking with my mom about when she cloth diapered (in the old days) I decided to look into it further. I am absolutely amazed at how easy it can be to cloth diaper! The variety of diapering systems and brands is astounding. Now…I not only want to cloth diaper but use cloth wipes as well!

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Allie December 15, 2011 at 1:23 am

I have known since before I was even pregnant that I wanted to cloth diaper. We have had some challenges, but we have what works for us. Of course I'd like to add to my stash, but it's nice to know that we're set on diapers, even if we add another baby to the mix! I couldn't imagine spending so much money on disposables every week just to throw them in the trash!!

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Sarah December 15, 2011 at 2:17 am

Love this post. I had some of those reservations, but before my son was born we had a full stash of cloth diapers because I was convinced it was the better way to go (at least for us). My SIL and I had babies within a month of each other, but she thought I was nuts and that it was gross. Fast forward 3 years and I have had a potty trained child for almost a year and she's still changing her toddler's diapers. Now I don't seem quite so crazy :)

We're expecting #2 in a few months and I can't wait to get my diapers out again!

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TheTreeHugginMomma December 15, 2011 at 2:19 am

Great post! :) We started gathering cloth diapers when I was pregnant with my first (one every pay period) … and wouldn't you know it, we are using some of the same ones with my second! I can't imagine diapering any other way!

I will definitely be passing this on to some expecting mamas that I know!

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Peaknits April 9, 2013 at 6:23 am

We are pregnant with our first and looking forward to cloth diapering. Just like you we have been investing in one or two every pay period! What a great way to spread out the cost right?! We are buying a few different brands (and registered for a few) in the beginning so we can see what actually works best for us and our baby.

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LadyBurntRedWaffle December 15, 2011 at 4:02 am

I am a huge advocate for cloth diapering. We love our cloth! A lot of mammas I know have had questions for me about it. Some are a little more open-minded than others with their questioning… ;) I love this post and I think it is an excellent and honest breakdown on some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns. Thank you so much for sharing!

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Sarah December 15, 2011 at 4:30 am

I love cloth diapering! We launder our own and it's so easy. The only "downside" is that I have had to re-waterproof some of our covers because my daughter has stayed on the small side, using the same covers from about 6 months until now still (2 years).

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Anonymous December 15, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Thank you for the realistic side of cloth diapering! I am pregnant for my third child. I used disposables for the first two, but always thought about cloth. I am now in regular contact with my husband's cousin (who lives out of state)that cloth diapers, and she has inspired me to go for it. She has been so helpful in answering questions and pointing me in the right direction (like this blog). The "gross" factor never bothered me, it was the cost of the cloth. But laid out like you put it, it is really going to save me money (which I really need-third child!).

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Becca N December 15, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Nicely done! Its funny because the fear of the unknown for me is using disposables. I love our cloth and wish there was an easier way to get the word out,

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Jess and the boys December 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

This is an amazing post! Thank you for helping educate the world about the new, modern cloth diapers! I researched and researched until I found that I was 100% into it and dove right in, CD'ing both my boys at once! It was a life-changer and I recommend cloth to ALL my mama friends, even though most think I'm crazy.. :p Anyway, thanks again! This was a very great read and I'll be forwarding it to several friends!

-Jessica
And Then There Were 4…
venturesofsahm at yahoo dot com

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Kristina S December 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm

This is a really great post! So many people think I am crazy for cloth diapering my children. I have a hard time explaining to them how it is not at all what they think!

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Misty December 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

I love using cloth! like you, my baby has a blowout whenever he wears sposies… blech. cloth rocks!

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C Squared December 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I initially wanted to try cloth because of the environmental factor. Everyone, from in-laws to co workers, gave me 1 week before I'd be so sick of . My mom (bless her) was the only person who thought it was a GREAT idea. Well, we now have a seven month old and haven't used a sposie since we left the hospital. My mother-in-law even bought us a few diapers when she came up and baby was 2 weeks old because of how cute and easy they are these days.

It is a bit difficult when we travel, but most of the time we have to stay with friends or family (I need a kitchen when I go anywhere for food allergies) and most don't mind that I do a load of laundry while there.

I love posts like this because they are so true!

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Chrissy December 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I use cloth to save money, even though I think it is more work! I could definitely use some more diapers to add to my stash! chrissyhfischer@gmail.com

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Sarah O December 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I use cloth as much as possible, but use disposables when I'm out of the house because I just can't rely on the BG to not leak. I wish I had a better review, but I have to make sure to change the little guy frequently or there will for sure be a leak. Whereas with disposables, I can leave it on for several hours and not worry about it!

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Naturally Attached December 20, 2011 at 3:25 am

This is great. I love it!

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Jen B December 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Wow, this is a really great post – love it! None of my friends/family cloth diaper and I'm sure they have all the arguments and questions that you list. I'll have to pass it on.
jenniferbleiler at gmail dot com

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Amanda Hearn December 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm

@Sarah O – Have you tried natural fiber inserts or adding more layers? Personally, I like natural fibers because I have less issues with them overall. In my experience they absorb better and wash easier.

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Courtney December 22, 2011 at 9:02 am

What a great post! I love how it isn't all puppies and rainbows , but just the real honest truth as two why cloth is better!

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Katie December 24, 2011 at 7:55 am

I have been cloth diapering my daughter since she was 3 weeks old (now 5 1/2 months) and I LOVE it!!! I wanted to add- for those who are new to cloth diapering that there are tons of cheaper brands to use as well. I have about 15 BumGenius and 15 Fuzzibunz… which are both pricier diapers, but my favorite diapers are my Sunbaby diapers. They are only 4.50-6 bucks each depending on how many you buy at once. You can purchase them at http://www.sunbabydiapers.com I've also heard good things about Kawaii and Alva Baby diapers. I will warn readers though, that this brand takes about 2 weeks to 1 month to get (as they ship from China), but there is no tax and it's free shipping :) Thanks for posting this- CDing really isn't as bad as so many make it out to be, like I said before, I love it (and have NEVER had a blowout)!!!

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Karyn December 27, 2011 at 12:57 am

I am expecting my first child in May, and plan on cloth diapering right from birth. I love reading blog posts like this. They are the reason that I have the confidence that I can cloth diaper right from day one. Not only are cloth diapers smart and economical, they are proving to be pretty darn fun to collect as well! I would love to win 12 bumGenius diapers to add to my growing stash!

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Krystyn December 27, 2011 at 5:57 pm

I love how you present both sides and arguments!

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Katie December 27, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Well written post! I love my cloth diapers. I didn't start until my daughter was just over a year, but we've been using cloth for 2 months and love it! The hardest part for me was the time spent researching my options and finding which diapers worked for us. Actually using them is simple and easy!

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Courtney December 29, 2011 at 7:48 am

We are expecting our first in April, so I've been reading I think every baby/cloth diaper blog there is. I knew I wanted to use cloth before I got pregnant, but now that DS is about three months away, it's getting very real. This is a great post, and I think sums up a lot of questions/concerns. I know I've thought about all that was mentioned and I am already getting questions. My husband and parents are on board, but I'm definitely the only one of my close friends who even thought about cloth! Trying to build a stash and tell people I'm not crazy is fun, but hard work!

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Rachel January 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I'm using cloth diapers for my first child, a boy born this December. One big deciding factor for us was cost, as my husband was previously unable to work, and I only had a part-time job. I'm currently unemployed, and couldn't be happier that we chose to go with cloth. Our first purchases were BumGenius seconds. I only have about 13 one-sized pockets, and two Econobum prefolds, once my son outgrows his newborn/small diapers, but at least that's something!

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caedmen January 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Your post is very informative, thank you! I am always looking for good articles to point my friends to that are interested in cloth diapers. I love using cloth, it helps us out financially so I can stay at home with my 2 little boys. I have 2 in diapers so if we didn't use cloth it would be very expensive!

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Julie January 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Love all the info! Thanks for putting it together. We're about to start CDing our 2nd son. We used BGs for our first and loved them. Right now we're just waiting for #2 to get big enough that he isn't swallowed whole by the 3.0s. I think he's almost ready. So excited!!!

Just in case I win the 12 for a reader: rain25girl at gmail dot com

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Kim January 9, 2012 at 12:58 am

You did a great job compiling all of the information out there. I know first hand how overwhelming it can be when starting to research cloth diapering. Luckily you and I are working hard at helping families learn the ins and outs. Plus so many more people are doing the same! Good luck!

Thanks so much for including me in the post too. I truly appreciate it!

-Kim R.
http://www.dirtydiaperlaundry.com

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Brandi Elam January 9, 2012 at 2:39 am

I love all of the information you shared here. What a great resource and compilation of some great places to find helpful cloth diaper information!
PS: love your diapers drying on the line shot. I have GOT to get a clothes line – there is just nothing as cute as colorful diapers on the line!

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boyzrule January 9, 2012 at 3:28 am

What a great and informative post, especially for the naysayers. I was one of them at one time. It is hard to convert people unless they know someone and see it in action. Also, if provided with all of the proof you have it becomes quite glaring how much better for your children and the world cloth is. I have also found in my experience that cloth diapers are a gateway to being more green in all aspects of life. It has changed our household in ways I never knew were possible. Thank you for a complete and informative post. It should be passed out at maternity wards!
debbie moretti
dmoretti1967 at yahoo dot com

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jdeemarie January 9, 2012 at 4:02 am

I've been cloth diapering for 4 1/2 years now, since my oldest son was born. We're expecting another baby this spring and I would never even consider switching to disposable diapers. Every time we use disposable diapers (on vacations or at grandma's) we get leaks. This is one of the most simple, yet informative, post I've ever read about cloth diapering. I'm going to bookmark this post and share it with everyone who even hints at an interest in cloth diapers. Thank you so much.

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sp244707 January 9, 2012 at 4:12 am

I love how you so quickly and easily dispelled every cloth diaper myth out there! What an informative post!! I wish I had all of the resources you posted to look at when I was first starting out. Once you get the hang of things, cloth diapering is truly EASY and yes, actually FUN! I'm so glad that this message is out there.

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Jill January 9, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Awesome post! Congrats on your family and awesome diapering-ness! I can't imagine going back to disposables, not even for an instant. I like how you included resources in your post.

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Angelica January 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I was told by many people that I was crazy for wanting to use cloth, but now they see how well it's worked for us and several are jumping on the bandwagon now :) I love converting people to cloth diapering!

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Jennifer B January 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

We love cloth diapers. I wish all new moms were informed about them! I didn't even know modern cloth existed until my older daughter was more than 3 months old and I switched. Now I have another daughter and she's been in cloth since she was born. I love this blog entry and shared it with all the moms-to-be I know, as well as moms of little ones in sposies!

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Ali Bailess January 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I LOVE cloth. It is so much easier and cheaper (yes, cheaper) than disposables!

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Mommy to the Z January 9, 2012 at 8:11 pm

We're excited to start cloth diapering baby #2 due to arrive any day now :)

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Maya January 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I knew I wanted to do cloth before we even conceived our first baby for all the usual reasons. But all the options were so overwhelming! We ended up using the system I didn't think I needed (bumgenius pockets) and hating the one I thought would work best (AI2s). I can't imagine using sposies now. The colors and prints are awesome. I can't wait to get the BG 4.0 in the new Albert print! I love to spread the word about them, though most of the time I still get side-eyed.

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nsees January 9, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Such a great comprehensive post…I've already shared with a friend who is starting her cloth diaper research. Thanks!

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Devon S January 9, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I have come to your site for so many of my cloth questions and have found wonderful answers! I send others your info pages on cltoh diapering and have gotten 4 other friends into cloth based on those! Thanks for another great informative section!

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Becca N January 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm

No doubt it is work in some sense, but you can't beat not having to rush out to the store at midnight because you forgot to pick up diapers during your regular store run and you just had a blow out. Come to think of it, I can only guess what a blow out is since our cloth has held in everything my 2 kids have pooped at them (including a bumpy boat ride). I am more scared of disposables because of the fear of the unknown, so thank you for educating people that cloth is not that scary.

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Beth R January 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Great article and photos. I think many people still have the idea in their heads that cloth diapers are all plastic covers and diaper pins. Almost all my diapers are all in ones so I just wash, dry (or line dry) and snap back on baby. I am so glad that I decided to try it and I now that I'm having a 2nd child I have no additional expenses to diaper him except a few rolls of disposible diaper liners.

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Beth R January 9, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Forgot to mention the original reason I switched to cloth was the newborn phase with my son where he peed/pooped out of every diaper we tried. We bought every brand in the store in NB and size 1 and then decided to try cloth and he rarely had any issues after that. Haven't looked back since :)

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Kelli T January 9, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I'm so glad that I learned about cloth diapering. Learning about CDing changed my life. It lead to other green changes. I'm so thankful that I learned all of this before having children. Now that I have a little one, I feel like I'm so much better of a mom than I would have been, had I had her years before. I used your site for much of my information! :)

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Sarah January 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

I'm going to be forwarding this to all the new (and not so new) parents I know. Really helpful post — it's great to see everything laid out so clearly!!

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Joy January 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

The Truth finally about cloth diapers.

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missyolivepants January 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

This is great! We cloth diapered our first 3.5yrs ago – and now we are able to re-use many of those diapers for our new baby, so they've definitely saved us a TON of money!

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Caitlin January 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm

As afraid as I was to start CDing (even after EXTENSIVE internet research), I'm SO glad I did! It's SO wonderful knowing that I'm doing what's best for my baby, the environment, and my wallet!!!!

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Jessica S. January 9, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Great post with links to informative sites. Wish I would have found some of this information before I just decided to try every kind of diaper out there! Ha Ha! But I have been cloth diapering my little one for 7 months now and it has been wonderful! My daughter has very sensitive skin and broke out in rashes all over where even the sensitive skin disposables touched her body. I switched to cloth and have not had any problems in the diaper area since! My husband was against cloth from the beginning but now even he has come around and I hear him telling friends of ours that it really is no big deal and a lot easier than you think. I hope you win the contest and would love to have some more of the Bum Genius One Size diapers to add to my stash! Thanks so much for posting!

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pixy_stix January 9, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Great post as always!

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Aislinn January 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm

We haven't used sposies since we brought our little guy home from the hospital and we could not be happier with our decision! I always laugh when people without kids bring up #1-3. Poop is part of having a baby. Even if we hadn't gone with cds, poop would have gone in our washing machine and we certainly still would have had to touch it.

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Lauren January 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

I am so happy with my switch to cloth. It was an easy transition and I love all of the benefits. It makes me feel good each time I put one of my now 4 year olds diapers on his 16 month old little sister. I am so grateful to my best friend putting the bug in my ear about cloth and to moms like Amanda hearn for all their guidance. I am excited to share all I know with my sister who is due with her first baby in may. She is going to use my daughters newborn diaper stash. Cloth diapering just makes sense.

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Kristen January 10, 2012 at 12:56 am

We are expecting our first in March and have just started our cloth diaper stash. I can not wait to start using them! I'm so excited to be doing this and for all the money we will save.

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fluttermama January 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm

I love cloth diapers. My little guy is quickly out growing our stash. At 15 months he is 32lbs.
flutterbyenature(at)yahoo(dot)ca

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me4sunshine January 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm

I'm only 20 years old, and can't say I have any diapering stories or experiences. Heck I'm not even married yet (crossing fingers it won't be much longer now). But I've been wishing more and more that I would have started a "hope chest" a few years ago. I've been slowly transitioning into more natural products, and I really want to start my own family with those habits. I came across cloth diapering sometime last year, and I've been intrigued ever since. I connect diapers with Walmart, crowded and noisy stores, huge shopping carts, and a thinner wallet. And maybe it sounds silly, but I have different associations with cloth diapers. They seem more personal, gentler, and I dream of my own little family just starting out. It's like the difference between a home-cooked meal and settling in with a Disney movie vs greasy fast-food on a sticky table and corralling screaming kids into the car. Cloth just sounds more like home and the better choice, rather than taking mothering advice from big name brands trying to sell me something to put in my garbage can. I plan to have homegrown children that are not raised by manufacturing companies. (Note – I'm not strictly against mass-produced items or supercenters, I just think moderation is best). Besides that, I believe in work over waste. And if I gain a new hobby/addiction (which I probably will), all the better!
So I figure I may as well start that "hope chest" now, and you can bet it will have cloth diapers in it! I can't wait!! Thanks for the article, the inspiration, and for helping add to the goals of a future mother!

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mehera January 11, 2012 at 2:07 am

i cloth diaper because i think it is more comfortable and it would be what i would want to wear if i were a baby (and it was what i wore as a baby). I have only found positives to cloth diapering and am so glad that i was able to give my son (and future children) and clean healthy start at life.

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junebug January 13, 2012 at 3:23 am

I have always wanted to do cloth diapers and am in the process of collecting enough so I can solely move to cloth. Great post!

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Teri D. January 14, 2012 at 5:41 am

Thank you, your post is just the post I need to share with my friends and family. I recently starting cloth diapering, on my third child and I get that 'gross' look all to often. They just don't get it. Our initial motivation was money, when I was 6 months pregnant with my 3rd baby I was laid-off from my part time job, I didn't qualify for unemployment and was not very hire-able with a very obvious bump. It didn't take long to realize we needed to make some cuts in the budget. We canceled cable, we sold our truck and still didn't have money at the end of the month. I didn't even know cloth was an option. I started using old t-shirts cut up as wipes to eliminate that expense. It wasn't until I had some old used prefolds given to me as rags that it hit me… Why don't I use these during the day to save some diapers? I had my 2 year old & 3 year old in prefold stuffed underwear during the day and my 2 month old in some WAHM covers & prefolds. I have experienced all the folding, pins and dunking associated with cloth diapers and I will keep dunking knowing that because I am willing to get dirty I can put healthy meals on the table for my family. I know so many families that could benefit from making this leap, for the financial incentive, the health of their children and for the environment. Just keeping that image of 5,600 diapers in the landfill in mind, if money wasn't the issue, that is cause enough to keep up the dunking.

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Amanda Hearn January 15, 2012 at 2:55 am

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I know that they will help so many who come across this post. Hearing from real experiences can make such a difference.

me4sunshine – I was so touched by your comment. Thank you so much.

Teri – Thank you so much for sharing! Your experience and determination is truly heartwarming.

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jenniferlabit January 16, 2012 at 12:00 am

Great work, Amanda!

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Adrienne February 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

We started cloth with our daughter when she was 3 months and it’s the best change we’ve made!! This article is something that I can share with my family and friends who think cloth diapering belongs in the past!! Thanks for sharing!

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Tana Thompson February 15, 2012 at 11:36 am

Great post… I haven’t even had a baby (been pregnant twice but lost them both to miscarriage) but after researching what goes into disposables and how long it takes them to break down I know that we will be cloth diapering. We are currently trying to get pregnant so I have started building my stash. Thanks for all the info you put out here for us so that we can make the best decision for our babies. :)

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Sekaya April 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

Thank you for an informative post. I really like how you detail both the good and the bad. One thing I didn’t see was the question, “Is cloth better for the baby’s skin than disposable?”
I’m absolutely convinced that it is but my husband is not, we had a big fight about this. I know there are a lot of chemicals in disposable diapers that I’m not sure are good for a baby but his biggest reasoning is “My parents used disposable on me and I’m just fine”.
Can you clear this up for me?

Thank you so much :-)

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Michelle Ferguson July 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm

All of these are so true and I thought a lot of these things before I started out but the benefits definitely outweigh the “gross” lol! I would never go back now that I use cloth diapers!

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Robert January 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Our son just turned 2. I’m certainly not against trying cloth if we have another baby. However, I have sort of seen the opposite of some of the points made in the article. For example, we have only used disposable with our son, and I think in 2 years I maybe went to the store one time just to get diapers. We use Target brand and shop there for other things, so we just pick up a pack every time we’re there. And perhaps it is just our kiddo, but he has never had a problem with rashes. I think we’ve still got the tube of cream my wife got at her baby shower 2 1/2 years ago. We also know 2 couples who have used cloth, and both have said their babies have had TERRIBLE rashes. And again with point #1, we have never really had any huge blowouts. A few leaks here and there, but nothing crazy. And while the cost savings with cloth is significant, it is perhaps a little less significant when you consider the water, electricity, and detergent needed for the extra 260 loads (according to your 2 loads/week estimate over 30 months).

Just some food for thought. Again, I’m certainly not against it and this article has some great information for us to think about.

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Amanda January 12, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Thank you so much for weighing in with your thoughts. It’s nice to have points to consider from all sides. Diapering, whether with cloth or disposables, will certainly have differences for each family – and even each baby. Those factors, combined with the reason why a person want to try cloth (environmental reasons, cost savings, health concerns, etc.), can certainly play an important roll in choosing which option is best their family.

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Megan January 29, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Being one of the few parents who changes with every pee or poo no matter how big or small I have to say newborns do go potty a whole lot more than older kids. I would love to cloth diaper in the hospital but at nearly 30 diapers a day there is no way I could so sadly I will have to wait til Im home and physically able to do the laundry myself unless someone has some out of the box ideas. Do hospitals offer cloth for kids who are allergic or parents who just don’t want to use disposables? I absolutly LOVE this post and hope to use it to educate people. Thank you thank you thank you :)

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Amanda January 30, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Thank you for mentioning this Megan, I have been meaning to add this to a few of these newborn posts. When babies are first born they consume a very small amount of milk because their tummies are just so tiny. During the short hospital stay it is typical to expect fewer changes. Soon after you get home (about the 5-6 day old mark, it is generally a whole different ballgame and they will begin peeing and pooping with a whole lot more frequency. Their first few days should be enough of a grace period that most people can easily use cloth at the hospital without being burdened with a ton of dirty diapers.

As for children with allergies and/or parental preferences for cloth, I am not sure and I would imagine that it would vary by facility. I did have one mother leave a comment that their hospital used cloth in the NICU for the little ones, which I thought was really fantastic.

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Christine February 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Great post! With me, these weren’t really concerns. My concern was being overwhelmed with all the types and brands of cloth diapers, and that I thought all would be all natural and then finding out that some are made of synthetic material.

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Anonymous February 22, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I’m not a mommy yet, but almost all my girlfriends are. They all tell me that disposable diapers are way too expensive for what they are worth. Yet they think I’m crazy for wanting to use these for when I have babies. Great post!

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Laura March 12, 2013 at 10:50 am

What a great post! I’m going to share it with friends who may be thinking about starting.

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Angie May 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Thank you for such a thorough overview of the pros and cons of CD-ing. I am expecting triplets and looking for ways to trim costs. I will definitely be coming back to your list of CD posts to learn more.

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Aimee P. May 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I love cloth. I have two kiddos in cloth right now and could not imagine paying for disposables each month. It is hard when you dont have supportive friends or family, but I chose to stick with it for the benefit of my kids and not exposing them to the chemicals in disposables and I am glad I stuck with it. It was only of e best decisions I made and now it is leading to using other cloth and eco friendly products. Added bonus to using cloth….they are far more adorable on your babies bum than disposable diapers :)

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Laura May 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Awesome post! I will share this with anyone who asks me what it’s really like to use cloth.

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Annette Kyle October 3, 2013 at 10:42 am

On our first child 14 years ago I tries cloth diapers and after three months I gave up. I was using a laundry mat and cloth diapers were not quite as easy as they are now, fewer options and much more expensive unless using pins. Our current baby #4 has been breaking out from disposable diapers and we have tried tons of brands and keep giving away full bags of diapers$$. I finally got smart and tried cloth again…love it! So much easier now. We are planning adopting again soon, going to go straight to cloth for this one!

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Stephanie S April 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Great all-encompassing look at CD for a newbie! Thanks for taking the time to put it together.

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MIzzy July 31, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I’m not sure if there are different types of cloth diapers or even different brands, but I used to work at a daycare and we had some toddlers in cloth and it was just down right terrible! They peed through the cloth diapers about every hour and a half. We constantly had to change their clothes because the pee seeped everywhere. During nap time, the one girl in my group always pooped, which went everywhere. It got to the point where it became such an every-day sanitary hazard that my boss actually talked to the parents about it and we got permission to use a disposable on her during nap. That same parent also admitted to us that she actually hates using the cloth diapers at home because the same things happen to her. (Mind you, we did use those insert things that are supposed to help but all it did was slide up her back so the poop never actually did get caught in it) I understand they save money in the long run and yes they are eco friendly in many different ways but is it really worth it to constantly have a child covered in pee, a washing machine thats very unclean because there’s poopy diapers being washed in it, and then you have to change the child more often because it doesn’t hold as much? I know it’s just my opinion, but if I ever have a child I will not be using cloth diapers!

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Amanda Hearn July 31, 2014 at 9:44 pm

There are many different brands. I’ve never heard of an encounter like yours, ever in my years of cloth diapering and blogging about it. Just a guess but it sounds like it could be a bad brand of diaper (some knock-off brands are useless), user error, or a combination of the two. One of the big reasons I switched to cloth was because of blowouts in disposables. I never had that problem again after using cloth.

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Laura October 31, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I am new to cloth and I love it. I was planning on cloth diapering from day one but I chickened out for many of the above reasons. I am so glad I switched and wish we become a cloth diapering household sooner! Next baby I plan on cloth diapering from day #1!

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Belle November 20, 2014 at 8:04 pm

I really love cloth diapers, fantastic, I bought $300 worth of eco-friendly, bamboo nappies in the hope of finding some sanity and saving money as my poor childs bottom is so sensitive. I find out now that these eco-friendly super-dooper cute ones are giving her a bad bad rash as the bamboo inserts are caught within her heinee and rubbing each time she moves her legs. She is 2 months old and screams each time I put the bamboo toilet paper like sheets in side the nappy! So now, I am using them without the bamboo toilet paper and it’s a little better but she is still getting a reaction to the type of material inside the nappy… I’m so dissapointed, as it seems I cannot use eco or disposable, most of the day she just doesn’t have a nappy on!… it’s really difficult! help!

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Sabrina O. December 7, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Great read! After 3 children, I’ve decided to use cloth with child #4 (EDD March 2015). Lots of great info to help me with my decisions along the way.

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Chris Brown December 7, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Thank you for this article, I have been looking for some answers about Cloth diapering. We have been doing it part-time with mixed success. My little is slim, so it is a challenge fighting leaks without leaving red marks.

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