Thursday, August 12, 2010

About that diaper thing

So yeah, on the diapers? We still don't know what we want to do. I hear wild proponents of cloth diapers, and they definitely are an intriguing option, but we still don't know if they are right for us.

From what I've heard, cloth diapers have come quite a long way from the days of what was essentially a dishtowel with a ducky pin. I haven't done a whole lot of research on brands, but I have heard excellent things about FuzziBunz in particular.

Basically what is boils down to is this: we want to do what is best for ourselves and our child. We want to do what is simplest and most straightforward for us. If that turns out to be cloth diapers and we can have the added bonus of creating less waste, wonderful. But we are not going to make ourselves environmental martyrs on this issue.

Here are the factors that are more concerning to us, in no particular order:

1. Cost. My understanding is that cloth diapers are significantly more expensive up-front, but work out to be significantly less expensive over time. Also, I am wondering what kind of investment we would need to make in cloth diapers. Do the one-size ones really work, or do you have to continuously invest in different sizes as the baby grows? What about the ones with the disposable inserts--how much do those inserts cost compared to disposables?

2. Ease of use. I don't see how it's possible for disposables not to win here, but maybe I'm wrong. I've heard good things about Kirkland, the Costco brand, but I've also heard cloth diaper proponents say that cloth diapers don't allow for poop explosions, which sounds lovely. So, with that plus the advanced designs of some of the cloth diapers on the market, maybe it's a myth that disposables are more convenient? How frustrating is the laundry created by cloth diapers, and how many cloth diapers do you need to buy upfront to make sure you always have enough clean ones on hand?

3. Comfort and health of the baby. The incredible absorbent abilities of disposable diapers scare me a little bit due to the level of chemicals involved. On the other hand, I hear that cloth diapers can cause more diaper rash because they aren't as absorbent? But then I've also heard some people say that's a myth. And, if it's true that cloth diapers are less absorbent, does that mean they need to be changed more often? (This relates back to ease of use.)

4. Other considerations we're overlooking. What else is involved in the diaper decision that we aren't thinking of? Are there factors to consider when it comes to cloth OR disposable diapers that have escaped us?

Basically: HELP. What do all of you parenty types think about this? What decision did you make about diapers with your kids, and how did it work out for you? What do you typically recommend to other parents who ask? What do you think would work best for us given our particular set of considerations?


  1. This is a good one, Jess. I'm going to return to see the comments. We are definitely leaning one way over the other ... but, I'm curious to see what the resident parent experts have to say!

  2. I will be honest here: we intended to use cloth diapers. Once she arrived though, that thought went out the window. My knowledge of taking care of a baby was -0 and adding extra laundry, etc. to an already overwhelming experience didn't sound fun. PLUS once she outgrew the newborn size we initially bought in cloth, it never occurred to me to buy others. Instead, I sold out cloth on ebay.

    We have used quite a few brands, my favorite in the whole wide world being Tushees, which you can find online. They are not as chemmy. And VERY absorbent. But I have used Huggies or Luvs in a pinch.

    I think it's like your own opinion over anyone else's -- it's your baby. No one else is raising your kid.

  3. We didn’t consider cloth diapers even for a second. Like, I mean, it wasn’t even a blip on our radar. I struggled with keeping up with laundry when it was just 2 of us. Adding a baby more than doubled our laundry (they go through A LOT of clothes!!) and I couldn’t imagine having to wash diapers on top of it. It just wasn’t for us.

    I’ve had a few friends who used them though, all of whom were stay at home mom’s. (Our daycare was willing to accommodate cloth diapers if we so chose, but it just seemed like a lot of hassle.) I think it’s easier to manage the less you leave the house. One friend used cloth at home, and disposals anytime she went out. Another started using disposables when the baby started sleeping longer stretches at night to avoid the wetness and still used cloth during the day.

  4. I was a cloth-diaper baby, but there was a service in town. They brought cloth diapers to your house, took the dirty ones away, washed them, and came back repeated exchange. My Mom said it was awesome.

    Of course, we also had traditional disposable diapers for babysitters and travel.

    I think a lot of parents make this decision based on their comfortability with poop and laundry. I think Tushies look like an awesome option - environmentally friendly, but disposable.

  5. We are starting off with two hybrid cloth diaper brands -- GroVia and gDiapers. Both offer flushable inserts, so you can have the convenience of disposables when you need it, but still be in a cloth diaper.

    Still, we are planning on using disposables at least for the first month or so while we settle in with the girls.

  6. I'm not a mom, but found this post hugely informative:

  7. There's a blogger I read for awhile who did a whole post on cloth diapers - during a free minute today I'll find the post and send it to you.

    If Tommy weren't going to daycare I would have tried harder to convince B on cloth diapers (cost savings would have been a big reason - b/c if he weren't going to daycare my income wouldn't be contributing). I have no issue with baby poop, spitup, etc. But B? Not his comfort zone. So we went disposable - I want B to feel comfortable contributing, not like I'm forcing some radical diaper situation on him. Plus, daycares generally prefer disposable for ease.

    I've heard that you need 18 cloth diapers. The onesize bumgenius get a good review. And just do disposable until the baby is out of newborns - so many diapers a day a that point, you don't want to wash that many cloth diapers.

  8. Heard great things about these:

    However, they are really only more efficient (cheaper) when you use the reusable inserts, not the flushable ones. At hybrid thingy.

  9. Found it:

  10. I used cloth for all three of mine from the time they were born until they were potty trained. Our hospital uses cloth and Bart's dermatologist (he has skin issues) affirmed that cloth was the best choice for his skin.

    It's really a personal thing. I always knew I would use cloth, both for economical and environmental reasons. The washing was a non-issue, as was the performance of the diaper. You likely do have to change the diaper more frequently, but when you think about it, it's not because the baby is soiling the diaper more often, but because the wetness can be felt - with cloth your baby's diaper area is cleaned more frequently, therefore has less exposure to the acidic urine that causes rashes.

    I had a bunch of different types - some all-in-ones, some one-size-fits-all and some sized with covers. They all worked and I used them all in regular rotation.

  11. We do disposable. Always have, always will. It's simply because we both work full time and the laundry challenge would occupy too much time and stress me out (not everybody feels this way, obviously, but I do). Pampers have worked the best for us and her. She has never had a diaper rash, but every child is different.

    We tried the Costco brand, we tried the Target brand, we always go back to Pampers, even after they made their big switch. I didn't notice anything but an improvement to their diapers. We do give her some naked time everyday wherein she doesn't wear a diaper and we just let her tush "air out." The mess doesn't bother me, as even her poop is cute and trust me, we've had our share of amazingly gross poop explosions, but that's just the cost of doing business with a baby :) I find that the Pampers keep most events contained. She has never had a leaky diaper and only two or three blow outs.

    Do what works for you and keep it simple and happy. Every baby is different. I keep saying that, but it's so so true.

  12. We used disposable for both kids. It wasn't expensive b/c you got what was on sale, or get coupons! I agree with there being enough laundry with 4 people living in a house. Add diapers and washing and BLEH.

  13. We used cloth. We bought 22 Bum Genuis 3.0s (which are now Bum Genuis 4.0s, see here:,1207.html). I got a few online on sale in 6 packs, a few for gifts, and bought the rest at the store I linked to above, which is about 2 blocks from my house. We paid about $300-$350 up front (including the money spent by others on the ones that were gifts). We also buy disposable wipes, at Costco, and I'd estimate we've spent about $80 on those total (Kiernan is now 2, and about to potty train.).

    Neither my husband nor I is a stay at home parent, but we both have flexible work/school situations so Kiernan's not in daycare. (Similar to you and Torsten, actually.) We chose cloth for two primary reasons:
    1) WAY cheaper.
    2) WAY easier.

    The environmental thing was a distant third, though I think the benefits are real.

    In terms of cheaper, I think that's pretty self-evident. We bought one-size diapers, and MAYBE two boxes of newborn diapers for the week before she was big enough for them. We've spent less than $500 total on diapers/wipes in two years. If you tried, you could do it for a ton cheaper, but I found that the "ease" part for me meant I was willing to go high-end on the diapers.

    We also did cloth because it was WAY easier. Basically the question is this: which bothers you more, doing one extra load of laundry every other day, or going to Target/Costco an extra trip because you ran out of diapers? My husband is the one home with Kiernan during the day a lot of the time, and he would vastly prefer to do the load of laundry rather than get Kiernan ready and take her to the store because they ran out of diapers. It's a personal preference, for sure, but that's what worked for us.

    We do one extra load of laundry every 2-3 days, now that she's bigger. When she was tiny, we did laundry every day and a half with the same amount of diapers. In our washer, it's one load washed twice in the washer and then dried on medium in the dryer. We use Tide, bought at Costco, and just finished the $20 huge box a couple of weeks ago that we bought before Kiernan was born.

    I know some people say it's gross, and probably it is, to a certain extent. At first it was less gross - we breastfed and she didn't eat solid food until almost 7 months - but now, it's pretty normal. Also, you're really not supposed to put human waste in the garbage regardless of whether it's in disposable or cloth diapers, so you're really supposed to be cleaning out diapers regardless. A lot of people get a sprayer, which I'm sure helps, though we've never had a problem. Also, washing the diapers every few days means her room never smells, which I think is a pretty big mitigating factor.

    Oh, and I totally think that cloth diapers contain blowouts and prevent diaper rash. Which is to say, Kiernan's never had the former and I can count on one hand the number of times we've had to use diaper ointment of any kind. The natural fibers of the diapers just keep her dry.

    The Amalah cloth diapering post on Alphamom is also a must-read, if you haven't read it already.

  14. I'm not a mom but you might check out the folks at Young House Love. They just did a big post about using cloth diapers.
    Hope that helps!

  15. Jenna from that wife ( did a whole blog post on cloth diapering. I'm sure it would help to have info from someone who's used them!

  16. Oh my gosh, I love our cloth diapers so much. I'll try to keep this under 50 pages. ;-)
    1. We use the BumGenius 3.0 one-size diapers. We love them. They are a little on the spendy side for cloth diapers (we got ours on sale and with a coupon, and they were still $17 each). But, at least when he was first born, James was going through a pack of 40 diapers every 4 days or so. At that rate, these will have paid for themselves by September. We didn't use the cloth diapers at first because a) while they would have fit they would have been HUGE on his little body, and b) we wanted to get acclimated to having a baby before taking on the cloth diapers too. We started using them at about 1 month.
    2. James has only twice ever leaked out of his cloth diapers; once he really soaked it good and it was just pee, and the other time the daycare lady didn't realize how much he pooped and when she pulled the diaper out it got on his clothes - so it wasn't really a leak. He has had multiple poop explosions out of any disposable we've tried (Huggies, Papmers, Target brand). We have 24 diapers, which is what was recommended to us. It's enough to get through 3 days about, but we do diaper laundry every other day. So it's really only 3 extra loads a week. If you separate the diapers when you put them in the diaper pail (ours have liners in a pocket), all you have to do is take the entire wet bag down to the washer and dump everything (including the bag) in. It's a little smelly, but so is emptying your kitchen trash sometimes, or the trash from regular diapers. The really gross part (to me) of diapers is the wiping up poop from someone else's butt, and you get that either way.
    3. James only gets diaper rash if we don't change him often enough (about every 2 hours during the day), or if we are sitting in the car for a long time. But he only gets a tiny bit of it in the crack of his butt; not all-over rash. And I haven't noticed that it doesn't happen if we happen to use disposables (when we are out of cloth or traveling a lot). The chemicals in disposables scare me as well. I think that you probably have to change diapers about the same no matter what you are using; you don't want your baby sitting in his own pee, even if the diaper absorbs it, you know?

  17. I had to split my comment up because it was too long. Here's the rest!
    4. One thing I didn't think of and have noticed is that cloth diapers take up more room than disposables; in the diaper bag, at home, where ever. When we travel we usually just fill up a big wet bag with them and bring the whole works with us, but if you are limited on space that can be a hassle. BUT, no one said that if you buy cloth diapers you are never allowed to use disposables. If we were going somewhere longer than a weekend we would probably bring disposables rather than trying to do laundry at that place. Also, if you are just out for the day you need to remember to have a wet bag in addition to your regular bag. We bought 3 really simple small wet-bags off amazon for like $10 each. They are drawstring, but they don't leak smell at all.
    One more thing to think of is that you have to wash the diapers twice; once in hot water and once in cold. We hang dry the outsides and put the liners in the dryer. Diaper services are convenient, but the pretty much eliminate any cost savings from disposables (at least from what I've heard).
    Someone mentioned daycare; I think most daycares that are opposed to cloth diapers are thinking of the folded and pinned ones. I have not run into any daycares that have a problem with the ones we use. For the daycare, our diapers are pretty much the same as a disposable. They roll the diaper up and put it in the wet bag instead of in the garbage. We do all the laundry and stuff.
    One last thing: one thing I like about the diapers we have is that you can adjust the liners. So when the baby is small you can have just one liner, or just a little one. As he/she gets bigger you can add a liner. And so far they appear that they are going to fit him just fine all the way. If he doesn't potty train until he's a little older we *might* have to buy a bigger diaper, but I think these'll work for almost all of his diaper-wearing years.

  18. We love Swaddlebees. One option is to use disposable for the newborn stage when they grow so fast and use SO MANY and then switch to m/l cloth diapers when they slow down a bit (3-4 mo)
    We did use Kissaluvs size 0 for the newborn stage, with proraps covers. We had about 2 dozen dipes and about 4 covers we alternated.

    For the med/large sizes we have just over a dozen of each - 14-15 I believe. I wash them about 2x a week. I have used them through alll 4 kids and they have held up well. I still use disposables, during the night and when we go out or on vacation, etc. and I don't feel like cloth diapering is all or nothing.
    The start up cost can be large, but you will recoup the loss if you use them for a while (I estimated 3 months when I started this with #1) and then after that every time I used them (through 4 kids) I felt like I was saving money, since I wasn't using a disposable every time.

  19. I'm cloth diapering my next one. I've never done it before, but pretty much every single friend I have now cloth diapers and so does my SIL. I hated disposables, but just didn't have any support for cloth when my other two were born. The chemicals, the waste, the "OMG I'm so tired from not sleeping that I forgot I need diapers like 10 minutes ago.", and a whole bunch of other things. My husband however, will not change cloth diapers, so I guess I'm on my own. LOL

  20. Hey Jess. You've probably already heard my cloth diaper spiel but here it is. We started out with disposables for Neva until a few months in (which we will do for baby #2 as well) because you have enough to juggle at the beginning and yes, disposable diapers are easier to put on.
    Then, we did a diaper service until we moved to the farm, which was a really nice transition from disposable to cloth because they do everything for you except change the child's diaper. On the negative side, the cost of a service works out to about even with cheap disposable diapers which doesn't help you on the money front either way.
    Now, we do prefolds. I use the same size of prefolds now that I used when Neva was 7 months old and we moved to the farm. If you use prefolds (which I believe are the cheapest way to go), the only thing that you have to buy in different sizes are the plastic covers and I only need 4-6 for each size. The ones she uses now are 20-30lbs and she's been using these for almost a year now. So, we have saved significantly on cost of diapers.
    As for ease of use, you have to be ready for lots of laundry and getting your hands in your child's poop. It can be smelly (use vinegar) too.
    All that being said, Matthew and I are both glad we're doing the cloth diapers. It's true that you will have to change the diaper more often (see what LoriD said) but I think that's a good thing. It seems a lot more natural to me than having plastic chemicals on her bottom that allow her to sit in it longer (and we do occasionally use disposables too so I totally understand why other people do...especially if both of you are working).
    If someone is not adamant about doing cloth diapers when he/she starts, my opinion is that he/she won't stick with it because it takes a while to get into a routine and it can be messy.

  21. I like both, but nothing beats a good disposable at night.

  22. We use disposable for both of our boys for a couple of reasons: 1. My husband wasn't too thrilled with the idea of cloth diapers, and I wanted him to be on board with all decisions we made involving the boys; and 2. We both work full-time and, aside from the fact that it's hard enough to keep up with laundry as it is, our daycare wasn't too thrilled about the cloth diaper idea when we brought it up. Also? Even though it was cheaper over time, we just didn't have the $500.00 or so up front that you need to invest in cloth.

    The cuteness factor of cloth diapers definitely wins (nothing like seeing that cloth-clad little bum!), and I have a SAHM friend who swears by them, but it just isn't for us.

    As far as the chemical issue with disposables, I definitely believe Pampers (especially the new Pampers) are the worst in this department. I mean, you can SMELL the chemicals when you open the package. We use Huggies and Luvs, neither of which has that strong smell, and both of which seem to be really gentle to the boys' skin.

    Good luck!

  23. I hope to use cloth diapers and saw some posts on them here:

    and here:

  24. haven't read all the comments yet, and I'd like to, but for me the main issue was wanting to deal with the poop for the least amount of time required. HA. Disposables all the way, and we have loved the Costco brand. They're just like Huggies, which I highly prefer over Pampers, surprise to me.

  25. We use gdiapers (disposable inserts) and like them. I wanted to use cloth, but I knew hubby wouldn't be cool with that, so this is a good compromise. Our daughter was born 3 weeks early so was newborn sized for about a month, so we used disposables for that time and Huggies seemed to work the best for the price. I liked Pampers too, but found them expensive.

  26. We tried gDiapers with the last baby and regardless of what they say, our plumbing was not up to it. And our house was brand new, less than 6 months old. So, for us, it wasn't worth it to pay the plumber.

    I like Luvs. They contain the mess pretty well. I got some Huggies for my shower and my husband wanted to throw the lot in the garbage because every diaper change, the diaper was dry, but he needed a new outfit. Frustrating.

  27. I've used both. I prefer disposable. However, cloth were nowhere near as labor intensive as I'd expected them to be. BUT: a key factor was the location of our bathroom, nursery, and washer/dryer. When we lived in an apartment where the washer was in a closet right in between the nursery and the bathroom, that was AWESOME and worked GREAT (I'd rinse the diaper if it needed it, then just drop it in the washing machine on my way past). As soon as we moved to an apartment where the washer was on another floor, I found it killed my interest in using cloth.

    Other issues---let me think. One is I've heard that if you decide to cloth-diaper, it's a good idea to use disposables for the first few weeks anyway. Otherwise people can get overwhelmed and give up, when they're so overwhelmed by everything else. I also found it difficult to fit the one-size diaper on a newborn, and much easier when he was even a month old.

    Another issue is that baby clothes are made for disposable diapers, so if you cloth-diaper you'll need a size up for most things. I found it frustrating that the clothes didn't look as cute.

    Something I didn't expect was how SATISFYING it would be to cloth-diaper. I remember pulling a load of clean white diapers out of the dryer and just feeling really GOOD about it, and happy.

  28. Not sure if you know but we do cloth diapers both at home and daycare. I love it. There is a lot of laundry though. E-mail me if you want more info...I'm happy to help!

  29. We do disposable. I really wanted to try cloth for the second baby but I'm TERRIBLE about laundry and knew that was a recipe for disaster. Also, the idea of having to carry the wet and dirty diapers home with me was not appealing. Basically, my decision came down to sheer laziness. I'm not proud of it, but we're trying to offset the environmental cost by making other changes.

  30. We did cloth diapers for 4 months... Used wraps and a diaper service. Every week, they brought over 75-100 clean diapers and every week, they took away all those dirty diapers. Very convenient. It was about $19/week. Add the cost for the covers ($14 each).

    I did find that my little man had a red bottom more often than when we traveled and used disposables. Also, he woke up more often because the diapers were wet and I think it bothered him. He'd sleep longer at night when I started putting him in disposables at night. Then I started looking for excuses to not use the cloth. So we quit the service and I am so much happier. It just wasn't for me. I try to make a bigger effort to recycle every toilet paper roll, scrap piece of paper instead.

  31. What I would do is grab a few cloth diapers and some disposables and see what you like. I really think this is something you have to TRY YOURSELF. You can listen to all of us go on about this, but you'll know best.

    I wanted to cloth diaper. I did! But then .. well, you know what baby I got, and FUGGET IT. I still have great intentions, but honestly, I have enough going on right now. I don't need to deal.

  32. I probably won't say anything that hasn't been said before, but here goes anyway. :)

    We use BOTH. I work part time, and when we are particularly busy and I am barely able to keep my head above water with my job, the girls, dinner, the cats, etc - then we use disposable (this is only about 4-5 days per month).

    When I am primarily at home, we use cloth - Jane always sleeps in a disposable because otherwise she always wakes up wet. We don't have this problem with Violet.

    We use the Thirsties brand snap diaper (they are about $14, and come in a small size and a large size).

    When I first started cloth diapering, I had a 20 month old and a 3 month old. I switched because the idea of all the absorbant chemicles up against my babies' skin for years at a time made me feel squeamish. It is also cheaper, and better for the environment. I find in most cases, the most organic, natural, earth-friendly options are more expensive - but not in this case.

    When I first switched, I used a service in town to launder them. It helped me get into the swing of things, and figure out how to launder them myself (instead of being stuck with a massive load of dirty baby diapers). If you start using cloth with a newborn, I suggest using a service. A few months later, I started laundering them myself (this could be a whole other post).

    You know, I think of it like this: I do my best. It doesn't have to be one or the other. I am pleased that my children are exposed to LESS chemicals, and that my environmental footprint is LESS, and that the money I spend on diapers is LESS.

    If you do decide to do cloth, I would recommend starting when the baby is a few weeks old. You will have enough to worry about the first few weeks, so unless you object to disposable (which it doesn't sound like) use those until things settle.

    Oh, and our two year old, potty trained at 23 months - three months after switching. I am certain this was a contributing factor, since she could feel it whenever she used her diaper. Obviously, they will potty train regardless - but it was a huge plus for us.

  33. I was never in a situation where I could use cloth diapers due to my lack of a personal washine machine. However, if I had been able to, I think I would have chosen cloth over disposables for a variety of reasons.

    Also, If you plan to have more children, maybe the cloth are a better investment? I've had four children all within 7 years and really wish I had used cloth all those years ago. Instead, I've been consistently using disposables for 9 YEARS! My youngest isnt ready for potty training yet so in the end, I'll have spent 10 entire years buying and using disposables without so much as a break. I've also spent...just a quick guestimate $3000-$3500 and who knows how many garbage bags of waste.

  34. I have heard cloth diapers are more absorbent at night because you can add more inserts or something, so that might be a plus for cloth.

    If you plan on using a daycare, some places might prefer to use disposables on your baby, so that might be a plus for disposables.

    I think some babies are just more prone to blowouts than others, regardless of the type of diaper. B has pooped out of his disposable diaper maybe twice in the last 21 months.

    One of the reasons I had a hard time justifying the investment in cloth diapers when I had no idea whether I would like using them, but you could always register for them, or just get a few at the beginning and switch between disposables and cloth until you figure out your preference.

  35. I see now that my last comment covered nothing new, but oh well. I want to add that we changed our newborn 8-10 times a day, so I agree with others that if you use cloth, you might want to start with disposable for the first month or so.

  36. Can I refer you to a forum on that one? It's a German one, I am afraid, but they do have a little corner for English speaking people. They're called Stillen&Tragen. You'll find quite a big community of cloth diaper fans there and they'll definitely be able to help you with the pros and cons on that particular topic.

  37. Jess,
    we use disposables for the first 3 months and have switched to cloth. I love our cloth diapers they are great and easy to use. I wash them every other day. We use bum genuis & flip diapers both are great. I was intimidated about using cloth but once I made the change it's been awesome.
    But my only advice is do what is right for you and your baby!

  38. I just emailed you a novel as to not to fill up your comment space. Then I remembered Amalah has written about cloths and did a much better job. So, yeah.... what she said:
    (click through to her other links in that post, too!)

    Also, have you looked into diaper services in your area? They are making a comeback in some parts of the country.

  39. It looks like you have tons of advice already here but I just wanted to offer this... One of my BFFs is super anal and organized (and I say that in a loving way) and she did a whole financial analysis of the cloth diaper thing. I'm sure I can get it for you if you want. I think the savings worked out to $1400 by going with cloth diapers.

    Oh, and you attach a little hose thingie to your toilet to use when spraying out the big stuff. She said it was really easy to install... ;)

  40. I did both with both my boys. I usually used cloth at home (I likeed the all in one versions with a disposable liner that I could just dump the, uh, solids, into the toilet) I tried the diaper covers with cloth underneath and I tried the ones with the pads you stuff in and I just didn't like to bother with it. I also tried g-diapers, but was unimpressed with the disposable pads. The all in ones are just as easy to use as disposables and with the liner, it's not as messy or gross as you'd think. BUT, I also used disposables for when we left the house or if I was feeling too lazy to bother with laundry. Buy about a day's worth of cloth diapers and give it a try. (I actually got one of a bunch of different brands and types and then bought a whole supply of the ones I liked best) That way you're not making a huge investment.

    I actually preferred cloth diapers but I ended up not wanting to restock my supply when we found ourselves unemployed and a baby who just grew out of all his diapers.

    I didn't find extra laundry to be a big deal, but I was a stay at home mom, and I had the time. I am glad my toddler's in disposables now that I'm working because I don't have time to do clothes laundry let alone diaper laundry!

  41. This is an interesting topic! I've been enjoying reading the comments for my own future reference.

    I never, EVER thought I'd consider cloth diapers... but this makes me consider *considering* it. I remember working at a daycare and finding the kids who had cloth diapers to be a bit more of a challenge sometimes, but they just had these covers, and you just sort of tucked the cloth diaper into the cover and then put the cover on like underwear... it was really, really easy. It wasn't really about putting the cloth diaper on and using pins or whatever. So, I guess if I was to use cloth diapers, I'd look for those covers and try that.

    This is a totally incoherent comment because I don't know ANY terminology when it comes to this stuff, haha!

  42. We use cloth diapers and never considered using disposables. They really have come a long way since our parents diapered us and there are a lot of brands of cloth diapers that are really no different from using disposables - all in ones or pocket diapers like fuzzi bunz, bum genius, sposo-easy to name a few. Many of these come in 'one size' and snap to make them smaller for a newborn and bigger for a toddlers. That said, most people I know who cloth diaper use disposables for the first few crazy weeks of having a new baby so you can always wait and decide after baby comes and just stock up on newborn disposables (which a lot of people give as gifts too). We cloth diapered from the start and although I considered using a diaper service for the first couple months to make things easier on myself, it really wasn't hard at all. I got a lot of great advice from other mommy bloggers and forums like (they have a diapering forum) and I am happy to help you pick out or debate brands if you decide you want to use cloth.

  43. Well honey. I use both and have for a long time with many, many poops and pees. I can tell you this: it isn't going to be a life-altering decision for anyone.

    Both good choices. Both reversible choices. In fact, using both probably makes most sense. 100% cloth diapering families are few and far between, I think.

    I got mine at Cotton Babies (google it and you'll find their on-line store).

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  46. I'm sure you've heard a lot of this before, but here's my 50 cents: With our first, we used cloth. I have experienced no small amount of guilt over not using them with our second, but I was just sick of them and by the time we tried them on Squawky, none of them fit anymore. That said, most of our CD'ing friends use Bum Genius which they RAVE about (one size fits all). (Kushies AIO's are good too.)
    - Tossing them into a front-loader machine for washing = not so easy. Regardless, use a DRY diaper pail. (Less stink!)
    - When we did use cloth, we started off with disposables for the first month or so because they are changed so often it would have been a MOUNTAIN of laundry. Plus we used them went we went on day/weekend trips, etc.
    - If you stick with disposables, look for something (eg. Huggies) that has a tiny little 'flap' at the top of the back - this helps contain blowouts, which will happen anyway. Two words: baby oxi-clean!!!
    - You might check out if Denver has a diaper service. Then at least there's no dealing with the laundry yourself. Most manufacturers recommend a rinse first and then a full wash in hot water. So you're really running the machine twice plus heating the water...
    - Lastly, EVERYBODY we know who has used cloth has a had a rashy baby at some point. They do indeed require more vigilance with diaper-changing. (Desitin or SkinFix are both good diaper creams.)

  47. Jackson was a disposable diaper baby until he was around 6 months or so then we switched to cloth. Cloth diapers can definitely be a cheaper route as long as you don't go batshit crazy and get the adorable monogramed diapers. We used a mix of all-in-one diapers, diapers with inserts and regular old prefolds (the old fashioned kind) and I preferred the insert diapers and prefolds because I found they were easier to wash and dry. If you decide to CD let me know, I can send you a few diapers to try out, although they are for older babies.

  48. I had to laugh at your description of the old style cloth nappies. The baby pictures I have that mum took back in the day were these HUGE cloth bundles and yes, there were the sweetest pins to hold them all together.

    The ones these days seem great!

  49. We pretty easily decided on disposables.

    From what I've read, once you consider resources and costs involved in washing, delivery, etc. of cloth diapers, disposables aren't that much less "green" in the long run.

    The ease of disposables can't be beat, and I would use them again.

  50. When I was pregnant I seriously considered cloth diapers and was convinced I was going to go with them having considered all the things you mentioned int his post. Then my dream was killed. By daycares. I don't know about daycares in Colorado, but in the D.C. area I was hard pressed to find a single center or home daycare that would accept cloth-diapered babies. Thus, I am now using disposables, and actually pretty pleased with them. I've used a lot of different brands, and I am going to recommend both the Costco Kirkland brand and the Target Up & Up brands. They are just as absorbent as the pricier ones, minus the horrible chemical burns from Pampers, and at a fraction of the cost. I've had great luck with both, and my wallet loves them as much.

  51. Check out this link... it is another blog I read and she went into amazing detail about her system with cloth diapers - how many, inserts, sizes, how she cleans, etc. It even includes pictures. I never used cloth diapers, but if I had read this before I might have decided cloth!


  52. I was really looking to do cloth diapers but then our apartment only had a w/d in the basement and it required quarters, so that was a deal breaker.

    And now that we've moved to somewhere with a w/d, I'm not willing to switch over to cloth. Disposable diapers are on sale ALL the time and there are coupons galore, so I'm getting diapers for literally pennies, my husband is WAY more on board with disposables, and I am terrible with laundry. And I think the water usage balances out the waste factor.

  53. I agree with's probably best to get a few of each kind of diaper your're considering and then just try them out when Piglet gets here and see what you and Torsten like the best for Piglet. I didn't really consider cloth when I was pregnant, because I didn't know much about how they worked in the post-awesome delivery service world my mom remembers, and because I do work and my daughter goes to daycare and they require disposables. We got some Pampers, Huggies, Luvs, and these brown environmentally friendly diapers I don't remember the name of as gifts from various friends. We tried them all out in the first month of her life and it seemed like the Pampers and the Huggies worked best, so we were down to just using those, and then we realized that the Huggies seemed more prone to leak, so we've just stuck with Pampers ever since. I love the idea of cloth diapers now that I know more about them, but I probably wouldn't have used them due to the amount of laundry they create...I have felt like I was drowning in my daughter's laundry for two years now!!

  54. I'm sorry I don't peep in here more. I got busy, and...I don't know. Congratulations on your pregnancy, too belatedly.

    About those "chemicals". There is one (1) chemical in diapers responsible for absorbency, and it is called "sodium polyacrylate". Look up the risks involved (try epa, ATSDR...), and...yea. There's none. It's super-sized sodium essentially. Designed to absorb water.

    Sure, there are reasons to go cloth, but avoiding all those "chemicals" is not one of them, especially as the dyes and bleaches used to make cloth diapers are just as impressive.

  55. Hey Jess, I made my way here from Imperfect - Congrats on your pregnancy! I have a two month old, and considered cloth diapers as well, but ultimately decided to go with disposables. The deciding factor for me was feeling like caring for a new baby would be overwhelming enough without adding additional laundry to my load. Plus, while I had some experience with cloth diapers, I felt like using disposables was far more in my comfort zone, and I felt keeping what little things I could in my comfort zone would be important to me with so many changes with a new baby.

    If you're concerned about the chemicals of disposables, you can use Huggies Pure and Natural, which don't have the same chemical and dye levels as traditional disposables.

    I have a friend who plans to use Envibums (, and they seem incredibly comparable with disposables in terms of ease of use. If I were going to go with cloth, these would be the ones I use.

    Oh, and with a baby, I do about a load of laundry a day, not counting diapers, so I'm not sure at this point that the extra laundry would add more work or stress to my life at this point. For the first month though, it definitely would have!

  56. Look at me commenting on almost every post lately!!

    We do cloth diapers. Bum Genius 3.0 One Size. Love them!

    For the first 2 months we used up all the disposables that were given to us (so many!), and I'm really glad we waited since there was no way to know I was going to have a c section and be completely knocked on my *ss for 2-3 weeks! Then the breast feeding issues and mastitis twice. Anyway, yes, glad we started them at 2, 2.5 months :)

    But then I was worried about poop, scared of it really. Didn't want to really touch it or dunk it or let it soak. So a friend gave me organic biodegradable disposable liners to put in/on the diaper and viola! Yay for not touching poop!

    Then at 4 months we started solid food and the poop got so much better. As in firmer. And all you do is gently fling it in the toilet and your done. It just rolls right off. Yay for solid food!

    Bum genius came out with 4.0s a little while ago so I ordered 3 with snaps one size. Oh em gee they are so soft! But the 3.0s I have are perfectly fine too!

    I have 16 diapers total and wash every day. I thought washing every day would be a big deal but it's really not. I also agree with the other commented who said the baby often has to wear a size up of clothes to accommodate the cute cloth diaper tush.

    Oh, one more bonus, I use the cloth diaper as a swim diaper :)

  57. We use cloth and I LOVE them. I was on the fence at first so I waited a few weeks before using them but now I'm so glad we made the switch. I highly recommend doing a cloth diaper trial package like the one from Jillian's Diapers. Every brand fits slightly differently so it's best not to invest all in one brand until you know.

    We ended up using almost primarily the BumGenius one-size diapers. The diapers can expand in size as the baby grows so you only have to buy them once. Fuzzibunz didn't work well for us. We have never had a poop blowout but we have had a few minor rashes.

    I watched a bunch of YouTube videos to help understand all of the different types that are out there now. Good luck!

  58. You have a lot of comments here, and I don't have a baby yet, so I'm probably repeating, but here's what I've heard from my multiple friends with newborns who use cloth:

    1. Correct, upfront cost is more but over time the cost is much less. See specific brand's websites for comparisons. I'm planning to register for cloth diapers, plus they're re-usable for future childen as well, so it seems to me that the long-term savings could far outweigh the upfront cost.

    2. I have heard that when you're doing tons of laundry anyway, the addition of the cloth diapers is less of a hassle than, say, running to the store to re-stock on twelve more giant boxes of disposable diapers. Especially for someone like you who works from home, I would think cloth diapers would win here too. For numbers, you just need to read up, get the minimum recommended, and maybe buy a few more later on if you need to.

    3. My understanding is that you don't have to change the diaper more often, you just need to change it more promptly once it has been soiled, because the cloth diaper's reduced absorbancy keeps the moisture sitting against baby's skin, which is what causes the rash. So disposables only win if you can't handle changing diapers promptly, like maybe when you're out and about, and I know of many people who use cloth most of the time and disposables when they're on the go, which seems like a good solution to me.

    4. You live in a city, so you should look into cloth diapering services in your area. It's possible that they'd deliver fresh and pick up dirty diapers for you, possibly for less than you'd spend on disposables, and diaper services also eliminate the upfront cost. It might at least be a good way to try out cloth diapers without committing to buying them, then if you like it you can cancle the service and buy your own!