Considering cloth diapers? (Xposted)

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MommyQCT's picture
Joined: 06/12/08
Posts: 387
Considering cloth diapers? (Xposted)

I know some of you had mentioned that you cloth diaperd your children...

Since we are going from 2 incomes to one soon - I am trying to save $$$$$... considering using cloth diapers for baby #2...

DH is hesitant for somereason - not sure why b/c he LOVES saving money - LOL Also we are not sure if this will be our last or we will be having one more baby so its harder to calculate our overall savings. I know I can try to resell them though when we are done.

So I have been doing some research (checked out the Cloth Diapers board on here)and it is very overwhelming... All in ones look pretty easy I think? I guess I am scared to jump right in and spend the $ on the dipes then relize its not for us and wasting the money... so I was only going to buy like 2 diapers of maybe 3 different types and if we like it then buy more...

Does anyone have any suggestions for first timers?
Any ways I can ease DH's mind about it? I think I would still use disposiable when leaving the house and stuff (at least till we get the hang of it. I will be a stay at home mom and plan to do at least 1 wash a day if not more. Do I need a special pail or would any old bucket or pail from Target work?
Also what type of diaper would you suggest for a first timer? All in 1? All in 2?
What type or brand most cost effective? I don't want to buy all cheapies if they don't last ya know?
Did anyone try cloth diapering and then stop? If so why?

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions!

PianomanTran02's picture
Joined: 08/16/08
Posts: 401

We are planning a CDing the second one. Surprisingly my DH was pretty cool with it from the beginning. We are slowing getting 2-3 of the ones we think we'll like and after we've tried them we can stock up if we need to. The thing that helped us the most was finding a class about it. A store around here holds a class once a month and we were able to go in a compare the different ones, how to use them. They talked about detergent, storage, just about anything you could think of. I'm all about getting the sprayer! I don't know much yet either, but wanted to encourage you to look for a class. It really helps to see stuff firsthand.

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

It is overwhelming when you first start researching CDing I think. I remember being totally overwhelmed as far as what kind to get, etc. Here is what we ended up doing after some trial and error, but it seems like everyone develops their own preferences:

-Pocket diapers are my faves. You can take the liner out and wash them separately, then just put them back together again. I feel like they get cleaner and are more absorbent than the AIOs. They go on just like a disposable and velcro or snap on. My personal favorite is BumGenius because I like the velcro tabs, and they are one size fits all, so they grow with the baby (they adjust so you can make them shorter or longer) and you don't have to buy the next size up at some point. Fuzzibunz are good too, some people like those better. Maybe get a couple of each and then get more once you've decided which you like better.

-When DS was really tiny, we used prefolds with covers because the pocket diapers leaked around his legs because they were just to scrawny. Get yourself a stack of prefolds and a couple of small or newborn Bummis covers (they are THE BEST covers, don't even bother with any of the other options). Also get a couple of Snappis (stretchy plastic things with grips on them that hold the cloth diaper on, they are SO MUCH easier than trying to use pins). You may think you'll never use the prefolds, I didn't think I would and just got them because a friend of mine was like "no, seriously, you are going to want some," but in the first few months we ended up using them a ton, and once you get the hang of folding them, they're easy enough, and they are WAY cheaper than any other kind of CD.

-My DH thought washing dirty diapers in our washing machine was gross, but at first, newborn poo is so mild it doesn't seem that gross, and later on, you dump the poo in the toilet before you wash, so they usually just have a streak or whatever on them. Give them a cold water rinse first, then wash on hot with a mild detergent, then cold water rinse again. I sometimes give them yet another rinse if they need it. Rinsing with cold before you wash helps get the stains out. So by the time you are done washing them, they are clean and so is your washer.

-We bought a large Simple Human trash can to use for dirty diapers. It worked great. It has a plastic liner you can take out and hose down so you don't need to buy any plastic bags, and it seals and is air tight so it doesn't smell. You can spend a bunch of $ on a special cloth diaper pail, but the Simple Human can worked just as well, possibly better in my opinion.

Anyway, those are my pointers Smile I have liked CDing and it is easier than I expected it would be. Now that DS is 3 and is a reluctant potty trainer and has grown out of most of the CDs, we have been using disposables. I just don't want to spring for the next size up CDs because I keep hoping any minute he'll be potty trained. I am amazed at how much $ we have been spending on freakin diapers! It is definitely worth the initial expense, you will absolutely save $ over time. Good luck!


Joined: 01/20/12
Posts: 189

I am thinking of doing CD this time around too and all of this information is sooo helpful. I was stressing about the cost but I talked to one of my friends and she said not to worry because there are so many people around here that CD that they could help me out and teach me about them.

MommyQCT's picture
Joined: 06/12/08
Posts: 387

Thanks for the advice ladies.

After doing some more research, I am not leaniing towrads ALL IN ONES any more - didn't realize they were more expensive. Just thought it would be easier to get DH to use them.
Looks like a prefold with a cover system would be cheapest. and a good way to start - DS had (and still has) tiny legs so it might work better at first. I saw some viedos on You Tube and it looks pretty easy. Then maybe some pocket ones.
DH is VERY reluctant. I promised i would only by a 2-3 diapers to start then if I like them i will buy more. He is still hesitant b/c he thinks it will start many fights between us if he is unwilling to change a cloth diaper.. I still have about 4 months to convince him though.

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

How does your DH think changing a cloth diaper will be different than a disposable? The only difference is you put one in a trash can and the other you put in a diaper pail. Once the baby is eating solids and starts having more solid BM's, yes, it takes another step to dump the poo in the toilet before you put it in the pail, but you get used to that pretty quick. In fact, I dump DS' disposable diapers too just to keep the trash can smell down. I feel like no matter what kind of diaper you use, you WILL get poop on you at some point. It's just inevitable. My DH was reluctant at first too, but now he is a cloth diaper fanatic and gets mad at me for using disposables Smile So he may come around once the baby comes and he realizes cloth diapers are not anywhere near as difficult as he thinks they will be. Maybe get a few newborn pocket diapers that he can use if he is afraid to use the prefolds at first, and I bet if you show him a couple times how to do the prefold, he will realize it isn't that hard.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984


This will be the 5th baby that we CD. I'm a big fan of CD and far prefer it to sposies.

I'm one of the super practical mama's, who never really got into the whole "cuteness" of cloth, we really just did it for cheapness, ease, and environmental impact. Our June baby will be the 6th baby to use our CPF's and wraps.

We use CPF's and Thirstie wraps (I found them to be the thinnest, most flexible covers....) I've also used Bummis Whisper Wraps, which we also liked, but love the Thirsties more.

I've avoided AIO's bc the IRL friends that have used them had odor issues during year two. They would strip and soak and whatnot and still have a stink.

We use rice paper liners with ours once baby is on solids. They are cheap liners. When baby poops, you dump the whole lot into the toilet. When baby just pees, we just wash and re-use. We can typically get 3-4 washings out of a liner before we need to pitch it.

We do a dry bucket-- so we use just a regular diaper pail.....

And I break ALL of the CD rules. I bleach my diapers. I use Tide. In the winter I put them in the dryer. And they have STILL survived 4+ kidlets-- so I'm not sure how much I buy into the other rules of CD'ing. I wash them in hot on my "whitest white" cycle. I do hang the liners to dry, but they dry nearly instantly..... Our dipes are bright white, w very minimal staining and still sturdy after all these years.

Good luck with your decision!

Oh-- and just a note. Our kids have all been PT'd by 18 months. I think that having spent their time in cloth helped the potty training it was pretty painless for each of our little ones (and on mommy & daddy!)

Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131

I was hoping for an early potty trainer because I'd heard that about cloth dipes. No such luck. He just turned 3 and is still not potty trained. But that's another topic...

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

UGH! I had a whole response typed out and hit a button my computer went back a page. Erased it all. I hate it when that happens!!!

You may not save as much as you would if you were able to use the diapers for more than one child but the fact is that you will save money. As long as you do not become a cloth diaper addict and start buying the ridiculously expensive brands. I am always surprised at how many people will fully admit to spending more on cloth than they would have on disposables. Oh well, to each their own!

As you said, selling will get you some of your money back as well.

You can also save by looking for seconds sales. Sites will sell their "seconds" (diapers that have minor flaws that do not affect function) for a reduced price. I found an awesome deal at Christmas when Blissful Booty had their seconds half off so I bought 8 newborn/small diapers for $5 each! (Normally they are $20 a diaper.) The only flaw was some ink that was left by some ribbon they had used to tie around the diaper and the ink washes off. I wouldn't be able to buy used as cheap as I got those diapers.

I think starting out small is a good idea. You may find that certain brands fit your baby better than others. What works for one baby may not work for another so while it's good to get recommendations on brands, you really just have to try some and see how they work. There are also some sites that do trial packs so that you can send back the ones that do not work and save you money from fully investing in that diaper. I believe Jilliansdrawers does this but I think there may be others. If you want to know who else may do them then you can ask on the Diaperswappers forum. Or I can ask for you.

My favorite way to store dirty diapers is in a 13 gallon trashcan with a lid. I have a wetbag pail liner that I bought from Planet Wise that I wash with the diapers. It will keep your pail from getting wet and stinky. I also have to smaller ones with zipers for when we are out of the house. I also used the smaller ones when my DD was little and I didn't want to run to another room to put them in a pail with every change.

My DH was pretty hesitant at first as well. He thought the whole idea was just gross. I kept researching it and he eventually came around to the idea. I have taken on the responsibility of being the only one who sprays the poopy diapers (which you only have to do if or when they are not exclusively breastfed). I don't mind that though. He will wash them for me without me asking, which I love. He would have NEVER even considered cloth if I hadn't brought it up but he loves saving money and knows that I have kept money in our pockets so he is happy with our choice.

It may sound funny to love something like a diaper but I really do love cloth diapers. I'm a cloth diaper fan. Biggrin

keegen456's picture
Joined: 07/16/07
Posts: 193

I started cloth diapering Niko when he was about 14 months old. I loved it, my DH not so much. But he came around and would change Niko and even change poopy diapers. We are planning on cloth diapering the newbie when she's born. My DH was talking to one of his buddies whose wife is pregnant about how they should cloth diaper because disposables stink Smile

Joined: 11/24/11
Posts: 12

I want to use cloth diapers, too, but don't know anyone who has! Plus they're really hard to find around here for some reason. So I'm glad to have found this very helpful thread Smile

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

"Kessalia19" wrote:

I want to use cloth diapers, too, but don't know anyone who has! Plus they're really hard to find around here for some reason. So I'm glad to have found this very helpful thread Smile

That's great! Diaperswappers has an excellent cloth q&a forum. also has a cloth board that has lots of helpful ladies.

For what it's worth, I've never bought cloth diapers in person. I've always ordered them online and you will find there are many companies out there that sell them. Wishing you the best of luck in your cloth diapering journey! Biggrin

JDBabyHopes's picture
Joined: 02/16/09
Posts: 1149

**lurker from June**

This will be our second baby in our CD stash, and I couldn't imagine doing it any other way! My DS just potty-trained in the last month (he turned 2 in February), but still needs a diaper at nap and bedtimes. I had to (sadly) retire the cloth because one diaper a day (he's in disposables at night due to skin sensitivities, but that's another topic) was pointless. I was afraid they'd sit too long before I had enough for a load, and the ammonia would start breaking them down.

ANYHOW, I have to agree with Audra on the Thirsties covers. We ONLY used the Duo covers with DS, and they were the best EVER. Those were really the only ones that didn't leave angry red marks on his legs, even though he had toothpick thighs. Plus, for me, they were just softer and more flexible than some of the other stiffer stuff out there. I actually used my Bummi wrap as a swim diaper his first summer in our little inflatable pool. Wink

Learn how to do the angel fold if you end up doing prefolds in the beginning. That is the foolproof way to fold your diapers to make sure you catch that runny newborn poo! We, to this day, have never ever had a poosplosion (except once when we were away and he was in disposables for the duration of the trip).

I abuse my diapers, too. I do use CD detergent (love Eco Sprout), but I have ALWAYS thrown them in the dryer. We live in a townhouse community with nowhere to hang them, so they have forever been dried in the dryer. Some of the organic ones are a little worse for the wear (my bumgenius organic diapers got some holes near the legs), but other than that they look just fine. We have some staining, but that's more laziness on my part. I've never bleached, and if I strip, it's randomly with RLR. Nothing else. I figure no one else is going to need them but my kids, so who cares. I probably couldn't get the stains out at this point, anyhow. Ha. Wink

My favorites by far, especially once they are older, are the bumgenius pockets. I actually just bought one of their newest ones and they look pretty cool. I can't wait to try it out. Smile I recommend snaps, though, as most of my velcro tabs look pretty bad at this point. That might be because of all the drying, though. Also, once they can pull off a diaper, snaps are way harder to figure out. Wink

AIO's are overrated, but I do have a few in our stash for DH (he's a pro now, though) and grandmothers.

It can be overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time! I definitely think prefolds with covers is the way to go with a newborn. Plus, you can get your feet wet pretty cheaply before you invest in some more to make sure it's right for your family.

Good luck!

Joined: 11/24/11
Posts: 12

Thanks! I've heard good things about BumGenius--too bad they seem to be one of the more pricey ones! I hope we'll be able to try a variety before investing a chunk of cash into one kind. :3

MommyQCT's picture
Joined: 06/12/08
Posts: 387

I just bought 2 bumgenious one size 4.0 dipes from buy buy baby this week! Dh is still against it but seems to understand the process a bit more now that he sees one in person.
They are sooo cute i can't wait to start using it...

I think I will aslo by some prefolds and thirsties covers.

I think DH is a little more interested (or less grossed out) when I found out about disposable liners... though they won't contain the runny EBF poop = it will help with clean up later...
he just thinks its too gross to throw poop diapers in our washing machine - even after I explained that EBF poop is water soluable...
I just wish i could get him on board - even if I offer to change ALLL diapers - he has a problem with me using our washing machine for it! UGH!!!!

Kayla1981's picture
Joined: 01/04/07
Posts: 1529

My husband was hesitant for the same reason. He thought it was gross to put the diapers in our machine. But, at some point, he got over it. I'm not sure what changed his mind. Maybe he realized a lot of people do it? That the washing machine cleans them and then you rinse them and nothing gross is left behind? Or he just got used to the idea? Whatever it was, it just took him a little time to come around. I hope the same is true for your husband. Smile

And keep watching for seconds sales, Baby Half Off, Baby Steals, deals around holidays (like Earth Day coming up!!!). One good thing to do is "friend" a diaper store or company on Facebook. Then you will get a heads on on special deals they are running. It's really nice when you have time to build your stash because you can take your time to find good deals. And definitely get a little of a few kinds! I used to love our BG 3.0 diapers but my DD ended up developing a sensitivity to the suedecloth fabric they use.