Cloth diapers: yea or nay?

What are your experiences with cloth diapers? Would you recommend them or pass on them? What are the benefits vs. the drawbacks?

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29  Answers

5 8

Shortly before our most recent baby was born, my husband suffered a back injury at work and was unable to work for almost a year. The company denied his worker's comp claim, so we were just living off his short term disability checks, less than $1000 a month take home. Fortunately, I had already decided to cloth diaper and had acquired some from Freecycle. I made my own wipes by cutting up old receiving blankets and received a cloth diaper pail liner as a gift from someone at church. I'm so glad we had this set up, since a lot of times, it would have been a choice between food and diapers if I had to buy disposables ($25 for two weeks was pretty typical for what I had for food/toiletries/etc)! As it was, I was able to feed the family and still keep baby's bottom clean and secured. As another poster commented, disposables can cost you thousands of dollars by the time the baby is potty trained, but we haven't spent a single penny. Even the laundry costs are minimal since I make my own detergent (we don't use dryer sheets or fabric softeners anyway because of my asthma). With the cloth liner in the diaper pail, laundry isn't even difficult. I just make sure to knock the poos in the potty when it is fresh, then drop the diaper and wipes in the diaper pail. Laundry day, I dump the contents of the bag into the washer and toss the bag in with them. Everything comes out fresh and clean and I never had to touch an icky diaper. It is even less of an effort and less icky than when I did use disposables with a couple of the other kids, since at least a couple times, the trash bag broke when I was taking those out to the trash and I had to pick icky diapers up off the sidewalk or *shudder* kitchen floor.

12
2 13

DO IT!!! It will save you soooooo much money in the long run. Plus you never need to run to the store to buy diapers! I have two kids in cloth diapers, my 3 year old daughter who has Spina Bifida and therefore will be in diapers until at least the age of 5 and my 17 month old son. I even created a way to keep my daughter in cloth diapers as she grows out of the normal weight range for them. So do it!!!
P.S. Each disposable diaper takes 500 YEARS to decompose. Think about it.

8
56 1

Any tips? My large for his age 3 year old is still in nappies at night and I'm struggling to make them fit. I've had to switch to a nappy with poppers as the velcro would not stay shut. He also has an extra booster as he is still a fairly heavy wetter at night.

4 14

I ♥ cloth! I have exclusively used cloth on my daughter since birth. I save $, its super easy to clean them once you get the hang of it... like 2-3 extra loads a week... not bad at all. I would recommend everyone to atleast try it!

5
48 12

yay for cloth diapers! I started using cloth when my first was 4 months old and have found it very rewarding. I cloth diaper for several reasons; the environment - each baby produces 2 tons of disposable diapers that are usually not biodegradable. The money factor - you can save 1-2 thousand dollars over the diapering life of your baby by using cloth, health of my baby - the chemicals in disposable diapers are not good for your baby (chlorine is a known carcenogen) 24 hrs a day/7 days a week for 3 years, and because they are super cute and I like being part of the growing group of people getting drawn into the cloth diapering movement. diaperpin.com has a much more detailed list of the benefits of cloth. I am not going to pretend that it doesn't take a little dedication on your part. Yep there is extra laundry to do. The number one reason my husband grumbles is that you are not supposed to use fabric softeners or dryer sheets AT ALL because they make your diapers stink and reduce absorbancy. If you use them on your other clothes the chemicals line your washer and drying and come off on your diapers. There are many different ways to cloth diaper. Different kinds of diapers offer you more or less features for different price points. It doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing. Plenty of people use cloth at home, during the day and use sposies when they are out and/or overnight. They are coming out with more earth friendly disposable diapers and when we travel that's what we use, but they are generaly more expensive. For me, I feel good about my decision to use cloth. I love shopping for new diapers and trying new brands. I love it when somone sees a diaper in my diaper bag and asks me about it. Iwould definately recommend giving it a try.

4
3 0

I had a really good experience with cloth diapers. I used mostly pocket diapers with the Velcro-like closure. It made it easier for my husband and daycare (yes my daycare was on-board and I made it as easy for them as possible). It really isn't any more difficult, once you get the laundry routine down. Some people would comment that they didn't want the extra work that goes with the extra laundry. I didn't see it as that big a deal. I was doing laundry all the time anyways, what's a couple of extra loads.
I would find disposables hard to adjust to. We used them a little- for the first 2 weeks of his life, and later when we were trying to clear up a diaper rash. I hated disposables. We weren't set up with the right disposal system for them, and we always seemed to run out and had to make a trip to he store.
There are so many options out there for cloth diapers, there's really something for everyone.

3
0 0

Definite Yea! for cloth diapers. I had my twins in CDs from the day they came home until they were two. We had to switch to disposables for a dayhome when I returned to work and that was when the rashes started. We chose cloth because we wanted to minimize the chemical absorbents that were placed next to our daughters skin. The girls have my skin sensitivities and this has proven worrisome, even though we only use dipes with gel absorbents at night!

Another perk is that you can make back some of the investment when you are done with them. Cloth diapering ended up almost paying for itself in the end. After all - nobvody will buy your used disposables...but they will happily snap up some soft warm clothies!

Plus, it is way grosser to come home to find out your dog ate a bunch of disposable diapers than it is to come home to a prefold that's been licked clean...even if it doesn't sound grosser...

1
0 20

Disposables for me all the way. We found them to be great and absorbent. Obviously depending on what you buy. So easy to use especialy when you're out.

1
10 7

i love our cloth diapers. it does take dedication its easy to get lazy and go back to disposibles, but using the cloth is so much better. less diaper rash and better for the environment. potty training has gotten better and saving money is always great. there are websites where you can calculate the money you'll save. and i even switched to cloth wipes and the foam for diaper changes. i always thought i couldnt take it that far but it works so much better instead of using 3-4 disposable wipes, 1 cloth wipe usually does the job. and a dozen cloth wipes cost me about $12 and thats plenty that it last between diaper washes which the wipes go in with so saving money there too

1
24 58

Cloth nappies are great! Saves you so much money, would recommend to everyone.

1
4 0

We used cloth diapers (my "stash" was 18 one-size bumgenius pockets with velcro closures) from birth to age 2 years 3 months, when we switched directly to the potty and big girl undies (they say potty training a cloth diapered kid is easier --- I have to say it was easy, but don't know whether to attribute it to the kid or to the diapers). We used disposables on vacations where the availability of a laundry machine was in doubt. Even my day care was open to using cloth --- every morning I gave them a small water-proof cloth bag and clean diapers, and every evening I took the cloth bag home with me.

Our routine was laundry every other day. Usually I threw everything in just after my daughter went to bed, hung it to dry over night (we don't have a drier), and it was ready to use by morning (except on really humid days). Sometimes on weekends I would wash first thing in the morning and hang them in the sun to get the benefit of "sun bleaching".

I strongly recommend the throw-away or washable liners that catch the poop. They make the cleanup of the diapers easy because you just flush the mess away. If you get the washable liners, it's great because after a pee diaper, you just wash them with the rest of the diapers, and use them again... bringing the cost down even further.

The only slight drawback I noticed is that the cloth is thicker than a disposable. My daughter is skinny, but she had one 2-yo jeans skirt that was too tight over her diaper, but at at 3 years 2 months she's still wearing now. Just look for loose pants (or a bigger size), and you'll be fine. BTW, my daughter had no trouble moving around because of the "extra bulk". It's not *that* bad:)

I recommend it to everyone! It's not hard to keep up with the washing, and my diapers are in great shape to be used with future kiddos.

1
362 13

I'm currently in the process of switching to cloth with my almost 2 yr old and will use cloth with baby #2. I bought a few different brands to try out and now need to get a full supply. I haven't found them to be much effort at all. And my daughter loves them and gets excited to put them on. Plus she is going on the potty almost 100% of the time when she wears cloth. I love the idea of saving money and that they don't have chemicals and breath better than disposables. Plus they're better for the environment.

1
18 65

I want to try them with my next child. I wish I had used them with this child. Although I think they are time consuming I know they would have saved a lot of money.

1
4 0

For me, the "extra time" was negligible. Loading and emptying the washer is fast, and you can do other things while the wash is running. I used pockets, so I did take the time to pre-stuff them, but once you get the hang of it, that only takes a few minutes every other day... and sometimes I could convince my husband to do this while he was watching TV. It doesn't take any more time to change a cloth than it does to change a disposable. Well, maybe it took me an extra 15 seconds, because I pulled the inserts out of the pocket before putting everything into the laundry bag. But with a baby, 15 extra seconds on the table is nothing, and with a toddler, you can take those extra 15 seconds after they are dressed.

18 65

I think it's time consuming for the extra laundry you have to do. And I know many have to be put up to dry and can't be dryer in the dryer. I'm fine with all that though. Saving money and the environment are too huge pluses that they out weigh the time. I'm going to cloth diaper with my next one and that is that. ;)

0 5

Most that I have used can be put in the dryer.

18 65

Done! I already said I'm cloth diapering with my next one. Why are people still trying to convince me to do?

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9 21

it really depends on the type of cloth diaper you use. I started out using gdiapers with a cloth insert, and they were such a pain! I hated it and got burned out from using cloth for awhile. I recently tried bumgenius and totally love them!!! It makes a huge difference.

1
10 0

Nay.

If cost is an issue for you then you could go with cloth ones.

It wasn't for me and I always found it much easier to buy them and make my daughter wear them. Plus if you use cloth, you will need to master the art of tying it up

0
2,093 0

Yeah! Used them for all four kids. Saved us tonnes of money, and they really weren't much work. With our forth we didn't have a car and hauling diapers home from Costco would have been way harder than just tossing diapers in the washer.

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89 0

Cloth diapers are a good thing. I wished I had used them with my kids, but back then day care didn't take kids with cloth diapers. I was a single parent and I had spent a lot of money for three kids with diapers. Has a kid I grew up in cloth diapers and was potty trained by the time I was 2. I hated feeling being wet. When I trained my kids I used the same concept. I sued training pants with plastic pants and they got the picture right away. Some kids understand faster then others. I babysat for one in cloth diapers and was potty trained by 2 and half completely. I also babysat for one that was in disposable and it took until after 3. Disposable diapers kids don't know they are wet. My husband works for KC and I would still would go for cloth diapers. Disposables fill the land fills. My kids diapers are still sitting there. I forgot how long the they say it take for them to rot.

0
401 0

Go Cloth. I just started my 5 month old on cloth diapers. I love them and they are so much nicer than disposables. I would have to say the only drawback (not a big deal either) is the bulk.

0
1 33

I love cloth nappies. I've used them for both my kids and it makes me feel good to be doing something for the environment by not putting so much rubbish into the environment. I used to think that it would be too much work to clean them but its all just part of my routine and hardly takes any time. I got some modern cloth nappies off ebay for about $5 each. They are brilliant, save me money, make me feel good and look great. I am amazed just in the last couple of years how many people have gone back to using cloth nappies. Good on you mummies!

0
0 5

I would recommend them. They are so different than what people imagine. They also now have "hybrid" diapers, a disposable/flushable soaker. You can also buy diapers that will fit from birth to potty training.

0
56 22

I would say YES! I have recently switched to cloth diapers. My son kept getting yeast infections. As soon as I switched to cloth diapers it was gone in two days. It is kind of expensive to get started started. If you are thinking about using cloth diapers I suggest asking friends to see if you can borrow one of theirs. Try to find a store near where you live or online that has used ones. It took me a little while to get use to how to clean them and find a system that worked. But now I love them. I also use the cloth wipes.

0
33 3

Total estimated average cost $2694.54 for 7,349 disposable, single use diapers. Keep in mind that these figures are a conservative estimate. It is not uncommon for a child of 3 years to require a diaper at night and children in single use diapers tend not to feel wetness requiring a longer duration of time for toilet training success. Your child's individual sleep pattern, body functions and their time frame for toilet training success will determine the number of actual diaper changes required.

0
22 21

We have cloth and although I love the money it has saved us it does mean even more washing which is the biggest hassle. And they don't help with nappy rash so I tend to swap over if she does get it (I always have some spare for when we are going out or going to our parents place) Get ones with domes if you can. My sister in law has Velcro and has to replace the velcro every 4-6 months

0
2 13

There are plenty of moms out there who do the conversion from velcro to snap- check out craigslist for someone local (or you can find me on Etsy under Alford Designs). Then you don't have to keep replacing the velcro.

38 12

Or there is the option of touchtape. You'll find those with the smaller WAHM made ones. Touchtape is way stronger and lasts much longer than aplix (commonly known as velcro) without losing the ease benefits that come with hook and loop.

4 0

My velcro lasted more than 2 years, but I will swap it out for the next kid. I didn't use a dryer, though. I wouldn't trade the flexibility of the velcro--- you can close the diaper at any position, not just where the snaps are. I think that the day care was also more comfortable with the similarity between the velcro and the disposables that they were used to.

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1 0

Do it! I'd definitely recommend bumGenius. They are the best. I believe they have a new All in one diaper that is One size as well. In other words, it's just like a disposable. You just wash it. You can probably find it on a site like cottonbabies.com. Definitely try them-they save so much money and are wonderful!!

0
2 13

To add on for anyone wondering: I use BG 3.0 for my daughter (3 years old with Spina Bifida) and yes, I bought her diapers when she was 6 months old and she's still using the same ones! They have snaps on the front which make it shorter as well as snaps on the insert to make that shorter as well. I bought the velcro closure ones but bought the snap press to convert them. I use tri-fold diapers with a cover for my son (he leaked through the BG) and that was the least expensive way to go because the diaper covers range in price from $10-$20 and the trifolds are inexpensive (mine were hand-me-downs, so I don't know the price).

4 0

I really liked the BG 3.0 as well. After 2y3m use, the velcro needs to be replaced, but other than that, they're basically in perfect condition! At one point we start to use two inserts (the long one plus the infant insert) to avoid leaking. And at night, sometimes we would use 3 inserts!

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38 12

In response to what Kerrin Sawyer said, cloth actually breathes better than disposables. If you can imagine putting paper against your body, and then covering it with plastic, you are going to get much less air flow than with a cloth diaper.

There is also a wide variety of choices when it comes to cloth. The basics are pre-folds with covers (there are also flats, but I never mastered the folding), fitted diapers with covers (these allow for great air flow, especially with a wool cover or fleece cover), all-in-ones which are a self contained diaper, all-in-two's which are like the all-in-ones, but you snap in the soaker instead of it being sewn in, and pocket diaper which are a shell that you stuff with whatever you want. I'm a fan of prefolds with PUL covers, and pocket diapers. We started out cloth diapering when things got tight one month, and it was buy diapers, or buy groceries. I had some generic Gerber prefolds and rubber pants, and made do with those until I could buy some better diapers. Funny thing is, once I started using them, I didn't want to use disposables again, because they were so easy.

Disposables are also better for the baby, and the environment. Disposables never break down in a landfill because plastic requires sunlight to do that. Cloth is also better for baby's skin because of the natural fibers and breathability.

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47 14

Cloth diapers, disposable inserts!

0
56 1

watch out if you have old plumbing though, they don't half block up your sewerage pipes. My inlaws who live in a house built in 1910 had to get someone out because I flushed liners down their toilet. I live in a house of similar age, so switched to washable liners

56 1

I cut down on the laundry involved by washing the wee nappies with the normal clothes wash (then doing an extra rinse just on the nappies) I save all the poo ones until I have a full load (or run out of nappies) and do them on a hot wash. This way I'm doing an extra load only about every 4-5 days.

0
18 6

I'd definitely give cloth a try! I had a friend get me into cloth with my first son when he was about a year old. He had one diaper rash after the other with disposable diapers, no matter what kind I tried. After we switched to cloth he never had another rash.

I used them again with our now 4 yr old. I absolutely love them. I used the Kushies brand with both boys. I only gave up on them when I had a bad relapse of my MS after our 2nd baby and had a very hard time taking care of the wash schedule with them. I wish I hadn't had to give them up, I absolutely love them. It saves so much money after you get all the supplies for them, the diapers, diaper pail, covers and a detergent without scents and colors.
I even made my own soap from grated up Ivory soap and Borax. I'm sure if you googled it you could find a recipe for washing the diapers.

Good luck with the choice!

0
38 12

It's actually better to avoid Borax with cloth diapers, as they can lead to buildup and acid burns.

6 9

i never tried them as i thought they were too much trouble with the cleaning of them etc.i no that might be a lazy way out but they werent for me.

-1
2 13

There are a lot of moms in bigger cities using cloth- I've noticed in my travels that the smaller towns are less likely to use them or accept them as an option.

8 24

They dont breathe like disposable and are less absorbant. Dont ever buy budget low quality disposables they r so bad for babies skin. buy good quality, best u can afford or use cloth but u need to change them more often to avoid damp unhealthy skin and bacteria growth

-7
1 0

I have to disagree, cloth diapers are much better for babies skin and much more absorbant. They wick the moisture away from their skin so it's never damp, and you can control the amount of absorbancy depending on how you want it by stuffing them. Cloth diapered babies have less diaper rash than babies who wear disposables. I cloth diapered 2 children and never had to change them as often as I did with disposables (but changed often anyways because it's not a waste-you just wash and re-use).

38 12

I agree with Erin. It is also easier to tell when a baby has peed in a cloth diaper. When I had my second son, they had disposables in the hospital, and I didn't have enough cloth to not send my husband home to do the laundry. We had to catalog when the baby peed or poo'd, and telling when he peed was near impossible. I decided once we left the hospital that any future babies will be cloth diapered from the very beginning.

56 1

I would agree that generally cloth nappies are more absorbant, the exception is Pampers Baby Dry, which I have found to be more absorbant, so I use these at night time (having not got anywhere getting cloth ones to last). True they use chemicals to achieve this, but this is better than soaking wet children every morning and they go chemical free during the day. Not found any difference in nappy rash levels, as this tends to be connected to poo on the skin rather than moisture.

17 9

I have tried both and for convenience disposable nappies are unbeatable. I used cloth for the first 4 months of my son's life and had constant problems with leakage and nappy rash, not to mention what to do with the dirty ones when you were out and about as I found I had to carry dirty nappies as well as clean ones whereas disposables, you could just put in the nearest rubbish bin. I got a Sangenic Nappy Bin which seals and stores the nappies in holding the smell etc which made disposal at home a charm. The best ever. Disposables are fabulous as long as you are able to dry them without using a dryer (otherwise any savings will be lost). In NZ (where I live) there are a couple of companies who offer to pick up and compost your disposable nappies which is fantastic and takes away some of the environmental guilt. I also recommend not using the cheap nappies as they are not as absorbant, they do not fit as well and they are not as readily composted. Also I don't rate the "Pull up trainer" Nappies very highly as apart from allowing your older child to pull on and off their own nappy they seemed to delay the toilet training process. I'd suggest trying both, the reusables can be quite a big up front outlay, but may save you money in the long run but may not work for you. Child care centres (that I have visited) insist on disposables so you may not have a choice anyway.

38 10

I live in Toronto and actually found a company called Comfy Cotton (comfycotton.com) which when I did the math letting them supply, deliver and clean cloth diapers (you buy diaper pail and diaper covers(have premmie and toilet training pull up sizes)). Then I found out they used hybrid delivery trucks and have won numerous environmental awards. They have proven their machine sterilize better than most home machines and per diaper use less water. They also sell their worn diapers as rags per pound to the public so it takes them longer to get to a landfill. I also found that when we did use disposable diapers for any length of time my son would get a diaper rash, but then I found he would rash up with any diapers that help with toilet training that give that cooling feeling too. The diaper company said it may have been a sensitivity too pH levels. That's what I learned when I did my research on this debate.

38 12

I had the most leaks with Pampers Baby Dry when we used disposables. The only thing worse than them were huggies. With the cloth, the only leaks I had was if I didn't aim him right, or he went too long without a change.

33 3

Cloth diapering is relatively simple and financially rewarding for families who can save from a minimum of $2300.00 to upwards of $5000.00. Single use diapers range in price from $0.22 to $0.45 each. Cloth diapers pay for themselves within a six month period. After six months you diaper for almost free. I am a strong believer in clothe diapers they require more work, but it's worth it for the environment and for your child's future and for your child's health. I began using them when my baby was first born, but then my husband wasn't into helping, so I caved. Next time, I will not especially seeing the cost difference.

38 12

Sally, have you never been out and about and not had a place to dispose of a used disposable diaper (although I have seen them in parking lots before)? You'd have to carry that one around as well, so what is the difference. It only takes a little extra effort to put it in a zippered wetbag to take care of later. As far as compostable, unless you have special disposables with no plastic in them that will not work. Disposables need the sun to break down the plastic, and that takes some 500 years. Without the sun, they never break down. Also, if you use dryer balls, dryer diapers takes relatively little time. Line drying also works, but if you are going to bring that issue up, do you not dry your clothes in the dryer. Drying cloth diapers makes considerably less environmental impact that lumping them in a landfill to stay forever.

8 24

Disposable in New Zealand must be very different from wherever you girls are as the ones ive bought dont have plastic and they are definitely superior to the several brands of cloth pocket nappies I have that I use occasionally. Also, the environmental impact is lower if I use disposable not only because im not putting harmful detergents into my local waterways but also because we have companies here that create wonderful compost from used disposable nappies. Win win

12 8

I would highly recommend doing cloth. Check out pocket style, all in ones and all in twos for the most convenience. You get used to the extra washing routine, and you will figure out by trial and error how to successfully wash them. It saves so much money it's unbelievable, especially when used for more than one baby. Plus you can sell any that survive the duration of use. We did it JUST to save money, the other benefits are nice too. I personally would not recommend doing prefolds or flats unless you are into that, more hassle to get them on a squirmy baby than it's worth. Good luck!

16 28

I have three kids and I have two still In diapers I was spending 100 a month on diapers and all my kids got were rashes and agony! I decided to switch when my youngest was 4 months old! Best decision I ever made!! Other than the occasional leak and the bulk I couldn't ask for more!! They love there diapers and try know when they are wet. Making it easier to potty train. With it being so hot my kids are drinking more causing a lot more washing more often but other than that it's great. They don't last as long as disposables but they work! And work great. I still buy wipes which I should probably make my own but I have alittle issue with keeping up the rest of my laundry. I need more inserts as some have been lost in a move. Go cloth!!

16 28

My husband and I use cloth. I have three kids. Two are in diapers. We switched when my youngest was 4 months. We have switched back a few times only to find ourselves going back to cloth. It's just easier to have on hand you never have to worry about running out and going to the store. I definitely don't miss those times. With me using them on two children I wash twice a day. I have 24 for each child. But I also have dogs that try to get into them this way less mess. But I love them. I should try makin my own wipes. But as it is right now I'm still trying to get a better handle on the washing schedule. But cloth has saved us so much money and my kids love them. My two year old knows when she is wet know and prefers the cloth. I know we will potty train easier now because she doesn't like the feeling of being wet.

7 6

I tried using cloth diapers on my son (who is now 8 years old). I had many different people recommend them to me and tell me they were cheaper and also better for the environment. So, Being a new mommy I wanted nothing but the best for my baby boy. We ended up only using them for less than a month. You see, my son is a "whizzer". lol! When he would pee (one time!) He would soak through his cloth diaper, soak through the plasticy cover thing over the diaper, which would wet his clothes and also his bedding in his crib (or whoever was holding him!) That being said, I got tired of having to do a complete change out of not only the diapie, but also his clothes and bedding and having to do sometimes 2 or 3 extra loads of laundry A DAY (plus the collection of used diapers which all fit in one load anyways) We really weren't saving anything and having to change everything and do a load of laundry every night at 2am, just wasn't working!! We ended up switching to the disposibles. But since we live out in the country and don't use a trash service, we just made sure all the diapers went out in the burn barrell to be burned with anything else that couldn't be recycled. Glad to hear that some of you out there have been able to use the cloth diapies with no issues. They just didn't work for us!! :) Good luck!

113 19

Sorry, way to squeamish for cloth diapers. We use pampers, though I've always felt guilty about the waste.

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