Friday, October 26, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Debate

Ahhh cloth diapers. How I love thee, let me count the ways! I think I originally wanted to use cloth because it seemed like the hippy thing to do and and I do drive a Subaru after all! So, it has been requested by some that I share my experience with using cloth diapers and since I want the entire world to use them, I am happy to oblige! Here is my disclaimer: Boyd is exclusively breastfed so the poop issue is not super scary, I'll have to update this post once we get to solid food and things get a little hairy!

So obviously, I am a HUGE advocate of going cloth and here are a few reasons why:
  1. more economical. So far I have spend about $250 on all of my gear and most of it will last until he is potty trained
  2. less waste
  3. VERY few leaks or blowouts
  4. zero diaper rash (not sure if diaper rash is common but we don't have it)
  5. no scary chemicals touching his skin
  6. super cute bum!
I'm sorry but that is so much cuter than an ugly white disposable diaper!

So I guess I'll start from the beginning. When I was preggo I put out a few feelers on Facebook to see if anyone had any experience with cloth. As I expected, I got a lot of "you are nuts" type comments and to be honest I LOVED THEM! I wanted to buck the system so badly that I was from then on out determined to give it a go! Now I was not a total lunatic, I did give myself the freedom to back out if it didn't work but I was sure as fire going to try. So, I did a LOT of reading and I reached out to some friends and total strangers to find out what they liked and didn't like. What we ended up going with was Cloth-eez prefold inserts with Flip covers (more on that in a sec).

Once Boyd was born I was locked and loaded with all my stuff but I knew better that putting those pretty clean diapers on a baby who was pooping nothing but black tar for a few days. For those of you who don't have babes, during the first few days babies poop out this stuff called meconium. It's dark and thick and does some serious staining. Plus, Boyd's little twig legs weren't quite big enough to fill them out. With all of that said, we waited until he was about 3 or 4 weeks go start using them. I must say, we loved them from the beginning and since we didn't really know any different, it was not a hard transition. We started by letting him wear them at home during the day, then we moved to day and night, and finally we went all out and started packing them in the diaper bag and taking him out in them.

  • 24 Cloth-eez cotton inserts: I have never run out with 24, even when I wash every 3 days. These are size specific so you will have to buy more as they grow but they are cheap so don't worry. Cost: $15-$45/ dozen

  • 8 Flip Diaper covers: You can probably get a way with 6 but I like to have extras. You simply put a cotton insert inside the waterproof cover and when baby wets you just replace the cotton insert and reuse the cover. When baby has a big poop it might get on the cover so in that case you just toss them both in the hamper and grab another. I have found some good sales at so you can get them for anywhere from about $8-13 each.

  • 3 or 4 Wet bags: I have found some from Zulily that I love. The key is to find one with a loop that can hang on a hook. I keep one in my diaper bag and make sure I have plenty for school. I pop the wet bag in the washing machine when I wash the diapers.

  • Pail and 2 reusable pail liners: Any diaper pail or trashcan with a lid will work, just make sure you don't use the diaper pails that bag each diaper when you drop it in. I also like this liner. Like the wet bag, I flip the liner inside out and dump the diapers in the washer and wash the liner at the same time.

Cloth Diapers and Daycare
When choosing a daycare, the ability to send cloth diapers with him was very important to us. We ended up finding one that agreed and it has been going smoothly since we started. On Mondays we pack 5 prefolds in his super cool backpack along with an extra cover and a wet bag. His wonderful, amazing, and totally open minded daycare just puts his dirty diapers in the wet bag instead of a trash can and I take them home with me every day. If they send 3 dirties home I just send 3 clean ones with him the next day. On Friday's I take the whole stash home and the cycle starts all over on Monday. Easy peasy!

Washing Cloth Diapers
This is what gets most people. How do you wash, with what, how often....this list goes on! First of all, a lot of people are totally grossed out by the idea of putting poop in the same space as clothes. Here is the scoop: I don't know about formula fed poops but breast fed poop is water soluble and really not that nasty. If you put it in the washer it washes out and leaves no trace. I wash my diapers ALONE with no other clothes EVERY OTHER DAY. I have found that going much longer than that can cause some staining and yucky smells. I will do 3 days every once and a while if there are not many poopy diapers involved. Anyway, I dump them in the washer after work and first do a small/medium cold rinse to get all the poop off. I then use Charlie's Soap and do a hot wash with an extra rinse. The inserts go in the dryer and the covers are line dried. It takes no time and has not been a hassle even considering Tyler and I both work full time. I try to line dry everything in the sun on the weekends because the sun does a great job of bleaching any stains that might have been left behind. Be careful of what kind of detergent you use as some can cause the cloth to not absorb as much and some babies are sensitive to some harsher soaps.

Am I nuts? Maybe a little, but it sure does bring me joy when I go to Target and see how much I don't have to pay for a pack of diapers! I really encourage you to give them a try and if you have any questions at all I would love to help. We "clothies" have to stick together!!


  1. I <3 cloth diapers too!
    But, don't worry about will happen when Boyd starts on solids. We found that poop diapers were only a little stinkier. If Luke eats anything processed, which is pretty rare, his diapers stink a little more. But, with whole pure foods, they are fine and not much worse than his breast milk diapers were. Plus, the soiled diapers just kinda peel off now that he doesn't nurse. Since we are dunk and swooshers (we don't have a spray on our toilet), it is pretty easy to do. I am so glad you are liking it!

  2. I.AM.SO.IMPRESSED.WITH.YOU!!!!!! Read all of this and after reading it doesn't seem that bad! and you DO SAVE so much money. We have used diapers, but thought about cloth diaper before I had EK. who knows...maybe with the next child one day!