The Skinny on Diapers

Okay people, let's get down and dirty and talk diapers.  Feel free to tune out this post if this is of zero relevance to you.  As we're compiling a registry, my husband and I are weighing the possibility of trying cloth diapering for our little bundle come August.

My mom used cloth diapers for my sisters and I.  However, our early 80's diaper experience is slightly different that the cloth diapering cult that exists today.  Also, take into account, my mom used a diaper service for cleaning, which is available at an additional cost.

At present, most of my mom friends do disposables, but we are seriously contemplating cloth diapering for the cost-saving and environmentally friendly perspective.  Comparing the cost alone has been encouraging...because man, diapers are EXPENSIVE!  Who knew?  I sure didn't...and to think newborn/infant diapers add up quickly both in dollars and garbage.

My friend Baillie has a 7 month old son, as has embraced the cloth diapers with great success.  She has been hugely helpful in educating my husband and I on.  She even gave me a cloth diaper "tutorial" earlier this week (thanks Bay!), on top of even compiling a lengthy, information packed email to enlighten us on the concept.  Here are some pros & cons from her experience:

Cloth Diapering Pros
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Cost savings compared to disposables (Even with the extra laundry, the cost savings is substantial...especially considering you can re-use the same cloth diapers with the second child if you go with mostly gender neutral colors)
  • No diaper rash 
  • No blowouts 
Cloth Diapering Cons:
  • Can take some time to get used to 
  • Diapers can be huge at first (unless you buy sized diapers)
  • More laundry

So I ask - what do the rest of you moms like?  Have you joined the cloth diaper bandwagon?  Are you a fan of disposables?  I've love to hear your thoughts, wisdom, and tales from your own experience just to get some feedback and perspective on all of the options out there.


Mary said...

A few thoughts...

I used disposables, but my little sister and several friends used cloth. I wasn't able to use cloth, because my babies went to day care, and a lot of day cares don't know how or have the means to handle cloth diapers.

If you can do it, I do think it is worthwhile. I'd suggest using disposable for perhaps the first month, just while they're pooping loose stools up to 8 times a day! After that it gets much easier. You'll find a rhythm with laundry. And the ones that have buttons that allow you to resize them are really good. There are some good quality diapers out there now.

There is also the compromise route, using the cloth diapers that have disposable inserts. I have several friends who use these too and adore them. Lots of options.

Sarah Alway said...

I'm not quite to this phase of life yet, but I do know that my mom cloth diapered me and I turned out just fine. :-) I also have a girlfriend who is doing cloth for the cost and environmental impacts, and she really likes it. I'm sure you'll do what works best for you, let me know how it turns out!

Ashlee Gadd said...

I use disposable so I can't attest to the wonders of cloth, but I will echo what Mary said. I can't imagine using cloth in the first couple months. That is SO MUCH POOP to deal with! ;)

Annemarie said...

We love cloth diapers and have used them with all three of our children. Once we got into the routine of washing and drying diapers, it's the easiest thing in the world. I always say that instead of tying up a bag and throwing it into the trash, I empty it into my washer, transfer to my dryer, and put the diapers back in the baskets below the changing table. It's that simple.

There are many things that help make the process simpler, too, like a washable pail liner . . . when I'm putting diapers in the washer, I just dump them in, invert the liner and throw it in too, and shut the washer lid. I never touch a dirty diaper once it's in the pail.

For some good online resources, you could read Mothering Magazine's "Joy of cloth Diapers" here:

Or this blog article here:

Hope this helps, and good luck. I read once that the average American baby who wears disposable diapers creates over 2 tons of waste in landfills by the time they are potty trained. I just couldn't start out my sweet, innocent human beings with that big of an environmental footprint. We've never regretted our decision to cloth diaper.

Take care.

heather{land} said...

I think I would go the cloth route -- I have tucked a bunch of stuff away to look into when that time comes. My mom cloth diapered too -- back with the pins and plain white cloth dipes. Look at all the possibilities now! :)

stephanie. said...

i think going cloth is a noble endeavor... not that i did it. new motherhood is overwhelming, or at least it was for me... do what every feels right to you. but never ever feel guilty for changing your mind or going an 'easier" way if it doesn't work. and i mean this for more than diapers. being a parent is the hardest job you'll love the most.

xxoo stephanie

Holly said...

we started cloth diapering at 3 months since thats when he fit into the ones we bought (fuzzibunz). and we love them! im the only one in my moms group who cloth diapers and they are always talking about blow outs, and we've NEVER had a blowout in a cloth diaper. sure there are leaks from time to time, but id rather have his onesie get some pee on it than have to clean poop from everywhere, including the carseat. ick.

we use disposables for overnight though! and yeah, most daycares will not deal with cloth. for the newborn stage, go get yourself NB size pampers swaddlers. they are THE BEST. i had honest diapers and huggies natural and he leaked outta every single one. we did not re-purcahse. the hospitals use pampers swaddlers for a reason. they are the best.

also for washing the cloth diapers we really like charlie's soap or rocking green. i cant wait to get my clothesline set up out back so i can hang them to dry!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

I have no input, but it was interesting to read the comments! It makes sense to do disposable for at least the first few months once you get more into the swing of things! I was a cloth diaper baby too!

Unknown said...

We should talk diapers soon! I do half and half, we use flip cloth diapers when we are home, or if we are going on a short outing. If we leave the house for longer then a few hours I do disposable (easier to change on the go), and he wears disposable at night.

When he was little we were all disposable. Cloth diapers didn't really fit him well until he was 2-3 months . . . although I didn't try too hard to switch him since disposable were so much easier =)

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