Why I Cloth Diaper

why cloth diapering is healthier and cheaper how to save money cloth diapering

I have to confess… for everything else I do that is natural and organic, I was late getting on the cloth diapering bandwagon… and I’m kicking myself for it now.

For our first two children, I used disposables and didn’t think anything of it. I thought cloth diapering was a thing that our mothers and grandmothers did because they didn’t have a choice, and the horror stories of wringing out diapers in the toilet and endless loads of laundry had no appeal to me!

A couple of years and several of kids later, I decided to revisit the diapering subject, at the suggestion of some close friends (thanks ladies!).

I quickly found out that:

  • There are now MUCH better options for cloth diapering than when our mothers and grandmothers were doing it
  • There are a LOT of chemicals in traditional diapers (you think that magic gel stuff that absorbs 100 times its weight in urine is natural?)
  • Cloth diapers (even the top of the line ones) save money, especially if you have more than one child.
  • Cloth diapering can actually be easy!
  • The new cloth diapers are CUTE!
  • They actually leak much less than disposables. I’ve only had a couple of leaks in the 7 months I’ve been cloth diapering our youngest, and no outfits ruined by yellow baby poop!
  • There are a lot of brands of diapers that can fit baby from birth to potty training, so it saves space too!
  • They hold their value, so you can sell them to someone else when your children are out of diapers, if you take good care of them.

Somewhat hesitantly, I decided to try cloth diapering and quickly found that I LOVE it!

I’m certainly not an expert (though maybe some of my friends who are veterans will offer some advice in the comments section) but I’ve found a few tips that have helped along the way. If you haven’t considered cloth diapering, I’d definitely recommend looking into it!

The Benefits of Cloth Diapering

From a financial perspective, I’ve read that each child costs about $2,000 to diaper and can contribute about 600,000 diapers to the landfills. You can get a couple dozen really high quality (even organic) cloth diapers for under $500 and they can last through several children if you take care of them.

If money is really tight, it is even possible to completely cloth diaper from birth to potty training for around $100 (some people spend that a month for disposables!)

Another huge benefit that I’ve noticed is that my kids who I’ve cloth diapered have gotten NO diaper rashes, which even with a good diet, were a regular thing with disposables. With my first baby, I found within a week that Huggies diapers created an awful rash, and most generic brands did too. Pampers were ok, but of course, more expensive.

One downside is that you can’t use diaper cream (unless you make it yourself) with cloth diapers, but I haven’t needed it!

For my 7 month old, I can put double liners in her diaper and she can go all night without it leaking and without it irritating her skin…

Another benefit is that children often potty train earlier in cloth diapers because (a) they are more aware of the wetness and connect the sensation faster and (b) mom gets tired of washing out the diapers and is more motivated to potty train (ahem…).

For all the benefits, the one thing that actually convinced me to cloth diaper, was this…

reasons to cloth diaper See, as much as I understood the benefits and how much healthier cloth diaper are, I knew that about the time that the poop really started to get nasty and needed to be washed out in the toilet, I’d probably be pregnant.

And morning sickness combined with sticking my hands in the toilet to wring out diaper…. not happening.

This diaper sprayer is what actually convinced me to cloth diaper. Basically, it is a sprayer that hooks into the clean water supply on your toilet (before it goes into the toilet) and uses a high powered stream of water to clean the diaper without you touching any poop.

I also found out that if you are exclusively breastfeeding, you don’t even have to wash out the diapers (even poop!) at all until you start giving baby solids.

The biggest benefit, in my opinion, is that you are reducing baby’s exposure to chemicals. Disposables are plastic and contain chlorine, polyacrylate, and other chemicals that haven’t been proven safe for use on anyone, especially babies!

There is also a growing movement back to cloth diapering and a ton of support. If you don’t have local friends who are cloth diapering and can lend support like I do, there are online support communities like Diaper Pin and others, where you can find reviews, laundry help, special offers, and even people selling their gently used cloth diapers.

My Diapering Setup

There are as many ways to cloth diaper as there are types of cloth diapers.

We have a mix of BumGenius, Fuzzibunz and GroBabys (aren’t those names cute too?). I love the simplicity of the GroBabys but they leak a lot more. Over all, I prefer the BumGenius and Fuzzibunz, and have about 2 dozen, which is enough for 2 kids if I wash every other day (which i highly recommend!)

I use a plain plastic trash can for the wet/dirty diapers. Sometimes I use an old pillowcase as a liner (it gets washed with the diapers) and sometimes I just put them directly in.

I don’t cover the trash can, or put any kind of liquid in it, though many people have special covers or a liquid method. I’ve never had much trouble with smell this way, but it definitely is a matter or personal taste.

I use homemade disposable wipes (omit the almond/olive oil) or use my homemade wipe solution on cloth baby wipes (baby wash cloths work great and you can usually find them at garage or consignment sales).

To launder: I use a 1/2 cup baking soda in a cold pre-wash cycle that I let soak for 30 minutes. I then use a natural detergent like Rockin Green or Charlie’s soap, or my own soap (alternate) to wash. Occasionally, I use Dr. Bronners Sal Suds to strip the diapers.

Typically, I run another cool rinse cycle at the end to make sure all the detergent is out.

I run the liners through the dryer and hang the covers (outside in the summer, inside in the winter) to extend the life of the elastic.

For stains, the sun (summer especially) is great at bleaching! As soon as our dog isn’t quite so much of a teething puppy, I’ll be hanging them outside again.

Then, I just store the diapers in my little wooden crate (see above) and use like regular diapers. They work just like disposables, and are so much cuter! There are even artist series “designer” diapers and some are on sale right now.

Other Notes

If you are considering cloth diapering, I’d encourage you to do your own research and find out what kind of diapers work best for your family.

I have a couple dozen that are mostly bumGenius and some Fuzzibunz (and a few Grobabys, which are now GroVias). You can buy them by the dozen and save a lot of money. You can even find organic all in-one diapers which are extremely easy to use and wash, and which will fit baby from birth to potty training!

I also really highly suggest a diaper sprayer since it will save you time and gross factor!

Some diapers even have flushable liners, so you can just dump them in the toilet and they are ready to wash.

If you haven’t considered cloth diapering, please at least look into it. It’s so much better for baby’s skin and isn’t really much extra work for you. I’m still new at it too, but we can learn together 🙂

Do you cloth diaper? If so, how has it worked out for you? If not, will you start? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Cloth diapered all 3 of mine. Didn’t have the fancy ones – just prefolds, liners & covers and down the road, some Motherease. I second that they almost never leaked – my friends kids would have complete catastrophies with the disposables & I had it happen one time in 3 children.

  2. This is an on time post!  I was just starting to research cloth diapering as a way to save money. I have a 3 week old son who came who too big for Newborn diapers so the stash we had prepared before his birth was useless & I’m noticing that he’s getting a rash mroe often already!  Thanks for giving me things to think about.  

  3. I have always had cloth diapers on my kids. Almost 4 years of washing diapers and couldn’t imagine a life with disposables. Started off by sewing my own models of old towels while expecting my first baby. We used those for four months and then we moved on to Bumgenius. Since then its been bumgenius everyday and no rashes. Nowadays I do not even use detergent, was with “Ecoballs” in 60 degrees. This was my solution to the smell that stayed in the diaper if we used normal detergents. The diapers aren’t white anymore but they do not smell. Will try to dry them in sunlight next summer, maybe they’ll bleech then. Oh, and even the nurses at nursery are now experts on clothdiapers after I introduced the concept. Really do not understand why people do not try this, it is so much easier than carrying home disposables every week. Our second kid, 2 years, boy, is now pottytraining – first kid, girl, was almost dry at 1,5 years. So yes, you are definately done diapering a lot sooner with cloth diapers. 

  4. Posting this for a reader who had trouble getting comments to work:
    “I have always had cloth diapers on my kids. Almost 4 years of washing diapers and couldn’t imagine a life with disposables. Started off by sewing my own models of old towels while expecting my first baby. We used those for four months and then we moved on to Bumgenius. Since then its been bumgenius everyday and no rashes. Nowadays I do not even use detergent, was with “Ecoballs” in 60 degrees. This was my solution to the smell that stayed in the diaper if we used normal detergents. The diapers aren’t white anymore but they do not smell. Will try to dry them in sunlight next summer, maybe they’ll bleech then. Oh, and even the nurses at nursery are now experts on clothdiapers after I introduced the concept. Really do not understand why people do not try this, it is so much easier than carrying home disposables every week. Our second kid, 2 years, boy, is now pottytraining – first kid, girl, was almost dry at 1,5 years. So yes, you are definately done diapering a lot sooner with cloth diapers. “

  5. What about water bills? That’s my husband’s big objection to cloth diapering. Our water bill is high as it is (and our water rates are high). He’s afraid that more diaper laundry will drive that bill way up and destroy any savings we might get from cloth diapering.

    • I really haven’t seen a big jump in our water bill. I actually tracked it, and it has maybe gone up about 2-3% total… The loads are small, and don’t use too much water. Definitely still seeing savings though (especially since the difference in price is $1500 to $2000 per kid). By my calculations, I’ve saved over $3,000 by cloth diapering our two youngest kids, even including the cost of the cloth diapers and the sprayer, detergent, etc.

      • We live in California and we have new water restrictions now. If we pass a certain limit we pay almost double the price for water. I am also really afraid that if one month we pass the limit we end up paying much more!

    • If you wash the diapers every other day, you won’t need to run them through a cycle more than once (as the stains don’t have time to set usually). I recommend no more than 15-20 covers and liners at a time, which is really a small load. If you do the math, the price for an increase in water is probably still less than the fuel it takes to drive to the store to get disposables (or have them delivered to your house if you order them online). And, the water it takes to make disposables (and the chemicals and petroleum) is much more than washing cloth diapers at home. We use a HE front loading washer, but I used to live with a regular top loader and the water bill did increase a bit then, but I found that the top loader required the diapers to need stripping less. Also, if you use Charlies Soap, or another detergent that rinses fully, you won’t need to rinse extra times. 

      • I never thought about the water used to make the disposables. This is a really good point. One of the things that kept me from going cloth sooner is that I thought I am either wasting landfill space or wasting water and water seemed to be a bigger concern for our planet. I never thought about the fact that it takes water to make disposables.

    • Lisa, Wellness Mama is right. I cloth diapered both of my kids (with an overlap where both were in CDs at the same time), and our water bill was only $1-$2 higher a month. You can’t even buy one box of disposables for the increase in cost for an entire year! I washed a load of diapers every other day, and I even did a second rinse with vinegar to prevent build-up (and I never once had to strip my diapers). On top of that, I took excellent care of my diapers, and sold them when once the kids were potty trained. I made nearly 50% of the investment back after using them for years. There is no good excuse not to do it!!!

  6. I have tried cloth diapering for every child and still do it when we’re at home and during the daytime, but I hate it. We have a low flow, eco toilet and the water is very low in the bowl, which makes swishing the poo out nearly impossible. Plus, my kids always get diaper rashes from the cloth diapers, don’t know why. I would love to make it work, but I haven’t figured out the trick.

    • Hmmm… what kind of diapers are you using? I agree… Swishing in the toilets is miserable!

      • I have Fuzzi Bunz and KaWaii Baby – both with the microfiber liners.

        • You can’t use microfiber next to skin. That is very damaging and the instructions should say that.

          • That must be a typo, she probably meant to say inserts instead of liners because they don’t make cloth diapers with microfiber liners. Microfiber liners would dry out the skin. Liners are always micro FLEECE, which is not drying to the skin, and wicks moisture away. However, pocket diapers use microfiber INSERTS.

    • mine get rashes too, i can’t figure it out either. I have tried washing by hand then 3-4 times in my top load washer(for every clean) on a larger load than the diapers would need. I have used vinager, baking soda (not together), coconut oil, sun bleaching, bleach, oxy clean, different soaps, less soap to no soap, even boiling the liners but no matter what i have tried or do the rashes come with vengence. I know it’s the cloth diapers too because i switched back to disposable and when the rashes were clear put 1 cloth on and thats all it takes for my kids to get the worst rash that lasts 1-2 days. If i knew how to make the cloth diapers work i would use them more but i am giving up for now which is sad because i have 2 in diapers and in a few months 3. I have AIO with Microfiber liners, I have tried a few cotton liners too to no avail.

      • Great article, lots to think about. BUT- in reply to this post, it could be your kiddos are allergic to their own urine. My mom used cloth diapers with me with great success and she was planning to do the same with my little sister. But her skin is so sensitive that she needed to have her urine immediately sucked away from her skin otherwise she’d get terrible rashes too. I realize that everything has advanced since any of us were babies, but fabric is fabric. I’m wondering if your kiddos are just super sensitive too. Could be.

      • I’ve read that your not supposed to use any harsh cleaners when washing cloth diapers, especially vinegar because it will eat away at the liners and the vinegar could be transferring to your childs skin..

    • My kids consistently have gotten rashes using CD and I don’t know why either! Very frustrating since it seems the other way around for most people.

      • Maybe try an extra rinse in the wash. Or an extra extra rinse if you already do one extra rinse. My kid gets rashes or eczema from his clothes if I skip the extra rinse even with the most natural or homemade laundry detergent.

        • Hey all,

          I’ve had a very good experience with cloth diapers, but of course my daughter got diaper rash from time to time. If the rashes lasted for more than a few days I knew that my diapers needed to be stripped (whether or not they smelled of amonia). Just keep in mind that unfortunately diaper rash isn’t always the cause of the diaper. It can be an weak allergic reaction to something they ate or as another poster recommended to their own feces / urine.

          I used to boil my inserts to strip but I discovered the baking soda / vinegar routine and I don’t need to now. Rinse on cold, Wash on hot with baking soda, rinse with vinegar, rinse with cold water. I do this every three months or so and I haven’t stripped since.

          If your baby is suffering from diaper rash try even 30 minutes a day foot loose and diaper free – especially during tummy time. Position your babies bum in some sunlight so they can soak up that all – so – necessary vitamin D. Even 30 minutes a day can help speed up the healing time and help prevent future rashes.

          I have KawaiiBaby diapers. Otherwise known as chinese cheapies, they might be cheaper but they’ve lasted me for two years, and I never have problems with leaks. I’m expecting my third child and expect they’ll serve me as well with this child as they have for my daughter.

          As for rinsing out the poop, I don’t. I scrape as much poop off into the trash or toilet as possible and then wash them on the next wash day as normal. She’s on solids now. When I’m breastfeeding I don’t scrape anything – just toss the whole mess into the washing machine.

      • I was talking with a woman the other day who said her 2nd child got the worst diaper rash ever from cloth diapers, but it turned out that she wasn’t washing the diapers in hot enough water to kill all the bacteria. She ended up going with a cloth diapering service after that. But maybe check your water heater and make sure it gets hot enough?

  7. We love applecheeks here, and canadian cloth (a wahm shop on etsy), and when the babes are really small we do prefolds, snappis, and covers {;0)  We love it!

  8. I’ve used cloth nappies (diapers) for all nine of ours, translate 19 yrs of cloth nappies and wouldn’t do it any other way.  (and Lisa, we’re on tank water ).  Used the flat nappies in the earlier years and only bout the lovely fitted nappies for the last couple of babies. 

  9. I used cloth (Motherease) on my first two, then sent them to the Dominican Republic for my sister-in-law to use, and now she’s sending them back to me to use for my third baby, due in a month! And most of these I got as presents at my first baby shower (a great thing to ask for!), so I really saved money!

    I also practiced “infant potty training” (known also by various other names) from the time my first was 2 months old, so by the time they were on solids, most of the poop was going in the potty anyway.  My son was out of diapers by 15 months and my daughter by 18 months.  A few months after that they were dry at night too.

    • Hi. Can you tell me more about “infant potty training”? I found a post of yours on the Wellness Mama site from 2012. Hoping to learn more about this. It sounds like the technique old world cultures use to regularized babies’ pee and poop habits. Is that right? Thanks.

      • Hi, I have started infant Potty training, with my 2 month old son. This approach is also called ellimination communication.
        Basically what it is, the baby communicating with you of his needs.
        For example with my son, when he squirms and kicks and has ” I need to Pee” cry I will take off his cloth diaper, and I will have him to sit on his little potty, that I have placed on my lap. Then will give the cue sound sssssss for my little guy to start peeing. If he has a bowel movement, he will start grunting and then I will do the same sit him on the potty and he will elliminate. Basically this approach is understanding your child’s cues of wanting to elliminate. By now babies should have certain cries for certain things. As a mom you will know which is which!
        I hope this was helpful! Good Luck ! If you need more information will be gladly to help.

  10. We researched cloth diapers when I was pregnant and it was a no brainer for us. We started cloth diapering when our daughter was 3 weeks old. (We waited because she’s our first and she was in the NICU for 2 weeks). We haven’t looked back since. I love everything about it. It’s been 18 months and the diapers are still working great. We use Charlie’s soap and have had wonderful results with it.
    As far as water bills, we have not noticed a difference. We have always done a lot of laundry throughout the week I guess. We have 21 diapers and wash them twice a week. We use fuzzibunz. I like hearing about all the others out there!
    I also think that using these has shown my friends how easy they are. Some of them are considering them.  We have had some “issues” like stinkies, but have fixed them easily with advice and support from our local cloth diapering store, Comfy Bummy.

  11. I’m 54, and had 3 girls and we used cloth diapers way before being green and organic was the thing to do.  Wish I had one of those sprayers.  Unlike many of our friends, our girls rarely had any rash issues, and we had lots of cleaning rags when we were done.  We didn’t have the neat options available today, but hubby used to sit in front of the TV and fold the diapers.  And it was his idea to use them, as he thought they were healthier and of course cost less int he end.  Great post.

  12. I cloth diapered the first child and hated it.  My kids have VERY sensitive skin and the rashes were terrible–there was just no way to keep her little tush dry enough.  And she was always wet in the morning, no matter what.  Fortunately she potty trained very early, I think the discomfort of the cloth diapers helped. 

    The environmental impact of disposables concerns me and I really wrestled with myself when I was pregnant with the second child.  We decided to go disposable, and I didn’t regret it.  She had very sensitive skin too, but I never had an issue with diaper rash except occasional food related rashes (strawberries!).  It was so much easier and quicker and the bed stayed dry.  I will say she took an extra long time to potty train (karmic retribution?).   I think it’s because she was happy and comfortable in her diapers. 

  13. I use flushable liners – I wash the liners with the nappies if they’ve only been peed on and can use them 3 or 4 times that way (they get softer with washing, so that’s a bonus). We use soapnuts instead of detergent and line dry – this combo helps cloth nappies last, too. I do use disposables when things are extra busy (potty training 2yo while nursing a <6mo) because my children are happier longer in 'sposies than they are in cloth (cloth needs to be changed more frequently). But I love saving money and using fewer chemicals again when we come out of those hectic times. I have tried several brands and have settled on Itti bittis for daytime: they are cute, soft and fit my children well.

  14. I’m expecting # 3 in March and finally decided to ”take the plunge.” My oldest is potty trained, my (soon to be) middle is still in disposables. He seems to get rashes a LOT, and I’m hoping cloth diapering fixes that. We plan on switching him to cloth asap. It was actually your ”cloth diapering 101” post that helped me finally decide to just go for it. So far I’ve purchased about 9 GroVia hybrid shells…though now I’m concerned that you said they leak more. The biggest thing holding me back from pocket diapers is that it would seem that the shell needs washed more often. Plus I like the idea of still having an option of the throw away liner. Especially for being out and about, or when leaving the kids with sitters. Any thoughts or suggestions on why you prefer the pocket diapers better? I’m actually excited to finally be doing it. I did a bit of research before I had my first, but just never followed through with it.

  15. I started researching cloth diapers back in 2007, and used them on our daughter once we got her home from the hospital. Our newborn stash worked pretty well for about two months, since she was so small (4 lbs, 14 oz. at birth-a month early), and now she’s in the smallest settings on the one-size diapers. Everyone around me told me I’d give up within a few weeks, but I love them!  It forces me to keep up with the laundry. Right now my sister is my daycare, but she’s due mid-March, so the baby will have to go into a daycare setting from March to June. I’m hoping the daycare will do the cloth diapers, but if not, I’ll use the Seventh Generation diapers for daycare only. It’s not  perfect, but they’re better than most disposables. 

    For the lady whose babies get rashes from cloth…do you have hard water? That might cause the detergent to not get rinsed out, no matter what you do. I’ve read that some people use Calgon in the wash to soften the water, or use Rockin’ Green Hard Rock detergent.

  16. I used cloth diapers on my oldest – 14 years ago. They were the regular old diapers that first come to mind when you think about cloth diapers. We had received a gift of a diaper service for a few months, and I thought I’d try it out. We went to disposables after the gift period ended, and then used disposables on our next two kids.

    Money was a little tighter when baby #4 came along, so I invested in 18 Bumgenius diapers and a diaper sprayer.

    I made it through 2 years of daily poop cleaning sessions before I needed to switch back to disposables. My daughter is NOT a once-a-day pooper and it just got to be overwhelming.

    I know it was better for her, and better for the planet, but I take comfort in the fact that we kept two years worth of diapers out of the landfill and more money in our bank. I also use Seventh Generation diapers — disposable, yea, but at least they are unbleached and my daughter is starting to potty train so she won’t be in them for too much longer.

    We used Bumgenius diapers and sprayer, reusable cloth wipes with either water or Baby Bits soap, a wipes warmer for cold winter nights, and Bymgenius diaper detergent.

  17. Oh wow…I think you just gave me the best birthday present yet.  I DID NOT know you could throw in the diapers without washing out the poop as long as you are exclusively breastfeeding.  What is the reasoning behind that?  It makes me a little nervous!  Please do tell where you found that out, because I just may have to try it!

    • Had multiple cloth diapering veterans tell me that and I’ve tested it for the last 7 months. The idea is that it is water soluble when digested. I’ve been able to wash without rinsing or pre-treating and the poop comes out completely. Definitely try it! 🙂

    • Had multiple cloth diapering veterans tell me that and I’ve tested it for the last 7 months. The idea is that it is water soluble when digested. I’ve been able to wash without rinsing or pre-treating and the poop comes out completely. Definitely try it! 🙂

  18. We tried quite a few types of CDs – BumGenius, Bummis, BabyKicks, Kissaluvs, Chinese and Indian prefolds with our daughter, and the experience had exceeded our expectations 🙂 
    Our favorites were the prefolds with a snappi and a Imse Vimse wool cover – the least leaks, breathable fabric both winter and summer. The few times we had to use disposables (long trips) were the worst – leakages that stained her clothes forever. She was out of diapers around 20 months.Instead of a diaper sprayer we replaced our bathroom faucet with a pull out kitchen one – the best decision ever 🙂 – not only it’s great for diapers, but the toilet instantly was becoming a bidet when needed 🙂 I’ve not noticed any drastic increase in our water bill (neither a decrease after we stopped using the CDs, and we were washing every day until she got to the medium size, every other after that)

  19. I am sooo interested!  Just spent $50 yesterday on diapers & wipes.  I would rather spend that on something else.  But I have to say this does sound a bit intimidating.  And the cost….I don’t know where to start.  I have an 8month old and a 2yr old(who we’re currently potty training).

  20. I received a gift of a diaper service with my first child 14 years ago.  They were traditional cloth diapers with waterproof covers.  It was nice that it was free, but it really turned me off of cloth diapering at the time.  We went back to disposables after the service ended, and then used disposables on the next 2 kids.

    When baby #4 came along, money was tighter, and I did not want to add any more diaper waste to the landfills.  So I invested in 18 Bumgenius diapers, tons of reusable wipes, a diaper sprayer, and a fairly stink-proof diaper pail.  I also used Baby Bits soap bits to make my own wipes solution and kept the wipes in a warmer in the winter.

    Baby had some rashes, but I figured out that the detergent was not getting completely washed out and began using Calgon (we have hard water) once a month or so.  Rashes cleared up for the most part after that. 

    I had to start using disposables at night when she was close to 1 year because she was waking up soaked every night.

  21. I love cloth diapering!  I started with GroVia because I was so overwhelmed with all the options out there.  My daughter is 9 mos now, and I finally found some covers for the prefolds (a friend gave me a HUGE stash of these and I felt guilty for months because I didn’t know I needed a cover and so didn’t use them…)  Loving the prefolds to be honest.  I use the snap-eeze things instead of the pins.  Hubby goes along with the diapering (he likes that I am saving money!) I totally hang up the diapers in the sun to turn blindingly white again.  Also, I have top loader, and only had to strip the diapers for the first time two weeks ago!  Great post!

  22. We love cloth diapering!  I get lazy sometimes, so I would say we cloth diaper about half the time and use disposables the other half.  I don’t think it really saves that much money unless you commit to being frugal in the beginning; our whole cloth outfit has cost us under $100.  I look for deals and steals online, like Ebay or the Cottonbabies.com clearance section.  My favorite diapers so far are G-diapers (so breathable, but our daughter got a little rashy from their elastic, which is a fairly common issue) and Flip diaper covers.  I use prefolds (they are like $2 a piece) from Cottonbabies.  If the prefold is going to be against her skin (like if I’m just using a diaper cover and not a lined pocket diaper cover) then I lay a piece of microfleece over the prefold.  I just cut some strips from a piece of microfleece from the fabric store.  For extra wetness protection, I like the hemp doublers or just cut up old towels.  

    I think a great intro to cloth diapering for someone wanting to try it would be to switch to cloth for overnight.  That’s a whole 10+ hours that your baby won’t have chemicals against their skin, and most older babies don’t have poopy diapers overnight.  I would buy a couple of diaper covers and 6 or so prefolds.  Use two pre-folds for overnight or get a hemp doubler if you have a heavy wetter.  Since it’s just urine, you can wash them with your regular wash, as long as you’re using a natural or at least Free and Clear detergent.  No extra work at all and you’ll save a little money, save a diaper a day from the landfills and save many hours of chemicals against your baby’s skin!

  23. I have a question about the baking soda.  What purpose does it serve in your laundry method?  We cloth diaper as well and I hadn’t heard about that one before.  

    My only irritation is how stained they get.  I guess I didn’t realize they would be that stained with breastfed poop.  I just expected they might start looking dingy and that a bit of time in the sun would make them look new again, which it does, but as soon as my son poops again, they are stained all over again.  Does anyone have an idea on how to prevent staining?  

    • The baking soda just preventatively keeps the ammonia smell from starting… some people struggle with that a lot so I do this to ward it off..

      • Ok good, I’ll try it as I have some stinkies starting with my microfiber inserts. 

        Do you have trouble with breastfed poop staining your diapers too?  Our Fuzzibuns handle the poop pretty well and seem to only stain a small amount.  But we use AMP’s and Rumparooz as well and they will stain more.  Especially any hemp or bamboo inserts, they’ll stain really bad right after the first poop.  

        Thanks for the reply!

        • We haven’t had much trouble with stains, but I do line dry them outside most of the time, so that helps..

  24. What about when you are out and about? How do you deal with soiled cloth diapers when you’re not at home? For example (per my husband) if you’re at the grocery store and baby goes poo, what are you supposed to do with the dirty diaper??

    • For trips around town, they make these little things called wet bags that are totally water proof and zip shut. They hold the diaper until you get home (you can rinse there if need be) and then the bag can be tossed in the laundry. They also make big wet bags that are washable, and many people hang these on door handles and store all the soiled diapers in them and then just wash with the diapers. When we travel long distances (more than a day or two trip) we do use chlorine-free disposables though.

  25. I started cloth with my first and now cloth diapering two (14 mo apart). I have enjoyed it so much! I received a book called Diaper Free by Ingres Bauer for Christmas – why didn’t I know about this before. We still use cloth on my 20 month old and on my 6 month old at night but I am so excited to start the journey of natural infant hygiene. Cloth is a great compliment to it!

  26. My one reason for using disposables (and it just killed me–more environmental than financial) was because we live in an apartment complex.  24 units (all adults, no children) and only four public washers.  I felt it was too much an imposition on the other tenants.  If we have another child, I hope we will be in our own home with our own washer then I only have to deal with my husband and his silly disgust.

  27. I have two in diapers and a few months ago switched to cloth for monetary reasons. I purchased mostly BumGenius with a few Fuzzibunz. During the two months I consistently used the cloth I constantly battled diaper rashes, a strong ammonia smell (even in clean diapers), and leaks. I stripped the diapers multiple times and with the exception of about two times, exclusively sun dried everything. I started out by using Charlie’s soap and then quickly switched over to Rockin’ Green detergent, in addition to soaking with the Rockin’ Green for ammonia problems. I took a break from the cloth and went back to disposables gone were the rashes and leaks. Started up again with cloth diapers 3 days ago and both girls have rashes and my laundry has significantly increased due to multiple outfits a day from leaks/blow-outs and of course, washing the diapers. Don’t know why my experience has been so different but going back to disposables for now.

    • this might be too late, but you might consider making sure your detergent type and amount are correct for the hardness of your water. If your water is soft, you can get buildup of soap that causes rashes (watch the rinse cycle for bubbles); if your water is hard you can get mineral buildup that causes rashes. 

  28. As a home;schooling mum of 7 I just don’t have the time for using cloth. We already wash 3 or 4 loads per day (I have bed wetters). Good disposables only need to be changed twice a day unless they are dirty. Far better for me to be time economical. I did use cloth in the day time for my first 3. (that included 6 months of 3 in nappies). My advice is to do whatever is the most economical for you – both time and money.

    • If you let conventional diapers get too full, they can burst and the gel can cause second degree chemical burns on your baby. I switched to cloth after this happened to my aunt’s friend…

  29. So…I now have been cloth diapering for 6days.  I love them!  I didn’t think I would.  The poopy diapers weren’t as bad as I thought they would be.  I’m using Bumgenius & Fuzzibunz.  I love the feel of them.  My son’s skin is dry.  No rashes.  One leak…it wasn’t tight enough around his thigh.  I was nervous about using them while out & about.  Used them on a couple of outings & we were ok.  But if anyone has any advice for when out…please share.  Thank you Wellness Mama for inspiring me!

  30. Thanks for your post! We’re expecting our first baby and are in the “diaper research phase.” We are interested in installing a diaper sprayer, but suddenly realized it could be a set-up for fun-loving toddlers and little ones (ours and visitors) who will be alone in the bathroom? Anyone have experience with this?

  31. Please don’t use “flushable” liners! They don’t disintegrate in the pipes and clog things up downstream, as it were. I just cut up an old fleece blanket and use that as liners. The poo just comes right off, no big.

  32. My daughter is really staining her diapers.  I just use plain ol’ pre-folds.  I’m not sure how to get the stains out.  Even her breastmilk poops have stained the diapers.  I have used a bleach soak in the past but would like to get away from that.  Do I just have to deal with the diapers being colored?

    • Vinegar per soaks will sometimes help or dr bronners new one called sal suds…

  33. Hi Wellness Mama & Wellness Mama peeps! I’m about to be a new mom and I’ve been researching cloth diapering for a while. I keep going back and forth on my decision to do it, but I think that with your advice it could be a lot easier than I thought it was! I know that when I was a baby, my parents couldn’t use disposables on me because I would get a really horrible rash. I hope my baby doesn’t have as sensitive skin as I did, but disposables have gotten a lot better than they were back in the 80s. Anyhoozles, I think all of the pros seem to outweigh the cons in cloth diapering, so it’s worth a shot, even if disposables seem to have no effect on him! My husband is dead set against it, but he’s gonna be at work all day while I’m diapering our little one, so I’m hoping he’ll let me prove to him how easy it actually is. 

    I found a review on a certain cheaper cloth diaper that seems to be ideal if I want to just experiment with the idea but I wanted to know if anyone has ever heard of them… They’re called Sunbaby Diapers. For a small package deal of 6 diapers with 12 microfiber inserts, it costs $45… which comes out to $7.50 per diaper. That’s the cheapest I’ve seen without having to buy a ton, even counting used ones. I just wondered if anyone has used them and if they’d recommend them. I thought they were also neat because they are very adjustable and supposed to be “one size” diapers that adjust as the baby grows, so it works from birth to potty training. Here’s their website if you want to check them out. http://sunbabydiapers.com/

    I saw a review that said they were very similar to Fuzzibunz diapers, she just said she doesn’t think they’d last as long as Fuzzibunz.

    Any advice or help is much appreciated!

    P.S. I’m addicted to your blog, Wellness Mama! You are awesome… Our personalities are ridiculously similar, and honestly, I’d be a lot more like you if I wasn’t so lazy, haha!

    • Hi Sarah… I’d definitely encourage you to give it a shot. My hubby is against it too, but since there isn’t really a smell, he doesn’t mind as long as he doesn’t have to change the messy ones! I haven’t heard of that particular brand, but they look like a great option to give it a try…

      • I think I’ll have to come up with a similar agreement with my hubby about the messy diapers! 😛 We’re gonna order them today (I think), so wish us luck! I’ll be sure to let you know how they work out! My little guy isn’t out yet, but could be out any day now! 🙂

        • Yay! Best of luck with it and congrats! Please keep us updated and let us know when he’s out 🙂 And best of luck for a wonderful delivery! Warmly

    • I got cheap diapers on ebay for around $3 each and bought hemp and microfiber to make my own inserts. I really wish I’d known about these, would have saved me time and the patterns are so cute!

  34. My first is expected in November and I have decided to cloth diaper as well. I have read many places that you are meant to do a hot wash cycle not cold. Not sure the reasoning but if i can save energy using cold I am all for it. Any thoughts on why they say you are meant to do a hot wash?

    • I think the hot just helps pull the proteins from the urine out of the diapers. I’ve been able to do warm/cold if i line dry in the sun or add some vinegar once in a while to the rinse.

  35. I am a first time mom and I cloth diaper as well. We have Bum Genius diapers and we absolutely LOVE them! We use the Bummis biodegradable diaper liners and actually just throw them away…they were clogging our toilet! We also purchased a diaper sprayer, but find we prefer the liners due to decreased potential of a mess. We have a front loading HE washing machine and find that the biodegradable liners (from pee-only dipes) will wash, dry and be worn a couple and even a few times. So the $8.00 for 100 of them actually gets stretched out a bit.

    As far as the wipes are concerned, it just makes sense to use reusable ones and place them right in the dirty diaper and then right in the wash! I do not sew and actually purchased flannel wipes from Etsy….LOVE them, too. I can’t remember the price, but we still saved a TON when compared to the cost of disposable dipes/wipes. The wipe solution we use is made with 8 oz liquid castile soap (we use Dr. Bronner’s Mild/Unscented), 8 oz grapeseed oil, 10 drops of GSE and a mixture of lavender, tea tree, orange, and patchouli essential oils. This recipe lasts forever as you just mix in 1 tsp of this solution per 8 oz water. My son rarely has a leaking diaper and he has few diaper rash issues.

    • I just cut up some old shirts today to use for wipes, and spray them with a witch hazel and lavender solution.

  36. I cloth diaper both my munchkins. I buy Garanimals flat diapers and double them up (they weren’t absorbent enough by themselves), put a fleece fabric liner on that (my daughter got bad chafing when it was just the cotton against her skin, so I bought fleece at the fabric store and cut up rectangles to line the diapers with), a Diaperaps flushable liner on that, stick the whole thing in a Thirsties cover, and park it on the baby’s bum.

    I have to hand wash all our laundry (no machine, and laundromats are expensive), so when it’s changing time I flush the flushable liner and separate the diaper pieces straight into a 5 gallon bucket and cover it. When the bucket is full, I add laundry soap and Oxyclean, wash, rinse a few times, wring, and hang on an outdoor rack to dry in the sun.

    Saves me quite a bit. My big kid is disabled and potty training isn’t possible right now with him, and my little kid isn’t old enough yet. Even buying store brand generics I could spend $60 in diapers in a month, buying for two kids!

  37. I am trying to figure out how to make cloth organic diapers. I was going to put an organic cotton sweatshirt material on the inside and hemp and bamboo inserts. However, what to do about the outside? Everyone says to use pul fabric or you will have a soaked diaper. But pul is bad for you. Do you have any suggestions on what to use on the outside that is organic and won’t leak? Thanks!

    • I know people who use wool… much more work, but it also works…

    • I use wool for that very reason and LOVE it! I figure why go cloth to still have them around synthetics, so I use organic prefolds with organic wool covers and after three years of disposables, and now 5 months of cloth, I couldn’t be happier with the transition! It’s actually less work than PUL (from what I’ve heard), because you only wash the covers once a month unless they get poop on them…

  38. We are expecting our second child and I already bought one pack of 6 disposable diapers (I think we will have to get them a little at a time since a 6 pack was $100). I have had some reservations about it… like I worry what if I spend all that money on disposables and then realize it’s not for us. Then it wouldn’t really be saving any money. =/ Also from the comments I read it sounds like all the husbands are against cloth diapers (mine included). LOL. I wonder why? They are too grossed out by the thought of having to wash out poo, but us moms have a much higher tolerance for gross-ness! When our daughter was potty training and had poo accidents in her pants, my husband was so grossed out that he just automatically threw the underwear away. There’s no way I’m letting him do that with a $20 cloth diaper! Hahahaha

  39. I cloth diapered my son for several months, and it was a lot of work! Cons for me were; coin-op laundry, which has very little cycle selectability, so that I had to run two full cycles in the washer, and then a dryer cycle. This cost me $3 every time I washed diapers! When we were using them full time, this meant that I was spending approximately $9 a week on diapers, which is not a good deal! We quickly switched to disposables at night (my son pees a LOT) and clothies during the day, taking Sunday off of clothies as well. That took us down to 2 loads a week, which saved $. In our condo we aren’t allowed to have clothes lines, so getting sun on the diapers was tough. Also, we didn’t feel like we could afford a diaper sprayer, so when the real poops started coming I seriously lost motivation. We used disposable liners, but those are a bad deal; they don’t contain the poop, but they do stick to the baby’s bottom. So, the long and short of it is… I love not having running out of diaper emergencies. I love not generating trash. But I am not a hero. I am going to wait until I have my own washer and dryer and clothesline, buy a diaper sprayer, and then I will be set. I have 30 or so fuzzibunz and I am hoping that by the time the next baby comes cloth diapers will make a lot more financial and practical sense.

  40. I diapered all 5 of my kids in cloth back when disposable diapers had just come out. We didn’t have the choices of today. It was either birdseye flat diapers or the Gerber prefolds. I did both and used “plastic pants.” I never minded it a bit. I loved hanging out diapers on the clothesline almost every day. I can’t imagine having all these choices of today, but it’s great. I sewed fitted diapers for my granddaughter using the VeryBaby patterns. Fun.

  41. We’ve been cloth diapering our 4-month old for a few months now and while we do love it, we’re also having some trouble along the way. We’re quite convinced we have a heavy-wetter on our hands as we deal with leaks on a regular basis. We’ve tried doubling with inserts and pre-folds (often making for a very bulky diaper, even for cloth) and have had some success, but haven’t quite cracked the code, as it were. We also haven’t yet figured out how to handle the staining, even with an exclusively breastfed baby. Vinegar or baking soda in a soak haven’t yielded good results so we’ve always got so much to treat with hydrogen peroxide for sunning, and a lot of it still has a haze afterward. Figuring out all the variables and adjusting for them has proven challenging, but the savings, peace of mind, and eco-mindedness makes it all more than worth it. That being said, any additional tips anyone has for our heavy-wetting baby’s leaks as well as his poop stains would be sincerely appreciated. We’re currently looking at using a different cloth-safe detergent and are going to check that the absorbency of our supply haven’t been affected and strip them if so.

  42. I would love to do this when I have children,but how do you go about with cloth diapers on-the-go? Do you take disposable diapers along on outings?

    • They make wet bags, which are basically waterproof zipper bags, that you put the dirties in until you get home. I actually use Natural Baby disposables when I’m out because I’m horrible at remembering to empty the wet bag.

  43. Katie,

    Any tips for night time? My son is almost 10mo and just started sleeping through the night even though we exclusively breastfeed. I’ve cloth diapered since he was born, but I’m now uncertain what to do for night time. I feel bad for him when he stays in his cloth diaper over night (since I can’t change him in the middle of the night) for up to 12hours. We’ve started using Earth’s Best disposables at night, but since I’m a bit of a cloth diaper purist, this is kinda killin me! Any thoughts? What did you do during this phase?

    Let me also add that I am SO THANKFUL for your website. You have no idea. It has been such a huge blessing for our family. Keep up the awesome work!

    Meghan C.

  44. You actually can use diaper cream- just make sure it’s “cloth diaper safe” or use some Dawn with a toothbrush to scrub it off. We use cloth diapers for our son and LOVE love love them. BumGenius and Blueberry are my favorite brands 😀

  45. I had a question about why you need to omit the olive oil for the homemade wipe recipe. Is the oil bad for cloth diapers? I heard that coconut oil works great as a homemade preventative of rashes but I don’t know if I can use it if I’m cloth diapering. Can anyone answer this question for me?

  46. I started my natural living journey when I had my first daughter, but it wasn’t until after she was potty trained (at 2 years old) that I came across this article and decided that with our next child, I would use cloth diapers. Our second daughter is six weeks old and I’ve received all of the cloth diapers now. I decided to go with 12 Babykicks Organic Fitted Pocket and 12 bumGenius Elemental AIO. I’m a little disappointed with the pocket diapers. I can’t get over how huge they look on my daughter. I’m using a JoeyBunz one size inserts (which one comes with the diaper when you buy it), along with a microfiber insert on top, closest to her skin (which also comes with the diaper). It seems so uncomfortable. I have folded the JoeyBunz in half when I insert it because it added even more bulk to the front. I have also purchased Babykicks Doublers and medium sized Premium JoeyBunz. Then I bought Rumparooz covers to go with them, and I can’t get the proper size clothing on her. I had to go up a size. I just received the AIO diapers today and I’m about to wash them for the first time. I hope these fit better. I was really excited about the Babykicks diapers because of the hemp and organic cotton blend. Hemp is naturally antimicrobial and supposed to be a lot more absorbent. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, or just have to get over the fact that they look huge and uncomfortable. I guess she’s been doing OK with them. No rashes yet. The pictures I’ve seen of other kids wearing them, don’t look the same as they do on my little one (she’s about 10lbs now), they look so cute, and my daughter just looks uncomfortably huge. My main dilemma is that I have been making a detergent out of soap nuts and use that for all of my laundering. I called Babykicks and they said it’s fine to use that because it’s all natural and doesn’t have dyes, fragrances, enzymes, etc. But Rumparooz want me to use Tide or Gain and bumGenius said I shouldn’t use soap nuts because of their oils. I really don’t want to use a different detergent because I’m happy with how soap nuts cleans our clothes and it’s so economical. I wanted to know, from Katie or anyone else, if you have used soap nuts to launder your cloth diapers, specifically these types of diapers if possible, and how they are holding up. I was adding lemon and either tea tree or eucalyptus essential oils to the detergent, but Babykicks said not to use essential oils on the diapers. And if you can give me any advice on the fitting of the diapers, that would be helpful also.

    Thank you Katie for creating this site. I have learned a ton from you and am very grateful for your knowledge.

  47. Thank for sharing your recipes with us

  48. I really like the cloth diapers I recently bought. My baby is more comfortable with it and I too find it very easy to wash and reuse!

  49. Washing cloth diapers is a pain and looking for the right kind of laundry detergent is a nightmare for the parents, have any of you heard of the Wash It which directly attaches to the cold water line to the laundry machine? If any of you haven’t I highly recommend looking into this system because it cleans clothes in a ecofriendly manner that requires less detergent. The Wash It will clean the fabric on a molecular level and will remove any chemical residue that could be left behind in the cloth diaper which means no risk of exposing your child to harsh chemical residue left behind because of using laundry detergent. Also the amount of money a family can save because this system doesn’t require the usage of hot water so there isn’t a laundry water heating bill to pay. This system appears to be the future of doing laundry and I just recommend you all to look into for your sake and kids as well.

  50. I have a three year old and eight month old b/g twins. I have been using disposables and have been fighting rashes the whole time. Really bad ones too where I have used everything from desitin to bourdeux butt paste, corn starch and even burnt four (bake it in a cast iron skillet until turns brown let cool and apply, recipe from a friends grandmother). I change them as often as possible but its that one big one that burns their butt. Anyway, I think I really want to try cloth diapers. Before I thought it would be too much of a hassle, but I am trying to be more eco-friendly and want something better for my children at the same time. Should I try them this late in the game? My guess is yes, but thought I’d see if anyone had a thought or two.

  51. Hi there.. Quick question. I am using a small plastic tote to collect my dirty cloth diapers in and this is my very first time using the cloth diapers. I went to do my first wash and it had only been about two and a half days, and I found a tiny bit of mold on the bottom in a corner. I dumped the diapers all in the wash with just detergent and inspected the diapers after the wash and can’t find anything on them. My month old baby is exclusively breast fed. I had a couple diaper covers, some CB pocket diapers, and some prefolds washed with clothes also. The pail was dry I don’t soak in water. Are they still ok to use???. How do I prevent this from happening again? What did I do wrong? Thank you!

  52. I’ve been cloth diapering for about a month now, and love it. We’ve experienced a lot of leaks with our diapers, but that is because we have a very active baby and currently use mostly flip diapers (which are all in-twos) so the insert shifts around a lot. We’ve been gradually building our stock of BumGenius pocket diapers, which we love. Lately though, we’ve been trying to decide the best cloth diapering option for us to use when traveling. I wanted to know yours, and other cloth diapering Mom’s strategies.

  53. How long did your diaper sizes last?
    Did you find you got more out of them vs disposables?
    Did you have to buy inserts when you got the next size as well or did the inserts still fit from the previous size?

    I’m just curious because I’m having baby #3 {and kicking myself for not doing cloth diapers sooner}; but I wanna switch my ds2 to cloth diapers and I also wanna be prepared for when NB is here as well. I know that after a certain point with disposables anyway, the diapers aren’t fitting as well, and so if its the same kinda of thing with cloth diapers – I wanna order them ahead of time as well.

  54. Hi! I have started cloth diapering, and Bumgenious all in one is what I use. I have approximately 12 diapers that I wash with my laundry. I am potty training my little guy who is 2 months old. Yes! He is two months old. ( Doing the elimination communication Method) and since his Diapers are not soiled all the time I don’t have to do a lot of washing.
    There are a lot of different kinds of cloth diapers out in the market, so i do suggest for whom they are considering cloth diapering to do their research first. The internet can become very overwhelming. I live in Vancouver Canada and a lot of the baby stores are very informative of what cloth diapering is all about and which is more practical for each parent.

  55. Hey, i like this post. Can i translate it to Vietnamese and post on my blog

    • Thanks for reading. I don’t allow copying and/or reposting of my articles, but you’re free to quote from the article link back to it on your own blog.

  56. Hi, I would really like to try cloth diapers but I’m curious are you ladies stay at home mothers? Doing laundry every other day seems like a lot especially when you and your spouse works, I mean not only do I have to make dinner but I have to do poopie diapers too? I’m up 530am and don’t make it back home til 5pm. I’m just weighing the pros and cons and maybe do both but I’m stuck. Our boys will be going to daycare also and I doubt daycare will do cloth diapers obviously. This baby will be our second and with my first I tried cloth diapers but I wasn’t very knowledgable about it back then so I gave up on it. Do you ladies have any suggestions or advice?

    • I am a stay at home mom, but I have a friend who works full time (she’s a teacher) and she cloth diapers and loves it. It can be done!

    • We are in the same boat. My husband and I both work full time. New to cloth. What we are going to try is to do the Pocket type Cloth diapers at home and the All In One at daycare. The all in ones are just one piece but they take longer to dry. I am hoping that the all in ones are easier for the daycare and they don’t mind continuing to use…
      Will use pocket at home and for short travel. On long trips I may end up going disposable. Please respond with any tips. Hope we can be successful at this!

  57. Anyone have experience with or tips for using cloth diapers while traveling? Washing couldn’t happen within a day or two and not sure I want to be toting dirty diapers around on road trips/planes/etc.

  58. Will you recommend diaper liners? You mentioned flushable diaper liners. And those don’t come cheap with the way an infant goes through them, and it definitely drives up the overall costs as well. Any advice about their use or alternative suggestions will be appreciated 🙂

    • I’ve heard of some people using thick paper towel pieces, dried wipes, or pieces of fleece.

  59. I use organic, bio-degradable disposable diapers. Hubby and I are both self-employed and work from home and the though of cloth diapers just puts me off beyond belief. Since I have a weak stomach, I even struggle to change my baby sometimes his poo is sooooo off-putting.

    Cleaning, and re-using cloth diapers just sounds… no.

    We use a Danish brand and I trust them because in Denmark stuff like this is highly regulated (Hubby is Danish) – and you can go check out a company and their practices, etc.

    The diapers we use are funnily enough cheaper then Pampers – so we save some money, feel good about the environment and avoid the whole cleaning cloth diapers.

    I’d love to do more and go the cloth route but hubby is totally against and I just don’t see the point since we’re saving money using organic, bio-degradable diapers, and we save a lot of time and hassle.

    My friends used cloth diapers and swore by them but after she explained everything involved – both hubby and I were totally put off by that point.

    Baby has never had a diaper rash since he was born (7 months ago) and we’ve never had leakage ever.

  60. I bought some used diapers for my new babe due in july. I just realized i really need to strip or sanitize them before i use them. Everything the ladies tell me on a cloth diaper page is that i need to bleach them. Well… i havent used bleach in years and want something more natural. Do you have any suggestions that would kill off any bacteria or yeast?

  61. Hi, Katie! I’m fairly new to your site and I am loving it!!! I have 5 babies (okay, one is 18 years old and the last one is 2 years old who is still in diapers), and I did cloth diapers once in a while when they really needed it (during bad rash bouts), but, lately, I am in a paleo kick and have suddenly become obsessed and health conscious over just about everything and now… diapers!

    I am thinking of putting my little guy on cloth diapers and plant to potty train in (again, he’s resistant, but I know this will make it easier!)

    Thank you for everything here, you’re super awesome for sharing your secrets!


  62. Hi Katie!
    I am expecting and have been reading as much as i can about my options. I am pretty convinced to use the cloth diapers! I am curious to know tho if using a sensitive diaper/wipe is a good option? Are they still full of chemicals?

    • Honestly, yes. Some will have less, but they go up in price as they go down in chemicals…

  63. I ordered cloth diapers from a company online, but they did not include instructions for cleaning them. When you pay $25 per diaper, its important they give cleaning instructions. Also, these are very expensive, even considering they have re-sale value. I found that people selling used cloth diapers on ebay want to get paid almost as much as what they paid for them brand new. Since I am new to cloth diapering, I don’t feel confident about paying $15 for a used cloth diaper that may or may not work for my needs. I think if you are new to cloth diapering, you should be able to try one for $5 but I can’t find even used ones at that price. Yes, I care about the environment but I feel cloth diapering is more expensive than disposables at this point.

    • If you have Facebook go to Fluffloveuniversity.com they have a page that helps troubleshoot and they have a buy/sell/trade page you can get some good deals and ideas from there. Also check Facebook for a local cloth buy/sell/trade page. mama’s are always destashing and giving good prices and usually will help another mama out. Cloth is cheaper u will see, good luck!! 🙂

  64. Hey I’m sorry if this has already been commented about (just let me know bc I didn’t read through all the comments) but I noticed you recommended Charlie’s Soap. I did a lot of looking and I have been using it too. However, I ran across a post on CD Love & Science fb group that says they do NOT recommend it because several moms have complained that it’s burned their child’s skin and given them a horrible burn.
    They go into detail why on their site here:
    I was just wondering your opinion on it or if you had any bad experiences? I’m a little worried now and just want to get it figured out because I would never want to be accidentally hurting my children!

  65. Hi WM and family! I am a new mama of a 6 month old and a health nut, and your blog has been a life saver! I wanted to ask you about bum genius… isn’t their shell made out of polyurethane? I’m just surprised that you’d recommend that. I’m trying to limit toxic exposure, and I figure that diapers are always on her… what are your thoughts on using that material? Thanks so much!

  66. Hi WM, I am am a first time single mama of a 6 month old baby girl and am ready to start cloth diapering (I just couldn’t deal with figuring it out until now). I’ve been loving your blog for months now, you’re my hero ; ). So what I’m wondering about with this comment is the fact that bum genius is made of polyurethane… I’m surprised you would use something like that. Could you please explain, because if it weren’t for that I’d love to get some, but I’m really trying to be as non-toxic as possible. Thanks so much and I hope you have time to respond!

    • I looked into it and considered it a safer alternative than disposables, but there are some potential issues with PUL (http://www.darlingsdownunder.com.au/blog/is-pul-safe-to-use-in-nappies). That said there are fleece and wool diapers but they typically cost more and can have more leak issues, though I’ve found that there are some great new brands since I wrote this post. Congrats on your little one!

  67. Katie,

    Have you heard of the Eco Friendly disposable diapers from The Honest Company? Just wanted to get your take on this and see if it may be a good option as well. Thanks!

  68. Does anyone who uses cloth diapers find it helpful to use a diaper genie or is it an unnecessary expense?

  69. You can’t wait for your baby to fully-develop so you can finally do all kinds of “baby things” with your baby.

  70. I haven’t had very good luck with my comments showing up, so hopefully this one works, as I am due with my first in a couple weeks! Hopefully 😉 . So I am on the adventure of trying cloth diapers for the first time and just want to make sure that I am using a good detergent for the cloth diapers and also for the babys clothes, that is safe, and doesn’t have all of those harsh chemicals. Even if that means I need to make it myself. So wondering what are my best options for washing the diapers and the babys clothes. Hopefully you have some helpful tips for me 🙂 I am using ‘thirsties” cloth diapers. Thanks for any help!!!

    • I use Charlie’s laundry detergent. It’s really basic simple ingredients, unscented, and does the job. I did a lot of research before finding it. Oh, and it’s not expensive. You can buy on amazon, easy peasy. I make my own cleaning products for some things, but since I trust Charlie’s, it’s nice. Congrats and good luck!!

  71. Hi wellness mama!! How do you poop stains out of there clothes? I have been using your powder detergent recipe for our clothes and babies and love it! But it doesn’t ever seem to get out the poop stains? Any suggestions ?

  72. Thanks for making this blog and this post! I’m 8 weeks pregnant and NEVER thought I would use cloth diapers, but it looks like they have come a long way since I was a teenage babysitter! I have been looking at babygoal diapers on Amazon. They get good reviews and are about $5 per diaper. Anyone have any experience with these?

  73. Do you just use the microfiber inserts? Or did you buy different liners like bamboo or organic cotton?/

  74. Hi there! Wonderig how you strip your cloth diapers?

  75. Have you tried a Spray pal diaper spray shield? It is such a life saver for us. Especially with those messy, not solid yet, poops.

  76. I am just wondering from reading your posts, how do you think cloth diapering would fair in a situation where you live in an apartment with out having washer or dryers in the unit? Would the cost still be effective if you have to pay to wash every time you wash every 3-4 days and I have read that some of how you launder them involves soaking? Do you have to soak them? When your washer and dryer aren’t in your living space that means a lot of extra time out side of the home rather then being able to do loads and soak while continuing with normal chores and that might become a time problem. I am really interested in doing this but I am wondering if in this situation its worthwhile.

    Also time wise, I think you mentioned soaking them in the washing process since that requires extra time and in this situation I would have to camp in the laundry room all day would you think its time effective or do the diapers have to be soaked?

    Also, I was using the all in one soap you suggested and since they are in process of recreating their recipe have gone back to soap nuts….is soap nuts good enough to use with cloth diapers?

    • Honestly, I don’t know that cloth diapers would be any more cost effective without a washer and dryer and I might stick to compostable diapers or a compromise option.

      • Thanks!!! I wish we had our own but we don’t at the moment. That helps a lot 🙂

  77. I cannot begin to describe the suffering and hassle cloth nappies have caused us, especially the baby.
    Believe me I am such a green-freak I go around paper bins in the office to use the back as scratch paper, and yet I would recommend anyone to STICK TO DISPOSABLES!!

    Never mind the endless washing and drying we have to do daily. Never mind constantly having a bin filled with cotton/bamboo soaked with excrement in the bathroom. Never mind the convenience of a disposable: wipe and throw, as opposed to have to deal with layers of cotton thoroughly smeared and drenched in horror.

    Two crucial things:

    1. Disposables are much more absorbent. They are designed to be because of the gel they contain. Unless you change your cloth nappy within MINUTES your baby does one, the baby will be drenched and very quickly develop nappy-rash. Our baby has had countless nappy-rashes that are avoidable — in fact each time she has a nappy-rash, we had to revert to disposables anyway;

    2. If you live in a hard-water area, it is a nightmare. All websites recommend NOT using fabric-softener for cloth nappies. The consequence is just the cloth nappies becoming hard as cardboard after the wash, cutting into the sensitive skin of our baby, sometimes to the point of bleeding, at which point we again had to revert to disposables.

    So please, for pity sake and for the sake of your child, stick to disposables; they are soft and convenient and will not hurt your baby.

  78. Thank you for all the great advise 🙂
    I’ve been made a pretty great offer to buy Bumgenious Elemental rather cheap, and I’ve never used cloths diapers before, only eco friendly disposable ones, and I kick myself now too for not discovering this before!
    My doubt is that my 3th son (and last one in the bunch 🙂 ) is already 18 months old – he’s normal in build and weight, but I need some advise on how long the 35+lbs streches?

  79. wow!. I had thought cloth diapering was only done here in Africa. I have used disposable diapers given to me as gifts, most times when we are going out of the home.Basically, I make my own cloth diapers with purely cotton materials( this reduces chances that your child will get a rash).My liner is shea butter (this keeps my child’s bum shiny and supple). I also check from time to time for wetness/poop and remove immediately once detected. I let my baby have breaks in-between diapering so he can roam free pantless.*winks*. He enjoys this. Even at night, its cloth diapering all the way.

    I found that with cloth diapering, potty-training becomes easier and faster. Although it can be a tad bit stressful when it comes to washing (what with all that smell), I overcome this by using old cotton clothes cut up in pieces so that once the poop has been scrapped off, I can dispose off.

  80. We have a 14 year old son and i used cloth diapers and rubberpants on him when he was a baby and they worked well and i didnt mind washing them.I wasnt able to have any more kids,so last year we adopted a 13 year old girl from an orphange and put her into cloth diapers and rubberpants 24/7 due to her daytime and bedwetting accidents.She wears the Gerber flat cloth diapers in the 24×27 inch size pinned on her with diaper pins and wears adult size rubberpants over them.She turned 14,this past February and we baptized her at Easter vigil this past easter and like all the other girls,we dressed her in the traditional,white,poofy,short sleeve,midthigh length baptism dress with a matching bonnet,tights and white ‘mary jane’ shoes and her cloth diapers and rubberpants under the tights with a tee shirt as her top.She is still wearing the diapers and rubberpants 24/7 as her daytime wetting and bedwetting has stayed the same.I wash her diapers and rubberpants just like i washed the sons diapers when he was a baby and its no big deal.