Monday, March 1, 2010

Cloth Diapers?

I am considering a switch to cloth diapers, and I will explain why in a moment, but there are so many options available that I could really use some help making sense of it all. I've been asking around, and it turns out that I don't know a single mom who uses cloth. Maybe, just maybe, someone will come across my blog and be able to give me some advice?

Bum Genius One-Size 3.0-Bum Genius One-Size Pocket Diaper Flip Hybrid by BumGenius- good vibe stripe little gPants girly girl ruffle little gPants Gussetted for ULTIMATE Leak Protection CushyToosh Cloth PUL Pocket Diaper with Super Absorbant TRIPLE THICK SHERPA SUPERSOFT Insert JUST SAY NO TO MICROFIBER....SQUISHY
Images courtesy of BumGenius, gDiapers, and CushyToosh.

OK, so here's the story: I love disposables. I buy the cheapo store-brand ones at King Soopers (well, the store-brand ones that are chlorine-free, so they are the second cheapest option), and have never had a problem with them. They're convenient and affordable and don't seem to affect Baby's skin negatively. Last summer, however, Baby started getting a recurring diaper rash (too much information? Sorry, this is a mommy blog after all). Her doctor suggested that we start using wet washcloths instead of disposable wipes, because the wipes contain tons of chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. I made the switch and fell in love with my new cloth wipes. My mom helped me sew really cute ones with flannel on one side and a soft terry cloth fabric on the other. I keep a solution of water, aloe vera juice, tea tree oil, and baby oil near the changing table and wet each wipe before use. Her diaper rash immediately cleared up and it actually made diaper changes a more pleasant experience for both of us (the new wipes are better at getting the job done, too, so I only need one or two instead of 45 disposables per diaper change).

A couple months ago, I got lazy (actually, I got morning sickness) and switched back to disposable wipes. Within a week, her diaper rash was back in full force. Once I switched back to cloth, it was gone almost immediately. Now I'm totally sold.

I'm already doing extra laundry for the cloth wipes. It kills me to run a nearly empty load of laundry, since I don't want to combine them with our other clothes. I finally realized that switching to cloth diapers would actually simplify my routine at this point. Rather than keep two separate diaper pails (I have one for disposable diapers and a little one for the cloth wipes), I can just throw all the cloth into one pail. I'm already doing extra laundry, so I can just throw the diapers in with the wipes. No extra work!

Plus, I'll theoretically save a bunch of money in the long run by switching to cloth. I've found estimates online that for the cheapest disposables, you'll pay about $1200 from birth to potty training for one child, which lines up pretty closely to my own math. The cost of cloth diapers vary greatly, but I am considering a higher-end system that would total about $500. Ouch, that hurts to fork out up front, but in the long run, it's still significantly cheaper than disposables. Plus, I can use these diapers for multiple children (if we decide to have a third child down the road), and sell them for about half what I paid new. Seriously, people buy used cloth diapers in good condition all the time. What do I have to lose?

Well, I have about $500 to lose. What if I hate them?

Here is where you come in, my wonderful readers. If you use cloth, I would love to hear your opinion. I am fully expecting to not receive a single comment on this post, though, with the luck I've had so far just asking around!
  • What's your favorite brand?
  • Have you tried a WAHM-produced diaper, maybe sold on Etsy, or is it wise to stick with the bigger brands, like BumGenius?
  • Have you tried a hybrid diaper? gDiaper and BumGenius both make hybrids that allow for either a biodegradable/flushable disposable or cloth insert.
  • Do the one-size diapers look really bulky on a newborn? Is it worth it to buy a system with small, medium, and large, even though you have to buy three times as many diapers in the long run?
  • Are the all-in-one diapers really that much more convenient than a pocket/all-in-two diaper? Is it nasty to pull the soiled inserts out of the pocket diapers?
  • How did you convince your husband that this was a good idea? :)
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a million!


  1. Sorry, don't have any advice, except, if I was starting from the beginning (and with our great new washer;), I would have used cloth diapers (and disposables when out and about). I had a friend who used them and wrote all about it (but she deleted her blog-so I can't refer you to it, dang it) and really convinced me how great they were, although, I couldn't stand the thought of more laundry.... I really love the idea though. And I love your cloth wipes too. I think switching over and then having *full* loads would be a great idea. Is it possible to try out each brand before commiting?

  2. I almost did cloth diapers, but we have coin-operated washers and dryers...yeah. So it's disposable for now. But we were going to go with Bumgenius. If you go with cloth diapers, I will probably just do whatever you decide to do in the future :)

  3. Kelsey, I think that once you decide what style of diaper to go with, you could easily buy one each of several different brands to see which you prefer. I ended up going with a pretty unique set-up (gDiapers) that wouldn't have interchangeable parts with other brands, so it is kindof an all-or-nothing situation. I did just buy one size to start off with, and if I like them, I'll buy the other sizes before the new baby arrives, so I only had to pay about $139 to start off with.