The Awesomeness of Cloth Diapers

November 25th 2009 / 3 minutes to read

Cloth diapering (aside from breastfeeding!) is one of the best financial and health decisions a parent could make!


Oh yes, that is the face of a happy and healthy attachment baby!

When I was pregnant with my oldest son, Daniel, I wanted to cloth diaper him, sadly I wasn’t able to do so (due to his biological father) until Danny was about a year old. With him I used mainly pre-folds and covers with a few pockets and AIO (all in ones).

This time around I pretty much let Keith know from the start we would be cloth diapering Tristan. Explaining the health benefits, the FINANCIAL benefits, and well the cute factor heh, he was totally on board!

My father purchased us a dozen Bum Genius 3.0 One Size diapers and our friend Jen, purchased us another dozen. How lucky are we!


Here are some of my (and Keith’s) favorite aspects about using cloth diapers!

Keith’s Reasons

  • The sheer financial aspect
  • Zero diaper rashes
  • The containment (of the poopy “blowouts”) is really good, no leaks
  • They absorb really well
  • The versatility of the cloth diapers, by customizing the inserts
  • The maintenance is really simple
  • We never “run out” of diapers, no 3am runs to purchase disposables
  • They’re pretty (he wanted me to make that more manly sounding lol)

My Reasons

  • The cuteness! Seriously, a t-shirt, a cloth diaper, and some baby legs, adorable!
  • Super comfy on the baby, no rashes either
  • Really easy to just do a load of laundry
  • No gel bits of who knows what attached to my baby
  • Cloth diapers do not have that weird smell/stink
  • There is no “dunking” of diapers, Tristan is of course, exclusively breastfed and that is water soluble.

Actually Keith listed most of our reasons, go figure!

Financially, with the option we went with, for an initial cost of $400 approx, we have a set of diapers that will last from newborn until toddler. With disposables that cost would be approx $1800! Also Keith had talked to the water company and the woman he spoke to was shocked. Apparently our family of four uses the same water consumption as a one person household. I was so surprised considering how much laundry we do, my long showers, the billions of dishwasher loads, etc.


We wash the diapers every other day and use powdered Tide for the detergent. Honestly, Keith is the one who does ALL the diapering. He changes all the diapers, washes them, and stuffs them.

His method for washing is:

  • Put washer on the largest size setting (ours is super) and add the 1st measure of detergent
  • Put temperature to cold/cold
  • Set to highest agitation level
  • When that cycle is done, set temperature to hot/hot
  • Set to highest agitation level and add 2nd measure of detergent
  • Once that 2nd cycle is complete, run one more time, without detergent to fully rinse diapers
  • Run through the dryer on low temp for 60 minutes

It may sound like a lot of steps, but in reality it’s just moving the dial a few times on the washing machine!


Do you use cloth diapers? What type (pocket, pre-folds, AIO’s, etc)? Do you have a favorite retailer? How did you start using cloth?

This post is over a year old which means the content may be outdated or no longer accurate.


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We also use cloth diapers and I have loved them from the start. I agree with your reasoning but my MAIN one was for finances. The start up cost is a bit pricey but every time I go to the store and see the prices of disposables my jaw drops. I think people also forget that cloth diapers have a HUGE resale value (1 BG OS Pocket is bought for $17.95 new and roughly $11 used) so you can make most of your money back when you’re done if that is your choice.

I got into it when a friend (Jenn of mentioned that she did so I researched my entire pregnancy. I got SO many people saying I’d find it disgusting and would be using disposables before I knew it. The exact opposite occurred. We used disposeables until her meconium passed and then got into prefolds and covers for about a month or so. Once she chubbed up a bit we went to Bum Genius OS diapers and that is what we use most of the time now. They’re cute and so much softer. We also have 1 bluberry minky (so SOFT) and 1 happy heiney.

Our stash is like 10 BG right now so we do laundry every single day but I’m adding to it week by week. (1-2 diapers per). I have an apartment sized washer that I use whichi s connected to my sink. I throw them all into the load on cold with a small amount of purex free and clear (we used tide but gracie got a HORRID rash due to enzyme sensitivity). Once that finishes we do a long cycle that contains a soak with hot and a bit more of purex f&C. We then follow with another quick cycle of absoultely nothing. We don’t use softener or anything else like that. We are dryer-less so all my diapers are hung to dry. Once we get a dryer (next week, YAY) I will continue to hang my pockets themselves to keep the life on the aplix longer while drying inserts.

I rave about my cloth to everyone I know. We recently spent 3 days at my mom’s who has VERY hard water (to the point where it smells like rotten eggs and it’s… ew) which I didn’t want my diapers exposed to so we used disposables and O-M-G. EW. The smell, the cheapy feel, and poop leaking out the sides of legs? disgusting. I’m glad we’re back home and in cloth.

That was long but I can’t agree more with you. Cloth is SO awesome.
.-= {Amanda´s shared blog entry… Funeral yesterday} =-.

Reply to Amanda

I use eco-friendly sposies for the moment. At first I didn’t feel able to manage all the washing of cloth diapers, since I am really bad at getting organized. Now that I feel much more confident, I want to give it a try.
I plan on purchasing Itti Bitti D’lish cloth diapers (an Australian brand), because I have heard a lot of positive feedback about them, and they look super cute.

Reply to Lea

I have wanted to use cds but daddy wasn’t to keen in the beginning and I also -hate- buying things online. It’s an awful hang up, I wouldn’t even buy a moby until I found a store that carried them! Angel isnt’ so fond of it, though : (

The store where I found the moby had the pocket liner cloth diapers, which I was most interested in. I showed them to daddy but he hasn’t decided yet, I keep meaning to remind him and ask again (‘lets just buy one set and see how we do? it can’t hurt and at the least if I use them during the day when we’re at home we’ll be saving a fortune’).

I change Angel a ton, the doctor and nurses kept saying oh 5-6 times a day :x I change him about 12 times a day just on our ‘schedule’. That’s a lot of diapers!

Those pictures are amazing- mind telling me how you got the color in the first one? What lens? We have a D50 (I think that’s what you use?) and a D40 so I’d love to hear. I have so much trouble getting that crisp, clean white appearance in photos. Is it in the PP? : ( I hate PPing! but tips to get that would be great, I’ve been trying and it’s a very difficult battle with curves for me.

Reply to Echoia

oh, and you have the danged Boppy cover I want! I can’t bring myself to buy it because I got my boppy and a polka dot cover for $10, but I wanted it so bad ~pouts
.-= {Echoia´s shared blog entry… They Do Their Own Stunts} =-.

Reply to Echoia

Thanks for sharing this post. It’s great to hear the benefits from both parents. I especially love that you described the washing process. I’ve been extremely curious about cloth diapers lately. This was really informative & I love all the pics.
-Kristi @TweetingMama

P.S. I’m loving the layout. Very pretty & very clean. Love it!

Reply to Kristi

I would totally use cloth diapers, they save so much money and they are better for the baby :) well done :)
.-= {Damita´s shared blog entry… 2 weeks to go…} =-.

Reply to Damita

I tried the G diaper and couldn’t stand them, and unfortunately I never gave another cloth diaper a try. I wish I had! There are so many different ones on the market, I am sure I would have found one I like. For the next baby :) Thanks for this post.



I feel like I learn so much from reading about your experiences. I had no idea about so many of these issues. If/when I’m ready to have children, I’ll have a much better idea of what I need to know!

Reply to Cheryl

I do cloth diaper! I absolutely LOVE IT. I’ve used all kinds of cloth diapers too. Started cloth diapering my son when he was a year and a half with prefolds, pins and plain covers. That Switched up to Fuzzi Bunz until he potty learned.

With my second son I used prefolds for the newborn stage and tons of snapped fitteds. Mostly Muttaqin Baby diapers. I also had a lot of love for SOS diapers as well. As far as covers go, I’ve always had the best luck with wool covers. I love longies, shorts and soakers.

For my daughter I’m currently using Essential Salts Baby fitteds, and one size and GoodMama one size diapers for night time. Again using wool with her. I can’t say enough about Esbaby diapers. They rock my world and the wahm behind them is fantastic. The quality of her work is outstanding. I love buying from her because I know I’m directly supporting a work at home parent.

Aside from the environmental impact me using cloth diapers, I love how cute they are. I won’t lie. I have a rediculas stash of fitteds and wool. I love hand washing the wool and spraying it with yummy lanolin and letting it dry.

Lastly the resale value of the diapers and wool I use is amazing. I take good care of everything and can sell it to another mama for a great price.

I LOVE cloth diapering.


I am so glad you are posting so much about cloth diapers. I plan to use them when I have kids one day. Aw, he looks so happy! What adorable photos! :D
.-= {Caity´s shared blog entry… My little stalker.} =-.

Reply to Caity

I am in the process of buying some used CDs (I mistyped and wrote VDs – lol) and I’m excited about it! I can only get 6 right now – but even if I can just supplement, I guess, with them until I can convince DH to buy more it will be a big help.

@Amanda, how much do you adore your BumGenius diapers! Aren’t they awesome? It’s silly that one of the best parts of using cloth is how it contains those baby blowouts lol.

@Lea, really, there is no organizing or anything involved with washing diapers! It’s just yet another load of laundry to do basically. You’ll have to come back and let us know how you like your Itti Bitti D’lish cloth diapers!

@Echoia, ah I didn’t let cloth diapers be a “choice” when I found out I was pregnant with Tristan. I made that mistake with Daniel’s bio-father (until Danny was a year old anyway) and refused to let that mistake happen again. If you look online I bet you can find a LOCAL store that sells cloth diapers. Tristan gets changed 8-12x a day, Daniel (when he was that age in ‘sposies) was changed 8-12x a day too. You are doing the RIGHT thing by changing him frequently!

About the photographs, I shot them all with my 50mm lens I believe, I didn’t do anything PP ‘cept boost the contrast. I LOVE that lens. As for the boppy, it’s a hand-me-down from my twin sister. I have to say it’s quite useful if I am sitting on the couch/desk chair, or to let the baby chill on the bed for me to take photos lol.

@Kristi, why thank you! I think, like with anything else, you just need to jump right in with cloth diapering. We love how it contains everything, there’s no weird odor from chemicals, and just overall how wonderful they are!

@Damita, YAY! Cloth diapers are totally the way to go!

@Dagmar Bleasdale, I was never interested in the G diaper, they reminded me of prettier ‘sposies basically. I highly suggest a pocket type diaper, like the BumGenius.

@Cheryl, aww thank you, I do try!

@Noel, YAY for cloth! I have to admit, I know next to nothing about wool covers or anything of that nature, with Danny I used pre-folds/covers/some Fuzzi Bunz/some FullMoonBabyGear AIO’s. With Tristan it’s all BumGenius. I love that the cloth can be used for YEARS where as ‘sposies, it’s single use.

@Caity, thank you! I joke that I only birth squishy adorable boys from my womb. YAY for making the choice (for the future babies) to use cloth!

@Erin, YAY! What brand/type of diapers are you getting?

I’m actually getting 5- I think I wrote 6. Anyway – 3 of them are Rocky Mountain OS, one is a (forgive me if I have the terms wrong here) Rumparooz G1 Nighttime something something… (hehe) and the other one is Hugga Buns (?)
I’m gonna try them out and see how it goes. I hear that Bum Genius are about the best way to go. Are those the ones with velcro, or the ones with snaps? The ones with snaps seem like they would be the best bet for me… but then again I’ve got a big time squirmer when it comes to diaper changes.
Anyway – I’m looking forward to it. I really hope that I can talk my husband into this (it’s still kind of in the air.) The girl I’m buying from is offering me the whole bundle with inserts and everything included for $55 including shipping. I think that’s a pretty decent deal, right? She’s asking $65 before shipping on the diaper sell/trade board it’s posted on, but since we’re March Mommies message board friends she’s giving me a deal. Does that sound good to you?
Sorry to ask so many questions – I’m just incredibly green to this and don’t really know much about it.

BumGenius by default use velcro but I believe you can have them converted to snaps. It does sound like you got a decent deal for the amount of diapers + inserts! By all means ask any/all questions you want! I hope you get them in the mail soon!


We primarily use BumGenius, with a few FuzziBunz and fitted diapers/covers thrown in. With Elias, I bought a lot of used diapers until I discovered Bum Genius. I hear they’re only suggested for 2-3 years worth of use at the most, so I’m interested to see how the BGs we bought for Elias will hold up as Noah ages.

The primary reason we went with cloth diapers initially was the baby’s comfort and the savings over time. A box of diapers costs about as much as a new BG and might last a week and a half at the most. With Elias, we cloth diapered straight out of the hospital, but I didn’t have my act together when Noah was born so it took me a few weeks to find and wash all the cloth diapers in storage. A disposable diaper feels a little like fine sandpaper in comparison to a cloth diaper.

I don’t buy into the environmental reasons too much. It takes a LOT of water and electricity to care for cloth diapers. We put out enough trash as it is though, so I love being able to cut down on the amount of trash.

We need to start encouraging Elias to learn to go on the potty so I can get him out of disposables. For an upcoming post, do you have any tips for potty learning from an AP point of view? Elias showed a lot of interest when we first got his potty seat (shortly before Noah was born) and actually went in it the first two times we put him on it, but never again. He’ll sit on the potty, but won’t go in it.
.-= {Lynda´s shared blog entry… Grabbing and Scooting} =-.

Reply to Lynda

Oh, also… ironically, Elias with his sensitive skin never had a single diaper rash in cloth diapers, but Noah gets a diaper rash if he’s left in a soiled diaper for more than a minute or two. We have to be really diligent about changing his diaper frequently. So cloth diapers don’t necessarily mean no diaper rashes.

We had our first gel explosion with Elias (morning change) maybe about a month ago and it was SO GROSS. We had to give him a bath and I had to vacuum immediately. That crap is sick.
.-= {Lynda´s shared blog entry… Grabbing and Scooting} =-.

Reply to Lynda

Hi! I’m friends with Lynda who pointed me to your post.

I live in NYC and we don’t have a washer in our house. Our building has washing machines, and every wash/dry cycle is 75 cents, so to do three washes we’d be charged $2.25.

I *do* cloth diaper part time! We use a diaper service who picks up our prefolds and delivers new ones once a week at a cost of $23/week. NYC diaper prices work out to about that anyway for disposables (the cost of retail and shipping drives them up – limited space in Manhattan!).

When we are out and about on the town, I use disposables simply because then I don’t have to cart around a lot of bulky diapers. We take the train a lot, so I carry everything in a backpack. Disposables are lighter in weight, smaller, and I don’t have to carry anything home if he needs a change when we’re out.

If we are staying in the neighborhood or at home, he’s in cloth all day and night.

This combo works really well for us, due to our unique living situation and my own desires.

My son has never had a diaper rash, and I attribute it to the cloth. We like him in it most of all – I notice that his genitals don’t get that waterlogged look if he’s in cloth. Even damp cloth breathes better than disposables!

We use the prefolds provided by our diaper service, and my favorite covers are the Mommy’s Touch covers! Good colors, very waterproof, and GROW with my baby! Awesome!

For disposables, we go to Costco and buy 1 case every 3 months. No biggie. Cheaper than buying then in the neighborhood for sure!


Reply to nex0s

@Lynda, I agree, my main motivator surprisingly was NOT the environment but more so about what’s “right” for my boys. The financial aspect is HUGE to us though. I can not imagine how broke we would be, what bills would be unpaid if we had to shell out weekly/bi-weekly for diapers we would throw away.

For us the water/electricity don’t even make a dent, the water company thought our HOUSEhold had only one resident. I was shocked because we are always running a load of laundry (typically bath towels for me heh) and I take looonnng showers when I get the chance lol.

For potty learning I did NOT use a child’s mini-potty contraption. I bought a toilet seat cover, something similar to this one, and a step stool for him to get onto the toilet himself. I never did a reward system. Every time I was in the bathroom, around the bathroom, or just bored lol, I would have him go and “use” the potty.

For me the hard part came AFTER that, when he figured out he could STAND and urinate heh. I was constantly having to wash my shower curtain at that point lol.

@nex0s, with my oldest I lived in an apartment complex where it was over $1.15 per wash/dry in the laundry rooms (I am so thrilled to have a house with our own washer and dryer now!). I did pre-folds and covers with him.

For me, I’ve never cared much for dragging a lot with me, a BumGenius with a newborn insert is lightweight, good for a “just in case we’re out” diaper, fits easily in my purse, etc. Since we don’t have to worry about blowouts and well he’s breastfed of course, I don’t need anything else thankfully!

It was odd, I just watched my toddler niece the other day and she’s been in disposables since day one, and it was just weird to me, the perfume of the diapers, the stinky smell it gave once the gel chemicals came in contact with urine… plus throwing the diaper away hurt a bit because it felt like I was throwing away money (even though financially, it had nothing to do with me).

So how often, in general, do you use disposables per week as a guesstimate?



We use disposables almost every day. Anywhere from 1-4. Usually closer to 2.

My son cant’ stand a wet diaper, so when I’m out and about (riding on subways mind you) with him, if he was in cloth, I’d probably have to change him 2x as often, as he can go longer in the disposables with less discomfort.

We have a very active and very urban lifestyle. I take him on trains and busses and have been doing so since he was 8 days old :) We go out for a few hours every day and changing rooms with tables are sometimes far & few in between in NYC. I actually have an iPhone app that will tell you the closest changing table to your location using GPS! LOL

We use around 10 disposables a week, I’d say.

My son is also exclusively breastfed, so for now his diapers are relatively easy to clean. For me, it’s less the issue of cleaning diapers, but the fact that I am usually carrying him in a carrier, with a backpack as a diaper bag. Carrying heavy, wet, diapers with me for several hours while I walk and ride the trains, is not ideal. It’s really more a weight and bulk issue since I already have a few teething toys, snacks for me (I’m hypoglycemic), a few diapers, a chaange of baby clothes, and the usual wallet, etc. in the bag. At hour three of your walk with 16lbs of baby strapped to you, with a backpack, the extra weight of wet diapers can get to you!

We use cloth for a lot of reasons at home – comfort being key, but also for environmental reasons. But I don’t feel a need to make myself a martyr to the cause! For some families, 100% cloth is the way to go. For us, 75% cloth is the way to go :)
.-= {nex0s´s shared blog entry… Daily Jaeger} =-.

Reply to nex0s

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