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Typical Life Span of a Cloth Diaper

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I've CD my 2.5yo since birth.  We had 12 bum genius elementals, 12 one size fitteds, and 12 prefolds at a time in the proper size.  We split that time almost 50/50 between a top loader and a front loader, and line dried both inside and outside as much as possible.  When DS2 was born 7 months ago we bought 12 more elementals and both boys use all the diapers.  Well, our original 12 elementals are full of holes and leak terribly.  I really was expecting them to last through at least one child.  Is this typical?  I am just wondering about others' experiences with these or any other diapers.  Our fitteds are also very worn with holes and shot elastic (but fine with new covers).

post #2 of 19
I think the theory of cloth lasting longer was before aio and onesize started.

I did get multi child use out of my diapers, but they were sized prefolds and motherease covers that I took great care of (air drying)
post #3 of 19

I think some diapers are better than others, frankly. We have Mother Ease one-size fitteds which we bought used and started using right after DD grew out of newborn diapers. She has been using them for almost 2 years now, at first on their own and now in a stash with some pocket diapers as well. We only have a top loader so that is where they were always washed and dried in a dryer 100% of the time also. Covers were washed the same but hung to dry 99% of the time.


So far I am not seeing any bald spots, holes or any other issues, elastic is fine also. The binding on the covers is showing some wear though but no holes and nothing that would make them unusable. The fitteds do have some poop staining but the fabric is fine. And keep in mind that these were used on at least one child before we got them (I didn't ask).

post #4 of 19

I notice a big difference between diapers even in the same brand. I have some old, old sized Fuzzi Bunz (Made in US and Mexico) that are in wonderful condiiton. I just replaced the elastic and I am sure they went through at least two kids before mine. That at least four kids. But the ones I bought from the Made in China time had ruined PUL within the first months and shot elastic when I pulled them from storage after maybe four months of use.. There new ones are closer to the old quality.

post #5 of 19
We use:

Flips and Rumparooz!!! Both have really stood the test of time and I am confident that we could use them a second time around on at least one more babe.

bumgenius 4.0s were so great for daycare but the Pul didn't last on them so they ended up leaking. I even tried the spray on wax stuff to hold me over but it didn't work. Love them as diapers but they wore out so quickly. I finally had to give up on trying to resuscitate them. greensad.gif
post #6 of 19

My homemade prefolds, made from new/used flannel, have been lasting about 200 washings, with machine drying, before they start really wearing out.

post #7 of 19

The smaller your stash, the less time they are going to last because they are being washed more often. This is especially true if you are using one-sizes because you are expecting to get 2 to 3 times as much wear out of them.


But I do think some of the newer ones I have don't seem to last as long as some I bought when I started cding about 8 years ago. Which is a problem when you invest a lot in them and expect a lot more. Like some of my earlier ones have been through 4 kids but some of my newer ones are probably not going to last through this one baby.

post #8 of 19
Oooo....Vaske, I totally want to hear more about those homemade prefolds.

I use prefolds and pocket diapers.
I line dry all the covers.
I have been diapering for 5 years straight with 1.5 years diapering both at the same time.

About 1/3-1/2 of the prefolds have now become rags but I just gave away 18 of the premium prefolds (the rest are floating in the diaper drawer) and sold 30 of the infant prefolds.

All (except the bum genius which I loathed and gave them all away) pockets diapers are still in rotation.

I will say, I was militant about folding down the laundry tabs BUT the Velcro on almost all my covers need to be replaced. I now refuse to let Velcro covers into the house...and I'm glad I took a chance on the one size.
post #9 of 19

I only have experience with fuzzi bunz, GMD prefolds, and thirsties covers and both have lasted fine through two kids and will be used with our third.

post #10 of 19

I have some Thirsties AIOs that may have reached their end after just over 1 year of use, which is really frustrating since they were so expensive! Anyone else have experience with Thirsties AIOs?

post #11 of 19

...and more specifically, I mean the PUL seems to be leaking through in some of them. They are snaps so it's not a velcro issue.

post #12 of 19
Are you using vinegar? Vinegar will break down pul. Are you putting them in the dryer on high?
What detergent are you using?

I think thirsties uses thinner pul...not helpful but...I wonder about how fixable the leaking is...
post #13 of 19

I cloth diaper my now three and a half year old (she still wears cloth at night even though she never actually pees in them anymore) and my 9 month old son. The best and cheapest covers are econobum. Awesome. If you google search and hit it right (like a seconds sale) the are as cheap as $4.95 per cover. But even full price they are only $8.95. For the prefolds go to the greenmountaindiapers.com website. They have organic prefolds that are all you will ever need. I have been using them for three years (and with two kids now) and they have no holes, visible wear, thinning, nothing. They are awesome! I have been given other prefolds as hand me downs and they are so thin and full of holes that I have no idea how they were even used anymore. The organic are a little more than the non-organic, but green mountain had by far the best price on organic prefolds when I was researching it three years ago. And for me, I think the organic are worth a little extra when I considered how long I am going to use them and that they are right next to my children's private parts. Also, the organic may or may not hold up longer than the regular prefolds. I have not tried the non-organic prefolds so I can't vouch for them.

post #14 of 19

Oh, and I have always dried prefolds in the dryer, which I think is more wear, so they are really holding up. Here is the website: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/prefolds.html. They are the Cloth-eez® Organic Prefold Diapers. 

post #15 of 19
The dryer can actually help seal up PUL. If you are always drying on the line, remember the sun can deteriorate things as well. Some sunning can be good, but constant sunning to dry can be really harsh. I also find that people who have really long intense wash cycles tend to wear their diapers our quicker (tons of rinses, etc).
post #16 of 19
I will say of the bg elementals, the fabric getting holes was a common issue with the fabric. That's one thing that was supposed to have been remedied with the new style release.

I agree that diapers lasting through more than one child is probably more before AIOs became so popular, and stash rotation play a huge part.
post #17 of 19
I bought 12 FuzziBunz one size for my first and almost all of them are no longer useable for my second. There are leaks around the legs seeping on to the clothes each time she urinates. I kept resizing them and stripped them a couple times because it just did not occur to me that they were no longer useable. I'd purchased them hoping to cloth diaper any future babies. I'm really disappointed that I'll likely have to toss them. The PUL around the legs is not fluid resistant at all anymore.

I also used 8 medium sized FuzziBunz and some fitteds so I had other diapers in the rotation. Never machine dried the shells, mostly hung them to dry in the basement, and sometimes out in the sun.
post #18 of 19

Making prefolds:  partly I used the prefold instructions from this page.  But I combined them with instructions from somewhere else (and can't remember anymore where that was).  Most of the variations in instructions are in how you cut the outside part of the prefold (in one piece or two), and how you sew them together.  The basic prefold has a center pad, sandwiched between two layers of outer fabric.


This is basically how I sew them now:


Sew a center pad of 2 layers of old towel, or 6 layers of flannel, to the size that she gives.

Take the desired finished diaper size, add half an inch to each edge for the seam allowance, and cut a front side and a back side from flannel. 

Sew the pad to the center of the wrong side of one of them by sewing near the pad's edges.

Put the right sides of the front and back together, and stitch around the outside edges, leaving a gap of several inches for turning the diaper right side out.  (I leave the gap in the middle of one of the shorter sides.)

Turn the diaper right side out, fold in the raw edges of the gap, and stitch closed.

Topstitch around outside edge of diaper, between one-half and one-quarter inch in from the edge (optional, but this helps keep the diaper from turning in on itself in the wash, and provides a second line of stitching for when the seam starts to wear out.)

Sew through the pad again, near its edges, so that it is secured to both the front side and the back side.


The book Handmade Home, by Amanda Soule, also has good instructions for sewing prefolds.

post #19 of 19

Sometimes I use vinegar and a combo of dryer and line drying when it's warm enough, which is a small part of the year in VT! I never dry on high. I used Charlie's soap for a long time, but recently switched to Tide...Charlie's was not getting them clean enough :(

I'm beginning to think they are just not great diapers, which is a bummer because I really wanted to love them!

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