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Convince me cloth diapering isn't as messy/difficult as it seems...

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi ladies!


This is a bit premature since I've got another 6 months to go, but I'm looking for cloth diapering advice. I really, really want to use cloth diapers (for many reasons), but I can't wrap my head around it. I keep thinking it must be so messy and so much work to deal with cleaning/washing, etc. And I start to think about things like, where do you put the dirty diapers if you are out and about? You can't just throw them away, so how can you keep them so they don't smell? And, aren't you just doing laundry non-stop? (not that you're not doing enough of it already with a new baby!)...Help, please! Tell me it's not as tough as it seems. I'd love any resources/recommendations from those of you who are pros. 



post #2 of 25
Bumping this since the exact same things are going through my mind right now. I want to cloth diaper bc it's economical and natural it just seems so overwhelming!
post #3 of 25
Yes, it can be a lot of laundry. I wash diapers every 2-3 days. It's so much a part of my routine that I don't notice it.
When I am out, I have zippered wet bags that I put dirty diapers into until I get home. At home, I have a large pail (like a garbage pail) with a large washable liner bag in it. This pail is located in the washroom. I put dirty diapers in here until wash day. I have a diaper sprayer attached to my toilet to spray BM's into the toilet if needed. I also use cloth wipes with a homemade spray to clean my DD's bum. That way everything just goes into the pail to be washed.

Honestly, I love cloth diapering. It's worked really well for us. We used prefolds in the newborn period and then used grovia after that. They're designed to be worn from around 10-12 lbs to potty training. At night we use a bamboo fitted diaper and a wool cover. I find that this is a very breathable combo which prevents diaper rash. We never need to change diapers during the night and we never have a leak.
post #4 of 25
I started CDing when my guy was 4 months, so I can't speak to newborn messes, but I don't really notice the mess. Lets be real: your baby's body functions (puke, pee, poop, drool...) will inevitably end up on you one way or another, and cloth diapering doesn't increase the frequency of that. Once they are past the newborn stage, poops only happen 1-2 times a day and are more solid and easy to shake into a toilet and flush...a lot less stinky than poopy disposables sitting in a trash bag. I wash the diapers every 2 days, and diaper laundry can be a bit time consuming (1 pre-wash cold cycle and 1 hot wash extra rinse cycle and natural fiber inserts can take longer to dry) but I think it's worth the money I'm saving...like thousands of dollars.

Why don't you offer to babysit for a friend with a baby in cloth diapers and see for yourself?
post #5 of 25

We cloth diapered all three of our children.  I used smaller "wetbags" to hold the soiled ones when we were out.  It definitely does add to your laundry a bit, but you get used to it.  They look so much cuter than the disposable diapers, can be much less costly (our diapers made it through 2 kids), and it is just one more thing that I don't have to pick up at the store.  We loved it.  If I could cloth diaper this baby I would, but we now have well water that is extremely hard and I can't figure out how to get the cloth ones clean with it.

post #6 of 25

Oh, and honestly, it was my personal experience that the cloth diapers leaked a lot less than disposable ones.  Everytime we put our kids in disposable dipes, we had poo blowouts. 

post #7 of 25
Ok another question -- for a newborn how many should you buy?? Any particular type of detergent to wash them?? Thanks for all the responses, ladies!
post #8 of 25

I haven't tried cloth diapers yet - first-time-mom-to-be - most sites I've seen recommend 24 for a newborn if you plan on doing laundry every 2 days. If you get prefolds, flats or fitteds that require a cover you need less covers than you do diapers, the usual recommendation I've seen is 6-8 covers. I'd love to hear from the ladies that are doing cloth diapering if those numbers seem realistic. We're thinking of starting off with pocket diapers. I know I'll have to go back to work before potty training can happen so elimination communication is out for us. I've heard a lot of babies don't like the pre-folds as much because they feel wet right away and aren't a good choice for the night. 

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for all this great info! OK, I'm starting to feel slightly better. I just hope our washer/dryer is good enough to deal with all this laundry. Maybe we need to invest in a new/better one....


Does the brand of diaper matter? Are some better than others? I think I need to do research on what all of these terms mean - prefold, pocket, flat, gravia...? I think I understand that some have inserts and you just wash the insert and others you wash the whole thing - is that right? Is one of those options more effective than the other?


Lots to think about!!

post #10 of 25
I have an all-in-2 which mean that the soaker (the part that absorbs pee) snaps into a waterproof cover. The cover can be reused without washing several times. In a pocket, the soaker is stuffed into a pocket and the whole diaper gets washed each time. Pockets have a fleece lining which keeps baby feeling dry. We replicate this with a fleece liner that we lie on top of her soaker. Some diapers are designed to fit for the majority of their diaper years with snaps to change the size. Others are sized and you'll go through a few sets of sizes. Soaker are made of different materials - bamboo, cotton, microfibres, hemp - this determines their absorbancy and price. There are all sorts of brands and some are better than others and price varies. You'll need to research what will work best for you.
post #11 of 25
Beagle smuggler - we bought the bare min of diapers at first and this was fine for us. We did add more later. Pockets were our initial overnight option, but they didn't work forever. We double stuffed with hemp and still had problems. Eventually we moved to a fitted (sized diaper that has absorbent material everywhere) in bamboo and covered it with a wool cover and this works the best for us. As they get older they pee a lot at night. Wool is actually great for cloth diapering, but I was really hesitant about it at first. Hemp and bamboo tend to be more absorbent and more expensive.
post #12 of 25

I cloth diapered my first for 2 years, then my second for the first (breastfed poos only- mine didn't eat solids until a year) year.  I'm planning on the first year for this baby too, I think it's healthier for baby, they do contain the bf poo better than disposibles, and I kind of even like doing diaper laundry. It's rewarding to re-use and you really don't have to do much, toss in the washer, turn on, throw in the dryer, and then you can even just diaper out of the laundry basket if you want.


I like the kind with cotton inside and either PUL on the outside for all in ones (I use these usually when we're out) or a wool wrap cover and prefolds.  The wool and cotton breathe, the PUL doesn't but it's easier to change the AIOs than a two part diaper.  I'm making Very Baby all in ones (you can buy on Hyena cart or etsy I think) and bought Green Mountain Diapers prefolds in Small and Medium and I"ll buy a few wool wrap covers after I do research on brands.

post #13 of 25
Beagle smuggler - I'm also in Toronto. I purchased my diapers through sogreenbaby and caterpillar baby. They are both GTA. The woman at sogreenbaby is very personable; I've called her with diapering questions many times as I've tried to figure out what I want/need.
post #14 of 25
I've assembled my diaper stash gradually over my son's 1st year. I started with a sampler pack with various styles and brands of diapers from Thanksmama.com. After experimenting a bit, I started out using Econobum pre-folds and covers (got 6 covers and 12 pre-folds) during the day and BumGenius pockets with two inserts at night. Eventually, I got tired of the bulkiness of pre folds and started investing in more pocket diapers...I only bought through clearance sales, so I have a bunch of different brands. I've discovered that I prefer snaps over velcro fasteners, and my favorite brand is Charlie Banana pocket diapers: they are super soft, I've never had a leak with them, the pocket opening is in the front (which helps you avoid accidentally touching poop when taking the inserts out of a soiled diaper), and they have super cute prints.

I've also discovered that as my son grows and his output changes, his nighttime diapering needs have changed. As a smaller baby, pocket diapers with extra stuffing worked wonderfully at night. But as he grew and became a super-soaker at night, pocket diapers kept leaking (you can only put so many inserts in a pocket diaper.) I discovered "diaper socks", which are fabric pockets that you can stuff your choice of inserts into (I like hemp and bamboo at night...super absorbent), but wicks moisture away from baby's skin to prevent rashes. You can take the stuffed diaper sock and use a PUL diaper cover with it. Not one leak since I adopted this method.

All this to say, don't feel like you have to invest in one brand or style of diaper to begin with...your milage may vary!
post #15 of 25

Beaglesmuggler, I think 24 diapers and 6-8 covers sounds about right for a newborn.  I think we had slightly less than that, but not by much.   The covers get a bit wet, but I would just air dry and use them again a time or two before washing them.  We also used wool.  I absolutely love Wild Coconut Wear interlock wool longies and soakers.  They are pricey, but you can usually find some good deals on used ones on here - http://hyenacart.com/stores/Spots_corner or at www.diaperswappers.com  .    We used prefolds with pins, and it worked really well for us.  We also had some pocket diapers (fuzzibunz) .  My favorite PUL cover brand is Bummis, they lasted longer than most of the other ones for us.  The newborn diapers and covers made it through all three of my kids. 

post #16 of 25

CD'ing was one of the best decisions I made! I seriously LOVED CD'ing. 


My favorite brands: AppleCheeks, FuzziBunz and GroVia (in that order); we've always done disposables at night - it wasn't worth the headache and troubleshooting to find a CD option that lasted all night; We use 7th Generation for night time and occasionally for outings


Water/Washing machine: VERY hard water in our area; started with top loader, then bought top-of-the-line front load, and ultimately switched back to top load (Speed Queen - HIGHLY recommend these awesome, no-frills, yet amazing quality machines -- this is the basic model we have and I love, love it!); My favorite CD detergent = Rockin' Green


After experiencing both top, front and back to top load again, I'm convinced that you need WATER to wash clothes -- and especially diapers. I eventually had to stop CD'ing last year after I just couldn't get DD2's dipes clean; she had constant rashes. Beware, though, because there are numerous HE/low-water top loads on the market now, too. Speed Queen has the highest water capacity on the market, I did hours of research on them :)


Have fun researching! It can be overwhelming, but you have lots of time :)

post #17 of 25
Just a tip on tricking an HE machine into providing more water than its sensor would normally allow for a load: throw in a bath towel with your diaper load. The towel will suck up the initial water and the sensor will think it needs to add more!
post #18 of 25

Yes, I tried the towel trick many times. I even tried getting the towel soaking wet, thinking the added weight would help add more water to the cycle. I also paused the wash cycle and physically added buckets of water. It helped a little, but ultimately (for me) it just didn't get the dipes (or our clothes) clean. We just lived with stains in everything ... got used to it. Now? Stains are non-existent. And we even use very natural laundry products to avoid added chemicals and they still come out sparkling! :)

post #19 of 25

Here's a blog I found really helpful to learn all the different diapering terms.



post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 

this is all such great info! Thanks to all of you!


jinxymama - i kind of like the idea of using disposables at night and for "outings" or travel or something. i might have to think about that.

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