After 7 Years of Using Cloth Diapers, Are They Worth It?

Are Cloth diapers worth it still?

Are cloth diapers worth it? That’s the question cloth diaper mamas are often asked, and the answer to that is one that most cloth mamas answer unequivocally with, “Yes!”

But what makes them ‘worth it?’ As COVID-19 has made many parents (and people in general) acutely aware of how heavily we depend on…products for our bottom, ahem, the question is, “How are they NOT worth it?”

We pulled up one of our most popular posts about cloth diapering, as disposable diapers are tougher to come by, and economically challenging too, in today’s COVID-19 climate.

Are Cloth Diapers Worth It?

The short answer is, “Absolutely.” After seven years of using cloth diapers nearly exclusively, I understand why many parents swear by them.

Seven years ago, I had my daughter, and I tried every disposable diaper available. Some felt too rough. Some smelled disgusting. Others gave her horrible rashes. Frustrated, I was ready to throw in the towel until I saw an ad in a parenting magazine for a cloth diaper brand. I was stunned – people use cloth diapers still?

Related: Haven’t Switched to Cloth Diapers? Here’s Some Motivation

I did what any mother would do; I spent the next week researching for hours a day. I found a brand that looked trustworthy – the Flip Diaper System by Cottonbabies. I bought two packages. I knew they wouldn’t last for more than a day with the number I purchased, but I just wanted to try them. A few days later, I fell in love.

Now, seven years later, I’ve used cloth diapers with all three of my kids. Our youngest had a cloth diaper on his butt from the day he came home. I still get tons of questions about them, especially if I happen to change him in public. People want to know if they are hard to clean, do they save money, and if they are worth the effort.

If I had to add together the time I spent washing diapers each week, it might add up to an hour. With three kids, I already wash multiple loads a day. When people ask if my water bill increased, the answer is no. I add two to three loads a week. I also never bought detergent meant for cloth diapers. Instead, I purchase detergent at the store.

Related: Crazy For Cloth: The Benefits Of Cloth Diapers

There are multiple reasons why I will continue to use cloth diapers, especially for future kids. Here are the top ones.

  • They DO Save Money: If you go in it for the cute factor, you may spend more than you expect. The prints are hard to pass up. However, you can purchase enough cloth diapers for under $400. There is a huge market for used cloth diapers so that you can make back some of your money. You can also use them for other children.
  • Fewer Rashes: It could be because of fewer chemicals, but my children rarely have rashes. My 15-month-old had one rash his entire life so far.
  • They Don’t Stink: I might have a sensitive nose, but I can smell a disposable diaper in the trash for hours. It is the smell of the chemicals that disturb me. While cloth diapers naturally smell like pee and poop, that is the only thing you will smell in the pail.

Just like any other parenting decision, using cloth diapers may not be for everyone. I can say wholeheartedly it’s the right decision for my family.

As Bethany says, cloth diapers actually do end up saving big money in the long run, particularly if you use them for siblings. Besides, tell us what disposable diapers can be bought back for nearly half (or sometimes more!) than their original purchase price AFTER use? You can’t, because there are not any.

Environmentally speaking, cloth diapering makes sense too. Heck, if we’re going to be really honest, so does family cloth, and particularly at a time like this. Talk about how to just say, “No!” to panic toilet paper buying (and hoarding).

And think about it. What’s really stopping you? The ick factor? You can get over that. Think about how much cleaner you feel when you have a nice wet cloth to clean your hands vs. a paper napkin after a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Yeah, exactly. The cloth is more substantial and people–it cleans up easily!! It really does, and it’s not like you’ve thrown out everything your child has peed, pooped or thrown up on, have you? (Please tell us you haven’t!)

Cloth diapering is a big step in making earth-friendly practices part of your daily routine, and it’s good for baby’s bum and your pocket book too. Promise, you can get over the ick factor and when you do?

You’ll be so glad you did!

Photo: Cheryl-Annette Parker/Shutterstock

6 thoughts on “After 7 Years of Using Cloth Diapers, Are They Worth It?”

  1. Thank you. I used cloth diapers for all of my children and I even dried them on the outdoor clothes line. On hot summer mornings the first diapers would be dry by the time I finished hanging the entire load. These were cloth diapers that were flat and we were able to use them as rags on the floor and on the cars long after our babies were potty trained.

  2. Could you help me solve this CD problem? I also use Flip diapers with inserts, but only part time. For overnights, I now use Huggies size 4 12-hour disposables because I haven’t found a cloth solution that fits, absorbs +500mL, and keeps his skin dry so he doesn’t wake up crying crying because he is wet. We’re any of your kids heavy wetters? what works?

    1. For overnight, I use a large bamboo flat (Diaper Rite brand) and a wool cover. I use a fleece liner for a staying dry to the skin. I fold my flat using the “airplane” fold. I’ve also had success with a GroVia O.N.E. with both inserts, a Diaper Rite 3.0 all-in-one. In my years of cloth diapering, I’ve used everything from gDiapers, various brands of pocket diapers, all in ones, hybrid, etc. I keep coming back to flats and prefolds. They are so versatile.

  3. I used cloth diapers 23 years ago and bought all of them at a baby/children’s consignment store. In 18 months none of them wore out and I sent them back to the store, for some other lucky parent. I did buy liners, and there was always the 5 gallon bucket of vinegar water for soaking them, but it saved me many trips to the store and a ton of garbage!

  4. I started cloth diapering when my 5th child was 4 months old. It was part Lenten practice and part “I just lost my job because the company closed”. I started with using them when we were home and disposables while we were out of the house. By the time Easter arrived, I’d somehow reached a point of using cloth 99% of the time. We are now using those same diapers on our 6th child, and added to the stash with some second-hand diapers and one set of new diapers from Just Simply Baby. My husband was not on board for a while, but slowly he came around to it. Then one day I caught him telling a friend about how much money we don’t spend because we’re not buying diapers, nor are we grabbing impulse purchases while getting diapers. It was particularly helpful to be using cloth diapers when we were in a fiscal bind. It was one need we didn’t have to worry about filling.

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