Cloth Diapers: AMA — The Bump
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Cloth Diapers: AMA

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Re: Cloth Diapers: AMA

  • This is the best website to determine your best wash routine. You can even look up your washing machine and it will tell you exactly what settings to use. They also have reviews of the best detergents in effectiveness and cost: http://www.fluffloveuniversity.com/

    This is a calculator to show how much they could save you depending on how much per diaper: https://www.groceryalerts.ca/cloth-vs-disposable-diaper-calculator/

    (3,000 is probably the max you would save with an inexpensive diaper system and a kid in diapers for 3 years)




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    JennyColada
  • OH!! I have ALL THE QUESTIONS!! 

    I think a friend of ours night be cloth diapering. I don't really know how to approach the subject. I am noob-ier than a noob when it comes to diapers - I have never changed a diaper let alone even looked at a diaper. 

    Can you maybe give a rundown of what cloth diapering is and why you chose to do it? What you like and don't like?
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  • @lalala2004  I have so many questions I don't even know where to start. 

    1. Did you have to convince your H or was he on board from the start? 

    2. What about poop? I remember my grandma dunking the poopy ones in the toilet before they would go in the wash machine. I just don't know if I can... which also makes me think I am totally unprepared to have a child. 

    Now I will go look at your links you provided. 
    Me: 31 DH: 34 :heart: Married: April 2016
    TTC December 2016
    BFP 2/28/17 // CP 3/1/17
    MFI Diagnosis: Aug 2017
    BFP 11/1/17 // DS born 6/18
    TTC January 2019
    BFP 3/21/19 // D&C (MMC) 5/8/19
    JennyColadaizza2
  • @lalala2004  I have so many questions I don't even know where to start. 

    1. Did you have to convince your H or was he on board from the start? 

    2. What about poop? I remember my grandma dunking the poopy ones in the toilet before they would go in the wash machine. I just don't know if I can... which also makes me think I am totally unprepared to have a child. 

    Now I will go look at your links you provided. 
    My DH was totally on board. He loves the idea of saving money. We did use whatever disposables were gifted to us in the beginning, so we didn't add in a diaper washing routine until later. 

    Poop is is really easy at first. When they are only on breastmilk or formula the poop is totally water soluble. You just throw it all in. When they are on solids you do have to flush the poop. Dipping in the toilet is one method, but they make diaper sprayers that easily connect to your toilet that make it easier. They also make disposable liners that you can use if you're traveling and don't want to mess with it. Then you can just pull out the liner and dump and throw it away or just flush it (unless it's a septic tank).
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  • @lalala2004 So it really weirds me out thinking about putting crap in my washing machine  :o

    So newb question - what's the value of using a disposable liner vs a disposable diaper? 

    Have any CD mommas used daycare? How do they handle it?

    What's everyone's favorite that style that they have used?  
    Me: 31 DH: 34 :heart: Married: April 2016
    TTC December 2016
    BFP 2/28/17 // CP 3/1/17
    MFI Diagnosis: Aug 2017
    BFP 11/1/17 // DS born 6/18
    TTC January 2019
    BFP 3/21/19 // D&C (MMC) 5/8/19
  • lalala2004lalala2004
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    edited August 2017
    @MrsMiller8588 the liners have less of an environmental impact and they aren't as expensive, but obviously it adds more cost. We've only used them on vacation or to protect them from more intense diaper creams if we need to use them.

    I don't use daycare, but some will do it. It just depends.

    My favorite are the Best Bottoms. The covers are one size and they have different size inserts. You can reuse the covers and just replace the inserts, which I like. With all in ones or pocket diapers you have to get a whole new diaper every time. So they also take up more storage space.
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  • Can you maybe give a rundown of what cloth diapering is and why you chose to do it? What you like and don't like?
    @lalala2004 - Did you miss my question(s)? Also wanted to add - what would you do on vacations/road trips?
  • Oh, and on trips when we won't have access to a washer, we just use disposables. If we will have access to one, we just bring detergent, a large wet bag, and we may use disposable liners to make poop clean up easier.
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  • And obviously it is more laundry, of course, but you get used to it. It's just one more thing to wash and only takes one more step.
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  • JennyColadaJennyColada
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
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    edited August 2017

    I'm sure this is easily Google-able, but I feel like your answers just make a lot more sense.

    What are the average costs for each "style" of CDing? Bonus points if you can "rank" them on like "ease of use" (trying to figure out the best "bang for my buck").

    ETA: Is there one style that is "best", or is it just personal preference based on how much work you want to do? Like do pocket styles have fewer blowouts than AIOs (assuming they're sized properly, etc)?

  • @lalala2004 You are amazing!! Thank you for taking the time to fill us in! I am definitely saving this thread as a reference and am going to work on convincing DH. Maybe if I just start buying them now he will have to say yes. 
    Me: 31 DH: 34 :heart: Married: April 2016
    TTC December 2016
    BFP 2/28/17 // CP 3/1/17
    MFI Diagnosis: Aug 2017
    BFP 11/1/17 // DS born 6/18
    TTC January 2019
    BFP 3/21/19 // D&C (MMC) 5/8/19
    lalala2004
  • I'm sure this is easily Google-able, but I feel like your answers just make a lot more sense.

    What are the average costs for each "style" of CDing? Bonus points if you can "rank" them on like "ease of use" (trying to figure out the best "bang for my buck").

    ETA: Is there one style that is "best", or is it just personal preference based on how much work you want to do? Like do pocket styles have fewer blowouts than AIOs (assuming they're sized properly, etc)?

    I don't know enough about specific cost. But I would expect to spend about $300 on an initial stash. It really is personal preference. I was pretty sold on Best Bottoms, but I did get some prefolds and covers and pocket diapers. It really depends on what's important to you: Cost, Convenience or Quality. I would rank them as:

    Lowest Cost: Prefolds or flats and covers
    Most Convenient: All in 2 (easy to use, less work washing and drying)
    Quality: Pocket Diapers  (less leaks, more absorbent)


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  • @lalala2004 thought of another question. What about smell? Does your whole house smell like a dirty diaper? What about when you are on the go? Do you keep a wet bag in your diaper bag if you need to change one in say target? Do you carry that smell around with you?
    Me: 31 DH: 34 :heart: Married: April 2016
    TTC December 2016
    BFP 2/28/17 // CP 3/1/17
    MFI Diagnosis: Aug 2017
    BFP 11/1/17 // DS born 6/18
    TTC January 2019
    BFP 3/21/19 // D&C (MMC) 5/8/19
  • @lalala2004 thought of another question. What about smell? Does your whole house smell like a dirty diaper? What about when you are on the go? Do you keep a wet bag in your diaper bag if you need to change one in say target? Do you carry that smell around with you?
    The diapers don't start to smell until it's been a couple of days. That's why you want to wash them every few days. I haven't had issues keeping them in a trash can with a lid. If we let it go to day 3 it starts to smell like pee (not poop since we flush that). I know some people use baking soda in the bottom of the wet bag. Zipper wet bags for the diaper bag hold in the smells very well for on the go.
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  • @lalala2004 this has been so helpful! What about when your S was on breastmilk or formula? Did the poop smell take over then? Or did you still flush the poop? 

    @Secretstapler and @CecilB93  Do you guys have anything to add to this thread? I think I saw you both use CDs :) 
    Me: 31 DH: 34 :heart: Married: April 2016
    TTC December 2016
    BFP 2/28/17 // CP 3/1/17
    MFI Diagnosis: Aug 2017
    BFP 11/1/17 // DS born 6/18
    TTC January 2019
    BFP 3/21/19 // D&C (MMC) 5/8/19
    JennyColada
  • I'm hoping some others chime in, too!! 

    I'm really curious who else thinks the extra time spent washing and changing cloth diapers is worth it. $3,000 over the course of 3 years really isn't all that much, though I suppose it's relative. There are people who stop for a coffee everyday, or go out to lunch a few times a week, the cost of that is comparable to the cost of disposable diapers. 

    @lalala2004 - what would you say, percentage wise, your cloth/disposable diaper use is? 
    JennyColada
  • @lalala2004 this has been so helpful! What about when your S was on breastmilk or formula? Did the poop smell take over then? Or did you still flush the poop? 

    @Secretstapler and @CecilB93  Do you guys have anything to add to this thread? I think I saw you both use CDs :) 
    I can't speak to formula poop, but exclusively breastfed poop actually doesn't smell very bad, so it wasn't an issue.
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  • I'm hoping some others chime in, too!! 

    I'm really curious who else thinks the extra time spent washing and changing cloth diapers is worth it. $3,000 over the course of 3 years really isn't all that much, though I suppose it's relative. There are people who stop for a coffee everyday, or go out to lunch a few times a week, the cost of that is comparable to the cost of disposable diapers. 
    I've been thinking that as well, so I've been wavering on whether I think CD is worth it (plus I think we will be one-and-done, otherwise I'd probably lean more towards CD for sure).
  • I'm hoping some others chime in, too!! 

    I'm really curious who else thinks the extra time spent washing and changing cloth diapers is worth it. $3,000 over the course of 3 years really isn't all that much, though I suppose it's relative. There are people who stop for a coffee everyday, or go out to lunch a few times a week, the cost of that is comparable to the cost of disposable diapers. 

    @lalala2004 - what would you say, percentage wise, your cloth/disposable diaper use is? 
    I think it's worth it because dumping in a load lf laundry doesn't take much time. I mean, I'm already doing laundry. It's just one more load. For us, we went from two full time incomes to one full and one part time, so any way we could cut expenses was helpful. And that 3,000 is if you just have one kid!

    Since we just use them at night, we only use 1 disposable for every 8-10 at this point. For a while we tried pockets and flats at night, but we got tired of leaks and didn't want to buy a bunch of different diapers to troubleshoot it.

    The only other times we've switched to disposables was when he had diarrhea really bad for a few weeks and when he had a bad rash recently (to keep it drier). 

    For us it is definitely a waste thing, too. It was crazy seeing how many diapers she threw away when we were going through the ones we were gifted. And the amount lf pads I threw away during my PP bleeding made me want to switch to cloth there as well.
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  • @lalala2004 I recently switched to the menstrual cup because the thought of all the pads and tampons I have used all sitting in a landfill somewhere started freaking me out. That's also a big reason for me to look into cloth diapering. On that calculator you linked to above it estimates over 6,700 diapers if a kid is potty trained by 30 months. Add to that the number of kids and think of all those diapers :s 

    I'm actually not crunchy like at all. It's just when I actually stop and think about it I panic slightly. 
    Me: 31 DH: 34 :heart: Married: April 2016
    TTC December 2016
    BFP 2/28/17 // CP 3/1/17
    MFI Diagnosis: Aug 2017
    BFP 11/1/17 // DS born 6/18
    TTC January 2019
    BFP 3/21/19 // D&C (MMC) 5/8/19
    lalala2004JennyColada
  • @MrsMiller8588 I wasn't really crunchy at all until having DS, and now I'm a term breastfeeding, low intervention birthing, cloth diapering, cosleeping, Baby Led Weaning mom. I just take what I like from the crunch lifestyle and ignore what I think is woo.
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  • @lalala2004 - is that English...? Hah! what is average age for potty training? 
  • @lalala2004 - is that English...? Hah! what is average age for potty training? 
    I have no idea. My brother was almost 4 when he potty trained, so I always try to plan for the worst :lol:
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  • I cloth diapered DS and absolutely Loved it! We used BumGenius and Nicki's diapers. I really like Nicki's because they're cheaper and super cute. Plus for every diaper bought they donated one to a family in need. I watched for deals on Nicki's and Kelly's Closet. 

     I washed diapers every 2 days and found it very manageable. DS is in daycare. I think daycares are learning how easy they are and most we toured were fine CDing. We use pocket ones at DC so it was just like changing a disposable diaper except they don't throw them away.

    DS is 2.5 and potty trained. I'm not sure if every child that is CD is this easy but potty training was a breeze! Boys are said to be so hard but DS did great.

    Between diapers, cloth wipes, wet bags, and sprayer Id say we've spent $400. We're set for a second baby if I get pregnant again. It's so nice!

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  • @MrsMiller8588 I wasn't really crunchy at all until having DS, and now I'm a term breastfeeding, low intervention birthing, cloth diapering, cosleeping, Baby Led Weaning mom. I just take what I like from the crunch lifestyle and ignore what I think is woo.
    I've been lurking because I didn't cloth diaper so didn't think I would have anything to share. I am also cafeteria crunchy - unmedicated childbirth, baby wearing, BF for a year, I try to limit exposure to plastics and use only unscented dye free sensitive household products... BUT I paper diaper , bought ALL the baby food at the grocery store, and sleep trained at six months. I'm team "do what works for you" 



    millpeJennyColadalalala2004
  • @lalala2004 and @JNCPro3130 y'all are great and should probably be charging for this level of advice! I'm pretty sure we'll be CD-ing, at least after the newborn stage. My mom used cloth diapers with us (3 under 3 at one point...) years ago and they were literally rectangles of white fabric she fastened with safety pins. I figure if she can slog through that, I can at least give it a try.

    Like you @lalala2004 and @MrsMiller8588 I woke up a couple years and freaked out about the sheer amount of resources we use and waste we generate on a daily basis. The husband and I have changed so many habits since then for the better, but we haven't quite kicked the "we're out of what? Let's Amazon it" impulse. Working on it.
    Me: 31 || H: 32
    DS: 07.2018


    millpelalala2004KFrob
  • This thread is so helpful, thank you all for sharing! I have no kids yet but I always thought when the time came I'd look into cloth diapers for the environmental reasons as well. Plus like @emiliadkay I remember my mom using those same plain cloth diapers... It was some kind of delivery service. She made it work so I feel like I could too.  Now I feel much more informed! 


    Me: 30 & DH: 30
    Married in 2013
    TTC #1 since Nov 2017
    BFP in Jan 2018 - MC in March 2018
    BFP in July 2018 - expecting our rainbow. Baby boy is due March 26th, 2019!


  • @emiliadkay yeah, my mom tried CD us some to save money but she hated it. When I told her we were using cloth she was skeptical, but when she saw how much easier it is now with he snaps and inserts, she was sold!

    Of course, when our grandparents had kids cloth was the only choice and if you could afford it you used a diaper laundry service. My grandma had twins in cloth and when her washer broke she had to wash them in the bathtub! If she could do that, I have it easy!
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  • My mom cloth diapered us, and she had 3 under 2 for a little while (I have an older sister and a twin brother).  But I think she used a diaper service, so dirty diapers were picked up and clean ones were delivered.  I priced out the diaper service in my town, and it looked about the same as disposables.  My mom loves the diapers we use, she thinks they're so cool.
  • @Secretstapler I notice you mentioned that you have 36 diapers. That sounds like a lot and in my head it's like a closet full of diapers. But I guess when newborns claim to go through of upwards of 12 diapers a day you need that many unless you do laundry twice a day!
  • @JennyColada I think we registered for 30, with the idea of 12 a day for two days plus a buffer.  These days, we only use 6 or 7 a day, so 36 is more than plenty.  We can have a few in the diaper bag and a few at daycare without running out.  We have a plastic dresser thing, and they all fit in one drawer.  I think 24 would have been plenty, we stopped doing overnight changes pretty early on, so we had a buffer even with 10 diapers a day.
    JennyColada
  • My rough count I think we have 24 Best Bottom Inserts (12 medium and 12 large) and 12 covers. 2 pocket diapers with 2 inserts each, 6 prefolds and 3 covers. I also have about 10 newborn prefolds, 3 newborn covers, and one small pocket diaper that were given to us that I loaned to a friend.

    We can actually do laundry every 3rd day since he doesn't go through them as quickly now. I think we could handle 2 in diapers with our stash, but if we have a girl next I'll probably buy a few girly covers for funsies.
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  • @Secretstapler I notice you mentioned that you have 36 diapers. That sounds like a lot and in my head it's like a closet full of diapers. But I guess when newborns claim to go through of upwards of 12 diapers a day you need that many unless you do laundry twice a day!
    I'm not sure how many we have but I found that I wanted to have plenty so I'm not cutting it close on laundry days hoping they're dry in time for a diaper change.

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  • So I skimmed through a lot of this because it's already got 35 replies, hahaha. So here's what I have to add...

    I originally wanted to CD to save money. *potential TW?* Our son was super unexpected. Like we wanted to wait another 3-4 years before trying. We weren't financially ready for a baby, and it was terrifying. *end TW* And if done right, you can save. I ended up going crazy and buying more than necessary, and if we have a girl next I'll get more, haha. I'd say cheapest way is covers and prefolds/flower sack towels. I originally got Flip covers and Osocozy prefolds, LOVE them!! I did also get some pockets and a couple AIOs to try. I honestly like most of what we have, my son doesn't seem to "favor" any brand/style over another as far as what works. It is suggested to get a few of each style in a couple different brands so you can find what works best for you. 

    There's a few CD specific BST pages on Facebook, and even an auction group where auctions start at $1. I've gotten a decent amount of used diapers from there. If you know how to sew/replace elastics, you've got even more options for getting used diapers.

    As far as washing, I'm not a good person to ask. I've got something figured out for us, but I couldn't consult someone else. Fluff Love University is a good resource!

    What sucks for us is we could only do it part time (daycare wouldn't cloth), and now we've been in disposables for a good 3-4 months now. If I can get more wetbags made then our new daycare will do cloth!! 

    Tips: we luckily haven't had any issues with rashes (in general), but coconut oil works great! If that doesn't work, I know that there is a specific type of Bordeauxs Butt Paste that is CD safe. 

    If you can invest in a sprayer, do! We haven't yet, but I want to soon (once we get into cloth again). I did the dunk and swish method, and it does work fine. I like to let the poopy diaper sit out till the end of the day if it's a loose/runny one. Letting it harden a little helps. If it's solid I dump it right away. We never used liners, so no advice there.

    Do NOT use Rocking Green soap!! I haven't, but everyone says it's really bad for the diapers.

    For overnights, I know a girl who I made some fleece covers for and she says they work great!! They're a cheap alternative to wool, and there's no lanolizing! But, I've heard wool is pretty much bullet proof, haha. We use Happy Flute Heavy Wetters and never have any issues.

    If anyone does want a sewing pattern, let me know and I can tell you the one I use!

    Im sure I've forgotten something...lol.
    DS1 born 2/28/16
    DS2 due 12/12/18

    izza2
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing
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    edited September 2017
    *Lurker*

    I know it's been a month, but I thought I'd chime in to give another perspective. 

    We cloth diaper using fitteds I sewed myself and Thirsties Duos covers. The fitteds are modeled after the Duos covers, so they are two adjustable sizes. The fitteds are a cotton outer and microfleece inner with two layers of hemp fleece and two layers of heavy bamboo fleece in between. 

    A PP had a good explainer of the different types, but if you want a visual, I recommend Cloth Diapering 101 by Jaime Gleisner on youTube. It's a great overview and she shows you how all the types are put on. It's seven parts but don't be scared because they're all super short. Most people recommend buying a couple of each type to figure out what you like. I'm that one weird person who didn't do that.  :D  My main goal in cloth diapering was saving money. Fitteds and covers are one of the cheapest options, and because I sewed my own, my fitteds cost considerably less than commercial brands. (I did the math, but I can't remember. I believe my cost was about $5.50 per fitted. The cheapest fitteds commercially, I believe, are Cloth-eeze by Green mountain Diapers, and those are $6.95 for a newborn fitted. And you'll need multiple sizes and larger sizes go up in $1-$2 increments. And those are just cotton. Mine have more absorbent hemp and bamboo in them. Fitteds with those materials are more expensive than cotton.) Are fitteds and covers the most convenient? No. Of cloth diapers, All-in-ones/twos are. But again, my goal was saving money. If I wanted the most convenient diapering solution, I'd be using disposables. 

    Fitteds or prefolds or flats and covers aren't just the cheapest because they cost less. They also will last longer. Covers can be wiped or hung to dry and reused, so they don't need to be washed after every use. So the waterproofing isn't being worn out as fast. The entire diaper has to be washed with pockets and AIOs. 

    There is no "best" cloth diaper. It's all what works for you. 

    I have 21 fitteds and six covers in each of the two sizes. It's not really enough to do every-other-day washing. I do every 1.5 days. It doesn't take really any extra time to do the wash. I change my daughter on our extra-long counter in the bathroom. A trash bag (I was too cheap to buy a big wet bag) sits on the bathroom flower and I throw the diapers in there. She's exclusively breast fed, so no spraying needed. Then, I just take the bag, turn it upside down into the washer (no additional handling needed!), run a warm rinse cycle with no soap followed by a hot regular cycle with Tide powder, and then put them in the dryer. It takes maybe three minutes every 1.5 days. It's nothing. Once she starts eating solids, I'll start spraying them into the toilet. Handling it is really not that bad at all. You'll be handling messy underwear when they're potty training. 

    My daughter is a heavy wetter. At night, I put her in a fitted with a Gerber prefold (I was given a few), over the top and then a cover over that and she stays dry. Same for naps. She sleeps 8-10 hours at night.

    We used disposables for the first week or so after she was born. We use disposables on trips. We also use disposables occasionally while out and about.  The fact is, disposables hold way more pee than cloth. If I can't change her quite as often for whatever reason, I'll use disposables. If I'm using cloth out and about, I carry a small wet bag in my diaper bag and stick it in there. No noticeable smell. 

    Although disposables hold pee better, they can't hold a candle to cloth when it comes to poop. I have had two blowouts in cloth, both due to me putting them on wrong (too loose). On our two-week vacay in disposables, she averaged a blowout every other day. I had to hold her carefully - not under her butt so there was more space for the poop to go. I majorly regretted not bringing cloth that trip. And I've tried several brands - Walmart store brand, Fred Meyer/Kroger store brand and Pampers. Pampers do a bit better but not much. Next time I have to get a pack of disposables, I'll try Huggies. 

    Smells - there is none that's noticeable. I keep the bag shut in the bathroom. 

    ETA: whoa, that's long!

    Personally, I think disposables smell way worse than cloth! Once that absorbent polymer in disposables gets wet, it smells horrid. I never notice a smell when my daughter is wearing a soaked cloth diaper. 
    JennyColada
  • @lovesclimbing so true! I had a few poop leaks with prefolds and China cheapie covers, but other than that, cloth holds in poop wayyyy better.
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  • @lovesclimbing yes to disposables smelling worse!!! I hate it. We've been off cloth and on disposables for a few months now and I'm dying to get back to cloth. 
    DS1 born 2/28/16
    DS2 due 12/12/18

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