Q & A Tuesday: Cloth or disposable?

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed an ongoing discussion we’ve had about cloth diapering.

I’ve got a post in the works about this (sometimes) heated topic among parents, along with some reviews from those of you who cloth diaper your little ones.  So here’s today’s question:

Do you use cloth or disposable diapers?  Why?  I’d love to hear your reasons for either side of the equation.

There will be no judgement here – I’m going to monitor the discussion, so if anyone is reamed for any decision they’ve made, I’ll delete the ad hominem asap.  But I truly want to hear the logic behind your decision, so please share!

Tsh Oxenreider

Tsh is the founder of this blog and just finished traveling around the world with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

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  1. I’m expecting my first in march, but we’re planning on using cloth! Cheaper in the long run and better for the baby and the environment. Cute too! 🙂

  2. Interesting discussion. I am in India and have two children who are now 11 and 5. Here we generally use cloth diapers indoors and the disposable one when one is out of the house. Basically, in our country, this works out cheaper.
    Its a lot of work and anyone going the cloth-diaper way should be careful to sun-dry the washed clothes. The biggest advantage is children get potty trained much faster. My younger daughter was completely potty-trained two months before she turned two. My elder son made it at 2 1/2 yrs.
    The downside is that its always a lot more work – all the washing, drying and constant changing!

  3. I’m a WAHD with two kids and have used disposable diapers on both kids and am finally getting our son potty trained. Yeah! I will be doing back flips when he’s fully trained and be a “big boy”.

    I realize cloth diapers are probably better on the environment, but I can’t imagine cleaning out stuck on poo from a cloth diaper. I can’t justify using disposables to some of our friends that use cloth, but I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Some mom’s have told me that you can use some cover-up thingy if you anticipate a blowout because junior hasn’t had a good movement in a few days. Well, I still prefer disposable.
    Hey, I just remembered…I do use swim diapers when my kids want to swim….does that count? lol

    The Passive Dad´s last blog post…California Tax Refund Could Be Paid Via IOU

  4. My son is 6 weeks old and we use disposables. I really wish we could easily use cloth, as he goes through so many diapers! Our apartment doesn’t have a washer or dryer (we do have machines in the basement) but I can’t even keep up with our regular laundry anymore, let alone some diapers.

    I don’t know how my neighbors would feel about me washing diapers in the community machines.

    Maybe next time we’ll live in a place where cloth is more doable!

    Kacie´s last blog post…If you want control of your life, take control of your money

    • Kacie,
      We used a diaper service when my son was a baby. They pickup the dirty diapers and drop off clean ones at your door. They even give you a container to place the dirty diapers in. You can just go online and search diaper service in you area. I hope this helps. Have a great day!

  5. I have used disposable diapers on both boys. I did consider using cloth diapers but the washing/ cleaning would be too taxing for me as I we do not have a dryer and did not want additional stress to being a WAHM at that time. We did go for the cheapest diaper . For the elder boy he was off diapers in the day at 2.5yrs (night at 3yrs old) and we intend to do the same with the younger boy now that he has turned 2 .

    Dominique´s last blog post…CNY Celebrations

  6. We’re expecting our first baby in early April and we have decided to use cloth for a number of reasons. It’s cheaper in the long run, and better for the environment. Since I work at home and we have a washer in the apartment (and I seem to be always doing laundry anyway!) I don’t see it being too much more of a burden. If I worked outside the home we might have gone a different way, but this works for our current lifestyle.

    If you are considering cloth I highly recommend going in to a store that carries them and talking to someone that is knowledgeable about how they work. I spent a lot of time reading about them online and trying to figure out how to make it all work, but on Saturday we went into a local store and the owner spent over half hour with us explaining the system, and giving us tips and tricks, and it completely sealed the deal for us. It helped that she used cloth herself, and really believs in it. It wasn’t just some sales person doing a sales pitch.

    Francine´s last blog post…We hit up Ikea on Saturday

  7. I like the old-fashioned terry squares. I use liners inside that I flush if there has been a major event and wash to use again if just wet. I fasten with a nappy nipper instead of the pins – it grips the nappy together so I don’t have to worry about stabbing people. I have nice breathable pants over the nappy. I looked into pre-folds etc. and had a Lollipop demonstration at home (like tupperware party for nappies in the UK). But I decided agianst them because what is a good fit when little one just lies there is often not such a good fit when they start to crawl or walk (when they change shape as different muscles are in use). With the sqaures I have changed the fold 3-4 time over nappy-lifetime to accommodate changing shape so always get a good fit. I stick the wet nappies in a lidded bucket with some nappy soak and every third day I drain most of hte water down the loo and then stick the contents of hte bucket in the washing machine. I line dry indoors or outdoors depending on weather and tunble dry every other week (to make them soft!). Fabric conditioner lessens absorbency, so use vinegar instead. It really isn’t much work – the idea of it is more work than the practice! I used biodegradable disposables for the first 6 weeks or so until I worked out what way up the baby went etc.
    It is not just cheaper and better for the environment but also healthier. Most disposables have sodium polyacrylate (sp?) in the lining to absorb stuff. This has been linked to toxic shock syndrome and was banned from tampons in Europe in 1985. If it shouldn’t be in me then it really shouldn’t be on my baby’s skin, I think. And potty training is a whole world of easier.

  8. I am a SAHM with 3 daughters. I use (and love and adore) cloth. witha few exceptions. I don’t use cloth when we are on holiday. When I had two in nappies I had one in cloth and one in disposables. I don’t use cloth when we forget to wash and don’t have any!!
    I started using cloth because it is cheaper. Then two things happened. 1) I learned about the gel used in disposables and it horrified me.
    2) I feel in love with all the funky cloth nappies you can get. I am now a cloth addict!
    So now I would keep using cloth even if it was a bit more expensive.

    Just as I side point – I also use cloth santiary towels and love them too. Sounds icky but really isn’t.

    • I’m actually a Diva Cup fan 🙂 – I’ve used it for years, and wouldn’t dream of doing anything disposable again.

      • The Diva Cup is awesome! It took a mental shift for me to get used to the idea, but it’s so much more comfortable and way easier, not to mention the trash saved. I never have to worry about a disposable product popping out of my bag or getting chewed on by a curious toddler!

        We’ve cloth diapered our son, now two, for most of his life after the first few newborn weeks. We used FuzziBunz with the thickest inserts I could find. We use 7th Generation disposables when we travel, for his two days a week at “school,” and currently that’s what we’re using–we’re not quite ready to potty train because we’re remodeling and everything is topsy-turvy, but he’s routinely soaking through cloth diapers and the result clothing changes were getting to be a bit much, especially when we were away from the house. So, for now, I’m reluctantly putting him in disposables full-time–but when it is time to potty train, I think we’ll switch to using cloth again to help with his awareness of being wet/soiled.

        We chose to use cloth in the first place (actually, I chose and convinced my husband) because of the cost of disposables, the comfort factor for our son (no crunchy paper on his bum), avoiding anything icky in disposables, and because I found a cloth diaper that was so easy to use. Our washer has a sanitary cycle–the high heat water isn’t great for the diapers, but it does get them clean and makes me feel like anything unpleasant gets killed off in the hot water. Once he got older and his poos got more solid, we started using one sheet of pick-a-size Viva towels lengthwise in the diaper to catch the poo–that would go in the toilet (your results may vary, probably not good for septic systems) and be handled with the rest of the human waste. That’s another thing about cloth–by keeping the poo/pee in the toilet or into your wastewater via the washing machine drain, it gets “processed” the way it should be to help decrease pathogens, rather than sitting in a landfill and potentially leaching into groundwater. Our diaper pail (we kept a dry one–no standing water to be a hazard) never got stinky because the poo all got flushed, and I washed diapers every couple of days.

        Emily´s last blog post…Remodeling for All!

  9. I have 2 babies under 2. So, diapers is a common word around here. I purchased a huge lot of Mother Ease one size diapers when my first was born. I was disappointed that they were so bulky and often gave her a rash if I did not get them off as soon as they were wet. I’ve gone back and forth with disposable and cloth ever since. The biggest difficulty I’ve found with cloth is the way that clothes fit-it’s difficult to wear any kind of fitted pant with the diapers-at least for me.
    One necessity I’ve really enjoyed with the cloth diapers is a sprayer that attaches to the toilet. This makes cleaning so much easier and cleaner.
    All that to say, I’m on the fence and not necessarily for the same reasons of convenience or being grossed out.
    I’m blogging about seeing God in everyday events (even diaper changes, I suppose) at http://www.burningbushes.org

  10. We used cloth diapers for my oldest, who is now 6. We are now using those same cloth diapers on our 18-month-old son.

    It was actually my husband who convinced me to use them. Someone came to our Bradley childbirth class when we were first pregnant to do a demonstration. My husband (at that point) didn’t give a hoot about being environmentally friendly, but he did see giant $$$ in terms of savings. He promised to help with the washing, so I said ok.

    We used primarily pre-folds with velcro covers with our first. We also invested in a few Fuzzi Bunz (pocket diapers) for nighttime use. We used disposables for prolonged outings and for travel. We found it to be a good experience: the washing wasn’t a burden, it was nice to not have to shell out money for disposables every other week, and her bum looked really cute all big and round!

    We’ve had the added benefit of using the same diapers again for our son. When you are able to use them again, the savings go up significantly. I have been pleasantly surprised to see how well the diapers have held up, especially considering they’ve been in storage for 5 years in between children. When our son is potty trained I already have a buyer lined up for our used diapers.

    katydid6´s last blog post…Bothered

  11. In making the decision to do cloth or disposables, I realized that if I were a kiddo, I would much prefer to have my bottom swaddled in soft hemp fleece over nasty chemical filled plastic. That said, we do cloth during the day and disposables at night (and when we travel). My daughter is such a deep and long sleeper that her diaper is completely soaked through in the morning. She was getting wicked diaper rash, so we had to go to a disposable. It wicks the wetness away from her tush during those 12 hour nights. A cloth diaper simply cannot compete. During the day, however, we use a mixture of hemp pre-folds with Motherease and Imse Vimse covers, Fuzi Bunz pockets and Imse Vimse AIOs. For us, cloth diapering is not a big deal at all. The only problem we have is that we have to dry the diapers in a dryer because we live in a downtown apartment and have no room for a clothesline. As a result, the diapers wear out really fast.

    Rebecca´s last blog post…Snow

  12. I am almost 50 and our grown children at 28, 27 and 25. We used cloth diapers when the disposables had been around for several years. We loved them and also had a diaper service which was cheaper than the disposables at that time. The diaper service would pick up the diaper pail two times a week and drop off the last load clean, white and wonderful! With the last “surprise!” baby we decided to cut back and do our own diapers and were shocked at how easy it was!

    Yes, we had the occasional “blow-out” — but so does my 3 and 1/2 month old grandson. I think the difficulty nowadays is the lack of support and options for parents who want to use cloth diapers. Where have all the diaper services gone?

  13. We love our cloth! I highly, highly recommend mother-ease diapers. They are made by a mom in Canada. There are no pins, the all in ones last from newborns to 35 lbs and they button up like a breeze. They seem like an expensive investment at first, but we are using our 2 year old’s diapers on our 5 month old. They last a long time.

    Shannon´s last blog post…Today’s Simple Woman’s Daybook

  14. I love cloth diapers! They’re no big whoop to clean and keep up with. And cloth diapers today have come a loooonnnnggg way from the days that my mother was using them. I have a hand-wash style mini washer and no dryer (just hang them on the porch line) and that’s it. Just a wet bag to store the dirty ones (no soaking requires for many cloth diaper brands), some additive-free detergent, and we’re ready to go.

    I don’t think it has to be all or nothing. Most of the time we use disposables at night for my heavy wetter (and because we’re too lazy to change his diaper during a middle of the night nursing), and especially when we’re on vacation or going out of the house for a while.

    I love that I’m not putting sketchy chemicals and bleach next to my son’s genitals on a regular basis, that I’m saving money (they pay for themselves quickly, in my experience), and being a bit more gentle on the environment in several ways. Once the poop changes from the newborn stuff to more solid, it’s easy to plop it in the toilet (no scraping), which also makes me feel good about not putting feces into our ground water through a landfill.

    We also tend to use cloth wipies (they’re just wash cloths — dipped in a bowl of water or sprayed with a mix of Dr. Bronner’s soap and water) instead of disposable wipies, although we do have the disposables around the house for hands and clean-ups (and sometimes diaper changes) and in the diaper bag when going out.

    Give it a try! 😉

  15. I started with the cloth only mentality when my oldest was born 14+ years ago. He was a really heavy wetter and it seemed like he was always wet, I was always changing diapers and there was always a huge stack of dirty diapers. (There was also NO internet to compare options and find out better ways!)

    We had a housing situation where we could do 2 loads of laundry per week for free. The logistics of making two special trips to the laundromat each week, with our circumstances and situation, made it cheaper for us to go disposable in more ways than just the physical cost of diapers.

    Although we moved shortly before #2 turned one, by that time I was so overwhelmed with regular laundry and two wild little boys, I just did feel I could add cloth diapers to the mix.

    All that said, with my youngest currently being 5, if we had another baby, I might try again.

    Janel M´s last blog post…One Down, One to Go

  16. My hubby and I made the decision to use cloth for three reasons:

    -Money savings: We bought a starter kit from Bummis that cost us under $200. Almost 4 years and two babies later, we’ve added few covers and bought soap–that’s all we’ve invested.
    -Environmental concern: with diapers being the number one contributor to landfills, we didn’t want to add to that. We’ve helped raise awareness on this issue just by being an example and using cloth.
    -health issues: we’re not comfortable with all the anti-leak gel that is in disposable, plus had heard from experienced moms that cloth diapers prevented rashes and found this to be true.

    I should add that we use a combination of disposable and cloth. Babies go in disposable for outings and overnight.
    This works well for our home, but both parents have to be committed and want to do it for the right reasons.

    Aimee´s last blog post…An Indian Film, A New Spice Blend and a Giveaway

  17. Baby Stuff says:

    My husband convinced me to use cloth because of the savings, but now I’m sold! The Bum Genius diapers are as easy to put on as disposables, and washing isn’t a problem since we have a washer/dryer at home (I never run out of diapers or have to make an emergency trip to the store.). We were using disposables when we would go on trips, but every time, he would end up with diaper rash, or a leak, or blowout. It has also helped that we started EC (or infant potty learning) at 6 months, so now at 9 months, he poops in his potty 90% of the time, instead of in his diaper.

    • I was going to add more to my comment, but I’ll just ditto yours. Also, different kids poop differently… and if I wasn’t ECing no. 2, I’m not sure I’d want to stick with cloth. (We would for the $, though.)

      Amberlynn´s last blog post…Week Recap

  18. I’m due in April and am very excited about cloth. I used this as an excuse to replace my ancient washer and dryer with highly efficient Energy Star models! I’ll be working from home, so I have more flexibility with laundry than an office parent. While I’m out in the garden this summer, I’ll just line dry. Although I really do feel like cloth will be the best choice for me, I understand that cloth can really just be too much for folks without in-home appliances or extremely tight schedules.

    Anyone use Cricket’s Diapers? They’re made by a stay-at-home mom and have gotten great reviews on Diaper Pin.

  19. I attempted cloth with my first two but gave up quickly. With my third I stuck with it and ditched the prefolds and covers for Bumgenius. It was the best decision for us. I cannot stand the smell of disposable diapers, even un-soiled. These diapers have already paid for themselves and I will most likely sell them when we are done, recouping some of the cost. I don’t find the extra laundry burdensome, but I do have a washer and dryer at home. My feelings would probably be different if I didn’t have this convenience.

    Christine´s last blog post…No Spend February

  20. Wow! I am surprised at how many people actual use cloth. Not that there is anything wrong with it. I only know one person that has recently used cloth and she has 10 kids—yes 10 kids. I just don’t think I could handle the mess of cloth. I have two kids, and it’s so easy to just wrap and toss a disposable diaper. I guess this is one of those things that you choose convenience or cheap. I definitely had to go with convenience on this one. However, I must be honest; someone commented that cloth diapers have come along way in the last several years, and I really don’t know much about them except for what my Mom has told me about using them when I was a baby. Well, I’m on my last child and she is getting close to being potty trained, so I’ll be sticking with the disposables. By the way, I just came across SimpleMom recently and I love your site. It is wonderful.

  21. I flip between the two. We used disposables when my daughter was born two years ago. I switched to cloth at night when she was around four months, but didn’t do it during the day for a week or two because I was grossed out by the idea of scooping her poop into the toilet. Then I read about the gel in disposables and switched to all cloth.

    When she was almost seven months old, we found out we were pregnant with our son. I had morning (all-day!) sickness for three months and couldn’t handle the extra laundry so we went back to disposables. She went back in cloth once I started feeling better.

    After our son was born (March 2008), everyone was in disposables until we got feedings and sleeping under control and then we switched back to cloth. I switched back to disposables in October because we were traveling nearly every weekend between holidays and my grandfather’s illness.

    I tried to switch back to cloth a week ago, but my oldest (now 2) refused. She sat in her room and cried and refused to take one step in the pre-folds. My son is happy as a clam back in the cloth.

    We use mainly pre-folds with Bummies covers and tuck in a hemp doubler for naptime. For nighttime I invested in two LANA wool covers and use those with pre-folds and doublers. That has worked great for us! (I tried a fleece cover, but the smell was too rank for me!) We also have a few BumGenius One-Size that I tuck in the diaper bag. (Right now, my daughter will wear these because they are not as bulky as the pre-folds … she’s still not thrilled, but she copes :P) I also use cloth wipes. I had been given a wipe warmer as a shower gift so I just filled it up with distilled water and dip a wipe in as needed. I use a fleece liner that helps wick the moisture away from my kids’ bottoms.

    I keep a case of disposables for when we go to church or when we have someone else taking care of the kids. Sometimes, I’ll use the disposables if we’re going to be out most of the day. I also use disposables when we travel.

    My big problem with cloth is (like Nicole) I’ve found that fitted pants are not made to go over the bulky cloth diapers. I have two different sizes of clothes depending on which type of diaper my children are wearing.

    I don’t have a set preference for one or the other. The disposables are simpler to deal with, but I enjoy not having to spend over $60 a month on diapers and wipes.

    Joanna´s last blog post…Setting The Record Straight

  22. I’m passed my diapering years – but I just wanted to chime in…I’ve used both – mostly cloth. I was very impressed with the cloth diapers…the all-in-ones, the way they were slim and not bulky and that you didn’t need safety pins.

    BUT I was never convinced that in the long run – with all the laundry and soaking and cost of diapers and extra hassle – that it was worth the amount I might save. I always said if I had another child I’d definitely just do disposable diapers the next time!

    Edi´s last blog post…Super Bowl Sunday Equals Sleep In Monday

  23. We used cloth most of the time, simply because we could do it more economically. Every penny counted back then. I’m so glad not to have to wash diapers anymore! (/little dance of joy…)

    Avlor´s last blog post…Tuna thinks he can hide from my camera…

  24. We use both cloth and disposable, but mainly cloth. I don’t like to put my daughter in cloth if we are running errands or traveling, etc.

    We chose cloth because it is too expensive for us to throw away diaper after diaper.

    I also think that it will be easier to potty train my daughter since disposables are ultra absorbent and children don’t feel as wet as they do in cloth diapers. I could be wrong, but it just seems logical to me.

    Rachel´s last blog post…TimeOut Tuesday: Getting Involved with MOPS

  25. I use mostly cloth on Sweet Baby James because it saves us so much money. It is also nice to know that I’m not putting diapers and poop into landfills, but my main motivation is money!

    I do use the occasional disposable, especially when we travel.

    Joanna´s last blog post…My Time

  26. We have used cloth for all the reasons listed above. We use Happy Heinys and love them! I have a whole page linked on my blog that talks about our history of cloth and why we chose what we did.

    We did, however, travel a lot this summer – staying sometimes in a hotel, sometimes overseas, sometimes with friends or family. We used disposables then. As much as I love cloth, it seemed like too much to make it work with all the travel!

    Now we are moving in to potty training. I appreciate that cloth has made me more flexible with all the issues that can come with that!

    Jamie @ BabyGetGreen´s last blog post…Registry for Baby Items

  27. We use both. We have two children and use mostly cloth at home most of the time. But when someone is sick or we are out of town we switch to disposable. My motivation was to save money. but it is a pain some times.

  28. i used disposables for my 1st child, but considering using cloth for our 2nd babe (due in may). i had considered cloth for our 1st, but my hubby was not too into it so we went w/ disposables. i don’t know how much of a savings difference it is to use cloth vs. disp. (in 2.5 yrs. time we’ve spent approx. USD 450 in diapers), but i do like the fact that using cloth is more environmentally friendly. my mom used cloth for me and my sister and she said the washing part wasn’t that big of a deal…just tedious at times.

    in regards to being able to potty train easier when using cloth diapers…i think i would have to agree. we’ve been trying to potty train our DD off and on since 24 mos. but we were still using the disp. diapers when she wasn’t on the potty. finally, i bought those cloth training panties and within 2 days she had the whole thing down w/ only one accident (trained at 30 mos.). i think being able to feel the wetness after that 1st accident in her panties really helped put everything together for her.

    prasti´s last blog post…

  29. My daughter is 16 months and we have have been using cloth since she was about 2 weeks old (when they started fitting). I am an engineer, and I actually did a cost analysis which included laundering and detergent costs. The cloth diapers were definetly cheaper in the long run, but it did depend on which type of cloth diapers you buy (prefolds vs AIOs) how long it took to pay off. They are especially good if they can be used for multiple kids, or resold.
    Plus, I can not stand the thought of buying and throwing away diapers all the time.
    And, I don’t think the mess that all the ‘sposie people are concerned about it that big of a deal!

    kris´s last blog post…More from last week..

  30. I’m really on the fence with the one. My almost-3-year-old daughter wore disposables mostly for the convenience. At the time, I didn’t know anyone that used cloth so it didn’t cross my mind as an option. We are planning on having another child at some point and I really don’t know which way I’ll go. Hopefully I’ll be able to get more info on the subject. Reading all the comments above has already helped!

    Nicki at Domestic Cents´s last blog post…Cropped Pants

  31. I use and always have used disposable. I didn’t really know much about cloth until a friend invited me to a party and I was sold on them. I loved learning about the liners to save “scraping” as ‘the passive dad’ mentioned above. I tried with my 3rd daughter and she hated them so my plan is to switch over with my next baby as an infant. I think there are so many great options out there that it is a wise idea to get all the information possible on cloth before assuming what kind of task it will be. My next step; try them out for a long period of time and see how I feel then. 🙂

    Jenn-Lee´s last blog post…How could I forget?

  32. Rachel B. says:

    I use/used cloth for both my kids. I used paper when they were newborn for the first month and I hated worrying if I would run out of diapers before someone could go to the store. For a short while I used both while finishing the package of disposable and the cloth contained messes better. So I guess for me cloth is convenience. I do think they are less prone to rashes in the cloth. I also kept a spread sheet of cloth diapers expenditures and I think for us it has been a savings.

  33. I have used disposable diapers with my daughter from the get go. I’m actually glad I chose disposable versus cloth because I had to have a c-section, after 33 hours of labor, and had many complications afterwards. The thought of doing laundry for the first 8 weeks of her life, she’s almost 8 months old now, and dealing with an infected incision horrifies me. I could hardly walk, much less do laundry. We don’t have family within a 500 mile radius that could help so I was all by myself while hubby was at work. Plus, only 1 friend close by. We received so many diapers for gifts that we only recently had to purchase diapers. I wouldn’t be opposed to switching to cloth now that I’m well; I honestly haven’t given it much thought, though.

    Jessica´s last blog post…Winter Weather

    • Gosh, sounds like a rough go, Jessica. For both of my children I only started the cloth diapers when I felt ready. For my first that was after about a week (natural labor) and the second was more like a month (C-section). Nothing should takeaway from those early days, certainly not laundry! On the other hand, the 15 plus disposables we were using a day was incentive to move onto cloth.

      Aimee´s last blog post…An Indian Film, A New Spice Blend and a Giveaway

  34. I have two kids — one 2 and one 6 months — and we’ve only ever used disposables. Mostly because I don’t know how it would work and my husband would be very hard to convince. Heh. We’re at church a lot, and I’d have to use disposables for that. I guess I just have a hard time imagining the logistics of it. I have always been very interested in it though. I see how many diapers we toss every day, and it’s a little unnerving. Maybe with a 3rd baby I’ll try. I’m not sure what they’re considered in the realm of diaper genres, but has anyone tried G Diapers?

    Sarah´s last blog post…pretty!

    • I, too, would like to hear from a reader who’s had experience with gDiapers. There are lots of reviews around, like here, and it sounds like the consensus is mixed. But they are so darn cute! 🙂

      • GDiaper User Here

        I haven’t seen a lot of comments about gdiapers, so since you requested, I will respond. We have used gdiapers for 3 years and love them. Many people do not know that you can use all types of cloth inserts in gdiapers and they work just as great (if not better, in my opinion) than other cloth covers. You can also use the flushable inserts. We use both and love them. My youngest son is recently potty-trained but I am pregnant, due in May, and will use gdiapers for this baby as well.

        Kristine´s last blog post…Monday Fun Find #18

  35. Shannon B says:

    Ahhh…cloth diapers! I always knew I was a cloth diapering mother, and one of my closest friends/role models cloth diapered her children, so it made the decision that much easier for me. In my small town, it was practically unheard of so I got a lot of flack and horror stories. Six years ago, while pregnant with my first daughter, I spent my entire pregnancy researching different kinds of cloth diapers. I finally chose a very nice and very expensive brand. I was an expert cloth diaper-er. My first daughter was exclusively cloth diapered.

    When my second daughter came along, she started out in cloth diapers. I was thrilled to be able to pull them out again. Then I separated from my husband and went back to school. My daughter spent time at sitter’s (usually my parents who hated cloth) in disposable diapers. I would have only a few dirty cloth diapers a week and felt like it was such a waste to wash such few diapers. I started buying more and more disposables. Then all her clothes were purchased to fit over disposables, and she never wore cloth again.

    For some reason I was emotionally attached to my diapers. Maybe because it was one little part of my life like I felt like I had any control over. I thought about selling them. With the perfect condition they were in, and the amount that I had, I could probably have gotten almost what I paid for them new, but I couldn’t part with them. Finally a friend of mine got pregnant and mentioned a desire to cloth diaper. I unloaded all of them on her.

    Cloth diapering made me feel good. It was something I always wanted to do and I was proud for having followed through.

  36. I have three boys under age 3 in disposable diapers, because the extra time and work involved with cloth diapers would probably do me in. It’s already hard enough to keep up with our laundry! The “gross” factor turned me off, too.

    We have been blessed to find good sales and deals on disposable diapers (many through moneysavingmom.com). Just about the time our “stash” gets depleted, along comes another sale right when we need it! I generally pay about $0.10 per diaper.

    As for the environmental impact… well… maybe I’ll have to buy some carbon offsets. ; )

  37. We used cloth for quite a while for my daughter, until she developed a persistent yeast infection. Now we’re potty training, and we use cloth training pants – they work so much better than Pull-Ups!

    We’re expecting another baby in May, and after much deliberation, we’ve decided to use disposable for his immediate newborn needs and then switch to cloth when things calm down a little. I really wanted to use cloth from the beginning, but recovering from a C-section & dealing with a brand-new baby and a 2 year old is going to keep me plenty busy!

    Jeni´s last blog post…New Art Form

  38. I have used disposable for all 4 children, although I would have liked to use cloth. After a bit of research, we discovered that in order to be sanitized without adding harmful chemicals, we would have had to use a water cycle that was very hot. Before dumping it, my washer would then add 7 liters of cold water to ensure the temperature would not be harmful to the environment. With a few calculations, we were soon aware that we weren’t really saving much of the environment this way. The amount of water and energy needed to clean them would defeat the purpose of our using them. My kids also have atrociously sensitive skin, so the use of disposable was a big ordeal… Anyway, I think the calculation of environmental benefits are a bit more trickier to calculate than the simple impact on landfills, as I had originally thought (which made me research the topic in the first place). When we lived in the US, utilities were subsidized and were very cheap. Here, where we currently live, they are not, so energy costs are quickly far higher than disposable costs (and I am not saying those are cheap!!!!). Switching countries made us aware of other things to consider, such as the higienical factor (US washers normally don’t wash much hotter than 40° – 50° and, unless one adds some germicide, that temp is not sufficient to make the cloth diapers safe), cost of energy employed, etc. etc. We were told employing a diapering service (where they boil the cloth diapers) would make it very safe but I am not sure that makes it economically viable… Incidentally, I wasn’t scared about the added amount of work as where we live we have no driers, we need to line dry everything AND then iron the stuff, so for me the added laundry was not a factor in the calculations… Although I did wonder what to do in winter when NOTHING dries quickly, if I had employed cloth diapers: if I ran out of dry stuff, and the wash wasn’t drying suitably, what would I have done?

  39. We use disposables and I feel no shame. I am very green in every other area. My husband has some OCD germ issues and the last thing I wanted was him to have to deal with the mental thoughts of feces and urine being washed out of diapers in the same machine his clothes were being washed in. It doesn’t make total sense to me, but I can respect his thinking!

  40. I have four children (6, 4, 2 and 7months). I have used disposables for all of them. Lately I have been more feeling more environmentally conscious and I am thinking for the enviromental impact cloth would be the better choice. That being said I would encourage first time moms not to feel pressured into this! I know many people who decided to go cloth and then when the baby came and they couldn’t do it were very discouraged. Combine that with a bit of baby blues and it can seem like a huge deal even though it really isn’t. I also have a friend who used cloth up until the baby started on solids and then switched to disposables.

  41. We have three boys. We used disposables with the first two who are now successfully pt’d (1st at 3 1/2 yr., 2nd at 2 1/2 yr.). After many potty accidents w/our 1st, I figured cloth diapers wouldn’t be nearly as bad as poop underwear. 🙂 Our youngest is 10 months and we’ve used cloth (BumGenius) with him since about 6 weeks. Cloth hasn’t been as hard or yucky as I thought. Front-loading washer/dryer have helped since we purchased those about the same time. Plus, the liners work great to contain the poop and you simply flush them down the toilet. 🙂 And, the toilet sprayer thingy is priceless. I couldn’t do cloth without either of those. Now, I wish I had been brave enough as a new mom to use them with the first two. Since I’m a SAHM, it just makes sense and cents. 😉

    C´s last blog post…A new season

  42. I’m with Jessica. Under ideal circumstances, no question, we would have used cloth. The cost to benefit ratio wasn’t clear and our ancient washer wasn’t cutting it. Also, at one point, we were dealing with seven children in diapers and there are only so many minutes in the day. There’s no doubt that disposable are more convenient.

    Writer Dad´s last blog post…Deja Vuesday: Sink or Swim

  43. I am expecting our first, and have done a lot of research into using cloth diapers. I am planning on using cloth after the initial newborn stage. I have made a few diapers, and plan on making more. They are fun to make and cute too. 🙂

    My reasons for using them:
    they are cheaper than disposables
    they are healthier for baby

    Tammy´s last blog post…~16 Years in the Making…~

  44. Both my children and now my grandson used disposable diapers. Mainly better for my sanity. But if you take environmental issues into the decision making process, disposables are the way to go when you live in an area where water is a much more precious commodity than landfill space. So my choice was also an environmentally sound choice for where I live.

    Kim´s last blog post…This ‘n that

  45. I’m pregnant with our fifth child (fifth boy, to be exact – and, no, we weren’t particularly trying to have a girl. Our basic routine is to use cloth at home and paper outside of the house. It’s hard enough to change a little guy’s diaper in the van while I’m trying to keep everyone else corralled without having to mess with bagging it up to take home and into the house to wash. And if I forget to take it in the house, the whole van reeks.

    As for why we use cloth – our first son had extremely sensitive skin, and there wasn’t a paper diaper that didn’t break him out horribly. We tried cloth and found that he was much happier because his bum wasn’t burning, and that cloth is not hard at all. So, we save ourselves some money and the we’ve-only-got-four-diapers-and -it’s-already-10pm headache and use cloth around the house.

    ThoughtfulMom´s last blog post…Conversations in the grocery store….

  46. I went with cloth for a couple of reasons. One was, I couldn’t stand the idea of throwing out all those diapers. There’s just no way that’s good for the environment. The other was I was planning on having two kids, and the costs and environmental aspects definitely tip in favor of cloth when you use them for two kids instead of just one.

  47. I fully intended to use cloth, but ended up using disposable.

    I’m on baby #4 now and I would still love to cloth diaper. However, I already can’t seem to stay on top of the laundry and I just can’t handle the extra that cloth would bring right now.

    If I have more children, I hope I’ll be past the “many little kids” stage and be at a point in my life that I can actually cloth diaper. I know I’d love it. I’m pretty crunchy in every other way! 🙂

    CharityGrace´s last blog post…Giveaway: Tea Themed Note Paper

  48. Melaniesd says:

    I have one son who is 3 yrs old. I had the best of intentions of trying cloth diapers but never ended up doing so. If I should have another childin the future, I will certainly give it more consideration. Especially after reading all these comments.

    What I found was that for both breast feeding & cloth diapering, I got negative feedback from my family. No one breast fed, and I was told that cloth was a pain and that they often resulted in rashes etc so I didn’t have a lot of support in those areas. I did try breast feeding, but I didn’t have a lot of success. Again, with a 2nd child I will try to make it work.

  49. I used disposables for my first child, but I’m planning to try cloth diapers with my second (due in July). We will likely start with the gDiapers which use flushable inserts, to ease my husband into the idea and then maybe make or buy some cloth inserts to use if we decide to keep doing it.

    Jen E @ mommablogsalot´s last blog post…I Named This Blog Mommablogsalot For a Reason

  50. I’m on the fence about cloth diapers. On the one hand, I desperately want to use them because of the environmental issues. The thing is, I live in an apartment, so our washer and dryer are communal and we pay through the nose to use them. They are also very old and not so efficient. I’m now thinking that disposables might actually be cheaper AND more environmentally friendly, given our situation. Not to mention the time factor (how much is the time I would spend on the washing process worth – what else could I be doing with that time, such as spending it with the little one, etc.).

    I am keeping an open mind, though.

  51. I used cloth from the very start, because I could visualize in my head the pile in the landfill if I didn’t.

    However, I also used disposables at night for most of the kids, and on trips and for Sundays. Except one of my kids, who was horribly allergic to disposable diapers. Her skin would turn cherry red and peel off after wearing a disposable!

    In addition to cloth diapers, I learned about Elimination Communicaiton 10 years ago when my 4th child was about a month or two old. I tried it right off, and it worked, so I did it for all my girls. Poop in diapers has not been a part of my reality in 10 years or so. And no matter how you diaper your tot, putting poopy in the potty is a bonus any way you look at it.

    Amy Jones´s last blog post…Garden Victory

  52. It seems to me from a quick glance that the majority of those who have already posted comments here are those who use cloth. Is it just the audience base of simple mom or is it because those who use cloth are much more confident and happy to share their stance while those who use disposables are not so confident? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I would love to proclaim that my choice is the environmentally friendly one but sadly my 6 month old is in disposables. I do not have any friends who use cloth so I didn’t have any motivation to pursue it as an option before DD came along. I hardly know what is involved in cloth diapering. The little that I do know keeps me scared away because I have a hard time keeping up with a clean home, putting away laundry, cooking healthy meals, etc. I wish this wasn’t the case because deep down I have a desire to be what I call a granola mom who uses cloth diapers, eats only organic, feeds baby only organic, has an amazing ability to make my own things, etc. Okay, there’s my confession!

    • Is it just the audience base of simple mom or is it because those who use cloth are much more confident and happy to share their stance while those who use disposables are not so confident?

      I was just saying the same thing to my husband, Jan. Interesting thought. 🙂

  53. We chose to mostly cloth diaper our babies. I wanted them to not have contact with chemicals (dioxin, etc) that go into making paper diapers. I didn’t feel right about throwing away that many things every day. We used cloth pre-folds with wool diaper covers. Some of my baby’s couldn’t have the wool near their skin, though, so we also had cotton diaper covers. Both kinds had velcro on them. We did some pinning as well, with vinyl covers. We were pretty hard core for a long time; I remember traveling with a diaper pail in the back of the van. Over time, for some unexplainable reason, we did use some paper diapers for travel. But after raising 4 kids, we really didn’t throw that many diapers away. And the pre-folds are still holding up as cleaning rags. I passed on all of my diapers and covers to others so, hopefully they’re still being used.

    anja´s last blog post…Valley Transit Preparing to join Google Maps!

  54. We used disposables until our daughter was probably 18 months old and then the garbage got the best of my environmental guilt, so we switched. My husband hates them. Says he can’t handle the poop and if we went longer than 2 days between washes then he’d complain about the ammonia smell. Girlfriend’s got some strong and ample pee. I however love using cloth diapers and was thrilled that our waste went down tremendously. And surprisingly didn’t mind the extra laundry. It was somehow kind of rewarding, or satisfying.
    Now she’s almost potty trained, just a diaper at night, and so we’ve returned to a disposable at night. I feel ok about that – better than justifying a 2 diaper wash load in the washer.

    darah7´s last blog post…snow painting

  55. Like Asha, we use a combo. I have Jabba the Baby in disposables at night and when we’re going to be out for the day running errands. Otherwise, she’s in Fuzzi Bunz with prefolds in the pockets or BG 3.0s. Once a month or so I take them all to the laundromat and do a wash in the commercial machines, but generally I just wash them at home. Once I figured out how much detergent to use (VERY little), I liked CD a lot more than disposables. As for the paper dipes, we get Nature Babycare, which have very little if any gel, unlike 7th Gen which are basically mainstream disposable diapers without bleach.

    I also toss gdiapers into the mix once in a while. Great option if you want cloth but the convenience of disposing of the waste. Bonus: you can compost the wet ones!

    Northwoods Baby´s last blog post…Hatty holidays

  56. We did use cloth for 18 months with my daughter. I loved it. She, however, is what I would call a “super soaker” and we had to switch over to disposable.

    Tsh- I have a cloth diapering article under our Parents section that might be of some help when you do the discussion. It is a basic 101 into the world of cloth diapering. Looking forward to your thoughts AND meeting you in a few days!!

    Amy´s last blog post…An Apron Full of Giveaways 02.03.09

  57. I was open to using cloth, but my husband had to change cloth diapers for all of his younger siblings from age 8 on, so he was NOT open to it. (Poor guy.)

  58. We used disposable with both boys until I quit work when my youngest was not quite 3. Our reasoning was that they had to have sposies at daycare anyway, so we probably weren’t saving much in the long run by just using them in the evenings and at night too. Plus, the thought of washing dirty diapers seemed like more than I could handle.

    Well, about the time I quit work K was showing no signs of potty training and I thought “You know what, I really want to give this a whirl”, a big part of that was hearing other moms say that they seemed to potty train easier when they could feel the wetness of cloth. So I ordered a stash of diapers and was AMAZED at how easy it actually was. Plus I like color and it was fun looking in his drawer and seeing the stacks of colorful diapers. I also liked the fact that I could customize the absorbancy. We got pocket diapers (Happy Heinys, I think…they seemed to fit him best) and at night I would put the regular insert plus a hemp doubler and he did NOT soak through. I wish I had done them with my oldest, because he was a super soaker who always soaked through his disposables.

    If I had to do it again I would definitely use cloth from the very beginning.

    Loretta´s last blog post…Super Bowl Sunday…all talk, no picture

  59. I’m going to sound shallow. My primary reason for using cloth is financial. It’s cheaper. 2nd reason – they’re SO FREAKING CUTE! Seriously. Cloth diapering makes diapering fun. Those are the two main reasons – cheaper AND cuter, all at once.

    After that, well, I know it’s better for him, and that’s a plus. But I don’t think disposables are particularly bad…most kids use them. And, lastly, I like that it’s good for the environment.

    As far as difficulty – to me it’s easy…and I HATE laundry. But the laundry doesn’t take any longer than running to the store b/c I forgot to buy diapers again (I used disposables for the 1st 2 months). And to me the time is worth both the savings and the cuteness.

    Kimberly´s last blog post…Jack 3 month Picture/Daniel’s Birthday suprise

  60. I started using cloth on my oldest, who is now 3, right after she was born. My mom really wanted me to use cloth because that is what she did, but of course that was back in th early 70’s when there weren’t alot of options. She bought me a starter kit and I used the cloth until my dd started to eat solids regularly at around 8 months. Breastfed poo is so much easier to deal with and when her poo changed as her diet changed I just couldn’t deal with it so I switched to disposables. My youngest is 9 1/2 months and she wore her sister’s cloth diapers until she outgrew them. Now she is also in disposables. I am guilt ridden everytime I take a bag of trash to the curb, but this is what I have chosen to do. I try to be more “green” in other areas of our life. Thankfully my oldest is now potty trained as of last week, so that will lighten our load (no pun intended).

    familybalancesheet´s last blog post…What’s for dinner? 2/3 – 2/7 2009

  61. Interesting topic since we JUST made the switch to cloth.

    We did disposables with our now 4 yr old, and our youngest is about 7 months old. Up until a few weeks ago we did good old Costco brand diapers with him. I had considered going the cloth route, but when my mom was in town recently she convinced me to try.

    I love it and think Luke is just so cute in cloth! Obviously there are environmental issues and I do believe it will save us money. However I am def not against disposables per say – we use them at night and when we are out. My husband doesn’t do cloth, so if I am out running errands he will put a disposable on Luke, which is totally okay.

    Great discussion so far!

    Angie @ The Creative Mama´s last blog post…52 weeks: write your own mission statement.

  62. I am the 4th of 7 children. I spent much of my childhood (willingly) helping my mom take care of my younger siblings. She used cloth diapers. I hated them.

    I use disposable diapers and am so grateful for the ease and convenience of them.

    Bethany´s last blog post…Fine (Fee-nay). Or as Baby Girl would say, “Aahhh Dahhhhn”

  63. I used cloth on both my two. The reason for this was mainly environmental, however after reading several reports I am not convinced it is *that* much better – particularly if using non organic cotton. That said, I would still choose cloth. Cost wise it is much cheaper as long as you don’t go for anything too fancy and I just think it must feel so much nicer and as a bonus it also looks cute!

    Nicki´s last blog post…Is that you Cindy Lou?

  64. We’ve used gDiapers on our 7-month-old daughter since she was born. I love them and would highly recommend them to anyone! They are a hybrid between cloth and disposable diapers – the best of both worlds you might say.
    I use them because I don’t like the idea of my daughter’s plastic disposable diapers sitting around in a landfill for the next 500 years. The flushable inserts in gDiapers have no plastic, so even if you throw them away or compost them they will decompose in a few months. Flushing the inserts is easy and not nearly as gross as you might think.
    On top of it, gDiapers look so cute and stylish compared to some icky old disposable diaper!

    I’d be happy to answer questions about gDiapers. e-mail me at campb261@msu.edu.

  65. Our first was in disposables: I didn’t know much about cloth, and was overwhelmed enough by having a baby with no family support around that cloth seemed like a hassle. He potty-trained at 4.5.

    Baby 2 switched to cloth about 8 weeks in (too much work with a newborn!). We used a diaper service, but for $$ reasons we began washing our own. We use disposables at night and on trips. Baby 2 just turned 2 and is asking to use the toilet sometimes, but still a ways from trained, I think. We switched because I felt guilty about all the disposables we were using, the cost once we had two in diapers, and potty training — kids I knew in cloth trained way earlier.

    We got ALL of our covers for free via our local freecycle group and borrowing from a friend. If you have any parenting, swap, freecycle, etc. groups in your area, try posting for freebies. Our cloth diapers are a mix of new, freebies from friends, and ones we made out of old T-shirts for cheap fun. Freecyclers also offered free diapers.

    It isn’t that hard. The only annoyance is when we go on a trip and need to find the smaller-waisted pants that will stay up around the disposable…

  66. I had always planned to use cloth diapers for my children, but when I had twins in my first pregnancy, that idea quickly went out the window. It’s not that it CAN’T be done, but I had ZERO help with my babies. I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t keep up with the diapers and felt that I had to decide between the on-demand breastfeeding I was doing or the cloth diapers. In the end, I chose to kept breastfeeding every hour and switched to disposables instead. If either of the twins had diaper rash, I would bathe them, let ’em air dry, and then use cloth diapers on that baby until the diaper rash was gone. It seemed to heal much faster this way than if I kept them in disposables.

    We’re now expecting our 4th child at the end of March, and we’ll be going the cloth route with this baby. Our decision is mainly for environmental reasons, but I also feel strongly that this is what is best for my baby and my family’s finances.

    Mist´s last blog post…Into February

  67. we use cloth prefolds and thirsties covers for our baby. other than a few extra loads of laundry each week they aren’t any trouble at all. we also use washable wipes so our system consists of a container for the dirty diapers (in a washable, breathable sack) and a smaller container for the covers, wipes and diaper liners. when our son’s diet consists of more solid foods we’ll use flushable, biodegradable liners – eliminates the problem another commenter made about poop sticking to the cloth.

    when we traveled over the holidays we used cloth because we had access to a washer and dryer but will likely use disposables for an upcoming trip to the west coast. honestly though, if the airlines didn’t have so many restrictions on baggage and weight allowances i would travel with cloth!

  68. I use cloth because they are cheeeeeap! I’m cheap and I hate to spend 40 dollars a month on diapers. The cloth diapers I have are CUTE! And they are comfortable and fluffy!! And I don’t trust the chemicals that are in disposables. They are EASY to use. They are convenient! I only feel this way after finding Fuzzi Bunz. I found them with the third child and I wish I could have used them for all of my kids because:: some cloth diapers leak! some cloth diapers SAG and I hate that!! and some cloth diapers don’t fit really good.

    I am so happy that I could cloth diaper for my kids and I would do it all over again. ~kyndale

  69. I use cloth diapers on my youngest. We love our bum genius’ best. But when he was tiny and going through lots of diapers I used G diapers because it seemed like less washing.

    However, I raised my first three kiddos through their babyhood in disposables. I just couldn’t imagine coping with cloth, but now I’m sad about all that waste and think it’s just a matter of getting used to using them. Everything is easier once it becomes a habit.

    Still, I know how exhausted and strung out I was when I had three under five, so I’m a big fan of no judging on the diaper front. I wish I would I have tried cloth then, but I’m not sure I could have kept up with all the washing.

    Now my big kids are 12, 10 and 8, so it seems less difficult to just have one little guy’s diapers to keep clean.

    alison chino´s last blog post…mushroom and wild rice soup

  70. We use cloth when our kids are newborns and we’re home. Cloth, for us, has eliminated diaper blowouts that newborns are so famous for and reduced diaper rash. Also it’s a cinch to clean newborn diapers full of poop – toss in the wash poop and all, two short cycles and a rinse and dry. If they are particularly stained, I line dry them in the sun when the summer season is available. There are hundreds of ways to clean cloth diapers so I’m not going into that. The fact is: each family does what works best for them, because each family has different needs than the one before. We’re not cookie–cutter people so there is no cookie-cutter answer. As my mother is famous for quoting her grandmother, “‘To each his own’, said the old lady as she kissed the cow.”

  71. I used cloth for all four about 95% of the time.

    It is a tad more work, but I did it for comfort for my kids. I don’t wear paper underwear and I don’t want them to either.

    The chemicals in the paper diapers are also a concern for me.

    I think cloth is a greener choice.

    World Health Organisation laws regulate that human feces in forbidden in landfills. There for you really should be putting the poop from disposables down the toilet and rinsing before putting in the garbage. REALLY! Many brands have this on the disposable diaper packaging.

    I took a photo for one of my cloth diapering sites: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mommyknows/539121601/

    I’ve also noticed that because people feel disposable diapers keep their babies feeling dry, they change on a schedule rather than when needed. Example: every three hours, but not when the baby wets. I just don’t think it’s healthy for a babies skin to have urine next to it, whether it feels dry or not. With cloth you change when the diaper is wet, you end up changing more and I think in the end the baby has cleaner, drier skin more often.

    I have a cloth diaper information site: http://thediaperhyena.com if anyone is interested in more information. There is an expert panel if you have a particular question.

    mommyknows´s last blog post…A Month of Hope

  72. I have four children, and with all of them have used a combination of the two. My youngest is 7 months old, and he’s in cloth all day, with disposable at night, or when we’re going out of the house for a longish chunk of time.

    We use the AIO style of cloth diaper, as my hubby couldn’t handle this idea of the “fuss” of the older style of cloth. Really, I see no difference in changing an AIO diaper, or a disposable diaper, it’s the exact same process, except the cloth hits the pail instead of the garbage. I wash and hang a load of diapers about every other day, and when I’m using cloth diapers, tend to use (specially designated) wet washcloths as wipes, so there’s an additional garbage/financial savings there.

    I do sometimes feel some guilt over the amount of garbage disposable diapers generate, and have looked into G Diapers. I could’nt justify the additional cost, when we’re already all set up with a combo of Bum Genius and Kooshies cloth diapers, but for someone starting out, this would be an excellent option.

    Charity´s last blog post…Again With The Tuesday

  73. i started out using a cloth diaper service – it was the best option because we had a tiny washer/dryer, and it was less expensive than disposables, and got cheaper as you used fewer diapers.

    unfortunately for me, when my son was 3 months old, we moved to the U.S. and there is no cloth diaper service in our town. we were living in an apartment and there is no way i could have done cloth diapering on my own, so we went to disposables. if we have another child, i will probably do cloth diapering since we now have an awesome washer/dryer and i am a sahm (in my previous career i can’t even imagine having the time to deal with the extra laundry).

  74. When my first was born 3 years ago, I was pretty overwhelmed. Even at the seemingly normal age of 25 to be bearing children, I was the absolute first of any of my friends or near family to have a baby. Looking back, in addition to the lack of support I really felt like I needed, I think I was also suffering from post partum depression.
    To put it mildly, I was extremely overwhelmed by new motherhood. A family friend had given us 3 months of a cloth diaper service as a gift, and I never used the diapers. I don’t think once.
    I’m a very environmentally sound person. I recycle, I compost, I buy organic and shop locally. Heck, I’m even the chair of the Green Team at my workplace.
    But I could not get myself to use cloth diapers. I could not handle the prospect of one more new thing in my life. So we used disposables exclusively until my son wa spotty trained at 2 1/2.
    Now, I’m pregnant again, a bunch of my friends have babies, and many of them use cloth. I am going to give cloth a real go this second time around, and I feel more prepared to take that on.
    Sometimes, one’s personal philosophy just has to take a backseat when you can’t even cope with the small stuff. Its like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs…. I’m living proof!

    Briana´s last blog post…two of his favorites

  75. I don’t think cloth diapers would go over well at our daycare. When you are a working mom and need to put your child in daycare, there is NO WAY that cloth diapers are an option. Honestly though, I probably would still use disposables if I was at home all day with the kids.

  76. It has been many years since anyone here was in diapers:) I wanted to use cloth with my first (now 18), but had little luck finding anything that would work and resorted to disposables (hating it all the way). With my second child (now 11), I had the internet to do research and find many options. He was in cloth from the beginning until he potty-trained at 3. There were many reasons why I wanted to use cloth…many of them mentioned by other posters already. In the end (no pun intended!), it was because cloth is just more comfortable. I preferred it for myself (cloth pads, but hey, that is another story!), so I felt my child deserved that same care. I admit that it took more time and effort, but I actually loved pulling those soft diapers from the dryer and folding them in preparation for their use.

    Lisha´s last blog post…menu planning monday 02.02.09

  77. We use cloth because I’m cheap 🙂 We don’t even use the “cool” cloth diapers (ie, Bum Genius, Happy Heinies, etc…). We do it the old-fashioned way, with flats, prefolds, pins, and rubber covers. Even my husband, who is loathe to do anything “icky”, doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal.

    Amanda´s last blog post…Bigger than I realized.

  78. We used cloth for all the usual reasons: better for child, better for environment, much cheaper in the long run. I doubt the reasons are in question, it’s the reality. Here’s what using cloth diapers looked like on a day to day basis for me: all soiled diapers and wraps went into a diaper pail with a foot-operated lid. I sprayed really soiled diapers with Bac-out (no soaking). Later, as the kids got older I would flush the poop. I washed diapers every other day in the beginning, by the time the kids were a year old, I was washing diapers once or twice a week. Washing included a pre-rinse cycle with Bac-out then a long, hot wash cycle in BioKleen with a vinegar rinse at the end. I have a front loading machine. All wraps would be hung up to dry (they were ready the next day) and all diapers/washcloths (no disposable wipes) went into the dryer on high heat. My washer never got moldy or disgusting, I never had trouble with smells in my house. There is a learning curve, but once you get your system going, it’s really, really easy. And did I mention I used the same diaper/wraps/washcloths for both kids? And they resold for at least half what I paid. Not a bad return on my money 🙂

    CarrieK´s last blog post…Demarle

  79. I really wasn’t aware of cloth diapers until recently. I always had a bad impression of them because my mom used them with all of her kids (old, prefold kind) and hated them. So, I didn’t really consider it, not knowing there were new, better options out there.

    Now that I DO know, I wish I had used cloth instead of disposable. I know it may have been more work, but with three kids still under age three, it would have been nice to save money, because we totally would have! We have always spent hundreds of dollars per month on disposables, so in the long run, we’d have saved a TON, I am sure. Plus, I already to a ridiculous amount of laundry, so I doubt I’d have noticed a little more. 🙂

    If we have any more kids, which we may down the road, I plan on trying out cloth!

    Kelli´s last blog post…Cold Remedies

  80. I have 4 kids (triplets and a singleton). I used disopables. I have so much laundry I can’t imagine adding diapers to my never ending piles. I get good deals using sales and coupons. Potty training (2 down, 2 to go) is bad enough when they have accidents — I can’t imagine doing it with cloth diapers every single day.

    Mindy´s last blog post…A Lost Weekend

  81. Cloth! The chemicals in the disposibles really irritate my kids’ skin. Yes, we have pretty sensitive skin, but if they do that to my kids, they can’t be good for other kids either. Maybe the other kids don’t have a rash, but are there other effects that we can’t see taking place?

    I just got my third child out of diapers, but at the end, we weren’t doing cloth any more and were using pull-ups (a cross country move and a lot of chaos led to that decision). Her skin had toughened up a lot since her newborn days, so we weren’t getting the instant rash, but if she wet the pullup during the night, she got a really scary rash and now has some scars that I hope will fade soon.

    Definitely cloth for us!

    Samantha´s last blog post…Sanctuary

  82. I have a 18 month old and another one on the way. We switched from disposable to cloth when my daughter was about a year old for cost and environmental reasons. I really like the money we save in the long run (there is a rather large upfront cost) and how easy the cloth diapers are to use. Like anything, if you set your mind to it and give it a chance I think you’ll find that it’s really not that much more work. I usually only have to wash the diapers once a week and one of the biggest benefits I’m seeing is that my daughter is already wanting to potty train. Plus the diapers minus the absorbent insert work great as training pants, another saved expense!
    I know this is a difficult discussion and people easily feel judged one way or another. Basically if you switch to cloth it has to be a personal decision and something you’re really willing to give a good go at.

    Nikki´s last blog post…Dinner Menu 2/1-2/7

  83. A couple more notes about gDiapers:

    I have not had any problem getting anyone else to use gDiapers on my daughter. Husband, grandparents, babysitters and, yes, our daycare (I’m not a SAHM, I work full-time) have no problem using the gDiapers because they have the option of throwing the insert away if they don’t want to flush it like I do. Plus, everyone thinks they are so neat and cute!

    Also, I haven’t found that the gDiapers create any “extra” laundry. Most of the gross stuff gets flushed down the toilet with the insert and anything that has strayed onto the liner or cloth is rinsed really well before going into the laundry. I just throw the cloth parts and liners in with our towels (because they all touch someone’s butt anyway) and wash it all in hot water.

  84. For me, it was an ease of use thing. Perhaps I was uneducated about the cloth diaper topic, but it just seemed like an exorbitant amount of work (not to mention yucky…I was NOT going to wash out poopy diapers in my toilet like the stories my mother always told). I am sure, with most things, that cloth diapers have probably come a long way since I was a baby in the early 70s, but my decision was purely based on convenience.

  85. I use cloth with my youngest son. Didn’t do it with #1. In fact I was disgusted by the idea… didn’t even consider it! But when I was thick in the middle of potty training #1 and washing underwear allllll day long, I thought, I could do this cloth diaper thing. So, when my youngest was 3 months, I switched and haven’t looked back since. I’m a WAHM and the extra laundry really is not a big deal.

    Cara´s last blog post…Look at me!

  86. We use disposables and I’m not going to cloth any time soon! I love the convenience and honestly, once I did some bargain shopping, it wasn’t that expensive. My son has enough things going on in his life (surgeries, hospitals stays, etc), and I don’t need something else, sorry!

  87. I used disposable with my first baby. At the time I associated cloth diapers with smelly diaper pails and brittle plastic pants, which I remembered from the days when my siblings were babies and my mom used cloth. Also, as a new mom, there were too many unknowns, too much of a learning curve, and using disposable was one way to make it a little easier for me. I don’t regret that decision at all.

    Now with my second baby, we use a mix. We use cloth diapers at home and disposable diapers when we’re out or when someone else is caring for baby. We made this decision based largely on a growing desire to simplify, which for us means that the economic, environmental, and health benefits of cloth diapering outweighed the convenience…this time around, when we were more comfortable in caring for a newborn. I was also coached by a friend who owns a natural parenting store, and she walked me through the myriad options that are available in cloth diapering today. It’s so much better than it was thirty years ago! Now, four months into it, my husband and I are both very comfortable with it, and so far our baby has not had a single diaper rash. That is huge…our firstborn had them all the time.

    The mix has worked really well for our family.

    Holly´s last blog post…Let Kids Be Kids

  88. I also use both. We use cloth diapers at home and disposable, Seventh Generation diapers at daycare – or if my daughter has a really bad diaper rash (so we can apply waxy creams without ruining the cloth surface). As with most parenting decisions, I hate when people look at diapering as an “either/or” decision. Try moderation with everything. It’s the key to a happy life. 🙂

  89. We have 2 kiddos – 2.5 years and 10 months, and we use cloth. I LOVE IT!!! We use prefolds and covers at first, then we have medium Fuzzi Bunz (pockets). My oldest is day trained and uses cloth trainers at night. We have used sposies on occasion – for vacations, when I was pregnant with #2 and very sick (just for a few months to get through the worst morning sickness), sometimes at night and we’ve used them when we can’t get a rash to go away. But cloth is my favorite because it’s WAY cheaper, more natural, softer, cuter, and I think wet disposables stink worse than cloth.

    Amanda Bytheway´s last blog post…Digital Filing Cabinet!

  90. We use cloth diapers on our 20-month old girl for various reasons. First and foremost is for the environment, followed closely by cost savings and then the chemicals in disposables just put me over the edge. We’ve been doing it since she was about 8 weeks old, and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it was going to be.

    We occasionally use disposables, but she is in cloth the majority of the time both in and out of the house.

    Keli´s last blog post…internet friends

  91. I’m always amazed at these discussions. Cloth or not – it is a personal choice each person has to “live with” and not condem others. Do people in nursing homes get chastized for “adult diapers” and the bed “catchers” they use? There is enough pressure on parents in raising children – so use what WORKS FOR YOU! I use Huggies and Huggies only! Works for me and works for her – no diaper rashes and they can put cloth on me in the nursing home to make up for the land fill mess I’m making. I DON’T use paper plates in my home – we WASH dishes…..so many families eat on paper plates and use microwaver meals….we all have our vices!

    Val´s last blog post…Super Bowl Sackout

  92. We use cloth diapers. I went with the more expensive one-size pocket diapers from Happy Heiny’s, about a $400 investment for 18 diapers. I wanted to make the cloth diapering experience as easy as possible. The pocket diapers work just like disposables in terms of putting them on (as long as you pre-stuff them when you take them out of the wash).

    A diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet has been invaluable, and makes the icky factor of cloth diapers waaaay less. I have a 13-month old who still doesn’t have solid poops, so this is very useful.

    We plan on re-using the cloth diapers for subsequent children which is good for the environment and pocket book.

  93. I work full time, so the time for the extra laundry and the logistics of my kid being cared for by someone else during the day deterred me from using cloth. If any of my friends or family used cloth, that might have influenced me, but none did.

    I bargain shop at CVS and Walgreens, so I pay very little for disposables, so cost was not a factor in my choice.

    I do agree that fewer chemicals and less land-fill waste would be better, however I just could not make that jump. I reduce, reuse and recycle what I can and let it go at that.

  94. I used sposies with my first son and cloth now with my second. I prefer cloth. It’s cheaper, better for the environment and for my baby’s skin. And I don’t notice a difference. Changing a diaper is changing a diaper. I haven’t noticed a difference in my light or water bills. And as for the poop issue, if you are exclusively breastfeeding then theres nothing to do but throw the dirty diaper in with the laundry. Once your baby starts solids you just dump what will come off into the toilet and wash (which is technically what you are supposed to do with sposies anyway because it’s illegal to put human waste in the garbage).

    I don’t know if I buy the potty training faster argument. I think that has more to do with parents making the effort than with what your children where on their bottoms. My first son was potty trained at 15 months and he was in sposies as were most of the children in my family.

    LaToya @ Christian Momma´s last blog post…Post Baby Body Blues

  95. We use cloth (prefolds) during the day, and disposable at night with my 18 m/o DD. We mostly decided to use cloth about 6 months ago because of my daughter’s reaction to the chemicals in the disposable diapers that were making her have chronic diaper rash. Now, we use them because it’s cheaper, fun, and enviromentally friendly. We use a disposable at night because she pees a LOT!

  96. How about an alternative (or 2, actually) to the cloth v. disposable debate?
    1. Infant pottying – we’ve been putting my son on a little potty since he was 1 month old. We’ve never been religious about it, so he’s not exactly potty-trained yet, at 2-1/2. BUT, we probably use only 1/3 – 1/2 the number of diapers of most people, and he is happy to both poop and pee in his little potty. So far, we’ve had none of the weird poop/potty issues that other boys his age tend to have.
    2. Compostable diapers. There’s a small company in our area (Silicon Valley, CA) called Earth Baby (www.earth-baby.com) that will drop off special disposable diapers. They pick them up weekly and take them to a composting facility. So the whole thing gets recycled. It still takes resources to make the diapers up front, but massively reduces the downstream waste.

  97. We’ve been using cloth since Lola was 2 months old and I LOVE it! We don’t have to buy diapers, her bum is healthier, we don’t throw out all that trash, we have less clothing changes because the diapers keep things in so much better.

    I started with disposables because I thought cloth would be too much work for a working mom. When I decided to stay home, I switched to cloth. Knowing what I do now, I would never use disposables again – working or not. All of our family & friends remark at how easy and cute it is.

    tara g´s last blog post…Groundhog Day

  98. Cloth diapering. I did it. It was not by choice. After dealing with 6 months of constant diaper rash (and we are talking open sore diaper rashes), we consultated a peds dermatologist and the first thing out of his mouth was “diaper allergy”. We went to cloth and in TWO days time, her bottom was completely clear. I will admit…it in the beginning, I was not happy about the cloth, but after about 3 weeks, I was loving it and had wished I had started her out in cloth. I was actually sad when she potty trained herself and I had to put my Fuzzi Bunz away. I still have them in a tote…I need to just get over it and get rid of them. And for anyone who says it’s too much added laundry…bull! It really only added 2 loads of laundry a week. I usually washed every other day, but I didn’t have to. And I had two different systems of diapers….pocket diapers for the day time and then I used the flats with inserts for the night time. We had ocassional leaking, but you have that disposables as well!

    Hollye´s last blog post…Menu Planning Monday – Jan 19th

  99. My little guy is 2 months old and we use cloth diapers most of the time. If we are on an outing, we use disposables. We chose to use cloth diapers for the following reasons (in order of importance):
    1. they are cheaper
    2. they are easier on the environment
    3. they are better for baby

    *Cammy*´s last blog post…a little late

  100. I only have one child, he’s still in diapers….we’ve only used DISPOSABLE.
    I’m seriously considering CLOTH for any subsequent children. I’m very interested in decreasing the landfill usage my family has, we have a lot of garbage. But, I also know that (pardon the mommy expression), poop can make you VERY sick if it is not disposed of carefully. So, I don’t want to start using cloth until I’m certain I’m completely commited to making my home very sanitary with the new practice. It takes more work to be so sanitary with cloth, than with disposable. I really believe if a parent isn’t ready for the level of commitment to cleanliness required by CLOTH than they should continue to use DISPOSABLE. That’s honestly why I’m still using DISPOSABLE now. But for the next, I’ll think I’ll start out with a diaper service. Ease me into it. 🙂 Baby Steps!
    Thanks to the woman who commented above from India. Cloth at home, disposable outside the home. Not a bad idea.

    Sara´s last blog post…Hopeful

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