It seems like only yesterday I viewed cloth diapering as crazy, elitist, and way too damn confusing. Now look at me! – rocking the wash cycle, expertly folding prefolds and covers, and saving money like nobody’s business. And I’m not even a particularly intelligent person!
It truly is a hobby and it boasts a learning curve for sure. But I love cloth diapering anyway – and here is why!
Let’s start off with the obvious: I have bought maybe three packs of disposable diapers for my daughter in the last six months. I do not feel guilty about using one in a pinch, but that is a ridiculous amount of savings. Even more so because I had 95% of our supplies bought for us through our baby registry.
Secondly, the diapers that my daughter has used are at home with us, being used again; they are not sitting in a landfill somewhere. Honestly, this was an important reason for me to try cloth, but not the most important. Truly it was about the money, but it is comforting to know that I am taking care of a world which will be hers after I am gone.
Whether or not you identify as a “crunchy” parent, you have to admit that it’s nice to limit the amount of chemicals our kids are exposed to. Everything from scents, to color-changing indicators, to absorbent gel… That stuff is sitting on your baby’s sensitive skin all day. Cloth eliminates all of those extra materials and is instead made from materials like microfiber, organic cotton or bamboo. You should particularly look into cloth if either of Baby’s parents are prone to allergies or excema. (I read last week on a forum of a mom whose baby kept getting a chemical burn on their bum, complete with oozing sores and blood, but since switching to cloth diapers the burn has healed and disappeared!).
Cloth is so much fun! A lot of us fluff moms get more excited about new diapers than we do about any other baby gear. It can get a little bit crazy… Diapers for holidays, fandoms, and every other excuse you can think of. And hey, if your significant other yells at you for spending too much money on diapers… Remind them how much you’re saving on not buying disposables. You can also always look to eBay, craigslist, or your local cloth diaper store to pick up some used ones! (And don’t worry, there’s a way to deep clean them – called stripping the diapers – which makes it safe and totally not weird to get used ones).
There is really a camaraderie between parents who cloth diaper. Many websites, Facebook communities, and local groups meet on a regular basis and help each other. YouTube is quite helpful, too. Cloth diaper shops are also eager to help answer questions – mine even has a free class!
Truly, cloth is not really that much more work than disposables. I guess it turns into more effort in different areas, and less effort in others. Sure, you need to wash these; but you are not spending money and energy buying diapers and wipes from the store, carrying them in the house and then back out again in the trash.
Cloth diapers do not really take more time to put on my baby, either. I use the most labor-intensive style, which is the combination of prefolds and covers. They just take an extra step when I am putting one on my daughter, but it literally just takes a few seconds once you get the hang of it. I can deal with that.
People worry about cleaning poop once Baby starts solids. (Breastmilk poop can just go straight into the washer, but solid poop has to be rinsed or plopped into a toilet). Tools like diaper sprayers and shields make it quick and easy. Check out my video at the end of the post to see how easy it is!
I love the sound that cloth makes on my daughter’s butt… Or rather, the sound it doesn’t make. I have always hated the papery swishing sound of a baby moving while wearing a disposable. I guess to me it is just painfully obvious that they are wearing something wasteful (and potentially uncomfortable). Fluff butt is adorable and quiet.
Not only are you saving money by not buying disposables all the freaking time, but cloth diapers retain some of their value! Yes, that means that when your diapering days are over, you can clean them up and sell them.
If you really want to be green and save money, you should use cloth wipes too. It’s honestly not as daunting as you may think! I even did a whole article just on wipes. It took me a while to be fully converted, but the money I’m saving is undeniable. And I’m quite happy with the change.
Matching diapers to your baby’s outfit is super cute. No need to use those stupid cheap diaper covers which come with some of Baby’s clothes. The diaper is adorable all by itself! I love putting my daughter in just a shirt or a dress with her diaper.
If you are crafty, there are also tons of patterns online for you to learn to make your own diapers. Plenty of people also sell them on sites like Etsy. I would totally do this if I had any skill at sewing.
Speaking of skill, I feel a sense of pride now that I’m comfortable with cloth. (Does that sound silly?) I think there needs to be a karate-style hierarchy of belts you can earn from “leveling up” as a fluff parent. (But instead of belts… You guessed it. Diapers). I love watching YouTube videos which teach me little hacks and tricks about new folds to do, or other tips to extend the life of our cloth!
Cloth is really so versatile, too. All of them are widely adjustable so you can get long-term use out of them. I also use an extra insert laid into my baby’s prefold + cover, and instantly have an overnight diaper. That setup keeps her from leaking overnight (usually 10-12 hours). I tried it out when Tiny was two months old, and haven’t looked back. Nor have I gotten out of bed for a midnight diaper change, yay!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you think that cloth might be right for you, don’t let intimidation keep you from trying! There’s a learning curve for sure, but there are also a ton of resources out there to help you for free. You can always contact me and I’ll help you too!
As a mom who’s done disposables and cloth, I can safely say I’ll never go back to the disposable way of diapering. I’m cloth for life!… Or until I can get my littles to sit on the potty, anyway.
Do you cloth diaper? Why or why not?