Anyone Used a Diaper Service or Make Their Own Diapers?

Updated on August 29, 2008
S.M. asks from Gresham, OR
4 answers

We are in the process of baby #3.. and I was thinking about the cloth diapers. I was wondering if anyone has any positive or negative experience with them, do you make them or have them delivered? what do you advise?

I was wondering if the chemicals they use to wash the diapers through the service is good or bad..

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answers from Portland on

Hi S.! I have a lot of experience with cloth diapering -- I used cloth to great success with my son for 18 months, and now I work at a store where I help folks choose which cloth diapers work best for them on a daily basis.

Which diapers to choose for your family really depends on what you are wanting to get out of the experience. You have to ask yourself, are you going to do it to save money? To save the planet? To reduce rashes and chemical exposure? Also, keep in mind that kids diapered with cotton diapers potty train (on average) a year sooner. My 29 month old has been potty trained since around his second birthday.

We initially chose cloth so we could save money, and so a diaper service wasn't for us. I priced it out and the cost was comparable to buying disposables. Tidee Didee which services the Portland area isn't all that forthcoming (at least on their website) about what cleansers they use, either.

All reusable diapers are going to save resources (except for possibly water used for washing, but we aren't exactly having a water shortage here in the Pacific Northwest, are we?). And with cloth you definitely are going to be exposing your child to fewer chemicals, reducing rashes. And any rashes that do occur are usually easily remedied by switching to a cleaner rinsing detergent and/or by simply changing baby more often.

With cloth diapers, you have an amazing array of choices. The most economical way to go would be to choose prefolds, which are the same style of diaper the diaper service would send to you, and add a waterproof cover. Make sure to choose a quality diaper, though. The low absorbency ones off the shelf at target or babies r us have turned many folks off to cloth diapering all-together.

There are also "pocket" style diapers, which can be stuffed with your choice of absorbency. They also come lined with fleece which adds a stay dry effect to the diaper. Some of them come in a "one-size" verson that can save you money in the long run, because they unsnap to get bigger as baby grows, so you don't have to invest in sizes small through large.

You could also, for simplicity's sake, choose what is called an "all-in-one" which is a diaper that is nearly identical to a disposable diaper in that it is absorbent on the inside and waterproof on the outside, except you will wash it instead of throwing it away. Convenience does cost more, though. The more "put together" the diaper is, the more it will cost (with all-in-ones at the top of the price spectrum, and prefolds with covers at the lower end).

We used prefolds purchased at a local diaper shop with the Bummis brand of covers. I liked Bummis (the "super whisper wraps") because they were darn near indestructible and could be washed with the diapers on hot. I did have a few all-in-ones for convenience on afternoons when my son would go to his grandma's house. Washing was easy. Every third day I did a cold pre-wash in my washing machine with a little bit of a pretreater (we used BacOut by Biokleen) followed by a hot heavy duty wash cycle with an additive free detergent and a thorough drying in the dryer.

My best advice would be to get out and do a little shopping so you can touch and feel the diaper ahead of time. Lots of folks will choose to use a diaper service for the first 6 or 12 weeks to get a feel for things before buying their own diapers. Also, don't buy 18 of anything right away (unless they are prefolds, because those can be used for burp cloths and cleaning, too). Buy a two or three of everything in the beginning, so you can get a feel for what works for you and your family. Then when you are ready for your next size, you will know what you love.

Best wishes!



answers from Portland on

We are going to start trying for baby #2 and I'm considering cloth because I see the benefit for the first few months. I've heard and seen that there are great cloth diapers out there with velcro....cute colors..etc....and while baby isn't on solids yet...I think I could handle cloth diapers and the washing this time around.

I've also considered making my own...but really need to go to a store and check some out first...see what kind I am going to like. There are some great stores in Portland for Cloth diapers (not sure where you are at) I would be happy to send you some links if you email me at [email protected] (no spaces)

I've heard that the cloth diapers from a service are great because they are washed for you....(though I don't know what they wash in) but I have heard that the problem is that the drivers don't really have a strict policy on they may smoke in their van...deliver your diapers and they reek of cigarette smoke. This is just something I've HEARD...and don't know if it's true or not.

Hope that helps a little!

I would also look in to G-diapers...I hear they have like flushable inserts or something.....but they seem spendy when I see them at Freddy's .

J. Van Riper
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Portland CityMommy
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answers from Portland on

I used cloth with both of mine from the beginning and loved it. I did use diaper service (Tidee Didee in SE Portland) for about the first 9 months. At that age I had my girls trained to poop in the potty so I just bought diapers to wash myself(from same place). They have a website with proces and delivery areas. It is super easy and convenient. You leave used diapers in a bag on your doorstep once a week and they exchange for fresh ones. Never had any issues with chemicals and both potty-trained by 21 months. I even used cloth when we went out of town without a problem. I highly recommend it.



answers from Portland on

I am the mom to a 24, 20 and 16 year old. From day one I used cloth diapers. My own as well as diaper service. If your budget allows, diaper service is the way to go. The process they used never caused rash or irritation of any kind on my kids. They are convienient and the smell never drifted through the house and hardly noticable in the baby room either. The use of disposable diapers has a place for sure when you go away for the weekend, out camping, etc. but it is so much better for the environment to use cloth. And more comfortable for the baby as well.

D. M

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