Cloth Diaper Advice - Chicago,IL

Updated on February 10, 2012
E.H. asks from Chicago, IL
14 answers

I want to start using cloth diapers. There are so many options. I need some recommendations/feedback. I'm just afraid to make an investment in a set of diapers that won't work for me/my son. My son is 20 months but developmentally is at around 9 months--he just started army crawling. I figure he'll be in diapers longer than my first, thus I thought we'd make the cchange.

Thanks for all your feedback!!!!

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So What Happened?

Thanks again for all your help! I just placed an order with Cute Caboose for a trial pack. We'll see how this goes... Thanks!!!

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answers from Chicago on

Awesome idea, I just decided to do cloth with my 2nd baby coming in a couple weeks. Trial packs are a great idea. Also one place that I've used to do most of my research is Super useful information on definitions, cleaning, tips & tricks etc, and link to Kelly's Closet, a great place to buy diapers online.
They have a facebook page as well (diapershops) that is a super helpful community. You can ask all kinds of questions and the moderators never make you feel silly. The other moms give great answers too. I will say that I've learned that the diapers fit all babies differently and what works for one may not work for another. But on the facebook page you can ask questions like "I have a 20 month old, with a big belly and chunky thighs who just started crawling, what diapers fit that best?" and a bunch of people will answer you. Or in my case, for my first child I needed diapers that would best fit a skinny mini. Then I just ordered one in each they recommended to "see for myself" before I committed. Good luck!!

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answers from Rockford on

I see you have your "So What Happened" up, but I just want to say that I LOVE cloth diapers! I used Thirsty diaper shells/covers and Indian Cotton cloth diapers that I got as seconds on . Because really, they are something for my son to poop on, I really don't care if the seems are a little crooked. ha! ha!
I hope you like it! I know we do!



answers from Chicago on

There are a TON of options out there. Luckily, you can try and narrow it down pretty easily...

You don't mention how old your son is but if you already know his body shape, it helps make things a little bit easier. There are lots of "cloth diaper" boards that will say X brand is a great fit for my kid b/c it fits their smalller waist and chunky legs vs Y brand for my long, thin kid.

For a newborn, I would say you'd want to start with prefolds (with a snappi and cover) until he gets a bit older. A lot of the other kinds of diapers just don't fit a small baby all that well. During that time, you can sign up for a diaper trial package (there are several out there...I think one I looked at was from Jillian's Drawers) where they send you a bunch of different kinds to try out (brand new diapers) and you keep the ones you want and send back the rest for a credit.



answers from Portland on

That depends on your budget. If you can spend as much as you want, then try getting one of each of several kinds in infant size and try them. He'll outgrow them all soon anyway, and in a week or two, you will know which brand you like best.

Personally, I used prefolds (with microfiber washcloths added as he got older for extra absorbency) with Thirsties covers (I liked the leg gussets, since my kids both had rather skinny legs, compared to many babies). These covers come in different sizes, but you can use medium pretty early on, and unless your son grows huge before potty training, you can probably get away with using them through most of the diapering time. I used Snappis (available only on, unfortunately) to hold the prefolds on once the kids got active.

I have a friend who swears by Bum Genius, I believe it is. They are a one-size-fits-all, one-in-all diaper with a removable liner (which means you can add extra padding if needed). She was able to get almost all of hers as baby shower gifts. The diapers fold down and snap for smaller babies, and grow as the baby grows. They fit her three-year-old, too (who wasn't terribly huge, but not exactly skinny either). I would probably have liked them if I could have afforded them.

If your son is older and the idea of trying several different brands of infant diapers isn't an option, you could always look for used diapers online, like on Craigslist. I bought several of my covers on craigslist and had no regrets. Those Thirsties covers are designed to last. You could always try one or two used brands that way, and then you would know if you liked them or not without investing a lot in them. And of course, if you like them, then you know what to get more of--new or used.


answers from Chicago on

My friend works at a cloth diaper store in Naperville called Comfy Bummy and she is a cloth diapering expert (has CD'd all 3 of her kids.) I recommend checking out one of the CD stores. I know that there are also a few in Chicago, as well as one in Orland Park called Cutie Poops and Bottoms.

What I did when I was looking to start using them was order a trial variety pack from a website called Cute Caboose. After I found ones that worked well for us, I bought the rest of mine from Cuties Poops & Bottoms. We ended up with FuzziBunz and some Thirsties with a few diaper covers that I use with them, or with just simple pre-folds. I am SOOO glad that I tried them out with Cute Caboose first, as the ones that I THOUGHT I was going to like the most were actually not my favorite after I tried them.


answers from Tampa on

cheap and functional - has inserts you place into a pocket in the diaper to absorb waste - is the which boils down to about $5-6 a diaper!! These aren't the convertible/sports car version of diapers, more like the economy car - but they work and come in many cute patterns and solids.

I also have and like Charlie Banana (AIO) and my friend who's a cloth diaper fanatic only buys AI2s because she hates pocket stuffing the inserts.

You can also get fitteds, which absorb the waste but not keep the outside dry - you'd need covers for them and covers can be used of prefolds too.

Until you try out a good amount... do NOT invest in more than 3 for any particular brand. Until you know what you and baby like - just get a few of each brand that strikes your fancy.



answers from Philadelphia on

I used mostly prefolds and thirsties covers and some bumgenius one size diapers at night, for outtings and daycare. Prefolds and covers at the most cost effective and I liked them best, but they aren't always the most convenient and my MIL never got the hang of putting them on. You don't say how old your son is. For newborns, you have to use a snappi because their poop is so runny, but once they are eating solids you can just fold the diaper in thirds, lay it in the cover and you're done. If you just want to try out a few different kinds I would check on craigslist or diaper swappers to find some used ones. I didn't do that, but luckily what I had picked out I liked and worked for us, so it worked out. I went to a cloth diaper store and looked at the options and registered for what I wanted before my son was born and then got almost everything as shower gifts. If you are anti-used I would go to a store and look at the options before ordering/buying stuff. Here is at least a partial list of stores that sell cloth diapers There are tons of options and it can be overwhelming, but I have never regretted my decision to cloth diaper, so stick with it!



answers from Chicago on

that is very noble of you...diapers are diapers, unless you know of something soft and comfy and then I will wear them as I enter old people stage. (That's the one past the crawling). I personally tried the cloth diapers with my first son and even for a brief time had a diaper service as a gift to us. After that, youser, youser, no fun and spent have my time rinsing, and cleaning and trying to make those babies soft (and that's the diapers). Not sure what you are doing now, but I have no recommendations, just awe, I didn't know they even existed any more. I must be very old.



answers from Chicago on

I used Kissaluvs for newborns, and then used Bum Genius when baby reached about 15lbs.

I've been able to loan my newborn diapers to two different friends, and I used them on two kids myself. Love fitted newborn diapers! My friends loved using them too!



answers from Sacramento on

Hi I used cloth diapers for both my daughter and son. For my daughter I used a service, which brought me clean diapers every week, it cost about 17.00 a week not including the cost of wraps. For ease, it is the best. The service I used was tidee dyper from Los Angeles CA. For my son, I have used Kushies (all and one, and flat sheets), Bum Genius, fuzzibunz, Magic-allys, kissaluvs, and a few others.

I think the Magicallys are really great for price, ease of use (just like a huggies) but they only come in a few sizes off of Amazon.

Fuzzibuns were excellent but I don't like putting the diaper together, which was the same issue I had with bumgenius.

My son who is a touch sensitive baby is in love with his kissaluvs. With those you have to by a diaper cover, or make a diaper cover. They are failry inexpensive on Amazon.

I would just stay away from Kushies - they are inexpensive but the velcro falls apart and the diaper itself falls apart. Plus they are really big.

For the smaller babies it is really easy to use a flat diaper with the new snappies to close them shut. However once my son was over 15 pounds the snappies were too difficult to use.

I would not go out and make a huge investment right away. It is hard to cloth diaper a newborn, the diapers may be too big. I would buy maybe 10 diapers and see what you like. At night, until you are comfortable with the whole system go ahead and use an enviromentally friendly-er disposable diaper.

Zuilly is a website that often has surprizingly great sales on cloth diapers.

good luck



answers from Houston on

I used smartipants. They had inserts that just worked their way out in the wash. Only issue is that they were too big for newborn, but they have newborn sizes now. The rest are one-size fits all.

They also use microfiber inserts, which some don't like, and which will eventually lose their absorbency, but I liked them. They were some of the cheapest at the time I was purchasing - about $12/diaper if you bought in a three pack.



answers from Washington DC on

I did cloth for the first year with my son. I used "Litewrap" covers and prefolds. (They have a velcro front which worked well for us because my son was VERY thin and the snap covers just didn't get snug enough) I used a diaper service and that totally saved my sanity and made them no more complicated that disposables. I bought covers (which I washed at home) and they delivered a bag of clean prefolds every week.

I know there are some "all in ones" but I personally really liked the covers and prefolds because for pee you just change the inside and don't need as many of the (expensive) covers. I just generally think the more jobs a single product tries to do, the less well it does each one.. but that's just me.

I noticed at Costco that there are now some "hybrid" diapers. If I had a baby, I might try those. It's a cover you can put a cloth diaper into, but they also sell disposable/flushable inserts which could be a convenient option to have.

If you're planning to do it all yourself, be sure to read reviews from mamas about cleaning etc. Every baby's body is different, so what works for one might be terrible for another. Start with just a few to be sure the style works for your son, then stock up and have fun :)



answers from Missoula on

I started using cloth with my second baby and I really have been happy with them. I use GroVia (check out their website), which I love because they have separate covers and inserts that snap together. When you change the diaper you can just remove the insert, snap in a clean one and reuse the cover. They also have the option of being semi-disposable, the company makes a disposable "bio liner" that you can use with the covers.



answers from Chicago on

Hi E.,

Congratulations on your choice to switch to cloth! As a 4-year-and-still-going fluff mama, I have to say that I LOVE CD-ing, but the options out there can be confusing. How old is your baby? For younger babies doing some sort of prefold diapers (flat and need to be folded, but not to be confused with "flat" diapers, which have fewer layers) and wraps/covers is a good, economical option. I love Bummis SuperBrite and Super Whisper Wrap covers. You probably will need 4-8 covers (they only need to be washed if they're poopy), and 24-36 prefolds ought to do it. And if you buy/make your own cloth wipes, you can save even more money and trees (again 24-36, depending on how frequently you wash, is a good number).

If you'd like something "easier" to use than prefolds (such as all-in-ones or pocket diapers), things get a bit more complex. I really like the BumGenius diapers, and when my daughter was close to a year old, we used BG 3.0's (now replaced by 4.0) almost exclusively. With a bit of extra absorbency (adding a prefold or hemp insert), they're great for overnight, too.

Many cloth diapering stores, including Cutie Poops and Bottoms ( out in Orland Park offer cloth diaper trials. And several offer newborn diaper rental. This is a really good deal. Some of my other favorite Sites are Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique ( and Sew Crafty Baby (, both of which offer free shipping on any order in the US; DiaperCo (, and (a great place for pre-fold and fitted-diaper bundles).

And Be By Baby ( here in the city (Lakeview/Roscoe Village) is a great resource, too.

If you want to look up reviews on different types of CD-ing products, go to

And if you have specific questions, feel free to message me back.

Also, I highly recommend a detergent that's designed for cloth diapers. My diapers are so much cleaner now that I switched to EcoSprout. And I've heard great things about Rockin' Green, too. (There are a bunch of other brands out there, too.) And make sure you use an appropriate amount for your machine (and Chicago's VERY hard water).

And whatever you do, don't make the mistakes I made at first and use diaper cream with Zinc Oxide (bad!) and detergent with natural oils (bad!). Also, it's important to strip your diapers (just Google stripping cloth diapers) about once a month. I would've saved a lot of money (and diapers) if I'd know all of that from the get-go.

Good luck!

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