Cloth Diapers Vs. Disposable?

Updated on June 27, 2008
A.W. asks from Renton, WA
69 answers

I was wondering what you ladies thought of cloth diapers vs. disposables? I used Pampers with my first child and spent a fortune, especially the first several months. Have any of you had experience with both and would recommend one over the other? I'm not real excited about washing poop in my washer machine, are diaper services worth it? Do they hold as much as disposable? What about "gdiapers"?

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L.N.

answers from Corvallis on

I have not used cloth diapers personally, but I have several friends who do. The cleaning issue seems to be the biggest concern for most people. My friend estimates that she saves about $300 a year by using cloth. She wrote up a whole thing about her experience. Sorry if it is a little long.

*cloth diapers do have resale value, and i've sold several of my old dipes online. there's a website called diaperswappers, that's a forum, but i've bought and sold lots of dipes, trying to figure out which kind i like and what works the best for us..

*a lot depends on the size and build of your baby. what works great for one doesn't for another. my 11 month old is VERY petite, still wears smalls, and 6-9 month clothing, so some style dipes don't work for us.

*there is an initial investment (we spent $150 ish), then pretty much nothing until the baby outgrows the size initially purchased (unless you find that adorable one you gotta have!). but there are so many cute diapers out there, and i have a very simple stash compared to many!

ok, now for the basics:

AIO (all in one) or AI2 (all in 2). no cover is needed- outside is PUL (polyurethane) and inside is all the cloth layers, various different materials. the thick part can be sewn in, snapped in, or just laid in the diaper. these range in price from $15-$50 each. they make them plain, with designs, personalized. we use these when we are out- makes it easy for a quick change, no covers to deal with.

prefolds- these are the "old fashioned" diapers. they need a cover. there are chinese prefolds, indian unbleached, and flats. they need a snappi (link at bottom) or pins (i don't use pins) to hold together, and a cover. cost $1-$10 each, again depending on if you want plain or decorative) we use these at home- this is the most cost effective way to go.

fitteds- these are all material, one piece, no cover included, and needs some sort of cover to make water proof. they are like prefolds, but they usually snap or velcro closed (and often have pretty designs). price varies.

pockets- i don't like these- it's basically a shell cover, and you stuff the inside with a prefold. too difficult in my opinion. i don't know much about these, except that i have a couple and never use them.

COVERS:

wool- there are tons of wool covers- knitted, crocheted, pull on panties like, etc. the most common is "longies", which are wool pants like this: http://www.aubreydoodlepants.com/ or shorts, or the like. wool is pretty expensive, because, well the yarn is pricy, and someone knits it up,which is labor. they are super cute though :)

fleece- same as above, but not knitted

pul covers- i have supper bummis whisper wrap, a PUL velcro close cover. there are lots of other brands, type in “cloth diaper cover” into google and you’ll find a plethora.

wipes- most WAHMS (work at home moms) stores carry cloth wipes.

BAGS

we use a wetbag, not a pail. it's a big zippered bag that has the PUL lining, and a pretty outside. it's pretty stinky when you open it up, but otherwise, there's no scent. there's also deo discs and powder that you can add to it. here's where i got mine: http://hyenacart.com/SMJAE/index.php?c=12... you can also use a pail.

ok, now considerations for newborns- most cloth users just use prefolds for newborns, because they go through so many. we didn't start cloth until 3 months, so this is just what i've heard. it's cheaper to do the prefold way until they are more established in a size. we are still in the same size that we were at 3 months. we have a friend who is 18 months, and he's in the same size he was when he was 6 months (med). so these dipes do last a long time. for our next one, we'll probably do regular disposables for the first couple weeks, then start cloth- just too much laundry to do with a brand new baby while mommy is recovering from birth.

WASHING

ah- and laundry. i have enough to go about 4 days, but i will usually do 3 days if the bag starts to reek. i do a rinse in cold water w/ vinegar, then wash on hot (i turn the water heater up for dipe laundry) and tumble dry. when it's sunny, i'll air dry the aios for the first part, then finish in the dryer so they are soft. prefolds i only do in the dryer.

ok, now links:

www.hyenacart.com - this is a forum, shops, amazing place, very supportive. lots and lots and lots of cloth stores, etc. great place to get cloth diapering support, suggestions, etc. also with natural parenting, attachment parenting, and the like.

www.diaperswappers.com- the diaper swapping place i mentioned above.

www.cottonbabies.com- where i got most of my prefolds, and lots of other accessories, like the snappi to hold the prefold together.

MY FAVS

www.lucyshopechest.com these are my favorite for AI2s, they fit ariana great, and are very reasonably priced.

www.hyenacart.com/inspired great fleece covers

www.sassyturtlethreads.com “turtle shells” diaper covers- these fit great

www.verybaby.com i like VB hybrids- trimmer in between the legs

unbleached indian prefolds from cotton babies or anywhere

bummis super whisper wrap

I hope this is helpful!

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B.A.

answers from Seattle on

I use a combination of cloth diapers and elimination communication. I also have experience with disposables because I have much younger siblings (one is still middle school aged!) and my parents only used disposables with us.

The main benefit of using cloth for me is that they are so inexpensive. I use the regular prefolds with whatever covers I can find second-hand and I've maybe spent $30 total to diaper both my girls (not counting electricity for the washer/dryer, of course).

The benefits of elimination communicaton (EC), for me, are numerous. I thought it was totally insane when I first heard of it, but it really worked for us! EC is a modern variation on the methods used in traditional societies to potty babies. In these societies they don't have either disposable diapers or the facilities to wash cloth diapers. Many babies in these societies are also completely toilet-trained by one year old.

The method is very simple really and completely non-coercive without any rewards or punishments. I started both my girls at birth, though you can certainly start a bit later. You can even start after a year, though it's much more difficult. If you start before 4 months old and want to do EC full-time then you basically lay the baby down on a prefold diaper with a waterproof pad underneath and a washcloth over if he's a boy. Then you observe him and notice what he does right before he eliminates and his timing. When you notice him eliminating it helps to make a noise that he will associate with releasing the muscles to eliminate. I use a ssssss noise for peeing and a low hmmmm noise for pooping.

Babies definitely do have a little control over their bladder and bowels from birth. Not much control since the muscles are very weak, but by using this method, they exercise these muscles consciously and gain control much sooner than full-time diapered children, who eliminate fairly randomly, do. When my older daughter was 11 months old, she stayed dry 99% of the time as long as I took her to the potty every 2 hours. At 13 months she started signing "toilet" whenever she had to go and I was able to take her out of diapers completely and reliably at 14 months.

For a more complete overview of this method please visit www.diaperfreebaby.org - it was truly amazing to be able to tell when my 4 month old needed to pee and to see the look of joy on her face when she went in the potty! This method can be done part-time or even just occasionally. Babies almost always need to pee when they wake up in the morning or from a nap so it's a perfect time to potty them. Little babies pee when you take their diaper off so just holding them over a bowl or making the cuing noises while they pee on the changing table ('cause it'll happen anyhow!) can make a world of difference with potty-training later on.

EC is not for everyone, but I'm so glad I learned about it before my older daughter was born :)

You mention washing poopy cloth diapers as a concern for you. It was a concern for me also. If you breastfeed then for the first 6 months, you don't have to worry about rinsing the poop out before you put it through the wash. Exclusively breastfed babies' poop just rinses right out in the wash and doesn't clog up anything or stay in the machine at all. By using EC, both of my girls had maybe one poop in a diaper each after they started eating solid foods.

Best wishes with your decision!
~B.

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K.K.

answers from Seattle on

I use gDiapers and LOVE them!!! I wish I had discovered them sooner. It's like using cloth diapers, but without the yuck factor. I just wash the outer diaper with my regular laundry so no additional environmental impact. I flush the inner liners. When we go out we usually use the biodegradable disposables, Nature Babycare... These work great (super absorbant and don't cost any more than Pampers) and are available locally at www.coolerchoices.com. Best of luck!

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A.S.

answers from Eugene on

I would highly recommend learning about "elimination communication." There's a website, and several good books = Diaper Free, The Diaper-Free Baby, Infant Potty Training. My daughter has used the no-diaper approach with her 3=year=old and her new baby, and I've also known and helped many other mothers. It really solves the "diaper dilemma" and has many many other benefits as well, such as enhancing bonding and self-esteem, etc. You can do it to any degree that works for your family, from never using diapers at all to using them some of the time. And as far as cloth vs disposables, I think cloth is a much much better choice, and although they may not hold as much as disposables, it is far better to change a baby's diaper immediately anyway.

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S.B.

answers from Seattle on

Gdiapers are good, but expensive. I never used a diaper service but I believe cost wise it's about the same as disposables, but less than doing your own cloth. Poop doesn't go in your washing machine, it goes in the toilet and then it's helpful to soak the cloth diapers before washing. If you have a large sink in your laundry area, that's helpful. If you're super squeamish, you probably won't like cloth - but with disposable liners that you flush with the poo, it's pretty easy. Nothing holds as much as disposable, so when my twin girls were younger we'd use disposables while traveling, and I still use them overnight. However, you can get what are called 'pocket' diapers that allow you to have variable thickness and absorption. Personally, after experimenting, I went with Bumkins. Not the all in one, but the cover and contoured diaper. Cloth diapers no longer means folding, or diaper pins, etc.. and is really quite easy. It just requires laundry, which lets face it you'll be doing a lot anyway, and a few more minutes to deal with the dirty one. On the plus side, less diaper rash, cheaper, friendlier for the environment, and diaper covers are soooo cute now. I also hear it means earlier potty training, but my girls are too young for me to know that yet. diaperco.com has a FAQ page that is really helpful on cloth diaper options, though they don't always have a good stock and you might find yourself buying diapers elsewhere.

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C.D.

answers from Portland on

I am a mama of an 18 month old and have used cloth since day one! (well day 4 actually, when we got home from the hospital :) I have used a total of 2 package of disposables since she was born- an no real diaper rash ever! In fact, I know 2 ppl that switched to cloth BECAUSE of rash. I have tried a bit of it all. We started out with the diaper service (DEFINITELY the way to go in the beginning, no matter how your little one comes into your world.) We used the Bummis Whisper wraps with the service. I picked them for how great they are, plus the ability to transition from service to washing at home without having to buy more covers. I LoVE them. I did try a few Imse Vimse, Thirsties, and ProWraps. All ok, but the Bummis were the clear winners in our house. We have had less than 5 "poo-splosions" even in the newborn phase.
When my daughter was 5 months old I switched off the service and started washing my own prefold diapers I bought. If you are in Portland, I highly recommend both Stella Bella Resale on NE Broadway (they have new diaper supplies) and Mother Natures on 21st and Clinton for prefolds and wraps.
I found washing my own pretty simple once I got the routine down. We store diapers in a dry pail and then do two loads (one cold soak with vinegar, one hot wash with soap) every few days. Not too hard and it gets them clean. For what it's worth I also work part time and completed grad school applications this year and still feel like cloth diapering is not too overwhelming. We even use them on short trips like weekends to the Coast or Seattle. I rotate g Diapers in for plane trips or hotel stays. Love them too, but costly and not as green due to packaging and they are made in Australia (lot of fuel used to get it here.)

I also added Fuzzi bunz and a few other pocket diapers into my rotation at a year. LOVE the new Haute Pockets as well since it comes with the night time doubler and is One size like BumGenius. We have fullly transitioned to this style now. They are much better than AIOs, dry quicker and can be found used more often. Also idiot proof for friends or caregivers not familiar with cloth, since the changing process is just like a disposable. GREAT for nighttime diapers. WIth a doubler they hold it all for up to 12 full hours with no rash.

Ok, enough diapering enthusiasm from me. I live in SE portland and I'm happy to share anymore information with you. Feel free to email or call ###-###-####.
Good Luck!

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A.G.

answers from Seattle on

I have used both cloth diapers and diposies. Personally I prefer cloth. They are so easy to use and I feel much better about the environmental impact. (MUCH CHEAPER TOO)There is a large upfront cost but there is a hugh savings in the long run. I use BumGenius and am very happy with thier performance I also know that Fuzzi Bunz is a good diaper too. As far as the poop in your washing machine you can also purchase a diaper sprayer that attaches to the plumbing behind your toilet. Then you can spray the yuck into the toilet. I purchased my diapers through a local women in Kirkland... She runs a boutique out of her home and you can also order online. You can find her at www.cozybabyboutique.com She is very helpful and its nice to be able check out the diapers before you make the big investment. Good luck in whatever you choose.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

I used cloth w/my first and a mix w/my second. I didn't like the diaper service, although did use is for the fisrt couple of months. They give you the # you gave them the week before which seems right, the problem is sometimes they come early in the morning, sometimes later in the day..so sometimes they pick up 7 days worth, sometimes 7.5 this is hard on the week where you have 7 days of diapers and they don't come 'till the afternoon. I would spend that day changing diapers at the front door so I could always put the old dipers in the bag for pick up.
I liked the soft cloth on the skin, yet the convienience of the disposable is nice too.
My first had solid poops early so it was easy to drop into the toilet w/minimal swishing. the second one was very mushy so much more difficult, not to mention the need to eat every 2 hours for almost 6 months so I was too tired to do much diaper cleaning.
hth

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B.D.

answers from Seattle on

I just switched to cloth a few months ago. It does take a little bit to get used to it. But once you get a system that works for you it is a lot easier. My daughter has very sensitive skin and was getting alot of rashes so that is why we switched. I am very glad that I did. It is not a big deal with the poop, you are always gonna deal with poop no matter which you use. I will say that my house smelled like dirty diapers when I used disposiables. Something I didn't notice until I switched to cloth and my house smelled fresh again. I heard that the g diaeprs clog up your system. I didn't use a service because I wanted to cut down on the cost of diapering, when I looked into it was to much to be worth it. I also didn't like the idea of other familys uses the diapers either. I found alot of info at greenmountiandiaper.com and diaperpin.com

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D.H.

answers from Portland on

I have a 1 1/2 y.o. and a 3 y.o. and with both we have used about 85% cloth and 15% disposable.

Cloth are not a hassle at all. You might consider starting out with a diaper service, then when you get used to using cloth, eventually you will probably decide to start washing them yourself. With the service, you just put the dirties in a bag and put the bag on your porch once a week and new diapers arrive! When each of the children turned 1 or so, I started washing the diapers at home, which saves more money and is more environmentally friendly. Before washing them, you swish the poop off the diaper into the toilet and then just wash the diaper with a little bit of poopy residue. So it is not gross or hard on the washing machine. I generally do one load of diapers a week because the kids are in childcare most days (and actually the daycare we go to provides cloth diapers for all children). If your children are at home all day you will need to do diapers more often (or use a service).

We use disposables when we are traveling and also at night, as the cloth diapers do get pretty soaked overnight. Some people have found good solutions to the wet nighttime diaper issue but I eventually just gave in and started using disposable.

The biggest downside of cloth is that they are bulkier than disposables, so you have to put your child in slightly larger pants to accommodate their big butt!

I have not tried G diapers. Some people rave about them. As far as the most environmental solution, people will give you pros and cons for every option and you kind of have to go with your gut... in my personal opinion, getting organic cotton cloth diapers and washing them at home is the most environmental option when you take everything into account.

If you want to get really good guidelines for using cloth diapers, go to the Babyworks website.

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J.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi. I used cloth diapers for about the first 10 or so months with my twins. I was thinking it was more 'environmental', which I think it kinda is, but they still use harsh chemicals to wash them and the energy to wash/dry and to get them to us probably added up! They didn't sit forever in a landfill though so that was/is good! I did use a service (couldnt imagine having to go to the toilet, dump/scrape off poop etc and then wash) and it was just slightly less expensive per diaper than cloth. The thing is though, when you are out and about, it is kinda a hassle to use cloth, so we ended up using cloth at home, 7th Generation when on the road. If I were to do it again, I would prob still do it the same. I got some good non pvc etc covers that do add to the cost of the cloth.
hope this helps,
J. (23 mo old twins)

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J.W.

answers from Richland on

Hi,
I use Kushies brand cloth diapers. They work great. They have velcro closures and come in cute patterned designs. I use a disposable diaper liner in them to catch the poop. You just flush the liner with the poop down the toilet then wash the diaper in your washing machine. You end up doing more laundry but otherwise its just as easy as using a disposable diaper. I guess it is kind of a toss up as far as the environment goes though. Disposables clog up our landfills because they aren't biodegradeable, but you end up using more water and electricty laundering cloth diapers. My first baby had really sensitive skin and could not tolerate the disposable diapers. My second can and I admit that I use them especially for overnight and if I know I'm going to be away from home for awhile- otherwise you're carrying around a dirty diaper and a ziploc bag. Hope this helps.

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A.D.

answers from Portland on

A.,
Sorry this response is so late, but I hope it helps you.
Years ago my sister had a cloth diaper service. they told her not to rinse the poop out of the diaper. Just bag them up and they would pick them up. My nephew kept getting rashes and irritation on his bottom. We both agreed that it was most likely from the chemicals that the diaper service used to dryclean the diapers. (Yes they were drycleaned.)
My husband and I went with disposable diapers. Our children never had a rash unless they were on antibiotics. The cost of disposables and extra garbage was less than rinsing out cloth diapers, then washing and drying them, plus the time involved.
We bought diapers from Costco and have used their brand. It is less expensive and their brand works just as good as any other.
Best of luck to you.

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H.W.

answers from Seattle on

I have actually heard that there isn't any real proof that cloth is better for the enviroment and the 'easy' ones are really expensive. I have just switched to Costco brand diapers, For about twice as many its about 10$ more then we ussually spend on Pampers. Also Fred Meyer ussually has the cheapest diapers in the area. When I looked into switching to cloth for our third I decided the time that it would take to clean and dry the diapers made it unlikely.

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A.B.

answers from Portland on

I used cloth and will use the same with my second child. (Cloth will save about $7,000 over the course of 2 children.) You soak really dirty diapers before putting them in the machine. Detergents and machines have come a long way, you don't need to worry about that. Here is some more info...

http://www.thebabymarketplace.com/whyuseclothdiapers.pdf

Good luck. I did use disposables when we traveled, but I'm a cloth fan for so many reasons.... ;-)

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

My girls are much older (one is grown), and I used disposable diapers with my first only because I was working at the time and it seemed much easier. When my second was born, I had noticed how expensive disposables were and decided to go with Baby Diaper Service in Seattle. It was great! They provide the diaper pail container, deoderizers, bags, and you can adjust the number of diapers you need as the child gets older. They also have the waterproof diaper covers that are washable and really pliable so they don't feel like "plastic" pants. The fresh diapers that come each week are clean, sweet-smelling and soft, and I never saw one that had any kind of stains in it. I don't know how much disposables are now, and I don't know how much diaper service is. But in the 90s, it was worth it. Baby Diaper Service had great customer service too. No billing problems and any time you needed something, it was attended to immediately. Hope this helps you in your decision.

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S.B.

answers from Corvallis on

We just switched to cloth at 8 months and I'm thrilled. I really wish I had changed sooner. My son doesn't leak through as often and I'm not buying diapers every other day. The laundry isn't a problem either. I'm washing the diaper load every other day. My son does have solid poop at this point, so that makes it easier to knock them into the toilet. We still use disposable when we leave the house.

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D.L.

answers from Portland on

I used pampers at night and cloth during the day. Diaper service is nice, but it comes out to be about the same price as disposables but is very convenient! I used all in one kushies and I really liked them. You can get a flushable liner to go inside for poo - you just pull the liner out and flush the solid waste then wash the wet stuff out in the washer - no scrubbing! That worked really well for me but I did notice that it was hard to change them often enough - cloth really feels wet and my son had a couple of fungal rashes even if I changed them every hour. He may have been extra sensitive, though, I'm not sure. I'm curious about gdiapers, but have never tried them. Good luck! D.

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H.G.

answers from Richland on

I just started using the bumGenius one-size cloth diapers about 2 weeks ago with my second baby. I have always used disposables. I live in the country and don't think a diaper service would come out here. I am having pretty good success. I switched because I heard about all the terrible chemicals in disposable as well as trying to be a little more environmentally conscious. I have a system down that works pretty well, but I do a load of diapers every evening, and then get them ready for the next day. So far, they've come out really clean and I've only had nighttime leaks twice, which happened with disposables, too. I think you probably have to WANT to make it work, because if you're on the fence, disposables are easier. I have friends that tried all different kinds of cloths and also ended up using the bumGenius 3.0's. Anyway, hope that helps!

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T.P.

answers from Portland on

We use cloth diapers at home, and Seventh Generation disposables when out or traveling. I use Tiny Tush, Bum Genius, and Happy Heinys one size pocket diapers. I tried the prefolds with covers (old school cloth diapers) but just couldn't deal with it. My husband wanted to cloth diaper and so I found the pocket diapers instead. They go on just like a disposable and are easy to wash and dry. www.abbyslane.com is where I bought mine and I received them in just a few days with the free shipping. I would order 2 each of a few different ones to see which you like better, then order a stock of the ones you like. Thats what I did. I don't swish in a toilet and have little issue with washing. I just do a pre-wash to rinse out the pee/poo, then run the load, then do an extra rinse, then dry like normal. I also still use a disposable at night since my daughter STTN and I've never had a leak with the 7th Generation diapers. I don't want to mess with a good thing. These diapers are not cheap (about $18 each including the inserts) but in the end if you pay $500 for a stash of diapers vs. almost $3000 for disposables it is well worth it. The one size also grow with yout baby so you don't have to keep buying new sizes. I started with cloth when my baby was 5m old and the diapers I bought should fit her until she is potty trained. I am a very lazy mom and believe me, I wouldn't be using cloth if I had not found the one size pocket diapers to be so easy to deal with!

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M.J.

answers from Seattle on

We have been using a combination of pampers and gdiapers. I really like the gdiapers. I like that the poop ends up in the toilet (not my washing machine) and I think (tho have no proof) that it is a good potty training tool. When we dispose of the gdiaper liner I bring my daughter with me and talk about how poo-poo belongs in the toilet. She is certainly not afraid of the toilet.
I've also met other moms who swear by the gdiaper covers but use washable liners in them. They have an excellent tight fit - better than most other cloth diapers, so less leakage. I will say, however, that my daughter has VERY loose poops and the gdiapers don't quite hold it all in sometimes (hence why we use disposables too).
Good luck!

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A.G.

answers from Portland on

We almost exclusively use cloth diapers and totally love them. it is not nearly as disgusting as people might think. we do on occasion use disposibles while traveling or out for a long time. i have found they are more absorbant. my son is almost a year and i have spend a total of $200 on diapers. not bad i think.

aside from diapers, try reading the book diaper free baby. we use elimination communication and have not had a poopy diaper since our son was about 4 months old. he now wakes from naps dry but i haven't had the guts to put him down without a diaper! we have also had full days without using a single diaper. for me this is the best choice because we are not using water to wash diapers, filling a landfill and our son is learning about the potty from a very early age. we started the technique at 4 days old.

note on diaper services- because they are washing diapers from so many babies they have to use fairly harsh detergents to get them clean. many babies have skin reactions. not to mention they are much more expensive.

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S.D.

answers from Spokane on

Cloth diapers are pretty easy to use these days. I liked Bum Genius way more than Bummis. They seemed to hold up better. Also Bum Genius makes a sprayer that attaches to your toilet to rinse off solids. It was easy to install and kept me from having to do any toilet dunking. Try on-line with www.aspoiledbaby.com. Discounts are given for the more you buy, but I recommend buying one or two before committing to any brand. Give them a try and you will find they are just as easy as disposable.

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

A., one way to find cloth prefolds cheap would be to call a diaper service and ask for rejects. we buy ours at Sound Baby Diaper Service in Thurston COunty they charge $6 per dozen for retired diapers last time i checked. the retired ones from soundbabydiaperservice.com have some light staining but they dont use bleach to get stains out so if you were to bleach you could end up with like new diapers very cheap.

i have 2 in cloth right now my youngest is 4 months and her poops just wash down the drain. some people rinse first.

I shake most of the poop off the diaper with my sons BM's then wash.

there are several great websites for tips on washing cloth diapers if you want more info.

i assume that you have found some good wraps as well.

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J.M.

answers from Portland on

When you are considering the cost of disposable vs cloth it gets more complicated then some want to consider. You have to count the electricity used and the time put into it. Your dryer can cost $50 a month in electricity alone (my mom did the test) not counting the soap and hotwater used. This goes for natural resources used as well. Sure it fills up a landfill to use disposable but it also uses resources to clean cloth to reuse.
Cloth diapered babies have higher incidents of rashes and infections because moisture isnt held away from the skin.
Pampers are one of the most expensive diapers out there. as a mom with 2 kids in diapers I priced all the diapers in my area and found that costco huggies were the best quality/cost and were often in the costco coupon book. If Costco isnt the deal for you, you can sign up for coupons for most any namebrand online and will get them in the mail often. that plus watching for coupons in ads will take the edge off.
I cant imagine wasting what little time a new mom has on the hassles of cloth diapers. Thats just me though.

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D.T.

answers from Portland on

Cloth diapered my second. Disposables my first. I love cloth diapers and really wish I had started sooner. I'm pro environment and there is nothing good about disposables. I've had more up the back, out the leg, blow outs with disposables than with cloth.

I have a diaper sprayer to rinse all poops off into the toilet. I also have used disposable liners to catch the poo. I use a dry pail system (no soaking), and wash diapers every other day.

I've used gdiapers. They have a learning curve to get the fit right. They irritated my babies skin and had to discontinue use. Personally I think pocket diapers are way less hassle.

Also see www.diaperswappers.com, or www.diapertraders.com for more information.

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H.B.

answers from Seattle on

My husband and I discussed this 12 years ago, when cloth diapers were making a comeback and diaper services were available. I considered washing and drying myself (as our mothers did). We weighed the pros and cons. We also decided, it was alot more laundry to do. Electric & water bills would be more money, our house would smell of dirty diapers, etc. We did disposable for both of our kids.
I had a friend who did cloth diapers. It wasn't as easy for her to travel, she was constantly changing the cloth diapers. When you use cloth diapers, the MINUTE they are wet you have to change them because they will get a diaper rash. Another child at my son's day care, her parents used cloth diapers, and wanted her diaper changed once every 2-3 hours (because of too much laundry). She had the worst diaper rash I had ever seen in my life! She screamed when she sat down, she screamed when she had her diaper changed, and don't get me started if she had a poopy one. I asked my mom about cloth diapers (she did both cloth with me and my siblings, disposable with my 2 younger siblings), she told me cloth was a pain because the moment the baby is wet, you have to change them. Thier skin can't tolerate it. She felt liberated when she used disposables with my 2 younger brothers.
And, how many times will the service come and pick up the diapers? How many do you think you will go through? Will saving $20.00 a month be worth it?
We always write a Pros and Cons list. It helps us make our decisions.

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J.T.

answers from Portland on

If you do cloth, don't settle for the cheep diaper covers. Research. Look into Babyworks or Mother Natures in SE Portland and get good fitting diaper wraps/covers. What brand you get will depend on your baby's build: birdie legs? tree trunk legs? If you get good diapering products, I suspect you will be happy with cloth diapers. They are fresh and soft and it feels alot nicer to put on your babe than a disposible.

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K.R.

answers from Seattle on

I use a product called "Fuzzi Bunz" which are a pocket diaper with removable insert. We wash them ourselves. They worked great for my son. We bought 3 sizes, 18 in each size. I use them on my daughter now, but she tends to soak through them very quickly. They are not as absorbent as disposables. I use the cloth while at home and use disposables when out and about and at night. It works pretty well. The Fuzzi Bunz are expensive (about $16-$18 per diaper depending on insert); we have saved money now that we are using them on baby no. 2.

You do have to rinse them out in the toilet before putting them in a diaper pail, but (for older kids); the poop generally falls off easily. I would recommend them.

Good Luck!
K.

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R.B.

answers from Medford on

A.,

I've used a combination of cloth and disposable since day one for my 2 year old daughter and am definitely in favor of cloth, mostly for environmental and health reasons. The Lord gave us dominion on this planet and it's very poor stewardship to fill landfills with disposable diapers made of questionable materials that take hundreds of years to break down (supposedly - no one knows because none have broken down, yet!). Also, I don't like the idea of putting those same questionable materials next to my baby's skin - especially in such a sensitive area! Anyway, those are my reasons! As far as ease of use, I've found cloth diapers to be relatively easy to use. With my daughter I've used unbleached cotton prefolds with Proraps diaper covers. No pins! These worked very well as far as leaks and blowouts went. However, I didn't use them when we were not at home for convenience sake. I am now expecting our second in about 6 weeks and we decided to get the "spendy" cloth diapers, this time, in hopes that we'll use them exclusively since they're more convenient. They're really just like a disposable except you wash them. We decided on the one size bumGenius because you only need one size so you can get an entire set for roughly $300 instead of $900!! I'm getting mine from www.puddlesplace.com which is a great site with good info on washing and caring for your diapers. It's also based right here in Southern Oregon. Anyway, keep doing research. There are lots of great websites out there to explore. And don't worry about the washing - it's not that bad! God bless you in your search! R.

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D.H.

answers from Seattle on

The first two weeks we only used disposabls because it was too much to deal with all at once (first baby) but now we use a combination of cloth and disposable and it works well for us.

We use disposables at night, when we won't be changing diapers for several hours (hopefully!)- and when we go out for adventures/ shopping/ long walks lasting more than an hour.

We have 4 dozen cloth diapers and about 6 diaper covers that velcro and hold the diapers in place . The best covers we have are the "bum genius" brand. They have a "pocket" for the cloth diaper to slip into and the fabric that is against the baby's skin wicks the moisture away so it doesn't feel wet to the touch (they are pretty amazing, but also pretty expensive- so we only have two that we rotate... ) The other covers keep the diaper snug against baby's skin, but when we are home, we check and change often, so it's no big deal.

I'm at home with the baby and have been doing the laundry myself. Now that she's started solids, and the diapers are getting ickier, we may opt for the diaper service, but so far, it's ok. The poopie diapers soak in vinegar water. The wet ones go in a dry pail, with a little vinegar if they get stinky. I do laungry about every three days.

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B.W.

answers from Seattle on

My daughter is 10 months old, and we've used primarily cloth diapers for her. We have tried a few different kinds, and I definitely love the all-in-ones the best--the kind that basically look like a disposable diaper, not separated into two parts--the diaper and the cover. They're pretty simple to use, but you have to buy a new size when they get a little bigger. I wash my own, but I have a friend who used a diaper service (diaper service provides diapers, but they're the two-part kind). The first six months when she was solely breast fed were a breeze. Now that she has solid poo it's a tad more work, but not much. When I change a poopy diaper, I just take the extra 30 seconds to dump the poo into the toilet and flush. Voila! And I do one more load a week--where I used to do two loads of diapers a week, now I do three, to make sure they don't stain and smell too bad. There are lots of tricks to washing diapers at home to combat problems. I haven't minded it at all, but I know it's not for everyone. I just couldn't justify the $70 a month for a diaper service for something I could easily do myself.

We also use a limited number of disposables--mostly at night or when we're out running errands. We use the Seventh Generation non-chlorine bleached ones.

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M.W.

answers from Seattle on

We used a diaper service when our baby was a newborn, but her day care doesn't accept cloth diaperss (for a variety of reasons--and I understand), so we then had to bite the bullet and get disposables. We buy the disposables at Costco and they're about $30 for a big box that lasts for a long time. As for diaper services, not all of them use "harsh" chemicals as some other posts have suggested. There are many services that are environmentally friendly, use enzymes and other natural anti-bacterials, and the one we used had organic cotton and used fuel-effecient delivery trucks... If she wasn't in day care, we probably would have stuck with the diaper service, but it is pricey. I do recommend it for newborns, as they go through many more diapers a day and you're so sleep deprived anyways, who wants to do extra loads of laundry? Of course that probably makes me sound lazy--but just my two cents!

Since I'm a teacher and am home during the summers, I also purchased a supply of adjustable-size All-in-one (AIO) diapers. These diapers fit big newborns (around 9lbs) to toddler sizes because they adjust as the baby grows. There are several companies that make these (bumGenius, Mommy's Touch, softbums, etc.) and they run around $17.00 a piece. We love them. They are easy to wash, and never stain, and dry quickly. We're going into summer 2 with them (we also use them on weekends and days off) and the sizing is still perfect for a 25 pound 17 month old. The best benefit of them was the cost-effectiveness of only having to purchase one supply, not several for each size range. We traveled with them last summer and as long as you have access to a washing machine, it was completely convenient.

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T.N.

answers from Richland on

I am cloth diapering my 8 month old. We've used disposables a bit, mostly in the first month and when we're travelling. I have found the new cloth systems to be much better at containing poo and not too bad to launder. There are a lot of helpful sites out there to help you get started. The hardest thing I found was getting used to the lingo so that I could find something that works for us. We have tried a few different things from the old fashioned "prefolds" to pocket diapers and "all in ones." My personal choice is an all in one. They are as easy to use as disposables. Now that my son is older I am using a biodegradable, flushable liner to collect the poop. It is really easy. And, on the financial end, by all my calculations I'm saving money even with the most expensive cloth option. Good luck.

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N.L.

answers from Portland on

I used cloth diapers till my daughter was one years old. I ended up using disposables when we were out and about and at night just to make things easier. I loved the diaper service. I didn't have to do anything but, toss it into their bags and leave it outside for them to pick up. My daughter slept better with disposables on and she went so often they didn't leak with disposables. Going out was easier to throw the diaper away than stashing it in the car till you got home. I think the service is way cheaper than disposables plus, you can use the diapers as changing pads too that you don't throw away or have to wash! I bought some cloth diapers to use as changing pads once I gave up the service. I am having another baby and plan on doing the same thing. Once I decided to put my daughter in disposables I realize how costly it is and how many I am going through! Good thing we are potty training now.

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S.L.

answers from Portland on

Dear A.,
You'll realize pretty soon that there are a dizzying array of options out there when it comes to cloth and everyone has a different opinion. I like cloth because I'm an environmentalist and because washing your own is the cheapest option out there and I don't like the idea of raw sewage going into landfills (look closely at the disposable diaper package and you'll find that you are supposed to rinse disposables in the toilet before throwing them away.) Diaper service is wonderful, but it costs about as much as disposables. We did diaper service with our first and washed our own with the second. It does make for more laundry (with 2 dozen diapers we had to wash every other day) but we also kept a package of disposables at all times for back up (in the event that all the covers or diaper service quality (DSQ) diapers were dirty) and for the diaper bag (since they take up more room.) For the most part cloth has been great for us and not too hard at all.

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L.G.

answers from Seattle on

I used both cloth and disposable. Using the cloth at nighttime resulted in lessened sleep for everybody, so I used disposable at night. (Well, my daughters did, I just put them on... heehee!) My youngest daughter had exceptionally sensitive skin. The cloth diapers worked best for when I was able to change her frequently, because she was allergic to the elastic gathering (latex...?)in disposables. However, if I was not able to change her frequently, her little bum became red and rashy in a hurry! I don't think it really has to be all one or the other. Try both and see how it works out for your family. God bless you! :)

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R.P.

answers from Portland on

Hi A.,
We use BumGenius one size diapers and I think they are great. We tried Happy Heinies, Fuzzi Buns, and Bumkins and the Bumgenius were, by far, the best for us. They are easy to use and we just throw them in the washing machine, breast milk poop is water soluble so it is not a big deal. I researched a lot of sites that sell diapers and the best one I have found is http://www.simplewondersdiapers.com/. The woman who runs it, Sultana, is very thorough in explaining the benefits of each brand and sells a sample packs (something I didn't find other places but that doesn't mean others don't do it). She also sells flushable cloth diaper liners so you may not need to worry at all about the poop. We haven't tried those yet, but other people tell me they are very handy. We have used Huggies in the past and I find the bumgenius to be better, we can leave them on her longer and she never gets diaper rash. We have 11 diapers and I usually wash them every other day.
Happy Shopping.

R.

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B.L.

answers from Jacksonville on

I never found any name brand diapers to be any better at stopping blowouts or leaks than generic. Some people swear by huggies or whatever, but I never found them to be one bit better, so first I would quit buying those over priced disposables.

Cloth diapers are a huge expense if you are already this far along (17 months) with your daughter. We used them some for my first son to try to save money, and it was disgusting. It's not as though you have a solid log to just drop into the toilet from the diaper, at least not with my boys. They pretty much always had very loose stools that stick to the diaper, so trying to flush the poo meant swirling the diaper in the toilet and hoping some would come off, before trying to get the dripping, disgusting thing to the soak bucket, then getting the soak bucket to the washing machine... We finally gave up and just used generic diapers, or loves with a coupon when they were on sale.

I do recommend potty training your daughter the moment she is ready. Talk about saving money on diapers! We used the book Toilet Training in Less Than a Day on my 27 month old son, and it worked. You just have to follow the directions explicitely. It will help you decide when she's ready, and that could be as soon as 20 months old. I can't tell you the joy around here at having my two-year-old potty trained. He does it all himself, too. People are amazed when we are at their home and they see him go use the toilet all by himself, without saying a word.

Good luck!

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V.W.

answers from Eugene on

A.,
I looove using cloth, and no, you dont put the poop in the washer! It goes in the toilet where it belongs. Go online and look up some of the diaper sites they explain how to use them and how to wash them. I dont use a diaper service, but have friends who do and love it. I also use the g-diapers for travel and going out for long periods of time so Im not carrying around dirty diapers. I have chosen the Thirsties brand because they are soo soft (fleece) and keep her really dry, the fleece is really a great at wicking moisture and really pretty too (we all love pretty underware dont we?) . There are sooo many types and styles to choose from , but most of the brands have starter kits to get you to try their stuff. Also, check out resale shops to see if there are any use diapers to try. Just start experamenting and see what works for you. Good luck!!

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E.M.

answers from Seattle on

We used almost exclusively cloth diapers with my firstborn until he started getting serious rashes around 1 1/2. (Fortunately, that was also a sign to me from above that it was time to move him into the potty-training stage.:/ ) After that, we started using disposables more. Now that we have another son, I have been doing things a little differently; using cloth diapers during the day, and using disposables for overnight/traveling, because overnight is a long time to spend in a cloth diaper, and can cause some redness/rash by the time morning comes. If you're not a SAHM, using a diaper service may be more convenient, but I've been washing diapers since 2006; after a while you get used to it; you'll have to wash them 2-3 times a week, though, to limit the smell and just to "restock."

I have tried gdiapers before. The only two hang-ups I have about them are 1) they can do a number on your plumbing (i have a friend that doesn't flush them anymore, because of this problem, but she still uses them exclusively), and 2) the polymer gel that is used in disposables is also used in those, and if you leave the gdiaper longer than recommended, or baby pees more than expected in a short period of time, your baby may get the gel crystals on their private parts. I've been told these are non-toxic, but I don't like finding stuff that looks like broken glass on my baby's private parts. It just doesn't seem right to me. But ultimately it's a personal choice.

Hope this helps. :)

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A.S.

answers from Richland on

Hi A.,
I've done both and both have their plus and negative sides, disposable are pricey and cloth are hard to take care of. I only did the cloth with my first child because we were pinching pennies big time. My suggestion to making it easier to wash those cloth daipers with the rest of your laundry, just rinse them well in a freshly flushed/cleaned toilet, if the daipers were really bad I'd put a little of her laundry detergent in the toilet as well. I must say that our toilet was always really clean during that time because I would always clean it before I started rinsing the build up of those daipers at the end of the day or every other day. I had to find a place for them to hang to dry because I only had 1 day a week to do my laundry, but if I could wash them when I wanted I would probably do the same because wet daipers sitting in a hamper or basket for just 2 days, if that, would stink up the house, so set up a string in your back yard or somewhere so they can air out. I did have to have about 40 or 50 cloths when she was really little, then it added up to about 60 or 70 by the time she was 6 months, soon after that my husband and I were in our own place and I was able to use a washing machine when I wanted and always had lots of extras, now they make good cleaning cloths. I hope I didn't leave anything out that I found I needed to do, and I also hope that my ideas help, good luck!

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S.O.

answers from Spokane on

I'm a mother of 4. I've had twin daughters to start off with followed by singles. All girls.
I own a small business where we manufacture and sell Contoured cloth diapers. I figure if I can do it anyone can. Cleaning is a learning curve and not near what our parents went thru soaking them in a toilet and such. Yuck! It doesn't have to be that way. We have great cleaning products these days both pure and not.
My website lists all concerns about cleaning and gives pic's and the sales pitch. I share my personal story as well on my website.
The main reason I even tried it was the expense of disposables. It runs about $2,000+/per child in their diaper years including pullups. Again, on my website goes into more detail.
I hope this helps, I'm very passionate about cloth because I think if most people knew how easy this could be they would do it. So many benefits. It's just a learning curve. Many other countries solely use cloth. Australia for instance along with many more.
Please call or email if you have any questions.
email;[email protected]____.com
website: staciessweetpeas.com
phone: ###-###-####
S. Olson

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E.T.

answers from Corvallis on

I use both...Motherease are great...and don't leak. I use Seventh Generation at night...just as absorbant as Pampers, but they don't have the chlorine bleach. I think a combo is good. If I could have diaper service I would! I live out in the sticks where I can't get it! Do it if you can...can be spendy though. Also, I just rinse the poop out and put them in a diaper pail. Then, I have a setting on my washmachine for baby diapers...it pre-soaks it and everything. Also, I have found that using cold water cleans just as well as hot water and it is WAY less expensive and better for the environment too. Good luck!

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

I have used both. As a matter of fact, I sewed my own cloth diapers in preparation for the arrival of my first child. First, you don't wash poop in your washer, you rinse your messy diapers out before you but them in the diaper pail, this would be the same process if you did your own or used a diaper service. 'Hold' as much as disposables? When your baby is wet, you change them, this isn't a capacity issue. Cloth diapers actually work better in determining how much your newborn is consuming when it comes to breast feeding and how well their kidneys and/or bladder are working, as you get to feel that indicator, disposables are deceiving. As far as the environment is concerned, all that paper and plastic in landfills isn't a pretty thought, but on the other hand, it does take a lot of hot water and electricity to wash and dry those diapers each day. My parents got me diaper service for the first month of each child's life so I could get my bearings and after that I used my own cloth diapers. We had disposables for traveling and vacations. Each version has their pluses and minuses. Take your pick and be prepared for someone's comments to the contrary, but it's what works best for you and your family.

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C.K.

answers from Portland on

Cloth diapers are the BEST! Get yourself to Babyworks (they are in NW Portland at 25th and Upshur), they will teach you everything you need to know; fit, styles, washing.

By the way, you aren't really washing poop in your washer! You flush the bulk of it down the toilet. There are paper liners you can use with your cloth diapers that are flushable. Also, using Bac-Out (liquid enzymes) eliminates any contamination. I've been washing diapers for 5 years. My front loader is immaculate!

I'm not a fan of diaper services because of the chemicals they use.

Good luck!

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D.D.

answers from Portland on

I see that you have a ton of responses, so I will try to keep mine short. With my first son (22) I used cloth because I simply could not afford disposables. Living in an apartment, I had to carry the diaper pail to the laundry room to wash them, so that was a bit of an inconvenience, but nothing more than doing my own laundry was. With my second son (8) we used a diaper service and were very happy with it. This son would actually get huge blisters on him anytime we used a disposable diaper, so he obviously was very sensitive or allergic to whatever chemicals were in them. We never had that issue with the cloth diapers from the diaper service, so I think the issue of the 'harsh chemicals' that they use to clean them was less harsh than the chemicals in the disposable diapers, not to mention what they do to our enviroment. I also know that both of my sons potty trained very quickly and easily, as they knew when they were wet, and didn't like to be. That being said, I also feel that changing them when they are wet is better for their skin than having them sit in a disposable diaper that has been pee'd in numerous time just because it can absorb it. I have held children who you can just tell by the smell are wearing a very full, wet disposable diaper ~ but hey, it's holding it all in right? Yuk! I would rather change my baby a little more often than to have the urine and chemicals from the disposable diaper sitting against my babies tender skin and genitals.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth ~ I am happy to see so many advocates for cloth diapers have responded with so much wonderful advice. Best wishes to you in whatever you choose, and enjoy your children while they are young ~ they just grow up too fast! :)

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D.T.

answers from Seattle on

Hi,

We used a diaper service with our daughter when she was first born. It worked really well but we didn't like cloth diapers much because we were having to change her constantly. We hated having her wet at all so it was a large committment on being very vigalante about changing her constantly.

We then started using fuzzi bunz and those are the best!!! They are very economical (once you pay for the initial supply you need. Here's a link (there are many types of these called pocket diapers but we liked the fuzzi bunz the best)

http://www.fuzzibunzworld.com/index.html?gclid=CKWa07rxt5...

We also did try g-diapers when my daughter was older but they didn't seem to fit her that well because she had somewhat chubby legs. I have had friends use them successfully. They are nice that you can flush them and very convenient to take with you and dispose of. The g-diaper people were amazing in helping us try to make them fit right too - they just didn't work out for us.

D.

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

Cloth diapers make the children want to become potty trained sooner, because they do feel wet and uncomfortable. The advantage of cloth is that it doesn't fill the landfills. When baby grows up they make great cleaning cloths. All of the disposable diapers from the first one are still in the landfills because they don't degrade.

When baby poops, you can wash the poop out in the toilet before washing it, so the amount of mess in the washer is minimal. Also, if you use bleach on the diapers, that will eliminate the germs as well.

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S.M.

answers from Portland on

I haven't used cloth, but I did try Gdiapers. Cost wise, they are about 42 cents per diaper (after you buy the starter kit for the liner and the outer part of the diaper.) I was trying them b/c they biodegrade in 150 days vs. 500 YEARS (disposable!). Anyway, there are snaps on the inside that bothered my son. He didn't like to wear it, so I had to give up on them. I WILL be using it on my next child (due in Oct.) They were really easy once you got the hang of it and the diaper itself is very cute...but a little bulky. I hope this helps!

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A.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi A., I see you're in Renton. I own Cozy Baby Boutique and I'm in Kirkland. www.cozybabyboutique.com

I teach cloth diapering classes if you would like to learn some more in depth answers to your questions as well as look at and touch and feel the different kinds of cloth diapers. I'm also open a couple days a week if you'd like to visit my showroom.

I want to add that the "cloth" options out there vary greatly from brand to brand as well as type - and so does cost AND performance.

What most people think of as cloth diapers are called prefolds and this is what the diaper services uses. It's true that using a diaper service will cost you about the same as disposables, but if you wash them yourself, they are the cheapest diapering option. Overall, they also are not the best performers for diapers.

There are a lot of other options where the diaper is essentially one piece and you snap or velcro it on a baby. These diapers are more expensive than prefolds, but you can still easily save $1500 over disposables. They are very easy to use and washing is pretty easy as well.

The washing machine is made to clean things and the poop goes into the same sewer that the toilet does. In 3 years of washing diapers in my washing machine, I've never had any leftover poop.

You also do NOT need to use any bleach or soaking methods for the diapers. None of the current diaper manufacturers recommend this regularly. Most people have a waterproof pail liner (sold also at cloth diaper stores like mine) and before baby starts solids, you can just put all the diapers in that pail - you don't have to do anything with the poop. Then you take the pail liner out, dump everything into the washing machine, toss the pail liner in too. Do a cold rinse without detergent, then do a hot wash with detergent and dry in the dryer. Once baby starts solid food and their bms are more solid, just shake them into the toilet. If your baby is consistently having "sticky" poos, you can buy some flushable liners or a diaper sprayer.

The cloth diapering world has changed exponentially - even in the 3 years I've been in this business and there are lots of options and lots of additional products out there to make it work. Also, finding a local business to help you through the process and to troubleshoot is a bonus.

As for the gdiapers, King County says you should NOT flush them. http://dnr.metrokc.gov/wtd/community/oldstuff.htm
While you are reusing a cover, they are still disposable diapers, you have to buy additional inserts and keep replacing them. You won't have any cost stavings over regular disposables, they are more expensive.

I'd be happy to answer any additional questions you have - feel free to contact me at [email protected]____.com or visit my website.

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

I used cloth diaper service for 4 month and it was a pain at times but as he got older and moved around more I had to switch. The only problem I had was leaks but I have leaks with diposibles too. I would try it for a little while and see if you like them. They are much better for the environment.

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A.L.

answers from Anchorage on

Hello A.,

I have always used the disposable diapers. I have had a friend who used cloth diapers and she was constantly having to soak them in a bleach/water solution in a bucket before putting them in the washer. With the cloth diapers you have to make sure they are thoroughly clean and the laundry soap and the bleach are completely rinsed out before using otherwise it will irritate the baby's sensitive skin. I don't know if there is any diaper services in your area.
I guess to me it has always been a choice to use disposables even though it says it takes up space in the landfill but for cloth diapers they require a lot of work because of the pre soaking before washing then putting them back through an extra rinse cycle.
God Bless and take care and good luck in getting all the information you need before attempting w/ the 2nd one.
A.

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R.S.

answers from Portland on

Not sure where you live, but the Babyworks store in Portland has been very helpful getting me going. You can order their free paper catalog online (babyworks.com), and it tells you everything you need to know. Also, diaperhyena.com has a wealth of information. I use Gerber prefolds from Target with Bummi's Super Whisper Wrap and love them. (it was the cheapest way I found to go cloth without pinning, as you don't need pins with a velcro cover) I do love Fuzzibunz, but can't justify the cost at this point. I've heard good things about gdiapers, although we have a septic system and they aren't recommended as they can plug them up. You also won't be saving money with them, just environmental reasons. My routine is this: dump excess poop in toilet (no swishing even), collect diapers in waterproof bag. The night before I wash, I put diapers in washer and do a prewash (this gets rest of poop off and soaks diapers overnight). IN the morning, I drain that, and wash in hot (long cycle) and double cold rinse. Dry. I wash twice a week, and have 2 dozen diapers for a 12 month old. You do have to change more frequently than a disposable, but if you added a 'doubler' you'd likely be about the same. Hope this helps.

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K.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hello,

I used disposeables for two years and cloth for three (and for the first year in cloth, BOTH my kids were in cloth). I loved cloth far, far, far more in every single way. In fact my cloth diapering experience made me actually enjoy diapering! I know, scary huh? ;-)

One thing I'd recommend is trying to get your hands on freebies - gifts or loans of diapering supplies, so you can try them out and then decide what to buy. It can be overwhelming to try to make choices, especially if you're going to buy new supplies and are worried about the cost. I had tons of stuff given to me and it helped me make a choice about what to buy (I ended up using the gifts of prefolds as rags - they are awesome and still going strong!). I ended up buying a new batch of Motherease (NAYY). Not only were they perfect and fit *both* my kids but I was able to pass them on to another parent when I was done.

If you want more information the forums at http://diaperpin.com (http://diaperpin.com/forum09/) have TONS of information. There is no cloth-diapering problem that can't be overcome, and the men and women there have done it and have wisdom to share!

If you'd like to hear more details about why I loved cloth, feel free to email me at kelly AT hogaboom DOT org.

Best of luck!

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K.E.

answers from Portland on

I have done both and a "hybrid" of the two. I didn't find that they are a bunch less expensive. They hold about 1/2 the amount of disposables. They have to be covered with a diaper cover to make it so most of the time they are not leaking. I like the hybrid option the best but they are very costly. (About 20.00 a diaper) bumGenius of bumkins are great brands. I found that if I went anywhere I would still need a cover. Since I change my babies about every 2 hours during the day they do pretty good. At night I didn't find such good results. I like luvs They fit my children better. You should start signing up with the companies to get coupons right away.

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A.B.

answers from Spokane on

I use cloth diapers on my little one. I love them. Sposies are just too exspensive. If you are really wanting to be cost effective, prefolds and covers are the way to go, but some people do not like them as much because they are a little more labor intensive than other more exspensive brands. I also night time diaper my little one, which other moms think I am crazy to do so because they might leak. But once you learn how to do it, you should have very little leaking problems. Wool soakers and diaper covers are also really great! Hope this helps.

A.

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E.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Cloth diapers through a diaper service worked great for us from day 1 through 7 months. When the baby started sleeping longer durations at night, we used a disposable for nighttime. The tri-fold cloth diapers used by our diaper service got really wet in the overnight stints, but they were just fine for 2-3 hours of daytime wear. For long daytime outings, we would occasionally use a disposible. We thought this combo was an excellent solution for cost, convenience, and reduction of landfill waste.

We are now using a combination of our own cloth diapers (bum genius) that we wash at home and the compostable disposable diapers (Nature Babycare).

The key to success with the cloth diapers is to use a diaper liner, especially once the baby is eating solids. These liners are flushable and they work amazingly well. There is little to no residue left in the diaper and we don't feel at all troubled by washing them in the washing machine.

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S.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi A.,
We used G diapers with our son until he was about 8 months old. They were great up until then, but after that he was just peeing too much for what the diaper liners could hold. I was changing him every 30 minutes and/or going through a few outfits a day so I stopped and started using Huggies leak lock. I would recommend them up until then and who knows, if you have a girl, maybe it would be different (I understand a boy's stream is more forceful than a girl's which apparently makes a difference diaper-wise). A lot of my friends used or still use Fuzzy Bunz and they love them. I was like you, though, not thrilled about washing out the poop, which was why the G-diapers were a great alternative. Good luck on trying for your second!

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K.S.

answers from Seattle on

My boys are teens now. When they were infants, we had diaper service for the first 6-9 months, then I would wash the cloth diapers myself. The younger child, however, had very sensitive skin and even though we used very mild, natural and organic cleaning products he was never completely comfortable with cloth -- got terrible rashes. When we went on a long road trip, I used disposables, and the rash cleared up. So we did just disposables after that.

Personally, I preferred the cloth diapers, and with diaper wraps they were just as leakproof and convenient (except on long trips where no laundry facilities were available). I think if you had to use a laundromat to do the washing, it might not be as much of a savings over disposables.

I think cloth is worth a try, I would definitely start with a diaper service though so you have just a little less to do at first.

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M.D.

answers from Seattle on

I did cloth about 90% with my first and with the second we switched to the G diapers at around 8 months. They are also great for traveling instead of cloth. I have a couple of girlfriends who use cloth and use a diaper service ( I washed my own) They also use the G-diaper covers with their cloth diapers because they are better and more comfy than a lot of the covers out there. I still have about three dozen tri-fold cotton flannel made in Canada cloth if you decide to go that way and want them.

R.S.

answers from Portland on

My children are 17 & 20 years old now but when they were babies I used cloth diapers and a diaper service. The quality of diapers that "Tidee Didee" had was very good. I only used disposable when going on a plane trip or week vacation. I never liked it.
My oldest hated being wet and was potty trained by age 2. I think it's odd that disposables feel dry all the time. It doesn't show the child that if they wet it will feel wet.
Sharing a diaper service with some else is reasonable. I had a neighbor that had a baby at the same time for awhile we spit the diapers. I think it was like getting service for twins but it's hard to remember. There are so many diaper covers out there now.
R.

R.S.

answers from Medford on

A.,
I am so excited for you! I have used cloth diapers from day one! They are so easy. Not to mention inexpensive!
I recomend that you start out with 3 doz. diapers. I now have 4 doz. It depends on how much you are going to wash. I have never had to wash poop in my washer, just so you know.
Where I live diapers would have cost me 100.00 a month. In total I have spent 130.00. My daughter is 7 months old now and we are still using them. Using cloth diapers has been a huge money saver for me!!!
If you are interested in how I set up my diaper system( you mentioned you have a friend who uses them)email me [email protected]____.com
Yo have my support
R.

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D.R.

answers from Portland on

I used pampers, loved them. They are spendy so it's a matter of convienence. I also used the house brand from Walmart, not the white cloud, did not like them. It's the other one, can't remember the name, they worked just like pampers for us.
I do worry about the landfills though, there was not so much worry about it when my kids were in diapers but I worry now and would take that into consideration.
D.

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J.M.

answers from Seattle on

I tried cloth diapers with a service for my first child but HATED it. Every single bowel movement was a blow out. And we had quite a few urine leaks, too. The service recommended using two cloth diapers . . . but this was bulky and seemed so uncomfortable for my son.

We switched to Huggies and bought them at Costco. Anytime diapers and/or wipes went on sale we stocked up. I think the cost/benefit ratio went in favor of the Huggies for us. I didn't have to wash every single thing that was on or under my son in hot water after each bowel movement!

I had another friend who had a baby who did not have quite so dramatic movements as my son, so she used cloth diapers (with a service) during the day and disposable diapers at night for the first six months.

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M.N.

answers from Portland on

I'm using cloth diapers and love them! When we go out of town for the weekend we switch to disposable for the convenience, and honestly, we've had more leak problems with disposables than cloth. We're not using a diaper service, just washing at home in our high efficiency washer and it works great. From what I've heard, a diaper service could cost about as much as disposable diapers, so if you're looking to save money, it might not be worth it. I also like that I have control over what kinds of cleansers are being used on the diapers. I have to say that diaper pins are HORRIBLE! I think diapers pins are why so many people give up on cloth diapers. If you go with cloth, definitely get some *Snappi*s. They are a wonderful little contraption that hooks the diaper together without pins and it works great.

We also got a nozzle that hooks up to the toilet for rinsing out diapers (from www.wildflowerdiapers.com - a really helpful, informative website) for around $35. Though, if it ever breaks, we'll just go to the hardware store and make the same thing ourselves for much cheaper. I love it for rinsing out the diapers into the toilet. And at www.babyworks.com I found something called a Diaper Duck. It wrings out the diaper after you've rinsed, so you can keep your hands relatively off the diaper.

I've also tried wool, fleece and PUL diaper covers and I really like the PUL. I can not remember one leak in the 8+ months we've been using cloth diapers. (We're just using regular old prefold cotton diapers with diaper covers. I tried hemp because they are supposed to be more absorbent, which they probably are, but I don't really like them because it seems like the weave is too tight to use the snappi well.)

Let me know if you have any more questions! I'd be happy to share my experiences. Good luck!

(I don't know much about gdiapers, but I know my S-I-L didn't like them much, and you still have to make sure you rinse them, and tear apart the liner and stuff like that. Sounds like too much work for a "convenient" diaper to me.)

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A.Z.

answers from Portland on

Hi A.,

My name is A. and I am the owner of Punkin Butt in Tualatin. I give free advice on cloth diapering and I am happy to show you all of the different types of diapers and explain the differences in their use and care. I can also help you figure out if you would prefer a diaper service or washing them yourself. Either method is pretty easy though.

You can read our article The Diaper Dilemma (http://www.punkinbutt.com/article_info.php?articles_id=11). It goes through the environmental impact of disposable diapers vs cloth, as well as health, financial, and time factors.

You can always call me too. I can recommend a very good diaper service if you do not want to purchase cloth diapers.

A.
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K.J.

answers from Seattle on

I used cloth with disposables as a back up for my daughter who is now 8 1/2. It went well. I am now 39 weeks pregnant and I am researching my options for this time around (a lot can change in 8 years). What I found:
There is a great article in a recent mothering magazine and in most areas cloth with a diaper service is still cheaper and more environmentally friendly. The chemicals used and the environmental impact may vary some for where you live, I wouldn't know.

The diaper service was absolutely worth it! I think it even came out to being a smidge cheaper! I don't think I would do it if I was putting all that through my machine. They also have a new flushable diaper liner, so you use a wrap similar to the cloth diapers, but you flush it down the toilet. I thought I would check this out as a back up, but I remain wary.

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J.B.

answers from Seattle on

Allison,

I have 2 kids and used cloth on both. I didn't find them to be a burden at all.We even took a month long train trip across the country visiting family and used cloth all the way...

I got diapers and covers with velcro closures from
Pro Services, Inc. out of Vancouver ,WA. the # is 1-800-397-8594. I asked for "seconds" which were excellent quality and very cheap.

As for the poop cleaning, a friend of mine found flushable diaper liners.They look like a dry wet-wipe. Either line all the diapers with it or figure out when your baby usually poops and use them then. That way you can peel the whole mess out and flush it away.

Cloth is great because you save money, keep a whole lot of material out of the landfill, and you have a ton of handy rags when the kids are out of diapers. Also, kids supposedly potty train easier with cloth because they notice the wetness more.

Hope it works for you-Jen

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