Need Cloth Diaper Advice

Updated on May 17, 2011
L.O. asks from San Jose, CA
13 answers

Hi Moms! Although I didn't cloth diaper with my first, I am seriously considering this with our second (due this Oct). I wanted to hear of your experiences and get tips from moms who have either attempted to cloth diaper or who have cloth diapered successfully. I'm not even really sure what questions I'm supposed to ask. However, the 2 that jump out at me are:

1. Did you cloth diaper from the very beginning? If so, how did that go especially in the infant stage? Anything I should consider? If not from the very beginning, how long did you wait and if you could do it again, would you wait again?
2. Would love any brand recommendations. If possible, most affordable, easy to clean diapers that "grow" with baby? I'm open to a diaper service but prefer to clean myself to keep costs down. I've heard of some that you literally toss in the wash and the cover and insert separate?

There are probably other things I haven't thought of. If you'd like to chime in about anything else, would love the input. Thanks so much!

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answers from Fort Wayne on

I love my cloth diapers! I used them on my youngest starting when she was about 3 months old. We only waited that long because she was so teeny that all the diapers were too big for her!! I started on her with newborn sized prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and Xtra Small Bummies Covers. I also had some Thirsties Duo Wraps with the Velcro. I preferred the prefolds because they fit snugger around her legs.

When she was big enough, we started on the One Size Pocket Diapers. I have a TON of different brands and I love them all! My SmartiPants are one of my favorites for my diaper bag. They're also the least expensive. They are a sleeve style, so the insert agitates out in the wash. My other favorites are my BabyKicks 3g with a Joey Bunz insert. They are very trim, super crazy absorbant and well-worth the cost. I think they're about average as far as cost goes. I also love my FuzziBunz and BlueBerry diapers. They have the cutest prints :D The BabKicks, FuzziBunz and BlueBerry you have to unstuff before you can put them in the washer.

Lots of people swear by Bum Genius, but they're expensive so I don't have any. I was lucky enough to get quite a few of my diapers second hand. You might want to contact a service to see if they have any diapers that they are going to retire. A friend of mine just got a TON of prefolds that the diaper service couldn't use anymore for CRAZY cheap.

I'm hearing really good things about Kawaii brand, but I've never tried them.

There is a type of diaper called a hybrid diaper that a lot of people love. It's a shell with an insert that either lays in or snaps in. Everyone I know that uses them says they're really easy to use a cinch to wash. Flips and AppleCheeks are a few of the brands that I know of. The Kawaii might be a hybrid too.

I highly recommend The Cloth Diaper Whisperer for reading up on cloth. The ladies over there do a great job of really breaking everything down for you.

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answers from Chicago on

I used cloth diapers with my son even though I didn't plan on it. He was severely allergic to disposible diapers. I think he was about 4 days old when I started with cloth. As a young infant (up until about 10 months) I really preferred the Thirsties diaper(I used sizes small and medium). I used it as an AIO, but it also had a pocket to add an insert if needed. It was very thin, fit well under clothes, and contained (never leaked) everything including the very liquidy breastfeeding poop. As my son got older, they began to leak. From then on I preferred Bum Genius Organic AIO. No pockets to stuff and absorbed well. I also had Bum Genius one size, Baby Beehinds hemp one size, and urban fluff diapers. I found the one size ones are very bulky. They worked well for us in the summer when my son could run around in a diaper and shirt. I hated putting them on under pants.

I found cloth diapering to be very easy. I washed diapers every other day and had no problems with smell or anything. My dry pail with sealed lid worked well. An added son potty trained in one day at 22 months old.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I did cloth diapers with my daughters.. I really liked it actually.. I bought the kushie brand all in one.. I really liked them..

I would definitely recommend the flushable liners for the poop.. you just pick up this thin little rice paper and most of the poop follows with and you flush that down the toilet..

I really preferred the all in one.. I did do the liner and diaper seperate as well and I didn't care for it as much.. They do take a longer time to dry but worth it.. I think we bought 20 or 25 and in the beginning you would wash every other day.. after awhile I could do it about twice a week.. These don't grow as well with your child but they are pretty reasonable in price.. I did use disposable diapers for the first weeks.. I can't remember how long we did that.. but noticed that they needed to be a little bigger so they would fit the diaper properly..

I'm sure you will get a lot of good advice from those that remember more.. I'm sitting here my mind a complete blank of how it actually was with using the cloth diapers.. it wasn't that long ago for goodness sakes..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

I started with baby #4 and am currently cd'ing with #5. I did use disposables for the first few weeks with both b/c I didn't want to invest in the itty bitties that would only last a short time. I *wanted* to, but just couldn't bring myself to cough it up.

I tried just about every type with #4, which helped me to streamline for #5. Everyone is going to have different opinions, but here's mine - Econobums covers with unbleached Indian prefolds. (
They do sell the cover/prefold package, but those prefolds are still a bit big on my 14(ish) pounder, so I have some separate "infant" and "regular" prefolds.
And I'm a fan of Snappis to secure them.

All in all, that's probably one of the cheepest routes, the covers are adjustable (I think they claim 8-30lbs), and prefolds dry the fastest of all diaper types.

For wipes, I mostly cut up my own fabric or use baby washcloths, and I keep them in a store wipes box with a bit of water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

I just started cloth diapering my second baby, who is seven weeks old. We are using GroVia hybrid diapers and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. If I had had any idea that cloth diapering could be this easy I would have done it with my first baby as well. I did a lot of research before we picked these diapers, I looked at Fuzzi Bunz, BumGenius, Kissaluvs, g-Diapers, Flips, Happy Heinies, and a few others, but I choose GroVia because they have the option of being semi-disposable, and because these diapers have two separate parts, a waterproof cover and an absorbent soaker pad that snaps into the cover. When you change a diaper, you can simply remove the soaker pad and reuse the cover, as long as the cover wasn't soiled.
They are really easy to use and wash up really well, and they are a one-size adjustable diaper that fits babies from about 10-35 pounds.
If you are interested in hearing more about them then feel free to PM me and I would be happy to give you more info and answer any questions you have.
Oh, and we used disposables for the first few weeks. One size diapers won't really fit until baby is a bit bigger, and since we didn't want to buy any tiny newborn cloths, we just did Huggies for the first 4 weeks or so.
Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

I didn't use cloth diapers with my first either but still am with my second daughter. A friend of mine lent me her prefolds with covers at first but then I decided to go with FuzziBunz, which I love. I bought size small and then sold them on ebay for almost as much as I paid for them because they were in such good shape. Now I am using size medium and my daughter is 21 months old. They are really cute, easy to use and my daughter has only had diaper rash twice. The key is to buy a diaper sprayer that connects to your toilet to spray off the poop. The fuzzi fleece material is very easy to clean the poop off of. All you have to do to clean them is put them in a dry pail until you do a load, rinse them on cold to get solids off and then do a load of hot with a free and clear detergent. The only problem I ever had with the diapers is if you use too much soap and there is a buildup they will start smelling. If that happens, you just strip them by not using detergent for one round. I highly recommend them!



answers from San Francisco on

Good for you for considering cloth diapers! I'll start off by admitting that I used a diaper service (ABC-Tidee Didee) and found it quite affordable, and probably couldn't have managed cloth without it. So that's my particular bias.

I used cloth with all three of my kids from the beginning - as soon as we got home from the hospital. It worked great. I nearly always brought disposables if we were going out (so that I didn't have to carry home a messy diaper - although I did keep several ziploc bags in the diaper bag for that reason), and eventually, with all three, started using disposables at night because they just slept better. Eventually, with all three, we ended up going to all disposable, though we probably went a good year with #1 and #3 (can't remember what we did with #2 - poor middle child!).

I've got to say that with my daughter (#3), who has very sensitive skin, cloth was far better for her than disposables. I would have loved to keep using cloth for her, but she started going to day care full time, and her provider won't deal with them. It just didn't make sense for us to retain the service for nights/weekends.

That's my perspective.... good luck and congrats!


answers from Seattle on

With my first two boys, cloth diapering had never crossed my mind. With my third, we had been broke for awhile, and new it was the only way for us.

I was lost with where to start. There are so many brands, so few places that sell them! I did my first purchase of stuff off of They offer free shipping and 10% off your first purchase. That made it more appealing to order. I bought two of every kind. My Favorites were. Fuzzibunz. Any of the all in ones. And the one size fits all. I also love the G-diapers. As my guy has gotten old and we have worn through some of the washable inserts, that some of them come with, I stopped buying new liners. I now will buy the G-diaper flushable/compost-able inserts. It makes everything sooo much easier. I can compost the insert or flush it!!

The other things I would look at, if you start your quest are: Have a wet/dry carry along bag, A pail with lid so you can orderlessly store dirty liners and covers. Some sort of spray you can add on top of the stinky stuff waiting for wash. A couple of wool or good quality waterproof covers(you will find some brands of clothe diapers get damp feeling after a while of wear without needing to be changed. I think it comes from moister the skin puts off)big enough, to cover diaper set up once on. Make sure you keep a few combo sets in the car. that way you dont ever have to remember it as you go out the door.

You can hold on doing covers and liners until the end of the day. Thats what the pail w/lid is for. That way you do not have to be constantly washing diapers. Make sure though that you allow time to hang dry. some can not go into the dryer. Once you get going you will get a good rotation...

Diaper service is great when baby is a newborn. It helps you out big time by, taking you washing them out of the equation. I have never used one, but my sister did. I only would recommend it for the first month or two. Once you get your ''new baby'' legs under you and can resume a more normally wont feel rushed or overwhelmed starting with the cloth diapers...the first few weeks are so crazy, it can probably be wayyy to much to try and learn with new baby .



answers from San Francisco on

Hi, It is great that you are considering cloth diapering, I Love it, and have cloth diapered both of my boys, age 3.5 and 2 (2 yr old still using them). We use and Love Motherease diapers, they have multiple snaps and can be folded to fit a small baby up to a toddler, the covers are separate but hold and keep the wet/ poopy diaper in- I have only had a few blow outs with these covers. They are easy to launder and have lasted through 2 babies and I am hoping to use them for a third in the future. When my babies were first born, we did use a cloth diapering service for like 6 weeks b/c it was easier than washing diapers and when they are so little even with folding the mother ease diapers they seem too big, plus you change them more often as infants so it is nice to have the diaper service in the beginning. Washing is easy, I just use the natural soap from trader joes and add borax as a deodorizer and stain remover, I use the sanitizing cycle with an extra rinse on the washing machine, and hang they stained ones on a clothes line to bleach in the sun. The one not greatest part is dunking the poopy diaper in the toilet, but is not that gross until baby eats solids, our system is to have flat folding diapers, we purchased from Target, good for burp rags too, we keep a stack near the toilet and after dunking the poop we set the wet diaper in the flat diaper on the side of the toilet to be able to carry it to the diaper bin. The diaper bin we use is a simple human stainless steel trash can with lid, there is an inset with a handle that removes easily that I carry to the laundry. I spray the insert with a few sprays of bleach water and enzyme spray and leave it outside to air out, it rarely smells. For travel we bought a sailing wet bag from West marine, it holds all moisture in and fold over to keep smell in. Hope hearing about my system helps, and good luck to you with a second and with cloth diapering. I feel great about saving the environment from all of those un-biodegradable plastic and chemicals in plastic diapers and keeping them from my babies' skin too, but I love saving all of the money from buying those diapers. A side note: we do use Nature's Baby Care disposables at night once the boys turned one, they were peeing so much and having severe rashes, and sometimes when we are car traveling for a long time, but they are better disposables then the commercial ones


answers from Dallas on

I would suggest using your least favorite plain ole cloth diapers during the newborn stage. They pass some stuff that will not come out and the diapers have to be thrown away. Save the expensive ones with cute covers for after you get passed that stage.



answers from Sacramento on

I cloth-diapered my son, and I loved it. Will definitely do it again if we have another child. We saved a ton of money, and I felt better about the environmental impact, too. When he was a tiny infant, we used Bummis Super Whisper Wraps with prefolds. The prefolds were super easy to throw in the wash, and he often didn't soil the Whisper Wraps, so we were able to reuse them. When he got older, we switched to FuzziBunz. Love them--so easy! Only complaint: You have to be very careful not to use a detergent that will cause buildup on them. If they get buildup, you'll have to strip them to make them absorbent again and to get the smell out. Stripping is doable, but it's kind of a pain when you're caring for a baby too. :-) We used Charlie's Soap, which you can order online--and it happens to be quite affordable. (I think it's cheaper than Tide and all those brands.) We just used it for all of our laundry, so that our washing machine wouldn't have buildup in it from using other detergent.

Also, I personally believe what they say about cloth-diapered kids potty training earlier. My son was a total breeze to potty-train at 27 months, and he's never had any backsliding. In fact, even when he has a horrible stomach bug, he STILL doesn't lapse on his potty-training. It's truly great--and I don't know whether the ease of training had anything to do with the cloth-diapers, but they say it does...and I'm a believer. :-)

Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

Just as an fyi, if you need to use a disposable, I highly recommend trying Nature Babycare diapers and pull-ups. They are made from corn-based material, not oil-based. I especially like them for my son as overnight diapers. With the gel diapers, he would fill up the front and then it would overflow; with Nature Babycare, the corn material absorbs evenly filling the whole diaper.
The are even sold at Target. Their pricing is actually on par with Pampers, etc.



answers from Tampa on

We started with our older son when he was 10mo. Used prefolds with covers since it was cheapest. We also had some FuzziBunz wich were ok. We eventually got BumGenius 3.0 One size. Now with baby #2, we didn't start him till he was about 8wks old, he was too little before that. We still use the BG that we had from our first and also got the 4.0 One sizes so we could get a bigger stash of the one size (it's just a newer version). We got rid of the other diapers. I wash then every 3rd day, baby is breastfed (not that that makes a difference). And we do use disposables at night. Good luck! I love cloth diapering!

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