Seeking Cloth Diaper Advice

Updated on November 01, 2011
J.M. asks from Seattle, WA
11 answers

For those of you who have used cloth diapers, what products did you go with? Where did you get them?

We are having our second child. For our first child we used Seventh Generation disposable diapers at night and cloth diapers during the day. We had a diaper service, so there was no choice as to type of diaper. This time we're going to try doing them at home, at least until I go back to work. The options for diapers and wraps seem really wide open, I'm not sure which direction to go in.

I don't want to spend a ton of money. We're having a boy, if that makes a difference. It seems like most people buy a form fitted diaper rather than the traditional square (that's what the diaper service used) and a wrap. There are so many different wrap products available, it's kind of overwhelming.

Thanks for your input!

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answers from Portland on

A close friend of mine recently took a class at the store Cotton Babies. She was able to try out different types of diaper systems and it helped her decide on which ones she liked best. They had dolls to practice and many types of diaper systems out. The employees went through how to use the different products and the cost of each system.

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answers from Seattle on

We are on our second baby with cloth diapers and we, (yes my husband) loves them. They are no harder to take care of then doing your normal laundry, you just have to wash them on cold and then do a hot wash and then another rinse. Not too bad at all. Now for the diapers we use. For our first one we used BumGenius 3.0. I got most as seconds from and paid 10-12 dollars for them I believe. I loved them, they are velcro and you just stuff, really no more time to stuff a diaper then it is to lay down a prefold and put a diaper cover on. I originally had kissaluvs as well but had leaking issues, now I see it was because I was using prowrap diaper covers and they aren't the best. This time I bought Fuzzibunz, because you can adjust the leg elastic and waist elastic and adjust perfectly for your baby. I bought these on sale online as well. I also bought Kissaluvs because I was having leaking problems with the Fuzzibunz because I used rash medicine and it was causing problems. My daughter was a pooping machine, she had diarrhea from medicine I had to take and that was causing rashes. I bought the kissaluvs and they worked wonderfully with the thirsties diaper covers and the flip diaper covers. The kissaluvs I have gotten off of craigslist for 5 dollars each, a wonderful deal. You also want to make sure you are using the correct laundry soap. We use Rocking Green and Country Save. The only other thing you may have to adjust for is if you have a front loader. I have one and have to do an extra rinse and wash them on the towel setting. But other than that, I love cloth diapers. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. I have used prefold with a diaper cover, diapers that require a diaper cover and all in ones I can tell you what I use what for. :) And as a side note I still have a kiddo in diapers so I had to wash diapers even though I had a newborn and it was no more harder than it was before my daughter was born.



answers from Seattle on

I adore the following diapers:

And i like that supplier as well.

I have tried a wide variety of cloth diapers. Probably the flat ones that you fold and use with a diaper cover are the cheapest solution, but i find them to be enough of a bigger hassle to use that i just really prefer the all-in-one type thing. We'll be using some of our for a third kid soon, and pretty much all of them will end up going through two, so it seems more worth while to pay for the ones that i like the most.

(I have also tried a number of other brands/styles. Some of them are now retired (or are only used while we're at home and planning to change easily/quickly) because they are no long reliably absorbent and leak free. My Bum Genius ones are among those - don't seem to hold as much, and never fit as well so they leaked more. My Thirsties are newer, but so far they have been holding up really well, fit well, and absorb a ton.)

Pay attention to washing instructions - i think this would make the diapers last longer/absorb more. And i really appreciate having a 'sanitize' setting on my washer to use - i didn't have one with my first child and it has made a bit difference with my second child. I mostly just use water - only detergent every few washes instead of every one. No fabric softener. I do sprinkle the dirty diapers with baking soda, which then goes into the washer, and i imagine that helps keep them fresher (and makes the pail smell less).



answers from Tampa on

They make great burp cloths :) Good luck...sorry I cannot help.



answers from Bellingham on

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Best Bottom diapers from Nicki's Diapers and have been using them for about a year.

Here is the link:

They have snaps (which I find easy to use) and they grow with your child (I used them for my second son starting when he was 2 weeks old -- after his cord fell off -- and my first son until he was potty trained at just over 2 years) They also have inserts that snap in so you don't need a new cover ever time the child pees. I just take out the insert and either snap in a new one or use set it aside just to let it air out and then re-use it (if it is really wet I will wash it before reusing). And the inserts come in 3 sizes to grow with your child, although I only used the small and large sizes. I have never had any leakage with these. I have not tried using them as night diapers as I had problems with other cloth brands overnight prior to getting these, but I think they have special inserts that are thicker and more absorbent.

I think the whole system is very affordable. I have 10 covers and 16 inserts and the moment, but the covers were split between my two kids at one point, so you don't need to have that many. Washing is simple -- I wash them every few days with a little detergent (about 1/4 as much as I normally use, and I use a detergent with no dyes or fragrances) and I haven't noticed any deterioration in absorbancy.

Good luck with cloth diapering!



answers from Portland on

Looks like you got and will probably get lots of advice and ideas. Mommas that use cloth love their cloth. I didn't use it with my first and regret it now. I think the big question to ask yourself is if you plan to have more. We did not so we went largely with Fuzzi Bunz once size after about 6 months (I did some various other diapers before that). They would be great if you don't plan on having two in diapers at the same time and last from 6 months to potty training easily - but if you plan to have 2 in cloth they aren't a fast adjustment so then the snap down all in ones might be a better investment. I also sold off anything I ended up not liking and always made back most of my investment. I did buy some used but I would be careful with this - I got some bad diapers on a few exchanges because I just didn't know what to look for.

It can be overwhelming the number of choices so one option would be to look for a trial - there are several online stores that will give you a sample to try for 3 months then you keep or send back what you don't like - then buy more of what you do. Think hard about a trial at least a first.

Check out both the cloth diaper whisperer and dirty diaper laundry I believe (Kim Rosas) they both have great blogs and something called the cloth diaper finder which will help you in choosing and lots of videos to help you figure out what you like. lots of local cloth diaper stores also do 101 classes and you can get your hands on some.

Don't be intimidated. My husband was iffy and is now a HUGE supporter. We have enough for three diapers and do laundry every other day which allows us to leave some diaper in the dryer or hanging. You'll want probably 2 wet bags (one in the laundry and one in use - maybe a small one for on the road) and some detergent for diapers. Also consider cloth wipes - super easy. Diaper safe cream is ok but really just cutting up a receiving blanket and placing it in the diaper when you use any cream (then washing separate from the diapers) .

You can do it cheaper if you just are careful about what purchase - do laundry more frequently - sell off what you are done with or don't like - possibly buy used (carefully or maybe at consignment) oh, and don't get addicted like most of us do :)



answers from Portland on

Hi J.,

I am the owner of and I would be happy to help answer your questions. We also have a huge resource of diaper articles that cover the types of diapers, how to clean and care for them, using accessories and more!

There are cloth diaper shops everywhere, so if you need help finding someone near you, let me know and I can direct you.

To answer a couple of your questions, I loved and used pocket diapers with my first child. With my subsequent children, I found I enjoyed a variety diapers as each child had very different needs for fit and absorbancy. The most inexpensive but effective diapering option is prefolds and covers - I love the Bummis Covers, they are affordable, easy to care for and hold up through more than one child. The prefolds are awesome because you can fold and fit them many different ways and as they are outgrown, they are wonderful for hundreds of other purposes. From washing windows lint free, buffing cars without scratching, scrubbing the kitchen, extra rags and towels, washcloths, packing delicate and breakables, turning into changing pads and so much more! You definitely can get every penny out of your prefolds and then some! If you are dealing rashes, breathability is a must and wool covers at least for nighttime use really helps! Many parents find that once they get over the fear they have of wool, discover it is extremely easy and wonderful to use.

The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to try a variety of diapers and see what works for you. You may have fit issues which can cause leaking, skin sensitivity from synthetic fabrics, rashes from natural fabrics, washing issues, etc. So if you buy 1 or 2 diapers of different types and styles, you'll have a good feel for what you like and what works best. When you move out of newborn, then you can better invest in a whole set of what you love.

Diapering care is easy especially with newborns. You simply toss the diapers in a pail. No need to rinse, soak or anything. When ready to wash, run a rinse cycle and rinse them clean in the washer. This removes everything allowing the washer to clean the diapers better. Then run a regular wash load if you have a top loading washer. if you have a front loading washer, you may need to do the whitest whites option or run and extra rinse. They don't use much water and have a harder time getting diapers clean and rinsed free of detergent residue.

I am happy to answer any of your question - no purchase required. Send me a note and I can call you or respond through email or messages.



answers from Eugene on

Please don't do them at home. You won't believe how exhausted you are when you have a small child and a baby to nurse. Going back to work is hard too. Give yourself at least 6 months. I know the service is expensive but so is endless washing folding and putting away. It was such a juggling act for me to get the diapers washed in time for the next spit up or .....



answers from Dayton on

The ones I prefered were Happy Heiny's. The velcro lasted much better than Bum Genius, and it was easy on and off. You do have to stuff them though. I haven't looked into all in one or all in two's, but those are more expensive.



answers from Los Angeles on

I use Bum Genius 4.0 one size all-in-ones. I know you said you are looking for a cloth diaper with a separate cover, but what I like about the all-in-ones is that although you have to stuff them, which takes time, I think they leak less and everything stays in the diaper better. I tried the flip diaper which is a liner with a cover, and poop was always getting on the cover because it would slide off the cloth liner. I used prefolds with covers when my son was a newborn because that's all that would fit, but I had some that were made that had velcro on them, so that was nicer than having to pin them. I also like the Bum Genius because you can stuff 1 or 2 liners (doublers) in addition to the main one for night time and it absorbs everything all night. A lot of people like the Fuzzibunz, but I find you can't stuff as many extra liners in there. The problem? They are expensive, like maybe $17 for one diaper? You can get them cheaper if you get the older versions which come only with velcro rather than snaps and buy in multipacks sometimes. But they are easy to use in my opinion, easy to wash and they must be cheaper to wash yourself than a diaper service. I work too, and I have time to wash them every couple of days without it being a big deal. The one size diapers are nice too, supposedly they last up until potty training! My son is still on the second size (out of 3) and he is 17 months. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I've clothed two kids (last one is only in cloth diapers at night).

The bulk of my stash is Bum Genies one-size. You should be able to pick something like them up used for a good price. An all in one, one size is the way to go. You should easily be able to use them with a day care place, etc. They are just like sposies, so even grandpa can change diapers without any problems!

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