What are your experience with cloth diapers?

Updated on February 09, 2009
S.C. asks from Bowling Green, OH
24 answers

I think I'm going to use cloth diapers for my next baby. We're trying to go green and save a little money at the same time. I think I'm pretty sold on one size pocket diapers. They seem to be the easiest to use and the best deal overall. Now I need to find a place to buy them! I tried DiaperSwappers, but I find it really hard to use and from what I've seen, the deals aren't all that great. I don't mind used or seconds, I just can't find anyplace to buy them. Does anybody have any suggestions? I'll be working part-time after the baby is born and I'm not sure how the sitter will take to using cloth. Is there anything I can do to make it easier for her? And do I need a diaper sprayer? I've heard that they are wonderful. And if I do use a diaper sprayer, will the wet diapers get moldy sitting in a pail? The plan is to wash diapers every two days. Oh, and should I think about getting some newborn sizes? Or should I wait till after the baby's born to get a better idea of his/her size? My daugther was only 4lbs 4ozs when she came home and I can't find any cloth that would have fit her. And if there are any brands that you love, I'd really like some recommendadions. It's hard when I can't go to the store and touch and feel all the different brands!

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Summary

Some parents love the cloth diapers for their kids, while some parents said it didn't work out well. Check out the article for more parents' reviews.

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S.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

I found diaper swappers easier if I just put what I wanted in my ISO and let people find me. Then, type the diaper you want in to google with "clearance" or "Store Closing" and see what comes up. The good thing about the economy right now is that a lot of small internet businesses are closing and trying to sell off inventory.
Try Ebay, Craig's list, and cafemom.com.
I agree, I love bumGenius and Happy Heinies OS pockets. Mother's Touch also started making a new one that has hooks instead of velcro or snaps - very toddler resistant! lol

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A.M.

answers from Indianapolis on

I used cloth diapers with my daughter. She was a premie and was 4lbs 10oz when she came home from the hospital. I was able to fold the cloth part small enough but couldn't find the rubber pants small enough to fit around her little legs. We even tried sewing some smaller but it didn't work out too well. I just used the premie diapers until she was bigger. I rinsed all the diapers out and put them in the pail and washed them about every 2 days or so. I used tide and bleach with hot water then another cycle with dreft then a last cycle with baking soda. It worked great for us. I would keep a few disposable diapers on hand if we were out or if I had someone watch her and the only ones we had trouble with was huggies they would break her out in a huge rash.

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G.B.

answers from Dayton on

I couldn't figure out diaperswappers to save my life, but Craig's list has some at times. Just keep checking back. We don't have a diaper sprayer but might invest in one this time around. I only started when my son was about 14 months old, so I missed that newborn phase with cloth. It isn't necessary, but could make life easier. I just held onto the clean tabs and dunked if we had too. The fleece or microsuede really does just make it roll off mostly (unless it's one of those really gross ones). I would recommend the flushable liners for at least when you are out. I was in a public bathroom with no liner in the diaper and I certainly wasn't dunking in that toilet! The whole thing came home with me - not my first choice by far! If you wash every 2 days, you shouldn't have mold issues. You should be just fine.

We stuck with the one size pockets also. I didn't think that after buying multiple sizes of diapers and covers the difference would be all that much, and the pockets made life easier for us. I like the Happy Heiny OS with snap closure. The Bum Genius and the Happy Heiny with velcro/aplix were great at first, but the velcro didn't seem to hold up well. I can't say I'm looking forward to snapping a diaper on a squirmy one year old, but hopefully both of use will be used to it by then. The only diaper I hated was the BumWare. It's supposed to be one size but it just never fit right and the snap down in front doesn't seem like it would work well.

As for newborn sizes, we are going with disposables until the baby gets big enough for the one size. From reviews I've read, that should be about 10 pounds. Since your baby was so small, I don't know about that. Hopefully, someone else will be able to help you.

Also, if you want lots of reviews diaperpin.com has a great review site of diapers and the websites that sell them.

Good luck with the cloth! It really was a lot less work than I thought it would be, and I love passing by the $30 box of diapers and the $20 box of wipes at Sam's when we go.

Feel free to message me if you have any other questions. I still feel like a cloth newbie even though it's been a year, but I'll do my best. If I don't get back with you soon, it's because our next little guy decided to make his appearance.

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C.B.

answers from Lafayette on

i don't know the name brand, but walmart carries cloth diapers & the plastic panties that go over them. that's pretty much the only store around where i live to buy things like that. you could try typing in "cloth diapers" in your search engine & see what comes up.

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B.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

Hi Shaun,
I make customized cloth diapers, liners and wet bags. My children are long out of diapers so I can no longer speak of first hand knowledge but from what I hear about diapers I think mine are working!!!! I customize then as to content, fabric choice and of course size. I can put in PUL or not. I use touch tape which is very strong. Let me know if you would be interested in seeing my diapers/liners/bags.
Betzy

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J.G.

answers from Columbus on

Shaun,
I have been using BumGenius pocket diapers for about a year. I think I bought 24. They do not fit a newborn. My son was 7lbs, and the leg holes didn't fit snugly, despite the brands website saying they fit 8lbs. So we actually used disposables until he gained enough weight. I don't think we started using them until he was about 3 months. I never had a diaper sprayer. If your baby is breastfed, their poop is very liquid, and you don't have to clean this off whatsoever. The poop is soluable in water, so it washes right out. Now that he is eating solids, his poop is more solid, and you can basically just plop any solids into the toilet, no sprayer needed. I ordered mine from Tree City Diapers.com because they were having a clearance on the BumGenius 2.0, since 3.0 was getting ready to come out. Another place to look at is abbyslane.com or cottonbabies.com. The big key with cloth is how to care for them, so make sure you do your reading about that. I kept using too much detergent, and the soap builds up in the microfiber insert, and the diapers started to smell. I had to strip them, which required several loads of hot washing.

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H.G.

answers from Columbus on

we have tried using cloth diapers with both of our girls & are unable to b/c they get terrible diaper rashes constantly. BUT, that is not usual (my girls & i have terribly sensitive skin).

whichever cloth diaper you do use, a toilet sprayer is very necessary & wonderful to get the poo off. with newborns who are breastfed, you really don't have to rinse the poo off much, though.

also, have you thought about cloth wipes? we have always used cloth wipes (they are more gentle on skin b/c it's just water). you would just wash them with the diapers...we bought the baby washcloths (the thin ones that are about 12 for $6), cut them in half (they don't fray) & voila: wipes that will last for years.

if you wash the diapers every 2 or even 3 days, you should have to worry about anything getting moldy. the whole system is actually much easier once you do it once or twice; for sure not as difficult as some people seem to think. (so, if your babysitter has problems with it, i would look for someone else ;o).

i'm not sure where you live, but there is a cloth diaper store in columbus, ohio. they do have a website: http://preciousdignity.myshopify.com/ ... the store is next to clintonville off of 71 & morse rd. anyway, her diapers are wonderful! they cost about as much as everyone else's do. i also really liked bumpkins.

there are websites & such out there to help you with figuring out the laundering (such as how much detergent, what 'stripping' the diapers means, etc etc). i just printed off some instructions when my #1 was born & taped it above the washer for awhile. drying them in the sun is the best for getting stains out.

i think you could just use a small prefolded diaper for a small small newborn. we didn't buy a size for newborn b/c our babies don't really stay in newborn size that long.

well, that's about all i can think of. hope this helps!

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B.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

We use cloth diapers for our twin boys. We absolutely love them! I would definitely recommend the diaper sprayer. It is a fantastic thing!! It is fabulous to just spray off the poo into the toilet instead of having to get dirty yourself! We use Chinese prefolds with the Bummis super whisper wrap covers. At night we use the mother ease one size dry diaper. It is awesome! It wicks away the moisture so the baby's bottom stays dry longer. It also holds like 13 oz of liquid and the liner you can buy holds another 7 oz. This has really worked well for us. The boys can sleep in that diaper all night (sometimes up to 12 hours) and not leak. The prefolds are the most economic (about $2 a diaper) and I feel like they work well for us. They aren't hard to use - you just fold in thirds and lay it in the cover. Your babysitter may be ok with that once she is shown how to do it. I store my diapers folded in a basket so you just have to lay it into the cover. Super easy! Also you don't have to worry about the diapers getting moldy in the pail. Washing every two days is what we do and I've never had a problem with them. I do use the dry pail method instead of the wet pail. The wet pail method kind of creeps me out and it's really not necessary. I haven't had any problems with staining. Hope this helps!

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C.E.

answers from Cincinnati on

I know it is a little late, and I am not an expert on the subject matter, but didn't know if you have heard of G Diapers? I am exploring them and so far so good. It seems like it would be easier for the baby sitter too because you can just throw away the insert which breaks down in the environment in like 90 days (compared to 500 yrs. for disposable). Right now we are using them at home and not for daycare so we don't go through too many, but a fried told me that if you get an automatic shipment through Amazon.com then you don't pay too much (however this would probably be as expensive as disposables so if you were looking to save money then this isn't an option). Worth looking into though.

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R.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

I spoke to my sitter about using the cloth diapers, they said they were fine, then I found out they were using disposable on my child when he was there. I wondered why he came home with so many cloth diapers. So I would say you can explain to her how to use them, but she will probably use what is easiest for her, just like we would. I found, as did the sittr, that my son had to be changed a lot more frequently with the cloth diapers, but this was 15 years ago. AT night I would use disposable because he was such a big wetter!
Good luck.
R.

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R.B.

answers from Toledo on

We used Fuzzy Bunz and loved them. We couldn't use the small size right away, due to my baby's size. We used disposable diapers till she was big enough for the cloth. You will need at least a dozen covers and 24 inserts, but I would recommend getting more in case you aren't able to wash them frequently enough. They probably come in a newborn size, but that is an extra investment, and your baby may not be in them for long. But you could always sell them or save them if you will be having more babies. With Fuzzy Bunz you put inserts inside the covers, which snap closed. Your babysitter should have no trouble using them. You don't soak them. To wash them you first do a cold water rinse, then a wash with detergent in hot. To find used cloth diapers, try Craig's List and EBAY.

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J.B.

answers from Louisville on

I am old-fashioned, and my son is 16, so things may have changed. But I bought the cloth diapers with the foam inserts - prefolded and they were either Gerber or Curity, not sure what brand. I got them at WalMart and Target. And used the plastic pants over them.

I had a diaper pail, and I would mix a solution of Dreft and hot water in it. Wet diapers just went in the pail, and poopy ones were emptied out first. I used diaper liners during the newborn stage when the breastfeeding made for more messy diapers.

The pail would be emptied about every other day. Dump diapers and all in the washer, and run a rinse cycle. Then wash them in hot water and Dreft. No fabric softener.

This was how my mother did diapers for us in the 60's, and it worked well for me in the early 90's. My son only got diaper rash when we temporarily used disposables while travelling.

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P.R.

answers from Indianapolis on

I am a little out of the picture now as my youngest is 10 but I used cloth with all three of them. The brand you are talking about is a new name to me. I bought my cloth diapers at JC Penny and Sears. With the youngest (he is like 16 years behind the other 2) I got some of them at Kohl's. I bought Curity. Some are pre-folded with a tripled section up the middle. Those are really the easiest to use. Just fold the outside in on them to get the size adjusted.
Diaper pails, keep some bleach water in them. If you wash them every 2 to 3 days there shouldn't be a mildew or mold problem ever. I never had one with any of the children. Do rinse out the poopy diapers in cold water as soon as you change them before putting them in the diaper pail to prevent staining.
The added bonus of cloth diapers is when you no longer need the diapers they are the most wonderful cleaning clothes in the world, by then they are totally lint free!

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K.

answers from Indianapolis on

You really can't go wrong using cloth...there is another store in Bloomington http://www.barefoot-eco.com/store-location.html No matter what store you go to anyone who works there will be so patient with you and answer all your questions. Trust me I have BEEN There! www.diaperpin.com is another site you can go to for help and advice :)

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H.G.

answers from Columbus on

I would say try several types before you commit to pockets. you may end up liking something else. All-in-one's and two's are just as easy as pockets, just no stuffing. AI1's take longer to dry, AI2's dry faster b/c the extra soaker either snaps in or is sewn only partially in.

you may want a diaper sprayer or scraper, but i found i didnt need/use one till baby started more solid foods.

not sure where you are located, but columbus has two local stores that sell cloth diapers and supplies and they both offer monthly "cloth diaper 101" classes. touch and feel to your hearts content!

http://www.theparentshoppe.com/store/Default.asp
http://www.sproutsoup.com/

you can also find some of the diapers from the parent shoppe (a local mom makes these-great quality!!) being sold at Whole Foods near Worthington (161 dublin-granville rd)

also craigslist is a good source for cheaper cloth.

good luck!

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A.H.

answers from Cincinnati on

I run a cloth diaper service and would be more than happy to help you navigate the waters. The main thing is that every diaper fits every baby differently. So the person who said bumgenius does not work for a newborn, well they might for you.

I do have some one-size pocket diapers for sale. We will be opening a web store soon, but until then you can google Pocket Change diapers. They are great because you don't have to unstuff them before you wash them!

Feel free to e-mail me at A. (at) goodnaturedbaby (dot) com and I will help however I can!

A.

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L.S.

answers from Indianapolis on

I have a baby girl and have used cloth diapers for her since her birth. I have extensively researched the various brands and options and what I realized is that each family has unique needs and so what works for one may not be the best for another. I have a wonderful suggestion! There is a company in Fishers called ... she has a great website and works from her home. This iToasty Babys the only local retailer in the city for cloth diapers. Since she doesn't actually have a "store", she offers FREE delivery in the Indy area and even goes to Fort Wayne and some other cities in IN on certain days of the month to deliver for free. Since you don't know what you want, she will come to your home with all her options and explain everything for you. She has used everything she sells and has lots of options. I have met her and she is wonderful. I hope you find a system that works for you and your family! Cloth diapering is a wonderful gift for your baby and the world! Congratulations on your baby!

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P.F.

answers from Elkhart on

Hi Shaun,

Do you have a "Burlington Coat Factory" or "K-Mart" in your area? If so, that's where you can find cloth diapers.

Good Luck

Pam Fisk

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T.E.

answers from Mansfield on

I dont know if you do any shopping online however there is website called www.nuttybums.com and they are based out of Dalton Ohio which is just east of Wooster. I had purchased to different brands off their web site to try them. Fast delivery and easy payment. Also my mother inlaw used a diaper pail for them and had no problems with molding they just stayed in some solution. They also make a sprayer that can be attached to your toliet what so you can just spray it off right into the toliet. I thought about using cloth diapers but decided not to for my first son. Hope I could help out!!

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M.D.

answers from Indianapolis on

Sunshinediapers.com has a program where you get a sampling of many different types. After a certain time, yiu send them back and they credit you towards the purchase of the kind you like. Also diapers.com has $10 off first order.

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D.T.

answers from Indianapolis on

Try Ebay (they only allow new diapers) or go directly to the company's website to order the ones you want. You don't need a diaper sprayer. Until a baby is eating solids, the poop is runny and washes out completely in the washer. Once baby is eating solids all you need to do is hold diaper over toilet and shake once or twice for the poop to fall off. You don't need to clean it completely with a sprayer before tossing in the diaper pail. For the diaper pail, use an inexpensive plastic trash can with a foot-operated lid. Don't soak the diapers - they end up smelling very bad (even after washing), get mold/mildew quickly and is a hazard for other children.

You can buy a fabric/nylon drawstring bag (greenmountaindiapers.com is my favorite store for cloth diaper supplies) to line the pail. Toss in the wet/dirty diapers. When it's time to wash, just take the bag to the washer, dump all the diapers and covers in, turn bag inside out and put in washer, too. Wash on cold (so stains don't set) and then on hot. I've always used Arm & Hammer clear -- which is the same stuff we use for everything else. Don't bleach - it breaks down the diapers very quickly. Hang outside in sun to bleach. I also add about 1/2 cup of vinegar when I add the detergent. It gets rid of the smell (no odor once dry) and is a great fabric softener. You can't use normal fabric softener on cloth diapers.

For a sitter, use all-in-ones. I love Bumkins all-in-ones. They look just like disposables, complete with velcro tabs. No covers, no inserts, nothing 'wierd'. They are also great for when you are outside the house.

I can't really recommend diapers because I never used inserts. We mostly used Diaper Service Quality Chinese Prefolds with Bummis and Bumkins diaper covers, using a Snappi to fasten instead of pins. We also had a half dozen Bumkins all-in-ones in each size.

My favorite website for cloth is greenmountaindiapers.com. They have a ton of information for folks just starting out. I tried the diaperswappers website but it's very confusing because it's just a message board type thing.

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M.W.

answers from Cincinnati on

I have a bunch of cloth diapers you could have cheap. I never used most of them. Most of them are really cute all in ones made by WAHMs. If you want to email me, my email is [email protected]____.com. I can take a picture of them and email you back. I'm not sure where you are located, but I live near Kings Island in Maineville, OH.

We do elimination communication. I have done it with 4 children. I just explain it to others who are babysitting, and it's not all that difficult. We keep a little potty on our sink. My 4 mo old loves to sit there and look at himself in the mirror. If you want more info, you could do an internet search, but the method is becomming more common and saves soooo much on diapers (and laundry).

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T.D.

answers from Cleveland on

It is possible to get awesome deals on diaperswappers.com! I have purchased BumGenius 3.0's (usualy sold for about 18+ shipping) for 10 a piece including shipping. I also recently got a 'Rumparooz" diaper for $9 ppd and it is a great diaper as well (also a one sized pocket). I think I make like them even better than Bumgenius. They have extra leg gussets to keep everything in and use snaps instead of aplix to fasten the diapers. They came to me in fantastic quality as the women there tend to keep their diapers in tip top shape. If you are interested you can message me either here, at [email protected]____.com or on diperswappers under the user name "Dornmama" and I would be more than willing to find some GREAT deals for you.

As for the sitter, if you are using something as simple as a one-size pocket she shouldn't have any problem at all. She will simply need to change them just like a disposable and put them in a "wet-bag" to be sent home with you to wash up as necessary. I am really anal about making sure I was the poop out of my diapers and have found that I can wait up to 24 hours and still get it out with minimal staining (which is easily gotten out with some sun and lemon juice). I do not have a toilet sprayer but instead just use the movable shower head in my shower set on the highest setting. It works great!

Also, I have seen some versions of diapers in "Premie" sizes though I believe they were either fitteds or sized pockets. So, if your new little one ends up being on the small size again their ARE options out there. Good Luck and happy hunting!

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