Cloth Diaper Update: 2 Years In.

I realized the last time I wrote about cloth diapers Gabe was still a wee tiny baby. So! I wanted to update on how the whole cloth diapering thing was going now that we’ve been doing it for 2+ years. I’ve learned a thing or two, but that post from when he was 2 months old still largely remains true.

What I Love About Cloth Diapers:

- The savings. Period. Exclamation point. I would cloth diaper for this alone. We hardly spend anything on diapers. (I’d do a cost comparison, but the washing costs us nothing extra since it’s included in rent and we got many of the diapers as gifts. It’s a landslide win for cloth diapers in the cost.)
- The reduced waste. Aside from the fact that diapers would stink up our kitchen trashcan, disposable diapers take 550 years to completely decompose. That is a long, long time.
- Never running out of diapers.
- The bulk. Gabe’s diapers make his little booty bigger and hold his pants up.

What I Don’t Love About Cloth Diapers:

- Poop. I will not go into this any further. There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that you will have to deal with it. (Though there were *blowouts* in disposable diapers, so I was still dealing with it, just on his clothes instead. YAY CHILDREN.)
- You have to change cloth diapers more often than with disposables.
- Stripping them. Apparently some people use dish soap or special soap or the dishwasher or OxiClean to get their diapers super stripped of all soap residue. I don’t do this and worry I’m doing something wrong. So, I guess this bullet point is more ‘Lack of confidence in diaper caring abilities’ than actually stripping them since I don’t really try to do that.

What I Thought I Wouldn’t Love but Don’t Mind:

- Extra laundry. I do an extra load every other day or so. It’s really no big deal and requires the most minimal amount of effort.

What I Would Do Differently Next Time:

- Double up on inserts sooner. I spent several weeks trying to figure out why the diapers were leaking when the fix was rather easy.
- Try fitteds with covers. Prefolds are more of a pain than pocket diapers, so I’d love to try fitteds for a cheaper and easier middle ground.
- Learn about flushable liners sooner. We use them when we’re out and about so we can still cloth diaper away from home without fear of #2. We also use them when we have to use diaper cream so they protect the diaper from non-compatible creams.
- Not buy any diapers with velcro. Some of the velcro diapers (hook and loop, whatever. I hate when stuff like that is a name brand) are already worn out, and we hoped to use them for multiple children.

My Favorite Things:

- Pocket diapers (FuzziBunz one size or perfect size + BumGenius)
- Prefolds + covers (Bummis + prefolds)
- Nighttime diapers (Hemp insertsBlueberry diapers)
- Traveling + using diaper creams: Flushable Liners
- Diaper sprayer. 
- Diaper pail liner.
- The Try It kit from CottonBabies. (Cannot recommend enough!)
- An insanely supportive spouse. If Mike wasn’t 110% on board with being an equal partner in taking care of Gabe (including washing diapers and using the diaper sprayer!), this  would be a much less enjoyable endeavor.

(For more baby recommendations, check out the stuff I like at Amazon.)

About Ashley

Ashley is a web designer by day (and night). She blogs about her attempts to live more simply and pursuing happiness while juggling a job she loves and life with an adorable toddler and an academic husband.

Comments

  1. Agreed on all fronts. Cloth diapers are the bomb.com. Ours are still hanging in there and we’re on baby three, with over four years of constant use (sometimes with two at a time in diapers).

    The stripping thing is a pain. I’ve done it once, because the diapers had a funky smell that “activated” as soon as they were pee’d in. Like not a pee smell, but a funk. It was a minor pain, but once in 4.5 years- still not too bad.
    Katherine’s most recent post :: Worth the MoneyMy Profile

  2. Alright, this is the month I need to buy diapers. I was just going to get the Fuzzibunz. Why should I get the “try it” kit? Also, do I need special diapers for night? Why? HELP! *I’m so glad you had a kid first.

  3. We loved cloth diapering and would totally do it again.

    On the stripping issue, I think that if you’re not having any issues with the diapers stinking or repelling, you’re fine! Stripping only becomes necessary if there’s a problem.

    I seriously don’t think that most people realize how NOT A BIG DEAL cloth diapering really is. It’s great.
    Lauren’s most recent post :: Heart in a BoxMy Profile

  4. Do you use two of the regular Fuzzibunz inserts when you’re doubling? My baby is 9 months old. 2 inserts just seems like it would be hard to stuff and would make the diaper huge. Any suggestions? I’ve been hesitant to double stuff.

  5. we never strip either :) also, DIAPERSPRAYERSFORTHEWIN.

    lastly, velcro? is good for newbs (need tight fits on the chicken legs), and then i’m all snap all the time. i was going to never buy velcro again and then we had #2 and i was all, ohhhhh yeaaaa, thats why you need *some* velcro diapers!

    so just a thought :)
    Mrs 1st Lt’s most recent post :: First Baths Make You SleepyMy Profile

  6. When we tried cloth diapering for all of 0.005 seconds, I said something about it on Facebook and got an EARFUL about how much water they waste. A friend’s husband in Florida, where water use is much more closely monitored, did a pretty intense analysis of the water used to clean cloth diapers versus the water used to make/dispose of disposable diapers and it came out in clear favor of disposables. So, I guess it should be noted there are environmental benefits and costs to each.

    Also, in those 0.005 seconds of cloth diapering use, we tried the Kushies flushable liners … I thought they were especially rough, like sandpaper, on my baby’s butt. There’s no way I could use them, ever.

    That said, neither of those points were reasons why we gave up on cloth diapers. There were countless other reasons (including a daycare that cannot use them) that made disposables the best decision for our family.
    Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks’s most recent post :: DudeMy Profile

    • Oh, totally! At your home, it uses more water – BUT if you take into account the resources used to create the disposables and ship them, cloth is the clear envrionmental winner. (Plus, the waste of the disposables, trucking the extra waste to the landfills, etc etc.)

      Dispoables are totally the best answer for some families! (Especially if your child care situation requires it!)

      • As an engineer, I did my own cost-benefit analysis on cloth and on just one baby (not using previously bought diapers for a second baby), I saved $4000, including water and soap, etc.

  7. That picture of Gabe in the post from two years ago is killing me with the cute.
    Jesabes’s most recent post :: October 2012 booksMy Profile

  8. Have you considered sewing new velcro into the diapers, I wonder if that would work so you could salvage the diapers?

  9. We’ve been using cloth diapers (Econobum’s Prefolds) since week 3. I tried flat diapers , but felt my daughter’s legs were too abducted at the hips. Will retry it at some other stage. And that sprayer you spoke about, I am SOOOO telling my husband to install one for us! Will make those explosion diapers MUCH easier to handle!

    I LOVE cloth diapers, my daughter’s bottom is nice and smooth and she’s NEVER had nappy rash, EVER! We use disposables at night (compromise with my husband), but my husband does most of the diaper laundry, and does not moan! I agree, you need a husband that’s 100% on board. PLUS, we have found a daycare that is willing to do cloth diapering! SCORE!
    Ronél’s most recent post :: Growing up too quicklyMy Profile

  10. 3catsandababy says:

    We basically can’t use any of our velcro diapers anymore. They’re just not holding strong enough. So, that makes me angry. Diaper stash cut in half!

  11. I really need to show this post to my boyfriend. Great update! Makes me want to use them even more than I already do.
    Heather’s most recent post :: The NEW Influenster SiteMy Profile

  12. I loved cloth diapering my daughter, and was an absolute fanatic about it. I cloth diapered at night, always. I cloth diapered when we traveled. She wore all cloth diapers in the pool. I even insisted on it for her periods in daycare. Now, she’s 32 months old and hasn’t used a diaper in 5 months.

    There’s a shop here in Houston called Nurtured Family where I took a cloth diapering and babywearing class, and bought my cloth diapers with associated paraphernalia. I bought 12 Fuzzibunz OneSize, a Blueberry, and a super cute tiger Minky diaper with ears and eyes. Then, an old friend surprised me with all of her old diapers, a motley 20+-piece collection of every brand that exists. I had enough diapers that I only washed them once a week.

    We did disobey the cardinal rule from time to time – we used some zinc-based diaper cream in desperate, exhausted circumstances. These irregular uses of cream did result in clogging of the fleece. While diapering, I would add a pack of RLR Laundry Treatment to my diaper load every month-ish. This product here http://www.nurturedfamily.com/rlr-laundry-treatment.aspx was recommended by the shop. For all I know, it could be very similar to OxyClean but I wasn’t going to chance it on my precious diapers.

    When I was sure she was done with potty training, I used about four packets to go at each diaper individually. I sprinkled RLR over each diaper and scrubbed it in with an old toothbrush and a cup of water. I then washed them on cold soak and then another hot cycle. This process removed the clogging from all but one or two. Actually, my daughter helped me scrub the diapers, so it was a nice thing to do together.

    If you have a P.O. Box, could I send you some packets of RLR? I have some left over. A baby gift for you.

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