The Story of Cloth.

Cloth2

Cloth diapers are a part of Anna's story. They are something I enjoy in my role as a mom. Mother's Day seems as good a day as any to document a bit about the how & why we use cloth in our family.

With Simon I used cloth when he was an older baby; for Anna I had the intention of starting from birth. I ended up waiting until she was about 9 weeks and we are now going strong. I waited until I was feeling in the mama-to-an-infant groove. I wanted to be feeling good emotionally and physically before I added this element into the mix. It's not that there's a lot more work, but it's just another thing to have to think about.

WHY CLOTH

People choose to cloth diaper for a variety of different reasons: economic, environmental, health, and some people just think they look cool. Are they really better for the environment? Some people claim they are and others respond that you end up using more water so it becomes a wash (no pun intended). 

Here's some of our reasons:

1. I like not having more trash than we need too.

2. I am one of those people that is totally fine with doing the laundry. Having another load every other day is not an issue for me. 

3. I like them. They are soft and colorful and she's not complaining. 

Diaper

SO MANY CHOICES

There are tons of options with cloth. TONS. It's not just pieces of cloth and pins anymore. Within each option there are even more choices like snaps or velcro, one size or S, M, L, colors, prints, etc.

We use a bunch of different kinds here in our house. Most recommendations I have read suggest trying out a few different styles to see what works best for you and your family. Depending on what day you ask me I will have a different favorite.

Here's a peek into what we currently use:

• Prefolds with covers (Chinese prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers): this is the most economical, un-fancy, wonderfully simple option. Step by step photos on how to use these can be found here. I just do a tri-fold and stick it inside the cover - no pins. We started out with the orange edge newborn prefolds and are still using those (she is just over 10 pounds). I will probably be ordering the yellow-edge infant prefolds soon. My favorite covers are Thirsties because of the leg gussets. I also like the Super Whisper Wrap with snaps.

• Pockets with covers: FuzziBunz & Bum Genius 3.0. These ones have a cover that you slip an insert into and then remove after it is wet or soiled. It is a one-time use before washing again (you don't pull out the insert and then put a dry one in). These go on just like a disposable - no folding required. We have the most of these in our rotation.

• Fitteds with covers: Good Mama. These ones go on like a regular diaper, are super soft, and then we place a cover (like the Thirsties above) on top. When they are soiled you remove the cover, put on another fitted diaper, and can reuse the cover if it is not wet or soiled. At lot of times if the cover is not soiled I will let it sit out to air out and use another cover for the next fitted diaper.

One-size all-in-ones from Bum Genius (these EASY but take longer to dry) : these go on just like a disposable diaper with no pockets to stuff or folding necessary. They tend to be more expensive than sized diapers and the jury is still out on wether they really last through the years that a baby needs to wear a diaper. I am really liking the snaps on the orgainc all-in-ones.

How do I choose which one to put on her? I don't have a rhyme or reason really. Chris prefers the all-in-ones so I usually leave those for him.

STORAGE & WASHING

On her changing table I have hung a bag with a clip (see photo at the top of this post) to hold the soiled diapers. I am washing every other day. We use Charlie's Soap for all our washing and do a cold pre-wash, a hot wash, and an extra rinse. When you first get the diapers (any style) you need to prep them before
using them. Most brands recommend a bunch (like four or more) washings
to get them ready + absorbent for use.

I hang dry the Thirstie's covers but dry the rest together on medium time dry for about an hour. Sometimes the one-size all in ones need more drying time.

Here's some of my favorite sites for purchasing diapers and reading tips & information (especially on how many diapers to begin with, etc):

• Green Mountain Diapers (the photos here are great for seeing what the diapers look like on babies at different ages)
• Jillian's Drawers (they have a great trial program available where you get a selection of popular styles)
• Kelly's Closet

I have also learned a ton from reading the cloth diaper message board at Mothering.com. Tons of experienced Mamas on there who are ready and willing to share information, trouble-shoot, and support.

For reviews & tips check out Diaper Pin

Dottedline_2

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Mother's Day!

Related Posts

Sign in or sign up to comment.

65 thoughts

  1. Kara Whipple says…
    05/10/2009

    What a great and informative post!!! Thanks for getting the word out about cloth diapering. Another great resource we have used is clothdiaperoutlet.com. She is local (in Springfield) and will let you try different diapers on your baby to get an idea of fit. She also gives a locals discount.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Kara Whipple says…
    05/10/2009

    What a great and informative post!!! Thanks for getting the word out about cloth diapering. Another great resource we have used is clothdiaperoutlet.com. She is local (in Springfield) and will let you try different diapers on your baby to get an idea of fit. She also gives a locals discount.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. amber says…
    05/10/2009

    Ali: I think the best piece of advice you gave is when you said "I waited until I was feeling in the mama-to-an-infant groove. I wanted to be feeling good emotionally and physically before I added this element into the mix." I had every intention on cloth diapering my son. My friend sold me on the idea like she was selling tupperware. I was mesmerized and loaded up on a few days worth to make sure I could "do" it. I tried to diaper him when he was 2 days old. I didn't even get the diaper fastened before he peed and pooped in the diaper. Enough action to send any new mother over the edge. I threw my hands in the air and cried. And quit (i hate to admit). So with all that said I think waiting until you're in the baby-momma groove is a huge piece advice for anyone new to cloth diapering. Good luck to all those cloth diapering mamas.
    and...
    Happpy Mother's Day!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jan Francis says…
    05/10/2009

    Ali, I read your blog almost everyday but today's blog was so "inspirational" I had to write and thank you. I just found out Tuesday that I'm going to be a Grandmother for the first time, so I emailed my daughter-in-law about your diaper review. Good stuff!! Then the writings about inspiration vs. creativity and Steiner's essay are GREAT!!!!! Thank you for sharing your scrapbooking and your life with us all. Rubber hugz, Jan in Tucson :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Jan Francis says…
    05/10/2009

    Oh, and by the way...your children are DARLING!!!! Jan in Tucson

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Honey says…
    05/10/2009

    I cannot believe you leave a dryer on for one hour. What a HUGE Waste of energy!!!! couldn't you just hang them outside in the sun to dry by themselves...Unbelievable

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Erin says…
    05/10/2009

    What a great Mother's day post, Ali! We both have new lives to celebrate today (and everyday!) Simon and Anna are beautiful-happy mama's day!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Ali Edwards says…
    05/10/2009

    That's definitely an option for us in the summer time - I live in Oregon and it is rainy and wet a majority of the year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Amy B. says…
    05/10/2009

    Those are some cool diapers! Thanks for sharing your story on cloth!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Ali Edwards says…
    05/10/2009

    That's also the downside of the One-Size All-In-Ones - they are the ones that take that long to dry. The other diapers take much less time in the dryer. Something to consider if people are interested in cloth.
    Putting them out in the sun is also a great way to remove any stains that did not come out in the cold pre-wash.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Cathy D says…
    05/10/2009

    Wow this brought back a lot of memories.
    I live in australia and I used cloth nappies with all 3 of my children straight from birth. My eldest is 14 and my youngest 10. Unfortunately I can't say it was for the environment, it was a cost issue. We just didn't have the money for disposables,also I felt I had achieved something each day when I saw the rows of nappies hanging outside on the clothesline, especially on those days you didn't even get around to having a shower let alone clean the house! It was also mildly therapeutic hanging them out each morning.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Chitra says…
    05/10/2009

    Hey count me in.
    When I had my twin girls, Lara & Vara, I did not use diapers till they started going to Pre-K (then I used the training pants).
    I am from India and there it is very common practice to use cloth rather than diapers.
    What I did was got soft cotton (muslin) from fabric shop. Cut them into square pieces and stitched the sides and then folded them and wrapped around my girls. it was so comphy for them adn they never ever had rashes or infection.
    But you are right it needs few extra laundary loads.
    Now my girls (8 years old) are into saving environment and have started their own little group at their school for informing parents about the Go Green benefits. Their group is called -
    GGEG - Go Green Environmental Group - Today's kids saving environment for their future grandkids.
    Chitra

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Kim says…
    05/10/2009

    I use cloth diapers also....a strange thing in my area...but I love them. THis is my third...used them on all three. I stick to the old fashioned way. Pins and covers....nothing gets through that way. AND, YES! I use my dryer!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Dani says…
    05/10/2009

    Hi Ali, thanks for all the great info :) Don't let anyone harass you about your choices! Every Mama does what's right for her kiddos and her family. :) Happy Mother's Day :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Carrie L says…
    05/10/2009

    I love cloth diapers so much I took picture of them one day too! I think I'm obsessed :-) Thanks for sharing. I love your fluff all lined up!
    http://carriespolkadot.blogspot.com/2008/07/for-love-of-diapers.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Ali W says…
    05/10/2009

    Good on you Ali! One other advantage you didn't mention in your post is that with cloth the toddler is more aware of wet and dry and so becomes toilet trained earlier. My daughter is coming up to 8 and we used Kooshies with her from about 2 weeks as despite being an 8lb baby she was very slender and we didn't have cloth diapers so small! I used a paper liner inside which made it easier to lift poop out and drop it down the toilet and then all my diapers went into a soaking bucket by the washing machine until it was full, at which time I threw them in the washer. We line dried them and then finished them for 10 mins in the dryer to fluff them up and make them more absorbent. At the time I was living in Singapore and was considered completely crazy by my expat friends who were all into disposables big time, but our Sri Lankan amah and all her friends, and the Singaporean neighbours all thought I was totally normal! So yes, good on you for doing this, whatever your reasons. I hope you can stick with it. Ali in NZ

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Laura says…
    05/10/2009

    Thanks for the great ideas and information. It's nice to hear from a practical point of view. I have another question, what do you use for wipes? or do you use washclothes? if you use wipes what do you do with them? I have 2 boys and am expecting, I used disposable before and I am looking into cloth this time around!
    I think people that are not in Oregon don't realize how much rain we really get :) but its worth it to have all the green!

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. 05/10/2009

    kudos to you for using cloth, I made the choice to go eco friendly and was confronted with alot of odd looks for it, but so glad I made the choice vs the 30+ years one diaper can sit in a landfill--how wasteful. Thank you for making an Earth-Friendly choice and I just think that little dear of yours is adorable---so is Simon!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Missy says…
    05/10/2009

    A friend of mine uses homemade diaper wipes. She really likes them, and they smell better than the store bought ones. Economical too. Here is the recipe:
    Baby Wipes
    1 cup boiling water
    1 tablespoon baby oil
    1 tablespoon baby wash
    Essential oil of choice
    ½ roll VIVA paper towels, cardboard removed
    Gallon Ziploc bag or empty wipe container to fit.
    Cut towels in half with a non-serrated knife, place in container. Fold first towel over to make it easier to find. Boil water, THEN stir in baby oil, wash, and essential oil of choice. Stir well, pour over paper towels.
    Lavender oil is good for antimicrobial/bacterial. Tea tree oil is good for ‘yeasty’ diaper rashes.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. kaly says…
    05/10/2009

    Thanks for this post! I'm due with my first child in a week and a half and have decided to use disposables, like you, for the first few weeks, then transition to cloth. I'm still learning, but I'm excited to try it out and not have a guilty conscience for throwing away such waste!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Ali Edwards says…
    05/10/2009

    I am using both. I got some washcloths from Green Mountain Diapers that I am transitioning to using here at home. With the cloth wipes I either get it wet in advance of the change or use a little spray bottle with some water at the changing table. I have read of people putting the cloth wipes in the diaper warmer too - need to read more on that to see if it really works. Right now I am working through a big box of wipes from Costco ;).

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. kaly says…
    05/10/2009

    By the way, I've decided to go with the AppleCheeks diapers because they look like the best fit. They are really nice and have gotten great reviews. They are also made in Canada (where I am)! You should check them out.
    http://applecheeks.com/site/en/Who_About_AppleCheeks.html

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Sarah B.R says…
    05/10/2009

    Hi Ali, thanks for a great post. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant right now and I've already done a lot of research. My plan is to use elimination communication and cloth diaper as a back up. Have you heard of EC?(My mom actually used this with me from the time I was just a couple of months old because she was tired of washing diapers- I am not from the USA). It just seems like something you might be interested in.
    Hope this helps, Aloha, Sarah

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Sarah says…
    05/10/2009

    I've been waiting on this post Ali and I totally think it's great you guys are doing cloth. We've made changes as a family to be more green and this is another area we're in the process of changing. I'm actually ordering our diapers this week and I'm getting the Bumgenius brand. Thanks for all the tips and Happy Mothers Day!

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Shawn says…
    05/10/2009

    Hi Ali
    I read your blog whenever I get a chance and I was so excited to see your post on cloth diapering. I also cloth diapered my daughter (she is now out of diapers) but it was always a great experience. Plus it is so much better for the environment. I loved the wonderoos. They are aio's and I used the chinese prefolds in them also. You may want to try to hang them to dry. I always made sure I had a large stash of diapers so that I could hang them in the bathroom and they always dried overnight. I wanted to tell you of a local company in Kansas City that my friend has http://www.happybottomus.com/ she has some wonderful products and she is a local ap mom. Great great person. Also you can use tto just a few drops in while washing your diapers to prevent smell. It has a great smell I think and works well with cloth diapers. Also on the wipes we used the wipes warmer with a bit of ro water and a few drops of baby oil. It kept them for a few days then I'd switch out and put new solution in. I found that her bottom didn't break out as much and I always had plenty of baby washcloths to spare! That you for the wonderful blog post about this. I hope more Mommies use cloth diapers!

    Reply 0 Replies

Sign in or sign up to comment.