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Cloth Diapering 101

If you’re new here, we’re taking a quick retreat from home topics to answer a question I get often. We’ll get back to the norm straightaway.

Back when I showed you guys my laundry room makeover, I also inadvertently put a shot of my sweet baby girl’s undergarments all over the information superhighway.
cloth diapers
Those are her cloth diapers. (She hasn’t complained yet about her skivvies’ grand debut, but there are plenty of teenage years ahead for her to discover this and hold it against me.)

I got a few questions and emails asking for the details on our cloth diaper situation, so I thought I’d do a quick post on cloth diapering for those who are curious or horrified. Then, I promise, we’ll stop talking poop. (I can’t actually promise that.)
cloth diapering 101: how to wash cloth diapers, saving money on cloth diapering and benefits of cloth.

We have always used cloth diapers, from Weston’s tiniest newborn days, and we wouldn’t do it any other way.
baby in cloth diapers

We initially decided to go with cloth because we’re cheap thrifty and couldn’t bear the thought of actually flushing $80 a month down the drain, but the more I researched it, the more non-monetary reasons I found to love it.

Benefits of Cloth Diapering

  • Avoiding chemicals in disposable dipes: There’s some debate about whether the chemicals in disposable diapers cause in any harm, but a couple years ago when certain disposable diapers were blamed for causing chemical burns on some babies, I was happy to be using cloth! Here’s more on that.
  • Reduced waste/fewer diapers in landfills
  • Softer on a brand new baby bum. I’m just sayin’, if I had to choose between wearing soft fleece on my nethers and a giant Depends, I’d go for the soft fabric any day.
  • Fewer blowouts, less diaper rash: We almost never, ever have blowouts. Diaper rashes are few and far between.
  • Cuteness. You can’t tell me there’s anything cuter than a pink gingham diaper on a tiny baby girl.


You can try, but I won’t listen.

How do cloth diapers compare in cost?

SOOO much cheaper.

Best Guess for Cost of Disposable Dipes: My friends who use disposable diapers tell me they pay about $60-80 a month in throwaway poo containers.

If I were to use disposable, you know I’d be couponing the heck out of that, so I’d estimate I’d be on the low end of that, maybe $60. Say each kid potty trains around 30 months. (Although Weston was daytime potty trained at 2 years.)

30 months x $60: $2,160.
30 months x $10 (for wipes): $300
Total: $2,460 per child

(I hope this post doesn’t have the unintended consequence of serving as population control.)

Cost of Cloth Dipes: I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I can actually tell you that I spent exactly $492 to buy cloth diapers, cloth wipes and all necessary accessories for Weston. I used this calculator to estimate the water and energy costs to wash cloth diapers, and it’s about another $500 in water and power.

$492 (diapers) + $500 (power and water to wash) = about $1000 to diaper one child.

The point at which cloth diapering gets crazy cheap is when you can use the same diapers on multiple kids. Mila now uses most of the same diapers Weston used, which cuts those initial costs in half. Now I’m spending about $750 per kid ($500 to wash and $250 for diapers), which is about a quarter of the cost of disposables.

It’s actually even cheaper than that, because I can wash both their diapers in the same load, so at this point Weston’s nighttime diapers are virtually free.

UPDATE: YES, you can buy disposable diapers for less than the price I quoted. You can also do cloth diapers for less than I spend. I used mid-range quotes for both cloth and disposable.

Saving Money on Cloth Diapers

Okay, don’t freak out, and promise you won’t judge: we buy used cloth diapers to save money. Because they last more than one kid, and mamas who cloth diaper usually take great care of their dipes, you can pick them up used for a significant discount. I’m careful to buy only used diapers that are not stained and are still in excellent condition, then when I buy them, I strip them before we use them, which is basically a method of heavy-duty washing.

I can usually pick up Fuzzibunz, which are the diapers we use, for between $5 and $10 each in great condition on, then, when I’m done with them, I can resell them there. (Mila is growing out of the small diapers right now; soon, I’ll throw them up for sale and send them off to another babe.) Of course, this hugely offsets the price of cloth diapering.

This is craziness: I had a set of newborn diapers for Weston that I bought in excellent condition online, used. We sold them after he got a little bigger, and I was out a total of $7. It cost me $7 to diaper him for his whole first six weeks.

But isn’t cloth diapering gross and/or horrible? Nope, read on.

Our Cloth Diapering Wash System

This is how we wash and maintain our dipes.


  • Garbage can with a lid (a good one, don’t skimp!)
  • Cloth diapering pail liner (we have these and love them)
  • Cloth diaper-approved detergent (You can’t use just any detergent for cloth dipes. We’ve used this kind for years.)
  • Update: I forgot to mention wetbags! These are our favorites. They hold dirty dipes for us when we’re out running errands.
  • Cloth diapers & wipes (Obviously. More on this in a sec.)

This is a photo of our setup. It’s just a regular garbage can with a lid, and one of those pail liners inside it. The pail liners function like garbage bags, except they’re washable and reusable.
cloth diaper pail

Could I have cleaned the fingerprints off the side of the can before photographing? No. No, I couldn’t.

Our Method: Birth to six months

  1. Remove diaper from baby.
  2. Place directly in garbage can. (The diaper, not the baby.) Do not rinse. Do not dump. Do not pass go.
  3. When it’s time to wash, take pail liner out of garbage can and carry directly to washing machine. Dump contents of pail liner and actual pail liner into machine.
  4. Wash on cold, then on hot with an extra rinse. Hang dry.

I’m not gonna get super technical about poo, but suffice it to say that if your kiddo is breastfed and not eating any solids, everything is super duper easy. No dumping necessary, no touching of the poo or thinking about the poo or looking at the poo.

Six Months and up (or after you start solid foods)

  1. Remove diaper from baby.
  2. If it’s just wet, put it right in the pail.
  3. If it’s *ahem*… NOT just wet, take it to the toilet, empty into toilet, and put diaper into pail. As long as baby’s digestion is healthy and good, there’s no touching the poo, no diaper sprayers, no scraping, nothing. It just falls right out of the diaper into the toilet. It’s clean and easy.
  4. In case of… erg… “indigestion,” you can use flushable diaper liners like this. They look and feel like dryer sheets, but you lay them on top of the diaper before you put them on the kiddo, then when “the time comes,” you flush the diaper liner, which holds the diaper’s “contents,” right into the potty.
  5. Wash in cold water, then another hot wash with an extra rinse. Hang dry.

So, we never soak the diapers. We never make direct contact with poop (well, not more than you would if you were using disposables), and the whole washing process is easy and straightforward.

We wash our dipes about every two to three days, when we get down to about four or five clean ones left.

But aren’t cloth diapers hard to use?

Definitely not. They’ve come a long way since the days of folding flat pieces of cloth and securing with safety pins. Nowadays most of them secure with velcro or snaps and they’re just as easy to put on or take off as ‘sposies. We use a snap-on kind called Fuzzibunz:


Probably the other most popular kind is BumGenius 4.0, which also snaps on.

Both Fuzzibunz and Bumgenius are pocket diapers, which means that they have a slit in the back where you can slide in an insert. The insert does all the absorbing. Pop in an extra insert at night for double absorption and you’re good to go.


I won’t go into every possible cloth diaper option because there are probably only two of you still reading at this point anyway, but if you want more info on what’s what in the cloth diaper world, here’s a little comparison I just found by quickly googling.

We’ve used all kinds, but we always go back to pocket diapers. They’re the perfect combination of quick-drying and easy to use. We’ve owned a few all-in-ones, which are basically just one piece and don’t have the insert feature, but we find they take too long to dry, so we like pockets instead.

We’ve tried both velcro diapers and snap-on diapers and we are snap-on fans. The velcro gets pilly, doesn’t last as long, and sticks to all the other diapers in the wash.

Finally, you can choose between diapers that are one-size-fits-all, or diapers that come in different sizes. The one-size kind is the most cost-effective, because you buy one set that lasts until potty-training. We actually prefer the sized diapers because they’re a little more snug-fitting and a little less bulky.

UPDATE: How many diapers do you need? It depends on how often you want to wash! Newborn babies use a lot more dirty diapers a day than the older babies. We had about 30-36 newborn diapers and about 24-30 of each size for the rest of the time. We could’ve gotten by with less for sure, but we liked being able to wash every 2-3 days instead of more often.

On Cloth Wipes
I’ll admit, when I first heard about cloth wipes, I thought: “That is an extreme hippy thing. I am not that crunchy. Disposable wipes for me, please.” But after I had Weston, I realized that cloth wipes are actually easier. When you’re already running a wash for cloth diapers and you already have the pail ready, it’s easier to throw diapers and wipes in together. When I was using disposable wipes, I had to keep an extra trash bag so they stayed separate from the diapers, and that was a hassle.

We take our cloth wipes right out of the wash, fold them while they’re still wet, and put them in this wipe warmer. We don’t use any kind of wipe solution: just water. (I used to use a DIY baby wipe solution made of tea tree oil and baby shampoo, but I found that to be unnecessary.)

Also, in my opinion, you don’t need “official” cloth wipes. Baby washcloths are perfect for this.

And that’s the most I’ll ever talk about poop in one post.

This is the system we’ve found that works for us, and we’re kind of in love with cloth diapers around here. There’s just nothing like a sweet baby bum in a fun patterned diaper. But there’s no shame in using disposables: this is just what works for us.
cloth diapering 101: how to wash cloth diapers, saving money on cloth diapering and benefits of cloth.

Would you cloth diaper your kids, or have you? Any tips or tricks? Favorite products?

This post contains affiliate links.

Let's connect


  1. We cloth diaper our daughter during the day (she leaks at night and we have yet to find something absorbent enough for her) and I love it. One thing that I’ve done to help control the smell in that pail is I make little deodorant disks (make a paste of baking soda and water then let it dry) and it goes right in the wash along with everything else. I don’t know if you’re “supposed” to use baking soda on cloth diapers, but I haven’t had any issues and we’ve been doing this for the past several months. Also, my cousin told me that if the inserts start to get worn down, you can use some cheap-o fleece as an extra layer in the pocket. It’s still a lot thinner than the prefolds you can use as inserts, but just as absorbent.

    • Great tip on the baking soda! We don’t have any smell issues with our pail. I don’t know why – maybe it just has a really awesome seal on the lid? – but this would work great to put in wetbags for travel. Thanks for the comment!

      • Sarah Sethman says:

        Please tell me where you got your “pail” and the name of it. 🙂
        Thank you!
        I love your blog posts! We are on our way to dept free living!

    • If you would like to try cloth dipes at night again I would suggest going with a pre-fold from green mountain and cover with a wool cover. They are super breathable keep baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter. also if they get any potty on it during the night simply air dry for a day and a half. no need to wash it if its ONLY urine. They have a natural antibacterial component to wool. if they soil with solids then of course wash it. good luck!

    • My son, who is a super heavy wetter, leaks through everything at night. The only thing I’ve found that works is a hemp prefold (babykicks) with an additional hemp liner and a heavy duty fleece cover (we use a sugarpeas one).

    • We use Good Night Heavy Wetter from Kawaii- they are super cheap and amazing! My first daughter would wet through her disposables at night so we gave these a try and they are great!

    • My son is an extremely heavy wetter. I discovered Thirsties Doublers. Best thing I ever bought in terms of cloth diapering. They come in packs of three. Even adding just ONE to your CDing routine will help tremendously.

    • We’ve been using cloth diapers for approximately about four years and I don’t think we have ever looked back on that decision and felt that we made the wrong decision.

      Our favourite brands are AppleCheeks, AMP Diapers, and Sustainablebabyish|Sloomb.

    • You could try doubling a fitted diaper with a large Thirsties Hemp insert and cover. That is almost bullet proof.

  2. This post actually makes me kind of excited to use cloth diapers in a totally weird sort of way. I’ve read so many blog posts and reviews and everything I can find on the internet about cloth diapers. This, coming from you the girl who hates baby drool as much as I do, has completely sold me on it. I definitely definitely definitely want to do this and will be harassing my husband to craft me one of those drying racks for the laundry room so we can dry our dipes in there on rainy days. I also changed up my registry to add that diaper pail liner because I didn’t think of that! I had a couple of wet bags but I like the “haul it all to the wash at once” rather than “dump it in” because that could get messy. LOVE YOU! xoxo

    • It is strangely addicting! By the way, up until we did the laundry room makeover a couple months ago, we just used one of those cheapo standing drying racks and it worked great. I’ll still use it for sunning them outside… when we finally get sun again… sigh. Come on, spring!

  3. Just to clarify, do you leave the liner in the diaper while it is being washed? Or do you separate them immediately after taking the diaper off and before putting it in the diaper pail? Just wondering if leaving the liner in while washing affects how clean it gets or not, so far what I’ve bought in prep. for our first baby is the pocket diapers but I’ve been reading some don’t like them because you have to “unstuff” and “re-stuff.”

    • Oh! Good point, yes we take the insert out before we wash. I usually hold the diaper over the pail and shake the insert into the pail as soon as I take the diaper off, but occasionally you do have to pull the insert a little to get it started coming out of the diaper.

      • Concerning the part about 6+ months and poo diapers, you mentioned only using the disposable/flushable liners during “indigestion” times. My husband, 5 mo. Old (will be a year when we go) and myself will be moving to Nicaragua for 6 months for some mission work and I am planning on transitioning to cloth before we leave but I won’t be able to get any disposable inserts while there what do you recommend, soaking them until a wash? Or what? I’m sure you had to have had a poo diaper to find out there was some “indigestion” going on in the diaper to make the transition to the disposable, correct? And thank you for this post! It has helped so incredibly much with our decision I’m a new reader, I came across your closet reveal and I can’t stop reading!

    • I’m super lazy and don’t take out the inserts before throwing them in the wash. 90% of the time they come out during the cold cycle. Maybe it’s the brand of diapers I use, though.

      • I’ve cloth diapered for three babies now. When I needed a few more for my third, I discovered blueberry diapers (I’m using simplex) and love them. The insert is attached at one end and comes out in the wash cycle all by itself. Yet they dry fast, and the pocket is available if you need to stuff an extra prefold for more absorption. Also, regarding nighttime diapers, sustainable babyish fitted + wool cover has been bulletproof for me. They’re expensive, but you don’t need many for just nighttime use. Happy diapering!

    • We only use pockets as well and I just bought a box of gloves. You don’t need anything expensive. Heck a pair of rubber ones would work too. We just pull them apart. I like that our son doesn’t have a bunch of folds in his diaper. It’s smooth and seamless.

  4. WOW you are amazing. I love this post so much. This is by far the most informative post I have read on cloth diapering. I read all the way to the end and my kid is 11!! ha ha… Love that you are cloth diapering. That is so awesome.

    I am pretty crunchy myself (AP mom), and I researched the heck out of cloth diapering 11 years ago. Bought a bunch, but could never really figure it out. How I wish I had read this then. We ended up using the disposable cotton ones from the health food store. Not a cost effective solution at all. I looked into getting biodegradable ones, but I could only find ones that would have to be shipped from Sweden. Just not that many options back then.

    My tip for sanitizing diapers is to add a few drops of GSE (Grapefuit Seed Extract) in with the wash now and then. Also in my vast research sunshine was recommended over and over for any stains that did happen.
    Again – kudos to you!

  5. My little guy turns six months this week. I had my stash ready to go before he was born and figured once we cleared the changing the diaper 3 times in fifteen minutes stage I would switch to cloth-I received TONS of newborn disposables at my shower so I’ve never had to buy my own. Right now, I live with my mother-in-law and she is CONSTANTLY buying me disposables so I use those when she gets them, I never ask her to. I prefer my cloths… Plus last week he got a rash so I switched back to cloth and it disappeared even without any cream.

  6. We are all about the Fuzzi Bunz here, too. I’ve used them on all four kids now. In fact, I need to order more–I have a bunch of different kinds that people have handed down to me for Abe, but, really, whenever I put anything that’s not a Fuzzi Bunz on him, I wind up disappointed. And wet.

  7. My mom had eight kids and used cloth diapers. No dryer. I can remember frozen, but dry, diapers basically defrosting when she brought them in off the line in the winter. I also recall that during our month-long camping “vacation” each summer she would use an old washboard to scrub them by hand.
    I’m spoiled, I used Tydee-Dydee delivery service 20 years ago. That was in the days when these cute covers you use were JUST being marketed. I just stuck with the old-fashioned pins and rubber pants and cotton rectangular diapers.
    This is a fabulous post, bravo to you for the detail included. When there are grandchildren on my horizon I will forward this post to the appropriate parties!
    Diaper on!

    • millicent macchione says:

      Laura, 20 years ago, I used a lovely diaper service, too! Wonderful, wonderful magic people! New velcro diaper covers were just being introduced and I remember searching like a madwoman for them — when I was on vacation, out of town visiting friends, etc. This was before internet shopping! How much has changed in 20 years!

  8. Okay. I’m pinning this to refer back to when my time comes. I’ve known I would be a cloth diaperer for years. We’ve already spoken, you and I, about a myriad of crunchy baby ways, so this probably comes as no surprise to you. That being said, I didn’t know much about it. I just knew that when the time came, my cheap butt WOULD do it. I figured if my mom could do it 29 years ago, I could do it in 2014/15/16. 🙂 But, this post just 100% reaffirmed that notion. Thanks for going into such great detail. It really shed light on the poop. Love ya, girl!!!!!!!!!!!! ~V

  9. Long past babies here, but I was totally fascinated by this post and read right to the very end. Am passing this on to my 35 year old son and d-i-l who just gave us a beautiful grandson. Those diapers are the cutest things ever! I used cloth diapers on my oldest simply because he was allergic to something in the disposables. I found, I loved folding diapers and never considered it a chore or having a diaper pail either. Wonderful post!! 🙂

  10. I get a weird amount of joy from cloth diapering (husband doesn’t get it, but my MIL understands).
    I love it so much that when I met the YHL folks, that’s all I talked about. (Diaper dork, right here.)

    I like all the colors, organizing, and even spraying. We’re using the BumGenius organic Elementals during the day and BumGenius Freetime at night. No blow-outs & no diaper rash. *knock on wood*
    How many diapers do you have?
    We have 18, which seems to be a good number but I’m wanting to find a way to avoid using the dryer. We don’t seem to have enough to allow the diapers to hang dry. Perhaps that’s partially because we’re using the Elementals which don’t have any removable pieces.

    We use the BumGenius sprayer for poopy diapers to avoid the first cold wash (I just wash once on hot with an extra rinse at the end). I also use Bac Out on poop diapers before they go in the pail. This is suppose to help reduce stains; not sure if I can see a difference. I agree that the cloth wipes make so much sense when you’re using cloth diapers. We have a spray bottle filled with water and a little baby soap to spray on a dry wipe (or my favorite…spray directly on the baby).

    Thanks for this post. It’s like you’re in my head!

    • We have about 21 in each size, give or take a few. I like the pocket diapers because they do dry out so fast. We tried all-in-ones for a short time and Andy complained all the time about how long they take to dry. He seemed personally offended by it. 🙂 haha. So pockets it is! We run the wash when we have about 4 or 5 left, and that’s usually enough time for the rest to dry. I haven’t ever used a diaper sprayer, but you actually make it sound kinda fun. This comment is hilarious. 🙂

  11. I think there was more than two people reading this poopy post in its’ entirety, but what does that say about me as one of them – a middle aged mom of six long past the diapering stage. Clearly I still think it relevant.


  12. Maury @ Life on Mars says:

    So helpful! I’m about to start. Jack’s been on disposables since he was so tiny and we didn’t get newborn cloth diapers but he’s almost 8lbs now and should be able to start wearing them soon!

  13. I can see why everyone likes cloth diapers, but I hate them. Disposables are more convenient, in my opinion. I have had lots of cloth diapers given to me (some homemade, others brandnames), but I find it all a hassle. They’re bulkier, less portable, a pain to clean (who can remember those detailed washing instructions, anyway?), and you have to change them more frequently than disposables as well, or else the kid leaks (I have 2 kids– almost 2, and 4 1/2 months). I thought I wanted to cloth diaper (especially since it saves money), but I loathe the thought of using them. What can you tell me that will convince me otherwise?
    I’m not a sourpuss, honest. I’ve been loving reading your blog and getting inspired with all your remodeling jobs and DIY posts. I will definitely keep following your blog.

    • I don’t think anyone will debate that disposables are more convenient. They definitely are, it’s just a question of whether it’s worth the slight inconvenience. I don’t find the washing instructions detailed or hard at all. (Wash once in cold water. When it’s done, wash it in hot water with an extra rinse cycle. Done.) I also find that my cloth diapers hold up better over long periods than disposables do. We’ve had to use disposables on occasion for one reason or another, and they never seem to last a whole night for us. Maybe cloth is just not for you? If you loathe it, maybe just stick with what doesn’t make you unhappy? 🙂 No shame in that.

      • Thank you for taking the time to respond, Kelly.
        Why is it so important to not use regular laundry soap? We use Sam’s Club house brand for our laundry. We don’t have a clothes line and literally no space for a clothes rack (on or off the wall– clever idea, though) (we live in a mobile home), so I have to dry the diapers (not the covers) in the dryer. How do you strip the diapers? I’ve heard so many different ideas, and can’t remember any of them. I mostly use BumGenius with my son (with the pocket [yay] and velcro [yuck]) and EconoBum with my daughter (just covers and prefolds). I might be willing to give them another chance… if not, though, my sister-in-law is exclusively cloth diapering and expecting #2, so I know she’d gladly take them.

        • Non-CD-approved detergents will make them less absorbent and they’ll stop working. You can dry the inserts in the dryer. We just choose not to to save money on power. I can never remember how to strip the diapers, so I always google it and find a system that looks good. Good luck!

          • I use a home made laundry soap made of Fels Naptha Bars, Oxyclean, A&H Baking Soda, A&H Power Washing Powder, and Borax. My son has super sensitive skin and this seems to be the only solution other than super expensive Baby Laundry Soap. Would that still work for cloth diapering?

          • I’m not sure whether it would work… the reason you have to be careful with laundry soap on cloth diapers is that if it leaves any residue at all, it can make the diapers stop absorbing, so the cloth diaper detergent is very, very clean and good for sensitive skin. It’s not as cheap as making your own, but I bet it would be very gentle on your son’s skin.

        • We used a soak in OxyClean Free and Clear with our BG 4.0 cloth diapers for two years with our first daughter post-baby use and pre-washing. Our wash cycle was one run in hot water. We noticed no change in absorbancy, etc. I would bleach some of the stubborn inserts on occasion, too. We also dryer dried. Our Velcro has stood up fine. I think there are lots of ways that work. Finding the right one for you is what is important. We ran one load of diapers each evening. It was just part of the routine.

  14. well I “work” at a state university – between our own student loans and an awareness of exactly the quality of teaching tuition dollars buy (no criticism of academia, but the system is designed to serve multiple masters and really pleases no one) is probably the only birth control we need … love the detailed post, though. My mom used cloth when we were <1day away from home and disposables on trips. Do you cloth when vacationing too?

    • Yep, we sure do use them on vacation. So far we’ve only gone on vacations where we’ll either be gone only for a couple days, or we’ll have access to laundry, so it hasn’t been an issue. A lot of people who cloth diaper switch to disposables for traveling though, so it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

  15. Hey Kelly! Wouldn’t pocket one-size diapers be more economical? I’m trying to decide to do with baby #2 and an amazon registry is staring me in the face… 🙂

    • Yep, one-size are more economical for sure. We like the sized version because it’s less bulky and just seems to fit better.

    • We have FB one-size and perfect size and I much prefer the perfect size. With the one-size, I feel like I am always trying to adjust to get the fit just right and as soon as I do, it’s a growth spurt and time to change again! We have only needed smalls and mediums, James started wearing the smalls at about 6 weeks and they lasted until almost 12 months!

  16. Wowzas…wish I would have read this back in the day! Between the saving money and being kinder to your kiddos bodies, it would be a no brainer for me now.

  17. suffice it to say i now know more than all of my other child free friends about cloth diapers 😉

  18. Great tips! I dont have a baby, nor am I preggers, but it’s always helpful to see things like that so I can be more informed when the time for offspring comes 🙂

  19. Ashley (above me) said exactly what I was thinking! I think we’ll try this when the time comes. 🙂

  20. Okay. So, I just read this post to my husband over dinner. True story. Do we have kids yet? No. But we both never put ANY thought into the possibility of cloth diapers…until now. Girl, I see SO many benefits, and not many cons. From the $ to the comfort to the earth-friendliness to the cuteness…wow. And you dispelled a lot of the myths I had about cloth diapers. Well, first that they’re only for granola gals who only eat organic (I am not that type, though many of my friends are). And second, that they’re gross (they sound LESS gross than diapers). And third, that they’re a lot of work (you break it down to sound very, very do-able).

    Wow. I’m really, really interested in this. Thanks for giving such a detailed and helpful post on this. Pinning and saving for “someday soon” (hopefully).


    • I might be a little bit granola though… just a warning. 🙂 But yes, not many cons at all! Higher upfront cost, but it totally pays off.

  21. A million years ago when I had my babies (my kids are 26 and 29) no one used cloth diapers…I mean no one. I think it’s great that you are willing to go to a little extra effort to do this. You are a better woman than I!

    • I did! My kids are 27 and 29. I used cloth diapers, but not exclusively. I still have some. They are great for dusting! My daughter sent me this link as an educational tool for the new way to use cloth diapers. I am happy she is choosing cloth over disposables. For years I thought she thought I was a little wacko, earth mother. Yay! Some of my “stick close to nature” lifestyle rubbed of.

  22. We used cloth on Abby (the Flips by Cottonbabies) from 2 weeks till about 2 years. Then she started peeing through them (not out of them, literally through the PUL). So unfortunately she’s in disposables, hopefully potty training will happen by summer.

    I happened upon someone selling a WAHM brand of size small that was a steal of $30 for 9 diapers. Ellie used those till she outgrew them. She’s been in ‘sposies since, your post has inspired me to try the Flips again with her. 🙂

  23. Awesome! I really wanted to do this with Kevin and I’m sad I gave in to the disposables. I actually bought a bunch of different ones to try and I never used any of them. I was just so tired in the beginning the thought of doing that much more laundry was frightening! I suppose I could try it out now…he is only 5 months old, lol. 😉

  24. Oh, now you tell me. We are currently training no. 7. Sooo we’ve spent $17,220 when we could’ve spent maybe $1400 depending on how many babies each diaper could hack. Of course back in the stone ages when we started, it was a rectangular cloth and diaper pins vs easy peasy poop-n-toss disposables. I had no idea these diapers exist until this post!

  25. 23 to 29 years ago I used cloth diapers with pins and plastic covers that had snaps. I was able to stay home with the oldest a year and I know I saved a lot of money. I would not have done it except my mom had 8 kids and did this with all of hers and because I breast fed my daughters. I knew dealing with the odors would be so much less while I was breast feeding. That being said, in retrospect there is so much to worry about as a new mother no one should feel like it’s the best solution. Everyone is different. The main thing is to do what works for you.

  26. Wow! This post totally made me glad that I only have one! I didn’t cloth diaper, but holy cow what a savings! To think- I could have had an amazing shopping spree with all that moola and instead I literally threw it in the garbage! Great post girl, I’m looking at poopy diapers in a whole new light!

  27. I only spend about $19 on disposables per month. So only $615 with wipes for 30 months. Maybe my kid just poops less?

    • P.S. Parent’s Choice diapers- about $13 per box of 82 diapers, and a box and a half (123 diapers, and about $19.50) lasts about a month. But I guess if you get them deeply discounted/used, and if used for multiple kids it could save some money.
      But again, maybe my kid just poops less and I AM using the cheap brand. But gotta love the idea of reusing and not wasting so way to go!

      • So you’re doing about 4 changes a day. That’s almost nothing. Sounds like he DOES poop less than normal! 🙂 haha. Way to go, kiddo!

  28. I find these posts fascinating. I have no idea why but cloth diapering is so intriguing. I’m happy that to know that you don’t really have to touch the poop. Seriously fascinating.

  29. Seriously? What is wrong with me? I totally still thought cloth diapers were flat white pieces of cloth that you had to fold. Thanks for enlightening me!

  30. I think……that your babies are very blessed to have a momma that cares for them that much. 🙂 Wonderful post….and my babies are old enough…they poo in the pot. (My almost 14 year old would kill me if she knew that I typed this. My 11 year old daughter would crack up…and my 7 year old son would think that a post about poop was cool! lol) ~k.

  31. I’ve been using cloth diapers since our second was a baby. At the time I actually made my own diapers using the free Rita’s Rump Pattern (I know, I laugh every time I say it too!) but I have since bought some used ones and and received some used ones for free from another mama who was done with them. So in all, super super cheap!!! I just can’t fathom spending so much money on something only to have my kid poop in it. My grandma (who cloth diapered 14 kids!) used to cut up pieces of old fabric/clothes to line the diapers in as the kids got older, then swish those pieces in the toilet and wash them too. I do that too now and it works great. It really saves on the gross factor when it comes time to wash. I always seem to have old t-shirts, etc to cut up for this.
    I use cloth wipes too!! So easy and economical.
    All that being said, I do use disposables at night simply because our 3rd is a super heavy wetter.
    🙂 Thanks for sharing your wash routine! I’m always interested in how others wash their diapers. After lots of trial and error, I do something very similar, though I’m more of a hot wash and then second rinse with vinegar kind of gal.

  32. I use disposable diapers yet I read to the end. Even all the comments. (I hope we can still be friends, since there is a war with people who use cloth and people who use disposables, right?) 🙂

  33. I read this entire post and I don’t even have children….yet! I’m constantly researching and preparing for the day tho 🙂 I want to do things as naturally and efficiently as I can. When I saw this on Pinterest I was so excited to read! I totally think I can do this!! My boyfriend on the other hand, might have some trouble 😉 Anyways, the question I have is….do you have a separate washer for the cloth diapers? A co-worker of mine said he wanted to use cloth diapers when his son was born but he decided not to becasue he didn’t want to purchase a separate washer. If you don’t have a separate washer, do you need to do an empty, inbetween cycle before doing your regular laundry?

    • I don’t have a separate washer. I have a bunch of friends who use cloth diapers and they don’t have separate washers either… that sounds like something that would just be an amazing luxury but wouldn’t be required at all. (Maybe he has a high-efficiency front-loading washer and wanted to get a top-loading one for diapers? I hear top-loading washers are better for diapers.) And I don’t find that I need to do any extra cycles in between. Our clothes always come out looking and smelling clean. Maybe because we run the diapers twice with an extra rinse?

  34. I don’t have any kids yet, but I have definitely been thinking about cloth diapers. Just curious if anyone has had trouble with day cares or nanny sharing and disposable diaper people not wanting to deal with your cloth diapers?

    • I have heard that some people have trouble with that. I don’t know why, because it’s not one tiny bit harder for them than changing disposables, but there are daycares who will cooperate. Some of my friends do disposables at daycare and cloth at home for that reason.

    • I know this is like two months late, but I was reading through the post and comments.
      Before we moved, I was a teacher and then assistant director at a child care center. We had a handful of cloth diaper babies (2-5 out of 60-70 kids total, so probably 35-50 in diapers) and we always tried to work with the parents about it.
      We required that the parents supply everything we would need (any special wipes, liner for I’d they needed cream, the ditty bags, enough diapers for the whole day plus an extra or two) and show us exactly how they wanted us to use them (each family was different-some used Flip, some all-in-ones, some the stuffing kind, some wanted you to cover the poop area with the stuffing, etc) but we did everything we could to work with them.
      But we also asked them to be understanding, especially with newly hired teachers, teachers new to the room, when their child promoted, when we had subs, etc. when cloth diapering was new to them and they messed up. For instance, once a sub accidentally threw away a cloth diaper. Admittedly, that’s a lot of money to accidentally throw away and it was an honest mistake. We let her take the price of the diaper out of the next month’s tuition, though, and did not need to be chewed out about it. Or once a teacher didn’t cover the poop stain with the liner before putting in the bag. Sometimes when you have lots of diapers to change, that extra step seems a little crazy.
      At two different times I had cloth babies in my room and, besides the fact that one would pee through absolutely any diaper at nap time, I had no issues.
      Honestly, if the center is not willing to work with you on the diapers, I would seriously think about if they are the right place for my child because what else are they not going to work with you about? (Then again, they may be an awesome place and the diapers are the only issue you ever have.)
      One of my best friends cloth diapers and that combined with the experience I’ve had at that center, I’ve pretty much decided, on money factor alone, that when my time comes I will cloth diaper.

      • Thanks for the perspective from someone who’s worked at a daycare! As a cloth diapering mom, I wouldn’t expect a daycare to be as accommodating as you were! I would expect the daycare to do the minimum required to keep the kiddo diapered, and liners and all that seem like asking a lot. Great point about wanting to find a daycare that will work with you on LOTS of things, not just cloth diapers. Thanks again!

  35. They probably are better from back when I “tried” them. : )

  36. Way back when my son was just a baby, I remember using cloth diapers already. Actually it was my mother-in-law who bought two cloth diapers at first because as I first-time mom, I know nothing about cloth diapers. Based on my experience, cloth diapers are indeed practical choices. Imagine the money I was able to save with cloth diapers since I no longer have to rush form time to time to the grocery to buy a pack. And I was at peace that my baby had lesser risk of getting acquiring UTI.

  37. i don’t plan on having another, but if i do, i totally wanna do cloth diapers! love it!

  38. I just sent this link to my DIL, but I also learned so much. Thanks for the post.

  39. What an absolutely brilliant post!!

    I would absolutely love for you to link up at the new Baby Shower linky party for all things pregnancy and new baby – Alice @ Mums Make Lists

  40. I thought you did a GREAT job of summarizing without leaving anything out. I’ve been researching cloth diapers for a few months now and this is the single best Diapering 101 post I’ve found. If I’d read it first when I started doing my research I don’t think I would have been as shell shocked/overwhelmed by the idea of cloth diapering. Obviously some people have slightly different methods (diaper type, wash routine, wet bags vs. pail, etc) and the comments have had some good alternative options to try, but seriously Kelly, great post. Even if it’s about poop 🙂

  41. I don’t cloth diaper, but I’m mildly obsessed with the idea, so I read every.single.poopy word of this! Thanks, i needed a mental break from the never-ending firetruck games, and handwriting practice and thinking about diapers was perfect/ I always love it when you talk family:)


  42. Thank you for this informative cloth diapering summary! I am just finishing setting up our nursery (due in less than 2 wks!) and am wondering: about how many cloth whipes do you need in total? I’ve also been looking into and deciding whether to purchase a warmer for the cloth whipes. I’ve heard however that they can be breeding grounds for bacteria (stagnant warm water/moisture). Have you had any experience with this? Thanks again for a great post!!

    • I’m not sure how many we have, probably about 1-2 cloth wipes for every cloth diaper. I used to use tea tree oil to combat any fungus, but I’ve found that isn’t necessary and I just use water. We cycle through the wipes often enough that it hasn’t been an issue. I hope that helps, and congratulations! Your whole life is about to change in a huge, huge way!

  43. Awesome post. Pinned. You know, for future reference. 😉

  44. What happens with the poop when it’s in the washing machine? I am due in July, and I am really interesting in using cloth diapers, but this part just baffles me!! I apologize if this is TMI, but does it dissolve? I just cant imagine washing clothes after I have washed a bunch of dirty diapers in the same machine!!

    • If the baby is exclusively breastfed, the poop is water soluble. Once you have your little one and see their diapers it’ll make more sense, but at that stage, there’s not really any actual poop sitting on the diaper. It soaks right in, so it looks more like a stain than an actual (sorry!) turd. 🙂 Essentially, there’s nothing in the diaper to dump when they’re only eating breastmilk.

      After they start on solids, you dump the poop in the toilet before you wash so it doesn’t go in the machine at that point either. Hope this helps. Congrats on the baby!

      • Thanks for clearing that up! I had the same question!

        • I love cloth diapering and have been doing it for 5 months now! My baby is eating solids (puréed veggies) once a day now, so his poops have changed but are still runny breastfed poops but just thicker and pasty…not something I can just flick in the toilet….what did you do at that stage? Can that still go into washing machine?


          • That’s such a weird stage, I’m always a little unsure how to handle it. The easiest thing to me is to use the diaper liners and try to throw it away… it gets easier as they start eating more solids during the day.

          • We had a diaper sprayer attached to the toilet that was magic!

        • Agreed! Thank you!! I think no matter what the costs and effort is I’m for cloth diapers.

  45. Karen Elizabeth says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I have been on the fence about diapers (no kiddos yet, but God-willing, there will be!)… That said, I am officially no longer on the fence!
    I do, however, have a few questions:
    1. Do you have to take the liners out of the (dirty) diapers before you throw them into the can liner/ washing machine? Can you ever immediately re-use the outside part and just put in a new liner?
    2. In purchasing the size-specific diapers, how many do you average per growth cycle? (How many diapers do you find it good to have at any given time – assuming all were washed and ready to go.)
    3. I know you said actual cloth wipes aren’t necessary, but are there any that you would recommend?
    4. The one last thing I’m not quite sold on: hang-drying… is it okay to throw them in the dryer?

    Thanks again for writing this and for taking the time to answer questions. You have NO idea how helpful this is!!!!!

    • 1. With some types of diapers, you can reuse the shell after you take the insert out, but not really with Fuzzibunz. And yes, you should take the insert out. I don’t take it out all the way, I just tug it a little and it comes out the rest of the way in the wash.
      2. We usually have around 21 or so in each size. Give or take.
      3. Nope. I bought the bumgenius flannel baby wipes. They’re like $12/dozen, and then when I got them in the mail, I was so mad at myself for wasting the money. They’re really no better than baby wipes. They’re just more expensive.
      4. Yes, it is okay. We hang them dry to cut down on the costs of using cloth diapers, and also to help keep them in good condition longer. They might wear faster if you dry them in the dryer, but we do it on occasion when we get in a pinch.

    • I hear the Flip brand name of diapers is great when you want to reuse the shells. You just have to wash the shells every so often!

  46. Karen Elizabeth says:

    Shoot! One more question!
    Do you know if homemade laundry detergents are okay? (or maybe a better question: how do you know which detergents are NOT okay to use?)… We use a recipe similar to this and add some essential oils to the mix.
    Thanks again!

  47. I am wanting to do cloth diapers when my baby comes. How many in each size would you recommend as the baby grows? I am looking at but I don’t really know how many to get for a new born and how many to get as he grows. I hope you can help me. Thank You great post. I have been looking every where for a 101 on Cloth Diapers.

    • You probably need at least 2 dozen newborn diapers. Expect to change about 12 diapers a day. Later you can get by with less because you change them less often. I think I have about 21. Hope that helps!

  48. I used Fuzzi Bunz with my daughter way back in 2003 – I loved, loved, loved them – they worked so much better than any disposable and never had that icky smell. Your post made me a. smile a silly big smile and b. actually miss those diaper years 🙂

    P.S. La la love the blog – I found you whilst googling “DIY curtains cute” – the lined tab curtains are brilliant.

  49. Love the post! So helpful! My question is when you wash twice do you use detergent twice or just the first round?

    • Great question – yes, we do detergent both times. We use Charlies soap, exactly one tablespoon in each load. Hope that helps!

  50. Seriously, yours is the first post on cloth diapering I’ve read all the way to the end! I have twin 14 month old girls, and my pocket book seriously regrets me not starting out with cloth diapers. Do you think it’s too late for us? Also, just discovered your blog. It’s lovely, and your photos are beautiful. Looking forward to reading more!

  51. Rachelle Stark says:

    I’m going to have my first baby in September, and I want to go cloth diaper route, not only for saving money but because I have heard they are better for the baby. I have read amazing reviews and it seems everyone who uses them has nothing but good things to say. Obviously I have never used cloth diapers before and I am new to the whole process. I am just curious how many diapers in each size you ended up buying? That is the one part I am having trouble with, is I do not know how many to buy in each size. I know you says you use the perfect fit ones, and those are the ones I am considering going with because they have had the best reviews out of all the cloth diapers I have looked at. Any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated. Thank you

    • You’ll need more when the baby is newborn because they just go through a lot more diapers. Expect to change them about 13 times a day, so if you want to wash every other day, you’ll need about 30. My baby girl is in a medium size right now and we have about 30 still. We could get by with less, maybe 21-24, but I like being able to wash a little less often. Good luck and congratulations on the new baby!

  52. Jessamy Fornshell says:

    I’m currently looking at ordering the Fuzzi Bunz diapers…I’m wondering…did you have a problem with them being too hot in the summer since they are fleece lined? I was thinking you could end up with a heat rash or something maybe?

  53. Awesome than I definitely shouldn’t worry because I live in North Dakota and it definitely doesn’t get THAT hot here 🙂 Thank you!

  54. Christina says:

    We have used cloth for our 2 1/2 year old son since he was about 2 months old and plan to start soon with our newborn daughter. The biggest problem for me was the thought of “pulling out” the stinky inserts so when I started doing my research I found smartipants, a brand of cloth diapers that the inserts automatically come out of the liners in the wash. Love them!
    I am the type of person that if it can’t go in the dishwasher, I don’t buy it. I can tell myself that I’ll be good and handwash it every time, but I get lazy and just end up throwing it in anyway. So I’ve learned that I need “low maintenance” things in my life. I have never air dried my cloth diapers, just throw them in the dryer (no dryer sheets though, that’s VERY important!). So far ours have held up extremely well (they’re one size) and will be used for my daughter. Just thought I’d put another option out there for those who may be a bit squeamish about pulling inserts out like me!

  55. We love using cloth diapers around here. Instead of having a baby shower, we had a diaper shower and each person brought a cloth diaper that they thought was cute for our baby (we gave them guidelines like sizes and brands). It really cut down on costs and each person knew their diaper was definitely used.
    We also love to buy sunbaby diapers. They come from China and take a while to deliver but they are SUPER inexpensive and work great for pocket one size diapers.You can get 12 diapers with microfiber inserts for $60.

  56. I’ve glanced through the comments and didn’t see anything about cloth-diapering a larger child. I’ve never considered cloth diapers, but my 5.5yo son with Down syndrome is still in diapers, and has blowouts somewhat often. We’ve reached the largest size of diapers and I’m wondering if cloth diapering might be an option. I know you haven’t faced this question before, but are there cloth diapers for 40+ pound children? Do you think they might help the blowout situation? Maybe if we go that route having cloth instead of a disposable diaper on might help him learn to potty train.

    • My son is 30 pounds and still wears the Fuzzibunz size large. I know they come in x-large too, so maybe those will work! Another alternative is to have some made. There are TONS of women who make their own cloth diapers and sell them on etsy. It doesn’t seem like it would be hard to have them sew a few that are larger than normal. I have heard that cloth helps them potty train faster. I hope you find a good solution for your little man!

  57. Shaylee Ann says:

    This is the best post I have seen yet on cloth diapering – thank you! I don’t have a baby of my own just yet, but as the oldest of nine, I watched and helped my Mother as she cloth-diapered her last two. Easy peasy! I’m excited to start collecting cloth diapers and such for our little one!

    Thank you, again!

  58. I’ve been wondering about how exactly cloth diapering works & this one post answered all of my questions! I will most likely be a cloth diaper mom ( :

  59. Thank you so much for all the amazing info! My husband and I have been reading a little bit about cloth diapers and we think Its such a great Idea. I only have 1 question, we would probably follow your advice and get the fitted diapers but how many would we need to get from lets say 0 – 12 months? I know they poop a significant amount of times in the beginning so I assume we would have to get more diapers In the beginning?
    Thank you, again!

    • Hi! You pretty much have to plan on getting a set of newborn diapers for the 0-8 weeks age, then you can start with the sized diapers. (“Fitted” diapers are a different kind of diaper, so be careful that you don’t buy “fitteds” when you mean to buy “sized.”) For the newborn stage, you’ll probably change about a dozen diapers a day, so if you want to wash them every other day, you’ll need about 30, so you can have some on hand while the others are in the wash. After that stage, you’ll probably change ~8 a day, so it depends on how often you want to wash them. We have about 24-30 per size, and that’s a good number for us. Good luck!

  60. Mommy of Four says:

    While your blog post contains fantastic information on cloth diapering, the costs of disposable diapers are highly exaggerated! We have twins and I have never spent $60-80 per month on diapers. I think cloth diapering is an awesome thing, not against it at all, but please don’t report false information.

  61. Thank you so much for this post!!! We have a 3 yr old son and are expecting another boy in 2 months. Husband wanted to do CD with our first but I said NO WAY! I should have done more research because we are definitely going to use CD on our 2nd one!!! Thanks again!

  62. I’m trying (sometimes in vain) to have my first and found this SUPER helpful in deciding on cloth diapers. This for sure helped me decide that yep we’re doing this! My only worry is my coworkers (I work at a daycare and would continue to do so after baby) hating me for subjecting them to cloth but this looks pretty easy just not sure how to deal with post solids poo diapers?

    • Awesome! My sis-in-law uses cloth and she sends her baby to a daycare. I’m not sure what they do with the poo though… maybe just wrap it all up and she dumps it later? As for the changing, honestly, it is JUST as easy to change a cloth diaper as a disposable! All they have to do is put it in a bag instead of the trash. Good luck! 🙂

  63. Can you explain a little more about the wipes? I’m expecting our first in the fall and really want to use cloth diapers. Do you keep them wet in the wipe warmer? Thanks so much for your help.

    • Yes, we take them right out of the washing machine, still wet, and fold them up and put them in the wipe warmer. It’s really simple and easy. Sometimes we wet them down a little more if they need it. Just fold them up and run the whole stack under the faucet, then put them in the wipe warmer. Congrats on the new baby!

  64. I just started using cloth diapers and I have found a few cost saving tricks.

    I use Kawaii diaper covers which are under $5 brand new on their site. They tend to run lots of sales so you can get them even cheaper from time to time. I find that the covers wash super easy, they are easy to carry when you are on the road and I love the fact that they can be used over and over when it’s just a pee diaper. I have the one size fits all and 7 of them last all week. If I run out it’s super easy to just hand wash a cover.

    I use the micro fiber insert with the covers. People say that you have to use the more expensive ones because micro fiber can not go next to the baby’s skin. I just went to the fabric store and got a fabric that wicks away wetness so I lay this on the insert and its good to go. I get the cheaper insert and it works fine.

    When it comes to laundry, I can do laundry once per week because I use the covers and I don’t have so many covers to wash. 7 covers and all the inserts don’t even take up one load of laundry. We use Nellie’s Bulk Laundry Soda 36.7 lbs./16.5kg tub which cleans 1101 loads. On their site it is $125 but I believe we got it at Costco for $99. So that’s $0.79 per load.

    In one week I can go through 7 covers and 70 liners. Without a sale, this would cost under $150. This makes it $2.14 per diaper. I don’t even need to calculate the cost savings over the lifetime of one child let alone two kids.

    I have chosen to go with a bum spray. I just mix water, vinegar and baby soap. Simple and quick to put together! I know you can use the Tea Tree but I didn’t have that and I hear that vinegar is just as good.

    Rather than buying costly diaper liners for the messy diapers, I use disposable diaper wipes after they have been washed. I found that you can reuse the same wipes, I throw them in the washer with the diapers. I found that they are perfectly good after one wash. I bet you could wash the pee ones by hand and they would last longer. But since I got 400 wipes for $7 (less than $0.02 per wipe) I figure 2 uses are good.

    After the second wash for the wipe they are kinda stretched out and I use them for wiping the messy diapers and throw them out. That means I paid $7 for 400 wipes. I got 3 uses and in turn it costs $0.005 per wipe.

    For pee diapers I tend to use the cloth wipes. It would just kill me to waste a disposable on a pee diaper.

    I use two garbages for diapers. Pee diapers are in a garbage close to the change table, it’s not sealed too well but they don’t smell at all. Dirty diapers go in the garbage in the garage and that’s next to the laundry room. Not too bad when it’s only one dirty diaper per day. I don’t use a specific bag for the garbage, just a regular garbage bag is fine. If it gets dirty I toss it.

    When I am on the road, I didn’t go buy a costly bag for the diapers. I just use a ziplock bag. Seals in the wetness and the smell. I have kept a diaper in there for hours and no smell at all.

    I have never diapered a kid with disposables and couldn’t imagine paying all that money and shopping for diapers all the time. Besides, I agree, the cloth diaper are much cuter!

  65. I’m about to have baby number 2, and am considering cloth diapers to save on cost. However, after reading this post, I’m not sure the savings are worth it. We used disposable diapers on our first, which only cost us $30 a month. I don’t know why people are spending $60-$80. On Amazon, with Amazon Mom, the Prime membership, and subscribe and save program, a box of $30 or less diapers comes to my door each month. There are even often coupons that can be clicked on and added when I make my purchase.

    My oldest was potty trained at 35 months. This means $1,050. Yes, they use more diapers when they’re smaller, but more diapers come in the box when they’re small. It all works out.

    I’m also concerned about how cloth fairs at night with heavy wetters. We’ve always had to do a bigger diaper at night, or night diapers.

  66. Awesome post. It’s interesting how everyone is a little different. We use disposables at night, until my daughter was daytime potty trained. Now she wears cloth only at night. We’ve used cloth all through the day though. I’ve also gotten most of my diapers used. My biggest problem is that the leg elastic tends to wear out, but that’s a super easy fix, and it completely renews the life of the diaper. I do rinse all my diapers, but I just throw them in a small laundry basket with big holes in the sides so that they air out. I lived in FL for a long time, so damp clothes sitting around with no air was a really bad idea.:)

  67. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing. We’ve exclusively cloth diapered my 16 month old from the time she grew into our Thirsties covers at 4 weeks old. We love cloth! I 100% agree about the wipes. I thought cloth wipes were too hardcore for me until 1.) I realized how expensive disposables are and 2.) got tired of picking the used disposable wipes out of the wet bag when we returned from an outing. Cloth is so much easier and cheaper!

  68. I have a question about cloth wipes. I know you said you can use the baby washcloths, but I also see other people are making their own. Suggestions of what they are made from? Flannel? I am a very craft person and my mom is as well and we have tons of fabric scraps laying around the house. Hoping that maybe we have something usable already! 🙂

    Also, we live in a VERY rural area and don’t have access to all the essential oils. Is there anything else I can put in with the wipes? I know you said water, but if I add something else do I just drop it in the bottom? We are expecting in August and I am trying to get all my ducks in a row before little boy comes! 🙂

    • Yes! You can definitely make your own wipes. Flannel is perfect. Anything that seems soft enough will work. I started out using oils – but don’t use “essential” oils, only use pure 100% oils – and when I did it, I mixed up a bowl of warm water + a squirt of baby shampoo + a couple drops of tea tree oil, then dipped the stack of folded wipes into the bowl. Just to reiterate – do NOT use the essential oils! I hear that’s very important. Congrats on the little boy!

  69. I spend $39 a month on disposable diapers, buying them from Costco. So cloth diapering will not be saving me money in the long run with 🙁 Back at square one trying to figure out how I can save money with baby #2!

  70. I don’t have any kids yet, but trying to do as much research as possible before it happens. I love the idea of cloth diapering and your post was very informative without being overwhelming. I do have one (stupid?) question…are the inserts disposable or washable? Thanks!!

    • So smart to be researching now! The inserts are washable and they come with the diapers when you buy them. (No extra cost or anything.)

  71. My husband & I both work fulltime with long commutes & still cloth diaper. We LOVE our fuzzibunz! We use 1 size elite. Our friends call us weird & gawk at the cloth diapers but we don’t care. Love them! My husband & I catch up with each other while we stuff diapers (takes about 15 mins for 20 dipes & wipes if you’re in a hurry). We actually look forward to diaper day. We’ve never had a blow out. The ONLY unpleasant thing about them actually has to do with the hemp inserts (awesome aborbancy overnight!). After about a month they really start to stink & we have to boil them for 10 minutes. It stinks up the whole house…still worth it to us to use them but ugh it’s so smelly!

  72. mommytobe2013 says:

    THANK YOU! this is an amazing post. I’m in my first pregnancy and I’ve been skeptical about doing cloth diapers but I knew I wanted to try it or at least keep looking into them. I read the whole thing top to bottom and this answered all my questions! I know now I will be using cloth diapers. Now I just gotta forward this to my bf so he’s informed and on board.
    And other mommies out there that want to try the cloth diapers and want to be frugal about it, this is amazing! My baby isn’t even here yet and I want to buy them all in all sizes! Great prices!

  73. So the sized diapers only have the closure snaps, not the crotch shortening snaps too right?

    • Yes…. I think for the most part? Maybe some brands are different, but the fuzzibunz only have the closure snaps if they’re sized.

  74. A couple questions:
    1. How do you get the poop stains out of the inserts? My girl blows out the top of her disposables and I cannot get the stains out. Do I have to rinse them right away? I have tried the sun, blue Dawn dish soap, and soaking in cold water. I feel like I am missing something?
    2. Does anyone know the difference with Flip and Kawaii diapers? (like the hybrid kind that you use the shell over again. They seem like the same system, but Kawaii is cheaper.

    • Are you laying them out in the sun while they’re wet? The sun gets evvvvverything out!

      • Okay, So I am to wash them, then hang them to day in the sun? And there is no need to rinse first with a toilet sprayer or anything? Just take them from the baby, to the pail, then to the wash, and then dry in the sun? Or do I rinse them, put in the sun, then wash? Sorry, am I making this more difficult than it is? I tend to do that. LOL!
        Also, is there a good detergent to make at home that is baby safe and good for cloth diapers? I saw the other post of how to make one, but was not sure if it is good.

        • We take them off the baby, wash them like normal, take them out of the washer and put them in the sun while still wet. I don’t know about good homemade detergents. Anyone know?

  75. So my questions are this: 1) Do they grow with the child? The diaper I use when they are newborn will it still fit in a couple of years or do we have to buy bigger ones. 2) How does Dreft or like the Free & Clear detergents do for washing?

    • 1. It depends on which diapers you buy. Some grow with the child (those are the “one-size” kind) and some are sized, so you have to buy different sizes. In all cases, you need special diapers for the newborn weeks. Even “one-size” diapers don’t fit on newborns.
      2. Dreft doesn’t work for cloth diapers. Most Free & Clear detergents don’t either. When you get your diapers, follow the manufacturers recommendation for detergent.

  76. Excellent post! We buy used cloth diapers too. No judgement here. 🙂

  77. Kelly! I am reading a lot in the comments and other posts about nap time and night time leaking. Do you have this with the fitted Fuzzibunz? Do you do anything extra at nap/night time?
    Also, how many wetbags do you recommend buying? Do you need to do anything special to a diaper before sticking it in a wet bag?
    Thanks so much, expert!!

    • I can’t remember the last time Mila leaked at nap time or at night. When Weston got a little older, we just used two inserts at night. We have friends who use cloth, and they were just telling us yesterday that they went on vacation and used disposables, and were shocked at how much leakier their disposables were than cloth. It probably helps to have diapers that are the right fit, like if your kids have thin legs, don’t get diapers that have wider leg holes. You don’t need to do anything with a dipe before you put it in a wetbag, unless it’s a #2 diaper and they’re eating solids, in which case you’d just want to dump it into a toilet first. And I always take out the insert before I put it in a wetbag. We have three wetbags – one small, one medium, one large.

      • Thank you!!! Forgive me if I am wearing you out, but one more question! {apparently this post has made you an expert, for sure!}.
        I notice that several people use just smalls and mediums. Do you think it is worth it for the newborn phase to invest in X-smalls {or do you think some people start off with disposables since this phase of weight is for such a little amount of time}? How long did your kiddos use the X-smalls if you went that route?
        BLESS YOU for your guidance. For real! After 2 kiddos in disposables, I am feeling like a first time mom as I embark on this! xoxoxo

        • The x-smalls last about 6-8 weeks. I can totally understand why some people would start with disposables for that amount of time. It’s up to you to make the call. We bought used and resold them, since the x-smalls are barely used and stay in great condition, and it only ended up costing us $7 to diaper Weston during that time, so it was worth it for us. It’s definitely more convenient to do disposables then. It’s your call, and if you choose to use disposables for a while and then switch to cloth, that might be a great decision for you. 🙂

  78. When I told my husband I wanted to cloth diaper our new baby (due December), he told me to talk to his mom about it. When I told him we weren’t talking pins and rubber pants anymore and showed him pics of the “new cloth diapers” he was sold! Going to a friends today to raid her stash. Can’t wait.

  79. I cloth diaper, but one thing I can’t seem to get rid of is the pee smell. I can soak, double wash, dry in the sun, etc. And still they smell not pleasant. My husband will just use pullups when I’m out, because he can’t stand the smell of the cloth. They aren’t bad right when they are clean, but the tiniest bit of moisture seems to trigger them to smell foul. Daughter is almost 2, so almost done with diapering any how, but would still like to get rid of the smell before passing them on to someone else.

    • I wonder if you’re using the wrong kind of detergent? I think you get a smell when the kind of detergent you use builds up. It might also be that you just need to strip them.

  80. I have heard that Borax is not good because it is abrasive and will wear down the PUL in the cloth diapers. Does anyone else have this problem? What is another homemade CD laundry detergent?

  81. Thanks for a great post Kelly!! We are trying and aren’t expecting yet but have already built up a good stash of used CDs. Purchasing them anywhere from $3-$12 each we have only spent about $160. So if we use the calculation of $500 for washing then we’ll only spend $660. If people only spend $30/month on disposables they’re still spending $900 for 30 months!! We’ll still be saving and plan on using them for all future babies as well!!! One quick question, speaking of crunchy, when line drying our clothes if we don’t use fabric softener they are crunchy feeling — how do you combat this with CDs or do they not feel crunchy when they hang to dry? Thanks!!!

    • They are made of a softer material, so it’s not really an issue. If you dry them in the dryer, the inserts are noticeably softer, but they’re not directly up against the baby so we don’t worry about it too much. 🙂 A lot of people do machine-dry their diapers, so you could always opt for that if you didn’t love how they feel.

  82. Kelly, First of all I have to thank you so much for this post! My sister suggested I use cloth diapers, but I had no idea what kind to get and how to do the whole thing. This post helped me get started and our cloth diapers arrived this week!
    I just had a question because my mother said that whatever I put the diapers in when we are through should have water in it for the diapers to soak…. do I need to? I got the pail liner and figured I could just throw the diapers in as is… wash them a couple days later.

    • We don’t soak the diapers at all, ever. We just put them right into the dry pail liner and wash them a few days later. I think the soaking thing is something people used to do in the last “generation” of cloth diapers… but I don’t know anyone who does it that way now. 🙂

  83. This post is so fantastic! We are expecting baby #1 and have been trying to figure out what to use. The ladies in my family have gone cloth and the (only one) in my husband’s family has done disposable. My husband’s biggest turn off (of course) is the effect it could have on the washer. He thinks it will get ‘poopy’ or at least can’t be good for it. Any insight?

    • It’s never been a problem for us! 🙂 I have lots of friends who cloth diaper and have never heard of it being an issue. You do two wash cycles, so even if it somehow got poopy, the poop would wash out the first time and the whole machine would get a whole other wash again before you put more clothes in it. But it really shouldn’t get too poopy. 🙂 Our machine still runs great, and we’re on our second kid, 3.5 years straight of cloth diapering.

  84. this is amazing! as a first time mom due in april, i am really into the idea of cloth diapering but don’t even know where to begin. thank you so much for all your tips and tricks!

  85. I’ve probably got a dumb question but do you ever have problems with your washing machine when throwing the dirty diapers in with #2 on them? Dirty smells or some “left overs” in the drum? Yuckie thought I know, but I’m about to have my first baby and I want to try the cloth but don’t want to ruin my new machines. Thanks!

    • No we don’t have that problem. 🙂 There’s really not much #2 going in there. Breastmilk poop is water soluble, so it washes away completely. After they’re breastfed, you don’t put the poop in the machine.

  86. How long does it normally take for a load of diapers to dry when hang drying indoors?

    • It depends on what kind of diapers you use, how humid it is, all that. If you use fuzzibunz like we do, the inserts are probably about as thick as a sweatshirt, if that gives you any idea. The shells dry really fast, usually within a few hours.

  87. Thanks for the great tips,I use cloth diapers for my newborn (still 7 weeks) anyway,we use a liner on the diaper,so washing is not a difficult task for us…
    Still we use disposables when traveling and during night times.Want to shift to cloth diapers during these times too…

  88. Hey, I just landed on your post here while trying to get a good 101 (and a 102 perhaps :P) on cloth diapering. I think I have gathered enough information now to figure out which type of cloth diaper to go with, but there is another fundamental question I had –
    Since they are rather bulky (at least they look like they are!) compared to the ‘sposies, can / should babies be wearing any lower garment (PJ’s / leggings / pants) over them? It can get a little cold in our part of the world, and I would like the baby’s legs to be covered when needed.

    Do advise, thanks!

    • Yes, we definitely dress them just like we would if they were in disposables. 🙂 The only difference is that sometimes they go up a pants size a little sooner because the cloth dipes can be a little bulkier.

    • I am from Nebraska. It gets pretty cold here, especially in our house. We dressed our child normally most of the time, but I did fall in love with BabyLegs and sometimes she wore her cute diaper with cute BL’s instead of pants.

  89. Found this post through your 2013 roundup! Loved every word of it. Expecting our first in February and there are only 3 things that I am passionate about…1. Breastfeeding 2. Delivery from the vag (sorry…TMI?) and 3. Cloth diapering. CD is something that I have really had to talk the hubs into, but thankfully, he is willing to try. It’s always nice to hear others viewpoints so thanks so much for sharing!

  90. OMG! i can’t believe! so nice information. I just love your blog and this post is really very informative. My husband loves cloth diapers and we never ever have diaper leaks! What a new world having a baby is in not having to wash carpet, comforters and swing covers constantly from diaper leaks. It’s actually cut DOWN on laundry!

  91. Thank you for this awesome post about cloth diapers! Super straightforward and clear and full off good info. I have an 8 month old that I’ve been cloth diapering since she was about 2 months old (after I ran out of all the disposables given to me at showers). I really like using cloth but have realized over the past 6 months that there is quite a learning curve. Your post raised some questions for me. Okay, first off — I bought all my cloth diapers used as well. LOOOOOOOOOVE Bum Genius. LOVE LOVE LOVE. All of my dipes are OS. One thing I don’t like about cloth dipes is how bulky they are, but I didn’t know the sized ones are less bulky. Hmm…to bad I’ve already spent money on all the OS.

    I also bought a bunch of FuzziBuns used, OS pocket with snaps. I don’t know what the problem is but they all leak. All of them, like every single time I used them. I have stripped them and doubled liners but it doesn’t help. I tried to be really careful to only buy one that were in great condition and didn’t have stretched out elastic. Any ideas why the FB are so horrible for me?

    Also, can you share your process for stripping diapers? And how often do you do this?

    I really like the idea of using cloth wipes (it just makes sense) but my husband will take some convincing.

    • The leaky FBs could just need stripping, or it could be that it’s just not a great fit on your kiddos. Maybe the BumGenius just happened to be made to a shape that fits their little bums a little better. For stripping, I wash the diapers like normal, then scrub the inside and outside of the PUL on the Fuzzibunz with a scrub brush and some blue dawn soap. (I don’t know why it has to be the blue dawn soap, but that’s what the internet says.) While I’m doing that, I boil the inserts for about 10 minutes at a time, in batches. Then I throw everything in the wash with about a tablespoon of blue dawn soap and wash it all a million times until there are no more soap suds. That’s a pretty extreme job that we only do once every several months, but there are shortcuts to stripping that you can find online too.

  92. Great Post! I just have a quick question, where did you get that drying rack for your laundry room? I can’t seem to find a nice one like that. Thanks!

  93. I am so freaking excited about all of this. The one day last Saturday I found this on Pinterest and now I have an entire board for cloth diapering.. I am glued and this is probably the most informational pin that I have found. The Charlie’s soap I have heard is fantastic so I am thrilled to use that.. Oh and I am not prego but we are trying!! My husband was not excited about this idea.. I told him about the savings and he felt a little better.. My one question is the wipes.. How do you do this when you leave the house?? Do u just take the wash clothes and wet them and then stick them in the wet bag?? I am so excited and have done more research and was also told to get the bum genius free time because then I don’t have to mess with the inserts but to get some that do have the inserts for evenings in case they wet more frequently.. Do you like the fuzz buzz ones more then bumgenius and why if u don’t mind me asking.. Your information has just been so helpful.. I have everything in a wish list on Amazon so thank you so much for making this seem easy. I have already had so much negative feed back from my mom and I hope once she sees what it’s like now she will change her mind.. Thank you so much for all this amazing info.. I am hooked because of your post

    • Thanks so much, Amanda Jo! I like the Fuzzibunz better than the BumGenius just because they happen to fit my kids better. LOTS of people prefer BumGenius, so I think it’s just a personal preference. For the wipes, we did it for a while where we brought wet wipes in a little plastic wipes container, but now we mostly just use disposable wipes when we’re out and about. You can try it either way and see what you like. 🙂 Best wishes to you guys!

  94. I f*n love this post! More poop posts I say! I first read of cloth diapering via YHL and have constantly been a fan even though I have no children. I can’t wait to do this and really hope I can find an easy way considering I hope to be in central america by the time I have kids. Love this!

  95. I have been using fuzzibunz for over a year now, but I think i might need to strip them as it seems like over the past year a slight smell has started to cling to them. What is your method for stripping? I have a front load washer if that makes any difference. Thanks!

  96. Laureen O' (@ViBarkley) says:

    After reading this post, I almost wish they made cloth diapers for adults. I took care of my incontinent mom at home for 7 years before she finally had to be moved to a nursing facility. I wish they used them there, too! I confess, although I am close to becoming a ‘Granola Girl’ (after working in the corporate world for many years), I did wear hospital gloves, used a LOT of hand sanitizer and am a little OCD about hand washing. LOL!

    One tip I’ll throw in about potty training – I was a nanny for several years, and my philosophy was, at about 9 months old, I sat them on the potty chair with a book, at least once a day for 5-10 minutes. By that age, they are pretty much ‘going’ at the same time every day, so it’s easy to predict when they would have a bowel movement. It’s amazing how kids even that young get an understanding of what goes in the potty, and how they get a reward for it (like a few Cheerios or a piece of banana). 😉 I had 3 boys trained by the time they were 18 months old with no problems at all. We kept them in diapers at night until they were out of the crib, but boy, what a money saver by having them trained early!

  97. Just fyi, the output of some solids eating babies will ALWAYS require a sprayer. Always. I speak from experience. My 20 month old has been in cloth diapers from the start and we’ve been using a sprayer since she switched to solids. She eats super, super healthy and has fantastic digestion. I should know, I change those diapers. Even so, nothing plops. Sprayer for the win!

    Love the post, by the way! Also, I’m in the middle of a laundry room redo that I hope will do honor to the inspiration that yours is. Thank you for the link to the stencil web site!

  98. This post is so inspirational. I found it as I’m sitting here pregnant with baby no. 3 and convinced that I won’t have a decent diaper option for my first girl. As a cloth diapering mama, I doubt you’ve read about the recent ‘redesigning’ of disposables. Every single company – including 7th generation – changed their products last year for what seems to be worse across the board. I have used them for both my boys (just the perfect combination of lazy + non-crunchy I guess), but am really concerned about quality for my last baby bum.

    Just thought I would bring up this current diapering issue. I will be sharing your blog with my mama circle and hopefully beyond.

    Thank you for making cloth diapers sound doable for this 8 mo pregnant, soon to be mom of three. That is no easy feat!

    And seriously, what’s best about your blog is your presence to answer comments and questions a year after your post. I feel like I gained a pro resource tonight!

    Not to mention that your money makeover posts have completely changed our lives recently. We read your post on Wednesday afternoon and are implementing our first round of changes today.

    So full of common sense and real life advice. You seriously rock!

    Thank you! Thank you!

  99. Thank you for this post I’m new at cloth diapering and my daughter is 15 months so I’m a little late because I’m going to be hopefully potty training her in June but I wanted to see how I like cloth diapers because I want another baby next year. And when I found out they last for awhile I was like why not get all I need now and use them on the new baby when that time comes…. But I’m still having issues on fit still trying to figure it out but all in all I really like it! But I did question how does this save money since you have to wash them every other day two three days and I was them completely different because I have two friends who do it the same and have been helping me and the pre wash then main wash then another rinse so it had me wondering am I really saving money because they do covers alone and inserts alone….. Also I would like to know more on doing your on wipes because I want to do that and I have the same warmer as you and I wanted to use it and didn’t know it would dry them out or not!!! Thanks again!!!

  100. I love this post. I bought a set of six cloth diapers when my baby was a few months old and loved using the diapers, but six just isn’t enough, and I’m pretty sure he’s grown out of them now.

    In the past few months I’ve found that poor Joseph is irritated by all the disposable brands. Pampers is the least bad, so that’s what we’re dealing with now, and the red bumps don’t seem to bother him, but they sure bother Daddy and me.

    We really need to switch. I get so overwhelmed thinking about all the options and the hassle of cloth diapering on the go, but this post has gotten me re-excited about switching again. I hope to be able to make some of my own eventually, but I looked up some groups on Facebook and hope to get at least some covers (and probably make my own prefolds–the inserts just didn’t seem to hold enough even after I stripped them) for pretty cheap.

  101. This is the best post about these i’ve come across! Thanks for the information and choices without overloading with too many! You’ve definitely made cloth diapering more of a possibility with my future littles.

  102. Thank you for doing this post! Found it on Pinterest and repinned it! We are 6 months pregnant with our first and will be cloth diapering. It seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but I am starting to understand it all! So far I have spent $132 dollars which has gotten us 24 one size pocket diapers, 28 liners, 2 wet bags and one trainer. I still need to buy a trash can, 2 liners and wipes. Which I think I can get done all under $200! Big savings. We calculated if we put that $2,500 dollars into an investment that averaged 10% over the next 18 years we would have $16,000 for our babies college/wedding! I’ll take it!

  103. Jeannine says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and I’m so happy I did! I really wish I cloth diapered my LO. She is still in diapers, as she is 15 months old, however, the cost of cloth diapering would be much higher than disposables in the long run because we live in an apartment where we have to lay 1.75 to wash! It doesn’t help that the washers are on the small side. Plus, I don’t think the other residents would appreciate baby poo if for some reason any remnants where left behind in the wash. Hopefully, with God’s grace and our will power we will own our own home by the time baby number 2 comes! I’ll have to bookmark this for that time.

  104. Thanks for a detailed look inside using cloth diapers! I’ve been considering trying it as well because of the savings! I have a questions on travel. Did you use disposable when traveling/out-for-the-day or do you carry a small liner with you in your bag? I appreciated the play-by-play of changing the diapers. I always wondered if there would be scraping involved! haha! 🙂

    • We usually just use cloth diapers even when we’re out and about, and we use a little wetbag with a zipper to hold the dirties til we get back home. We even use them on vacations if there’ll be a washing machine there, but a lot of people do use disposables for vacations. We do that too if it won’t be convenient to wash them wherever we’re going.

  105. Lakan Howe says:

    I’ll be a first time mommy in august. What do I need to get started on this cloth diapering adventure 🙂

  106. I have a question about clo diapers. My only Hangup with these is that we rent so we still have to pay to do our laundry. So I didn’t ink this choice would be cost effective for us. Do you think we could hand wash these or is that too messy ? Thank you!

    • I do think it’d be too messy and time-consuming to hand-wash. Without an easy way to machine-wash, you’re probably better off with disposables. Good luck!

  107. This is interesting! My only worry is the germ factor. It is sanitary to wash bm diapers in the washer. I would love to try this but my only concern is in washing them. Ty 🙂

  108. Hey there! I have a 3 year old and never used cloth with him but my mom convinced me to try it out with my second child before she was born. LOVE it! The fact that we aren’t constantly needing to go out and buy more pampers is amazing! I had a couple questions though. They are used cloths, maybe for about 10 months, Ka Waii Baby brand

    1: sometimes they leak, do I need to buy new “inserts”? If they leak during the day it’s from the elastic part. At night she wakes up in a HUGE wet spot. And if we are in the car for more than an hour it leaks from the elastic part too.
    2: I read that you shouldn’t hang dry the covers because the elastic can get loose resulting in leaks, is that true?

    Even with the couple “issues” I have fallen in love with cloth diapers!!! This post was awesome, so glad I found it!

  109. I used to think cloth diapering was messy, gross, and quite the hassle (probably because I read several blogs that only highlighted the disasters and worst-case scenarios). For the past few months, I’ve been slowly changing my mind. And after reading your well-written and very helpful article, I’ve about officially made up my mind to cloth diaper when I am expecting. 🙂 Thank you!

  110. Thank you! I don’t have kids yet, but I was just curious and this was very informative. You actually changed my mind, I think that when the time comes, I will be a cloth momma.

  111. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this amazing site needs far more attention.
    I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!

  112. Hi,
    When I was a full time employee I could not manage family along. But after I got pregnant I started working home and after my baby, lifes changing you know. I find cloth diapers to be extremely good.

  113. Hello Kelly, You’ve got such a great article here… and I’m struggling with choosing cloth or disposable. First baby due in late September, 2014. I prefer cloth, but I have some facts to consider and I’d love your opinion. I live in an apartment with shared laundry facilities and each wash cost $1.25. I’d hang/line dry as you state. I am not certain if costs would be better… and I am not sure if the other tenants would be concerned. Also, baby’s father says he’s not up for it, but I will be caring for our baby full-time so I am not too concerned about that. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you!

  114. THANK YOU!!! I am pregnant with my first, and debating disposable/cloth. Your post is the most informative and helpful I have found so far! Again: THANK YOU!!!

  115. Jesilyn Knudson says:

    Wow. I really love your tips on cloth diapering. My husband and I just found out we have our first on on the way. We are fairly young and his parents are very squeamish over our choice to use cloth diapers (my mother used them so it was always a fact of life growing up in my very large family). To be honest some of the criticism Was starting to make me second guess our choice. After reading your post I feel even more confident then I did when we first decided to go with the CD route.

  116. Just wanted to say thanks for all of the information in this post 🙂 I cannot currently cloth diaper becuase we are stationed overseas and (long story short) cannot control the temperature of our water along with an entire list of things that just make it seem intimidating and impossible. ANYWAY, after reading this (both the post and the comments) I am super excited to maybe attempt cloth diapering when we move back to the states for baby # 2. Thank you so much for taking the time to provide all of that information!!

  117. Great blog. Very informative. Just one question: do the inserts stay in the diapers in the wash, or do you remove them first? I’m very new to this and didn’t realize cloth diapers needed inserts, so I guess I’m just wondering how you wash them – in the diapers or out.

  118. Hey I’m Tarquin from I just read your post after finding it on Pinterest and it’s brilliant! We are pregnant with our first, due in November and we want to cloth diaper. It’s hard to find the right sort of information and usually you’d have to jump all over the place to find it but you’ve put it all in one place, with all the necessary information. You’re brilliant, thank you! Bless xx

  119. erin niggemeier says:

    Thank you so much for the information! I will be attempting cloth with my next boy due December 2014. This was such a helpful tool in my cloth diapering journey! I know feel like I am ready to take on the task.
    Thanks again!

  120. “I hope this post doesn’t have the unintended consequence of serving as population control” LOL! Count on it! Haha I don’t have a kid of my own, but I was raised in cloth diapers! 😀 My siblings use cloth diapers on their children. The cost is a major factor, as well as the leg formation (?) Not sure though! That’s what I heard 😀

  121. I was not expecting cloth diapering to be as easy as it was. As a grandma, I remember the old way of cloth diapers and I wasn’t really excited about changing them!!! But it was completely different!

    I’m happy to say, it’s been very successful with the first grandbaby! 🙂

  122. Beckey & Jeff says:

    What an awesome and detailed post. We are looking to use reusable diapers for baby #2 (due in the end of September).

  123. Love this! Definitely thinking about doing cloth diapers! One question though, you mentioned the price comparison but I noticed you left out the trash can, liners, detergent and wetbags….so how much is it all together? (I wouldn’t normally buy all that with disposable diapers)

  124. Very helpful article! This is the first one I read on CD and it was a great introduction. Just curious, what brand is that pink gingham diaper???? It is ADORABLE and I want to try and purchase one for my kiddo!!!

    Thank you! 🙂

  125. Hey
    Really loved what you wrote. I believe that cloth diapers are extremely good!! my kid is very comfortable always in a mood to play. I have used diapers from and I appreciate the quality they offer!! Your pictures are lovely by the way.

  126. Do you have a recommendation on what size trash can to get? We are looking into Simple Human and I’m wondering if an 8 gallon will suffice or if we need larger… I know cloth diapers can be bulkier than disposables, so I wasn’t sure!

  127. Do you have any recommendations on trash can sizes? We are looking into a Simple Human and I am wondering if 8 gallons is big enough or if I should go larger? I know cloth diapers can be bulky….

  128. Great Article, this will help so many parents.

  129. I’m expecting with my second and researching this for the first time. I’m confused, from 0-6 months you put the poopy diapers directly in the washer without rinsing? It seems to me they are just being washed in poopy water. Is that sanitary or even good for your washer? I know they don’t have a lot of solid waste at that age but it still seems really yucky to me. Maybe I am just too much a germaphobe! lol. But for me I think I would even rinse the urine diapers before putting in the pail to cut on smell and washing them in urine water. Am I off base with this?

    • You CAN rinse them if you want, but doing two washes with the extra rinses really takes care of everything and they do come out clean. 🙂

  130. This was REALLY helpful; thank you! Quick question, do the disposable liners absorb pee too? The link states two different things: “lets liquid pass through..” and “promotes the absorption of liquids…”

  131. I was searching cloth diapers for my 2 months baby and here I know the importance of cloth diapers, very informative tips for cloth diapering.

  132. matilda robinson says:

    My husband thinks I am crazy for wanting to raise our baby in nostalgic ways. I really want to put her in cloth diapers the way that my siblings and I were raised. I don’t see what the problem is, as long as I am willing to put in the extra work that the modern conveniences now apply.

  133. Hi! I’m a first time mama to our 4 month old and have been doing cloth and disposal hybrid diapering…mostly because (as silly as this sounds) the cloth diapers are so BULKY! I feel they look ridiculous under his clothes and make his outfits tighter sooner because of the extra fabric needed to cover the bulk. Am I the only one that feels this is an “issue”? I don’t usually hear much about this. We are using the one size Charlie Banana (they seem to leak around the edges?) and Bum Genius diapers. He’s 4.5 months and 16lbs and I keep hoping that as he grows they will look more proportioned to his size but for now I end up using disposals often because of this. Any advice? Maybe I didn’t realize that cloth diapering just means a much more bulky package down there?

    • It’s definitely true that CDs are bulkier! I think I just resigned myself to it as fact and it never bothered us much. 🙂

  134. Great post. I have been using cloth diapers on my second daughter and it is great. It is super easy to clean and I bought them to a mummy that had bought too many of them, so I got them brand new for 150 SGD (around 120 USD). The only thing that bothers me is that they get smelly, more pee smell than anything else, but I didn’t know we should use a special soap for them, so I am going to try with that now.

  135. I have never used cloth diapers before because of don’t knowing its importance. I found very informative knowledge regarding cloth diapers. most important is it saves your cost.

  136. Molly, I’ve been cloth diapering my 7 month old daughter for abut 3 weeks because she had an awful rash that we couldn’t kick. I just now realize after reading yours and other blogs that Destin has caused build up in her liners. They smell funky after being washed and dried. My sweet mother in law who clothed diapered her two kiddos 35-45 years ago insists that I have to bleach them every time I wash them which I don’t think I need to b/c I think it will compromise the quality of the fabric, but in a last ditch effort I washed them in bleach to get rid of the smell, after trying to strip them with vinigor, and dish soap. The smell lingered. So I soaked them in bleach/water the next day for 4 hours. The smell lingered. I don’t know what to do with them. Are they ruined or is there a way to redeem them? I use bumgenious 4.0 pocket diapers with microfiber liners.

    • Hi Lacey, They might be ruined (I don’t know much about how bleach works with them) but they might be redeemable! I would try to strip them: wash them with about a tablespoon of blue dawn dish soap. (Apparently it has to be the blue kind for some reason.) Then take them out and scrub the fleece inside and out with a scrub brush and HOT water and more blue dawn. Then rinse them in your washing machine, over and over, until there are no more soap suds. It’ll take a bunch of loads, but it should get out all the stink and get them back to new again. It’s worth a shot!

  137. I loved your article! I’m late to the cloth diapering game. We are expecting our second inspiring and I’m totally interested in CD-ing.
    My question is this… I noticed you did not use a “sprayer.” These are the kind that hook up to your toilet. I’ve seen many advertised on Zulily and other sites. Are these just an extra that isn’t necessary?

    • I think they’re totally not necessary, but there are a lot of people who use them and love them. To each her own, I think! 🙂

  138. This was REALLY helpful; thank you!

  139. Excellent informative post. I liked what you wrote.

  140. Do you take the inserts out when you wash? What is your method for drying?

  141. Love this! Thanks so much for your awesome blog. We’re using cloth on our son and it’s been a great experience. However he is now 6 months old and we’re starting solids. I’ll admit I’m a bit worried about adding the extra step of having to take the diaper to the toilet. This may be a stupid question but where in the process do you dump the poop? Do you finish with the baby (clean diaper, clothes etc) and then deal with the dirty diaper? I know it’s not safe to leave a baby on the changing table so I’m just trying to figure out the best “order of operations”. Also, our diapers have been leaking. They fit well, we use the right detergent and I’ve stripped them… Maybe the inserts aren’t absorbent enough? We use a mixture of fuzzibunz and charlie banana and love them except that I can’t figure out the leaking problem!

    • That’s our order of operations – completely diaper the baby and clean them up, then dump the dirties, then wash hands thoroughly. 🙂

  142. I find cloth diapers to be very helpful. they are easy to wash, its soft material keeps my baby comfortable and also avoids bum rashes

  143. When you wash the second time (the hot wash with extra rinse) do you use detergent? So, do you use detergent both washes? Thanks!

  144. Hey, I really liked your article.

  145. Vanessa salomon says:

    Thank you for this. This has helped me a whole lot. I needed someone to walk me through from the beginning and you’ve made the entire process come full circle. So excited to cloth diaper.

  146. This may be a silly question but what is the brand of the garbage can you purchased? I’ve read elsewhere you shouldn’t scrimp on a diaper pail. Do you have problems with smell? The one I am currently registered for is made for cloth diapering but it doesn’t have a pedal to lift the lid but had very good reviews. What are your thoughts?

  147. We are Americans living in India. I have lots of Bum Genius diapers that I used for 4 months with my first daughter, but then gave up because of conditions here in India. You are right that build up ruins absorbency, but they don’t sell those fru-fru cloth diaper cleaners in India, they don’t sell or make space in homes for dryers for your clothes, and your washer doesn’t have the option of a hot wash. The only way I found to strip diapers was to boil water and put baking soda and vinegar in it, stir it up, add the cold-washed in soda diapers, and let it sit there, stirring it every 20min with a big stick, then wringing out by hand and putting it thru a cold rinse cycle in the washer before line drying. The process took forever and my bathroom smelled like boiled poop and pee generally because all bathrooms are open to the elements and if it is 120F outside then it is also that in your bathroom. I switched at 4 months to disposable because the smell and work to manually clean each diaper was killing me.

    Do you have any homemade ideas that involve kitchen-kept items? India also doesn’t sell hippie-cleaners such as essential oils or more intense cleaning agents like Borax.

    My girl also had significant bum rashes from the diapers and I have never known if it was the way I was washing them or a frequency in changing her problem or what was the matter.

    Please respond to the email I left on your blog. Thanks!

  148. Thank you for posting this! I have never had the guts to try cloth after watching my mother do it for years, and smelling the stink. I am excited to try your methods! It makes sense, and seems easy enough. Thanks again!

    Sarah Gwin

  149. Katrina McCoy says:

    thank you so much for this article it was so helpful! I was wandering around Amazon trying to figure out what diaper covers are and why there were diaper inserts and what I needed and then thought to look on Pinterest and this just explained everything so simply! I’m ordering the diaper wash you suggested and the pail liner and wet bag and I’m so glad for the easy instructions on everything! I thought the same thing about cloth wipes as well but the way you just explained it makes so much sense and I’m definitely going to be using cloth wipes now! Thank you so much this was so helpful and everything I needed to know alll in one place!

  150. I’m nowhere near expecting yet, but I’ve become mildly obsessed of learning about doing everything natural I can for baby and me. I love love love this post! It makes cloth diapering much more convincing and easy to understand (more so for the wife than me). I do have one question though. Where did you get the adorable pink print? I’ve looked on Amazon and can’t find it for the life of me. Is it a separate cover or an actual diaper?

  151. Can’t agree more on all the benefits of cloth diapering. I’d go all the way if it’s possible except that I still need disposable when being outside. Certainly learned quite a bit of tricks here and there from your informative post.

  152. Thank you so much for posting this! We are having baby #1 and want to cloth diaper– our daycare will even do it! This blog post has given us the most honest and helpful information than anything else out there. I’ve been researching this for a few years, but we’re in crunchtime-mode now. Thank you again and I love your blog!

  153. This post actually makes the whole cloth diapering thing sound so much easier and less gross and weird (who wants to install a diaper sprayer?!) than any other I’ve read. And who knew you could buy used?! Thank you for sharing!

  154. Do you put the diapers in the wash with the insert in them, or do you seperate them? Does it ever get bent up inside or moved around, or stay fit and dry all the time after wash/dry? My mom used cloth (and sometimes disposable) on my sisters and I. I remember changing my sister with the old fashioned diapers and safety pins, but she also used a diaper service, so she didn’t wash them herself (other than the ones specifically as a lovey and not for booty)

  155. I don’t have any kids, or want to have kids anytime soon lol but I was super intrigued by this. Read from start to finish! Great article. Something I will definitely consider when its my time 🙂

  156. My sister-in-law made her own cloth diapers and sold a few here and there. She saved a bunch of money just by making her own.

  157. I LOVE reading your posts. You’re so honest, natural and funny.

    We will be giving cloth diapering a go come October for our first born baby and I’m literally SO EXCITED.

    I will be trying the cloth wipes as well!

    I too am buying all used and so far have spent about $150ish for …. well I would have to go count them but close to 50 diaps.

    Thanks so much for this post!

  158. Do u take your liners out to wash/dry?

  159. I am really interested and excited to cloth diaper when my husband and I finally have a baby, and I found this very informative! Thank you! 🙂
    My question is for anyone who needs to have their children in daycare. Is your daycare okay with just putting the cloth diapers into a wet bag for you? Or do you have to do something different for daycare?
    I would love to stay home with our children, but I know that would be financially impossible. So they’ll have to go for at least a few hours a day.
    Any info and experience would be appreciated! Thank you!

  160. Baby Diapers Online: Many parents prefer to use clothes instead of a diaper because they are unsure of the skin friendliness of a modern Baby Diapers Online.

  161. Thank you so much for posting this! Your post helped me make the leap to cloth diapers after considering it for quite some time. I especially liked the part when you said no one is likely reading your post anymore mostly because I was eating it up! You answered all the questions I had and demystified cloth diapering for me. Thanks again 🙂

  162. Great post… Thanks for sharing those guidelines!

  163. I love this post, all the more reason to use cloth diapers for my new baby boy.

  164. Nice artice. Except for outside of house visits, it is found that still in India even some families don’t use diapers especially if they live with grandparents or the mom is not working.
    Apart this I would really appreciate if someone would answer me that what people used for either baby or adult diapers during ancient times?
    Because on that time, I think cloth was much expansive to be wasted like that and such neither such diaper what is available easily in the market like huggies, pamper, healthgenie, incofit, etc. hadn’t been invented yet.
    This question I generally wanted to know if somebody will answer.

  165. Thanks for all your work writing up this post! I tried cloth once before and hated it, but turns out I was making it a lot harder than it needed to be. Wonderful tips!

  166. First time expecting mama here… just wanting to say thank you for the amazing post!! I have one question… when you wash pocket diapers, do you remove the pocket’s insert first? If not, do you remove it once clean to dry?

    Thank you!!!!

  167. This is some great information! We cloth diapered my daughter and it was so much easier than disposables. The best part was no blow outs.

  168. I’m unclear- can you post a link of the trash can you used? I can’t tell to buy the 13 gallon or 5 gallon liner:)

  169. Do you have a link or a store and size of the trash can you use?

  170. Hello,
    Loved this article. I’m soon to be a new mom (May 9th) and the idea of cloth diapering really appeals to me, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I also find it a bit intimidating. This article was very clear and informative and did help a lot to answer some of my “but how will this work?” questions and a lot of my “where?”s. I love that you put amazon links for your preferred products. So all in all thank you for writing this. I do have two questions for you.
    What kind of bin is that that you’re using? and what do you do when you’re out and about for the cloth wipes? (How do you bring them? or do you? etc…?)
    Again, thanks so much! 🙂 Amy

  171. Hi there! I’m trying to set up a cloth diaper system like yours (pre-baby). I see on Amazon that the pail liner you recommend comes in two sizes–5 and 13 gallon. Which do you use?


  172. You can find very informative knowledge regarding cloth diapers & wipes

  173. Absolutely amazing write-up. The best part was the cost calculations. So many people can save money by switching over, we wish we could tell the entire world!

  174. I love cloth nappies, used them with my first for 7 month until they got really stinky and nothing seemed to take away the smell.

  175. Oh to be born too soon. I have the value of yesterday but the amazement of today. Loved my cloth diapers – after the 2 kids they became dish towels the likes you couldn’t buy! No grand children but have friends looking toward great ones. Can’t wait to tell them about your blog & the mountain of info you gave is such plain english that this 72 year old could understand. Thanks much & will be following you just to be amazed at the changing (no pun) of the guard!

  176. This post actually makes me kind of excited to use cloth diapers in a totally weird sort of way.

  177. Do you have experience that my baby’s diaper does not leak when the evenings, because my baby can be 2 to 3 times a night to pee in,thx

  178. Awesome article 🙂 Lots of great info – Thanks


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