By a reader named Julie

I started cloth diapering my son when he was 13 days old.  I had invested in a large stash of a variety of brands of cloth diapers, all the One Sized Pocket style diaper.  I could not wait to use them, as I saw how much garbage disposables created in 12 days of using them on my little one.  He was born big though, and before two weeks old he was big enough to give them a try.  I had tried to use prefolds and covers as well, but I hated them and wound up getting rid of them all.  Did you know that cloth diapers had a HUGE resale market?  If it’s gently used, and clean, people will scoop them up at almost the same as brand new prices!


The things I loved about cloth:

  • I never had to worry about running out of diapers. I had over 40 diapers, enough to last a long time.  I had two large wetbags, and when they were full of dirty diapers, I threw in a load of wash.  I could choose to hang them on the line to dry if I had time/energy or throw them in the dryer.  It was easy.  I did seek out a natural laundry soap, and eventually stuck to using Nellie’s brand, and actually use it for all of our clothes.  Yet another plus, I didn’t have to separate baby clothes from grown up clothes for washing, it was all natural and gentle soap.  I still use it now, despite the fact that we’re out of diapers at almost 3 years old, and I like that there are no harsh chemicals in our laundry.
  • It was a one time expense.  Sort of.  I got addicted to cute fluffy diapers, and once I knew which brands I liked the best, I’d try to sell off the ones I liked slightly less (nothing wrong with any of them, just my personal preference) and buy up a few more of the ones I did like.
  • My maternity leave pay was very little, as I only worked part time while pregnant, and that money was spent exclusively on bills, there was nothing left at the end for diapers!
  • They are CUTE.  I wound up dressing my son mostly in tshirts and a diaper when it was warm enough because it was SO adorable!  They come in almost every colour and pattern imaginable, it was fun to choose what colour to put on him each change.
  • It provided extra padding for the cruising stage, as tumbles and bumps are inevitable, he was well padded with a well stuffed cloth diaper!  Disposables don’t offer nearly as much cushion.
  • The poop of a breast fed child is water soluble.  This means NO cleaning up or flushing poop.  You just throw it all in the wash and away you go.  Once we introduced solid foods, the poop changed a bit, and we had to start putting it down the toilet, and at first I was totally repulsed by this idea.  It turned out not to be nearly as gross as you’d think, and fairly easy.  A quick shake into the toilet and the poop is gone, diaper is ready for the wet bag/wash.
  • The one sized diapers meant that as my son grew, so too did the diapers.  They would get taller with some snaps either on the outside to adjust the rise or on the inside to adjust the leg size (depending on the diaper brand).
  • I actually ENJOYED doing laundry for the first time ever.  I liked folding little baby clothes, but I loved stuffing cloth diapers back with their absorbent pockets and getting them all ready to be worn again.
  • The sun will remove any stains that are on the diapers.  It’s bound to happen, the insides of the diapers are white, and baby’s poop is not white, so they do in fact stain.  You can hang or lay your diapers in the sun (even on the floor through a window on a sunny day!) and the stains are gone.
  • I found that cloth diapers was a conversation starter with other people, not just new moms and dads.  They would notice a cloth diaper if I was changing him at a playdate, if we were at a park/water area and he was going in cloth people would ask me questions about it or comment about how cute they were.
  • My mom used cloth on me as a child.  This meant huge diaper pins, folding techniques and stinky rubber pants.  She turned her nose up when I said we were going to use cloth diapers, not realizing that such a thing as pockets existed.  She was a convert and eventually admitted that she enjoyed using them, more than disposables, and that she wished that someone had invented this when I was little.
  • The only times my son ever had a diaper rash was when he was teething, and his rash never ever looked as sore or as awful as that of my friends whose babies were not in cloth, and they were not teething when they had rashes.  I suspect their sensitive bums were reacting to the chemicals inside of a diaper.  Ouch!  They slathered on loads of vaseline trying to help the sores heal, I never had to do that.  We didn’t have to use bum cream, and when we did we found several that were cloth safe to use.
  • A local mom in my town runs a cloth diaper delivery service and hosts weekly play dates for moms who do or are interested in cloth diapering.  I got to meet other cloth mama’s and learn what brands they were using, what was working and what wasn’t for them, and about where to buy locally as well as online for best prices!


The things I didn’t like:

  • If for some reason the soap didn’t rinse completely in the wash, there would be build up on the diapers. So then I’d have to strip them.  You can google for directions, but essentially I did what the manufacturer says not to do.  I put blue dawn original dish detergent in the soap section, and had them wash and rinse about ten times, to ensure that no soap was left at the end.  That seemed to do the trick, but it’s a pain to have to do all of your diapers at once, and not have something left to diaper your child. Or worse, decide to strip in two sections.  This can take HOURS to do just one load, so having to do it twice was a pain!
  • When my son was about 2.5 years old, he one day announced he was a big boy, and no longer wanted to wear baby diapers, and he needed to have underwear.  This came as a huge shock to me.  I’d planned to get some cloth trainers for potty training, not be forced into it on a whim by a child.  However, my child is stubborn, and we have found that sometimes it’s best to follow his lead.  After weeks of many accidents he said he wanted the diapers back.  This went back and forth for a few months.  We had bought pull ups as a back up plan, and now we are stuck buying a new pack once a week for $15 a pop (on sale!!).  This sends me around the bend.  I have a perfectly good stash of beautiful cloth diapers that STILL FIT him, but he refuses to wear.  I got a few cloth trainers from a friend but they are not as absorbent as a cloth diaper or a pull up and he leaks out of them after a single pee.  They are meant for a child who can pee a little, realize that they need to race to the toilet and hold it and then finish on the toilet or potty.  Mine can’t seem to stop mid stream, yet.  He’s just not ready yet.  He wants SO BADLY to be big and pee on the toilet (like the boys at daycare, like his cousins he idolizes, and like Daddy, Mommy, Grandma & Poppa).  If I remind him a hundred times a day, he tends to make good progress, but potty training is exhausting.  And he’s not really truly ready yet anyway.  So I hate that despite my best efforts to avoid buying disposable diaper products, we are in this situation.  I’m hoping over the summer we can be a little more focused and get him fully trained.



Healthy Tipping Point