10 Tips for Moms Thinking About Cloth Diapers


After months and months of watching my son suffer from diaper rash as a toddler, I finally decided to take the plunge and give cloth diapering a shot. I have been cloth diapering my now 22 month old since October. There have been some bumps along the way, but overall I am satisfied with the money our family is saving and my son is enjoying a rash free bottom.

While I was researching the different cloth diaper options, I asked the online cloth diapering community to share their best advice for a new mom, who is thinking about cloth diapering. Here are just a few words of advice.

1. Don't be intimidated by cloth diapering. Once you get past all the different types of diapers and lingo, it really is a simple way to save money and the environment.

2. It is okay to start out slow. Purchase a few different brands and types of diapers to see how you like it. If you don't want to invest in new diapers right away, there are several different ways to buy second hand. I built my newborn cloth diaper stash through Craigslist and then my toddler stash through the online cloth diapering community Diaper Swappers.

3. Cloth diapering does not add that much more laundry to your weekly chores, depending on the size of your diaper stash. Expect to go through 18-20 diapers per day with a newborn, 15-17 diapers for 4 to 12 month-olds, and 8-10 diapers for a toddler. Diapers usually start to reach their maximum stink after 2 days, so if you want to reduce your laundry, aim to have enough diapers to get through 2 days.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for cloth diapers as a baby gift. This is a great way to save money and try out several different types and brands.

5. Grandmothers who are now in their 70's and 80's used nothing but cloth diapers. If you want some great advice and tips for washing, using, and saving money with cloth diapering tap into this resource.

6. You are bound to face washing routine problems, including diapers that stink from built up detergent residue. Don't give up. You may have to try several different wash routines to find out what works best for your type of washing machine and water type.

7. The poop factor isn't as gross as you think it is. Even with disposable diapers you will run into explosive messes. Parenting is just messy.

8. Make sure you use cloth diaper friendly laundry detergent. The effectiveness of detergent depends on several factors including your water softness, type of washing machine and the sensitivity of your child's skin. Check out this great detergent chart for more information.

9. Find another cloth diapering mama to chat with, who has been cloth diapering for awhile. Ask to see her stash and find out what were her biggest obstacles were when starting to cloth diaper.

10. Just stick with it! Once you start cloth diapering, you will quickly see the financial, environmental and health benefits for your baby.


Interested in reading more on the topic here at EF? Check out Amanda at My Mom is Awesome for her  5 Insider Tips for Cloth Diapering.

Are you considering cloth diapering? If you cloth diaper already, what tips would you add to this list?

Image via Mindi Stavish

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10 Tips for Moms Thinking About Cloth Diapers

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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  1. Diaper Sprayers a few facts: No Diaper Sprayer on the market was manufactured for that purpose; they are all originally Hand Held Bidet Sprayers. That is why so many people are complaining about their sprayers breaking, because they were not made to handle the abuse. You can save money and buy a cheap plastic sprayer and then need to buy another one soon or you can get a Stainless Steel Sprayer at http://www.BathroomSprayers.com for a little more that will last, it comes with a 5 year warranty. And don’t forget, using it as a Hand Bidet means you will save money on toilet paper, everyday….forever….Just a thought

  2. ~Casey~ says:

    I wasn’t considering sloth diapers at first, but I am interested in the savings aspect. I will give it a go. Due June 4th, 2013. I have some time to stock up on both cloth and disposable.

  3. Aubrey says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr5vw1M5bIs Love this series of videos. this was how I learned the lingo for cloth diapering. I use prefolds, all in ones, and pockets. I even learned how to make my own all in ones. Another great idea is a co op. the one I’m on on facebook just ran cloth diapers for $2.15-$8 and keep running different liners from cotton to hemp etc.

  4. Christine says:

    What brand would you first try? I am really thinking about cloth diapers but don’t know anything about them.

  5. Marissa says:

    I’m 23 weeks along and am seriously considering cloth diapering but it IS kind of daunting. There are sooo many differnet brands and styles, and I have no idea what half the lingo means as I don’t sew and this is my first child. These are great tips and I will definitely revisit these links for help with purchasing…I have bought a few covers from a local garage sale website and have a cousin who said I could have her inserts/diapers but have not gotten them yet from her. I know babies poo a lot, but I still get shocked to read 20 diapers in one day…eek!

  6. LauraHensley says:

    I have been cloth diapering since 2009. my second child is nearly two and i have a 3rd on the way. I truely believe cloth diapering is a money saver. if you can resist the cute fluffy mail.

  7. kimm says:

    since my daughter gets a lot of bad diaper rashes :/ i think i should try the cloth diaper and see if the rashes do minimize or hopefully even go away(:

    • Billie says:

      My son had reactions to disposables, so I switched to cloth. I use mainly the Alva diapers and love them. ($3-6 on eBay, brand new) However, I have been using the Rockin Green detergent, and when we first started he was fine. Now it looks like he has a chemical burn that I cant get rid of. This has been going on for the last month. I have tried stripping the diapers and nothing is working. I’d be grateful if you could tell me what detergent works good for you?


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