5 Tips to Make Cloth Diapering Easier Than It Looks

5 Tips to Make Cloth Diapering Easier Than It Looks Picture

What’s this? A disposable diaper shortage is coming?!

Thanks to a recent explosion at one of the factories in charge of producing acrylic acid, the chemical that they put into baby diapers to help keep them dry, they are predicting that getting disposable diapers into parents’ hands may soon be difficult.

Probably people are overreacting, and it’s the resultant diaper hoarding that may actually lead to the shortage, but still.

Let’s just pretend for a moment that this is real. 

Or, that the zombie apocalypse we’ve been anticipating is finally here! You can’t go out into the open air to collect diapers for your baby without possibly having your brains eaten, your kiddo is still not potty trained because he can’t even hold his own head up straight, and you are tasked with coming up with a feasible solution!

What’s a girl to do?!

Might I suggest, cloth diapers?!

As a parent who has used both disposable and cloth, I can give you the inside scoop on how hard (or easy) it will be to make the change! And please note, I only made the switch myself when faced with a zombie-apocalypse-esque situation, so I feel your pain.

Deciding to Cloth Diaper: Insider Tips to Make It Easier Than It Looks

1.  Get the right materials. Cloth diapering has grown immensely from the days of the thick white fabric held together by safety pins. Today there are a number of cloth diaper “systems” designed to make it an easier and more comfortable solution for both babies and their parents. So, do a little research and then consider getting a couple of the systems to test out to help you decide which you like best. You can often score great deals at Diaper.com on a variety of different brands.

2.  Make a commitment. Yeah, it’s hard. You actually have to wash those little buggers out, you are probably going to have to do more laundry (unless you use a less cost effective service), and there is definitely going to be a frustrating adjustment period if you have been using disposables for life and want to switch. My advice? Tell yourself you are going to stick with it for 3 weeks. Even when your kid has an oozing mess of a poop that blows out the sides and up his back, promise yourself you won’t quit. If you make it to your designated day and think you’d rather drown yourself in the toilet then stand over it to rinse another dirty diaper in this lifetime, then give it up. They should have the probably-made-up-anyway-disposable-diaper-shortage sorted out by then anyway.

3.  Consider the pros (and cons). Cloth diapered babies get fewer rashes, are easier to potty train, and save parents tons of cash over their diaper wearing lifetime. That’s what the experts say anyway. My baby had chronic, severe-rash-causing diarrhea due to food allergies. The skin on his bottom was weak and it was further irritated by the chemicals in disposable diapers. The only thing that helped the open wounds on his bottom was wearing cloth diapers. So, it wasn’t really optional for us. He was potty trained at age 2, in less than a week without me even really trying all that hard. But it’s not feasible or desirable for every family. If that’s the case, or if you just think gagging over the toilet while rinsing cloth diapers is a lame way to spend an afternoon, then skip it. And don’t bother feeling guilty about it; no one has time for all that noise.

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4.  Mix it up. Consider doing a hybrid approach to diapering. For us, taking cloth diapers on the road was just not gonna happen. We didn’t want to have to haul a poop bomb around the grocery store when we knew he inevitably busted one for us every time we left the house. So, we used cloth at home and disposables when we went out. 

5.  Think of the earth. Cloth diapering is arguably greener than disposable. Seriously, do you even know how long it takes for one of those bad boys to break down in a landfill?! You don’t want to *cough* hundreds of years *cough*. And, apparently, they blow up sometimes too. 

See? 

Cloth diapering not only keeps money in your wallet, but helps the planet too. It may even save lives and, possibly, your child will be smarter, cuter, healthier, and able to fly if he or she is cloth diapered. 

Or not.

If cloth diapering works for you, awesome. If not, awesome still. Either way you go, your kid will be golden so don’t sweat the small stuff, no kid ever grew up and hated his parents because they put him in pampers.

What do you think?

5 Tips to Make Cloth Diapering Easier Than It Looks

Amanda has been wowing the Internet since 2008 when she launched her pretty-much-useless guide for parents, parenting BY dummies. As it turns out, her parenting advice is not generally useful for more than a good laugh, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need! Amanda spends her offline time (which is embarrassingly limited) running a photography business, working as a social media director for a local magazine, writing freelance articles about stuff she loves, wrangling her 3 little Dudes ... More

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14 comments

  1. jesster131 says:

    Cloth is great until you are living in a place where you do not have your own washer & dryer. Living in an apartment where I have to go to a laundromat to do all of my was makes using cloth impossible for us. We had to switch to disposables. It was costing more to wash the cloth than to buy the disposables.

  2. Rachelle says:

    I was already to do cloth right at birth, but most of the cloth diapers I had weren’t really for newborns, plus the nurses in the hospital kept asking if the baby was having pee diapers. Since he was our first baby we couldn’t tell, so we used all natural disposibles in the hospital and for the first two months until the cloth diapers fit him. Now we only use disposibles for extended travel and public pools. My husband prefers covers over pockets and we never got around to buying AIO, although my best friend has the Freetime AIO by Bum Genius that are awesome. 🙂

  3. maybay says:

    I am really excited to try cloth diapers. I purchased Eco Bum by bum genius the one size adjustable. I just hope that they fit my daughter when she gets here in October!

  4. amandaaab says:

    I LOVE cloth diapering. I used g diapers and Perfect Bum pocket diapers. We have a couple other kinds but we figured out that pockets were best for us. I’ve even talked a couple friends into cloth diapering when they hear about how much money we’ve saved and how much we’ve reduced our carbon foot print. Yes, I have to wash the laundry twice a day, everyday on top of what I already do. But I’d rather do that with my eco friendly front loaders than carry a bag of stinky diapers that have been sitting there for a week to the trash can to sit in the earth for hundreds of years. 🙂

  5. JESSICA says:

    i am a first time mom due in February and we are planning on cloth diapering. After a LOT of research I have found these two sites (listed below) to be the most helpful! I hope they can help out other first timers like myself. I’ve read to steer clear from microfiber inserts, as they tend to hold odors and bacteria. Bamboo and 100% cotton inserts/prefolds seem to be the best. Once I start to actually use them, I’ll be able to verify that, but judging from the way my microfiber dishtowels hold smells, I doubt I’d trust them to not smell when soaked in urine and poo

    http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=997

    http://www.abbyslane.com/

  6. Raechel says:

    I love my cloth diapers! They weren’t even an option for my husband and I until we attend a class where they were introduced. Suprisingly my husband was the first one on board. My now 9 month old wears cloths daily. I keep a few disposables around in case I don’t time the laundry right but the wet bags are great for changing wet and dirty diapers on the go. We spend $200 and got enough diapers for two days and two pail liners. The fact that my son doesn’t get rashes and we are helping the environment is enough for me to ignore the rinsing of the poo. If you are on the fence, cloth is definately worth a try.

  7. Ironically, I have the cloth diapers featured here in this pic. G diapers are awesome. I bought the cloth inserts and you can even buy the disposable inserts that take way less time to break down in the landfills. I use disposable and cloth. It depends on what mood I’m in that determines which ones I use.

  8. Love our cloth diapers…would NEVER go back! It really isn’t hard and I’ve heard "working" moms say it is too much work, but I am a working mom and my son is always rockin’ his cute diapers!

  9. OrdinaryEm says:

    I used thick white fabric and safety pins. It was easy. Less than $100 worth of equipment. A load of laundry every other day. With Twins. And yes, they’re super, like you mentioned.

  10. Theresa says:

    No switching here. Perfectly happy with the disposables.

  11. Scarlett says:

    The article was great, and well written, but those 5 "tips" don’t give any advice for actually making the switch any easier.

  12. Aubrey says:

    I actually made my own cloth diapers, bought one fuzzybunz, got a couple snappys, and was given a couple of the waterproof covers. I dont mind cloth diapering, and I would suggest the youtube videos. There is a 7 part series that explains the do’s and donts of cloth, what all the different terms mean, then you actually know what you are doing! Right now, I have to make some bigger ones. My little guy is almost 8 months and the ones I originally made are getting snug. The nice thing, if you want to make your own, you can making them with an old towel and an old piece of fleece (you just need a cover then!)

  13. ErinF says:

    LOVE this article and the humor! I’ve been building a stash of cloth diapers since finding out I was pregnant; we need to save money wherever we can, and cloth is a great way to save thousands. I’ve heard about the lower incidence of rashes and irritation, and also, since cloth is more durable, they’re less prone to blowouts. My husband was resistant to the idea when I first brought it up–his parents had tried it unsuccessfully, using just prefolds and pins. I told him that there have been a lot of advances in the design and options in cloth diapers in the past 35 years, and showed him the Fuzzibunz and Cutesy Tushies pocket diapers I’d bought so far. He was impressed with the design and construction, and is a lot more on board with the idea now. I am thinking of keeping some Seventh Generation chlorine-free disposables on hand for travel (doing a few test runs beforehand to make sure there’s no reaction to deal with while on the road). I’m actually having fun scouring Craigslist, eBay and local diaper swap groups looking for great deals on cute cloth diapers.

  14. Valerie says:

    I’m going to stick to disposable ones. lol

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