Complete Cloth Diapering Guide – Intro (part 1)

If you’ve been considering switching to cloth diapers, or just buying a few to decrease your disposable usage, this guide is for you! In this five-part series, you’ll learn about the different types of cloth diapers, accessories you’ll need to buy, quantity and brand to purchase, and how to keep them clean. To see an overview of the entire series, click here.
complete cloth diapering guide

Let’s face it – even though cloth diapers have come a long way since grandma’s time, they are still a lifestyle commitment. Is it worth it? I think so – I bought them to save money and to be kinder to the environment. But it’s different for everyone, so I’m gonna give you a complete cloth diapering guide so you can know exactly what to expect – the good, the bad, and the poopey.  Then you can decide if it’s something you’d like to tackle!

I had heard of cloth diapering and made my first purchase when my first son was about six months old. I read a couple of blogs and forums about it and bought gDiapers, mostly based on price because they are about the cheapest diaper on diapers.com. After a few days, my son was starting to get rashes where the diaper snaps were pushing into his skin and rubbing it raw! They were the right size, and I tried many different things to get them to work. But it didn’t go well and I gave up.

cloth diapers

My two cuties sportin’ their cloth!

Then, about eight months later, when I was a few months pregnant with my second child, I overheard several of my MOMS Club friends chatting about their cloth diapers. I started asking lots of questions and eventually felt that I wanted to give it a try again, after learning that there are many companies that sell diapers for cheap – starting at $5 each AND you can buy one-size-fits-all diapers that are adjusted with snaps or velcro (gDiapers are sold by size), ensuring I could buy one time and never again!

I asked my friend what I would need to get started, and starting buying. About $200 and a few weeks later (waiting on my packages to arrive from Ebay), I got started. The second time around, things went much better. Having a person to ask when I needed help made all the difference in the world! I can’t tell you how much of a lifesaver it’s been to join a mom’s club – especially when you’re a first time mom. More about that another time…

PROS of Cloth Diapering (for me)

  • Cheaper (I really liked the cost comparison on babyworks.com)
    • Cloth
      • (if you buy the ones I recommend) it’s an average of $8 per diaper (including shipping) X 25 diapers = $200, plus about $50 for accessories, so about $250 total (not including wipes, laundry detergent or water and energy used for washing)
      • Or you could spend about $20 per diaper (if you choose BumGenius & Fuzzibunz) x 25 = $500, plus about $50 for accessories, so about $550
      • The more children you have, and pass down the cloth diapers, you will save even more money!
    • Disposables
      • Estimates for how much you spend on disposables ranges widely, depending on the brand you buy and when your child potty trains. But many websites state you could spend anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 (National Association of Diapering), and an average of $1,800 on cloth (including laundering costs), other sites state you could spend half that on cloth, but they are biased as they sell cloth…!
  • More environmentally friendly (no landfill waste), although this article from ABC News states that the amount of water and energy used to launder cloth diapers equals the environmental impact as disposables – but read the whole article because many believe the study is flawed. Just to throw you a loop!
  • Better for baby’s skin – no chemicals, soft cloth, and breathable
  • Babies can feel when they’re wet better than disposables and are, therefore, more likely to potty train earlier.

CONS of Cloth Diapering (for me)

  • Dirtier – yet, you get much more intimate with poop (ain’t gonna lie) (there are accessories to help with this)
  • More money to pay up front (but not long term)
  • Can be confusing at first with all the options (but then you can just read this guide!)
  • Not as convenient as disposables and the reality for me is that I use cloth at home and disposables on long trips
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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.

Comments

  1. I love your honesty in this intro. Not too many people tend to share the “cons” of CDing. It’s all roses and butterflies and rainbows, but none of the down and dirty facts, you know? I found myself nodding in agreement with pretty much everything you mentioned! And I say this as I prepare for a 2-week long visit down to Florida to visit the grandmas – and I’ve decided I’m reverting completely to disposables for that trip. I mean, yes, I can wash comfortably at each of their homes, but considering they both think I’m completely insane for “going back to the old days” and CDing, it’s just not worth the headache right now 😉

  2. I also did an intro to cloth diapering. Check it out – I want people to get into it!!

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