Cloth Diapers: Please Help!

I really need your help with something today. I have never used cloth diapers but want some for my peace of mind should there be an emergency necessitating their use. I just googled cloth diapers and after reading what it takes to clean them, I’m fighting my own resolve to obtain some. But I know we’ve had comments before about cloth diapers so who better to ask than people who actually use them? Please note that I’m trying to figure this out and am not trying to offend anyone in any way. It’s just a whole new world to me and my ignorance on the subject is about to shine forth. Anyway, here are my questions:

1. The lowest price I found for 1 diaper is $11.00 and it appears to be of a significantly lesser quality than the ones that cost twice as much (um, duh, AJ). The ones that look more appealing are between $17 and $22 each. Plus if you want to buy inside disposable liners for the dirty diapers, tack it onto the bill. How does using cloth diapers save you money? I paid $11.99 for a 108 ct. box of diapers. If I bought the cheapest diaper, I would have to use it 108 times before it equaled an entire box of disposable ones for the same price. How long do cloth diapers last?  Or am I way off and that’s for more than just 1?

2. On average for the 2 kids I have in diapers, I use about 8 a day. How many cloth diapers would you suggest? 10 and wash them every night, or 16 and wash them every other day?

3. The site I was looking at says you have to run the cloth diapers through the washer twice, using detergent each time, to get them clean. Again, how is this cost effective, and do you really have to do that?

4. Please let me know what brand of cloth diapers you buy, and if they’re online, what’s the site? If not, where do you buy them?

Thank you so much for your help!


  • KD

    No emergency could ever warrant use of cloth diapers for me! You’re a couponer–stockpile disposable for an emergency. Besides in case of an actual, true, earthquake natural disasteresque emergency, you probably won’t have hot water and power to use your washing machine to wash those stinky diapers.

    • Courtney

      Agreed! Just sayin…

      • AJ

        Even with a diaper stockpile, the kids go through them so dang fast and truly, other than food, the LAST thing I want to be without is diapers. So I want to make sure I have an option if it came down to it. But when I looked into it I had no idea where to even start.

    • Sarah H

      I’ve got what *seems* like a great stockpile of different sizes for upcoming baby, but in the event of a long -term emergency i’d want to have what I needed for baby and be experienced in using them. Honestly, i’d love to be prepared enough so that if the grid collapsed I’d be able to cope with life without electricity, or if there were major catastrophes that caused transportation backups i’d be able to use my water supply/rain bucket to take care of my babies (although obviously i’d be doing as much elimination communication as possible in that situation to save water!)

      Plus, i’ve found the cloth diapers quite useful to stuff in my pants on my way to the hospital for yet another labor check! (didn’t want to end up soaked if my water broke-been there, done that) I used a disposable the first time…those things are HORRIBLY uncomfortable! Now I am really interested in cloth diapering because i feel slightly icky every time I stick one on my 2 yo.

  • Lori

    If you sew, there is a FREE pattern online for cloth diapers. Type in Rita’s Rump Pattern in your search engine. She has a pattern on there it’s super simple to sew. I think it only took like a 1/2 hour to sew one. I think this is very cost effective.

    With the economy the way it is right now, this would be good in case you need a back up plan. I would definately have cloth if I had babies.

    when you have cloth diapers you wash them like normal clothes in the wash, but the only thing that you need to avoid is fabric softeners because this will wick (make them water proof) the diaper and the urine will not soak in.

  • Anna

    I use cloth diapers. They are really not as intimidating as one would think.

    I purchased 36 bamboo one-size diapers from The cost was just over $500. This is about what I would have paid for 8 months worth of diapers. The disposable liners cost me about $5 for 100 of them from

    I wash diapers every other day. I run a pre-rinse with baking soda, wash them with regular unscented Tide (you are supposed to use the minimum amount of detergent), then run one more hot rinse load with vinegar.

    In the end, considering electric, water and such, over the nearly 3 years my daughter wore her diapers, we saved over $2000 by using cloth. We bought the one-size diapers, so we didn’t need to buy different sizes as my daughter grew.

    When you wash them every other day, there is none of the ammonia stink or other concern like that. And washing them isn’t really that inconvenient because with a washing machine you just do it like a load of any other laundry.

    I would be happy to answer any questions you have about cloth diapering, it has been a money-saver for my family, and we have far less garbage as well!

  • keegan

    1). You should be able to get a 10 pack on basic diapers at walmart for less then $20 dollars. 2) My mother taught me to keep a bucket (or the washer half full) with water, detergent, and bleach in it. After rinseing out the diaper if its soiled ( in the toilet) drop it in there. I always kept them in the washer. when your ready to wash, put it thru a spin cycle to drain it and add detergent ( and bleach if you desire) and wash as you normally would. And you’ll want atleast 20 for your two kids. If somebody gets sick and you find yourself changing diapers constantly waiting on the dryer to pop out clean ones will feel like it’s taking days. I usually tossed towels in with mine after the initial rinse, but i used wash clothes instead of diaper wipes and would toss dirty baby clothes in as well. After soaking them their pretty much clean. Make sure your cloth diapers say “prefolded” or something similar or your buying one huge piece of material you have to fold down to size, and their not as absorbant. Buy atleast 2 plastic diaper covers per kid. Oh, and once the kids out grow them they make great rags for anything around the house. And they make great burp clothes when you need one.

    • Cindy

      I agree with Keegan. I actually had my two boys 25 and 26 years ago. I used cloth diapers at home but was required to use disposable diapers at daycare. They were only at daycare 3 days a week, so they were using cloth the majority of the time. I was using cloth diapers to save money, and for enviromental reasons too. I cannot tell you how much money I saved after all these years. I did the same process for cleaning the diapers as Keegan and my children didn’t have diaper rashes, etc. 25 years later though those diapers are still in use at our house. They make great dust rags and rags to clean up messes they are really absorbant.

  • Ann Wilson

    I purchased several bamboo fitteds and wool covers as well as prefolds for my son b/c he developed a rash on his legs from disposables. I found that the key was to figure out what you liked BEFORE you purchased something you didn’t. Borrow some from a friend if you can, or buy one or two off of craigslist so you don’t spend $500 on diapers you end up hating only to see something that you would have liked better the next day. I HATED prefolds…. they were very bulky, and my son had a tough time walking in them normally (not to mention I couldn’t fit his jeans on him…) I liked the bamboo and the wool b/c they were natural fabrics and not synthetics, but they took a LONG time to dry (we are talking 2 days; they had to air dry). Thankfully my son HATED the cloth diapers and it was easy to convince him to start using the toilet by threatening him with the cloth diapers. We only use them on my younger son when he develops a diaper rash from the disposables…. it was just too gross for me to deal with washing them. I strongly recommend borrowing them from a friend if possible to try different types before you purchase though!

    • Ann Wilson

      I forgot to add that I think they are GREAT if you have the patience! So much better for baby skin than synthetics….. and if you start early enough and buy the ‘one size’ diapers it is probably approx the same price as buying disposables when you add in detergent and utility costs.

  • Deja

    Hi AJ
    I have been using a few different cloth diapers (Bummis with prefolds – yuck, Bum Genius, Fuzzi Bunz – leak and Gro-Via). Feel free to shoot me questions about these.

    I prefer Gro-Via cloth diapers (the shell ones that are one size fits all) where you clip in cotton soaker inserts and boosters (for night time). They also have disposable inserts but I use the cloth inserts. I have 10 shells (wish is way too much for one child) and about 24 inserts (washing every other day with extra left over). I LOVE THEM. You can even buy them at Costco (online)|48022|56098&N=4045549&Mo=39&pos=1&No=0&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=56098&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC5397-Cat48022&topnav=. I would suggest you to get the ones with snaps as opposed to the velcro (last longer). I have both. I bought mine through a local shop, though and paid way more but it has paid for itself. I also wash mine once in a cold water rinse (no soap), then once in a warm wash with Tide Free and Clear (okay with manufacturer) although folks will say you have to buy the special soap (nah). Sometimes a third time NO soap just to give it a super rinse. I also place them in the sun if there are stains (and they disappear within 10 minutes or place in window on cloudy cold and rainy days). For solid poop, I use the Bum Genius bamboo paper (Imse Vimse also makes a great rice paper one). These are flushable so you don’t have to rinse the diapers. However, if it is just breastmilk poop, you can just throw in the wash without rinsing or using the rice/bamboo paper. I use a cloth diaper bag that I just turn inside out and wash all the diapers and bag every other day . Cloth gets wet more so, you might need 10 (as opposed to 8) cloth diaper inserts for each kid times two so you are washing every other day. Very low maintenance! The way I look at it with all the washing, consider it would be the flushing your kids would be doing if they weren’t in diapers. They last for a long time and you can even sell them on Ebay and other used diaper websites. I also read a great article from on cloth diapers (it was in their summer magazine). It lists lots of great cloth diaper companies and resources for testing out a few to see what works for you. I have a copy of it if you would like me to scan for you. There are companies where you can try 10 diff. types then just keep the ones you like.

    Let’s just say that I had lots of ambitious friends that have tried cloth and got turned away with all the rinsing and high maintenance. None of them tried Gro-Via. I found Gro-Via to be the best and really didn’t like the others I listed above (except for BumGenius).

    I learned all about cloth diapering from my favorite blog, Here is the link for the cloth diapers (although she did not review Gro-Via).

    Please note, Gro-via does sell an AIO (All in One) but I wouldn’t recommend them because they are a one time use, then wash – although they would be a luxury. Go for the Gro-Via shells if you end up liking them. Best wishes. Let me know if you have more questions or want that link to mothering article. Deja

  • Deja

    p.s. Here is Gro-Via’s website.

  • Deja

    p.p.s. I keep going back to your questions to make sure I answered them (and please know that I don’t work for Gro-Via – just a HUGE fan). You could probably get away with 6 – 10 shells for both your kids because you only wash these if they get wet (which hasn’t been that often for my child). I use 1 -2 shells a day. I haven’t had one blow out just some pee on the shell because it soaked through from not changing frequently.

  • Tiffany

    I love cloth diapering. I was very hesitant when I first started but for an investment of $500 I have diapered my 2.5 year old an not had to purchase disposable diapers. I did not do it for an environmental reason but basically economical reasons. I would suggest to go with a slightly higher quality because they do get worn a lot and you don’t want ones that leak. I puirchased a bundle pack from The gals name was Sultana and she was phenomenal with the help she gave. She helped me step by step pick what was going to work the best for what I needed and I have not been at all disappointed with them.
    I would suggest getting enough to only have to wash every other day, every day gets to be a lot. It is also better for the diapers to not be sitting there for longer. Yes you have to do a prewash but you don’t even need to use soap that wash. The second wash you want soap but it is very minimal amounts because the diapres don’t need much.
    I love the experience I had cloth diapering and would recommend it to anyone who is even a little bit interested. the gal I dealt with made the process so easy. Email her and she will walk you through it every step of the way.
    Best of luck on your ventures and feel free to ask if you have any more questions.

  • Kelly T

    I knew I would put 2 through cloth diapers so I decided to do it. If you don’t get addicted(it happens a lot) you could put $400-500 into it. You could also buy used for cheaper or make your own. If you realize that you are diapering for over 2 years per kid. Tha’ts A LOT less money. People wash differently but I wash 1 cold cycle no detergent than 1 hot cycle with minimal detergent and an extra rinse every other day. I hang to dry all the covers and during the summer the inserts. I LOVE Flip Organic diapers. My suggestion is getting stuff to make it easier if you are really going to do it right full time like a pail and diaper sprayer and cloth wipes. Your pocket book will thank you BIG time!

  • Heather

    I cloth diaper part-time. I put my 16 month old in disposables at night. I am SUPER cheap, but I’ve found that the Gerber cloth diapers at Walmart do not work. We have 5 diaper covers. They are Econobum and you can buy them here:

    I know they’re inexpensive, but we have never had a quality issue. Ever.

    Each came with a cloth insert that you fold twice (like a trifold letter in an envelope). I also use receiving blankets as inserts. We have probably…15-20? or so of them. Basically I fold them in half length-wise, then fold them in half the other direction, giving a smaller square. Then I trifold them just like the inserts.

    We go through 1-2 covers a day (poo happens, sometimes it gets on the edges of the cover). And 5-ish of the inserts.

    You lay the insert in the cover and then use it exactly like a disposable diaper. There are snaps, no pins, no velcro. We rarely have leaks.

    Cleaning is simple, I do it myself, shaking solid waste into the toilet, and putting the inserts in a laundry hamper. I wash them fairly soon, because they will smell if I don’t. I only wash once…could be that’s incorrect, but we’ve never had a problem.

  • Laura

    I have a friend who blogs and she did a post about cloth diapering….thought you might find it interesting. Go here:

  • Kathryn Sanchez

    I was intimidated to get started but it wasn’t that bad. I would get enough to wash every other day, not every day. I bought prefolds and Super Whisper Wraps for covers. I had two in diapers at one time, and now my third is finishing up. They look pretty ragged by now, but they’ve made it! I’d buy like 3-4 wraps per kid per day – mine need to be aired out some due to pee smell. I wash mine twice; first time in hot with detergent, 2nd time cold with no detergent. I use a dry diaper pail with a lid that is airtight – no smell comes out. I forgot what those lids are called but you can buy one online for about 10$. I use a diaper sprayer that hooks onto the toilet – I highly recommend this!
    If you are doing this for economic reasons the cheapest route is prefolds with wraps. It’s bulkier, but my kids didn’t seem to care.
    Diapering 3 kids with prefolds have probably saved us thousands. However, we do use disposables when traveling on out for a long time during the day. Also at night with my second two as they would soak through their nighttime stuff so much.
    You can do it!

  • Anne-Marie A

    there are websites where you can purchase gently used diapers and that’s a savings. you can also resell when you are done. diaper swappers is one i can think of.

    i do prefolds and covers and they are certainly less expensive than say bum genius AIO. i try to wash every other day as well and have front loader. i do a soak and then an extra long wash on hot and maybe a quick rinse if i feel like it. i think seperating diapers from covers make them easier to care for.

    i have also put four kids through my cloth (some have stayed useful that long!) so i think that’s also where you see cost savings.

  • Leah

    I have been using cloth on my son for the past couple months. I have some $20 diapers and some $10 diapers and they all work the same and I don’t really think they are worse than the other. You don’t have to wash them twice…a pre-rinse, wash and extra rinse is what I do. Some websites that I use:…forums to talk/ask questions and marketplace to buy new or used diapers…website to buy diapers and they usually have coupons to get money off or free diapers with purchase….they are discontinuing the all in one diapers they sold and they are just $10…I really like them

    • Bryn

      Oh and BTW, our diapering routine and preference have changed frequently and a lot over the past 5 years, so even if you only want them for emergencies you might want to give things a try every now and then, because you might end up using a diaper or a method that you find you really hate and will want to try something else instead.

      Also…even in case of emergency (lacking electricity and/or water), I’d MUCH prefer having cloth on hand. But using cloth also makes one more likely to try elimination communication (which I’m a huge fan of and my kids are proof that even the laid-back, occasional version works!), and that completely eliminates the diapering in an emergency issue. 🙂

  • Jocelyn

    I’ve used all kinds and for the price you REALLY can’t beat these. Babyland brand from china available on ebay. Lots of different sellers so shop around for the best price. Sometimes the ones with paid shipping,not “free shipping” are cheaper. I got mine for 3.75 a piece when I found a listing that had a make offer option. They are one size fits all. They come with 2 sizes of micro fiber stuffers, which are good for doubling. Plus the colors are AWESOME.

    Here is just one listing I found really quick.

  • MaMaLaLa

    We bought cloth and have been doing them off and on. I only purchased 12 pocket diapers- not enough I feel. Now I have 22 diapers (12 bum genius- love them; 10 SunBabies (generic bum genius- great too). We do the dry pail system. Wash every other day and it isn’t a problem.

    I have found the washing takes some time to figure out. We have really hard water which makes getting the diapers clean a hassle. But, once you figure out your system the cloth are so much cuter, cheaper, and in the long run a lot better for the landfills. Plus, not sure if the absorbent items in diapers are really okay and not toxic. Long term studies will tell that tale.

    Here is how I wash the diapers
    1. soak in wash with Washing Soda (not baking soda)
    2. add detergent and borax ( I said we have really hard water)
    3. add downy ball with white vinegar
    4. Let wash with enough water that the diapers get agitated and rub against one another.
    Run as normal.
    5. Rinse if needed- depends how long the diapers where in the dry pail.

  • Linda

    I have 3 kids, and have only used cloth diapers with my youngest. I was motivated to do this because she has really sensitive skin, and every type of disposable diaper I tried gave her a rash. I bought my cloth diapers off of craigslist. I figure since they are washable, it really doesn’t matter if they are used. I spent $125 for 18 diapers, and wish I would have used them for my other kids! I do one load of wash a day, just do a extra rinse (a setting option on my washer). They really are easy to take care of, and have saved us a ton of money!

  • Brittany

    i just started using them on my 4 month old part of the time when we are home & overnight. i guess i’m uninformed because i don’t do all that special washing. i just put them in a lingerie bag (prob not even really necessary) and wash them once along with other laundry in nonscented Tide. I let them air dry. i just searched cloth diapers on ebay and bid on several different kinds. i try not to pay more than $5 each for one (all brand new) including shipping. they all have come with liners. my son usually poops once a day so i usually use disposable until he does that then use cloth so i don’t have much experience with the poopy ones.

  • Kelly T

    Also, I live in Boise so you can come over and see my diapers. I have a lot of different kinds. I think it helps to see them for yourself

  • m.miller

    There is a sale at Monkey Bottoms this Saturday. Check out their site

    I purchased our cloth diapers from this local company and found it a great experience to buy from someone who not only used cloth diapers but a local mom as well. I was able to check out the diapers, get instruction on how to use them, and how to care for them.

    The last time I was there she carried a variety of diapers from prefolds and wraps, locally made, to the bamboo ones.

    When we were using cloth diapers, it was a mix of cloth and disposable. I found that even with doublers my children were just too wet at night to stay in a cloth that long. So we would use cloth during the day at home and disposables at night. We also would use disposables when out running errands all day.

    Things I would consider if I were to purchase diapers all over again:

    Size and bulkiness – when using our prefolds and covers the bulk sometimes put you in one size up in clothes, we also had to buy several sets of wraps in various sizes as our children grew.

    Material – bleached / unbleached prefolds, bamboo, hemp, etc

    Convenience – will your husband be comfortable changing a diaper, my husband found the prefolds and wraps difficult to put on a squirming baby – he had better luck with the pocket diapers

    Cost – find what you like than find the best deal, watch for sales, check out Amazon (you could even use swagbucks), clearance on the brand name sites like Bummis, buy used – if in great condition – you still want the covers to be waterproof / leakproof

    How many – cloth have to be changed more frequently than disposables, about every two hours, to guestimate (a guess estimate) how many diapers you will use – take your average day length, divide by 2, and add at least two (for those extra dirty diapers that always happen right after you just changed them =)

  • Heidi

    My friend in Louisiana had a kind of cloth diaper party with these people presenting. You might see if there’s something like that in your area. My friend’s impression was that they were really knowledgeable and open to questions and not pushy at all.

  • Rhonda

    I used a Poo Pockets pattern and LOVED them. I made about 35 diapers, which was WAY too many. I spent about $80 on diaper flannel and about $10 on other supplies. The one size fits most worked well for my 9 pound newborn through his first birthday and I usually wash them every five days. They were great for catching pee and poop for the first few months, but as my son grew, they didn’t work too well, so I made pads made from a double layer of towel that were approximately 3×10 that worked really well and dried in the same time as the diapers. I would be willing to do cloth diapers again.

  • Daree

    There are sites that let you “rent” the diapers so you can try out a bunch of different ones before you buy! I personally Love the Flip diaper covers and cotton babies inserts! But the econobum with a prefold is an economical way to get started. Plus with those you don’t have to buy so many covers because you can wipe them out and reuse them if the child has only wet them. I agree with a pp that the sprayer is vital to success! I use a dry pail and wash them every other day. Cold rinse and spin. Super wash-hot with extra rinse-cold and that does the trick for me.

  • erica

    We thought about doing cloth diapers, but with twins… we would be spending MORE in cloth than couponing disposables. I often get my Huggies and Pamper for pennies, same with the wipes. I am now stocked for the next 6 mos or more with brand name diapers I paid VERY little for.
    Even before I knew about couponing, I priced the cost of cloth and the price of ‘sposies (on sale), and the price was the same (for twins and we aren’t having more kids to pass the cloth diapers on to). Now that I coupon, I am SO glad we didn’t do cloth!!

  • Kristy

    I used cloth for two of mine. When i started homeschooling I went to disposables because I just could not keep up. However, I bought good prefolds and bummi’s covers and spent about $200. Then I slowly collected some nicer ones. For washing, I did one rinse in cold water, then one hot wash with just a few tablespoons of a clean and clear detergent. Then one more cold rinse. I loved it. I don’t recommend the walmart ones though because they are not very absorbent. If you currently go through 8 diapers a day, then I would recommend getting at least 10-12 diapers per day, depending on how often you will wash. If you are intending more kids, it would definitely be worth the investment. You will save a ton of money. And if you buy even half way decent diapers, they will last a long time.

  • deja

    Forgot to mention that I bought my first Gro-Via at Buns in the Oven in Downtown Boise.

  • Amanda

    I used cloth diapers for both my kids. I used the chinese prefolds with velcro covers.
    I shopped on ebay and got a great deal for 60 inserts I think I paid $65 for the lot?
    Anyway I then did the same search for diaper covers. I do like some better than others but found I liked the simplest ones best. We have a cloth diaper company here that offers a service and so I would go into their business and find that they would have the $16 covers on sale for $.50ea after they were used by a daycare. They were still in great shape and I was able to use cloth diapers exclusively for my two children. As for washing I would use a wet pail with water and a natural enzyme called “Bac-out” by the bioclean company. This started the cleaning process so by the time I got them to the wash I did one regular load with detergent and a quick rinse and added vinegar. All in all I think I saved way more using this method as well as knowing all the health benefits I gave my kids. Good luck in your search.

    • Bryn

      I, too, highly recommend Bac-Out. It’s amazing. It has worked wonders on my diapers (and my carpets after spills, and my cabinets/baseboards after we had mice, and my mattress after a little one has had an accident, and our clothing….).

    • Sara

      I have six kids and have used cloth and disposable for the past 11 years. If you are looking for emergency diapers I would recommend diaper service prefolds with Velcro prowrap covers. You can be frugal with cloth diapers as well. There is a diaper service on Orchard and the freeway that sells used prefolds for about $5 a bag. Prowrap covers are $7 a piece new and you can use them over and over again until they are soiled. I had about three when I was using them exclusively. So $26 total. And if it’s an emergency wash them with dish soap in a bucket and hang to dry. Easy! After number 4 I got high tech and bought 10 fuzzi bunz that were seconds because they weren’t perfect. They were $10 a piece. You can’t tell that there is anything wrong with them. And then I use detergent from Kellys Closet and I use 1 Tbsp. Per load, every other day. Prewash cold, wash hot, done! I order my detergent when kellys closet is giving away a free diaper promotion. So, I get a brand new, high quality diaper free. As far as saving money, cloth diapers retain more than 50% of there original value. I sold some small ones this year for $7 a piece, and I bought them for $10 two babies ago, (we are done having babies). Have I saved money. Holy Cow!!!! A ton!!!!!


  • Heidi

    By couponing I only spend about $20/mo and sometimes less on disposables, before couponing I spent about $40-$60/mo. To get the comparisons that show cloth saving so much money, they must be pulling the price off most expensive full price diapers! By the time I made back my investment not counting the extra laundry cost and the time and work involved, I’d be potty training. I could never make it work out financially to use cloth, and definitely prefer to save myself the extra work.

  • Angela

    Just as with anything in life, cloth diapers can be very economical or very expensive. There are a zillion choices out there and everybody is passionate about the brand they like best!! The range of prices is vaste as well. I personally use the Econobum diaper covers with prefold inserts. What I like about the Econobum cover is that it has snaps and is adjustable to fit newborn through potty training sizes. This made the most sense to me, why buy size after size of diaper when I can buy it once and be done?? I am currently cloth diapering 1 child and have another on the way so I wanted something I could use for both kiddos. Depending on how you fold the prefold you can make it work for any size as well. I also bought some used diaper covers, a pocket diaper and AIO’s at a consignment sale, saving a huge amount of money on them. This is a great way to try out different brands and see if you like them before committing a huge amount of money. As for the washing and care…it’s really no different than my other laundry. For washing diapers, you are supposed to use way less detergent than you normally would for regualr clothes, so I don’t think the cost of detergent is really even an issue. Plus if you’re already couponing, chances are you are getting a great from time to time on laundry detergent! I do a cold rinse first, followed by a hot wash/cold rinse, followed by one more cold rinse. Pretty simple!

  • Jamie

    I use a mix of cloth diapers and disposable diapers. I bought several different brands, trying to decide what I wanted to use.
    I really like the bumgenius one-size fits all. We have had them since my daughter was born. at the beginning, they were a little bulky, but after about 2 months, they have fit really well. She is now 15 months, and the diapers still look really good. I’m excited that we can use the same diapers with the baby we’re expecting and not have to be sorting through a bunch of different sizes and stuff. We’ve never had any leakage issues, and the velcro and snaps are both still holding up well.
    Each diaper comes with 2 inserts, one that’s regular thickness and one that’s thicker and partially folded over for maximum absorption. They are kind of expensive, cheapest if you buy 20 on amazon. But I found out (after I bought) that if you sign up at, they run 2nds sales. I bought several of these for my sister- they were either $11 or $12 each with free shipping, and when we got them, we couldn’t actually figure out why they were seconds- there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with them. So that’s a great way to get them cheaper- but if you do sign up for the emails, just know that the 2nds sales go really fast, so if you get an email about the sale you should buy them that day.
    I DO NOT soak them in bleach, as that actually voids the warranty on them, as it breaks down the water proofing. I only use detergent on the first cycle of washing them, and they call for 1/4 of the regular amount of detergent, so I hardly use any detergent. Even so, they don’t stink, and they’ve always come out clean. Unless the diapers are poopy, I just bundle them up the same way I would a disposable, and keep them in a laundry hamper that can vent. If they’re poopy, I rinse them in the toilet- wearing rubber gloves and all that 🙂
    I’m a huge fan, and I think that we’re about $220-240 into the diapers, but I’m sure that we’ve already saved a ton, even though we don’t use them all the time. And now that I know about 2nds, I know that we could have saved even more!

  • Julie

    We put our first kid in cloth but our second kid has worn mostly disposables for various reasons and even though I coupon fanatically, the cloth diapers were way cheaper. We did not wash them twice but we did do an extra rinse and we used vinegar and baking soda rather than bleach. We’re going back to trcloth soon because it’s not only cheaper, it’s much easier to potty train because the kids can feel when they’re wet.

  • Shelley

    I’m an “old mommy from the day when disposables were expensive and unreliable, so I can’t help you with the kind of disposables to buy, but I can give you some hints on cleaning. To avoid pre-rinsing, get a diaper pail, fill it 1/3 full with water and some enzymatic presoak, and put your diapers in it after you rinse the poopies into the toilet, and before you are ready to wash. Use softener like White King in the washer to keep them white( skip this step if you have a water softener.) My mom taught me this, and i had the whitest diapers in student housing! (Prior to the nasty black-crayon-in-the-dryer episode, that is!) It’s true, my cloth diaper kids did potty-train faster than the later guys in disposables! It’s also better for the environment!

  • elisabeth

    I imagine the best situation in which to invest in cloth diapers is if you have another baby on the way or you plan on it. That way, the same initial investment will go sooo much further. I actually did a combo idea. I didn’t invest in the cloth diapers themselves, but I did get a bunch of the “doublers” or “absorbent” liners and put those into disposable diapers. I would let my child pee once and then remove the liner. After he would pee a second time, I would then change the disposable. It made my disposables last twice as long but not really impact my clothes washing too much. I filled a bucket with a lid with water and laundry detergent and just throw the wet liners in til we ran out and then washed. The presoaking eliminated the need to wash twice and kept the smell down. I wasn’t planning on using any cloth of any type but ended up with “stairstep” children and had 3 in diapers at the same time for a little while. As a single mother, with no child-support, that got expensive! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. And mad props for thinking “green”!

  • Kendra

    First off, I wouldn’t start by purchasing the diapers. Read some cloth diaper blogs and you will get much better information than you are getting here.

    Secondly, those who are mentioning the cost being an issue haven’t mentioned that when you are done with the diapers, you can resell them for pretty close to what you paid for them! I know of people who bought good quality diapers, used them for 2+ years or with multiple children then sold then for close or somethimes more than they paid for them. Couponing cannot beat that!! If you are only wanting them for back up or emergencies then purchase used from craigslist, yardsales, And you can still resell them and get most of your money back!

    If you do some reading and searching you will see that it is not as gross as people assume it to be! You aren’t touching poo any more with cloth than you do with disposables since you wont get blow outs with cloth (if done correctly) and you WILL with disposables!! If you have a diaper sprayer, you wont touch any at all.

    Also, do a google search on the chemicals that are in disposable diapers! It is crazy! There are chemicals in there that are banned for use in feminine products and chemicals that are banned in other countries but not US.

    Check out these blogs/forums or do your own search!

  • Jammie Elkins Best diapers!

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