CD debate part 1

I've got two words for you, sure to bring on the opinions and raised eyebrows. Are you ready? Cloth Diapering.

Got your questions and opinions ready? Good.

Cloth diapering is something that I've considered since the very beginning of this pregnancy. My in-laws did it for their boys, Memaw did it for her girls (and, I quote, 'Only rich people used disposables back then), and one of the girls at work cloth diapers her twins. So I have a few resources to go to in addition to my beloved internets, and holy cow....I've spent a ridiculous amount of time researching the topic of cloth diapering. I'm not completely sold on it but I'm strongly leaning in that direction right now. Hear me out.

Nate and I can be 'crunchy granola' types sometimes--we like health food, pack our own lunches daily, are into fitness and the outdoors, we use re-usable grocery bags, and we try to be good to the environment as much as possible (never mind my SUV car, our long commutes to work/school, and the fact that we still use store-bought household cleaners....we are still 'semi' green if you ask me. Don't kill me, die hards!). I love the earth and all that jazz, and I know that cloth diapering saves space in the landfills but that's not the main reason I'm considering cloth. It's because.....get this.....they save butt loads of money if you do it right. Go figure, I'm into saving money at all costs! Oh, and many claim it's better for the baby but more on that later. Let's talk money first, shall we?

The very first thing I researched was the cost of disposable diapering systems versus cloth from the time the baby is born until the time he is potty trained. I found lots of cool charts and graphs to appease my detailed self. For instance, this awesome chart from Diaper Decisions shows the difference between many cloth systems and also a standard disposable choice. If I choose the most economical choice for cloth diapering, I'm looking at about $400 total from start to finish. For disposables, most sites agree that you'll spend between $2000-2500 if you are choosing the more inexpensive brands. So basically, this chart tells me I could save at least $1600 if I cloth diaper. Tell me more!

Then there's this awesome link to The Stork Wearhouse that tells us of savings considering multiple children. Nate and I would love to have more than one bundle of joy someday and if we cloth diaper we can re-use all of the supplies for our next baby, too. According to this site, depending on whether we go low-end or high-end styles, we are looking at a total of $2040-4140 for the disposable diapering of two children. Or it would be $225-1200 for cloth diapering two kids. Um, hello? HUGE savings. Huge.

Now of course, I'd have to be smart with my cloth diapering choices and not overdose on those freaking adorable but expensive 'All in One' systems, and the insanely cute covers, and the high-end versions like these guys:

But actually, the girl at work who cloth diapers twins is willing to let me use their newborn, x-small, small and medium sized covers which is a total score on my part. We'd still need to purchase the pre-folds/inserts but we'd be off to a great start. It's so tempting when I consider the cost saving powers of cloth.

Oh and it's good for the baby. Research shows that cloth diapered babies have less diaper rashes than disposable systems. The frequency of diaper rash jumped by 70% when disposables were introduced on the scene, and although I'm sure the chemicals are less harsh nowadays, disposables have hard core chemicals with insane absorbing powers. That is why it's hard to tell if babies are actually wet when wearing disposables, it's why babies take longer to potty train when in disposables (because they can't feel the wetness as well), and it's why disposables can cause more diaper rashes. Plus, cloth diapers are softer for babies sensitive skin which I'm sure feels pretty good, too.

I know what you are thinking: 1. Won't that be a TON of extra work and time that you won't have when you are working full time with a newborn baby? 2. Will your daycare even consider cloth diapering? 3. Isn't scraping poop off cloth diapers gag-worthy?

1. The Time factor:
Yes, we will have to do more loads of laundry if we cloth diaper. But not every day, more like every 2-3 days, and although I despise doing regular laundry cloth diapers would be a lot easier. No pre-treating, sorting, folding required. I SO wish the washer and dryer were on the same floor as us but I suppose going down two flights of stairs to the basement is just more exercise for me. Heck, we don't even have a dishwasher or garbage disposal so I guess we are used to 'more work' in some aspects of household life.

2. The Daycare factor:
I stopped researching cloth diapers in the beginning because I figured no daycare center would bother with the hassle. But lo and behold, the place we will likely use DOES deal with cloth diapers. They will put the dirty ones in a plastic bag for me and let me take those puppies home to clean as I so desire. Kind of gross to cart them around with me, but they have some pretty cool 'wet bags' out there to store dirty cloth diapers that would work just fine. I'd just add them to my pail at home and then in 2 days I'd do a load of laundry. Not so bad, right?

3. The Poop factor:
I totally pictured scraping turds out of diapers with my bare hands, gagging in the process. But apparently, when babies are exclusively breastfed (and I really hope breastfeeding works for me!) their poop doesn't smell that bad AND it does not need to be scraped before washing. You can just throw those suckers in a cold wash prior to a regular wash and you are good to go. When the baby gets older and eats solid food, that is when the stank comes on and yes....we would have to do some scrapage into the toilet. But it can't be THAT bad when it's your own baby. I won't go into details but I do work with sick patient in a hospital so bodily fluids from strangers are a part of my job many days of my week. If I can handle explosive diarrhea from the elderly I can probably handle smooshy baby poo:)

So this is where I am right now in my research on cloth diapers. I'm leaning towards it mostly because of the cost saving powers but also because it's better for my baby. The eco-friendly aspect is just a bonus, in my opinion. But I still have a lot more researching to do.

I thought I'd throw it out to my dear readers, any of you cloth diaper? How about anyone who works full time, sends their child to daycare, while cloth diapering? Pros and cons? Do you who use disposables think I'm absolutely insane for considering this? :)

{As a side note, some of the sites I've visited talk crazy talk and I have to draw the line with 're-usable/cloth menstrual pads'. DISGUSTING! I know we all have our limits and that is mine:) }


  1. I've been reading your blog for a while and have never commented until now. I LOVE CLOTH DIAPERING! I think if more people knew how it's not really that big of a deal, more people would do it. Yes, you're doing more laundry, but seriously, you do TONS of laundry with a baby anyway. I never knew how much more often I'd be doing my own laundry from being covered in spit up, drool, pee and other grody things.
    My son Riley will be 9 months old next week and I haven't bought a pack of diapers since he was about 2 months old. We use Bum Genius and he was a bit too small for them until that time.
    It's definitely an initial investment, but it saves a money in the long run, and think of the landfill space you're saving.
    We use flushable liners, so we don't have to scrape poop. Just peel out the liner, flush it and the diaper is relatively clean.
    Sorry this is long, guess I'm now officially a cloth diapering ambassador.

  2. We fully plan on cloth diapering when we have kids, for all of the reasons above. :)

  3. I am obviously not pregnant but this is a conversation that we have had on the Baby Board at Stlwed. When I didn't know too much about it, I was totally close minded. Now, I am really seeing the benefits and will be considering this option one day. I am so glad you are doing all of the research for me.

  4. We don't do cloth diapering but I read a blog that does and thought i would pass it on to you...

    good luck!

  5. I'm nowhere near being a mother, but my only hangup with cloth diapering is putting crap in my washer. But you never hear about people's washers breaking because they use cloth diapers, so I'm probably just building it up in my head. I'll be interested to hear what people have to say about that. Plus, for the $1600 you'd save, you could buy yourself a pretty phat washer if you break yours with poop.

  6. I can totally see the benefits to cloth diapering!! My husband was a cloth diapered baby because he had severe reactions to plastic diapers, the plastic 'leather' shoes, etc. I fully anticipate having to go the cloth route, and I'm good with that!

  7. I totally admire you for considering it, and I hope you go through with it!

    That said, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I can handle a lot, but the thought of cloth diapering TOTALLY stresses me out for some reason!

  8. I can see the benefits. But for me...not so much. I love the convenience of disposable diapers. Little Mr. T goes to 3 different places each week (2 grandma's and daycare). The grandma's buy their own diapers and we supply them for daycare. I couldn't imagine trying to get everyone to use cloth. I do think it would be easier the older they are. there is just something about those beginning few months that makes those little BM's so darn explosive! I wouldn't want to deal with CD's on top of everything else. Just IMO.

  9. I'm not pregnant, nor considering getting pregnant in the next year or so...but the hubs & I have already researched, discussed & agreed that Cloth Diapering is the way we'd like to go. And now, I can (hopefully) read all about your experiences with CD, just in time to begin preparing for having a kiddo myself!

  10. I just had this converstaion with my Mom over the Holiday Weekend. The Hubs and I are about 2 years away from having kids, but I am a planner and always have to do tons of research on whatever we are going to be doing.

    So, I am pretty set on CD. I think it is great, mostly because of the money saved.

    The Hubs and I were both CD babies. I am pretty sure that alot of our generation was. Not sure when eveyone started using disposables...but if they have used CD for most of time, I don't see why we can't stil do it. And not to mention, they are so much better now. No folding and using pins (which my mom still has for some odd reason).

    I can't wait to read all about your adventures in child-rearing!

  11. I am a person of convenience so I admire all you cloth diaper people but also call you Crazy good, not bad. The Earth needs more people like you, not us selfish people who love convenience. :)

  12. We are planning to cloth diaper as well. I've heard such great things about it, and the products they have out now are amazing!!

  13. Hey, you wanna see cute, check out the new motherease rainbow one size diapers (fits like 8-25lbs). i just bought some new aristocrats diaper covers (wool) for 1/2 price too, so there are some good deals out there to be had - but truth be told, i stick with my prefolds almost exclusively because of cost. i did buy some decent covers (Thirsties have cute colours that are a decent price & the motherease airflow snap covers are probably my favourite - though now with my wool, i'm not too sure anymore...)
    As far as poop goes, when my son started getting the grosser poops, i opted for disposable liners. They make clean up a breeze (just dump the liner in the toilet & flush). Then you're also avoiding all those extra rinces too. i don't think i would still be cloth diapering without them.

  14. My sister starting using G diapers from Whole Foods with her 2nd baby because of all the cute designs but quickly realized how much she's saved. G Diapers have a flushable insert so the only part you have to launder is the outer shell and protective plastic liner. Very easy and green! I will most definitely be using these someday.

  15. OH and I know you're not having a girl, but the little girl diapers have ruffles on the bum...LOVE it. So precious!

  16. I most definitely could have written this post, as I've seen the same charts, and have the same reasons for wanting to cd (it's about money, the environment will just be a nice benefit because of it). My husband is still wavering, but I've been collecting supplies and stuff. Through this site:, I've been able to grab 6 packs of gdiapers in sm/med/lg for $50 each. I would have spent $270 more if I had bought all of them from wal-mart.

    We'll be switching off between the disposable liners and the cloth, which will cost a little bit more, but should help my husband ease into the transition. :)

  17. We are cloth diapering. For me, there wasn't even anything to consider. The cost savings alone is enough for me to do it. But on top of that, I cringe at the thought of all the chemicals in disposables. I'm weird about chemicals in things (it's one huge reason I use eco-friendly/homemade cleaners) and to have them against my baby's skin all the time really freaks me out. So between those two things (not to mention better for the environment, easier to potty train, less diaper rash, etc.), I really never even saw disposables as an option.

    That said, I will be working part time, not full time, which definitely makes a difference. Also, I really feel like the fact that I get 12 weeks off (and you do too, right?) gives me a big advantage. At that point, I will be fully in the swing of things. I'll have a system down pat and I think that will make it much easier to continue doing once I'm back at work considering that I'll have 3 full months of CD'ing under my belt.

    And seriously, is there anything cuter than a little cloth diapered baby butt? I don't think so. ;)

  18. I should start with saying I don't have babies, BUT i have done lots of research on the topic and will, without question, be using cloth. i think it is an awesome choice and really a cloth diaper butt is just too cute to pass up!

    this is random and really none of my business, so take it or leave it... have you done as much research on how your labor will be dealt with and handled? i am mildly biased and liberal when it comes to these things, but i urge you to check into both the hospital and your doctor's policy on and rate of c-section. also their policies on induction, rupturing membranes,etc. i am all for women using epidurals, getting c-sections, etc, but you should be educated and sure that they are what you want or, in the case of c-section, actually need.

    the movie The Business of Being Born is a good one to get a little idea of why i sound like a crazy doctor hater. i assure you i am not, but sometimes old habits die hard.

    ok. down off my soap box. happy baby... keep putting on the pounds...your baby likes it!

  19. I would be willing to be there is a "learning curve" with CD. Getting a system down to really figure out if you like it. My cousin tried it and it just didn't work for her! Her kids were with parents/inlaws too much and then I know she had some problems with leaking.

    I'm pretty sure she would say just get a few at first until you knew FOR SURE you wanted to go completely cloth!

    I've never tried them but as a mom of 4 under 6 years old, the convenience factor of disposables is a no brainer for me. :-)

  20. I love our cloth diapers. I don't mind the extra laundry. With 6 people in our house I'm always washing anyway, so a couple extra loads a week doesn't phase me. The only thing I'd be careful of is not buying a whole stash of one kind of diapers right off the bat. Some people get lucky and buy a bunch of one thing and it works out fine, but for some people certain diapers don't work for one reason or another. If you are using prefolds with covers it's not as much of an issue since the prefolds can be folded and pinned to properly fit your baby and you aren't limited to the way the diaper is cut. Of course certain covers may fit your baby better than others, but buying a couple kinds of covers to try is easy and cheaper than a whole diapering system.

  21. Oh, and one more thing...if you are into couponing and rewards (like Extra Care Bucks @ CVS) you can get (name brand) diapers for a couple dollars a pack if not for free! I RARELY (and hate doing it) pay full price for diapers!!! Walgreens is great too for cheap (or free) baby stuff!

  22. We will be cloth diapering. I can't really say I ever considered using disposables. My mom cloth diapered us and I grew up helping her cloth diaper my siblings. My reasons are all of those that you mentioned as well as those that others mentioned. I can see the benefit of using disposables when traveling or out for the afternoon. However, my plan is to use flushable liners when necessary. One website that was extremely helpful for me in deciding what type of diapers to go with was Like you I am a huge researcher and wanted to have as much info as possible before deciding which to go with.

  23. No flak from me. We will likely cloth diaper as well. I am not sure how it will work out since I am super busy without a child as is, but if we don't go the cloth route we will do organic sposies.

  24. I'm totally for cloth diapering!

    'spoies are yucky -- we had to use them for the first couple of weeks, because Little Boy was too small for the cloth.

    We use only the Bum Genius One Size -- they are awesome. and our quarterly water bills have not gone up that much -- maybe $10 a quarter. No biggie.

    The trouble is that some of the fluff is so cute that you buy a lot anyway! :) But, definitely not as much as with 'spoies.

    We use a diaper sprayer -- a sprayer attached to the toilet. Spray everything into the toilet and flush! It works really well and I think that Jake made our sprayer for $20.

    Go for it! You won't regret it!

    Some links for you:


  25. Do it! I'm all for cloth diapering. My mom used cloths for us and it seems like they've REALLY come a long way since then. Plus, we have a pretty kickass high efficiency washer, so I think it will be no problem.

    The first question that came to mind was whether your daycare would deal with it and since they will, I say you should do it! You can always end up using disposables if you decide it's too much work. And, as far as scraping poo--is it really going to be that different than wiping the baby in the first place? Or picking up Henry's poop from the yard?

  26. excellent points, ladies. Thanks for more links to more research, too! It's pretty exciting to think about.

    And today at work I had a moment where poo was literally dripping down my patient's legs onto the floor and I was almost knee deep in it. As I cleaned that up I thought to myself, yep...I can handle teeny little baby poop if I can do this and still smile:)

  27. Keenan loves his cloth diapers. Save a ton of $$ and babies look so cute in them. We have a potty pail to spray the diapers b/c it grossed me out leaving poop in the diapers - even if it was breastmilk poop - the best investment!! Now that he is eating solids it is even easier - just plop it in the toilet! Next time in STL check out cottonbabies - they have a website. They sell bumgenious in bundles. I hear it is a mecca for cloth diapering fools like myself.

  28. I don't have children, so I can't help along those lines. But I will say that using cloth diapers definitely sounds more difficult, which is probably why a lot of people don't do it. However, if you think that you can do it and feel strongly about it more power to you! I think its a great idea! Who cares what anybody else thinks, its all about your family and your lifestyle.

  29. Having had no children, I have no strong opinion on this matter yet. However, another blogger I read strongly advocates Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers, and his post might be helpful for you.

  30. I LOVE cloth diapering. I got a lot of smack from others who thought I was crazy for using them on our son but I am so glad I took the risk. It's easy teasy as they say. I wish more people would use them. They save you tons of money plus help the planet a little bit too.

    I opted for the bumgenius AIO (snappys & velcro) just because I wanted to make diapering as easy as possible. I plan to use them on our future bambinos so the cost for them will go down with each new child.

    I have 32 diapers in use & have to do diaper laundry approx every 2.5 days. When they start to look a little stained, I throw in a scoop of (generic) oxyclean to help them out.

    My hubby worried at 1st about poop getting on his clothes but honestly, when you do a pre-wash plus extra rinse on the diapers, there's not going to be anything left over in the washer that could get on the next load of clothes.

  31. Great post. We use bum genius one size and have 19 diapers- we wash them about every 24-36 hours. We couldn't be happier, but this is our first so we haven't really known differently. I think it would be another story if we started with disposables and moved to cloth. My one recommendation though is that both people have to be on board with cd- it is obviously more work than disposable and it helps to take turns washing/stuffing.

  32. Also, I highly recommend the St. Louis based website

  33. If I EVER get knocked up, I plan on cloth diapering. I did a bit of research, and am a fan of g diapers. Good for you, my fellow tree hugger!

  34. Not a Mom yet, but want to thank you in advance for helping our environment.
    A couple other "things" I've heard about disposables. It takes longer to potty train because disposables pull moisture away and kids sit in their own stuff longer. And they don't breath which could 'possibly' be a factor in slow or low swimmers later in life.

    Cloth diapering sounds worth it to me!


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