Why We Are Trying Out Cloth Diapers

So the few of you who have seen my nursery know that I have a large stash of cloth diaper supplies.

“GASP!  You are doing cloth!?!”  (Spoken by the girls who do not have kids yet, and are thus completely grossed out by the entire concept.)

“Snicker snicker… you’re thinking you’re going to do cloth, eh?”  (Spoken by those females who already have kids and know the indisputable convenience of disposable diapers.)

I admit, I have no idea how it’s really going to go.  But the whole cloth diapering thing is pretty interesting, so I thought it was worth a blog post.

So where did I get this ridiculous and seemingly disgusting idea?  Well my SIL (the one in the band) actually got me interested.  She is the most “hippie” of my sister and 3 SILs by far, so you can always count on her to try a parenting move that the others haven’t.  She has actually loved using cloth diapers for her daughter, who will be 2 in June.

I was going to just list out my reasons for giving them a shot, but then I found this chick, Mama Natural, who does a much better job of describing why cloth diapering is cool than I ever could.  For the record, she is WAY crunchier than I will ever be, but I still love her.  So take a look at her video, and also hear my confession that her second reason (cloth diapers are better for the environment) is actually not on my own list.

I know, I’m going to hell for not being really concerned about the environment.  But the other reasons she mentions are really interesting.  My biggest concern is really skin sensitivity, because between my allergic reactions to everything and Oatmeal’s psoriasis, I feel like we can’t be too careful with Poppyseed’s skin.

Mama Natural – Why Cloth Diapers

So now let me explain the difference between modern-day cloth diapers and what you are imagining from the old days.  You know what I’m talking about – you think I’m going to use a sheet of cloth and a safety pin.  Say it ain’t so, Lola.

Nope, this is more of what I have in mind, and in stock.

The yellow and green diapers are the “high-tech” kind of diapers.  These in particular are made by a brand called BumGenius, available at Target, Amazon, Baby Earth, and others.  So they are pretty easy to find.  The white diaper is even easier to find and is referred to as a “prefold” and is probably what you all have in mind when you think about cloth diapers.  They are the old school cloth diapers.

So this is the first type of BumGenius diaper that I have.  This style is called the Elemental All-in-One.  These have snaps (also available in velcro) that grow with the baby so that you can put it on a tiny infant or a toddler.  So, this diaper can fit Poppyseed for years.

You don’t need anything but this diaper if this is the style you choose.  The diaper has 2 sheets of fabric, or inserts, sewn into the diaper when you open it up.  So this is what absorbs the mess.

Here is another angle of the yellow BumGenius Elemental All-in-One diaper with the attached inserts.

Now this is the green BumGenius 4.0 diaper, which mamas usually refer to as a Pocket Diaper.   It comes with a seperate insert that you stuff into the pocket in the diaper.  Lots of mamas really like this style because you can sort of tailor the amount of absorbancy – one insert for daytime when the baby is getting checked often, or two inserts for nighttime so that if baby just wets a little bit you don’t necessarily have to wake ’em.

And then there’s the old fashioned kind.  The prefold.  These are what your Great Grandma Edna put your Papa Joe in when he was a kid.  She probably jabbed him with a safety pin back then, but now there are these things called snappies that hold onto the diaper really well without sticking the wee one.  Some mamas like to use these prefolds and then buy a cloth diaper cover (I don’t have any, but they are basically the same as the above diapers just without a pocket or an insert) to put over the white prefold.  My SIL mentioned to me that this is what she likes the best for nighttime.  She’ll put her little one in a prefold, attach it with a Snappi, and put a plain cover over it.

Now I know better than to just buy all cloth diapers, because babysitters, daycare, or family may not be up to the cloth diaper challenge.  So we have 2 pails in the corner of the nursery, the one on the left is for cloth diapers and the one on the right for disposables.  When it’s time to wash the cloth diapers, I’ll just grab the pillow case and throw the entire sack into the wash.  I’m told that you wash the diapers together in one big load, dry the inserts and let the covers air dry.

Now here are my two secret weapons!  The bottle is called Bac-Out.  I will spray each soiled diaper before tossing it into the dirty pail.  This will keep the nursery from getting, eh, out of hand.

That roll is called a GroVia diaper liner.  It’s basically a super thin layer that you put inside of the cloth diaper.  All of those environmentally friendly mamas out there would probably not use this because it is indeed disposable.  But as I mentioned above, I’m not really worried about a little trash here and there.  (I also plan to use disposable wipes.)  What’s the point of this sheet?  Well imagine the little tyke does the dirty deed and you have more than just wetness to deal with.  You just hold the diaper over the toilet and let the paper fall into the bowl and then flush it all away.

What if the diaper does get, er, messy?  We also got one of these, a BumGenius Diaper Sprayer.  (You can also find diaper sprayers that are not BumGenius that are cheaper and the exact same thing.  I just didn’t realize that until after I’d already bought this one off of Amazon.)  These sprayers attach to the side of your toilet, and you spray the cloth diaper off with the hose.  (Side note: I can’t wait until someone comes over to our house and sees that hose and uses it to wash off their own bum.  I know it’s going to happen.)

So, that is my cloth diaper setup.  It costs a bit to get ready.  I’ve included prices of everything, but I didn’t have to buy all of this because some items were on my registry and we received them as gifts.  For the record, all of these items (except the Sunbaby cloth diapers) can be found at Diapers.com or Amazon.com.

12 pocket diapers with inserts from Sunbaby  (the cheapest place I know of to find them):  $90

6 BumGenius diapers (1 diaper comes with 2 inserts and each set is $18): $108

6 Pack of BumGenius Inserts (for extras): $18

Bac-Out Cleaner: $8

GroVia Diaper Liner: $10

10 Pack of Prefolds: $18

3-Pack of Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners (to hold together the old school Prefolds): $8

BumGenius Diaper Sprayer: $45

Diaper Pail and Pillow Cases: $20

Total cost of 18 “Updated” Cloth Diapers and 10 “Old School” Cloth Diapers: $325

Now I’m no mathematician, let’s say I were to just decide to use plain old disposable diapers forever.   Say I wanted to buy some Pampers.  I want to save, so I buy them in bulk on Diapers.com.  Pampers cost about 30 cents each.  BabyCenter.com tells me that a newborn can be expected to soil at least 10 diapers daily.  So we are looking at roughly $3 a day to use disposable Pampers.

So it looks like you can either spend $325 on disposable supplies that will get you about 3-4 months of diapers (depending on how much your baby goes potty, since I know they go much less with age), or do what my SIL did and spend that $325 on cloth diapers that last will last years (and if you have multiple children you can reuse them on those kids, too).  Obviously, costs of wipes are not included in either equation.

And cloth diapers are healthier.

But, they can be gross.

We’ll see what happens at Lola and Oatmeal’s house!  I promise to give you all an honest update in about 6 weeks.  I may be sold on the idea, or I may be boxing up all my cloth diapers and mailing them to my hippie SIL for her next kids.  (For the record, cloth diapers are not recommended until the baby is finished passing meconium due to the staining…. so I have some super natural dispoables to use on Poppyseed until then.)

Oh, and if you want more info, go back to MamaNatural and watch the following videos.

Mama Natural’s Cloth Diaper Setup

Why We Chose BumGenius

Or, if videos aren’t your thing, read the article here written by Wellness Mama, who switched to cloth diapers after having Baby #3 and #4 and now regrets not using them from the start.

Happy reading!  (Or happy judging me… )

Related posts:

About Lola


  1. Aunt Fran says:

    I think these are wonderful options. I wish they had been there when mine were babies! And it is great to be helping the environment even if that wasn’t a reason for you. We need to take care of our world for future generations. Every little thing we do can multiply in wonderful ways.

  2. Congrats on the upcoming arrival of Poppyseed! I enjoyed catching up through your blog! I’m a few weeks behind you with a baby boy! Take care! You will be a great mom!

    • Audra, so happy to hear from you! Wow, congrats on the baby boy!! Please let me know where your pictures will be going up – I would love to see newborn pics of your wee one. 🙂

      • Rachael is helping with my sisters wedding, so she gave me your site, since we are all expecting! I’ll keep you posted! Xoxo

  3. I really appreciate the way you wrote this, sounds like me exactly. That’s what people say when I tell them I plan on cloth diapering and you explained it in a way that they will understand without researching the way you have, and they might all say, “Oh, I see what you’re saying. Good luck with that.” Emailing the link to my mom right now 🙂

    Congrats on your baby, I’m looking forward to seeing how the diapers work out for you.

    • Thanks so much! Yes, even with my SIL to walk me through it, it took me a really long time to understand why anyone would do it, and even longer to research it! I think I finally have the concept down. There are just so many options! I’ll be sure to update how it all works out once the baby is born and we have a cute little guinea pig to try it out on. 🙂

  4. Just wanted to wish you luck with the cloth diapers–you look like you are starting out ahead of the game with the snaps, sprayer, and snappies–all things I had to learn by trial and error!

    We just welcomed baby #4 in November, and are still using some of the BG’s that I purchased for baby #1 !(though I have replaced all the original velcro with snaps)

    Blessings to you for a safe birth, and fun with CDing! It’s totally worth it 😀

    BTW I cut up an old towel to use as cloth wipes, and now I don’t have that extra expense either 😀 And then you can do family cloth too…..LOL so many fun rabbit tracks that all started with trying to save a few $$!

Leave a Reply