Cloth diapers. We’ve got a lot of funny reactions around here when people learned we decided to go cloth with Jonas. We went disposable with E, but J is all cloth. Reactions have usually been somewhere in the range of “ew” from our younger buddies and “don’t they have a huge leaking problem?” from those older family members that remember the old school version. But cloth has come a long way, and it wasn’t a hard decision for us. We used disposable diapers in the hospital, but transferred to cloth as soon as we came home.
So why did we go with cloth?
Cost. Being the nerds we are, we calculated out the possible costs both routes. Cloth diapers, even when factoring in the extra water and detergent costs for laundering, came out way cheaper. When we calculated assuming we’d be purchasing a new set of cloth diapers every three months as J gets bigger, cloth was only slightly cheaper. But now that we know that the one size diapers actually work, our savings are going to be much bigger. But more on that later.
We don’t want stinky diapers hanging around for a week. We’ve lived in apartments up until this point, so we could throw a trash bag in the dumpster or a box of recyclables into the bin as soon as they were full. We don’t get to do that any more. We don’t like the idea of things that smell worse over time hanging out until trash day.
They are stinkin’ cute. When you see the examples of ones we’ve purchased below, you’ll see what we mean. We’re not ones to make decisions based on fashion (we all pretty much wear pajamas unless we’re going somewhere or we’re expecting company… and even then it depends on the company whether we’re willing to actually put on “real clothes”), but I honestly got hooked in on the adorable style varieties available. Cuteness was definitely a purchasing factor. Right now the small sized diapers are big-looking on J’s body. Jake says he looks like a Who (their pelvises ARE way too big for their bodies).
We love handmade. We can’t always afford to get everything that we’d like to on Etsy or locally, but cloth diapers are one of the few things in the world that we’ve found are actually cheaper handmade. We are proud to be able to support the handmade movement by purchasing handmade cloth diapers over corporate disposables.
They are (maybe) better for the environment. There are those who argue that the extra water used for washing cloth diapers make them not much better than disposables, but we’re pretty glad we’re not adding a bazillion pounds of stinky to landfills. If you are interested in the debate on which is better, we recommend this awesome Wired article.
Laundry is not inconvenient for us. We are extremely lucky to have our washer and dryer on the second floor of our house. Having them on the same floor as the bedrooms makes having an extra load of laundry a day completely convenient. We do a pre-wash with J’s diapers and then add in the rest of his laundry in for the regular wash cycle.
What diapers did we choose? We couldn’t find many reviews for Etsy cloth diapers, so we decided to go with a variety and buy more of what we like best later. Here’s what we started out with:
Review. We decided to try these covers because everything else that we chose were pocket diapers. They fit J really well and don’t leak. This is surprising because they are only covers and don’t have the extra layer of absorbency that the other diapers have. Our criticism of these diapers is how they hold up in the wash; we’re worried that they won’t last the entire 3 months J will fit into them. Though these have laundry tabs that keep the Velcro tabs from catching on the diaper, the edges of the diapers are starting to fray and fall apart. Bummer.
Review. We bought the most of these because they are super cute, they come in a ton of varieties, and the microfleece on the inside is super soft. We are also big fans of the pocket diapers. You slide the cloth insert into the pocket of the diaper and the moisture is whisked into the insert, reducing chance of diaper rash. However, we’ve run into a leaking problem with these. They tend to leak through the leg holes when J is napping (he always rolls to his side even though we lay him down on his back). This problem occurs because the tabs don’t wrap around him tight enough. Notice on the other cloth diapers there is Velcro on the top AND the bottom of the tabs, allowing them to overlap if necessary. This allows that diapers to fit as snug as possible so that there isn’t any room for leaking in the leg holes. We can’t get these on tight enough, so these probably won’t work as well until he’s a little bigger around. This is disappointing because the diapers are supposed to fit babies 8-15 lbs.
Review. These are easily our favorite diaper. We didn’t buy very many because we weren’t confident that the “one-size” would really fit a newborn. But they do. We put these on J overnight because we have had NO problems with these leaking. Not once. They also have shown the least wear from the wash. We’re confident that these will hold up THE ENTIRE TIME Jonas is in diapers. They also have the pocket diaper benefits listed above. You can watch a demonstration video of how these work here.
*Even better about these diapers; you can buy kits to make them yourself at Kayla’s Cloth Kits. If you buy a kit and make the diapers yourself, then you get three diapers for the cost of one pre-made diaper. We’ll bust out our sewing machine for that deal. We’ve ordered our first kit but haven’t received it yet. We’ll let you know how it goes.
We’ll be happy to answer any questions about cloth that you have! If you leave a question in the comments section, make sure to check back later because we’ll answer questions in the comments section for this post as well.