Cloth Diapering From a Non-Expert

I love how cloth diapering is such a funny topic to discuss. It’s not exactly cool or fashionable. And when you mention it in a group of people, you never know what kind of reactions you are going to get. For me, it’s usually a raised eyebrow, wide eyes, and a curious, possibly disgusted look, followed by a slow, drawn out whhhhhhy…?


And honestly, that is a good question. Why would anyone opt to do the dirty work of emptying them, cleaning them, and folding them when they could slap on a durable Pamper, then throw it away after it’s been soiled? This is the twenty-first century, right?




I’m not going to even pretend that I am an expert in cloth diapering. Ha! That would be a joke! Nor am I going to claim this is the only way to go. We don’t play by anyones particular rules and you don’t have to either. We use cloth diapers during the day and still use disposables at night, and that seems to work good for us.

This is just another area that we have chosen to live a little more simply. Therefore, I thought I would answer a few questions, share a few thoughts on the matter, and possibly a spark a helpful little discussion for us moms navigating through this cloth diapering thing. 


Why Cloth Diapering

(Amazon Links are included)

Reduce Stinky Waste. One of the biggest things that I dislike about disposable diapers is their waste. A ton of smelly diapers all.the.time. We used a Diaper Genie, but it wasn’t always a genie, if you know what I mean. Our trash consisted mostly of diapers. Which wasn’t really an issue anywhere else we lived, but when we moved to a much greener state, we were not allowed to exceed our small trash can without upgrading our garbage plan.

Save Money. The second reason was money. Had we kept with the disposable diapers, we would have to upgrade our garbage plan by about $7 a month, with the cost of the diapers on top of that. While we do use extra water for the washing, we figured we save about $40-$50 dollars a month by going this route.

It’s Natural. I like the thought of clean, soft, fabric on my baby’s skin as opposed to the various disposable diaper materials.

Conclusion: I don’t mind doing a little extra work, to keep my house smelling extra clean, while saving myself some extra cash. To me, that’s worth it.



Supplies for Cloth Diapering


Diapers/Liners. I had few cloth diapers that I had bought, but most of our collection came from my sister, who had cloth diapered all three of her kids this way. We have about three days worth of diapers with an array of all different brands and styles.

Reusable Covers. I am so thankful we had a couple Thirsties Diaper Covers. They make the leaks ever-so-minimal.

Wet bag. I invested in a nice Bummis zip-up wet bag. It holds about a full day’s worth and when it’s washing time, I just throw the bag in with the diapers. It works great and contains the all the lovely diaper smells.



Washing Cloth Diapers 


Rules. I read so many different opinions on this part, it made me want to run in the opposite direction. So many people were so dogmatic about this step that I was worried if I didn’t wash them perfectly they would never really be clean. I think the general consensus was that you should do a cold wash, than a hot wash, and finish it with the a tumble dry.

What we do. After emptying any “solids” from their diapers. I do a prewash, a hot wash, then I throw them in the dryer and push the normal cycle button. 😉 Easy peasy. Ours come out clean every time. I typically wash every other day.

(I also read that laying them out in the sun supposedly removes any staining. We haven’t needed this step nor have we had much sun. So I can’t say either way.)  



Tips and Tricks for Cloth Diapering


Leaking. I honestly wanted to give up after the first couple days. I don’t know if my daughter was just peeing a ton or what, but that girl leaked through just about every diaper I put on her. I read later on, that when they are super little they pee a lot and they pee often. I learned that if I put on a Thirsties cover over the diaper, it pretty much contained the leaks.

Now that she is six months old, I am finding that the leaks are a lot less frequent and I don’t need to worry about the cover. I can tell by the squishy-ness if she is ready for a change. 

Disposables at Night. We do this because I feel like it lets the skin breathe a little. But if we run out of disposables, I don’t have to panic and run to the store, I just use one of the cloth diapers. 🙂  (We also use disposables when we are traveling or away from the house for long periods of time.) 

Favorites? I can’t say I’m partial to any particular brand. Out of our collection, the Thirsties and Bum Genius are the brands I tend to grab first. I would, however, whole-heartedly recommend the Bummis wet bags and the Thirsties covers.


What are your thoughts on cloth diapering?


*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.



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  1. It’s so funny that you wrote this, because I was just thinking this morning about writing a similar post updating our cloth diaper experience! We use them on and off, and I agree, everyone gets way too uptight about the washing. I’ve been throwing them into the regular laundry, with regular detergent, and they seem to be fine!

  2. Hmmmmmm. Here we go????. I grew up in Uganda and honestly I first saw daipers when I babysat some missionary kids. We used nappies (same as cloth diapers) growing up. I am number 2 of eight kids; so yes I had my experience changing nappies and hand washing them. When we first had our babies, there’s was no way to convince me into using nappies, I wanted to have as little to no contact with dirty diapers. After going through cancer and developing a mind to do research on literally every single product that I use in our home and most definitely products that come into direct contact with the skin or body, I go for cloth diapers 100%. Thank you Jessica?.

    1. Pause. Number 2 of eight kids?! No. I am number 2 of nine kids! That’s so cool that we share that in common! I bet that was quite an experience having to comb through every product! Did you have to change a lot of the things you used?

      1. Lol. Are you a preacher’s daughter to?…..I am??. After the touture of having to wash my siblings’ cloth diapers, I didn’t think I would handle changing an extra diaper. But I have changed my munchkins’ with joy.

        1. What?! I am! ??And I was the same. I changed so many cloth diapers on my younger siblings, I vowed I would never do the same. Lol. Although cloth diapers have evolved quite a bit since then. ?

  3. We are entirely reliant on rainwater for all of our household water needs, and both my kids were born in the middle of a very long drought – so, no cloth nappies for us, because we couldn’t spare the water for washing them. (On the other hand got very good at only using 50 litres a day for all of our household water needs.)

    BTW, I spoke with a microbiologist earlier this week about a similar thing (family cloths) and she told me looks can be deceiving – the threat of cross contamination from things that have fecal matter is still present, even if they look clean, unless they’ve been boiled for hours. I would say (and I am not an expert) that if you aren’t sick from doing it the way you’re doing it, keep it up; but if your baby has gastro or something like that, take extra precautions with the dirty diapers to keep it from spreading to everyone else.

    1. Well she is the only one using them so I’m not sure there would be any cross contamination. They are completely emptied before we wash and We haven’t had any issues so I’m content to keep doing what we are doing. I did however consider your idea the other day about being a little more choosy about WHEN I wash the diapers, rather than during peak energy hours. Like I said, I’m no expert and will probably keeping tweaking the process. I’ll probably get it right around the time she is potty trained. Lol ?

      1. No really. There is no scientific research that disposable diapers present a health risk, but gastrointestinal illness is still one of the leading causes of childhood mortality globally. The point is that soap alone won’t kill the germs and harmful bacteria that live in fecal matter, so obviously wash your tea towels in a separate load!

  4. I should clarify there is limited research that disposable diapers cause more nappy rash, but I’ve also seen studies stating the opposite. At any rate, I’m not trying to talk anyone out of using cloth nappies – I really don’t care what you put on your baby’s bum – I’m just saying, you are dealing with poo, try to avoid getting it in your mouth, which might mean, when you know your baby is sick or shedding dangerous bacteria with their fecal matter, you take a couple of extra precautions with washing their nappies.

    1. I appreciate your objective opinion, because I agree, we need to cover our bases when it comes to human waste! I’m thinking it wouldn’t be a bad idea to clean them even deeper sporadically and when they have been sick. Good thoughts and input! ?

  5. We cloth diaper and love it! I never thought about the added cost of garbage if you are using disposables.

    We have enjoyed the balance of cloth during the day and disposables at night and when traveling.

  6. I used cloth diapers for 3 1/2 years. They saved us a lot of money which was greatly needed. Yes, it was time consuming, but I liked the idea that I wasn’t poulting the environment. We used a diaper liner, that I put in while folding. We soaked the soiled diapers in deft water, washed them in hot water and rinsed twice. My diapers looked brand new on the last day I used them, so said my mother in law.

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