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To cloth diaper or not?

January 19, 2017
Marla Hull , MOV Parent

So you might be curious about why using cloth diapers are growing in popularity. There are so many new and improved ways to use cloth diapers. I hope this personal testimony and article gives you enough information to peek your interest in using cloth diapers.

Twelve years ago, I became pregnant with my first child. I thought cloth diapers were plastic pants, safety pins and oversized white cloths. I didn't understand why someone would want to put those diapers on their baby and why they would want to add more laundry to their routine, especially ones that involved poop.

During 2005, I had several acquaintances using cloth diapers at the time. They showed me a new world of cute diapers that seemed easier to use then what my mom used. You don't have to use safety pins but something called a snappi. They opened my understanding to a lot of information. I was a nervous first time mom so I didn't use cloth and never transitioned to them. I regret that I did not commit to using cloth from the beginning.

8 years ago, I decided to check back into cloth diapers when I became pregnant with my second child. I had made up my mind that I was going to do it to save money. My daycare agreed to use them on my son when I returned to work. Awesome! Now which ones to buy? There are so many types of systems and accessories that it can make your head spin. I thought asking friends online might help but each one have different recommendations. I found a quiz that helped. What cloth diaper personality do you have? You can find several on the internet that I will list later in the article.

At that time I was going to be a full time counselor with two kids in daycare. I didn't have a lot of time and money and I wanted something easy that my husband would do as well. The tests said in 2009 to buy pocket diapers or all in ones. They were the most like disposable.

Not easy on the budget (average $16 a piece) but I decided to get the adjustable size that would grow with the baby and bought them on cyber Monday which I saved 20 percent. I used these for two years on my son. I learned how to put them on properly, how to wash them, found out what I liked and didn't like about them.

I saved a ton of money and didn't notice a difference on my utilities. I felt like I was saving the planet. I felt like I was a hippy hanging my laundry outside.

In 2015, I became pregnant with my third child. I was in a different situation in my life. I was working part time and I had more time to wash diapers and more time to put them on her. I wanted something different and even cheaper than I did before. I learned that prefolds and covers were the cheapest and most energy efficient diapers.

A friend gave me some of her covers she found an online sale. I was able to buy covers for $5-10 each and the organic Indian pre folds for less than $1 a piece. I purchased about $200 worth of diaper covers, fasteners, wet/dry bags and inserts. I have not invested any more in cloth since I started two years ago.

My current system: I purchased everything from adjustable diaper covers (econobum one size diaper cover,) Simply Indian prefolds per baby size, (I purchased some for under 1 year and some for 1-3 years age,) wet/dry bags by Planet Wise, dry diaper pail (safety first easy saver diaper pail,) Ecos free and clear laundry soap, snappi fasteners (I only used when she was little because I watched a YouTube video that showed how to easily fold pre fold cloth diapers in half.) Depending on how often you plan on doing your laundry determines how many diapers and covers you will need to purchase. According to manufacturers guidelines, this is how to wash them Pre-wash once on warm or cold with 1/2 of detergent recommended for a full load of laundry. Next, heavy-duty wash on hot (140F/60C) with enough detergent for one heavily soiled full load of laundry. Line-dry covers and diaper shells. Follow with one cold rinse. Tumble dry inserts, fitted and prefolds.

Here are my recommendations for a less painful start into using cloth.

Figure out your reasons and goals for using cloth or just check into why cloth is better. Ex. There are websites that will give you information on how much money you will save, etc. Take a quiz to see what your cloth diaper personality. Ex. or

Start shopping around. You can buy diapers from the manufactures or distributors. Some websites give you a money back guarantee and some give you trial sets. Many of these websites have information on types of cloth diapers and frequently asked question forums. Here are some examples:,,, and

You can buy used diapers and its okay. I'm still using the cloth diaper covers and they are about 4 years old now. Ex. You don't have to buy the expensive accessories but make your own. Ex. Diaper sprayer

Pay close attention to how you wash your diapers. Each website should have recommended detergents and how to wash their brand of diapers.

Be flexible and figure out what works for you.



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