There are so many options available in cloth diapering these days. If you’re not familiar with it, the DiaperPin is a great place to start your research. This is not your mama’s cloth! Gone are the plastic pants, pins, and soaking in the toilet. There are all-in-one diapers, prefold (old-fashioned) diapers with covers – which can be a laminated waterproof fabric, wool, or other materials, and pocket diapers.Cloth diapers are better for the environment, according to quite a bit of research I found. If you had asked me, three or four years ago, if I was “green” my first thought would have been jealousy. Since NewDotBaby was born, though, I’m finding myself much more mindful of my impact on the environment. I’m hardly extreme about it – we honestly don’t recycle as much as we should, and we’re not exactly living off the grid here, but we have begun to do what we can.
When I found information about the study that showed an elevated testicular temperature in baby boys who wore disposable diapers, I was swayed a little further toward the side of cloth. Since his father is a testicular cancer survivor, I’d like to think that eliminating disposable diapering from his list of risk factors will have a positive effect on NDB’s long-term health, including his future fertility.
When I first started considering cloth diapering, the big appeal was the financial savings. I got to try pocket diapers before I took the plunge and made my own purchase, thanks to a generous friend who boxed up a few FuzziBunz and all the accessories I’d need. After a week of part-time cloth, I was sure it was for us – but I decided to run the numbers for comparison’s sake. A little basic math revealed that I was spending a LOT of money on disposable diapers.
126-ct Huggies Supreme size 2’s $46.95 => $0.37 per diaper
Supreme wipes => $5.00 (2 boxes lasts about a month)$0.37 per
diaper, 9 dipes per day => $3.33 per day
month for diapers + wipes
TOTAL COST for sposies, birth to potty
training around 2.5 years: $3,097.20
My figures for cloth would be for my startup stash. I wanted to do a 2-day wash cycle, and I was diapering a 5-month old, so I planned for 10-12 diapers a day.
20 diapers @ 13.50* each (diaper with insert included) = $270
6 pack of cloth
wipes = $6.95
Wipe Solution (“Baby Bits”) $9.95
Hanging diaper “pail”
Small wetbag for diaper bag $9.95TOTAL COST for startup
(will “pay for itself” in 3 months, as compared to
My first order from NurturedFamily.com back in July 2006.
Of course, these figures were for our specific uses and might not apply exactly to your situation. The type of disposables you use, the number your child goes through most days, the amount of sales tax you pay, are all variables that might make cloth diapers “pay off” sooner or later.
Once my mind was made up, the real obstacle remaining was NewDotDad. He thought cloth diapers were messy, smelly, unhygienic, and one more step down the path to the complete Hippy Conversion of his previously mainstream wife. I argued, I lectured, I presented the facts on websites, on printouts, on pie charts and graphs. What finally convinced him that we needed to become a cushioned tushie family? My promise that he would never have to change a poopy cloth diaper.
I started out trying to write a review, and I’ve ended up blathering on and on about how we came to choose cloth. I think it’s time to move on to the review, shall we?
Pockets are not usually the cheapest way to do cloth. I prefer them, now that I’ve tried several other methods. They are so simple to wash and dry (either on a line or in your machine); they come in a lot of colors (a silly reason, maybe, but it’s fun to match diapers to outfits!); the outer layer is waterproof and the inner layer wicks moisture away from baby’s delicate skin and helps reduce diaper rashes (in our experience); they have a range of snaps which allow them to fasten from very small at the leg and waist to much larger, so they fit baby for months (we moved into Mediums at 7 months and they still fit on the next-to-smallest snap setting at almost-11 months).
I highly endorse my FuzziBunz – they are mass produced, so they are beautifully well-made. The fleece inner layer is buttery soft when new, though a little pilling is normal after many washings. I have a variety of inserts for my FuzziBunz, since when I bought them it wasn’t mandated that the Mother of Eden company inserts go with them. I am happiest with my Nurtured Family microterry inserts – they are wonderful, super-absorbent, and have not gotten that “stinky insert” problem once.
The Swaddlebees are a good pocket diaper. They are narrower through the crotch and have a lower rise, which makes them a good choice for a skinny and/or petite baby. One downside to the SB is that it requires a special tapered-through-the-middle insert, so if you have a mix of SBs in your stash you have to pay attention when you are doing the stuff-and-fold part of your laundry day!
The Wonderoos pocket diaper is billed as a one-size diaper. It has an arrangement of snaps to control the waist and the rise of the diaper from teeny-tiny to pretty large. My one complaint about the Roos is that there are not snaps just for making the leg openings tighter. My little guy has skinny thighs, so we sometimes have a problem with a gap at the leg (and thus, some little leaks). I think this would be less of a problem if the diaper were snapped way down for a tiny baby, or opened all the way up for a larger baby. His current medium-size just isn’t perfect with the snap options on a Roos.
I was given five Baby Blanket diapers by a friend who has outgrown the cloth diapering stage of motherhood. They have been well-used, but are still in great shape, which is a testimony to the work(wo)manship of these diapers. Unlike the FBs, SBs, and Roos, these BBs do not have a fleece inner layer. The inner layer is suedecloth, which is very soft and smooth. Some babies have a reaction to suedecloth, but it has never bothered NDB. I do find that suedecloth doesn’t “give up” the poo when I shake it into the toilet as easily as fleece, but it’s not enough of a problem to make me give up on these diapers. After a couple of shakes, I usually have to swish the diaper in the water to get rid of the clingy bits. (Sorry if that description grosses you out. I promise, it’s not that bad!)
The all-in-one diaper was another gift, and it’s the only item in my stash that I don’t recommend to others. The outer waterproof layer is crinkly and plasticy (though it does have a cute puppy print). The inner layer is cotton, which was incredibly soft brand-new but is now stiff. Because all the layers are stitched together, it takes a very long time to dry. It is fastened with Aplix (velcro, to all you other gen-Xers out there), the edges of which have left red rub marks on my baby’s skin.
We’ve now been cloth diapering for six months, and we now have one extra reason that going with cloth makes sense: when The Deuce arrives, we already have an entire stash of Small and Medium diapers that will cushion his or her tushie completely free (other than the cost of washing and drying).
Oh, is there anything cuter than a little heiney all diapered in cloth?
*Since I purchased my first diapers, the price of FuzziBunz have gone up. There were changes required by the FuzziBunz company for all retailers, so now FBs will run you $17.95 each.