Moms & Babies

Celebrity Baby Blog
Celebrity Baby Blog

Constance Marie’s Blog: Why I Chose Cloth Diapers

06/02/2010 at 09:00 AM ET
Courtesy Constance Marie

We’ve met the family and gone “into the trenches” with celebrity blogger Constance Marie so far.

This week, the actress — who lives in California with her fiancé, yoga instructor Kent Katich, and their 16-month-old daughter, Luna Marie — tells PEOPLE Moms & Babies why she chose to use cloth diapers for her baby girl.

She’s even secured readers a special deal in case you’d like to try them yourself!

Once again, you guys are AWESOME! I love the feedback. Okay, regarding some of your comments:

1) Forgive me for neglecting to say, “I LOVE BEING A MOTHER SO MUCH!!” Her smile makes my heart full with joy! I thank Luna Marie everyday for deciding to show up and grace me with her presence. Remember that before you read each blog! ‘Nuf said!

2) How did I find my mommy group? While in my local baby store, I just saw a flier and signed up! Check them out at The Pump Station. Just don’t give up! You are teaching your child to make friends by example.

Moving on: Can you imagine having to wear a crunchy, bunchy, paper sanitary napkin 24 hours a day for oh, about two years?! Oy! If I had to, I would be so bitchy! Right?

Well, that was what made me think that — maybe — if I could — if it wasn’t a total nightmare — maybe I could try to use cloth diapers. I had heard of a few people who did it, some were “earthy crunchy” and some just “regular folks,” and I thought if they could, maybe I could too.

You’re thinking, “She isn’t gonna talk about poop and diapers is she? Crap!” (Pun intended) Well ladies, I am proud to say, “YES I AM!”

Here’s the thing: Poop is just part of motherhood. There is no getting around it! Seriously, after a while you don’t even care, because you love your baby so much. I kid you not, I have a photo of poop on my engagement ring that I sent to my friends with the caption, “I love my life!”

In my research I found out that disposable diapers — Yes, even the ones at the health food store — have a petroleum-based gel/crystals inside that is a superabsorbent polymer and wicks away the moisture from the baby’s butt.

The problem is that the chemicals can wick away too much moisture, causing allergic reactions, trapping too much heat and rupturing, leaking gel and crystals directly onto the baby’s skin. This superabsorbent polymer was discontinued in tampons in the 1980s because of a link to Toxic Shock Syndrome. There have been some horrible rashes caused by the overnight diapers! One of the babies in my mommy group got such a bad rash that it was blistering.

Additionally, the research points to possible fertility issues — especially for boys — because of the heat created in a disposable.

On the other hand, I learned cloth diapers have zero side effects, make it easier to potty train and they are actually cute now! These are so not your grandma’s cloth diapers.

I decided I would at least try cloth. I registered for some for my baby shower — I had my supply! I was all set right? Wrong!

My sweet little baby was born TOO BIG! She didn’t fit the diapers I had bought. Ugh, I was bummed. Right out of the hospital, I had to buy disposables. I used them, and I had to also use lots of diaper rash cream because Luna Marie was getting really red in the hoo-ha area. :(

But then DING! My pregnancy brain remembered I had been given three cloth diapers in a gift bag at an event. So I ran — well, waddled as fast as a cesarean survivor could — to find them. Eureka! They were cute and shaped just like disposables, with comfy cotton inserts, velcro closures (no pins) and one even had a little bear pattern.

Courtesy Constance Marie

Luna Marie seemed to like them and apparently so did her butt. We even stopped using the diaper cream!

My only problem was that I only had three! Dammit! I couldn’t find a label, a brand name, nuthin’!

So extreme, eccentric person that I am, I just washed those three diapers over and over for a week (I know, crazy right?) until I found the vendor’s card.

They were called Happy Heiny’s Pocket Diapers! I got 15 cloth diapers and once a day, I do one load of wash.

I take them off Luna Marie’s butt, dump the poo of course (well, most of it!), put them in a bin and at the end of the day, throw them in the wash.

Presto! They are clean! I do not have to soak them, use bleach or any special cleaning solvent.

Luna Marie is 16 months old now and I am still using the same diapers!! Oh! Because I love them so, if you go to the site and put in the code LUNA, they will give ya 15 percent off.

Seriously, cloth diapers are ultimately cheaper. The average cost of disposables for just two years is $2000! Cha-ching! If everyone would at least try to use cloth or even just use them 25-50 percent of the time, your baby’s bottom would be chemical free, have fewer rashes and there will be less possible side effects in the future to worry about. The landfills that your baby will inherit would be less full.

However, whether you use cloth or disposables, neither can protect you from that special moment — you know the one? You’re in a rush and you smell something … you’re not sure so you stick your finger in the diaper to test for pee. SURPRISE! Poop on the finger! That smell? Yep. It was poop. :)

– Constance Marie

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

On Newsstands Now

Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Adam Levine's Wedding Details!
  • James Garner: 1928-2014

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

Add A Comment

PEOPLE.com reserves the right to remove comments at their discretion.

Showing 160 comments

Melody on

Thanks so much for promoting cloth! I have 5 kids ages 7 years down to 16 months and have used cloth dipes for all of them. With the exception of 2 kids (one special needs and one still to young to potty train) all of my kids have potty trained BY 2 years old and I believe it is largely due to them being in cloth diapers. I have saved a ton of money considering that I am using many of the same dipes with my youngest that I used with my oldest. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to use cloth diapers. Blueberry, Swaddlebees, and GAD are my favorites.

Elizabeth Aronson on

We would LOVE to use cloth diapers for all of the reasons you listed but we live in a Manhattan apartment and don’t have a washing machine in our apartment and I cannot imagine doing laundry every night 12 floors down in our basement (added that I cannot leave my baby in the apartment to change the laundry). Perhaps our next apartment will have one of those mini-washer/dryer combos and I can give these a try. Thank you for all of the great information!

Lisa on

Oh funny! I giggled, especially at the “poop or pee” comment at the end.

babyrama on

And for an even cheaper option, you can use prefolds with waterproof covers like Bummies, etc.

M Pamela on

Great to hear you are using cloth diapers! My kids now ages 18 and 16 used cloth diapers…They never got a rash or anything!! I used the diaper pail, rinsing the mess in the toilets, use Borax in the diaper pail and then when it was time to wash, I used vinegar in the rinse cycle! It was not really any issues with me or the kids!! Today I still have a few of those cloth diapers I use for dusting!! Way to go, Constance!!!

Jessica on

I am cloth diapering my son. We don’t wash the diapers every day…just every three days. Also, they dry really quickly, so I just hang them on a clothes drying rack in my apartment…saves money on the drying and saves the environment!

Elizabeth in Manhattan, I think you could do it! It really is manageable and plenty of people living in apartments are cloth diapering these days.

samantha on

Enjoyed the blog on cloth diapers. Always good to get feedback on these issues.

Janet on

I love cloth diapers!! I can’t wait for my 4 week old to get big enough to wear them. My favs are Thirsties, Blueberry/Swaddlebees and BumGenius.

jessicad on

I just opened a cloth diaper service in my area, I really wanted to use cloth but I had no idea what I was doing with a newborn and I didn’t want to be knee deep in poop at the same time, so I used disposables. It’s so easy to wash them though, and they really are so different than they used to be! Hopefully more people will catch on to cloth!

Elby on

Hooray for some clothies love! I’ve used them on all 4 of my kids and love them, many of my friends question how I can manage cloth nappies with two sets of twins but I think that every mother managed before the invention of ‘sposies so why can’t I? Both my girls were potty trained by 22 months and I’m sure my sons will start training soon.

Meghann on

She is soooooo cute!!!! I love the pink diaper!!

JenLaw on

As a mother of 4 including a set of twins, I have always used cloth, I washed my own for the first two and for the twins had a diaper service. Never used butt rash cream, no yeast problems, no allergic reactions, and we didn’t contribute to the hundreds of thousands of plastic ones that go in land fills, never to benefit the environment. Thanks for going green by using cloth.

Jennifer on

Elizabeth you should try the hybrid diapers like gDiapers and Flip – the washing is reduced significantly as you only have a few covers and then the inserts to wash, it’s also significantly cheaper than buying 15-20 full diapers, as you are only paying $12-15 a piece for the covers, the cloth inserts can be as low as $2-3 a piece.

Ashley on

GREAT blog Constance! Luna is soo adorable!

I REALLY wanted to use cloth diapers with our youngest of 4 kids(who is 16 months right now). I just never could build up the confidence to do it. I know sounds crazy, butI just felt it would be soo much more work. Rather then just changing and throwing away a disposable diaper.

Mary on

Good for her, I wish I had gone that route!

Kelly on

I tried cloth in the beginning, with all the same notions and good intentions . Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t so great. I found them ill-fitting, LEAKY, and terribly inconvenient when we were out of the house. I used gDiapers, and tried a variety of sizes to see if the poor fit was a result of sizing (it wasn’t). At the time, I didn’t know there were so many different options for cloth (I’d left the diaper research to hubby during the pregnancy, and then once the baby arrived, I was too caught up in the bliss to worry about it).

I went to disposables and never looked back. My daughter has NEVER had even the slightest diaper rash and at 22 months is on her way to being fully potty-trained. While I agree that disposables are far more expensive and I cringe at their impact on our landfills, I feel the need to stick up for moms who have gone the disposable route. We all have our reasons. I am happy that the cloth option worked for you, Constance!

Carly on

I LOVE this post:) As a
Cloth Diapering Mama I am glad to more people are using the Cloth Route:)

GiannaG on

I just LOVE the last pic with the Little Miss posing in her pink diaper. Work it, sweetie, lol. She is gorgeous!

Michele on

For Elizabeth- try a diaper service and then you don’t have to do wash daily, or buy extra so that you are only doing it every other day to 3 days. I started CD my 3 year old when he was about 18 months. I even used the cloth trainers when he started potty training. now I have an 8 month old and have been using cloth since he was 3 months. the first few months I wanted to use them but his legs were casted to correct his feet so it was too hard to use the cloth because they are a little bulkier than disposable. I still occasionally use the disposable when we are in the car for long trips or going to be away from the house for extended periods of time- just easier than carrying around soiled diapers. I even dump the poop from the disposables into the toilet, just cleaner than putting it in the trash to be dumped.

Amanda on

I love our cloth, I have been wanting to try Happy Heiny’s so maybe nows the time. It really isn’t much harder, though I do think it’s crazy to do laundry every day! I wash diapers about every 3 days, hold them in a wet bag in baby’s room (with a zipper to contain any smells) and it’s so easy I barely even think about it. I don’t think disposables are any easier that’s for sure, and I love the convenience of being able to say, “oops, we’re almost out of diapers time to throw some in the wash” instead of “oops, we’re almost out of diapers time to pack everyone up and find a store that’s open”. Especially when the closest store (other than a grocery store where you’ll pay almost double!) to our house is a 30 min drive and I have 3 little ones. I don’t miss the days when I had my first of realizing that I just put the last diaper on her and now have to figure out how to get more before she needs to be changed and hoping she doesn’t poop before I get them!

Courtney on

I LOVE this article!

Our 13 month old breaks out terribly in anything disposible, and has been in BumGenius diapers since she was 6 weeks old, and we LOVE them. Super easy to deal with and much less expensive than disposible.

Karen on

I was very open to cloth until I actually had to deal with them! For children prone to diaper rash, it’s a sloppy mess. Oh, and you get to keep them around and wash them. Yuck!

erica on

we do cloth part time with pre-folds and wool covers, but laundry is time-consuming and expensive ($3 for a wash and dry every 3-4 days). it’s easy to take laundry for granted if it’s ‘free’ and easy to reach. my mom used cloth diapers with me (30 years ago), and she washed them by hand. needless to say, i was toilet trained way before i was 2.

Erin on

Thrilled about this. I started using cloth diapers when my son was about 10 months old.
I was too scared to try before, even though I really wanted to.
And after about 3 days of using cloth I realised how ridiculous my fears of touching poop, being over whelmed with laundry, etc were.
My husband even agrees – cloth is as easy as disposable, but cheaper, cuter and better for the environment – help leave our son a cleaner world to live in.
It’s win-win-win for us.

Jamie on

My children are now 20, 17 and 15. I used cloth diapers on all three. Yes they were old school, pins and all. I didnt do it for the earth, 20 years ago it wasnt a daily newsmaker like now. I did it for cost reasons and found that it really wasnt as bad as one might think. As a gift for each child my grandmother paid for 3 months of a diaper service. Now that was heaven! Cloth diapers have come a long way since then.

Mallory on

What do you do when you’re ‘on location’ somewhere? Say you’re at the grocery store and of course they go number 2, you don’t put the dirty diaper in the bag do you? With disposables you can just throw them away. So I was just curious what you do when you’re out and about with your baby or even at a friends house, etc… I love this idea, so wanted to hear your thoughts. Thanks!!! Cute story too! :)

michele D on

Thanks so much for this post. My two sons were exclusively in cloth for their entire diapering lives. I was very concerned about those chemicals on their skin, and it was wonderful to know that my children’s diapers are not lying around some landfill, or polluting the air, to this day!

erica on

oh, and i wanted to add that PUL diaper covers also trap in a lot of heat (re: Constance’s comment about infertility, boys, and disposables). if you want a cloth diapering solution that really breathes, try wool covers. my 15 month old has no problem wearing them, even on hot humid days!

lily on

I have been using cloth for a total of four years (three kids) There are many types, and many cloth diaper stores even let you do a trial, where you can try different ones and see what works.
If you sew or know someone who does, you can make your own. I made pocket diapers (just like the pink one baby is wearing, and used lots of funky patterns) My kids all used the same diapers (a few have been tossed, since they do get washed numerous times over the years)
It is great to not have to buy diapers all the time–we have saved A LOT of money cloth diapering. It is easier than it seems!!

Debbi on

My kids are WAY older, but when they were little paper diapers were the most common place thing, as they are today. I tried some of the cloth and LOVED them. I think they were better for their bottoms also. I do notice I think you are more vigilent about changing them more often and thats better also. I didn’t mind washing them, but then I happened to see a Diaper Service truck driving around… and I called. I swear it was cheaper to have a service than to do them myself!! If you are interested in cloth, you might want to check a service for prices….

sara on

Mallory you can dump the poop in the toilet. then put the diaper in a bag made for dirty diapers. There really is not smell or issue.

I have been cloth diapering for 3 years now. My second little boy is almost 1.

Claire on

I used cloth diapers for all 4 of my kids – mostly cuz we were poor and disposables are expensive! It actually became something I was very proud of – nice clean soft white cotton next to my babies’ skin instead of those disgusting, stinking plastic diapers in my garbage can. Ewwww. Ewwwww. Ewwww.

You dump the poo in the toilet, put the cloth diapers in a pail of soapy, bleachy water and, at the end of the day, dump the entire thing in the washer and that’s it! Soft, clean diapers are so much gentler on a babies skin that those disposables and you never leave a child in them too long, as you know when that is. Disposables hold the mess and wet in too long.

Thank you for telling moms how easy it is to use cloth diapers.

Hane on

I think cloth is great and so are disposals – I have used both and have had mixed results. My son is 1 year old now and will be going back to the cloth soon but has been on disposals for about 10 months. WHY??? Didn’t have diaper rash with the disposals – had diaper rash with the cloth. It is not always the chemicals that cause diaper rash. We don’t have a clothes dryer and live in a colder climate which this past year has been wetter than normal. As a result, had moldy cloth diapers which had to be tossed. The expense was adding up. New cloth diapers and a dryer plus higher energy bill! We switched to disposals at that point and have yet to reach the amount it would have taken to buy new cloth diapers – enough so that they have time to dry the old fashioned way. Then energy – we live in an area that has a state of the art -“GREEN” waste to energy plant. The disposals make energy here in my city. Husband crunched the numbers (physics guy) and cloth uses more energy here. The cloth go back on for potty training. And for those of you recommending diaper service. That is expensive, use the most energy and you have to do your research on chemicals they may be using.

Lorus on

I miss cloth diapering! My daughter potty trained at 24 months and I wasn’t ready to give up on them. :(
We used a combination of BumGenius pocket diapers, Goodmama fitteds with wool covers/longies, and a few prefolds thrown in. We had so much fun cloth diapering! My daughter loved picking out her favourite diapers for each change which made changing her a lot easier.

Lorus on

I just wanted to add that it’s super easy to wash them. Breastfed baby poop doesn’t even need to be cleaned off before the diaper is tossed into the pail.
Cold rinse
Hot, longest wash with 1/4 the amount of detergent (make sure your detergent is cloth diaper friendly -google it.)
Quick wash with extra rinse (I have a front loader so I need this cycle).
One dryer cycle on medium heat.

You can place stained, damp, clean diapers in the sun and they’ll come right out.

Shan on

Great blog -I would have loved to use cloth more often (maybe only 15% of the time) with each of my 3 girls. I work FT and daycare does not allow them. Your daughter is beautiful!!

Hannah on

HOW FREAKING CUTE!!!

We are avid cloth users over here too so I LOVE that you are using your blog that people clearly read to promote something so wonderful to our babies, environments, and wallets.

Karla on

Great Post Constance Marie. U know, it seems that ur as great of a Mother as u were in “George Lopez” & Selena, just looking out for ur baby girl Luna. Hope to hear more from ur blogs. If you can, please send a Hi to me & my people here in Hidalgo, TX. God bless u & ur Family!

Dominika on

I used disposals for both of my kids, boy and girl, and they never had any rashes or other problems. It’s the parents choice what diapers to use but when I think about the time I would spend washing the diapers, scooping the poop, etc. – it just takes away from time spent with kids. And in reference to the diaper service, who knows what they use, what chemicals are included and it’s not cheap. Washing the diapers over and over has a negative impact when we’re trying to go green. Disposals don’t have to hold the wet too long if you change the babies often. That’s the key.

Macy on

Cloth diapers are a wonderful idea but for anyone who sends their child to daycare they are out of the question. Almost every daycare doesn’t allow cloth diapers– too much of a hassle for them, I guess. Its a shame.

For those mom’s and dads who are lucky enough to be able to afford to stay home with their babies, I say cloth is the way to go.

Even though….what do you do when your out at a restaurant or store. You’d end up having to carry around a dirty diaper in your bag. Hmmm.

ForeverMoore on

I’m due to have my little boy next week and I really want to do cloth diaps…any suggestions on the best ones? Any differences in regards to cloth diapering boys vs. girls? I’ve done some research and so far I like Fuzzi Bunz but any suggestions/pros & cons would be great :D

Julie on

Hi Constance,

Definitely give g-diapers a try. They are 100% biodegradable so you can compost them, flush them, or throw them in the trash but at least they will break down faster in landfills. There are no chemicals that are hard on baby’s bottom and better on the environment than cloth diapers which use up lots of energy and water to clean.

Julie

J9 on

The environmental impact of cloth diapers is not as “green” as one might think. In fact, the choice is not clear cut….

http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Diaper-Not-Clear.htm

Obviously, parents should choose what works best for them and their child. However, I don’t like when cloth diaper users talk endlessly about how “green” they are, when there are serious environmental impacts with either choice.

Beth on

Thank you so much for making this a post-worthy article! I cloth diapered my son for 15 months, and it was so economical and easy. I recouped most of my investment when I sold them. Those who think that using disposables is more green-friendly because they are not washed over and over, are grossly misinformed. Cloth diapers can be used by multiple children, cutting down on waste going to our landfills. Not to mention the human waste that is being put in our landfills via diapers. I use disposable diapers too, but it makes me sad that so many people are misinformed. Kudos to Constance Marie for speaking so positively about the joys of cloth diapering.

mamiesgoo on

YAY!

I love you already and cding is the icing on the cake!!! We’ve cd’d all 3 of our girls, and recommend everyone at least try it out!

KT on

Cloth aren’t any better for the environment. No, they don’t end up in a landfill, but they require water – as many point out on the longest cycle on your machine – or they require a service to come and get them and wash them (the fuel for the driver, the literal energy (and water) expanded to wash them, etc. At 6-8 diapers a day it really adds up.

If people want to use them for other reasons, awesome. But don’t be naive: They aren’t better for planet earth.

Shay on

If you are really hesitant or wary of using cloth diapers (especially when its an issue of convenience, and questions of using them while out-and-about, having to carry a wet bag, like some mentioned was a concern)… you can always try a HYBRID diaper. Like gDiapers, GroVia, or Flip System by bumGenius!

If you’re used to the convenience of a disposable diaper, you can use the disposable inserts which can be thrown away. But unlike traditional disposables are biodegradable and also flushable!

Hybrids also allow for cloth inserts. So you can go 100% cloth, use disposable inserts, or switch back & forth when needed.

Britney on

Thank You so much for writing this! I am not only in love with cloth diapers I actually am a work at home mom who makes them!!!! Cloth diapers are my life. They are so cute and really not that hard and the rewards are simply amazing. Thanks Again!
Britney
http://www.fashionablygreenboutique.com

Rose on

Love this blog! I’ve been using cloth on my son since he was 2 weeks old, and it is super easy. I do laundry every 2-3 days. We use mostly BumGenius and Sunbaby (All-In-One’s and pocket diapers). When people hear that we’re cloth diapering, they usually think it’s gross and time-consuming — until they see my son’s diapers. Most people don’t know how far cloth has come since the days of Gerber flats with diaper pins and plastic pants.

Beatrice on

A 1990 study concluded that cloth diapers used twice as much energy and four times as much water as disposables, and created greater air and water pollution than disposables (8). Commercial diaper services pose similar concerns, plus additional fuel use and air pollution created by delivery trucks. Emissions from home and diaper service drying equipment contribute to air pollution. While disposable diapers use more raw materials in the manufacturing process, cloth diapers use greater resources after use or care. Use of disposables raises a concern about solid waste management, while cloth diapers contribute to air and water pollution and possible taxing of municipal water and sewage systems.

Rose on

One more thing…. to KT and others who say that using cloth isn’t any better for the Earth than using disposables…. Seriously? Water is a RENEWABLE resource. Yes, it costs money and takes time to wash diapers, but we aren’t running out of water on the planet. However, disposable diapers (most of them anyway) are loaded with chemicals and take hundreds of years to decompose.

Laura on

Great to hear! I used cloth diapers for all of my kids, starting in 1988 with my first. I used a diaper service, which was great-no running to the store to buy diapers! They delivered weekly, picking up the dirty ones and delivering clean. I never had to deal with diaper rashes at all! I promote cloth to all my friends and family!

Jan on

Macy-
My hubby and I both work full time, and still cloth diaper our twins. It’s definitely still doable for lots of parents who don’t stay home.

Most daycares actually DO allow cloth diapers once they understand that they’ll get a wetbag to put them in, and don’t have to treat them any differently than disposables. The centers that oppose it tend to do so from lack of understanding, rather than any “rules”.
In fact, if you look up daycare laws in your state, you’ll usually find that the only legal stipulations with diapering are post-changing storage and washing hands (duh!) afterwards. My 21 month old twins have been in 2 different daycares (1 center, and 1 home daycare) and both did cloth with no problems. :)

When out, you just use a waterproof wetbag, and dump it all in the wash when you get home.

Kathleen on

LOVE this article and LOVE Happy Heinys. These are not your grandma’s cloth diapers. Cloth today comes in so many gorgeous colors and prints and styles. They are better for your baby (no nasty chemicals next to baby’s skin like in disposables), better for your pocket book (MUCH less expensive than disposables) and better for the environment (does anyone NOT know the huge problem disposables in landfills are causing).

Happy Heinys makes a great trainer too. So, you can use cloth all the way from birth til they have finished potty training.

Great blog post

Carla on

Lazy mothers choose disposables. Generations of children wore cloth because there was no other option and their mothers got along just fine. We’ve sadly become a nation of people addicted to the easy way, regardless of the effect on Mother Earth. BRAVO to those of you who have gone with cloth diapers!! It shows you care about more than just convenience.

determined on

Baloney! My kids are in their thirties. I used cloth diapers for the first month on the first child. Then I took advantage of the disposables. They were great – even years ago. My kids never had diaper rash and were potty trained before each was 2 years old. Toilet training has nothing to do with the material of the diapers used, but with the determination to train of the parent. I get the feeling the writer of this article is being paid to promote this product.

Vanessa on

Thank you Constance. I wish someone would have told me about how simple it would be to use cloth diapers for my daughter. I used diposable and fortunately my daughter never had a rash but if I would’ve known more info about using cloth diapers, I sure would of tried them. My baby girl Sophia is now four but I do appreciate the advice.

Melissa on

Thanks for spreading the word about how easy it is to cloth diaper and how much different cloth diapers are today versus the ones our parents and grandparents used!

I was scared to death to cloth diaper and was dead set against it, that is until my son was about 10 months old when I broke down and decided to give it a try. It took me less than a week to be completely in love with cloth diapers and made me regret not having done it from the beginning. It wasn’t hard, it wasn’t messy, and it didn’t take lots of time. I developed enough of a stash to only wash every 2-3 days. After my son went to bed at night I would throw the diapers in the washer, then the dryer, and then stuff them (we used pocket diapers) as I spent some time watching TV with my husband. The next morning they were all ready to go. I couldn’t ask for easier than that. He is now 22 months old and potty trained and I actually really miss the cloth diapers.

Kathleen on

One more comment. The studies that showed no significant difference between cloth and disposables were commissioned by the paper industry. It is like listening to a study indicating that smoking is not harmful to your health commissioned by the tobacco industry.

Disposable diapers are full of toxic chemicals. The highly carcinogenic dioxin being amongst the worst. Who wants THAT next to your child’s skin. Then, of course, there are the SAP chemicals (the gel stuff). No one knows what harm that will do to your child (asthma? infertility?). Finally, there is the chlorine bleach which is just nasty.

One extra wash every two or three days is all you need for cloth. Hang them out to dry. Only about 10% of cloth diaper users use a service so there really is no meaningful environmental impact of diaper delivery trucks. Certainly, parents running out to Wal-mart or CVS or having the UPS guy deliver them via mail order causes more air pollution.

Kelly on

We cloth diapered all 4 of ours – including twins. We spent approximately $400 on diapers EVER for 4 kids! Thanks for putting a face on how easy it is!

linda on

anyone that knows about us working mothers and having to put your kid in daycare. I say good luck. most of the time they will not tolorate this experience with cloth diapers, not to mention the unsanitary part. I know I do not want poop sitting in any basket around my house even the residue. it is gross. wonderful idea for the enviroment, but so lets go easy for the mothers that need diapers. it is fine for stay at home moms. go girl and make it work for you. thumbs up for Constance Marie.

Chaney on

Yeah for Constance!!! Your little girl is absolutely adorable! This was our first month in cloth and our water bill or electric bill didn’t budge. Well, our electric bill was actually below average for us so it is a green choice for our family… not too mention ADORABLE!

Tara Roddick on

First of all, HUGE FAN!! Love to see that you are a mother and not just playing one on TV:)

I do not use cloth diapers but am not against the idea except that my children go to child care and they have to be in disposable diapers. I might just try them at home and see how it goes. Granted my little one is close to the potty training age, I HOPE, but it might help the transision a little. Anyway thanks for being so open and honest about what you are going through as a Mom!

Tara

erika on

wow the diapers are actually cute..so i am the single mom of five andrew 15 lillianna 9 lola 4 aiden 3 and gavin almost 2!2006,7 and 8 i was pregnant ahhh.at one point i had 3 in diapers and as a single mom would have have loved to try these it would have saved me so much money i could have used for other things,but i will tell all my friends about it for when they are expecting!!thanks oh and being experienced with potty training girls about 2 and a half and boys 3 to 3 and a half so diapers may be on that cute little tush longer than you think plus then there is the bed wetters so stock up on those cloth dipes!

Lisa on

I started cloth diapering with our 2nd daughter. Within 2 weeks of switching our 2.5 yr old to cloth, she was toilet training herself, with NO input from me on it.

A 1990 study of energy is 20 years old…VERY out of date. Most everybody has HE washers & dryers. My front loader takes 1/4 of the water that old style do. So you’ll have to rethink how you’re impacting mother earth with a RECENT study. There has been no difference on our water bill. I do a load every 2-3 days.

I use Bum Genius 3.0, which I love, but now there are the new Flips out, which would even be better, I reckon.

Jessica on

What an informative article — truly something to consider. Also, what an incredibly adorable photo!

Diana on

With my 1st 2 kids I never knew there was cloth diapers beyond the old cloth and pins! Which I owuld not do! Then with my youngest I found all those nice cloth and clothed him for the longest time!!! Huggabuns, and blueberry’s where two of my favs!!

mel on

another great pocket diaper is kawaii baby diapers. you can get them at http://www.theluvyourbaby.com . they are fantastic! my son will be 2 this month and we’ve been using cloth since birth. it’s good to see mainstream media talking about cloth diapers!

Jane on

I used disposable for both my sons. Neither EVER got a diaper rash. Each was changed about every 3 hours except when sleeping through the night. I would MUCH rather use disposables. But ‘different strokes for different folks.” Go for it, Constance..

Dannielle on

REALLY enjoy reading your blog. I am not a mother but my sister is pregnant with twins. She has been experimenting with the idea of cloth diapers and I just forwarded her this blog post. :) Keep up the great writing!!

Luna is GORGEOUS :)

Sheila on

I like to use both cloth and disposables for different reasons. Cloth isn’t necessarily ‘greener’ due to the water usage and everything else that goes into keeping them clean, and they aren’t necessarily better for the baby’s bottoms,. I have found the main reason babies break out and or get diaper rashes from disposables AND cloth, is due to the parent’s not changing the diapers as soon as they become soiled.
I have NEVER had any of my three kids or three grandkids with rashes of any sort from any type of diaper because their butts get changed immediately after soiling. It’s just common sense and a lot of the problems are avoidable with both cloth and disposables.

It’s a matter of choice and convenience with whether a parent chooses one over the other when it comes to cloth or disposables, but the main goal is to keep the baby happy and healthy. I have found as far as the environment goes…it’s a touchy subject and no matter how careful we all try to be, it’s still never going to be enough. As far as the person who wrote that water is plentiful…guess again Einstein, our planets resources are rapidly fading due to ignorance like that.

Jennifer on

Yay! I was once so misinformed about cloth diapering! With my first two children, I did not even consider it and thought it was basically nuts. I didn’t want to have to mess with poop and leaking and all the other misconceptions people have about cloth. But then I was a member of an online community for pregnant women and women with small children and I started noticing all the cute cloth diapers! So I decided to start asking questions of my mommy friends. What I found out was that I really wanted to try cloth with my third child! She was about 9 months old when I began. I sewed my own fitteds in all sorts of cute flannel prints, but these did need a separate cover. I also got some Gerber prefolds (the good ones at Target, not the thin ones) and covers. I didn’t want to make a big investment in all-in-ones if I was going to hate cloth diapers. But, I LOVED it. I mostly got the AIOs for daycare (yep, it is possible to work full time and CD–I do!). I quickly built up a stash and never had to buy CDs again. By the time I actually went to cloth, my daughter was in large and stayed in the same size until she potty trained at about 2 1/2 years old. Way easier than my kiddos in disposables. I absolutely loved Happy Heinys and I also loved Mommy’s Touch, Thirsties and Drybees. I did not like BumGenius much because they were made small and the velcro curled terribly. Also Bumkins rock! Seriously, my baby had a rock n roll diaper that she absolutely loved to wear!

Anonymous on

Yea for cloth diapers! So glad to see a celeb mom shine some positive light on them. I’m a cloth diaper mom myself and my 16 month old has done wonderfully in them. We had to use disposables during a move for a month or so and I thought I’d go crazy. I NEVER have blowouts, yes cloth diapers hold the poop better and never get rashes. Love that she said “these aren’t your grandma’s diapers” because she is so right, so many cloth options out there (love bumgenius myself).
p.s. Elizabeth, we too live in an apt and bought a washer/dryer combo that hooks up to our sink (LG makes it) and plugs into a regular outlet. It is a cloth diaper mom godsent.

Aimie on

Great article! Luna looks adorable in her Happy Heinys dipes. For any Canadians, we are honoring this code at ClothDiaperMom.com

SH on

I have 3 kids who all used cloth. My twins I could have never bought that many diapers… it is nice to see that people are thinking of our earth.

Salma on

Potty training has no bearing on whether you’ve used cloth or disposable diapers. I used disposable on my now 16 month old and he’s already potty trained. I might try cloth just for the sake of it for next time. Good ideas.

c on

Anyone who has a problem with rashes on their babies’ bottoms should try one very simple thing —

Just stop using those store-bought baby wipes on your kids’ delicate parts. Use a cloth and water to clean them up, instead (and then throw the cloth in the wash.)

I can guarantee that the vast majority of rashes are simple chemical irritations caused by those perfumed and unnatural chemical mixtures in which disposable wipes are soaked.

elle on

How do you disinfect your washer? I’m thinking about all the poo that must be left in the washer. Is that a valid question?

Alex on

If you are really hesitant or wary of using cloth diapers (especially when its an issue of convenience, and questions of using them while out-and-about, having to carry a wet bag, like some mentioned was a concern)… you can always try a HYBRID diaper. Like gDiapers, GroVia, or Flip System by bumGenius!

If you’re used to the convenience of a disposable diaper, you can use the disposable inserts which can be thrown away. But unlike traditional disposables are biodegradable and also flushable!

Hybrids also allow for cloth inserts. So you can go 100% cloth, use disposable inserts, or switch back & forth when needed.

– Shay on June 2nd, 2010

Big fan of gDiapers!

ellen on

Your my new hero. When I had my children and that was 19 and almost 22 years ago, I too opted for cloth diapers. My mom had suggested it and now that I am an environmentally caring person I’m glad i did. Not only did I not fill the landfills with non biodegradable waste my children NEVER ONCE had diaper rash, not even irritation,prickly heat nothing and I later found out that’s b/c with cloth diapers you know when their wet, the disposable ones feel dry even though they might weigh 5 lbs b/c of the urine. People get scared about the pins and rubber pants i guess but I saved thousands of dollars and a little part of Mother Earth!!

D on

I tried the cloth diaper thing with my first child, now 18, and just couldn’t handle the smell and the mess. To each his own, but I preferred disposables. Although all of my kids are well potty trained, and I’m a waaaaay past this stage in my life, I wouldn’t go back to using cloth diapers. If they work for some, more power to them. To me, they were just a royal pain in the butt.

Courtney on

Dear Mallory – You take something called a wetbag with you when you’re out. Since you’re most likely in the bathroom anyway, you knock most of the solid poo into the toilet, and then put the diaper in the wetbag. If your baby is younger and breastfed, you don’t need to do anything (it all just comes out in the wash if you do a cold rinse cycle first)The bag is made of a waterproof material called PUL. I have three, one in a smaller size for upstairs in the babys room which i bring downstairs and empty twice a day into the bigger wetbag (in a garbage pail) I have a very small one in my diaper bag that can hold 2-3 diapers. If I was gone for a long period I would probaby take the small bag in the room.

If you’d like more info on the logistics of cloth diapering, (this is for anyone) check out http://www.diaperswappers.com. This is where I found alot of help from the great moms on there when I started cloth diapering.

KT. Cloth diapers are better for the earth by a long shot. disposables do not biodegrade, are leeching chemicals into our soil through landfills, use TONS of water and energy to mass produce and ship to retailers. If you aren’t willing to do the research on cloth diapering, don’t debate something you know nothing about. I’m fine with those that choose disposables, (after all, I did with my first boy) but common sense, honestly. 2 extra loads of laundry a week does not equal two TONNES of waste (per child!) for five hundered years in a landfill.

Macy – exactly, once you demonstrate how the cloth diapers work, they will usually be alright with accepting them at daycare. Even if you can’t find someone who will use them at a centre, you can find a home daycare no problem once you explain. We use prefolds and covers at home but have special daycare dipes set aside that are easier. Although once you get used to the prefold/cover system it really is just as fast.

Kelly – I’m sorry you had a bad experience with gDiapers. Alot of moms don’t like them (me included) because of the fit issues and also the expense. There are alot more options and I’m certain if you would have shopped around you would have found one you fell in love with. We currently have and love : bumgenius sized diapers, bumgenius organic one size diapers, rumparooz one sized diapers, and prefolds with thirsties covers. Sometimes it takes an assorment of different kinds and searching for the right kind to find what works for your baby, as every baby is built differently. (which goes the same with disposables as well!)I actually find our well-fitting cloth diapers to contain better than disposables ever did (especially with runny breastfed poo)

to the writer of the article: thanks for drawing attention to cloth diapering! I know if I had known about cloth diapers I would have definatly used them with my first. I hope this article has inspired some moms to look into it!

Lake on

All I ever used was cloth, and now that my son is 17 I STILL used them all the time: to wipe up dog vomit, to mop up spills, to soak up water when the washer overflows. Cotton diapers are wonderful lovely soft things. Single-use “disposable” diapers are anathema, should never have been invented!!! There is no such things as “disposable,” all you do is move it to somewhere else on the planet! Try piling all of them your yard for two years, then you might think about what you’re really doing. And no, the “main goal” is not to keep your baby happy and healthy. How solipsistic is that? What about other people’s babies (adult and otherwise)? What about “greater good?” DUH! We’re all tied together, all organisms

Ann on

I have been using FuzziBunz perfect fit diapers since my daughter was born (she is now 14 months). I chose FuzziBunz over BumGenius because they have snap closures instead of velcro. Many people complain that the velcro doesn’t last after so many laundry cycles. My experience with FuzziBunz has been great! At one point the elastic inside one of my diapers broke and FuzziBunz replaced it with a brand new one right away.

Some people above complained that they quit cloth diapers due to leaks. One great thing about pocket style cloth diapers is that you can add in extra inserts to increase the absorbancy. There are inexpensive hemp inserts that I use along with the cotton inserts for my heavy wetter. No more leaks!

As for those who say that carrying around a soiled diaper is too gross— I have a waterproof cloth zipper bag that I keep in my diaper bag. When I am out and need to change my daughter the dirty diapers go in the bag, which I zip shut, and that’s it. When I do a load of laundry I simply unzip the bag, shake out the diapers into the wash, and throw in the zipper bag to get washed too.

As for smell, I will not lie. After two days my diaper pail does get stinky (especially in warm weather) so I wash my diapers at least every other day. One nice remedy that I have found is to put a couple drops of tea tree oil in the diaper pail liner. Most of the waterproof cloth diaper pail liners have a small square fleece tab on the inside just for this purpose. My “on the go” zipper bag even has one. I actually like the fresh smell of tea tree oil that escapes when I open up the diaper pail or zipper bag. It is quite calming in the midst of a diaper change!

K Edwards on

We cloth diapered for a long time with both my children and we loved it! However, with my youngest, she was having some serious issues with the cloth after about a year so I had to say goodbye to them.

I love it when people cite studies from 20 years ago. Please realize this is the year 2010 and cloth diapering has changed so much within the last decade. There’s no need for a diaper service when you can do them at home. There is no fuel emission after you purchase the diapers once and do the diaper laundry in your own home. However, there is fuel emission everytime you run to the store to buy your disposables.

Jennifer on

Another thing you can use for storing/transporting dirty diapers is a small tote box with a hinged lid that clips shut (about 4 bucks). This is what I carried back and forth from the babysitter’s. To store dirties at home, I just used a medium sized trash can with a lid that I set on my dryer. You can sprinkle in baking soda or borax to cut down on smell, but I honestly never had a smell problem whatsoever.

Magan on

Its nice to see someone promoting cloth diapers! I cloth diaper my 2 yr old and also my 2 mos old. A lot of people think Im nuts to do it but I enjoy doing it and happy to shop for cute new prints!

Angela on

I second the comment about the 20 YEAR age of the study comparing environmental impact of cloth vs. disposables. The information presented is VERY outdated, as cloth diapers and laundering methods/machinery have come a long way since 1990. As I read the article, I kept thinking to myself, “I don’t wash my cloth diapers everyday!” as the study suggests accounts for $40+/month maintenance costs of cloth. I don’t spend $1.32 per load for detergent, because I buy in bulk (I have a 5 gallon container) of non-toxic, non-additive, biodegradable Charlie’s Soap, which doesn’t have the same impact as standard detergent. I frequently use wind power (aka. a clothesline) to dry my dipes, and to assist with staining and sterilization. These are just a few examples of how the cited study misrepresents cloth diaper use TODAY.

But, I recognize that the choice to use cloth is just that–my choice. I can’t speak for other parents or know the intricacies of their situations, or pass judgment on their diapering methods. I’ll speak positively and enthusiastically about my experience with cloth, but I understand the convenience and purpose for disposables. I even use them occasionally, esp. for trips. But kudos to the author for sharing her experience and the research she has gleaned….great article!

Courtney on

D – 18 years is a long time, and things have changed alot since then. My mother in law was just as skeptical as you and told me my house would stink. You know what? My house did stink–for the week we used disposables. I have never in my life smelt that amount of stench. The chemicals in the diapers react with the urine and feces and THAT is what smells.

My cloth diapers get washed once every 2-3 days. They are in an OPEN dry pail in my basement. You can’t smell a thing. :)

Kira on

YAY! I did not expect a celebrity to talk about cloth diapering at ALL! We are planning to cloth diaper out child due in July!
A lot of the other moms have talked about all of the options, so I am not going to repeat what they said.
My cousin clothed diapered her children, including a set of twins! Someone asked a question on how you disinfect the washer…well…most moms rinse the diapers out first. There is stil SOME poopies left in the diaper for sure, but if you run a pre-rinse cycle with your washer, that should get out a lot of the nasties too. ALSO, if you wash your diapers in hot water, that gets rid of poopies…and if you are STILL worried about poop, I say, run a cycle with no clothes, just bleach, then wash a load of white towels with bleach. This should clear out anything you are worried about. It is not as gross as it sounds though. Kids vomit all over their clothes, have nasty leaking poop (using a sposie or cloth, it happens), and most parents don’t even bat an eye about throwing that stuff in the wash.

amandamay on

I don’t really have a definite opinion on cloth diapering – I don’t have a baby/young child, mine is older (almost 8). It seems like a good idea, but I’m also wondering about the impact of cloth diapering to the environment. I’m no expert, this is just what I’ve been thinking about while reading this debate in the comments section. I know that technically water is a “renewable” resource, but people don’t seem to realize that we’re in a major water shortage, especially in states like california, where I live. Not all water is equal. I’m talking about “usable” water – “The Earth has a finite supply of fresh water, stored in aquifers, surface waters and the atmosphere. Sometimes oceans are mistaken for available water, but the amount of energy needed to convert saline water to potable water is prohibitive today, explaining why only a very small fraction of the world’s water supply derives from desalination.” Our usable water is FINITE. People don’t seem to understand that. And with global warming, our ice stores are shrinking.

How does this relate to this discussion? All of you flushing poop down the toilet from each baby diaper are wasting huge amounts of water (Average U.S. toilets use 2-3 gallons of water each flush). Washing the diapers uses a huge amount of water (Even using energy/water efficient models) when added up. Does this mean I’m against cloth diapers? Not at all. I’m just thinking we still need to find a better solution. Is there one? Who knows.

romy on

so when you are out do you carry the poopy diaper (poop dumped out of course) around in your bag till you get home? I prefer disposable, but whatever works for everyone is great. I’ve never had that moment of running out of diapers and someone mentioned above. they’re kept in my laundry room, so I would see daily how low the stash was getting, and stores are close to our house. Kira, I DO bat an eye at poop and vomit filled clothes when we have to wash them! luckily poop leaks rarely happened, and vomit even less!

K.T. on

Dear Courtney (who said I knew nothing about cloth diapers): no need to be insulting.

My husband is an environmental scientist; I hear all about causation, correlation and environmental impact on this or that pretty much all day, every day.

Did you bother to read the other posts re: links and article quotes? To copy and paste Beatrice “A 1990 study concluded that cloth diapers used twice as much energy and four times as much water as disposables, and created greater air and water pollution than disposables (8). Commercial diaper services pose similar concerns, plus additional fuel use and air pollution created by delivery trucks. Emissions from home and diaper service drying equipment contribute to air pollution. While disposable diapers use more raw materials in the manufacturing process, cloth diapers use greater resources after use or care. Use of disposables raises a concern about solid waste management, while cloth diapers contribute to air and water pollution and possible taxing of municipal water and sewage systems.”

Again, if people want to use cloth, I think that is awesome. But anyone who thinks that they are better for the environment is fooling themselves.

Yes, water, as in “ocean water” is a renewable resource. I don’t know where you live, but where I live two years ago we almost – literally – ran out of water. People filling their swimming pools and doing load after load of dishes and laundry didn’t exactly help the matter.

I can have my husband email you all the independent research his department has conducted on this as well as CFL’s (those contain mercury; most people that buy them have no idea they need a hazmat crew to come out and clean their home if they break one; another ingenious “environmental” product).

Danielle on

I am a working mother who has only and will only use cloth. I got a note from my pediatrician that says my baby MUST use cloth and that gave my daycare no choice legally (at least in my state). Washing them does not take any time away from my baby as I always toss them in when she’s napping and we put them away together. Don’t let working stop you from making the right choice for your baby! It is absolutely possible and not difficult or time consuming at all.

Faith on

On the comments about flushing poop: you are legally supposed to flush poop with ALL diapers–including disposables!! It is illegal to dispose of human waste, such as throwing away a poop-filled diaper. Every box of Pampers I bought with my first daughter said this in fine print on the side. So you are supposed to waste all that water flushing poop with ANY diaper, cloth or disposable. :)

Elby on

Amandamay – we’ll just have to train our kids to pee in the bushes ;)

Katrina on

Thank you for your article, I want to clear up a few comments of very much misinformation.

Cloth diapers – particularly the new type of cloth diapers will NOT cause more rashes, it is just the opposite.

You should NOT place your soiled diapers into a “soapy bleachy solution,” diaper should be stored in a dry pail, or bag (“Wetbag”) designed for soiled diapers.

For anyone extremely concerned with the useage of water in washing cloth diapers must be unaware of the hundreds of thousands gallons of water used in the production of disposable diapers.
Also please if you are so worried, stop washing your clothes and “flushing the toilets so much” too while you are at it!
Sheesh that is the worst argument ever!

I have proudly cloth diapered my son from the begining, the only change is that I add about 2 loads of laundry a week to my life – I don’t pay for diapers each week – my son has never needed diaper rash creams – he is not being exposed to toxic chemicals day in and day out many of which are banned in feminine products or all together in other countries.

Lisa on

amandamay, technically you’re supposed to be flushing solid waste from disposables, too. Human waste is not meant to go to landfills. Some packages of sposies even say that (I didn’t find it on my Luvs package, though).

And for the parents who are reluctant to try because their kids go to daycare – cloth doesn’t have to be all or nothing! Mine is in Luvs at daycare and cloth at home.

And I’m also reluctant to believe a 20-year-old study put out by the paper industry on the harmful effects of cloth. Please. An extra wash cycle (and a few toilet flushes) every few days with some additive-free, biodegradable detergent on 100% cotton fabric that was bleached with peroxide, if at all, that I can reuse through several children. Versus the several hundred (or more) plastic- and chemical-filled diapers that will sit in a landfill for 100+ years, and that’s just for ONE child.

Mari on

They don’t look like cloth diapers to me unless they are special ones with patterns.

Megan on

“I kid you not, I have a photo of poop on my engagement ring that I sent to my friends with the caption, “I love my life!”

She seems like an awesome, down to earth mom. But this ? Eww. Not necessary to do to your friends.

Ameya on

We LOVE cloth diapering too! Thanks for helping get the word out! They have this stigma of being really gross somehow when disposables are so much worse! my husband changes diapers for a living and he’s so happy to come home and change a cloth diaper instead of disposables! They are great for the earth and great for the butt and super-great for the wallet!

another amanda on

amandamay said:
“All of you flushing poop down the toilet from each baby diaper are wasting huge amounts of water (Average U.S. toilets use 2-3 gallons of water each flush).”

It really doesn’t turn out to be that much flushing. Each day after we pick up the 2 kids at day care (where they use cloth diapers) we spray out the poop from their diapers into the toilet. It is only one (very occasionally two) flush per day. i.e., less than if they were pooping on the potty 2x/day.

Besides, the same should be done for disposables–human waste should not end up in landfills; it still needs to be shaken out of disposable diapers.

Also, way to go with the 20 year old study! I don’t think I can really take that seriously. Much has changed in the past 20 years!

We are a two career, two child family, and cloth diapers are not an inconvenience to us. Glad to see more information out there on how great they are! Thanks Constance Marie!

fuzibuni on

those commenting that disposables are not worse then cloth are either in denial, or getting paid to leave those comments.

while doing several extra loads of wash each week is not necessarily “good” for the environment it is far better than all the energy it takes to manufacture, distribute, and sell disposable diapers.

It takes hundreds of years, and massive amounts of space in landfills, to get rid of disposables. not to mention the unknown health risks to your children that come from direct exposure to these chemicals.

i think the poster above who asked whether people would continue to use disposables if they had to bury them in the backyard is spot on. Many people act with an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality that does nothing but leave their children a polluted planet.

and for those who cite their daycare rules for not using cloth or biodegradable diapers… have you tried to educate your daycare provider? or do as another mother above, and bring a doctors note?

Disposables are not better for your children, your grandchildren, your pocket book, or your environment. They may seem easier, but the negative repercussions are far reaching and complicated.

thank you constance marie for raising this issue in a public forum!

Gina on

So glad to read someone who loves cloth diapers as much as I do! My daughters have been in cloth diapers from birth (until my 2 year old just potty learned) and we love them! They’re so easy, so much better for them, and so much cheaper in the long run!

crystal sostre on

OK.. let me get this straight.

You wash the urine saturated, and poo stained diapers in your washing machine!? I’m sorry but that is disgusting. What happens when your washer and dryer start smelling of ammonia and poo? Do you hand wash them first? Then machine wash?

I just don’t think I could wash a load of my work clothes knowing I just previouly washed urine filled diapers the load before. I think If I went the cloth diaper route, I would get the service, where they pick them up and wash them for you.

Another thing I am confused about… is “dumping the poo out” so do you have a shit bucket next to the changing table? run to the toilet to dump it.. or what if you are in public? you can’t throw the diaper away.. so you just carry them with you?!

someone please explain this!

scooby on

FYI lots of places have cloth diaper services for those who want to try them. I live in NYC and there is a company called DiaperKind that picks up soiled diapers and drops off fresh ones once a week. If you live in Manhattan (or any of the nearby areas you should look them up!)

Anonymous on

Not that I care too much about getting into the environmental debate, but just to point out a few obvious things that people seem to forget…babies are PEOPLE just like the rest of us. Of COURSE when they go number 2 that would require a flush of the toilet just like when adults go. You know even with disposables you are supposed to flush the solids. It’s illegal to trash it, it says so right on every package of disposables. And as people, babies also require their clothing to be laundered, just like our own clothes and underthings. Just think of their diapers like underpants. Don’t many of us have separate loads for our delicates? I just don’t see where all the extra water wastage is that people are claming. Babies are people too and require resources to live, same as the rest of us. If you want to help the environment, have fewer kids.

If you use disposable, I recommend Earth’s Best. They are really nice and don’t have the nasty gel or chemicals, love them. If you want a hybrid, Flips are awesome. The disposable inserts work great, and the covers also work great over a trifolded prefold or fitted. Whatever option you choose, flush the poops and your house and trash cans won’t smell disgusting! You don’t need a diaper genie if you dispose of waste properly!

Melissa on

Someone asked about disinfecting the washer – you can use Clorox “anywhere hard surface spray” and spray it all over the inside, and let it dry. Another option, and I know it sounds weird, is lemon juice! Lemon juice is a natural disinfectant, scientifically proven to kill bacteria. You can pour some in the washer when you wash the diapers (doesn’t take a bunch) rather than using liquid bleach or other harsh things. You can mix up warm water, baking soda, and lemon juice together, dip a rag in it and wipe the inside of the washer. I use this same mix to clean the fridge, high chairs, toys, all kinds of stuff that I don’t want to use harsh chemicals. A microwave trick – put a bowl of water and lemon juice inside and microwave it for about 2 minutes (long enough to boil a little). Dip your rag in the bowl, and wipe away all the grime in the microwave. It comes off so easy, and nothing harsh in the microwave!! I get big bottles of lemon juice at the store – so inexpensive. I know there are “all natural” cleaners you can buy at the store, but they are all still loaded with stuff I can’t pronounce. This is much easier, cheaper, and I have no hesitation about using it where we cook, eat, or store our food.

Also, my girls have very sensitive skin and get rashy for what seems like no reason at all. I sprinkle baking soda in their bath water, and their skin feels better almost instantly. Diaper rash, eczema, bug bites, whatever – a baking soda bath takes all the fire out of it.

Lexy on

Great post! I also cloth diaper and love it. For those of you who say B.S. to cloth because their babies NEVER got a diaper rash– great. Not all babies in disposables will get a diaper rash, and some cloth diapered babies will have a sensitivity.

What do you say to all the diapers you dumped in a land fill? I think that’s a pretty important point.
We can all debate whether Cloth diapered babies potty learn faster, do or don’t get diaper rashes, and how much energy we use washing- but you can’t deny the years of pollution put onto this earth with disposable diapers.

izzy on

i hope all you ladies fiercly advocating cloth diapers also use cloth sanitary napkins.

Giselle on

Thanks for such a great post. Setting aside that cloth diapers are better for the planet – they are worth using just because they are so incredibly cute on baby, soft on their skin and believe it or not…are so much fun to use!

Regarding flushing poopy down the toilet – did you know that you are supposed to also flush poop down the toilet even when using a disposable diaper? Says so right on the bag. ;) So, no, disposables are not at all disposables. They never go away and aren’t biodegradable. There are so many benefits of using cloth diapers and everyone has covered so many of them. I hope this article and posts help those considering cloth to just make the jump and go cloth. :)

Giselle
http://www.granolababies.com

Angela on

Re: cloth sanitary pads

Many mamas who cloth diaper look into cloth options for Aunt Flo. I personally prefer a Diva Cup instead–no waste, no laundering; just dump, rinse, reinsert. Occasional boil.

Traci on

I’m not a mom yet, but this information is really helpful:) I’m tempted to get my sister to try them though my neice is already 8 months old.
I dont really understand the the cloth website that well though. Are the inserts washable as well or do you throw them away? Thank you for sharing Constance. I enjoyed reading this blog so much I acutally went back to read your other two:)
Btw Constance your family is beautiful!!!:)

mc on

NYC has a diaper service!

I did mine in my apartment building back when my son was a baby. It was not that bad. But a service makes it much easier.

mc on

I cloth diapered my son. And I love my cloth pads, but I use my Diva more.

I don’t think that just because you choose one option means you have to choose the others. Thankfully, we are not required to stick to a strict set of rules, and we can make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.

Bancie1031 on

Luna is sooo cute …. she looks just like Constance …. Constance is such a happy mommy :D

Rachel on

We have used cloth diapers with both of our children. After my son would break out in a bleeding rash with disposables (pampers were the worst! and yes we changed him as soon as we could tell he was wet, which is hard with disposables by the way because they are made to feel dry for the baby bot like cloth which you can tell instantly) we were ordered by the pediatrician not to put another disposable on him. We liked cloth so much we used it for our second child also. We used pockets and fitteds with our first, fitteds and prefolds with our second. Prefolds are great for those who have a hard time finding a good fit for their baby and will work with a babies changing shape (skinny newborn to chubby toddler).

Crystal (and anyone else worried about unsanitary conditions in washing machines)- What do you do if your baby gets urine or poop or spits up on their clothing? Throw it away? No you wash it. What about if you get blood on your clothing? you wash it. Mud? wash it. That would be ridiculous to throw away clothing because of any of those. Your washer has more then likely seen it all before cloth diapers are in it. Laundry detergent is a cleaner too so the washing machine is getting cleaned while you wash it. If you are really concerned do a cold rinse with vinegar before your next load.

another amanda on

Re: cloth sanitary pads

random, I certainly do! So much cheaper!

Also, cloth nursing pads too. Much cheaper than the disposable nursing pads.

Linda B on

Great post Constance you are AWESOME!!!
As someone who has been in this business for going on 10 yrs I just want to share a little of my knowledge.

1: In CA and several states it is illegal for a day care worker to not allow cloth. All children are technically allergic to disposable diapers due to the chemicals in them. If your daycare is reluctant to using cloth, ask you pediatrician for a prescription and the day care will have no choice but to use cloth or it is a violation of your babies rights.

2:I want to start by saying I really like the theory behind G-diapers. They developed an awesome system and it has helped many parents make that big step to all cloth. BUT there a couple of miss conceptions about ALL brands of hybrids:
The should NOT be flushed. Here is California our piping is old and clogs easily. I know of one very popular celebrity who was quite embarrassed when she had to call the plumber to unclog the system. I also know of a person living in NY who was charged an outrageous bill due to the flushing the insert and clogging the pipes of their building. They were responsible for getting the ENTIRE system fixed.
Next and very important is if you are using cloth in order to stay away from the chemicals do NOT use a hybrid or a so-called natural disposable diapers. Every single natural and hybrid has the same SAP’s that are cancer causing agents. The only “organic” thing about these is they may not be dyed white, big deal.

2: So many people bring up the water issue and where I live we are in a water crisis. Water limitations, no yard watering, etc. What many people do not realize is the amount of water it takes to prepare the trees and petroleum that will soon become your diaper. Even though there is water involved in the material manufacturing of fabrics, there is no water involved in the manufacturing of cloth diapers (except of course what the employees are drinking ;) )
It is hard to look back at the entire life of a product and looking at the entire life of a disposable really puts to shame what they have touted for many years.
Further with water, we have figured out that the water & utility cost per diaper is $.012 that is slightly more than 1 penny. We have had several non-scientific studies done on this. We have requested that several parents from several states and countries send us the total of their water and utility bills for the year prior to starting cloth and for the first year of cloth. The average was $20-$30 increase in water usage per year. This is total water usage so it includes all of babies laundry, babies baths, your extra baths, more laundry, formula and anything else so in reality that 1 penny is actually far less.

4: The 1990 study was very flawed and many items in it have been pulled back. It was also commissioned by the disposable diaper companies. It was also based on old fashion diaper services and trucks traveling around. It did not take into account the style of diapers that were developed 10 yrs after the study was done. It also does not take into account the HE machines and more. But the bottom line is the disposable diaper companies paid for it.
To take this a little further, at this time in 1990’s cloth was making a large comeback. Proctor and Gamble mounted a $50 million dollar campaign stating how natural their diapers were and gave people the impression they were biodegradable (sound familiar). They sent mailers to every new mother as well as coupons. Most cloth diapers went out of business because mothers were told that disposable was now just as safe as cloth.
IRONICALLY THE BRITISH COMMISSION INVESTIGATED AND FOUND ALL OF THEIR ADVERTISING TO BE ONE BIG LIE. PROCTOR AND GAMBLE WERE FINED BUT THE DAMAGE WAS ALREADY DONE.
Just giving the very short vs. here but you can read all about it in this issue of Mothering Magazine. All of the facts are there. Including the information found to be true by court when Proctor and Gamble was fined.

5: The poop. Legally you are supposed to dump ALL waste in the toilet. Even the dumping of dog poop in your trash is illegal. Most people have no idea about this and the chances of someone getting in trouble is slim to none. All disposable boxes used to say this, now only a few do. Huggies does on some of their packages as well as costco.
As any veteran mom knows cloth or not you will be washing poo in your washing machine. I’m not going to get into detail but it really is not a big issue. The poo is our biggest hurdle in helping a new mother and I totally understand it it stinks and is nasty but it is truly easy with todays diapers.
A huge benefit to cloth is not having the midnight trip to 7/eleven and paying out the behind for a tiny pack of diapers.

6: Finally, again a non-scientific test regarding heat and various diapers. First PUL is actually a breathable material at least the stuff made in the USA is. The test done on several babies in several areas including Atlanta in the dead of summer was that mom put the baby to bed every night for 1 week in the same style/brand diaper. As soon as mom woke up in the morning or baby before moving baby the mom would stick a thermometer into the diaper area. We were very surprised that all the temperatures came out to be with in a degree of each other except for the disposable diaper. The disposable diaper used was one of the “cloth like” ones that are supposed to breath. Again unscientific but it was done.

Lastly, cloth diaper are not for everyone and no one should feel bad or be made to feel bad for not using them. My first 2 were disposable diapered and my last cloth diapered. When my last was born I had no idea about the chemicals and more importantly the off-gassing of the diapers. The link between asthma/chronic lung disease and my child was huge.If someone wants to try cloth diapers go for it. DO NOT BUY A BUNCH OF ONE BRAND THOUGH. Buy a diaper here and there of a couple different brands and find one that works for your baby. Just like disposable diapers not every diaper fits every child. You can opt to cloth only while at home, after work, but before bed. That is great and it makes an impact to your wallet and to the environment. Using cloth is a personal choice just like breast feeding and baby wearing. Do what is right for your family but be sure to make an informed decision. There are many studies out there for everything, read and believe only the ones done by groups with no stake in that product being studied. Only then will you find the truth.
There are many benefits to using cloth and I have a feeling my post may be a little too long so I won’t go there except for to say educate yourself. Don’t just read from manufacturers, talk to friends, people in play groups, go to your local boutique baby store and touch them and feel them, then talk to the customers in that store.

KJones on

So nice to see another celebrity promoting cloth diapering. Julia Roberts and her article about using gdiapers on her twins was one of the things that pushed me to make the switch to cloth in the first place :)

As a mom of 3 who used disposable diapers with my first 2 and is now cloth diapering the 3rd, I wish I had known how easy cloth diapering was. It would have saved me so much money. And headaches with diaper rash and stinking diaper pails with my first 2 kids. That stink of the diaper genie when it was time to empty it still haunts me…lol

I LOVE the comment that these are not grandma’s cloth diapers… so TRUE!! We use a mix of pocket diapers, all-in-one diapers, fitteds and hybrids

You can get something as simple as an all-in-one diaper (all one piece, no waterproof covers needed, and no inserts to mess with) that you really just put on and take off like a disposable but instead of trashing it, you store it in a pail until wash time. Our favorite is the BumGenius Organic All-In-One because they are quicker drying than others.

A hybrid diaper is also an easy option… some form of waterproof cover that you switch out the inserts in… only changing the cover out when it gets dirty.. this option is usually much cheaper too if you use cloth instead of the biodegradeable inserts. We started out with gdiapers like I mentioned and loved those at the time (with homemade cloth inserts and the flushable ones) but we now use Flip with a stay-dri insert which is even easier( Flip is a one piece covers vs. gdiapers 2 piece cover). and their biodegradeable inserts are so much softer too.

Pocket diapers are an easy option as well, they just require a little more time for laundry, I prestuff everything though so it’s all ready to go and just as easy as an all-in-one when it comes to diaper changes. FYI- I also stuff my pocket diapers while watching tv in the evening like the previous poster said. We’ve used FuzziBunz and HappyHeiny’s but did not care for those ones. We love our AppleCheeks, BumGenius 3.0 and Kawaii diapers though.

We also have some fitted diapers from a local mom who makes her own , we love the prints but they were not our favorite diapers. We are liking them more now with potty training though because they offer a more absorbant option but still allow our daughter to know when she has wet without a puddle on the floor.

WASHING
We dump the solids in the toilet and store the used diapers just as they are (no rinsing, dunking or soaking) in a step can with a washable waterproof liner (wet bag) that goes
right into the wash with the diapers. We use a product called Sprinkles which is a powder you sprinkle in to the diaper bag to help battle the stinkies… but honestly it does not smell any worse than your kitchen garbage. And no where close to the awful diaper genie stench ;P

We wash diapers every 3 days. First we take the entire wetbag out of the pail, push all the diapers into the washing machine while turning the wetbag inside out into the machine as well… no touching any dirty diapers at all. And you don’t have to wash out your pail either because the dirties are all inside the bag you are washing.

We do an initial rinse cycle with cold water then wash all the diapers on hot water with a Tbsp of Crunchy Clean diaper detergent (all natural and comes in yummy scents like Monkey Farts and Pink Sugar… how could you not love laundry time with those).

The covers all get hung to dry (but most can be thrown in the dryer) and the insides either get thrown in the dryer if I need them rather quickly or also hung to dry overnight then fluffed in the morning for softness.

As for the disinfecting the washing machine comment… did you know that no detergent actually sanitizes your laundry? Chlorine bleach will kill that bacteria but it’s harsh on clothing and bad for the environment. Detergent is intended to loosen soil from the fabric so it can be rinsed out, it does not kill the bacteria. Think about it this way… you wash your undies in the washing machine, there is small amounts of urine and feces in them too. Do you sterilize your machine after washing your undies?

After washing our diapers, I usually throw in a load of whites and run it through on hot with some Oxygen Bleach and regular detergent. No washing the machine or anything like that. Everything comes out smelling fresh and clean.

I’d also like to point out that our water bill has increased by only about $5 a month since the 3rd child arrived and that’s with a whole other person’s laundry, bath’s, dishes, etc… as well as the diapers, so really it’s not that much more water to wash the diapers at home.

We dry most of the diapers by hanging them so there has not been a noticeable increase in power. Even washing on hot water and having an electric hot water heater.

OUTINGS
When we are out during the day shopping or visiting friends we use a smaller wetbag that is zippered. Wet diapers go right into the wetbag, for poop we dump the solids in a toilet and fold the diapers up and zip them into the wetbag too. These bags are totally waterproof and hold the smells in… no different than wrapping up a pair of baby’s pants that got a poop leak on them to bring them home. And at least the wetbag is leak proof unlike the plastic grocery bags most people use for those kind of accidents.

There are flushable liners that you can buy (which look similar to a dryer sheet) that is laid on the top of the diaper next to baby’s skin which you can lift right out of the diaper (or dump out) so you don’t have to mess around with poop sticking to the diapers even.

Another option for outings are the biodegradeable inserts that others have mentioned which are a disposable insert put inside the cloth cover, so you throw away the dirty ones and put a new one in. These are way better than traditional disposable diapers because they do not have the plastic in them that takes forever to break down in landfills.

We have used both gdiapers with flushable inserts and Flip diapers with cloth inserts for camping trips and vacations up to a week long, as long as you can do laundry once on a trip it is totally do-able. I love the discussions that get started by cloth diapers hanging to dry in the campground :)

Wow, I feel like I just wrote my own blog… lol, sorry I just had so mcuh to say.

Sylvia on

Lucky me no disposible diapers were available when my first daughter was born, so she wore cloth diapers, which my mother embroidered one corner with her initials; so they would not get mixed up with my girlfriends baby diabers. Washed and dried in the sun. Healthy Healthy Healthy today at 51 she has always been my healthiest child. Very economical and with a special grandma touch.

tonya on

Some people have stated studies that say cloth is no better than disposables. Please be aware that alot of those studies were “sponsored”/conducted by major disposable diaper companies. Just try to make the best choice for your child and our Earth only each person knows what that is :)

tonya on

Linda B. What excellent points you make !

MiB on

I used to work in daycare and had a couple of kids using cloth diapers. That wasn’t too cumbersome as far as I can remember. I actually preferred the old fashioned prefolds even though many of my colleagues preferred the fitted ones, we just made sure that I or and older colleague chaged the kids with prefolds and they changed the ones with fitted nappies. Dump the poop (which You shouls always do anyways) and put the diaper in a bag. The only time when we insisted on disposables were during our weekly outing where it just wasn’t practical (i guess it works if you have one or two in diapers, but not if you are out all day with 25 kids where 6 or so are in diapers).

Carolyn on

I love that Constance is such a proponent of cloth diapers! I think moms are being much more aware of what they are diapering their babies in and so many are moving towards cloth diapers, which is amazing!

We just started using Charlie Banana – a new brand of cloth diapers – they are amazing. They are like this chic little adorable brand. The diapers are 2 in 1 so you can use the reusable or disposable (although, I also agree you shouldn’t put the disposable in the toilet – SO bad for the pipes! My plumber even told me to use less grade toilet paper!).

They also have reusable wipes, swim diapers, feminine pads, nursing pads, change pads, etc. After learning more about disposable diapers and how bad they are for our babies (plus, the diaper rash!!!) I will never go back!!

Thank you Constance!!

Valerie on

We’ve been cloth diapering our son since he was 2 months old. I had wanted to try it when I was pregnant, but my husband wasn’t sold. Then my son had a negative reaction to Pampers DryMax and we made the switch. I love cloth–his skin looks so much better!

The laundry isn’t a big deal–I wash every other day. I have a diaper sprayer hooked up to my toilet to take care of poop, and then I just cold soak for 20 min and wash on hot. If I’m out in public, I have a wet bag (a waterproof, sealable bag) I use to hold my wet & messies. Then I just take care of them when I get home.

Also, a comment by “J9″ included a link stating cloth diapers where no more environmentally friendly than disposable diapers. The website cited a 1990 study and discussed the air and water pollution. I would like to reiterate–this is a study from 20 years ago! There have been vast changes in Energy Star appliances and they now use even less energy and have even fewer emissions. Also, most cloth families use environmentally friendly detergents as they are the safest for the diapers–these are detergents that were not widely available some 20 years ago. This article also discussed the gas and emissions from laundry service vehicles–diaper services are not the norm anymore, as most people wash at home. As far as water consumption–I do 3 loads of laundry a week of cloth diapers–not a significant increase in water use. I would also like to point out that God has designed our earth with a natural water cycle, and the water is never actually lost, unlike the ground that is permanently contaminated by a diaper in a landfill. Did you know it takes 250-500+ years for a single disposable diaper to break down? Disposable diapers became popular to the masses in the 1960s–this means EVERY SINGLE disposable diaper used since they were created are sitting in landfills right now (well, less the 4% of disposables that are not placed in landfills).

Also, seeing as oil is a concern with the recent Gulf crisis–did you know it takes 2/3 cup of oil to make a single disposable diaper? If you added up all the oil needed to make disposable diapers for the US for one year, it equates to more oil than we import from Kuwait annually.

I have more info on my blog if anybody is interested: http://funkyflufflovin.blogspot.com/

MidwesternMom on

I love reading this. I’ve been using cloth diapers for nearly five years on three different kids. Love them. We use Fuzzi Bunz, very similar to what to you have. I’d love to see more celebrity moms promoting cloth diapers and breastfeeding.

I love your work. We watch “George Lopez” reruns all the time. I’m Mexican and love seeing Latinas on TV and film.

NKH on

To the posters who claim that the environmental impact of cloth is about the same as disposables because of water/energy used to clean them…think about how much water and energy it takes to produce disposables in the first place. That needs to be part of the equation. As for washing, well we haven’t resorted to disposable clothing yet? I used disposables with my first three and never had a diaper rash but with my 4th I use cloth and love it! I can’t bear to think of filling landfills with sposies..

Tara on

LOVE the post! I think more people would start choosing cloth diapers if they only read the facts… and knew how easy it really is! Thanks for sharing your story!

sarah on

So happy to see you showing some cloth love! Luna is so cute! I love cloth diapering my little girl and just wish I would have started sooner.

Jennifer on

I see both sides of the debate. I currently use cloth diapers for my 22 month old daughter, and will for the next one that is on the way. It is no more difficult to use cloth than disposables, an you are supposed to flush the poo anyways. Our daughter used to vet diaper rashes with sposies, so we made the switch. Our biggest issue with the cloth is that our daughter is probe to yeast infections, and the yeast will continue to live in cloth. When she gets a yeast infection, the biggest issue is that I have to bleach all of my cloth diapers and use disposables instead. Whenever I do this, she end up with a rash ( seperate from the yeast) whereever the diaper touches her. It is a choice, that you have to make for the benefit of you child. There are pros and cons for each type of diaper when it comes to environmental issues, so I recommend making the decision on what is best for you, your family, and your child.

Mary Beth on

Having cloth diapered my 20, 10 & 9 year old I almost want to jump up and down for this positive blog post. There is so much truth in it. I experienced a similar path with diaper rash right out of the hosptial. The brand of diapers you selected have been around for a long time and has been a solid and innovative company that has set the trend for many others.
While some love G-type hybrids might I suggest you do your own homework. If you search into the home site further you will find it noted that they do contain the SAP gels. You many also want to research “humanure composting”. Composting human waste needs a bit more attention, done improperly may spread human disease. Understanding better you then have the opportunity to choose if this is responsible marketing of a product or not.

Luna is a beauty…just like mom. Enjoy her!

Amy on

To the people who feel the need to stick up for disposables on this page: Congrats that your babies didn’t get rashes. But that doesn’t mean your next one won’t. And it doesn’t mean your boy won’t grow into a man with fertility issues. And it doesn’t mean all those chemicals (and poop!) won’t go into the landfill and harm our environment.

We’re celebrating people who are making a responsible decision for the earth and their children. Please don’t butt in with excuses for how you can’t do the same.

You can ask a diaper service what kind of chemicals it uses. They will tell you. The study mentioned above was funded by a disposable diaper company, so OF COURSE they’re going to say it uses more water. They don’t want their billions affected. Do the research yourself – you can start here (http://www.thediaperhyena.com/articles_index.htm) and expand from there. Check out the footnotes. P&G’s new diapers are giving babies chemical burns and they won’t even own up to that. Disposable wipe and diaper rash makers love disposables because it gives them more a longer window of time to sell their product with kids in diapers until 3, 4 or older.

And beware of “greenwashing.” Gdiapers still have sodium polyacrylate them and poopy diapers cannot be composted. I don’t know many people who actually compost them, and they can be hell on your and the city/village/township pipes, too.

I love cloth diapers and think this post is great. I’m tired of parents who think it’s “too hard” or “too messy” to do when they haven’t even tried it. Don’t pat yourself on the back for doing what everyone else does when it’s not responsible.

crg on

We’ve used cloth for both of our boys who are 3 and 1. My son potty trained early. I don’t understand how people can say that disposables are more environmentally friendly when they fill the landfills as much as they do and so much goes into producing the thousands of disposables that are put on one child vs. the two dozen cloth diapers that I’ve used for both of my children. We’ve used bumgenius diapers and others with great success, day care and all. They don’t have to be washed every day. I don’t think disposables are evil- we use them when traveling and such. But I don’t agree with using them as an everyday diaper.

Lyn on

I used cloth diapers when my son was little because disposables were fairly new and pretty expensive in comparison to a little laundry. Yes, old school method with pins and rubber pants! I did keep some disposables on hand for trips & visits so that we did not have to carry dirty diapers around. Even day cares & babysitters would change the cloth diapers and hand me a plastic bag with all the wet ones when I came to pick him up after work. And you’re right.. GREAT dust rags! My son is now 30 and I still am using his old diapers for soft dust rags

Karen on

Thank you so much for the positive post on cloth diapers! I have been using cloth since my 19 month old was born and we plan on using the same ones for our next baby due in October. We love them and our daughter has NEVER had a diaper rash. I’m so glad to see this article!

Carolyn on

It’s fabulous to see cloth diapers in the mainstream media!
Ditto the previous posters who pointed out that ALL solid wastes found in ALL diapers should be dumped in the toilet.
If you use disposables and are putting the poopy diapers in the trash you are actually breaking the law in many places because human waste is considered a bio-hazard and shouldn’t be in landfills.
Your child’s poop belongs w/ everyone else’s poop in the waste water treatment plant, not in landfills where it can leach into water supplies.
Considering the oil addiction this country has and the massive oil disaster we are facing in the Gulf of Mexico, you should know that disposable diapers are mainly plastic and made from oil. I will take cotton, hemp and wool on my children’s bums any day of the week over plastic made from oil.

Natalie on

I agree with Amy. The argument that cloth uses more water just doesn’t wash (pun intended). If that’s true we should be wearing paper clothes and never flushing the toilet. The amount of water used to wash the diapers is about the same as flushing the toilet 5 times a day which the child will doing when they are potty trained. Yes cloth has its own impact but nowhere near the impact of disposables. Our diapers stash will be used again with our next child. When we are done what is usable will be sold or donated, and what is not usable will fit in ONE trash bag. Compare that to the number of trash bags that would be sitting in a landfill if we had gone the disposable route. And quoting a study funded by P&G is like quoting a study funded by Marlboro that says smoking is not harmful.

Deanna on

I am so glad to see cloth diapering getting mainstream media attention! Cloth diapers are easy, much cuter than disposables, and much healthier for the baby and the environment.
Thank you for a well-written article.

Erin on

I am a new mommy and love using cloth diapers! Yeah at first when my mother mentioned them to me, I quickly turned up my nose at the thought! Gross! who would want to clean the poop off a cloth diaper. Well in my birth classes I meet many parents who used them. Once they told me about the cost of disposable diapers and the problems with the gel in some diapers that were made “not to leak”, but did and yes the gel came out of the diaper itself”Huggies” I was interested and did some research on the matter at hand. I attended a cloth diaper class and learned about the different types of cloth diapers and grew on the idea of using them. I am big on saving our”Mother Earth” so I gave them a try. I bought some different brands and sure enough they were awesome! My 8 month old daughter wears them all the time and they are just great. I am really glad that I made the choice to use them. They make me feel better because I am helping the Earth as well as keeping my daughter’s bottom” SAFE” LOL! You are right about the not having to use the diaper rash cream! I have some and carrying it with me, but the chances of using it! VERY SLIM. Great story loved it. I will pass this on to my other parents! THANKS LUNA!

Alison on

The study referred to above concerning the effects of cloth diapers on the environment was very poorly done. As a scientist myself, I want to pass on a very important piece of information to everyone – do not believe what you read in the summaries or headlines of scientific studies! That is just the conclusion that either the scientist or the reporter came to and may have no bearing on reality. Honestly, many scientists can’t do statistics well and that really messes up most conclusions. If you want to know what a study really said, read it yourself and draw your own conclusions. For example, if you read the text of any of the studies about cloth diapering you’d find that they were ridiculously flawed. Sometimes just using common sense will tell you that. If using cloth diapers was worse for the environment than disposables, should we all be wearing disposable clothing?

Every family needs to make the decisions that work best for them. For some, cloth diapering is the answer. For others, the only thing that would work is disposables. The same goes for formula vs breastfeeding, cosleeping vs cribs, and a myriad number of other issues. If someone makes a different decision than you, that doesn’t invalidate your choice. Just do your own research and don’t let fear drive your decisions.

I went a whole year before switching my twins to cloth because I was under the misguided assumption that my only choice was prefolds with pins and that I would need a diaper service since I lived in an apartment. Once we moved to a house and I actually started researching cloth diapers as a way to save money I was amazed by the number of options. My very first purchase was Happy Heinys six years ago and they still make up the bulk of our stash. I just recently started using those very same diapers on our 4th child. Two years of diapers each for four kids would have run around $8000. That’s not even adding in all the disposable baby wipes and diaper genie refills I would have had to buy. Instead I’ve spent about $800 total on diapers for all my kids and I spend about 20 extra minutes every 3-4 days dealing with laundry. Cloth was definitely the right choice for our family and I would never switch back. If cloth sounds like a good idea to you, go for it! If not, then don’t. Thank you Constance for showing that even a busy mama can use cloth without affecting her own lifestyle and for sharing your reasons for doing so.

Jenifer on

My new passion is using cloth diapers. The idea was first put in my head by my sister-in-law who is expecting her first baby at 33 years old. Then I read Pampers new “Dry Max Technology” was causing chemical burns on bottoms and at that time my grandson had a horrible rash that I was blaming on being on antibiotics for an ear infection. We switched to cloth and the rash went away. I first used the Gerber pre-folds that are available in any Wal-mart, Target, or store of that kind. They were not very absorbent, but our rash did go away. Someone I use to work with has cloth diapered 2 children, so I enlisted her input on how to get started. At first it was just for my grandson, who was 20 months old at that time. Then the granddaughter came into the picture and now it is more of a necessity than anything. Two babies in diapers are just too expensive! My grandson is now 21 months and 30 pounds, while my granddaughter is four months and 14 pounds.
I started by ordering a “Try it” kit with Premium size pre-folds and large Bummis Super Whisper Wraps. I ordered Chinese pre-folds in the kit and ordered some additional Indian pre-folds so I could compare the two. The Chinese are larger & more absorbent than the Indians. I originally tried using the Indians for my granddaughter but it was just too much bulk on her little bottom. Her legs looked like the baby CPR mannequin, so I broke down and ordered some small Chinese pre-folds. They work much better for her.
My first thought was that I did not want to do THAT much laundry but it really isn’t that hard. My wash routine goes like this: I put everything in the washer on cold water with about ¼ of the detergent that I would normally use for that size load. If it is a small load, I set it on medium and if it is a medium load, I set it to large. I never go long enough to have a large load. I don’t have that many diapers and I don’t want the house smelling like a diaper pail. After I get out of the shower I turn the washer to hot & repeat the process. After that I reset the washer to cold and run it through an entire wash/rinse cycle without detergent. I have very hard well water so one extra rinse just isn’t enough to get the soap out and soap residue makes the diapers repel moisture instead of absorbing. If I put the load on late I may not do the rinse until morning. I hang my covers on an indoor drying rack that stays set up in my house for anything that can’t go in the dryer and everything else goes in the dryer. Sometimes I hang everything on the drying rack. If I have stains, I put them out in the sun to dry & the stains are gone. I did not believe this would work when I first read about it. I have lived in Florida my entire life & never heard that the sun will get stains out, but it really does work. My next project is going to be installing a clothes line so I can routinely use the great sunshine for drying.

These grandbabies live with me full-time. They are my sons children and the mother is not in the picture anymore. If I had to use the Gerber pre-folds that I got from Wal-mart as anything other than a burp rag, I would not cloth diaper at all. My everyday diaper is a diaper service quality Chinese pre-fold but I do have some all-in-ones for go out of the house. With 2 babies in diapers I wash every 2-3 days. the days I’m not doing diapers, I’m washing baby clothes. I was spending about $60 per month with 1 baby in diapers, I just couldn’t see doubling that amount. She is so much younger that I change her more often so I would be spending more on her. She is Lactose-intollerant so her Lactose-free formula cost $21 per can & she goes through more than 2 cans per week. My son is only 18 and only just this month finished High School & got a full-time job. He is against the cloth diapers & he is free to purchase & use all the disposables that he wishes to buy. After reading all the information about the chemicals in disposable diapers, tampons, pads & panty liners, I’ve ordered cloth pads & panty liners & a Diva cup for myself.

Great article about cloth as an option!

Carrie R. on

As another cloth diapering mama, I love that cloth diapering is getting great exposure. I’m not much of a fan of Happy Heinys though. I always found them to be too big, even with my big boy! But whatever works for you, as long as it’s saving the planet, is great! My faves are AppleCheeks and Rumparooz.

I’ve never followed a celebrity blog, twitter, or whatever, but I love your blogs!!

FC on

Luna’s rocking those cloth diapers. Can I just come over and borrow her for a little while? ;)

Sarah on

Gotta say I LOVE Happy Heinys! I’m a newly CD’ing mom of 3 girls (2 in diapers), so I love the one-size option. I bought at least 8 different brands of diapers (mostly pockets and AIOs) to try and these are by far my favorites – none of the others fit my almost-3-year-old.

As for day cares, when I started back to work due to my husband’s recent disability, all 3 day cares that I interviewed were willing to do cloth diapers. They just aren’t allowed to dump/rinse. This isn’t a problem for me at this point – my 3-mo-old is breastfed (completely washable), and the other won’t poop away from home!

Jenifer on

Helen,

One chemical used in manufacturing disposables is dioxin, “which in various forms has been shown to cause cancer, birth defects, liver damage, and skin diseases”. The absorbent material in the diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, which can cause severe skin infections and is the “same substance that was removed from tampons in 1985 because of its link to toxic shock syndrome”.

I had no clue about the chemicals in disposable diapers until I decided to make the change to save money. I used disposables the first 20 months of my grandson’s life & the entire 2 years & 3 months my son was in diapers 18 years ago.

I now put out half as much trash each week for collection & can actually stand to open the trash can outside. When it was full of dirty diapers I had to hold my breath to open it & I am a paramedic & RN so nasty stuff doesn’t turn my stomach.

Rosemary on

Constance, (if I may call you that) I used cloth with my kids 11 and 13 years ago. I loved them. In fact as a stay at home mom, when I did the load of diapers I would $15 in glass (thats how much pampers cost) and at the end of the month we went to dinner. Great way to save money… If any one has not tried cloth diapers you should.. You could be going to dinner with your spouse every week/month..

Stephenie Peters on

Hey all,
If you are interested in learning more about cloth diapers and want to talk to the moms who actually use them, visit http://www.diaperswappers.com

A community for cloth diapering, ecological responsible living and just about anything else you can think of. They even have a very extensive “classified” ad section where you can sell just about anything child related and even your used cloth diapers. Washed properly, there is nothing wrong with keeping cloth diapers in service after you are done with them! It also makes for an even cheaper way to diaper all your children.

I have been using cloth on my daughter for 19 months and I have nothing but good things to say.

I prefer Mommy’s touch diapers, you can find a retailer near you at http://www.mommystouch.com

These are one size fits all from 7-35lbs, dry much faster than other brands I have tried and work like gangbusters!

For $500 I diapered my child until potty training!

mynaturalbaby on

I’m a converted cloth diapering Mama as well! It’s been mentioned already, but prefolds and covers are cheaper than Happy Heiny’s and you can buy all of your supplies from Birth to Potty for around $500. A great site to check out is http://www.realnappiesusa.com. They have a B2P pack that’s fantastic value for money and they offer a 2 child guarantee on all of their products.
Cloth is not only friendly on your bank account, it’s baby tush friendly as well!

mc on

I loved my prefolds too! So easy to use. I loved having options–a few fitted, prefolds, some wool covers, soakers and shorts/pants/longies and other covers.

I love diaperpages.com for diaper info.

Dolly on

I’ve used both, but I have to say I find it quite amusing that people are getting defensive over their use of disposables. First, you’re in the majority – most parents use disposable diapers, and 2nd, the disposable diaper industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry, they really don’t need anyone *sticking up for them*. ;-)

Ashley on

My fellow cloth diapering mamas are doing a good job of carrying the torch! I have exclusively cloth diapered both of my girls since birth. The older is 2.5 (and still in diapers) and the younger is 14 months.

The argument that disposables are no more damaging to the environment is just ignorant. You honestly don’t think the 27 BILLION disposable diapers that get tossed into the trash each YEAR in the US alone don’t affect the environment? How about the 1 CUP of crude oil consumed from the production of EACH one? Or, the 300 pounds of wood used to provide sposie diapers for ONE baby for ONE year?

Sarah on

To the ladies concerned about cleaning the inside of the washer after washing soiled cloth diapers: really? Do you have kids? One way or another, you’re going to have poop in your washer. Blow out diapers, finger painting with poop… just a couple fun examples right off the top of my head. Did you or do you plan on bleaching your washer after either of those events? Because when that baby is little, it’s likely you’re going to have at least one blow out a day, especially with disposables.

If your washer is dirty following a wash cycle, you’re either not plopping enough poop off to begin with or you need a new washer. We never had a problem. Oh, and urine? It’s sterile (as long as no urinary tract or bladder infection is present). People actually used to swish morning urine in their mouths as a teeth whitening treatment. Gross but true.

At any rate, I did diaper laundry 2-3 times a week. Plopping poop (like you’re supposed to do with sposies too), takes maybe 30 seconds total. Running to the basement to start a load and switch the laundry? Three minutes? Maybe? I can sort (b/c I don’t really fold my dipes as much as I just stack them) and interact with my kid at the same time. I’d rather do that than spend time with my kid at the store buying diapers.

Bonnie on

Hi. I am so glad to see so many moms cloth diapering. I feel like I am the only one in my area cloth diapering. I started when my son was 6 months he is now 22 months. He always had diaper rash with disposables and he never has them with his cloth. There just so cute and addicting! I love to cloth diaper my baby! So much I decided I was going to teach myself how to sew and make cloth diapers. I wanted to make something that wasnt available and I think I accomplished that. I make tie-dye that are really cool. I have them in some local shops and thats about it because its just me making them.
I would encourage anyone to give cloth diapering a try its really not hard. A couple extra loads of laundry a week and think of the planet that you are helping and the money you are saving yourself. There are many benefits. If your interested in my diapers you can check them out at http://www.mybutterbears.com Thanks so much and yeah for cloth.

Songwriter Mamma on

For those of you who don’t have a washer/dryer in your apartment or have one a million stories below you: I suggest getting one of the portable washers that attaches to your sink! My hubby and I just got one for our apartment because there is only one washer/dryer for the whole apartment structure. Let me tell you what a blessing this is! And we want the diapers to dry in the sun so we just hang them on a line by the window. The sun will bleach them naturally, too.

Nikki on

First of all, I love reading your blogs!! Second, this article changed me and in turn, my daughter. Before reading this the thought of cloth diapers made me nervous and a little sick to my stomach. After reading your blog I decided to do some research on the topic and I became very interested. I was shopping the next weekend and came across rumparooz. I decided to buy one and try it on my 5 month old daughter. Needless to say, she loved it! I have bought more and more as the weeks have gone on. Today, we’re up to 5. Because we don’t have enough to last a full day we mix. When she is wearing a “regular” diaper, she breaks out in a rash. The second we put the cloth diaper on, all is clear! It is so much easier than I thought and I love the idea of being able to use them until she is potty trained and I can’t help but think about the small impact that we can have on the environment. Thanks so much for sharing!!

Natalie on

Great article!

For those of you who love patterns on their cloth nappies, take a look at http://www.designerbums.com.au

mae on

Thanks so much for this post! It proves that cloth diapers while good for the environment, are also cute as modeled by Constance’s daughter! My parents used cloth diapers on me and my sisters, but I never imagined myself using them, even though they seem like a good idea. But I think this article changed my mind! Thanks!

Manda on

It’s so great that Constance Marie wrote this! I wrote about why we changed to cloth diapers after using disposables on our first: http://shboogoo.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-i-switched-to-reusable-diapers-and.html

I only read a few of the comments, but I would like to add that line-drying (which can be done even inside an apartment, you just may have to get creative about where to hang the diapers) is better for the environment than always drying in the dryer. Also, the problem of not having a washer and dryer in your apartment is solved by either having more diapers so you only have to wash every 3 days (you do have to launder your clothes and other things, right?) or using a system like gDiapers that provides flushable liners.

Jenny on

 Cloth diapers are awesome. Messy some times but worth it!

Advertisement

Squeals & Deals

Sign-up for the Mom's &s Babies Free Weekly Newsletter

Free Weekly Newsletter

Mom Said It

"We weren't trying to have kids. We left it up to fate. I knew there was a possibility, but I was really excited. Even if you are trying, just to see a positive result is shocking!"

 

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters