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Cloth diapers versus disposable- the epic diapering decision of mamas to be, new mamas, mamas to potty training kiddos, or anywhere in between. If you are not sure what goes into cloth diapering, debating cloth vs disposable, or just need some basic info – check out this 101 guide!

Why cloth?

I began looking into cloth in 2013 when I was pregnant with my oldest baby. The top three things that stood out to me the most about diapers in general were:

I quickly calculated how much we would spend on diapers since we were planning on having three-four kids. 12-15,000 on diapers? Wow, that’s a used car or a year of college! I became intrigued…I also really liked the idea of reducing landfill use. I am a big recycle lover and want to compost (one day!) so saving landfills new diapers is in line with my save the world a little at a time mentality!

Types of cloth diapers

If you decide cloth is for you, I would recommend selecting a type of cloth diaper you want to try first. The common types are pre-fold, fitted, pocket, all in one, and hybrid.  I bought the pocket diaper in a one size option.  The plus for me with one size was knowing that more than one kid could be wearing the diapers at one time and I didn’t have to buy different diapers.  Having diapers that my babies could wear from 8 weeks until potty training was a big sell.

Which brand do you choose?

Diaper Junction is another great resource with more information and the various brands.  I use bumGenius, Fuzzibunz, Awesome Blossom & Little Monsters

Zulily is another great site to find excellent cloth diaper deals as well.  The best part of cloth is that you can buy a few and try them.

Cloth Diaper Accessories

I purchased a wet pail and wet bag at the beginning, and while I like them, they are not mandatory.  You could use any sealed bag for wet diapers when you are out and about. Sometimes, I use freezer bags if I leave the wet bag at home!  The diaper pail is ideal for soaking the yuckier diapers before washing if needed!  Again, not mandatory, you could use a cheap plastic trash can!  A diaper sprayer will come in handy for rinsing the #2 diapers into the toilet when you have little ones who do not eat solids yet.

Total savings with cloth diapers

Drum roll please -Grand total for Smith family? 450$ total and have two kiddos in diapers.  I have no recurring costs for diapers and can have ten more kids and never purchase another diaper!  I will take $450 over $15,000 any day.

Cloth is not for everyone, but I have found it much easier than I ever imagined. Hope this helps!

I would love to hear whether you use cloth or disposable and what you like / dislike about either!

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24 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering vs. Disposable

  1. I wish I’d known all the statistics when my kids were in diapers, I had no idea that we were creating so much waste! Nipa

  2. I found a five gallon bucket with a lid from the local hardware worked great as a diaper pail. My favorite covers would probably be Superbrights, though sadly
    I have found lots of cloth diapers are not as durable as they were in the 90s when you could put several kids through the same cloth diapers.

    1. I did the same thing! I ran both of my older 2 through mine from 8 weeks – 2 ish when potty trained and held up so well. My grandma is still mesmerized that they dont have actual pins like her cloth diapers did when she was a mom of littles!

  3. The damage that regular diapers are doing to the environment is insane. I appreciate you sharing this info and allowing more parents to make an educated decision.

  4. My friends do cloth diapers and talk about the same benefits that you do. I do agree that helping the environment and saving money is a big pull!

  5. Wow. Those statistics are insane. I had no idea you would go through SO MANY diapers! I’m 100% in favor of adding in more earth-friendly options. As a family, we try to do everything we can to reduce waste.

  6. Definitely an interesting read here. I’m not a mom, so I don’t really feel like it applies to me, but it’s something to share with my mom friends!

  7. Wow! Do you find yourself doing a lot of extra daily work because of this? I looked into this briefly with my eldest and felt overwhelmed. Great tips here!

  8. Yes – I’m not pregnant nor am I planning on having kids anytime soon, I’ve been starting to think of how much waste is produced with the traditional diapers (especially since a few of my friends have kids now). What a great, sustainable alternative!

  9. I would definitely try cloth diapers if we have any more kids! Thanks for sharing all the details!

  10. In India, many people use cloth diapers and even I too used it for my children. But as not markets are flooded with disposable ones so people prefer disposable ones. But I still think that for children’s soft skin we should use cloth diapers and also they sound be budget friendly option.

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