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Are Cloth Diapers Right for You and Your Baby?

Updated on December 14, 2010

Cloth Diapers, the Wave of the Future?


In the past there were no disposable diapers, no flushable wipes, and no Diaper Genies. Instead, people had to deal with white cotton pre-folds, rubber or wool diaper covers, and pins that could potentially stick baby. In the face of all of this it’s no wonder many parent embraced disposable diapers with all their ease, even though these same diapers now fill landfills at an astonishing rate as well as offering (in my humble opinion) sub-par blowout protection. Cloth diapering has come a long way, even in the last ten years, and today’s new and improved cloth diapers, such as pocket diapers and all-in-one cloth diapers could be easier and more pleasant than you think.

What are Cloth Diapers Like Today?


Cloth Diapers today come in three basic forms, the fitted diaper with waterproof cover, the pocket diaper, and the all-in-one cloth diaper.

Fitted diapers are the closest to the old fashioned kind of cloth diapers our grandmothers used. They consist of an absorbent cloth diaper which is sewed to fit baby. The cloth often consists of cotton but may also be bamboo or hemp as well. This cloth diaper is then covered with a waterproof or water resistant cover such as fleece, polyurethane, or wool. I actually don’t have as much experience with fitted diapers as I do with the other two types, as I find the more modern versions a bit more convenient for my hectic lifestyle, though many people swear by fitted cloth diapers and greatly enjoy knitting their own wool diaper covers for them.

Pocket cloth diapers, also called all-in-twos (AI2) diapers are personally my favorite type of cloth diaper. They consist of a waterproof outer layer, usually polyurethane, sewed to a moisture wicking inner layer such as micro fleece. The diaper then has a pocket in the middle into which you can stuff absorbent padding, which is often made of microfiber but can also contain bamboo or hemp, which is amazingly absorbent and very earth-friendly as well! Pocket diapers are nice because they go on baby easily, simply stuff and snap or velcro on, they wash easily, and they dry quickly because the absorbent padding can be pulled out.

All-in-one (AIO) cloth diapers are usually the cloth diapers of choice for daddy simply because they are beyond easy. They are constructed similarly to pocket diapers but instead of stuffing them with inserts they already have absorbent padding sewn right in. Simply grab a clean diaper, pop on baby and go! However, they do take longer to dry and they are much bulkier than pocket diapers.

What are the Pros and Cons of Cloth Diapers?


With advances such as the AIO and AI2 cloth diapers, cloth diapering is easier than ever. There are no covers and no pre-folds, simply pop baby in diaper and go. Of course, cloth diapering is much more friendly for the environment as well. Plastic takes thousands (yes, you read right) of years to decompose, and I know my son went through about 12-14 diapers a day at first, and uses about 6-8 a day at 5 months old. That’s a lot of garbage laying around in a dump for my great-great grandchildren to deal with. One also has to consider what goes into a lot of diapers these days as well. Besides chlorine bleaching to make them whiter, some name-brand diapers (cough, cough) now use chemicals in their diapers to make them more absorbent, which some parents have reported gives their babies terrible rashes and even sores. Soft microfleece feels a lot better on a baby’s tush than rough and crinkly paper and plastic.

Of course, many people balk at the idea of washing their diapers, gross right? Actually, it’s not too bad. When baby goes to the bathroom simply wipe or wash off most of the solid waste (some people wash in the toilet, some the sink, some scrapes, it’s really a personal choice). Then, dump the diaper in the pail to be washed. When you wash the diapers there is hardly any solid waste left, simply use hot water to destroy any bacteria and your diapers will be as good as new. Really, I was surprised at how clean they looked when they came out the other side.

The biggest hurdle for many who want to switch to cloth diapering is cost. Many quality cloth diapers will cost between $10 and $20 per diaper. Yes, that does seem steep. However, when you consider that a 40 or so count pack of even the cheapest diapers is about $7.00, which my baby can go through in under a week, in the long run you truly save money. I have built up my stash to 10 cloth diapers and these almost last me two days. Trust me, you’ll want to do the laundry before much more time than that goes on, because they tend to get a little rank. So, with a slightly sharp initial investment you can live the rest of your diapering days free from the constant financial stress of disposable diapers.

Would you consider cloth diapering your baby?

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This ain’t your grandmas cloth diapering folks! Cloth diapers are modern, convenient and all too frequently for my pocket book, darn cute! Why not give cloth diapering a chance for yourself, I bet you’ll look back at your disposable days with few regrets.


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    • Rusty C. Adore profile image

      C Levrow 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Great, informative hub! My sister-in-law is pregnant and every time I see her I wonder what it will be like when I have children. I go back and forth in my mind about cloth diapers. My mother had to use them on my eldest brother because he was allergic to the disposables and my mother-in-law used them for all three of her boys. So, I'm thinking that I should give it a try. I am a long ways away from ever needing them at all, but it's nice to think ahead.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      7 years ago

      ooooooh! Good Daddy! Lucky you! (smile)

    • CennyWenny profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Washington

      tnderhrt23-Ewww, bad daddy! I actually kind of hybrid diaper my son, cloth at home and disposable at his babysitter's and on the go. Still even just cloth diapering him at home has saved so much in diapers and reduced the mountain of garbage in our bin because daddy likes to change him every hour.

    • tnderhrt23 profile image


      7 years ago

      Back in 1976, I started out with cloth diapers...yeah that was back in the first time I found hunks of poopie floating around in the washer (thanks to a lazy daddy), I decided that when I returned to work, I was going to have disposables, no matter what! I had no idea cloth diapers were returning...well written, informative hub! I am so grateful to be past the diaper stage!!! lol Voted up!

    • katrinasui profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for sharing pros and cons of cloth diapers. I didnt know about the cons and pros of cloth diapers. I have learned something new today.


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