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Cloth Diapering: 10 Reasons Why it Might Be For You

Updated on July 21, 2014

Double Trouble

When it comes to twins, buying diapers can break the bank. However, cloth diapers can be economical and cost efficient for many families with a little patience and thorough research.
When it comes to twins, buying diapers can break the bank. However, cloth diapers can be economical and cost efficient for many families with a little patience and thorough research. | Source
Prefolds: Old is New Again
Prefolds: Old is New Again | Source

1. The Penny Pincher

Cloth diapering can be economical and save up to hundreds to thousands of dollars if families are successful in finding a cloth diapering system that works for them. Savings roll into thousands of dollars when one diapering system can be used for the next child. Unfortunately, diapers seem to fit each baby uniquely and parents typically won't know what works until they've tried several different brands or styles of diapers. Unfortunately, this means extra money will be spent initially to discover the cloth diaper that works best for them and their baby. Parents in this category would benefit from trialing flats or prefolds with a diaper or wool cover. Additionally, it is recommended to stick to brands with excellent warranties and return policies for their cloth diapers. No one wants to pay hundreds of dollars for cloth diapers that may not last through potty-training. The perfect cloth diapering system likely exists for you and your baby, but patience and a little research is definitely a prerequisite.

Wool Covers: An earth conscious diapering option
Wool Covers: An earth conscious diapering option | Source

2. The Organic Hipster

Do you cringe at the idea of anything synthetic against their baby's skin? Are you a yoga-rolling, baby-wearing, co-sleeping parent? If you're true to your organic roots, your best bet will be organic flats, prefolds or fitteds made from cotton, bamboo, or hemp with or without a wool cover. Those who use wool covers rave about them, but there is a bit of a learning curve with care and use. You'll be happy to know that there are endless selections of handmade diapers created by work-at-home moms, so you can help save the earth and support working moms at the same time.

Naked freedom
Naked freedom | Source
Snap diapers for the mischievous toddler
Snap diapers for the mischievous toddler | Source

3. The Sposie Surrenderer

That's right, you love disposable diapers; but unfortunately your baby has made you change your mind. Some parents turn to the cloth when they realize their baby's sensitive skin can't handle the chemicals and irritants of a disposable diaper. Others join the club when they're tired of too many poo-splosions up the back or super-pees down the leg. And others have discovered that cloth diapers with snap closures offer a sense of security for those with bare-bummed toddlers who have mastered the velcro and have been caught streaking one too many times. These parents have raised the white flag and surrendered to the cloth, no matter how much they despise the extra work involved. Cloth diapering isn't always as easy as it sounds. But, these parents keep at it; not so much for the environment or to save money, but because it works.

Occasionally, this group will become a part of the cloth diapering fan club; but more often than not, they're counting down the days til their house is diaper-free. This group may benefit from a variety of cloth diapers, but those with sensitive skinned babies will need to steer away from synthetic suedecloth (the stay-dry material in many pocket diapers that can be the culprit of rashes in some babies) and stick to natural fibers. Cloth diapers that are closest to disposables or "sposies," include AIO's (All-in-ones) and pocket diapers, also nicknamed "daddy friendly," or "daycare friendly" diapers.

A cotton fleece diaper with a snappi
A cotton fleece diaper with a snappi | Source

4. The Environmentalist

You're desperately trying to save the planet one cloth diaper at a time. You are the epitome of reduce, reuse, recycle and you question why your recycling bins are so small. You understand that by using cloth diapers, you are reducing the size of landfills and hopefully preserving the earth for your baby's future. Cloth diapers with the smallest carbon footprint include flats and prefolds, followed by AI2's (reusable cover with removable insert) and hybrid diapers (plastic cover with disposable insert). Environmentalists must also consider the increased use of water and electricity to washcloth diapers over the use of raw materials and chemicals to produce disposable diapers. Some parents even go to extremes and wash their cloth diapers by hand and dry them outside to avoid wasting the earth's resources, but in the end it is up to each family to decide what works best for them.

A diaper cover or unstuffed pocket diaper instantly turns into a swim diaper
A diaper cover or unstuffed pocket diaper instantly turns into a swim diaper | Source

5. The Never Will I Ever

Yes, you're dedicated to your disposables and you will never, and I mean never, touch a cloth diaper. Maybe a portion of your garage is dedicated to discount disposable diaper storage and you're absolutely certain you'll never need anything else. For those hard-minded folks, I would remind them that cloth diapered babies frequently graduate from diapers sooner than their disposable diapered peers. Finding disposable swim diapers costly? Reusable swim diapers and even an unstuffed pocket diaper can be cost efficient and economical for tiny swimmers. And lastly, remember those old cloth diapers your mom kept around for dust rags? Yes, those prefold diapers are still quite popular and continue to make the best burp rags and changing table liners for new babies. Even if cloth diapering isn't for you and your family, I am assured that even the hardest minded individual will find an absorbent prefold quite handy.

A collection of cloth diapers
A collection of cloth diapers | Source

6. The Hobbyist

This parent loves cloth diapers, and I mean a burning Romeo and Juliet type love. They sometimes consider having more babies solely so they have an excuse to buy more cloth diapers. They have the rarest of limited edition diapers and write endless blogs of diaper reviews and appraisals for their dearest of cloth diapers. These parents can be found in diapering communities online and even have swap meets to exchange used and highly sought after diapers. Looking for the trimmest cloth diaper or maybe how to cloth diaper overnight? These are the people to find and your best bet is to contact your closest brick and mortar cloth diaper store to gain access into this elusive community.

Environmentally conscious disposables and pocket diapers
Environmentally conscious disposables and pocket diapers | Source

7. The Realist

These parents are typically disposable users, but they are very aware of the dreaded middle-of-the-night diaper run. They shudder at the thought of putting pants on in the middle of the night for that dreary trek to the 24/7 convenience store for a package of disposable mini underwear. They understand that they're human, and the day (or night) will come when they are forced to make that midnight run or have back-up ready and waiting. Whether it be a few prefolds, flats or a couple of AIO's (all-in-one) diapers, they sleep easy at night knowing they'll never have to search for car keys in the darkest of nights.

Diaper drying on the porch
Diaper drying on the porch | Source

8. The Weekend Warrior

Are you wanting to do your part in saving the environment and reducing landfill waste by using cloth diapers, but feel that you don't have the time with your full-time job as a parent and employee? Many parents use disposables during the week and will cloth diaper their babies on weekends or once home from daycare. Obviously, the cost savings won't be as significant compared to 24/7 cloth diapering families, but many feel that they are making a difference in reducing waste. Easy go-to diapers for these families include AIO's (all-in-one's), pocket diapers or diaper covers with disposable inserts. Some parents prefer fitted diapers (all natural fibers, not waterproof) as this provides babies' bums with improved air circulation and reduces diaper rashes, but requires frequent changes as the diaper needs changed once damp. Overall, these parents have found the happy medium between sanity and doing what they feel is best for their baby.

Cloth diaper advantage: Shorter potty training times
Cloth diaper advantage: Shorter potty training times | Source

9. Parents of Potty Trainees

You're desperately hoping your potty trainee is a quick learner and you can finally rid your life of diapers. Unless, of course, you're planning on another. Thankfully, cloth diapers are quite effective in letting your little one become aware of their bodily functions resulting in faster potty training and less time and money in diapering. Cloth diapers best for potty trainees include those made with all natural materials or reusable pull-ups with disposable inserts. Some parents even attempt the brave "elimination communication" methods to potty-train their toddler, but for those who aren't so brave, cloth diapers may be your next best option.

Quality cloth diapers have higher resale value than most cars.
Quality cloth diapers have higher resale value than most cars. | Source

10. The Investor

This parent is dedicated to the idea of cloth diapering their baby, even if the little bundle of joy has yet to arrive. They've saved up a large sum of money to invest into their initial collection of cloth diapers after pouring hundreds of hours of research into deciding which diaper suits their baby best. Hopefully, they've trialed a few prospect cloth diapers before jumping in feet first as each style and brand of cloth diapers fits each baby differently. They understand that properly caring for quality diapers with excellent warranties and a strong hold in the diapering community can provide them with excellent resale value when they are done with diapering. Popular cloth diapers with the highest resale value include pocket and AIO (all-in-one diapers) by well-established companies with excellent warranty and return policies. Be forewarned, these investor parents can quickly turn into the well known hobbyists as cloth diapering can be equally as addicting as it is financially rewarding.

Cloth Diapering: Is It Worth It?

Why Do You Cloth Diaper?

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Top Cloth Diaper Company Stats

(click column header to sort results)
Modern Cloth Diaper Brand  
Money Back Guarantee (after using diaper!)  
Cost one-size Pocket  
Cost one-size AIO (all-in-one)  
Cost diaper cover  
Provide Organic Option?  
Made In:  
Cotton Babies (Bumgenius, Flip, Econobum)
1 year warranty
30 Day Money Back Guarantee
$14.95 (Flip) $11.95 (Econobum)
Organic cotton
1 year warranty (3 years for snaps)
90 Day Money Back Guarantee
Organic cotton inserts
1 year warranty
*30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Cotton/hemp prefold
Denver, Colorado
1 year warranty
*30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Organic cotton
1 year warranty
*30 Day Money Back Guarantee
bamboo viscose, organic cotton
*30 Day Money Back Guarantee: These guarantees are provided via selected cloth diaper stores and many times returned for in-store credit versus reimbursement


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    • Brownie83 profile image

      Kelly (Brown) Wagner 3 years ago from Arvada, Colorado

      I discovered cloth diapers while researching for must-have baby items when I was pregnant several months ago. After a few hours of research, I decided on one-size (newborn to toddler) pocket diapers from three reputable diaper companies. Fast forward to a three week old newborn who required multiple outfit changes due to her super bladder and frequent poo-splosions, I was ecstatic to discover that 2 of my 3 cloth diapers performed much better than disposables. I sold the used cloth diaper that didn't work out for us on ebay quickly and for more money than what I bought it for. Now, at 5 months old, I have a stash of 30+ cloth diapers and we exclusively cloth diaper except for the occasional public outing. Cloth diapering isn't always as easy as some people make it sound, but it has worked well for us. And I know once we're done with diapering, I can easily resell the diapers for more than 50% of their cost which makes cloth diapering an economical choice for our family.

    • momsdoworkathome profile image

      Katina Davenport 3 years ago from Michigan

      I never thought of using cloth diapers for my son, who is potty training. Actually, I haven't seen parents diaper their babies with cloth diapers since I was a little girl in the 80's. Parents in my circle are not talking about cloth diapers either. I think this is probably the best article I have read on all the possibilities of cloth diapers. Oh, by the way. The section about having a stash in case you run out of disposable diapers is a great idea. I never heard that one before either.