Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Great Cloth Diaper Challenge

The last time I spent $100 on diapers, I thought to myself, “there has to be another way.”  And of course, there is – cloth diapers.  Then I thought to myself, “Can I really do this?”  Cloth diapering seems like such a daunting task, filled with laundry and leaks and things.  But if it will save me some money, and help save the Earth at the same time, I'm game to try it.  So I took to the internets to do a bunch of research.  I only have one friend that I know who cloth diapers, so I reached out to him for some real life advice.

Here’s what I found out: cloth diapers have evolved a LOT since my sister and I were kids!  Yes, there are still the regular prefolds (which most of you have probably seen/used as burp cloths) that require a cover (aka rubber pants).  But you no longer need pins.  There are these crazy devices called “snappis” that hold the diaper on under the cover.  And the covers are surprisingly cute these days.  Better than that, there are all kinds of new-fangled cloth diapers that are even easier to deal with than the prefold/cover option. 

Here are the current modern cloth diaper offerings:
  1. Prefolds/flats & covers (the “traditional” method.
  2. Pocket diapers.  They look like a regular diaper, but have a pocket where you slide in an absorbent insert.  You can double stuff for overnights if necessary
  3. All in ones (AIOs).  These are the most like disposable diapers in that when it is wet or dirty, you simply change baby and put it in the hamper and replace with a new one. 
  4. All in twos (AI2s) aka hybrids.  These are like a combination of the prefold/cover and the pockets.  They come with a cover, some also come with a liner, and you insert either a disposable insert or re-usable insert or prefold. 
I knew that if I was going to convince Aaron to join me in this experience, I would need to choose the easiest method possible.  But then, I wasn’t sure what the easiest method was.  I did know it probably wasn’t the prefold/cover option, though.  Fortunately, there are loads of cloth diaper stores online that offer trial programs.  In these programs, you can order a bunch of diapers, use them, and then return whatever you don’t like for either a refund or store credit (depending on the program).  After much research, I ended up ordering from Sweet Bottoms, mostly because I could choose the diapers I wanted to test out.  From their trial program, I ordered Flip diapers (AI2), Bum Genius (pocket and AIO), Grovia (AIO).  I also ordered a pair of Kawaii diapers from them, even though they didn’t qualify for the trial program.  The Kawaii diapers are on the cheaper end for pocket diapers and I had heard good things about them.  I also ordered 2 pairs of gDiapers (AI2) directly from – mostly because they were super cute, and they seemed like a good gateway into cloth diapering.

My "fluff"

We’ve used our cloth diapers for two weekends now, and I have to say, I really like it.  When I was pregnant with Guinevere, I considered cloth diapering, but I was so overwhelmed with all other things baby that I dismissed the thought very quickly.  Maybe it’s my inner hippie, but somehow cloth diapering just feels right to me.  If either Aaron or I were stay at home parents, I might consider doing it full time.  But you’re supposed to wash cloth diapers every other day in order to cut down on any ammonia/smell build up.  Committing ourselves to doing laundry during the week seems like it would be an exercise in futility.

As we venture down this path, I will try to give reviews on each individual brand and let you know which I like and which I don’t like.  I’ll also give any cloth diapering tips that I learn along the way.

G in her gdiapers.


  1. We had Babyland diaper service for one of the kids, at least. (maybe more than one?) They would deliver fresh cloth diapers and take away the dirty ones. I used covers that had velcro so you just put the cloth diaper in (folding it a bit) and close up the cover. The covers could be used more than once if they didn't get too wet or dirty. I had several that I would wash by hand and air dry. Before and after this phase, we used disposables. They both had their good points and bad points.

  2. Adorable! And so impressed you could try these - I thought about it for half a second, but didn't have the motivation. Proud of you though!

    Also - what is your email address?? I want to send you a note about the 30x30 if you were still interested! Shoot me a message at xo