Cloth Diapers: Why + How We Use Them

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Y'all, there are so many facets to living naturally in this home that I am going to cover on this site. There will be a lot about the farm, a lot about living simply in a tiny home, and a lot about making the most of our resources and things. One way to cover this last area mentioned is the use of cloth diapers at home. Yes, I said cloth diapers. And as you recall.... we don't have a washing machine. I'll get to that part too!

So, why + how in the world do we use cloth diapers?! It's a lot simpler (+ easier) than you may think...

1. Cloth diapers are better for baby's sensitive skin.
Cloth diapers are just that... cloth.. and they don't contain any harsh chemicals. They don't contain little balls of gel that expand when wet, and if wet enough, seep out of the part of the diaper onto the skin (yes, this has happened before. Regular diapers have exploded because of Taylor playing in his pool before. Where did that goop on my baby's skin come from, and what is it made of? Terrifying!) Also to that, cloth diapers double as swim diapers!
Taylor's first cloth diaper at 2 months!

2. Cloth diapers produce less non-biodegradable waste.
You do not throw away cloth diapers. You wash them. So in that... well... there's no trash. For disposable diapers, every single diaper goes in the trash, every single day. That's a lot of waste which just goes to a landfill, or maybe burned. For cloth diapers, you just dump solids in the toilet or compost (depending more on how whole baby eats) and throw it in the hamper, then wash when ready. The only waste would be the water you use to wash it, although you'd be using that same water for laundry anyway. It's incredible, when you think about it, how much trash we are saving each year, by using cloth!

3. Cloth diapers are incredible for our budget!
We have about 6 covers and 30 inserts. We go through them all in a few days time, meaning we wash all the diapers generally twice a week. Y'all. Go to the store and buy two bags of 30 diapers twice a week, every week, until potty training. Diapers are generally around 50 cents each, which comes to $15 a bag. You are spending $30 a week... 52 weeks in the year...That's over $1500 a year that isn't being spent!

The initial investment: It really isn't as bad as you may think. I mean, what is the initial investment for a crib, or for baby clothes? Cloth diapers are an investment and it lasts, unlike disposables--- it's not just something you use and throw away every day. Each cover we have gotten cost around $10-20 and inserts cost around $3 each, depending on the brand. There are so many brands out there, so do your research for what best fits your life + budget. Although I've found that the more initially invested, the better the product kept up and longer it lasted (one and a half years later!)... so it may be a good idea to go for the couple extra dollars. We have about 6 covers and 30 inserts, which means... the initial investment is around $150 for cloth....and from then on, its simply the cost of water to wash. Seriously, look at the numbers---in just under a month and a half, you are spending more on disposable diapers than you would on cloth diapers for over a YEAR! Wow!

Taylor at 5 months, happy in cloth!
4. Cloth diapers are more absorbent --- especially when you add an extra insert
Because of this, they can also be used as swim diapers!! A little more on #1, they double as swim diapers and the gel or stuff in the diaper that would regularly expand in water and get on your child's skin.. simply wouldn't! For everyday use, we have less cloth diapers a day as opposed to if we used disposable diapers at home. They last a little longer each time because there is more material that immediately soaks up the wet. Inserts are very useful to use for overnight (with a thick liner as well) and don't cause Taylor to wake up every time he goes through the night. So helpful.

5. Cloth diapers are much cuter!!
They come in cute patterns and they work essentially the same as disposables :) Although there are now diaper brands that have cute patterns, the cloth ones you can use (+ enjoy those adorable patterns) again and again. Disposables-  you can't! I love the patterns that the Thirsties brand has, best. (Also, the best brand in my opinion!)


1. We wash our diapers in the bathtub
Yes, you read that right... We wash our diapers (and all our laundry, for that matter) in the tub. For diapers, as mentioned before, I generally wash all the diapers twice a week. That's maybe 3 or so covers and 10 or so cloths. First I fill the tub with hot water and soak the diapers, using our washing wand to rinse through them (Taylor LOVES to help with laundry! It makes it more fun and less a chore for the kids when there is actually something to do, rather than let the machine do it for you. If you have trouble in this department, try changing the way you do the laundry - or any chore, really- and see how it changes things) The water looks kinda nasty at this point, so once a good first soaking is done, I drain the tub. We repeat again, just rinsing with hot water, a second time. Then when we fill the tub again we add the detergent and give it a good plunging. I may do this another time depending on the condition of the diapers. Lastly, we fill the tub again for a good rinsing and to be sure the soap is out. When it's done, I drain the tub and squeeze any excess water out of the diaper before I put them in a plastic bag to take outside to dry...

2.We hang dry the diapers on the clothesline!
Taylor loves this part. When I'm putting the diapers in the bag, he reaches in the tub and keeps handing them to me. So we take them outside and just clip them on the clothesline. Today I actually took down a load of diapers from the clothesline. Depending on the weather, they take half a day up to a full day (or night) to dry. Last week, it rained on the diapers on the line, so it took an extra day and a half to dry since they were soaked - yet very refreshed! I don't mind the extra dry time when it rains on the line because that just means the clothes are getting an extra good cleaning thanks to nature itself. I am considering getting more line for outside so I can do more laundry at once, since now we have a system down and it's going a lot quicker...

3.We use cute covers + thick inserts.
The covers you can use again and again (until #2 appears on the covers!) and each diaper change you simply change the insert. This means that if we have 6 covers and 30 inserts... We usually run out of inserts before we run out of covers! The econobum inserts are very thick and as mentioned before, they generally hold a lot more, which means that we change less diapers a day. Overall, cloth diapering is a huge saver of waste and money! As mentioned before, I LOVE Thirsties brand diapers- from the 4 brands we've tried, they hold the inserts and everything the best, and they are the cutest, too! I get all my diapering things on Amazon, as well.


Lauren @ Bellows in the Berkshires: I LOVE using cloth diapers. It's my favorite. I simply used them because of money but I ended up loving how they looked, felt, etc.... It took a huge burden off of us financially. We had three in diapers once with foster care and the cloth saved our bottoms when we had a sudden placement and no time to buy disposables. I love cloth so much. It is cuter and they were cheaper for us!

Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood: I have a bunch of kinds. I love my Kawaii brand for pocket diaper but I also have flats and prefolds- i don't remember the brand but they are organic cotton- with an assortment of covers. Some are from different etsy shops and other are branded. I love them all for different stages of baby and toddlerhood.


Rebekah's post on cloth diapering in cold weather @ Surviving Toddlerhood.

6 reasons why cloth diapers are better than disposables @ Mama Natural.

What do you think.... could you cloth diaper your little one?!



  1. Aww. Thanks for the mention!! Cloth diapers are sooo much cuter than disposable! I love picking out new ones!

  2. We love our fluff as well! We prefer the BumGenius and Alva brands - they seem to fit our tall, skinny girl best! I can't say I'll be sad when she's done wearing them, though... :-P


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