Q&A: Cloth diapering (even for the faint of heart)- Part 1

I’m assuming that you cloth diaper. I would love all the info that
I could get as far as your favorite methods, and the products you use.
The information out there is overwhelming. I am Mama to five wonderful girls and have another blessing on the way , due July 3.

how many other fantastic bloggers and sites have covered this subject
well, I am not going to reinvent the wheel and give you all of the ins
and outs of why cloth diapering is best, how much money it saves, the
different types of cloth diapers, etc. At the end of this post, I will
give you an extensive list of very excellent links that will fill you
in on all of these important details!

What I will tell you about is my own cloth diapering tale, because I
feel that it may be of benefit to those who are on the fringe and are
contemplating using cloth, and also what I use and my basic method for
cloth diapering.

I began cloth diapering shortly after the birth of my first child. I
decided to allow myself 6 weeks of guilt-free disposable use, as we had
just moved home from Japan, and had only moved into our new apartment
two weeks prior to her birth. Shortly before she was born, I had gone
to the only brick-and-mortar cloth diaper store (I mean, beyond
Walmart, which doesn’t really count) that I knew of in my local area. I
was astounded (literally, I wanted to run right out of the store) at
the cost of buying good diapers and covers. Who knew that covers could
start at $12 a piece? A piece!

Now for a bit of context: we had no money. Zip. Zero. Nada. Zilch.
It honestly felt easier to buy $13 dollar packs of disposables every
couple weeks than to fork out over $100 up front. Fortunately, I
convinced myself that the long-term gain was worth the price, and
bought the most economical option I could find. Starter packs of 6
diapers, 3 liners, and 1 cover (I don’t remember anymore how much they
cost, but I remember that they were on clearance!). I bought 6 packs,
and so it all began.

May I confess that I initially didn’t truly want to do it? I
shuddered at the thought of touching them, of washing them. I allowed
myself to use disposables whenever we went out in public, because using
cloth was just “too hard”. And so, I spent nearly two years back and
forth between my desire to produce less waste and use something cheaper
(and more natural), and my self-perpetuated feelings that cloth
diapering was too burdensome and inconvenient.

Between my two children, I had about 6 months of being diaper-free.
During that time I read a book, that was ironincally entitled Diaper Free,
explaining the traditional method in other cultures of teaching
children from infancy to respond to cues and use the toilet (with
assistance), rather than using diapers. I was intrigued. My desire to
go greener had intensified up to this point, and this really resonated
with me. I made up my mind to do it, in combination with cloth diapers
for going out. When my husband became very sick, shortly before the
birth of our son, I knew that it was out of the question. And suddenly
cloth diapers looked very attractive to me (isn’t it funny how our
perspective can change?)

What I have found is that cloth diapers are truly (really,
truly!) simple to use. There is nothing more inconvenient about them
than disposables, and their benefits are so much greater. I shocked
myself by starting to use them when our son was only 4 weeks old this
time (he was quite small, and I actually had no preemie cloth diapers
that fit him, so I had to wait for him to grow a little). Even in the
midst of my husband’s chemotherapy treatments, and caring for him, plus
a toddler and newborn, for whatever reason, washing diapers didn’t
phase me. I even went a step further and went to cloth wipes as well
(except for an emergency pack of regular wipes in my bag for those
times when I can’t access a faucet to wet my wipes, though I will be
changing this method soon, too).

Personally, I use fitteds (with velcro) and covers (more about
this style of diapering in the links below). It’s not because it’s my
favorite, it’s because it’s what I have and I’m practical like that. I
have a multitude of diapers, a good number of liners or inserts, and a
handful of good covers (plus a few that I really don’t care for). It’s
all a mish-mash, really, but you know what- that’s ok. It still works!
Even without gorgeous, designer-baby colored, all-in-one, deluxe
organic wool diapers, I am still getting by. :)

Come back soon for Part 2, where I will share what I use, and how I do it, along with a plethora (isn’t that great word?) of links…

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. I use cloth diapers. My mom used cloth with my little brother and I helped her as a young teen. She used cotton, pins, and vinyl. I’m so happy to use the more developed, friendly diapering products available today with my son.
    While I was pregnant, I started to build a website as a shopping register for my baby shower.
    Along the way I’ve added material based on my needs and concerns.
    I’d like to invite everyone to check it out and hopefully it’s a helpful resource for cloth diapering–info and supplies.
    http://junastar.com enter the site and use the ‘baby sites’ link to go to the resources page.

  2. Hi! I just wanted to say that I bought every last cloth diaper used for our son on Ebay. Some of them weren’t great, but most were fantastic and were used until he grew out of them. I never spent more than $40 on 10. I even sold some that were too small for him at $1 for 6 plus S&H. Fantastic, huh? Check it out…

  3. I <3 cloth diapers :) I used a mish-mash of things too, but mostly prefolds and proraps. :) My mom CD’d all 7 of us kids. I used cloth diapers part time with my first, and have used them full time with my second. If the Lord should ever bless us with more children, I plan on full-time cloth diapering. :)

  4. We cloth diaper too and like you I was against it at first, then my hubby asked me to research it and I became convinced that it was the right thing for my baby. 3 children later we are still cloth diapering, I like you have a miss mash of different cloth diapers etc…It’s nice to see another CDing mom!

  5. Hi again! I used some clothe daipers on my 3rd child until he grew out of them and I couldn’t afford to buy more. But I have been determined to succeed at using them with our 4th (now 3m old). I have 6 one- size all-in-ones from comfybummy.com (haven’t pre-washed and used yet) but don’t know if I should use the rest of my budget on the same kind or stock up on different types? What do you think?
    Funny – I also considered the infant “potty training” and evn tried it with my 3rd. I found it to be waaaay too time comsuming to try with the 3rd child! Oh well – would have been nice!