Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lions and Tigers and Cloth Diapers - Oh My!

Before I had ever done any real research on cloth diapering, I would hear the words and snort, "What a joke!" I mean, seriously. Why would anyone in their right mind consider cloth diapering when disposable diapers are sooo easy? And the poop! Well, that belongs in a landfill - not anywhere near me.  Safety pins and Gerber diapers (burp rags), no thank you!

But then my friend and landlady, Amy, started to cloth diaper and due to our shared laundry room - I noticed. We talked about them quite a bit. I was pregnant with Lincoln at the time she was well under way in her own journey with cloth diapers. Through our conversations and some convincing statistics, the lifestyle and benefits of cloth diapering won me over.

The convincing statistics:
  • More money in the bank: You will save an average of $800 on your first child, and an average of $1,100 with each of your consecutive children.
  • Help the environment: Disposable diapers take about 500 years to decompose. And, the average child will create about 2 tons of waste in their diapered lifetime.
  • You can read a more eloquent discussion about this here.
Not so bad:
  • Depending on your stash and your baby's production, you will only need to do 2-3 loads of cloth diapers a week.
  • Changing a cloth diaper only requires seconds more of your time per diaper change.
  • The diapers are a little bulkier than disposable, but not unreasonably so.
  • Exclusively breastfed babies' diapers need no hand dipping or spraying: their poop rinses out in a pre-rinse cycle in the wash. Although, a lovely tool has been made for the time when baby's poop becomes less pleasant with the addition of formula and/or solid foods to their diets (I will discuss that in a future post).
 Other pros to cloth:
  • Children who are cloth diapered generally potty train faster because they feel the wetness easier, and are already used to the cloth feel on their bums.
  • Drastically fewer blowouts. (We had several in the first couple weeks when Lincoln was wearing disposable dipes, but have only had one mild one with the cloth.)
  • Cloth diapered babies generally have less diaper rash.
  • Cloth diapers look adorable on their little baby bums! (See photo evidence below.) :)
So, do I have you all clamoring for more info on how this is done?! If not, that's okay. It took me some serious contemplation and several encounters with cloth diapers to be convinced myself. Over the course of the next week or two, I will be doing a couple more posts to show you how we cloth diaper in the Hepworth home. :)
If you're already anxious to learn more and you just can't wait for my posts, you should check out these in the meantime:
Happy Saturday! :)

UPDATE 5/21: Here is my second post on cloth diapers - My Stash.


  1. I thought about clothe with Rex, but chickened out for a variety of reasons. But with #2, we're definitely doing clothe--now I just have to start looking for the deals.

  2. Where do you buy your diapers? And I've heard that the clothe diapers do require you use more water and therefore they aren't as environmentally friendly...

    1. I've researched till my fingers are purple. :) I read that it's not near as damaging to the environment since water is a renewable resource. If that helps :)

  3. So here's my question. I've read a lot about cloth diapers now and I have seen one pro and one con being the same: baby bottom blowouts. Some articles say it's a pro - less blowouts with cloth diapers. Some articles say it's a con - more blowouts with cloth diapers.

    When Lincoln first came home, how many brands of disposable diapers did you try? I've heard that some are different fits and work better than others. I'm thinking the same is probably true for cloth diapers. I'm torn.

  4. Lindsey -

    I think different brands of diapers fit babies differently. For the first few weeks when we used disposables, we tried Pampers and Huggies. The Huggies were great, but he leaked and pooped out of pretty much ever Pamper we put on him.

    We have really had virtually no blowouts with Lincoln in his cloth diapers. Two small experiences: the first when he was just a couple months old - about a nickel size squirt of poop made it up to his lower back - though, I kind of think that was because we were still learning how to strap them just right - that does take a bit of practice. The second time being when he pooped and it spread up just a bit on the inner lining of the cloth band, but not to his clothes or anything - and that was just a very very full diaper.

    Other than those two experiences, the poop has always stayed contained within his nylon liners. The difficult thing to manage with cloth has been wetness more than the poop. Though, now that we double line his diapers at night, he really doesn't leak through those either. Though, I do have some friends who had to do dispoasals at night or had to switch cloth diaper brands to accomodate their heavy wetters.

    I think a lot of this depends on your baby, how the diapers fit their body, and just some good old trial and error. My friend Amy has reviewed a lot of cloth diapers on her blog: She taught me everything I know and was my inspiration. You should check out blog for more info. I hope that helps. Let me know what you decide. :) And let me know if you have any more questions I can answer for you.



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