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Cloth 101: What new parents need to know about cloth diapering.
May 19, 2012 10:37 am | by

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I decided to look into cloth diapering. I had heard it was very different from the cloth diapering of the olden days, so I thought I would try and find some more information and then make an educated decision about whether I wanted to try it or use disposables.

I immediately became overwhelmed. What were prefolds? How many diapers did I need? How do you wash cloth diapers? Isn’t it gross? Why would anyone want to do this, anyway?
So if you’re feeling inundated with too much information, here are the highlights of cloth diapering. Just a few Cliff’s notes to get you started before you become obsessed like the rest of us.
Are cloth diapers more difficult than disposable diapers? No, not anymore. Gone are the diapers you need to pin like your grandma used and in their place are plenty of options that range in price and difficulty. Read about the different types of cloth diapers here. You can get diapers that are shaped just like disposable diapers and are just as easy to put on and take off. And whatever type you choose, I guarantee you that within a week or so you’ll be able to change them with your eyes closed.
What do you do with the poop? Ah, the big question. For babies that are exclusively breastfed, you just throw a poopy diaper in the diaper pail and wash them as normal on washing day. For formula-fed babies or babies who eat solid food, you flush the poop down the toilet before putting the dirty diaper in the pail. Isn’t that much nicer than throwing it in the trash can? This way the poop is GONE and not sitting around in your nursery.
How do I get my partner on board with cloth diapering? There are a lot of benefits to cloth diapering that you can spout off – they’re more environmentally friendly, less expensive, and more convenient than disposable diapers. Talk to your partner and find out their concerns. Does he think they’ll be tricky to get on the baby? Is she worried that your washing machine can’t handle diapers? Once you know the exact issue, you can do a little research and present the facts to help persuade them. And if the answer is, “It’s YUCKY! Ewwww!” then tell then they’re in for a huge wake-up call because, let’s face it, babies are gross.
Is it more expensive to cloth diaper? Exactly the opposite – cloth diapering is less expensive! (Unless you buy every adorable cloth diaper you find – there are tons out there!) I’ll be frank: the up-front cost is definitely higher because you’ll need to buy all your diapers in advance. However, you won’t need to buy diapers after the initial purchase! That’s it for the next 2-3 years! Cloth diapers are an investment that pay more and more dividends as you have more children as well. There are also options to purchase gently used diapers and plenty of chances to snag diapers on sale.
Have any more new mom questions? Ask them in the comments or call Cotton Babies at 1-314-892-1855. Our phone line is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday, and we’re always happy to help! You can also take a Cloth 101 class in our Cotton Babies retail stores or at a local cloth diapering retailer near you.
Jessica von Wallenstein is a stay at home mom who chronicles her parenting adventures at She has a daughter and a baby boy on the way and will be buried in cloth diapers for the foreseeable future.


About the Author

Jessica von Wallenstein is a stay at home mom who chronicles her parenting adventures at She has three children and is buried in cloth diapers.



  • 57c359f0-d3f7-11e1-a963-000f20980440 said...
    July 22, 2012 at 7:20 am

    I started using bum genius 4.0 and flip diapers about a month ago. I really love them. I was wondering when I do the wash with bleach once a month do I just do that with the inserts or with the covers/pocket diapers too?

  • formal prom dresses said...
    June 7, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Cotton Cloth diapers aren’t as difficult as many people remember, you don’t have to have pins and plastic pants like you did 20 years ago. However, many Cotton cloth diapering systems require multiple pieces and/or steps and can be very intimidating for caregivers other than Mom, who changes dozens of diapers each week. But let’s face it – Mom deserves a break too. Whether it’s a free moment for a hot bath, a trip to the grocery, or the ultimate pampering of a spa day, someone other than Mom needs to be able to diaper Baby. That’s why all-in-one Cotton cloth diapers are so very popular with caregivers other than Mom.