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Why do you cloth diaper?
May 21, 2009 12:02 pm | by

Cloth diapers are all over the news these days – everything from how easy and convenient they are to use to the fact that they are more cost-effective, better for the environment and safer for our babies’ bums than disposables.

It is often said “these aren’t your grandma’s cloth diapers” and that couldn’t be a more accurate statement. Sure, prefolds with a diaper cover resemble the diapers we toddled around in, but with amazing diapering systems out there, like bumGenius, cloth diapering breathes a whole new life.

A recent article at focuses on the rise in cloth diapering during the current economic downturn and the increasing awareness of making more environmentally friendly choices. Cloth diapering used to be something for the extreme environmentalist, “cloth diapering has long been a countercultural lifestyle choice, reserved largely for deeply committed environmentalists. It became more popular in the past couple of years as green went from crunchy to hip.” It is so exciting to watch cloth diapering edge towards becoming mainstream! (By the way, the article also discusses the success of bumGenius and Cotton Babies – and how it all began!)

So, what do you think? Is it the increasing popularity of the “green” movement, the urgency to look for cost-savings in a struggling economy or just the ease and convenience of cloth diapers – or a combination – that is making the cloth diaper industry boom in a time when business elsewhere is far from booming? Why did you choose cloth diapers?

Post your thoughts (or questions) in the comments and if you are on Twitter, be sure to follow @bumgenius and @cottonbabies.

Learn more about this latest craze, check out Cloth Diaper Basics.

About the Author

Jenn is the founder of Cotton Babies & creator of bumGenius, Flip, and Econobum, worldwide leading cloth diaper brands. She has four children (Andrew, Oscar, Elsie and Louis) and holds an MBA from Washington University. When she's not working full time, she enjoys teaching business leaders how to implement sustainable economic & social change.



  • Jai said...
    June 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    We are a single income family & I go to school full time. I was pregnant with the 2nd babe & knew that we couldn’t afford 2 in disposables. #1 was only 16 months and I was 5 months prego. I put #1 in PF’s & fell in love! After #2 was born, I continued w/ PF’s even though I anxiously awaited being able to get BG 3.0’s for #2. I am now in love w/ BG’s too! #2 is 13 months and doing great w/ cd’s! Oh & another thing I really like is that #1 was potty trained at 23 months, 2 months after #2 was born. I don’t think she liked wearing the same kind of dipe as baby.
    The economic thing is the biggest reason but I find it absolutely horrifying now that someone would knowingly put poo in the landfills & not think anything of it! On the off chance that I use disposables, I still throw the poo in the toilet, not the trash!
    I think even if people use disposables but put the poo in the toilet, not trash can, that would cut down on a LOT of stink in the home & especially the landfills!

  • Celia Marie Baker said...
    June 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

    First time mamma here, cd’ing mostly for economic reasons. We’re planning on a few more little’uns, so hand-me-down diapers should help us afford it.
    At first I was afraid of how much more work it would be, but a friend of mine who is on her 2nd cd’d baby encouraged me to try it.
    We are currently 6 weeks in. I like it, my hubby isn’t sold on it quite yet. But I figure if we cd even part time it’ll help.

  • Nysewanders said...
    June 10, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I started using cloth (bumgenius) with my first child because of diaper rash and environmental reasons. When our second showed up 18 months later I was relieved to have cloth because 2 kids in diapers costs a fortune when you’re throwing them away. My oldest is now trained and number three is on the way, so we’ll have 2 in diapers again!

  • Sara said...
    May 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I am going to say that living frugally, natural parenting and living “green” are all equally important to me. With cloth diapers it’s win/win/win!


  • Jessica said...
    May 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Honestly, right now I use disposables with my son. But for our next child I want to cloth diaper, since we are on a tight budget as it is. I want something that will last a while and is friendly to the Earth. I am going to use the BumGenius 3.0 (one size) and some BumGenius (all in ones). At first I thought cloth diapering would be more expensive in the long run with all the loads of laundry I would be doing, but i found out that buying disposables are actually more expensive.

  • :::b r a n d i::: said...
    May 27, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I’m pg with my first and I decided to cloth diaper because it’s more economical, earth-friendly, both me and DH were allergic to all sposies as babies, and cloth diapers are stinkin’ cute!!

  • Kristen said...
    May 26, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I don’t cloth diaper because of environmental reasons, though it is a perk. My husband and I decided to cloth diaper because we are living off of a preacher’s salary (really – peanuts), and needed a good way to save money. We love it so far!

    My son seems to like them more, too. And they are soo cute!

  • Chic Mama said...
    May 26, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    My main reason for switching was the health risks that I discovered I was exposing my son to in sposies! I was one of those very unlikely CDing mamas, but once I ofund out that my choice to use spoises could be harming my child, I switched without thinking twice! Now I love cloth and appreciate the cost savings and less environmental impact I am having!

  • springmeus said...
    May 23, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    We chose to cloth diaper because I couldn’t stand to throw away that many disposable diapers. I agree with the pp that when we have to use a disposable diaper, it feels very strange to wrap it up and throw it away (I’m the only person I know that dumps out the poo first!). I’m so into cloth now that I’m planning to open the first cloth diaper retail store in Oklahoma City.

  • Julie Holland said...
    May 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Honestly, cloth diapers are just easier than disposables. We never run out of diapers, they are soft, cute, and they work great. We almost never have leaks. When we run low on diapers, I just throw in a load of laundry. I use a wide, wide variety of cloth diapers since I have test all the brands I sell – and some I don’t. We still use a lot of prefolds and covers in addition to pockets and all in ones. None of them are “hard” and all of them work great.

  • jill said...
    May 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    It’s a little bit of everything I think. We live in such a wasteful society. I’ve been a blogger for a couple of years and read a testimonial from someone using cloth and i thought, wow. this normal person is using cloth and its working for her. neat. I began researching. I was pregnant of course and just about made my eyes bleed looking at everyone’s comments on diaper pin, and found out i basically had to try some things on my own to see what worked. Once we started using them, my hubby jumped on board the bandwagon and started screaming from the drivers seat. He loves them. Of course he doesnt change as many as I do, but still. He does mention that they’re cloth anytime anyone gets a peek. He thinks the disposables smell awful, and of course we’re both concerned about what our kid(s) environment will be like in 20 years. And although we’ve shelled out some big bucks, we never have to run to the store for diapers. We’re definitely throwbacks. We like it that way. The other day I gave my niece one of my baby’s diapers after her inquiry and she looked it over and said, so you just wash them? And I said, yes and you get brand new diapers. She of course didn’t see the genius in the simplicity of her statement.

  • M said...
    May 22, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Hmmm. I’ve blogged about this before and I’m planning to blog about it again, so at the risk of sounding redundant…

    I started cloth diapering because I knew that I wanted to stay home with my Boy. So, along with saving as much money as we could to supplement our income while my husband finished his degree, I also made the decision in advance to cloth diaper and breastfeed so as to save on our weekly expenses.

    As I researched I became more and more convinced that there are very few reasons why people shouldn’t be cloth diapering. And by people, I mean everyone. It’s more cost effective, it’s better for the environment and it’s better for babies. I think anyone planning to have more than one child should be cloth diapering.

    That said, my husband and I are planning for baby version 2.0 some time next year and he’ll be cloth diapered continuously. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the newborn/postpartum reviews on the blog thus far!

  • AC said...
    May 22, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I started cd’ing with my 2nd baby (who is now 12 weeks old). I looked into it originally as a way to cut expenses and lessen my household’s trash load (filling landfills with diapers is NOT cool). Now that I’m doing it, I am also discovering how great they are for her skin (no rashes yet, not even redness!), how easy they are to wash, and how adorable they look. We get attention everywhere we go and I am spreading the cloth diaper (and bumgenius) word! PS–We use primarily bg 3.0 and love them!

  • Anonymous said...
    May 22, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I too started cloth diapering because of the cost, however there have been other factors that have kept me using cloth. BG 3.0 makes it easy. Diaper rashes are gone in at least 24 hours. They are Grandma and Daddy proof! With baby #3 on the way before #2 is out of diapers I will not have to have two sizes around all the time.

  • Bloggers said...
    May 22, 2009 at 4:54 am

    I started out cloth diapering because my son was allergic to the disposable diapers. Bad rashes. I love cloth diapers. If I had other babies I would use cloth diapers again. They are not hard to use and they are cute.

  • ann said...
    May 21, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    For me, it was an economic choice that happened to have an environmental factor to it.

  • Mrs. Smith said...
    May 21, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    We switched to cloth when I quit my job to stay home with the kids (just one in diapers). We needed to cut expenses everywhere possible. Each time I go the the store and DON’T throw money away on disposable diapers, I am further convinced that we made the right choice.

  • Kris said...
    May 21, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    We first started cloth diapering because the cute factor sucked me in- the WAHM print covers on Hyena Cart were too good to pass up! Once I’d stuck my toe in the water, I realized that it made so much more sense financially, environmentally, and for the health and well-being of my twin sons to use cloth diapers full time. What started as a minor fashion statement became a major paradigm shift! LOL

  • Marci said...
    May 21, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    We suffered from infertility and adopted our kids. I read a study when my son was about 18 months old that linked the rise in male infertility to the use of disposables. (The sposies keep their ‘parts’ at a higher temp.) I did not want my children to go through what we did if I could avoid it. (Although in the end infertility is the greatest thing that ever happened to us!) So, I started researching and switched to cloth! It also helped that it cost less in the long run and helped the environment!

  • Windy said...
    May 21, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I cloth diaper for a few reasons:
    1. My husband and I try to be as eco friendly as we can possibly manage.
    2. I figured if I was going to spend upwards of $2000 on diapering my child, I’m going to get something I can use for my subsequent kids.
    3. The thought of all those ‘sposies in the landfills makes me cringe. Even on the rare occasion we have to use them it feels unnatural to throw them away.
    4. Cloth diapers are just so much cuter than ‘sposies. How many green, blue, pink, or even patterned disposable diapers have you seen?

    I don’t care how much it costs me to build my stash, I’ll be using it for two or more kids over the years so it will be soo worth it.

  • Windy said...
    May 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    I cloth diaper for a few reasons:
    1. My husband and I try to be as eco friendly as we can possibly manage.
    2. I figured if I was going to spend upwards of $2000 on diapering my child, I’m going to get something I can use for my subsequent kids.
    3. The thought of all those ‘sposies in the landfills makes me cringe. Even on the rare occasion we have to use them it feels unnatural to throw them away.
    4. Cloth diapers are just so much cuter than ‘sposies. How many green, blue, pink, or even patterned disposable diapers have you seen?

    I don’t care how much it costs me to build my stash, I’ll be using it for two or more kids over the years so it will be soo worth it.

  • Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...
    May 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    I cloth diaper because aside from raising our kids, it’s my job to save us as much money as I can in whatever way I can. I couldn’t ignore the cost benefits.

    Also, I want to give my kids the most natural start possible and cloth diapers are easily more that than disposables. 🙂

  • Shaun said...
    May 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I use cloth primarily to save money. My daughter is 27 months and I’m expecting again in August. When I realized how much money we’ve thrown away in diapers in the last two years, I was appalled! So, we decided to give cloth a try. I started with some OS Haute Pockets and Mommy’s Touch AIO’s and am now onto prefolds. I love that the PFs are so economical and easy to use. I also love the fact that I can reuse the diapers my daughter is wearing now for the new baby. It makes me feel great that I’m helping the environment, but I feel even better helping my wallet!

  • Jane said...
    May 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I’m not yet pg, but I started researching the cost of having a baby and found the cd online community. I began researching it as an option to have fixed costs when we have a child. When gas prices were going up so fast last summer, there was talk of rising diaper prices. Once I learned of the health benefits, the ease, and of course how cute they are- I was sold! Can’t wait to begin!

  • Amanda said...
    May 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I have four main reasons for cding:
    1. Environmental friendliness
    2. Cost effectiveness
    3. They’re way softer than paper diapers
    4. They’re way cuter than paper dipaers!


  • Molly said...
    May 21, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    1. Cost
    2. Health reasons

    This pretty much says it all:

  • Mrs Lemon said...
    May 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I started cd’ing because we knew we would be having small children close together, and wanted our expenses to be kept as low as possible. I love it! Definitely planning to cd my new baby in November, and love the bg 3.0. Gonna buy 12 more when I have the baby 🙂