Misconceptions of cloth diapering

cloth diapers

We spent nearly 8 months using disposable diapers for Ryan. Now that we use cloth, we wish we had converted earlier… we wish we had known then what we know now. So to anyone interested in trying out cloth… whether you have a baby now (it’s not too late to switch!!!) or are pregnant or trying to conceive… here are some things we have learned:

*cloth diapers are big and bulky and it will be hard to fit clothes or pants over them*
Nope. I admit this was totally a concern of mine. Ryan grows out of clothes fast enough as it is, I didn’t need big diapers making the job any harder! But really, the cloth diapers aren’t that bulky and onesies or outfits snap over them just fine. Sure, maybe they make the booty look a little bigger, but it’s cute 🙂

*you have to soak dirty cloth diapers in a wet pail before washing*
Um, no. I guess when I was preggo and trying to google cloth diaper info, this was something I kept reading that scared me away. Leaving a big pail filled with water in the bedroom (or laundry room) that poopy diapers are soaking in? That sounds gross. And smelly. And messy. I think some people do actually do this… but I still don’t know why. As long as you’re washing ohhh, every other day? it’s ok. Sometimes I run an extra rinse cycle in the washing machine before washing with soap (with poopy diapers), but that’s about it.

*the cloth diapers are going to stain and look dirty and then who wants to use them?!*
Only ONE of my diaper inserts has stained so far… even though Ryan has covered many more than that in poop. Sure, it happens. But not often–I mean, it’s not that much of a problem. And? There’s this magical thing called sun-bleaching. Seriously, magical. You take stained cloth, lay it outside in the sun and viola!! Stains GONE! I told you, magic.

*my husband can’t get the hang of it*
PLEASE. Does he also claim to not know how to iron his clothes or start the dishwasher? Cloth diapers can be just as easy, if not easier, than disposables. There are AIO (all in one) diapers that don’t require any inserts–and you can even buy ones that velcro shut instead of snapping. There… EXACTLY like using a disposable, you just throw it in the washer when dirty instead of in the trash.

*there are way too many types of cloth diapers, I’m never going to figure this out!!!*
Believe me, I feel your pain. I was way overwhelmed at first and it’s probably a big part of why we didn’t start out with cloth–I tried to google information. AH! You’ll get a million ideas and opinions that way and end up with a headache. Check out these sites:
Cloth Diaper Dictionary at Diaper Pin (also a great How To section)
Kelly’s Closet – LOVE this site for buying diapers. Each section has info and suggested brands. (And? SUPER fast shipping)
Diaper Swappers – forum for questions and a marketplace to buy/sell
Cloth Diapering Bloggers – just a fun ning community site for chatting!

*dealing with poop and the extra loads of laundry are too much of a hassle*
Most surprising thing about converting to cloth: how EASY it is. We don’t have to do any poop scraping yet because Ryan is still mainly breastfed (which equals watery poop) so we just throw his diapers right in the washer. Once the poop gets a bit more solid, we got a diaper sprayer that attaches to your toilet… but lots of people don’t even use that–you can just shake it off into the toilet, dunk it in the toilet and flush (while holding onto one corner), etc. Get a wet bag to throw the dirty diapers in and the whole thing can go straight to the washer–wet bag and all!

*dude, cloth diapers are cheap and hard to put on and I’m not putting pins near my baby.*
DUDE, where have you been. These are not your grandma’s cloth diapers. Sure you can still use prefolds with covers, but you certainly don’t need safety pins. If anything, you can use a fastener called a Snappi. But I prefer other types of cloth diapers: pockets, AIOs, AI2s… which are just like putting on a disposable.

And they’re CUTE.

((If you’re a cloth diapering mama, feel free to add yourself to my cloth linky, grab the button to proudly display on your site and check out & follow the other cloth mamas!))

Have any misconceptions to add?? Or if you’re undecided about using cloth, what’s holding you back?? What are your questions?!

15 comments to Misconceptions of cloth diapering

  • Just wanted to throw out that I love the Mrs.Robinson AppleCheeks…I have a Raspberry Sorbet 😉


  • Leah

    It’s great that you love it so far; however, I’d really like to see what you have to say after Ryan starts having solid food poops. I couldn’t fathom how much more disgusting the poops have turned. Sure, you can spray them off, but especially now being pregnant again, I can’t handle the smell for even the short time it takes to take a disposable out to the trash can in the backyard.

    One thing that really bothers me about cloth diapers is how expensive it is. I’m sorry, I can’t justify shelling out hundreds of dollars of pieces of cloth. You’re probably one of the fortunate ones to receive most of them for free, so that’s great.

    Another thing that bothers me is the amount of laundry required. I do laundry once, maybe twice a week. I have a large capacity washer so we maybe do 4 total loads in the week. I come from a state where water is scarce and it really doesn’t seem any better for the environment than throwing away disposables. So I’m kind of confused as to why anybody would want to do this.


    babydickey Reply:

    I will definitely let everyone know how it is once Ryan gets solid poop!! I’m curious myself.

    True, cloth is expensive ($20 ish for 1 new diaper), but in the long run, it’s cheaper than all the disposables. And we started cloth almost 2 months ago and are just now reaching a full-time cloth status. Yes, we got some for free, but we’ve purchased some too–and it is hard to spend all of that at once on your stash… so we buy 1 here and there, to spread the costs out. Awesome gift for baby shower registries…

    Your last point is a good one–cloth may not be the best idea for people that live in areas with scarce water (for environmental reasons). I plan on writing another post on WHY we wanted to do this (being “green,” chemicals, comfort, cuteness…) But for us, extra laundry hasn’t been an issue. I’ll wash pee diapers with clothes sometimes. Add an extra load or 2 a week for poop diapers…


  • What’s holding me back is mainly the work involved – it seems like so much! Although I’m sure that once you start you are able to get into a routine and don’t even think about it. What’s your routine?


    Isn’t it gross dealing with poopy cloth? how do you get all the poop off?

    Do you save as much money as you hoped you would?

    I would really like to switch to cloth, knowing it’s healthier for my baby. Thanks in advance for answering my questions! 🙂


  • Debbie

    Hi Emily. I just wanted to add that though Leah stated it is easy to just run the poopy disposable diaper out to the trash can, that poop in the disposable diaper is going to our landfills, not to mention the actual diaper. When it rains, that poop is getting into our ground and eventually into our rivers, lakes and oceans. That, to me, is WAY more disgusting than having to deal with poopy cloth diapers you can spray off quickly into the toilet. Just my opinion, but wanted to put it out there. Thanks for the great post and glad you love cloth diapers! We are an AppleCheeks loving family here, too! 🙂


    Leah Reply:

    Err..there’s plenty of other poop in trash. It’s not “disgusting.” What do you think people did before there were toilets? Additionally, there are many countries that simply poop in a hole and don’t have developed sewage systems like we do. This obviously isn’t the culprit of the pollution. Most of it comes from the actual manufacturing of the diapers themselves.



    babydickey Reply:

    Because other countries don’t do the same as us doesn’t mean it’s any better–the article you posted even said this about it: “Diapers in landfills in underdeveloped countries are especially problematic because they often aren’t properly disposed, and excrement leaks into the local water supply.” (and that IS disgusting, right?!).

    I’m going to write another post though about environmental issues with cloth/disposable diapers… seems to be a hot topic.


  • Kim

    I really wanted to make the switch too but I can imagine cleaning up all that solid smelly poo! I read about that whole dunk-and-swish technique and diaper sprayers and I just could not picture myself or my husband standing over our toilet cleaning a poopy smelly diaper. I couldn’t imagine myself carrying around a wetbag either full of dirty diapers.
    Another reason why we didn’t make the switch was cost. I don’t think that you really save all that much when you factor in the additional energy costs and water bill, special laundry detergents, etc.
    I had to question myself why I mainly wanted to switch. I must admit that I wanted to use cloth because they are way cuter than disposables. When I thought about all the extra work involved it just became overwhelming. Nobody really sees my daughter’s diaper anyway…


    Kim Reply:

    oops on that typo….
    I meant I CAN’T I can imagine cleaning up all that solid smelly poo!


    Kim Reply:

    omg nevermind… I need my coffee. I can not type this morning. lol


    babydickey Reply:


    Those are all good points! I’m getting some great questions here so I’m going to write another post about all of it. Thanks for your comment(s) lol 🙂


  • I cloth diaper and my diaper is 17 months fully on solids. Let me add a few comments.

    My husband and I switched to cloth diapers to save money. We were spending between $8 snd $10 a week at the grocery store on disposables. we needed to start saving money. I was almost immediately turned off by the cost. $500 for all those diapers?!?!?!? No way! But then I did a little more research and found that you can get them for significantly less if you buy the right kind.

    We bout a total of 24 diapers for $150. That’s all. And 24 diapers is more than enough to diaper full time and do laundry 2 times a week. I do my diapers on mondays and Fridays. And it doesn’t take me that much time or water to do an extra 2 loads a week. I also line dry my diapers to save energy costs.

    Smelling poop: the week we started uisning cloth I learned I was pregnant. I had no issues in the notorious first trimester. In fact, and I found this really hard to believe until I experienced it myself, the poop (and pee) smells worse in a disposable diaper than cloth because of its reactions to the chemicals.

    Solid poops: most roll off the diaper. Some are a little more squishy and require being sprayed. But its not as bad as it sounds. I figure cleaning poop off a diaper is a small price I pay for being a mother. How many times will I have to clean up vomit and diarrrhea as she

    I answered quite a few of these questions in my own blog several weeks ago. Please go read that one or ask me here if you have more questions.


    babydickey Reply:

    Thanks so much for sharing!! I’m glad to hear that once Ryan gets solid poop it won’t be that bad… I didn’t think it would be! 🙂


  • Abby

    Hi! We are a cloth diapering family but haven’t started using them yet…my son is 2 months. I am curious what your washing routine is and what type of laundry detergent you use. Do you do the typical, cold wash no soap, hot wash with soap, cold rinse?


  • I’m going through this right now! And I’m going to be totally honest… I am not to the point where I can rave about them being SOOOOO awesome, but I will say that if I can do it… Anyone can do it.

    It DOES take some adjusting to, and it can be overwhelming at first when you buy some then it’s like “oh, you can’t use this or that” or “you’ve gotta clean it with this stuff..”

    Then energy cost ARE more (if you pay for utilities) maybe about $10/month more total. So you go from saving $40/month to $30/month so you’re getting paid $1 a day for 15 extra loads of laundry a month (which isn’t so hard).

    You’re not rolling in the dough but there are some benefits. It’s a lifestyle, but there are other ways to be green IMO which could help the environment just as much.

    They’re not for everyone. But if some want to try, you can buy some all in ones on Ebay for like $5 including shipping! haha.

    Can I (plug my cloth diaper experiment here?) haha. I linked it to my name.


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