We have been at the cloth diapering for about 3 months now and I feel like I have a better handle on what works and what doesn’t work. I have been waiting to do this post until I was feeling more experienced about it all. So here is my pros and cons list of cloth diapering. I realize that what may be a con for me may not for you, it is just my personal opinion. There is also an update at the bottom about what is working for us.
- Easy on the budgeting: Once you put in the money you don’t really have to spend any more, so although it is a big start up cost you aren’t spending money along the way. This was one of the main reasons we are using them. If you chose to do one size diapers this is even more true (we are using one size diapers mostly). If you chose sized diapers then you end up having 2-3 times you will need to invest, but with baby 2 this won’t be the case and it is still easier on the budget (you can save up for the purchases if you want).
- You never run out of diapers: I love that I don’t have to think about purchasing diapers. I have a wash routine down (every 3 days I wash) and so I never run out. We have enough to get through 3 full days and I wash on the 3rd day so we have enough for that whole day and they will be dry for the next day.
- Easy to wash and dry: for some this may be a con, but they really are easy to wash and dry. Here is
ourmy routine (lets be honest here, husband does not do the laundry): On the 3rd day I throw the inserts into the wash for a soak cycle with no soap (cold water), then I add a small amount of soap and baking soda (for the smell and stains) and do a heavy wash on hot/cold cycle. Then I dry them. Every few washes I do a third cycle (no soap), just to give them a good extra clean and make sure there is no soap build up. The covers dry so fast on the line and the inserts take 2 cycles in our dryer (our dryer is pretty bad at drying clothes, so if you have a good dryer I bet one would be plenty).
- Easy to use: honestly once you get the hang of it they are quite easy to use. We even have 3 different types of cloth diapers and I don’t find it too hard to adjust to each one.
- They are pretty cute: This may be more of a plus in the summer though, because right now it is too cold to let her sit around in just her cute diaper, so really this doesn’t sway us either way at this point.
- Less Blowouts: Honestly she gets way less blow outs in her cloth diapers than when she wears a disposable. And when she does have a blowout it is often a user error and not the diaper.
- Nighttime is tough: My daughter is a seriously heavy wetter at night. We currently don’t use cloth at night, we use disposable, but I am looking into options. I may continue to use disposable at night and invest in some other cloth diapers for baby 2 whenever that is. Basically we bought a box of size 1 disposables over a month ago and use them at night (and when we go out for a longer period of time) and we still have plenty left. We did try cloth at night for a few months and found that she was wetting through them and often waking up with wet PJs and I would feel really bad about this. So I switched.
- Take up more room in your diaper bag: Because cloth diapers take up more room in my diaper bag (you can’t really bring that many with you and still have room for much more) I usually take one cloth diaper with us when we go out and a few disposables for back up. Because we already have a box of disposable (I use target brand and they are pretty affordable) this isn’t a problem. Some of my friends use only cloth, but I find this system easier on us.
- They stink: Honestly this doesn’t bother me that much but it is worth mentioning. We use a wet/dry bag for the dirty diapers (the lined part for the inserts and the non-lined dry part for the covers) and it really stinks in there (mostly the urine stinks right now, not the poop–yet). I keep meaning to get a little baking soda air freshener to put in the bag but I haven’t gotten around to it. So I just hold my breath when I open the bag and then close it really fast afterwords! This would probably be less of a problem if we used a diaper pail, but we don’t because it is upstairs and we often change her diaper downstairs (the diaper pail has dirty disposable diapers in it too). However, know that they don’t stink after they are washed, just before (which makes sense, but disposable diapers don’t really stink when they have just urine in them, but I suppose that is all the chemicals in them, so maybe it isn’t a bad thing that cloth stinks?). Once they are washed the stink is all gone.
- They are bulky: Millie is in 3-6 month clothes (and will probably be moving up to 6-9 with in the next month) and though she is a bit big for her age, it is mostly because of the cloth diapers that she is growing out of clothes so fast. If you plan on cloth diapering I encourage you to not get that may 0-3 and 3-6 mont clothes until you know your baby is smaller, otherwise you will end up with lots of clothes that baby never even wears. I honestly like picking her up and holding her when she is in a disposable because she feels smaller (and even lighter) but obviously that isn’t enough reason for us to not use cloth.
Update on what is working for us currently
We use 3 types of diapers: Bestbottom Diapers, Charlie Banana Diapers and GroVia diapers in addition we use better fit prefolds with both the Bestbottom and the GroVia diapers.
What I like: the covers are waterproof so they hold in her pee and poo really well, they were the least bulky when she was a newborn (the only of our 3 diapers that she wore in the early weeks-we used some newborn diapers then), they have 4 levels of size which makes them more customizable (this is why they were easiest for her to wear early on), they come in some really cute patterns, the inserts are different sizes which means they are less bulky on a small baby (but it also means that you end up spending more on inserts then with the other diapers that have a one size insert, they work really well with the better fit prefolds. I also love that
What I don’t like: the covers are sometimes hard to get a perfect fit for (she is sometimes between snaps), they haven’t worked for her at night yet (the inserts are not enough to hold her pee all night and with the doubler I find them way too bulky), they occasionally leave marks on her legs and are the least stretch out of the three types I have. Because the inserts are one size you end up spending more.
What I like: They are very stretchy, which gives them a better fit than the BestBottom diapers. The inserts come in one size which means you only have to purchase them once (with the BestBottom you have to get some of each size which means they end up costing more). I love that the mesh lining doesn’t seem to irritate her skin ever and she never gets marks on her legs from this diaper, these have some really really cute covers, these also work really well with the prefold inserts. The soaker pad is thick and soaks up a lot! These are the best for her at night if we put her in a cloth at night, and they last the longest if we are going to be in the car and can’t change her as often. You can usually reuse the cover (if the cover gets wet it has to be washed since it can’t be wiped out).
What I don’t like: They lining is not completely water proof so she sometimes leaks through them if she pees a lot (this is really only a problem at night, otherwise we change them often enough for it not to be a problem), the inserts are one size so they are kind of big when baby is very small (we couldn’t use these inserts until she was at least 2 months– and she was the size of a 4 month old at 2 months according to our doctor). They are the bulkiest right now on her (because the insert is so large).
Charlie Banana One Size Pocket Diaper : (I got these on sale)
What I like: I like the ease of a pocket diaper, once they are stuffed you just grab a diaper and put it on, very easy and best for her daycare provider and my parents when they watch her. You can eaisly double up the inserts (though this makes them pretty bulky). They are less bulky (now that she is larger, at first these seemed way bulkier than her other two, because they don’t have the same size down options as the other two).
What I don’t like: You have to reach in the diaper to get the insert out and it means you can’t avoid touching the dirty part. They don’t fit as well on a smaller baby. She leaks out of these a bit more often than the other ones. You have to wash and dry the cover every time, so you only get one use out of the diaper.
What I like: They are the cheapest option and work with most covers for hybrid diapers. You don’t have to touch the insert to put it in the dirty diaper bag, I just grab the diaper cover and turn it upside down, avoiding getting my hands really dirty (with both the BestBottom inserts and the GroVia inserts you have to unsnap the diaper which means you can’t really avoid touching the wet insert). They are easy to place in the diapers and seem to work just as well as the inserts. They make the diaper covers of both BestBottom and GroVia less bulky than when you use the actual inserts.
What I don’t like: They don’t seem to absorb as much as the other diaper inserts. When I change her they are always VERY wet, and they don’t wick away the wetness like the other inserts do so her bottom is more exposed to the wet diaper.
Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon Affiliate links, however all opinions are truly mine!