We’re nearly 9 months into our cloth diapering journey and the question has been asked…
Are cloth diapers still worth it?
I wrote about cloth dipes early on in Josie’s life. Basically we chose to cloth diaper because it’s economical, environmentally friendly, and mega cute.
Those are wonderful motivations, right? But, Amanda, tell me like it is. What are the downsides?
Well I am here to tell you what I’ve found to be the tricky spots of cloth diapering.
1. Never Ending Laundry
Every 2-3 days I run a cloth diaper load in my washer. First, I do a cold wash with a little Tide powder to shake the ickies off. It’s followed by a hot wash with a cold rinse and LOTS of Tide powder to make sure my dipes get squeaky clean. Then it’s off to the dryer on low. Finally, once they’ve cooled I sit down with an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (gasp!) and have a diaper stuffing party with myself while Josie plays nearby.
It feels like I do a lot of laundry but if I am being honest, I kind of like doing the monotonous work of stuffing. Probably only because it means I get ten minutes to watch my shows in peace. All in all, laundry is not as big a negative as I thought it would be.
Still worth it? You betcha.
All brands of cloth diapers will eventually leak if they get over saturated or if you don’t properly fit them to your baby’s unique body shape. This can be a pain because the baby is constantly growing and there is a learning curve with how to fit a cloth diaper to those little legs. They also reach saturation point much quicker than disposable diapers. Like much much quicker. So you have to change the baby way more often to prevent leaking.
I will say that Josie has been known to leak #2 out of disposables on a consistent basis. She’s only ever leaked #1 from a cloth diaper so that’s a win for cloth in my mind.
Now that we’ve got our learning curve down and I know how to fit them to her body AND I know how often I need to change her, we’ve gotten into a routine that more or less prevents the dreaded leaks. It still happens on occassion but we typically have a spare outfit with us so it’s no big deal.
Still worth it? Yup.
3. Starting Solids
For the first 6 months of Josephine’s life, she was exclusively breast fed. That means all her poo was organic material that could be dissolved and washed off in the washing machine. I didn’t have to do anything to remove it before hand. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
But then she started solids…and this nearly broke cloth diapering for this Momma.
All of a sudden their poop begins to take shape when solids are introduced. And it’s no longer OK to simply throw it in the washer to dissolve. It must be removed.
This has to be the worst part of cloth for me. Most of the time her poo has been “plop-able” from diaper to toilet which isn’t that hard. But every now and again it’s “peanut-buttery” poo and I have to use the dreaded diaper sprayer to remove it. Let’s spare y’all the details but I have ended up with a poo and water splattered bathroom on many occasions due to my steep learning curve with the sprayer. Ugh.
I am getting smart though. I bought a pair of gloves to wear while I spray. I also purchased the Spray Pal to contain my spraying power. I’m also just getting better and my Rookie mistakes from the early days are becoming a distant memory.
Still worth it? Oh yea.
This summer Josie actually spent about 6 weeks in sposies while we traveled. Sure, they were convenient because I could just throw them out when I was done with them and they had a stripe in the middle that revealed when she was wet, but when it was time to go back to cloth I was actually relieved. I was glad to be back in our routine with cloth and most of all I was so happy to no longer have to budget for diapers any longer. Disposables are PRICEY y’all!
As you can see, there are legitimate cons to cloth diapering but at the end of the day, they are still worth it to me! 🙂
Agreed, agreed, agreed! On the sprayer, there is definitely a learning curve. One time when I was tired, I turned it around and sprayed myself in the eyes. I panicked and was soaked. I was SO RELIEVED (and laughing hysterically) when I realized I’d just sprayed water all over my face and didn’t have a face full of ricochet poo. 😉
But yes, we’ve settled into a “usually cloth diaper with disposables as needed” routine that sounds quite a bit like yours. We cloth diapered both girls for a while til Eva was potty trained and now just use disposables at night.
And I ALWAYS tell people “If you are bothered by leaking poo, use cloth. If you are bothered by leaking pee, use disposables. The real problem is your kid is pooing and peeing somewhere other than a toilet!”
P.S. that spray pal is cool! i don’t think that was around for Eva and i haven’t shopped cloth diaper accessories in a few years (another big WIN for cloth in my mind).
Thank you for this update! It is great to read how cloth diapering has worked for you along the way. I am just a few weeks into it and I find that it takes a lot of trial and error to make them work for my little guy. But so far I do think they are worth it. Even just using cloth during the day and a disposable at night saves so much money! Not to mention they really are adorable.