Cloth Diapers or Disposable Diapers?

August 28, 2006

A stack of a cloth diapers.I am thinking of using cloth diapers for our second child. I really am overwhemled when I go online and look at choices. There are velco options, liners, make your own, some to wash and other parts to throw away... etc. so I don't know where to start.


Everyone I know uses dispoables. If you have cloth diapered before, please let me know what you need as I need all the advice I can get. Thanks in adavance!

Mindy from Oregon


By Karaof4 (Guest Post)
August 28, 20061 found this helpful

I had 4 children, and all 4 of them in cloth diapers for some time! I did buy some cloth diapers on-line but I ended up making my own by copying 2 sizes of disposables. I only needed one small size which I used for premie-twins to about size 3 and a larger size. The nice thing about making your own is that each child is shaped different so I made the fronts larger and the sides larger so they could "grow" as the children grew. If you sew them use a surger so you don't have to turn them inside out. I tried snaps on some but I also had carpol tunnel so it didn't work for me, the benefit was that they were always nice and neat. Velcroe always fits because of it adjustablilty but the velcroe collects fuzzies over a short time. I never liked any of the diaper covers I had bought on-line so I ended up just buying the cheapies at a "mart" store. These worked just as well as the expensive ones for us.


I also made cloth liners out of layers of flannel or towels for overnights. One great trick was to buy papertowels that are perferated often. Use one of these small papertowels when you know your little one will have a BM soon and simply throw it and the poo away, makes clean up easy.

Buy a lot of vinegar for rinsing and baby laundry soap or make your own laudry detergent so your little one doesn't have a problem with their skin.

The benefits of cloth to me were cost (I made most out of layers of flannel and some out of worn bath towels covered with flannel), softness for their skin, little if no chemicals, and they were so convienient because I didn't have to go shopping, carry, and keep tract of replenishing the diapers.

This is what worked for our family. I would never trade having my children in those soft flannel diapers for the stiff, chemicaly laden ones. I wish you and your family the very best!

By jean (Guest Post)
August 29, 20061 found this helpful

I have used cloth diapers for 3 children, 1 boy and 2 girls. I bought 100% cotton, and plastic pants, then velcro diaper covers to use. 3 dozen diapers, and 6-8 covers were enough, as I had 1 at -a -time in diapers. Lining them with tissues saved a lot of clean up on bm's.


You will also need a covered pail with a latching lid. I kept a water/bleach solution in the pail, and carried it to the washer when full. Poured in the washer and spun, then washed with soap,bleach, and hot water, hung to dry when possible. Washed about every other day.

Use quart/gallon sized ziploc type bags in the diaper bag for used ones. I also bought cheap washcloths(1 dozen for $4) and used those instead of wipes. They were washed with the diapers.

August 30, 20060 found this helpful

I thought this feedback might be interesting...
I used cloth diapers for my three children and then I bought cloth diapers for my first grandchildren-- but my daughter wanted disposables--


I think I bought Curity-- however, I experienced two kinds of bought cloth diapers-- the one that is long and has fold marks for at least two sizes (Curity) and is a plain woven cotton-- and the second was a square that had a "nubby" texture. Which I think was BirdsEye. Both of these had the ability to be folded differently as the baby grows. I thought about making some from flannel-- but my baby shower took care of diapers-- I did however make flannel blankets-- much larger than the bought ones---and the kids slept with theirs for years. The ladies have very good information for you-- the only thing I can think of is-- if there isn't a non-flushable paper/lining-- you'll use the toilet to flush the poo keeping a grasp on the diaper-- and the rushing water to remove most if not all the poo right down the toilet-- do not flush non-flushable papertowels-- the plumbing bill is huge! After the flush, continue as the ladies said-- diaper pail with lockable lid. The other little person will be interested in what is that? and boy what a mess..... I agree about the velcro-- I used diaper pins-- they work!

good luck


Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 87 Requests
August 31, 20060 found this helpful

a friend has a daycare and she doesnt allow the parents to use cloth diabpers when they come to daycare. fyi unsanitary for her and the daycare


Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 87 Requests
August 31, 20060 found this helpful

a friend has a daycare and she doesnt allow the parents to use cloth diabpers when they come to daycare. fyi unsanitary for her and the daycare


Bronze Request Medal for All Time! 87 Requests
August 31, 20060 found this helpful

a friend has a daycare and she doesnt allow the parents to use cloth diabpers when they come to daycare. fyi unsanitary for her and the daycare

August 31, 20060 found this helpful

I also used cloth diapers for my second child. I should have done it with my first also. They saved us a lot of money. You just have to make sure if there is a bm that you rinse it out right away, which I did in the toilet. I also used a solution of hot water and dishwasher detergent but did not use any fabric softener, as this make s them less absorbant.


If you think you need it, you could add vineger to the rinse cycle. As to the how to diaper, I just used diaper pins, and plastic pants. He could even go into the public pool with this arrangement.

By Lynda (Guest Post)
September 1, 20062 found this helpful

Certainly saves money to have cloth, time and stress to have disposables. I used both. Cloth in the summer,( disposables in the winter or at day care/church).

When soaked in a tub w/lid and a tiny amt of baby oil, I rinsed at night, washed in HOTTEST water in the morning. I hung them out in the sun on an old fashioned clothes line to get sun dried/santized/deodorized naturally. I hung them folded so it was easy to stack/fold each evening. It was routine, and saved a LOT of money.

I also used the disposables for traveling anywhere,medical appts., overnight stays, or during any sign of illness to prevent reinfection or contamination to others, preventing the bacteria/virus to recycle within the family.

Keeping Desitin on the infant's cleaned DRY bottom,
was the BEST prevention of diaper rash that comes
particularly from not changing often enough as well.
NEVER use wipes containing any chemical. It burns the skin eventually. Just use the Desitin cream.

Use no sprays, talc, or chemicals and the baby will remain healthier. Don't overuse bleach nor in each
wash. Every OTHER wash is best. Folding your own is not too hard, because the already folded ones are
harder to clean and sanitize during illness.

Runny movements indicate possible yeast infection
from diet. I would stay simple and use baby yogurt
mostly for keeping movements solid and baby healthy. Give the infant plenty of diluted milks, and water with only a TINY amount of honey occasionally, dropping the honey as teeth appear. Watch for any sign of raw gums, mouth sores or any irritations anywhere, even mosquito bites.

Allow the infant to cry longer than you might want because it instills patience in them, otherwise they
will grow up to be impatient because you too quickly
responded to their crying. They learn quickly to cry for the quickest responses, or to wait since the crying
didn't bring Mom quickly.

Never let a child think you focus primarily on them.
they are precious but all of them are manipulating and quick learners. Keep them in their own beds from infancy, never allowing them to sleep with you, otherwise they will not easily forget the association
of sleep with MOM, quickly refusing to sleep alone
without an unnecessary struggle. Do not keep a
night light on, or they learn to be terrified of the
dark, learning later to "get up when parents are asleep", as they are taught on Dragon Tails!!!

Do not buy USED diapers, unless within the family. Use hypoallergenic/unscented liquid detergent, not powder. "Sun" or Good Day are good mild cheap brand/products. Consider all bleaching use as harsh
on the infants lungs, using only as recommended
in amounts, then opening a window/door or leaving until the bleach smell is gone.

By Sandy C. (Guest Post)
September 1, 20060 found this helpful

I use cloth diapers and I LOVE them. My advice would be to buy the very best diapers you can. There are many brands out there, but the ones I use are by Mother-Ease. I use the "one size" diapers. You simply fold them different ways depending on how big your baby is. They can fit from newborn to 35 pounds. They do save a lot of money, and the thought of throwing away so much trash was just beyond what I could handle. I do use the occasional disposable for doctor appointments or outings where dealing with a dirty cloth diaper is just too much of a pain. These diapers are relatively expensive, but they will last me the whole time my baby needs them, and if I were having other children, they would last then, too. Also, these diapers do sell well in used condition on eBay.

Here's my wash plan: I have a trash can with a lid for a diaper pail. I keep it filled with water and about 1/4 cup of Borax. When the diaper comes off my baby, it goes straight in the pail. Wet diapers require no rinsing, but I do scrape off and flush any poop. Every three days or so, I do a wash. I first do a cold rinse cycle with a little more Borax. Then I do a hot wash with detergent. Then I do a cold wash to make sure all the suds are really out. I usually add vinegar in the first part of that second wash. Line drying outside is AMAZING for removing any stains you diapers may have. I never would have believed that the sun could take out stains like it does unless I'd see it myself.

I also use "fleece" liners. They are super cheap to make. Buy a yard of the cheapest fleece from a discount store. Cut it into the right size and shape to fit inside the diaper (a simple rectangle works great). The fleece keeps the moisture away from the baby. Generally, the poop is only on the liner. If they get really gross, you can always toss them -- they cost about 10 cents each. I've used the same ones for about 6 months and they are still going strong. They get washed with the diapers. A light color is better because sometimes they might leave little "pills" behind on the diapers. Fleece does not unravel, so all you need to do is cut it with regular scissors -- no need to do any edging.

I also like the idea of new diapers (instead of used), but I do buy the Mother-Ease Air Flow covers from eBay or from the Mother-Ease discussion board. These covers come in different sizes (it's nice to have 4 or 5 of whatever size your baby needs).

You might want to try just one or two cloth diapers. Most of the diaper brands will sell just one or two of their diapers for a reasonable cost. Personally, I think cloth can't be beat. While my son can have a b.m. that will literally explode out of a disposable, this just can't happen with the cloth diapers I use. They are so much more absorbant. One word of warning -- cloth diapers are larger than disposable, and you may need to move your baby up a size in clothes.

Good luck!


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September 4, 20060 found this helpful

I used cloth on my first (we had coin-op laundry with the second, so generic diapers were cheaper.) Stock up on PETROLEUM JELLY.....that is the NUMBER ONE diaper rash prevention tool, and much cheaper than desitin! Smells better, too.

I bought a 5 gallon pail with a lid, and poured an inch of Borax in it for deoderizing (and later soak.) I also had a supply of 24 cloths, and six vinyl pants plus 6-8 pairs of pins. You can buy the cloths next to the onsies and training pants in the baby department. Clean the vinyl by hand and air dry. I washed the diapers every night (he slept through by 4 weeks) in hot water, the borax and half the recommended amount of bleach, then DOUBLE RINSED to ensure all bleach was out. Now that I look back, if I knew about washing soda/borax that I use for my laundry now, I would just use that! Look up the homemade laundry soap recipe, but you can omit the bar soap: I use just borax/washing soda in my laundry with poop, pee, food stains, and no problems! I only used disposables for bedtime and going out. I stopped the cloths because he was the size of a one year old at six months, and moved just as much!

Since this is your second child, I am sure you still remember the proper cleaning and care of newborn/infants....cloth diapering isn't much different, just one extra load of laundry (and when aren't you doing that?) lol

I only use cloth when things run out, but I am blessed to live near a good quality very inexpensive store that isn't W**mart!

By Annette (Guest Post)
September 9, 20060 found this helpful

Buy the Curity gauze, Just change the folding as child grows, Make wonderful cleaning rags when not needed as diaper.

By (Guest Post)
September 9, 20060 found this helpful

Thanks so much for all the suggestions!!! I know cloth diapering is the way "we used to do it" but without knowing anything about it, it was too much.

September 24, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Mindy!

I am currently using cloth diapers for my 2nd and 3rd children. A friend of mine said she had heard good things about Fuzzi Bunz and had purchased a set for herself. I had been wanting to use cloth for sometime, but like you, didn't know where to start. It was nice to have someone's opinion on something they had used. I hope I will be able to do the same for you here.

Fuzzi Bunz, like some others, are considered a pocket diaper. This means they have a diaper shell and you insert something absorbent into the "pocket". They are lined with fleece (I read another's response to you that encouraged using a fleece liner for easy disoposal of solid waste) so they make it pretty easy to "knock off" anything solid into the toilet bowl. (No potty swishing required!) I purchased a water-proof diaper bag as well that hangs in my bathroom. Once the diaper is wet or soiled, I shake the insert out of the diaper and drop them both into the diaper bag. Each day at wash (I usually wash in the evening so I can throw the bag in with the diapers) I dump the diapers and inserts into the washing machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

I have enjoyed the cost benefits as well as knowing I'm doing better by the environment.

A good place to see all that is offered in the world of cloth diapering is This site is a community of cloth diaper users that rate cloth diaper stores and it is very informational.

Happy diapering!

By thailene. (Guest Post)
September 24, 20060 found this helpful

I have used cloth for both my sons and only use disposable when we are going out of town etc. I have the luxury of a great diaper service in our area. You might want to see if there is one available near you. I simply put my diapers in a plastic bag lined pail and put them out once a week for pick up and a new delivery. No rinsing necessary. I use a cover called Pro Wrap but I hold the diapers on with the new snappi clip. I think they're easier than pins. You can check out products and the service at

April 12, 20110 found this helpful

Try or for a more affortable great pocket diaper.

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2 More Questions

Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

February 23, 2007

My daughter is about to have her first child and I am looking for information on the cost comparison between Cloth and Disposable Diapers. Any other diaper tips would be great.

Lois in LA


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,023 Feedbacks
April 30, 20041 found this helpful

Here's a submission we received recently:

Sew your own Cloth Baby Diapers - Who me Sew? Yes, you can learn to sew your own Designer Cloth Diapers for your baby!

Your Precious Baby deserves nothing less than Cloth to wear 24 hours a day for about the first 2-3 year of it's life.

There have been so many changes in the styles and fabrics of Cloth diaper now, they're not what Granny used!

More than just a square of flannel, you can make your own fitted or all-in-one cloth diapers. So Easy they go on with velcro and soft elastic around the legs, just like Huggies!

No more toilet dunking, just throw them in the washer and voila! Sparkling clean diapers, no running to the store, no more paying for an extra load of Garbage.

Save up to $2500 by using Cloth diapers. There are a few free patterns for cloth diapers online, and I'm even working on my own All-in-one Daddy's favorite cloth diaper pattern. Just e-mail me for more info at hi_eagle AT


February 23, 20070 found this helpful

This website has a ton of great resources for cloth diaperers:

February 23, 20070 found this helpful

Don't forget to think about diaper services. When my girls where born more than twenty years ago we didn't want to go the disposable way because of my commitment to the environment but I didn't want all the work either. I wanted my cake and to eat it too. We found if you calculated the cost of the service against the cost of cloth diapers and hydro, water, soap it came out to be the same as a service. That's the way we went and I'm still glad we did. Just thought I'd mention the idea.

February 23, 20070 found this helpful

I suggest disposable. I can't imagine messing with cloth diapers, of course we have twins, and it would be impossible to keep up, but disposables are the best way if you ask me. my mom used cloth on me of course with a diaper service she received as a baby shower gift and she said she would have still preferred to use disposables!

February 23, 20070 found this helpful

I strongly suggest using disposables. They are specially made to keep the baby's skin nice and dry, plus they tend to absorb alot of the smells. I had tried cloth for the first 4 or 5 months with my son, but he often got rashes and smelled like pee. Plus when they poop in the cloth diaper its just a stinky mess, and a pain in the neck to go and dump it all in the toilet. The you have to keep a bucket full of cleaning solution to soak them in until you get enough to make a full wash load (yuck). Its just so much easier (and cleaner) to use dispoables. Just roll up the dirty diaper, retape shut, and if its a stinky one throw it in a plastic shopping bag, tie it up a few times and throw it away... more time with baby!

By Judith W. (Guest Post)
February 24, 20070 found this helpful

I'd do the disposable diaper thing. I thought I would do cloth with my daughter but a friend of my husband purchased us the huge container that several boxes of pampers are delivered to department stores. I was so thrilled. That present and getting a few more packages lasted our daughter until she needed to go to the next size disposable.

I grew up with five brothers and one sister. My mother washed out poop diaper all the time. She had two in piapers once and three in piapers another time. I don't know how she did it. I never had to do that task, but sure felt sorry for the little girl next door who had to wash out the poop diapers for her mother when she had twins. There was no city water nor modern washers. I can still see that little girl scrubbing those diapers on a wash board and crying. Her mother usually came outside and threatened her with a broom stick to hurry and get her task done.

We may have been poor but we had a good mother. When Mother gave birth to my fifth brother, she was very sick . She had surgery and didn't come home for two weeks. I took Joey and raised him his first six months because Mom was too ill to take care of him at night. I made sure that my baby brother had "disposable" diapers for the next twelve months that I was away at school. My stepfather brings it up several times, that he really appreciated my buying "diapers" for my little brother.

By corri (Guest Post)
February 27, 20070 found this helpful

I suggest using a little of both. I use cloth at home and disposable when we got out.

February 27, 20070 found this helpful

Today's Cloth Diapers are amazingly easy to use now. If you haven't checked them out in the past couple of years, just do a search on google for cloth diapers, you'll pull up thousands of sites!

NO pins, no dunking, no leaks, no rash, no bulk, no toxic chemicals, and no waste for the landfills.

And best of all no $2500 price tag! And that's if you don't change the disposables very often and let baby sit in their own waste, ewww! Cost more if your baby goes past 2 till potty training, about another $1000 every year.

If you sew you can get enough cloth diapers to last for 2 years for $70. Even if you don't sew, the cost for 2-3 yrs worth of high quality easy to use cloth diapers goes to between $100-300. Just to get enough to start out using cloth is as low as $30-50.

Compared to $2500 or more for disposables, and your baby will be healthier, happier and your wallet fatter, there is just no comparison!

email me for more info! hi_eagle AT

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May 9, 2006

Do you use disposable or cloth diapers on your baby? Feel free to post feedback about this poll in the feedback forum below.


By fauxpaslover (Guest Post)
May 10, 20060 found this helpful

Personnaly, every time I see a disposable diaper on a Wal Mart parking lot, used, I feel they should be outlawed! How about you?

By (Guest Post)
May 10, 20061 found this helpful

I use disposable diapers. I know, I know. But I never, ever would leave one anywhere except a trash can! If there is no trash can, come on, take it home! :)

April 28, 20151 found this helpful

I only used disposables for my baby, who is 30 now, and I know it can be a controversial question. I will say this, if you use cloth, don't expect somebody else to change your baby's diaper.

When I was first pregnant, my ultra-frugal neighbor asked me to keep her baby one day. She insisted on using cloth diapers, and between my all-day, everyday morning sickness, and wrestling with unfamiliar cloth diapers, by the time she came to pick the baby up, I was ready to throw up.

And, I was determined to use disposables for my own baby.

So for your own baby, fine, but don't expect your babysitter to use cloth. I don't see how using cloth is healthier for the baby. Disposables wick the moisture away, while cloth keeps it right next to the skin. My son never got diaper rash, while the neighbor's baby did.

I wouldn't want to use cloth Kotex, either.

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