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Old 02-12-2013, 08:02 PM   #1
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Am I a candidate for cloth?

So I am new to the idea of cloth diapering. I have recently started babywearing and as a result I have become interested in attempting cloth diapering. At this point my husband still believes that cloth would not save us much money when all the time, water, and electricity is added up. So far disposables have been working well for us in the sense of not experiencing any blowouts or rashes. My son is 4 months and still goes through about 10-12 diapers a day. That would mean that I would have to do laundry at least every other day. My husband and I are very slack when it comes to laundry...we do it once every week or two...when we run out of clothes. Lol. I know at this point cloth wouldn't be too much of a hassle since little one is EBF. My husband is concerned that the diapers will become very high maintenance once solids are introduced. With that said, do you even think we would be candidates for cloth? If so, what would be your recommendation for the simplest, low maintenance cloth diapers? How long could we really stretch between washes before the stench takes over our house? Do all cloth diapers have to be stripped at some point or is there a way to avoid that process? Also, is it really necessary to do an extra rinse...that's where my husband feels that the cost would not be worth it? I personally would love to attempt cloth, especially for the cute factor, BUT I'm just not sure if it fits our family phlegmatic style.


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Old 02-12-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

Do you actually have a washing machine in your home? That, I think, is the most important thing if you cloth diaper. The first few months of diapering we rented a place that didn't have a washing machine, and even though the laundromat was just around the corner, it was *very* annoying.

If I could only use one system it would be flips + flats. I've tried All-in-ones, all-in-twos, pockets, fitteds, flats, prefolds, etc, with WAHM brands and bigger brands, and really, the most stress free, worry free combination has been flip covers (with velcro for day care) with bamboo flats and what is now called the "night time" insert. Bumgenius (the flips people) just come out with their own brand of flat, which is supposed to be very good as well.

If I could go back and do it all again, I'd stick with flips and flats.

Trying to line-dry fitteds and AIOs, especially in winter, is a massive pain. With flats, we just fling them over chairs and hangers, and they'll be dry within the day. They are easier, and more reliable, to get clean as well.

Diapers do not need to be stripped if you use the right amount of detergent (not too much, not too little), no fabric softener, and none of the commercial diaper creams. And yes, you really do need the extra rinse (usually - check and see if there are bubbles that linger when the machine is on its rinse cycle).

We wash every 3-4 days, which is much longer than is usually recommended, though. We have not noticed any significant change in water or heating bills. Certainly not to overshadow the cost of buying disposables.

Hope this helps!

P.S.: we started using disposable liners when our daughter started solids. A diaper sprayer is helpful, but disposable liners are indispensable for us.

Last edited by jam's mum; 02-12-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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It's not as high maintenance as it sounds. Start simple and if you like it build from there. Try something like the Econobum Starter Kit (at Cotton Babies,, BabiesRUs...) and see if you like it. Maybe you decide prefolds aren't your thing, and try a couple Imagine One Size All in Ones ( Maybe then you decide cloth just isn't your thing in general and you put all 10 diapers in the back of the closet until you run out of disposables in the middle of the night...
But- yes diapers do need to be washed every couple days, you really run the risk of ruining them by letting them sit. Cotton is easiest to clean and sanitize. And every now and then you will need to add a little bleach to the wash...but cotton is by far the easiest to maintain and stands up to the most use.

Honestly though, for me it was creating the routine. Just make it a habit to do it every other day and within a couple weeks you dont even think about it.
I think it's best to start when the baby is EBF because you just dump it all in the wash and let her rip. Once they start solids you may think about a flushable liner like Bummis so you never have to scrape or spray any poo. You just lay it in the diaper and flush it all down. I can't live without them, I hate spraying!
And yes it does actually save money even when you consider the washing! Our water bill barely moves month to month no matter how often we are home to do the wash. If you see a spike in your power bill just air dry!
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:15 PM   #4
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

Here's a breakdown of expenses from AppleCheeks. I'd recommend using prefolds/wraps as prefolds can sit quite a while without going wrong. Having 3 dozen prefolds and about 8 covers would be a good system and wouldn't break the bank.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:56 PM   #5
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

Here's another great resource to answer a lot of your questions! IMHO anyone is a "candidate for cloth" and the laundry is only one of MANY factors when deciding if cloth is right for your family!
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:59 PM   #6
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Cloth diapering is not that hard at all. I still don't do our laundry that often, until we run out of clothes. Cloth dipes I do every 2-3 days.

For a price breakdown, google price of cloth. Check out Kelly's Closet. Here's a link to a cd calculator:

As far as poops once they start solids, I love flushable liners! You can get them on Amazon or any cloth diaper store. Kissed by the Moon has bamboo ones if you want natural fibers touching baby. The liners look dryer sheets but softer. The pee flows through them but the solid poop doesn't so when you change baby, put the poppy liner in the toilet and flush! Usually a corner of the liner isn't poopy so you can grab that so you don't have to touch poo.

Stripping really depends on whether you have hard water. Hard water with a regular machine, I imagine would fine, hard water with a high efficiency machine is a pain in the *** and takes commitment. I just moved out of a hard water area and am using a regular machine, no more rashes and endless rinsing!

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Old 02-13-2013, 04:49 AM   #7
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

Originally Posted by MomBecks View Post
Here's a breakdown of expenses from AppleCheeks. I'd recommend using prefolds/wraps as prefolds can sit quite a while without going wrong. Having 3 dozen prefolds and about 8 covers would be a good system and wouldn't break the bank.
This is my favorite system and pad folded flats in pockets or covers, both wash really easy they are cheap and you can get lots of cute covers. As far as washing, Im the same way with the laundry I wont do the clothes until everyone is running out but I really dont mind doing the diapers they get done every 2 days.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:31 AM   #8
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

If I can cloth diaper full time anyone can-- DH and I both WOH full time and the baby goes to daycare (who uses cloth).
~I do diaper laundry every 3 days (fold/put away once a week) and regular laundry as needed.

We are an AIO mostly family.

Flats/Prefolds and covers are cheap and fairly easy.

Really I notice no difference in water bill/electricity when doing cloth. We had a 5 month break between DS2 potty training and DD being born. Actually our water bill and electic bill went down since we went from summer (100 degrees) to fall.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

Flips and Flats over here, too! That way we can line dry when needed and it doesn't use much water since I don't do an extra rinse with flats.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #10
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Re: Am I a candidate for cloth?

If you don't mind folding, flats are definitely the easiest laundry-wise. I'd stick with cotton flats, not bamboo or hemp, since bamboo and hemp seem to be denser and hold odors more. Flats would also be such a cheap option that it would be dfficlt NOT to save money using them. They're cheap to buy, wash easily, and dry quickly. Also, since your baby is now 4 months old, he can fit into onesize covers already so you can buy ust one set of covers. But you WILL have to do laundry more than once a week. Diaper laundry is easier than regular landry, though.
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