Friday, January 8, 2010

Cloth Diaper Questions

What type do you use?

I use Thirsties brand all-in-one diapers with a pocket. I use Gerber prefolds for an insert, which you can get anywhere.

How many do you have?

I have a dozen of each small and large sized diapers. I don't have a lot because we do elimination communication, so we mostly use them for Bobby at night and when we go out. Thomas is still learning the communication part of elimination communication, but we see improvements and we are relying less on diapers. If you don't do elimination communication, you will need more.

I skipped the extra-small and medium sized, as a big diaper will fit a small baby easily. Thomas would have already outgrown the extra-small by now anyway and he can wear the large ones when needed. Bobby transitioned from the small to large as Daniel potty-trained.

If I were to start over and had a chance to buy them again, I would have just bought a bunch of one-sized-fits-all, all-in one diapers. I hear that Thirsties is one of the best brands. I have had no problem with them, but they are the only one I've tried, so I have no reference point.

I probably didn't get the best price. I shopped around a bit, and found them for a decent price. If I were to start again, I would spend some time finding the best price through online retailers.

How frequently do you wash?

I wash daily. I'd rather not keep those stinky things around. Washing daily is ideal for hand washing and wonderwashing, but may not be ideal with a washing machine.

What is your washing process?

When the diaper is removed, any solids are shaken into the toilet. Then the diaper is hand scrubbed in the bathroom sink. If there are no solids, it is immediately rinsed. The wonderwash acts as the diaper pail until the end of the day when I wash the load. The wonderwash is perfect as it will do a small load. I hand wring diapers before hanging them to dry.

What was your hand-washing process?

When I hand washed, I did the rinsing and everything in the sink, then would do a small load in the sink with what ever diapers had collected. I filled the sink with water and my detergent. Then I would knead the diapers, let them drain and repeat until the water was clear after kneading.

How do you disinfect?

Hand washing disinfecting is no different than the steps taken to disinfect in a washing machine. The water going into a washing machine isn't hotter than the water coming out of my faucet, and neither is hot enough to disinfect.

I add white vinegar to the soap nuts, generally about a quarter cup, since the loads are small. Then, I hang the diapers on a drying line that goes across the window, so they dry in the sun. If one of my kids starts to get a rash, which is extremely infrequent with elimination communication, I boil the diapers.

How long have you used them?

I used cloth diapers when Daniel was a baby, but got out of the habit. I only had prefolds and wet pants, so they were harder to work with than my all-in-ones, which work like a disposable. I started using them again when I got pregnant with Thomas.

Does it save money?

If you only have one child and buy a large stash of expensive diapers, they will most likely still save over disposables. If you want more than one child, even expensive cloth diapers will save money over disposables. For an elimination communication family, it saves, too, especially if you want a large brood like we do.

What about cloth wipes?

I use cloth wipes and prefer them to regular wipes. We just use baby face cloths that have been designated for bum wipes. They clean better than disposable wipes with out the chemicals. I clean them the same way I clean diapers.

Do you find it easy?

No, I would not consider cloth diapering easy. I spend about twenty minutes a day on diaper rinsing, laundering, wringing and hanging. I spend probably two hours total on all housework and cooking each day, so it is a chunk of my work. Along with being frugal, cloth diapers are better for theenvironment and a baby's health, so it is undoubtedly worth the effort.


SoMo said...

I wish I would have started cloth diapering with my first, but at the least my second. This is our last baby, so I am not sure what I am going to do with my stash when we are done. A store in town collects cloth diapers that aren't being used and gives them to people who can't afford the start up cost, so I will probably do that.

I use the Bumgenius 3.0 pockets one size and prefolds with a Thirsties cover. I like the BGs, because they came with a newborn insert which helps with night time. If I had to do it over again I would have gone with the BG all in one one size. I have one and it is trim as well as easy.

I figured it out that we were spending about $1000 a year on disposables, give or take and my son didn't potty train until he was 3.5 yrs old, so that was over $3000. Talk about a waste. This time I spent a little over $700 for my whole stash and I am done. I have smaller babies so I stick on the smaller side of things.

I am, also, happy that we don't have to use Pull-Ups. My oldest daughter used them for night until she was almost 6 yrs old, but my son was staying drying so we only had to use them for about a month or 2. Not sure if I will go back to them with the youngest or try cloth training pants. I have some time to think about.

I don't find washing to be a big deal, but I use a washing machine. If I had to do them by hand I am not sure if I would be cloth diapering. I have heard that you shouldn't use vinegar for cloth diapers. Do you use it everytime or just once in awhile? I do a cold rinse then a hot wash and another cold rinse. I would think that doing that by hand would produce the same results, but I could be wrong. We haven't had any problems with the cloth diapers, except the 3 months it took me to get use to them. I stopped and started a few times. It helps when baby is not having a blow out several times a day.

Amber said...

I love cloth diapers. My favorites are Haute Pockets, which are pocket diapers. I always buy the One Size diapers because they fit for much longer, obviously, than the sized diapers. I have heard great things about the thirsties, too.

What sink did you wash the diapers in when you were hand washing? It sounds like you'd need a pretty large sink to was them efficiently. How did you sanitize the sink after you washed the diapers in it?

I'm glad you don't have to wash them by hand anymore. I do think it's a bit icky that you use your soap nut concoction on the diapers, but I also don't use too much detergent as that causes build up. I put half the normal detergent in, a big pile of baking soda, and about half a cup of vinegar. We've never had a problem with smell.

Our Family Is His said...

We use cloth. We started using then with our first son to save money. The benefits of less chemicals, environment, and so on, were icing on the cake.

I will say, I find it quite easy. I shake if there are solids and toss in a wet pail afterwards (of if there are none). My wet pail is baking soda, vinegar, hot water (yes, it gets cold during the day, but the hot helps with the mixing of baking soda and vinegar). I just toss the entire thing into the washing machine at the end of the day, toss in a tiny, tiny bit of soap (you use just a bit of soap with cloth), and wash on hot with 2 rinses (my machine has a second rinse cycle option). I toss them in the dryer before I go to bed and in the morning we have clean diapers. I wash every day or every other day depending on how I feel.

We use a mixture of diapers since we still have the dipes we used with my older son. Fuzzi Bunz, Bum Genius 3.0, and Happy Heiny's. We have unbleached chinese prefolds with hemp doublers and a wool soaker for night time (can you tell we have a heavy wetter? Hehe). Our inserts are all hemp (thinner with more absorbancy).

Emily said...

SoMo, if there is no poo in the diapers, I omit the vinegar. Poo is easy to catch with elimination communication, so it is not uncommon to go without vinegar, but not everyday, either.

Amber, we used the bathroom sink, but it the load was a little big, I would do it in phases. A little vinegar disinfects easiy.

Also, soap nuts are so much better for diapers than detergent. They are just different from what Americans are used to. There is no soapy build up and no chemicals. Any soapy build up from detergent can make the diapers less absorbent, as well as be irritating to a baby's skin. Just because something is different doesn't make it icky.(:

Maureen said...

Good Morning, Emily!

For diapers, I am rather partial to FuzziBunz pockets. The fleecy layer that touches the child's skin sucks up any liquid into an insert, so you can replace the insert and use the pocket more than once- but we tend to change pockets after about the second time. I also like the BumGenius all-in-ones for my two babies.

I am also a big fan of the diaper sprayer. It gets everything off! I don't want to be critical of your method, but I am not sure that solid waste is good for the bathroom sink pipes. I know you're shaking into the toilet, but I also know that with my girls, there is usually still a little solid matter even after I have shaken. There was even still solid matter after I dunked the diaper and shook it a couple of times. I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about plumbing, but it just sounds like it could eventually cause plumbing problems. Hopefully, someone can comment with additional information. Anyway, a frugal solution could be to invest in a handheld showerhead and spray the dirty diapers over a bucket.

I have three in cloth, and I wash diapers every other day. I use the machines. First, I do a prewash/rinse in cold, and then I do a wash in hot with detergent. Finally, I dry them on medium heat. It takes a long time, but it is not time consuming for me because the machines allow me to set them up and walk away.

Making the switch to cloth for three was expensive, but I could not imagine spending two more years paying for disposables. I did calculations, and my expenditure was like buying five months of disposables at once. So, when that time elapses, my investment will have paid off, and the money-saving will start!

Our Family Is His said...

I haven't ever tried soap nuts. I have seen boxes of them at our natural food store. We do use natural detergent. I hate the chemicals and we have totally removed them from our home.

Minn said...

I restarted using cloth diapers on my 2yo son because I was running out of disposables. I made about 90% of his diapers so I saved a bit.

I use vinegar, too, when I wash the diapers. I put all the dirty dipes in the washer. I soak them first with cold water and vinegar. The vinegar helps with eliminating the ammonia smell. Then I wash them in hot water. I also use homemade detergent so not much soap build up, if any.

Great FAQ Friday topic.

Early Modern Mom said...

I really wish I had known about the changes in CD's when my girl was a baby. I had worked with pre-folds and vinyl covers when my little brother was a baby, and I had no interest in doing that again.

If God ever chooses to bless us with another child (unlikely; DD is 14, I'm 34, and DH is 35), I'm planning to use cloth diapers.

Maureen said...

To clarify: your sink solution is the most frugal of all. I was trying to say that the showerhead/bucket solution would be frugal compared to a diaper sprayer.

-K- said...

Forgive my ignorance.

When you are doing EC, does the child wear a diaper around the house and you just strip him quick when you realize what he is doing or do they just run wild and free?

Maria said...

We cloth diaper and find it to be super easy and efficient. During the day, Nyx wears diaper service quality UBCPF with a cover (Thirsties, Bummis, Bumkins or Proraps when she was tiny.) At night, she sleeps in Fuzzi Bunz or Happy Heiny one-size pockets. For trips to her cardiologist, surgeon or pedi, we use Thirsties and Bum Genius 3.0s AIOs or Fuzzi Bunz pocket fitteds in, er, small I think.

We do one load of diapers a day. I don't do any extra rinsing or scrubbing. I just toss them in with some old skool Tide. We have no build up or stains or stinkies. When the kiddo moves to solids, we'll probably make some changes to the washing routine.

Since we're committed to CDing for all our kids (if we can have more or are successful in adoption,) we invested a little more up front in dipes, especially good quality prefolds and extra stuffers. Our stash of 48 UBCPFs, 12 covers (different sizes,) 4 Fuzzi Bunz OS, 2 HH OS, 2 FB fitteds, Thirsties & Bum Genius AIOs, and snappis cost right around $400. I stalked my faave dipe websites for the best deals and sales. They're holding up incredibly well too.

Melody said...

Hi Emily,
We use prefolds and Thirsties covers. We tried a few AIOs and pockets but we just really love our prefolds (ntm we bought them super cheap as seconds so it let us put together a nice big stash quickly)
Our wash routine with a HE machine is countrysave, oxyclean and vinegar in the rinse. Actually I use vinegar on everything now as a fabric softener.

Our Family Is His said...

I don't know if you have this recipe for laundry soap, but I have used it for a very long time, only moved to store bought when we were trying to figure out our youngest sons allergies, will be going back to it once we run out of what we are using now. I saw that your soap nuts are .04/load. This is a bit cheaper (not tons, but every little bit helps and it all adds up) at .01/load. She says that's the price she makes it for. I did the math with my receipt and load amount and it's right on the money.

I do not purchase the items from her store due to price, but the recipe is the exact one I use (liquid).

Liz said...

I commend you for using them! Cloth diapers did not work for us, and I tried all kinds. All of them leaked, and I mean I was changing her whole outfit each diaper change kind of leakage. The only kind I have not tried is homemade flats or prefolds instead of commercial ones, and I am tempted to try again but it was such a failure before I am not sure I have the commitment it would take.

Mary Jane said...

Do you ever have issues with an ammonia smell in your diapers? I have cloth diapered both of my children and even with a very thorough hot wash, special detergent, extra rinses, water softener added to the wash, etc. it's still always been an issue. In my experience my All-in-One style diapers have always been the worst with regard to retaining odors. I prefer pocket diapers because by taking the diaper completely apart to wash it seems as though it gets cleaner. I've always assumed that the reason I've had such difficulty with AIOs is because it's harder to get all of those sewn-in layers clean.

Our Family Is His said...

Mary Jane, two things to try for the ammonia smell are:

1) Stripping the diapers. You can find out how to do this online at any diaper site.

2) Vinegar rinse. This really helps cut the ammonia smell.

Emily said...

K, Bobby goes diaper free, but can't get on the potty himself, so he has learned to ask for my help. With Thomas we have "free time" when I am practicing understand his signals, but even in his diaper, I can usually tell when he is about to poo, so I just take him to the toilet.

Mary Jane, you may be using too much detergent. I found this site that recommends using dawn (dish detergent) and occasional bleaching when diapers smell like ammonia.

I would recommend vinegar, which is antibacterial and removes odors. If that does't work, I would boil them to get rid of any odor causing bacteria.

Treva said...

I had to use disposables. I was a single mom the first 2 years and I worked full time (50 hour weeks were common) and I didn't have easy access to a washer/dryer (as in, I had to drive to the laundry mat 15 minutes down the road to get to one). For me it made the most sense to use disposables, but I was always kinda bummed that we didn't get to use cloth and I thought if I had another I would definitely go that route, but no more kiddies for me, so I'll never get to try them. I will say diapering was easier for me once DD went on some solid food (around 6 months). When she was EBF she would have blowouts pretty frequently since everything is so liquid-y. Once there was some solid food I only needed 1 big box of diapers every 3-4 weeks that I got from Sam's Club for $25.

Mary Jane said...

Oh yes, I've done it all- the stripping, using 1/2 the amount of detergent, using detergents that are meant to work well with cloth diapers, etc.

In the end the only thing that has worked for me has been bleach- I add just a small amount (maybe 1/4 c. to one large load) of bleach to my wash. If I skip the bleach just once or twice the smell starts to come right back. So far the diapers don't seem to be wearing out any faster and they've been used for 3-4 kids now.

In particular though I was wondering if this was ever an issue for Emily since she's using AIOs and handwashing them.

Kari said...

I've always used cloth diapers. Started out with flats and prefolds and velcro closure diaper covers back in '91 with my oldest.

Since then I still rely primarily on chinese prefolds and pull-on nylon diaper covers.

I did try my hand at sewing up some pocket diapers using the Rita's Rump Pocket pattern and loved those, but the baby girl outgrew them and I haven't gotten around to sewing up more yet.

We dry pail and wash in our washing machine. From time to time I strip them using a squirt or two of Dawn dishwashing liquid.

Kudos to you, Emily, for having the fortitute to handwash diapers. As crunchy and as frugal as I am that one would be a hard road for me! :)

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

I just found out I'm pregnant and fully intend on using cloth diapers so thank you so much for this post! The comments are so helpful as well!

I have a friend who was very successful in making her own cloth diapers and I believe she uses hemp as an absorbant so I'm going to try to copy her.

Also Our Family to His....I LOVE that laundry soap recipe! I think I'll switch to it as soon as I'm done with what we're using now. THANK YOU!

Elizabeth said...

We use cloth diapers in the warmer months when I can hang them on the clothesline outside. Since I have a large stash of disposables that I got on sale for about $1.50 per pack I use those in the winter months.

One thing you may want to consider, Emily, is writing to some larger cloth diapering compaines and see if they would like to supply you with a few samples of their diapers to test for reviews on your blog. I did this for an article and received several samples of Fuzzi Bunz and Kushies diapers. It is a great way to test out other brands of diapers and you get to keep them after the reviews so a good way to add to your stash. That is, if these compaines are accepting reviewers and you intend to follow up on the review. I love the Kushies and really like the Fuzzi Bunz. I have also found cloth diapers at garage sales and bartered for several Happy Heineys with some natural mothering magazines so I have an assortment of diapers that I use.

Emily said...

Mary Jane, I don't have a problem with an ammonia smell, but I would attribute that to soap nuts.

Diana, congratulations!

Elizabeth, I'll have to look into that. I never thought of doing reviews for free diapers, but since I'm doing reviews for books, that might be a good item to add.

Getting back to me said...


Unless something has changed about FuzziBunz in the past couple of years, I'm fairly positive you need to be changing the whole diaper each time, not just the insert.

Annika said...

How long do they take to air-dry indoors? I tried air-drying my diapers indoors once and two days later they were still wet. They absorb so much water they wouldn't dry.

Anonymous said...

I was taught in China how to train our baby to eliminate on demand.
There were 2 ways actually.

1. You turn around backwards and YOU sit over the toilet.
Hold baby in your arms/lap and gently put their feet pressing on the toilet seat. The seat is where they can push their feet. But you also will sort of gently push their legs into their tummy.
You then make a bit of a grunting sound, and poof your done.
This may take practice and you will soon learn how and when to do this.

2. The second way is to buy a "squatty potty". Look at one and try to get the ones closest to an asian training toilet as possible. Walmart does not sell these. They have to be very low to the ground and the child will literally squat over it. Even if they sit, it's so low that they actually are squatting. I found one by accident at a non chain dollar store.
The process is pretty much like above.
I think some of the travel collapsable potties may work for this?

The whole concept is to be naturally pushing not sitting on a throne.
Sort of like the way women get into birthing positions.

By the way #1 can be done in a public restroom. Just stand up over the toilet and push your childs legs into their tummy.
You may feel funny the first time but after a while you will be thankful that you never change or wash "dirty diapers"... ;)

This is by the way why asian babies wear "split pants".
There is an opening basically down there.

Elizabeth said...

I posted my favorite homemade laundry detergent on my blog some time ago, I love using it for all our laundry and I think it does end up being cheaper than soap nuts.

Emily said...

Annika, They are dry in a day. We hang them in the window, so the sun hits them. Also, they are directly above the heater, which makes the area dry.

Anon, I don't usually post anonymous comments, but excellent info. Bobby, 16 months, doesn't like sitting on the toilet. I'll be on the lookout for one of those little seats. I've seen those split pants and thought it wouldn't be too hard to convert a few pairs of pants into split pants.

Amber said...

Another great place to get diapers is I got my entire stash on there and was able to sell the diapers that did not work for us. You can even trade ones you have for other diapers. It's a great site that I highly recommend if you don't mind used diapers!

Make sure to ask questions though and specify if you don't want certain things. I wouldn't want diapers that had always been hand washed or from a smoking home, for example, but you definitely have to specify that. said...

I love the Thirsties diapers too. I've used other AIO's, prefolds and contoured diapers and they all have leaked. My Thirsties rarely leak and they are the trimmest diapers we found.

Did you you about You can buy, sell and trade used cloth diapers on this site. It costs less than buying them new, espcially if you just want to try out a different brand or style.

We just started EC'ing when my little guy was about 9 months. We potty when he gets up from naps, and right after meals. On a good week, we catch all the poopy diapers. On a not so good week, we catch about 80% of them. I am not brave enough to go without dipaers since he wets in between sessions and I'm not ready to take him to the potty every 45 minutes or so. I also don't really know what his signals are that he is about to pee. It works for us though.

Kristie said...

I've been using cloth for about a year. I also love Thirsties. We started with medium covers and prefolds. It was a super cheap stash for under $120 with covers, 36 prefolds and snappis to diaper a 12month old full time, and our 3yo at night. For number 4, I needed to get some smaller sizes. I decided to go with the size 1 Duos, which should last from birth until the little guy is big enough for the mediums (I hope)...

Thankfully we have a machine to wash, because I don't think I have the patience for constant handwashing.

Blessed said...

I always wondered exactly how they did it, Anon, so thanks for that! BUT my sister-in-law, who lived in China for several years, told me that when she was at the homes of people who had a baby, when the baby would start to pee they would just quickly hold the baby away from themselves and let the pee go all over the tile floor. Ewww! My one friend here in CA who tried the elimination communication thing with no diapers (for an older baby) also ended up with pee all over her carpet. Double Ewwww! So while I really admire this whole idea of listening to your baby's signals and totally "green" potty training. . . I have a problem with pee everywhere. And with 4 kids and homeschooling I feel like I already have plenty to do without washing my floors all the time! ; )

In fact, Emily, it will be interesting to see if you keep this blog going for years how the elimination communication changes as you add more kids, esp. since you plan to homeschool as well. I hope it keeps working for you--but think logistically it will get harder and harder.

As for the cloth diapers, I LOVE my fuzzi bunz, and they are still holding strong on the 4th kid. The only issue is that the elastic has stretched out around the legs in some of the diapers. But they are still doing their job well.

Another brand that works the same as FuzziBunz BUT is a home industry of a Christian homeschooling mom of 10: Snap-EZ. If you want to see a pic, I wrote about cloth diapers last year :

Emily, one thing you might want to consider if you end up getting more diapers is that brands like FuzziBunz use plastic snaps to make their diapers adjustable for a wide range of sizes (and mine work from about 6 mo to potty training!) So they will last longer than the velcro closure styles--unless you are really handy with a needle and are happy replacing the velcro after every kid is done with them.

And for anyone who is thinking about cloth diapering, cotton prefolds make fine stuffing BUT if you can afford them, HEMP inserts are AMAZING and hold WAY, WAY more than cotton. In fact, I use a hemp insert with a cotton pre-fold inside my stuffable diapers, and almost never get leaks.

Mary said...

For those just getting into cloth diapers, Bum Genius has 2 awesome new lines: the Flip and Ecobum. They are very similar, both one size that can be used 7-35 pounds and have snaps so no velcro issues. Both are reusable covers with inserts. The Flip has an insert designed for it and Ecobum uses prefolds (has ones "designed" for it but you could use any). You just change the insert as needed and reuse the cover (also able to wipe it down and reuse if necessary). For the Flip they also have disposable inserts when you're out on the town or traveling. The covers for each seem similar to me so you can probably use prefolds with the Flip as well. We love them. Online stores are selling them now. I think it's around $35 for a package: 2 covers and 6 inserts. You can buy additional covers, inserts separately. Could probably get away pretty inexpensively and still wash every other day.

Also, for cleaning issues, we use Charlie's Soap. Haven't needed to add anything else to it and works well!

Deana said...

I used mother-ease one size. Loved them, & the snap covers the make are leak proof. Only leak proof system I found. My boys were heavy wetters though.

Kat said...

Hi Emily,

Thanks for the great tips. I really admire you for cloth diapering. On behalf of planet Earth...thank you!

DH and I currently don't have any kids (the plan is, to in 5-10 years, basically when I finish my undergrad, DH finishes grad school, and we have health insurance) but when we do we are both committed to cloth diapering.

I remember my parents using a diaper service, I always thought that's what I would do, but I wonder what with a truck having to consantly pick them up and drop them off everyday if it's THAT much better environmentally (and do they even HAVE diaper services anymore? I haven't seen a truck in ages). You make actually having to clean the diapers at home sound pretty easy , plus I would imagine that one can buy diapers that are much better quility than what a service would offer. Great info, thanks!

Meg said...

Regarding the soap recipe listed by Our Family is His.....I've been using this soap for years, and it's great!

It's extremely cheap. I used an old plastic cat litter pail (the ones where only half the lid comes up, and hate pails where lids come all the way off.) My mom and sister also use the same recipe. The Fels Naptha is hard to find in some areas, so an old Ivory bar will work fine. We have a high number of Amish in my area, so we're lucky that they love Fels Naptha and all stores carry it. I found the borax at Wal-Mart, and the washing soda at a Kroger. You may have to look around for the ingredients, as stock varies by area.

Anyways, it's extremely quick to make, basically just heating some stuff up on the stove. It's also good for those who have HE washers, or front loaders, because it doesn't sudse....there's nothing wrong with using it in place of HE detergent. I have skin problems, and it doesn't effect me at all.

Also, I know most of the readers probably don't wear a lot of higher end clothing, since this is a frugal blog...but if anyone is wondering, it doesn't effect the quality of clothing. I haven't noticed any discoloring or fading or film on my clothes.

Sarah said...

That is great that you cloth diaper. I wish I had had a different attitude about it when my oldest was born. As it is, my second is 18 months, and he is our last, so it doesn't really seem worth it to start now.

Maureen said...

Gettingback, thanks for the tip about the FuzziBunz. We are new to CD, and I thought I had read that you could just switch out the insert. And the FB come with two inserts apiece, so it made sense. Of course, now that I need it, I can't find where I read that you could just switch out the insert!

julie said...

I have cloth diapered for 4 years. My favorites are Little Lion Flats and Nanasbottoms. You might want to try the flats. They are very large flats (30x30) and dry FAR quicker. You can just fold them to the size you need. I don't do the fancy flat folds, just simply fold to a neat rectangle. Fold in half long way, fold in half short way then fold in 3rds. I use these with either Fuzzibunz or Prorap covers. You can get seconds from the company. When I line dry the flats they are dry in less than 1 HOUR!

CaveGirl said...

I think we have some soap nut trees growing on our property. You should plant some and harvest your own soap nuts to save money. I assume you grow one in a big pot in your living room.

Sarah said...

For anyone interested in cloth diapering but may be a bit burdened by the up front investment, please check out Miracle Diapers ( They are a non-profit organization that can provide some cloth diapers to help build your stash.

sarah said...

Maureen, you definitely CANNOT just switch out the insert on Fuzzi Bunz. I have been a FB user for 7 years between my 4 children. The new one-sized ones come with a regular insert and a newborn insert. Alternatively, the newborn insert can be used as a doubler for naps, bedtime, and outings.

Getting back to me said...


They very well could have changed them - My dd is four so has been out of diaper for a while. Fuzzinbunz were my favorite diaper by far though! I googled a bit and couldn't find the answer!

Cave Girl said...

Sarah, what do you mean you can't switch out the insert on FBs? Do you mean you can't go back and forth between the NB and the regular inserts? Or do you mean you can't use something else as an insert?

When I used them, I used Gerber prefolds as a doubler over the regular insert. I also had some hemp things I got from Cotton Babies that I sometimes used as doublers.

If that's not what you meant, ignore me. Or laugh at me for having teh dumb, LOL.

Captain Cleavage said...

We were going to cloth diaper but before we got any our family gave us a stash of dispoable ones. waste not want not. Luckily the diapers we got are from here
so I feel slightly better. Once they are used up though we will be CD'ing :)

Maureen said...

Thank you ladies for your help! I feel very silly- three kids under three years old has definitely fried my brain!

Happily Frugal Mama said...

EC Rocks... good for you! I'm not that dedicated, but have lots of friends who are!

The new FLIP diapers are awesome... one size and cost effective. My friend spent about $200 to get a full set that will last through potty learning!

Wish they had these with my kiddos! Cloth diapering is getting more convenient and cost effective!

Sarah said...

Cave Girl,

I may be incorrect but I read it as she thought you could just put a new insert into the wet pocket and re-use it without washing it.

As for inserts, I use all kind of inserts in my pockets. I actually prefer my organic cotton GMD prefolds in mine because sometimes microfiber gets stinky.

Maureen said...

Yes, I was totally switching out the wet inserts and putting a clean one back in the same pocket. I feel very foolish!

Thank you, Emily, for posting about CD today. I have learned an important lesson. And thank you again to the helpful ladies who have set me in the right direction!

Anonymous said...

Using any kind of soap (rather than detergent) destroys the flame retardancy of children's sleepwear. That's why care instructions say no soap, or specify to wash with detergent.

Los Claytons said...

Emily - I have been following your blog for some time. I find most of your money-saving ideas very inspiring, so thank you!

Your timing is impeccable. I just emailed a CD'ing friend yesterday for her take on the experience, and now this! HOW PERFECT. There is so much good information here and so many ladies who've had great experiences - I am convinced we will give it a try (baby #2 due in September...).

Thank you again and blessings to you and your family!

Cave Girl said...

***I may be incorrect but I read it as she thought you could just put a new insert into the wet pocket and re-use it without washing it.***

Ah, I see. If that's what she saying, that's a definite no go. The diaper gets all wet, but you already know that.

There are diapers called Bikini Bottoms that work like that. You just replace the liner thingy but reuse the shell until it's dirty. I wish I'd known about them when I was CDing.

Mama to 8 said...

Wow. Am I the only one shocked at the $13 price tag? I cloth diaper for the sole reason of saving money.
I use the Chinese prefolds with pins and Dappi nylon covers. They are old fashioned but they work well and are super cheap. The point is to save money and not fall for "boutique diapering". I have spent the same amount to diaper my current baby in cloth as some are paying for one.single.diaper.

sunnymommy said...

I love EC, but I don't know anyone else who does it. We started when dd2 was 5 mo. I read a book from the library about it, but was kind of skeptical of the whole "the babies are born with the instinct to go, just hold them over the toilet and make the psss noise". So I thought I would just try and see, and she peed! Tried again the next day and she pooped and peed. I wanted to be diaper free by 12 months but she peed every 15-20 min all during naked time at bout 10 months old. I just couldn't take her to the bathroom that often! So afer a few weeks I put the cloth diapers back on and just continued taking her several times a day. She almost always goes when I take her. Now that she is 16 months I am hoping that she can hold it longer and am going to try again this month to get diaper free.

crabcakes said...

We use cloth. Not nearly as much now as we used to because I find it to be not easy since we both work. Our youngest only used cloth until she started solids and our middle child used cloth nearly all the time until our third started solids. It was just too hard for us to have two in cloth all the time.

Now, we use cloth sometimes but I plan to get back to using it at least 50% of the time once my middle child is trained and I only have one in diapers.

We wash them in the washing machine. I save them in a recycled cat litter bucket with the flap type lid until the bucket is full and then I wash. I made the mistake once of forgetting they were there during a two week period when I didn't use cloth diapers and we grew mushrooms. Ick. Won't do that again!

No, cloth diapering isn't as easy as disposables. But it IS cheaper, it IS better for the environment, and it ISN'T as hard as people think it is.

Teaching Money to Kids said...

Me, too. Mama to 8. I have been happy withthe Dappi covers too (thank You ebay). My diaper budget for one month was enough to cover a whole years worth of cloth.
Plus you can find prefolds at yard sales. And they are almost never used, because who cloth diapers any more? Oh I just smile and nod, smile and nod.
The dappi covers were great for potty training, you could just slip one over regular underwear and off you go, especially for naps, when they aren't quite ready to go with out.
However, hubby will only put on disposeables, so we keep some around just to say "thank you for your help"

Roxanna said...

Have you seen this Emily?

Molly said...

I just wrote a post on CD a couple days ago! We are just now trying to transition our son from disposables to CD. We tried earlier but we were unsuccessful. We are now expecting baby #2 and growing our stash so that we can CD him from the beginning. I get so excited about eliminating the waste of disposables. It's better for your baby, your pocketbook and our planet! My faves so far are bumGenius OS and Fuzzi Bunz.

Colleen said...

We cloth diaper our little guy and love it, too. We chose to do prefolds with liners and Thirsties covers. We buy them from the Thirsties outlet online, so it's super cheap- about $7.50 per cover. They last for a huge size range, too.

As for EC...I'm glad that it works for you. I have always thought that in EC, the parents are trained, not the kids. Maybe that's because I don't really care about changing and washing diapers so much and don't have the time or patience to read my son's signs. I figure we'll start trying him on the potty at 18 months and see where we go from there. Ah well. To each her own.

Heather said...

The disinfecting action of the sun is in UV rays. UV rays are blocked by glass. Therefore even if you hang dry your clothes in front of a window in full sun it is going to do nothing to "disinfect" them or kill bacteria.

Boysmom said...

I used cloth and had a huge assortment of different types of dipes. I prefer fitted cloth dipes with a cover to put over top. My favorite were Mother-ease. They are one sized with snaps to adjust. I really, really liked them. Then my favorite covers were, trying to remember, hmm, had to google since he's 5 1/2 now, Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. Those things wear like steel. I found it to be hard too, mostly trying to wash dipes and fit laundry in too since I had to do kind of a complicated wash (involved soaking overnight in hot water when I had a top loader) and it took quite awhile. Moving to a front loader killed cloth diapering for me. It was so complicated to do that I quit bothering.

simple in France said...

Aha! I once stayed in Madagascar in a tiny village and noticed that babies there never wear diapers-and yet I never saw a single mess. It must have been some version of EC going on. In Madagascar they have a saying which roughly translates into: it's easier to avoid the mess in the first place than it is to clean one up. That sounds a lot like your EC strategy. I like it!

Emily said...

Colleen, yes, in EC the parents are trained to communicate with the baby. The baby is putting out the communication about elimination anyway, we are just learning to listen to their needs.

simple in France, exactly! It is far easier for me to prevent a mess rather than pick it up. And EC seems to be what they do everywhere else except the Western world.

sunnymommy said...

I have heard that as well - that the parents are the ones trained in EC or even just younger traditional potty training where the kids still need help. My reply is always that I am trained to meet my child's need to eliminate the same way I am trained to meet her need for nourishment when she is hungry and sleep when she is tired. That's what parents do - meet their child's needs! It's just that in our society parents have been "trained" to ignore this particular need. Not that they are intentionally ignoring it, more like they aren't aware of the need. We have just sort of lost the knowledge in this culture. But, it is how most the world meets this need.

SoMo said...

If anyone is curious here is a website where they have the Thirsties AIO on sale.

Lilly said...

I think everyone knows that cloth diapering is supported by Biblical principles. We should all strive in our lives to live as God wants, in the image of his only Son, Jesus Christ. The natural state for babies is to be swaddled as Jesus, in natural cloths.

Penniless Parenting said...

Emily, I'm wondering... what inspired this post now about cloth diapering? I'd like to think that it was partially inspired by my cloth diapering posts in the past few days...

EC sounds good in theory. In practice, I'm not sure if its good or not. I had a girl in my playgroup that her parents ECed her. Her parents took her to the potty whenever she signaled to them that she had to pee/poo, exactly then.
This girl was 3, potty trained for 2 years, but still having accidents if she didnt make it to the bathroom in a second. she didn't know how to hold it in. She peed tiny little pees at least once every 45 minutes. And then she soaked up a diaper at night...
Whereas my son who was CDed was potty trained at 22 months, is accident free during the day, goes up to a few hours between pees, and is dry at night.
I know my experience with EC is just with one child, but it sounds like EC may not teach a child to hold it in, because they learn "whenever i need to eliminate, my parents take me" so they don't ever need to go a while between peeing, so they don't learn how to hold it in.
Is this true in general? Or was this ECed girl an exception and not the rule?

Emily said...

Penniless Parenting, actually, I got behind on your blog, as my Blogreader wasn't picking it up. It seems to be working now. you'll find a lot of overlap in topics with likeminded bloggers. (:

MY EC experience is a little different. My son communicates, but he can wait to be taken to the bathroom at 16 months. My oldest was not ECed, but I already foresee a time when my 16 month-old can just get on the potty himself when he's ready.

Penniless Parenting said...

Even when a kid is able to take themselves to pee as necessary, what happens if they're out and about and can't pee that second? (Ok, in a mall a boy can't pee on the wall the way he can when you're going for a walk.) If a kid learns that the split second he decides he has to pee, he goes to the potty, how do they learn to hold it in when a bathroom isnt readily available?

sunnymommy said...

Umm.. they learn to hold it the same way any other kid does? through experience. EC is not any more on demand than going whenever you want in a diaper.

Charndra from Part Time Diaper Free! said...

Hi Emily,
It is fantastic to see your encouragement and enthusiasm about elimination communication here.

May I add a link to my resources on the topic?

I've put it together in that way to help counter the panic instilled from all the sensationalist articles that to practice EC one must not ever use diapers. So Silly!

- Charndra

Cimarron said...

I found your blog throgh and was intrigued because it was so thoroughly trashed on that site. I was expecting some out-dated, old-fashioned, hippie-dippie mom who was not caring for her children as she should be. What I have found instead, is a well-adjusted family of 5 that lives frugally, environmentally-conscious, Biblically, and very much not out-dated. Thank you for this.

We are expecting DD#2 in early June and I am on board for CD, but DH is not. We are in an apt and it would be time-consuming, but feasible. Anyway, thank you for your tips and I will be coming back here time and again to check out what else you have to say. God bless.

Cimarron said...

And any great websites for CDing? I am handy with a sewing machine and wouldn't mind making our own, but no idea where to begin considering I don't even really know what a good cloth diaper looks like. LOL. Also, good websites for buying the covers and inserts? Thanks!

Saved Sinner said...

We do (or rather did) EC too. I just used muslin squares for nappies (English for diapers) as they dried much quicker and it had enough absorbant capacity for what we were doing. Do you use the wonderwash for all your washing or just nappies? When we were without a washing machine, I just did everything in the bath as I found it easier than the wonderwash.

Benitta said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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