Sunday, August 15, 2010

Is Cloth Diapering For You?

If you would have asked me before I had a baby if I would be a cloth diapering mama I would have told you no.  It wasn't until after having a baby and watching my child cope with severe diaper rashes and learning that disposable diapers stay in landfills for around 500 years that convinced me to switch to cloth diapers.

Overall cloth diapering is easy to do.  It's not as overwhelming or time consuming as it may seem.  If you're hesitant to switch to cloth, try easy to use all-in-one diapers with  Velcro.  They go on just like disposables and you don't have to fold or stuff anything.  Of course there are lots of different kinds of cloth diapers and you might find you prefer pocket diapers or hybrid diapers more.

Cloth diapering is not for the faint of heart.  It is dirty work.  Some would simply say changing any diaper is dirty work, but with cloth there is a little more effort that goes into diaper changing.  However, most of the effort happens after the diaper has been changed.  If you use diapers designed like disposables then changing a cloth diaper is very simple.  If you use pre-folds it's a little more work.  Dealing with poop is nasty but it's nasty no matter what.  The difference between cloth and disposables is with cloth you dump the poop in the toilet, with disposables many people simply fold the poop in the diaper and throw it away.  Which, by the way, is not the recommended method.  Even with disposables you are supposed to put the poop in the toilet, not the trash.  

Most cloth diapers today are designed to be kept in a dry pail.  This means when a child pees in a cloth diaper, you simply put the diaper in a dry lined trash can until the next wash.  With a poop diaper simply dump the poop in the toilet and rinse the the diaper.  I have a bidet which I use only for cloth diapers.  If you don't have a bidet then you can buy a sprayer attachment that attaches to your toilet and spray the diaper that way.  If you don't want to do either of those options then you can rinse the diaper the old fashioned way which involves dipping the cloth diaper in the toilet.  Once you're done rinsing the poop off the diaper, simply place the diaper in your dry pail. It is that simple.

Washing cloth diapers is easy too.  In your washing machine, simply do a cold rinse (no detergent) then a hot wash with detergent, followed by a double rinse.  Make sure your laundry detergent doesn't have additives and don't use fabric softeners.  Using a water softener is fine if you have hard water.  Most cloth diapers you can tumble dry.  Once a month or so you'll want to strip your cloth diapers. 

Since we have been using cloth diapers my son has not experienced severe diaper rashes.  For the most part he is rash free.  Cloth diapers don't have all the additives that disposable diapers have.  If your child has a sensitive bum like mine, then you might give cloth diapers a try.  You will also be helping the environment.  Diapers take up a lot of space in landfills and in your home trash can.  Another perk to cloth diapers, in the long run you save money.

Related Stories:

My first thoughts on cloth diapers
Traveling with Cloth Diapers
Cloth Diaper Reviews and More


  1. Hi, I was wondering if you could please tell me what type of detergent you use here in Germany on your cloth diapers? I find it pretty much impossible to find a detergent without any enzymes, brighteners etc. What do you use and does it cause your diapers to repel? Thanks so much for your info!! All the best!

  2. Hi Christine,

    It is difficult to buy detergent without enzymes, brighteners, etc. in Germany. Therefore, I buy my laundry detergent that I wash cloth diapers with online from the States. I use Rockin Green Hard Rock Cloth Diaper and Laundry Detergent. It is specifically made for cloth diapers and works well with hard water. You can buy it through Amazon and other online retailers.

    Good luck!

  3. Do the diaper sprayers work with the German toilets? I do not see anyway one could hook up.

    Also do you know any shops that ship the detergents to Germany? I would love to get bac out as well, but I fear the zoll gods. o_0

    We do have a hygenic wash in the stores that i supposedly good to use once in a while and similar effects to back out, but ity not anything you can spray on with each change. I have never seen anything equivalent here.

    There are comapnies that sell the environmental wahses like lotties but again much more costlier. They also make the diapers crunchy do you have the same issue with rockin green?

  4. Lost in Translation,

    I have a bidet that I only use for rinsing the cloth diapers or other dirty clothes. I do not think the sprayer would work with the German toilets.

    Some vendors on Amazon will ship detergents to Germany.

    If I lay out my diapers to air dry completely they are a little stiff. However, if I put them in the dryer they are nice and soft. Hope this helps.


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