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Modern Cloth Diapers | My Five Favorite Questions

Never in a million years did I think that I’d ever have an audience of 45 THOUSAND people watch me flush a toilet. Oh no. Not something I would have aspired to accomplish as a teenager. But the reality is–it’s made a difference in the way a lot of mommies look at cloth diapers. & for that, I am so so happy!

Part of my pride & joy comes from educating others about cloth diapering. It was a total accidental passion. I decided to do it–out of the blue. I thought they were cute. So I researched it. Tried it. Loved it & wrote about how to do it–since it can be VERY misunderstood & overwhelming if you don’t have anyone to hold your hand. My article (Cloth Diapering for the Modern Mom) ended up going ’round & ’round the internet and I still get a handful of people who write me every week, saying that they would have never thought of, or ever tried cloth diapers if it weren’t for some words I published a couple of years ago. So I thought I’d bring that topic here. Creative mamas like to think outside the box–& this is definitely outside of the box. (literally…and figuratively!) Even if you know it is not for you, this might help you understand why cloth diapers are all the rage among modern moms. Or at least why we’re not crazy. (swear!!) These are some of my favorite questions that I get asked quite often.:)

#1: You put POOP in your washing machine?!

So this is where I get the biggest nose scrunch. “EW! GROSS!” & yes–I think it is gross too. I think dunking & spraying and putting a #2 diaper in the laundry is gross. So I didn’t do it. Confused? Remember that video that I told you 45k people watched? Well it shows how to use a “liner” which resembles a dryer sheet. You put that in the diaper each time you change your baby. Pee goes through. Solids do not. If your baby has a poopy diaper, you simply take it to the potty, dump it in, flush & you are DONE! Easy Peasy. Don’t believe me? Watch for yourself.;)Breast milk poops are completely water soluble, so they do go right in the washer, but when you introduce solids, liners are a blessing.

#2: Don’t the pins poke your baby?!

This one makes me smile. Cloth Diapers are not what they used to be. They are really quite fancy (and crazy cute) contraptions that come in all kinds of designs & with two types of fasteners: snaps or velcro. I am a big fan of snaps. I use only one kind at home, FuzziBunz One Size. Here is what they look like:

#3: Don’t they take you for-ev-er to wash?

Great question. & I suppose this is up to each mom’s tolerance for laundry. For me–I had enough (22) to last me several days between washes. I usually washed every third day & well–what’s one more load of laundry when you have a baby? The stuffing of the diapers (you can see how that is done here) is what takes more time–but I always stuffed them while my hubby read my girl’s first bedtime story. & they never took me longer than one bedtime story, a couple days a week. So all in all–I’d say it takes far less time than bundling up a baby, getting in the car, going to the store & hauling home. & you never have a fear of running out–because you can just throw in a load of wash.

#4: How do you leave the house? Don’t they leak everywhere?

Again, they are not what they used to be! Most cloth diapers have an outer layer that it waterproof & an inner layer that is made to absorb the liquid. The FuzziBunz I use are called “pocket” diapers, as there is a microfiber pad stuffed between the waterproof layer & a layer of fleece. The fleece wicks away the moisture from the baby. Which, I should also add, helps to prevent diaper rash. I used cloth diapers for 22 months (until my daughter potty trained) and she never had a rash! One of the best parts of the decision to use cloth!

#5: Aren’t they really expensive?

I am so surprised at how many times I get asked this question!! But I can see why. Most people gasp at the thought of spending about $20 on one diaper. Add in that you are making one bulk purchase of 12+ and several hundred dollars might make ANYONE a little weary. But let’s really talk numbers.

Most CD companies or retailers will run promos. FuzziBunz is currently running one of the best I have ever seen–buy 6 get 2 free (through next Friday, September 30)–on their one size diapers. (one size diapers can be used from about 10lbs until potty training, by adjusting elastic to size. More on that here.) But promos like the most recent one bring each diaper down to about $14. So you can do the math (much like I did a couple of years ago) and be patient & find the best deal going. My total investment in my stash of cloth diapers was about $300. The promo that was running when I bought mine gave me “credit” in the FuzziBunz store, where I bought my wet bags (“diaper totes” for dirty diapers on the go) and hanging pails (for storing dirty diapers at home). So I paid nothing more for those. Add in my two packs of liners I purchased over the two years & three bags of detergent & it’s safe to say that I spent about $400. Probably less. BUT…my diapers all look brand new & are ready & waiting for baby #2. AND THEN when I am done diapering a second child–I will STILL be able to sell them on a diaper swapper website (yes, people buy used CDs all the time!) and make some money back. So if we really look at the overall cost, I will be able to diaper two children (more if I was planning on having more) for $500. Easily. I think I could buy *maybe* nine months worth of disposable diapers for one child with the equivalent amount of cash. If you google it you’ll find all kinds of cost comparisons—but there are so many ways to calculate it that the best thing to know is that disposables are estimated to cost about $2000 per child over the course of their diapering. Cloth diapering does cost less. How much less? Depends on how many and what kind you buy. But while cost is a big motivating factor in choosing to use CDs–the benefit of a chemical free baby bum & no rashes far outweigh the cost benefit, in my mind!:)But let me tell you, I found PLENTY of uses for the extra cash I saved!;)Oh…and they are adorable. Did I mention that?

Other helpful resources for those of you seeking more information:

& as always, you can always ask me your questions (in the comments here or on any of my articles on my blog) and I am happy to answer you back! We talk about it a lot over on the styleberry facebook page–so come join the convo! There is a lot of great info in the discussion section!

Do you cloth diaper? What is your favorite thing about it? I would love to know!!

Despite days full of washing diapers & messy fun, Shawna is determined to make mommyhood a stylish adventure. Married to the military & mother to one feisty girl, she is a passionate DIYer & loves sharing how to make the complicated simple. Shawna talks creativity, style, food, decorating, green-chic living & mommyhood at styleberryBLOG, a daily-ish dose of something fab.
To read all articles written by Shawna, click here.

About Shawna


Despite days full of washing diapers & messy fun, Shawna is determined to make mommyhood a stylish adventure. Married to the military & mother to one feisty girl and a snuggly little dude, she is a passionate DIYer & loves sharing how to make the complicated simple. Shawna talks creativity, style, food, decorating, green-chic living & mommyhood at styleberryBLOG, a daily-ish dose of something fab.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/JBeilby04 Jennifer Dudley Beilby

    I am so glad I stumbled onto your YouTube videos–which lead me here! Not only are you a military wife (me too!), you make CD look FUN! I’m just now starting out with my second and she’s 9 months old. Which flushable liners do you like best? I bought some gDiaper ones on sale, and I don’t care for them. They disintegrate too easily, and leave yucky flakies all over the booty.

  • Stacey Woods

    We are cloth diapering Charlotte, and your articles were of SO much help to me, Shawna! They are no harder to use than disposables in my opinion, and I haven’t had any stains that wouldn’t come right out either. We went with FuzziBunz and Charlie Bananas; the CBs have the ability to substitute a disposable (chlorine-free) liner instead of the microfiber inserts… thought it would be easier for travel and daycare. Plus, they really are adorable :)

  • Manda

    This is a lovely post! I adore the colors of the diapers in that first photo! Here is my blog post about why I cloth diaper: http://shboogoo.blogspot.com/2011/09/favorite-august-2011-photos.html

  • Beck

    I love that you are so passionate about cloth nappies! I am a fellow cloth nappy addict and photographer as well. There are SO many pros for using cloth, but I have to admit, I love being able to pick up the camera at any time and even if bub is only wearing a nappy, they still look so adorable Disposables just don’t look that good, and whenever I have my baby in one it just seems so wrong, like if you were to use disposable cutlery at the dinner table every night! haha)

  • http://www.kim-percival.com Kim

    Great article! I am proud to call myself a cloth diapering mama & it’s all because of you!!

  • Leanne

    I often thought about going the cloth diaper route but am concerned about poop stains. How do you get them out?

    • Shawna Percival

      The liners protect most of the diaper’s surface, but if some gets on the diaper, I have never ever had any that did not wash right out! I was surprised myself!

    • Manda

      In my experience, some poop stains may not completely come out. But I think about the fact that it’s the inside of the diaper, so almost no one will see. The sun does help naturally “bleach” out any time of stain — it’s like magic!

      • Manda

        Oops. I meant any TYPE of stain.

  • Brooke Crane

    I feel the same way you did, it was an accidental passion I stumbled onto with my first child. I was looking for another option that would not have my house filled with the plasticy urine smell of diapers even in a diaper genie! I use bum genius one size and love them for the same reasons you do, birth to potty trained etc.
    I also love the poop questions I get, usually it’s ‘what do you do if there’s poop?’, um, ….put it in the toilet, isn’t that where you poop too? :)

  • Nicole Dyk

    Gooooood job friend! I can’t wait to forward this on to some mommy friends!

  • Alison

    I haven’t had anyone in diapers for a couple of years, but I love that you are so passionate about this. Wonderful article Shawna!

  • Pingback: CDing (aka Cloth Diapering!) » My Blog

  • Kirsty

    We’re out of nappies in our home now but I loved using cloth nappies – so great to hear of someone else so passionate – beware that when you really get into using them its easy to get obsessive about buying up cute ones to match outfits ;)