September 12, 2011

Anything I Can Do, You Can Do Better

I get a lot of questions about cloth diapering. 
I am not a cloth diaper expert.
But, I do love sharing what I love, and I love cloth diapering!

So does Cruz.

A caveat: A wise professor at Westmont once told me, "pull out of the system where you can." What she meant was, you just can't do everything and you can't beat yourself up for it. Do what you can. For us, cloth diapering has been a place where we can "pull out of the system." It might not be that place for you. So please don't worry that if you use disposables you're being judged. You most certainly aren't. But, Martha, if you want to know more about cloth diapering, here we go!

1. Why Did You Decide To Do This?
While I have appreciated the economic, environmental and cuteness factors that have come along with cloth diapering, I really made the switch because I was so freakin' tired of diaper blowouts. It seemed that no matter which brand or size disposable I used, Cruz would find a way to bust out of them (so to speak). Since switching to cloth, he's had one blowout. My wardrobe thanks you.

Who me? Yes, you!

2. Friends Don't Let Friends Cloth Diaper Alone
I probably wouldn't be CDing if I didn't have women in my life who had paved the way first. So thank you to Heidi, Krista, and Emily who thoroughly answered my endless questions. Hopefully I've paid it forward! There are a lot of CD resources out there in the ol' internets, but it can seem very overwhelming. It was so helpful to have friends to go to with questions. If you are thinking of CDing, find other families that are as well. And obviously, I am more than happy to talk with you about it, too!

3. I Am Not Interested In Adding That Much More Work To My Day
Before Cruz was born, CDing intrigued me, but it seemed like sooooooo much work (I added a few more 'ooooo's because it really seemed like a lot of work). Back then, I was planning on working full time after he arrived, and hated the idea of coming home to piles of stinky diapers. Fortunately, this has not turned out to be the case. Guys, I am kind of lazy and in no way interested in doing mounds of laundry. Cloth diapering is actually not that hard. Honestly, if I can do it, you can do it. Here is my routine:
Cruz really, really likes to help.
  • Change diaper. 
  • Put diaper in wet bag which hangs next to the changing table.
  • When I'm down to two diapers, I wash the dirty ones.
  • Wash cold (no detergent), wash hot (teeney bit of detergent), wash cold (no detergent)
  • Dry on delicates, low heat. Line dry in the sun when possible.
  • Stuff diapers and put them back on the shelf. (If you're really good, you'll time diaper stuffing time with Bachelor Pad watching time!)

This is only to give you an idea of what a washing routine can look like. What you do will depend on your washer, diapers, water type, etc. Over the months we've had to tweak this, but I'm pretty happy with where we're at now.

3. Isn't It Gross?
My love, being a mom is gross. Just the other day I used a pool of Cruz's drool to clean up the yogurt he had smeared on the ottoman. Or another way to think about it: would you ever not get a dog because of cleaning up its poop? Of course not. Cloth diapering is less gross than cleaning up after a dog. True story. But here's something else gross: it takes 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose, meaning that Every Single disposable diaper ever used is still sitting in a landfill in pristine condition. So, yeah...

4. So... Which Diaper Should I Get?
If you decide to CD, you'll be faced with the first world problem of which cloth diapers to choose! I found that discerning why we were cloth diapering helped me chose which diapers to buy. 
  • Budget. Are you CDing to save money? That's a yes for us. I wanted diapers that were backed by a warranty (in case something went wrong, we wouldn't be out the money). I wanted diapers that would last a long time. I didn't want to build up a big "stash." We have 16 diapers, which lasts us about 2.5 days (if we had started when Cruz was a newborn, we would have a lot more). Even factoring in the extra laundry, we have already paid those off. I needed a diaper that walked the line between inexpensive and durable. 
  • Environment. If environmental impact is your largest concern, you can select diapers made of organic fabrics or environmentally friendly materials like bamboo or hemp. Budget may not be as big of a concern, so you can afford more expensive diapers.
  • Convenience. If you (or your partner) are unsure about this whole thing but want to give it a try, you may be looking for a diaper that's easy to manage. Look for a brand that has fewer parts to snap or stuff.
  • Cuteness. There are a ton of cute diapers out there! Look for prints and ruffles, which are often sold on

5. Which Diapers Do You Use?
We exclusively use FuzziBunz diapers and really love them. Here was my thought process in selecting these:

  • We know other families who use them. 
  • They are one-size-fits-all (with lots of ways to adjust the fit). We won't need to buy any other diapers for Cruz or any other babies that come our way.
  • They have fantastic customer service and have been incredibly helpful in answering all my questions. A snap fell off of one diaper; FuzziBunz immediately exchanged it and threw in some freebies for us!
  • These diapers have snaps rather than velcro, which makes washing/drying a little bit easier.
  • They are "pocket diapers" which means I "stuff" an insert into the diaper. Cruz is a heavy wetter, so I can "double stuff" his diapers at night or on long car trips.
Anything I didn't answer for you? Ask away!


  1. i love eiley's fuzzibunz. we only have 9 so far, so we mix cloth diapering with disposables. we're still going to save money, but we've been giving ourselves the option to be laundry lazy occasionally. i'm hoping we'll get more as time goes on and eventually switch to a very high percentage of time cloth diapering.

    also, i never in a million years thought i would care about this subject, but i somehow find it interesting now. like...i read the fuzzibunz blog. that's how interested i am. a-year-ago-emily would think i'm ridiculous.

    thanks for passing on your research when i was first looking into this!

  2. AMAZING!! Super helpful! I love the picture of your station (with the wet bag hanging nearby). It always helps me to see the visual. Can't wait to chat more about this!

  3. Thank you! I'm so glad I read this. We've been wanting to go the cloth route but Anna is still a newborn. She's so much work right now, and so messy, that I started reconsidering. I feel recharged and ready to buck up and purchase the darn things. :)

  4. Sooo.... I'm looking into all this, and yes, overwhelming. Having read a bunch, here are my lingering questions: Did you exclusively use reusable from the beginning? Were the Fuzzibunz small enough for Cruz as a newborn? I like the idea of a one-size if they really do fit all along.

    1. Ok, just re-read that you started a little later...when'd you switch?

    2. We switched when Cruz was 5 months old. I hadn't planned on cloth diapering, but was soooooo sick of blow outs (and also not cool with all the waste we were generating). With a second baby, I would probably do disposables for the first few weeks when they're pooping so often, and then switch to cloth. The one-size are supposed to fit... but it might be smart to invest in a few newborn sizes, and then sell or trade them once they're too small (maybe to me!).


comments make my day. xo.

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