Whole Parenting Family

Why Go with Cloth Diapers?

 Emily Rumsey Photography

We use cotton prefolds for SuperBoy and SweetPea (photo’d above in their cloth) during the day and a special rigamarole combo at night. We also use the local cloth diaper service: Do Good Diapers. They’re family-owned, fabulous, and affordable. Everyone has their own diaper feelings, but here are a few things to consider about the pro-cloth arguments:

1) Price.

Others have done my work for me: Cost of Cloth Diapers.

2) Quality.

I cannot tell you the difference in our children’s skin using cotton versus disposable. On our trip to Italy almost two years ago now, we used the Seventh Generation Disposables. Yes, they were fine, and what we needed to use. But SuperBoy had diaper rash, general irritation, and just a speckled looking bum. We were anxious to get home for our diapers (odd, but true!). This has been the case anytime we’ve had to use disposables. Cotton breathes and is not filled with chemicals that “wick” away the moisture. What you see is what you get.

Skin aside, cloth absorbs better than disposable so you don’t end up with puddles piddling out the sides of the paper & plastic, nor do you have blowouts the same. I’ve been changing diapers for over two years now and I have had about 3 actual “blow OUTS” in terms of the cloth actually not containing all the poo. That’s it. Compare that with the sheer makeup of a disposable diaper–it simply cannot stretch and absorb and contain the way cloth can.

3) Ease of Potty Training.

This is hearsay, as SuperBoy is just beginning this phase. However, with that disclaimer, parents share that having the additional sensitivity that cloth provides makes it easier to potty train.

4) Renewable Resource.

You wash these instead of putting them in a landfill. You reuse them. You can use them for burp cloths. Do Good Diapers makes it so easy–if you live in the Twin Cities Metro, contact them! Hopefully they’re in business for many many years to come. Spread the word on the diaper service to keep them a renewable resource as well.

Washing your own isn’t so bad. I know tons of mamas and papas who do it. You double rinse them and use a strong detergent to get odor out, with the occasional stripping. You’re doing a ton of laundry anyway!


  1. Cloth Options « Natural | Mama on April 1, 2011 at 4:47 am

    […] use prefolds, as stated. However, we’ve purchased many other, newer, more exciting, more new-agey options that […]

  2. Joseph on April 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Wonderful picture! Make me want to put a cloth diaper on myself right now!

    • Natural Mama on April 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      J is so happy to have inspired you!

  3. Jess Pac on May 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

    We started with a very expensive cloth diaper package (and a separate newborn system) and due to my son’s heavy wetting, gave up completely. I’d love to go back to them, but at this point, I’m not sure how to get them to absorb more. Sad 🙁 They’re adorable though.

    • Novice Natural Mama on May 12, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Did you use a service or buy a package? That’s so frustrating that what you had didn’t work for your son. It seems too that the more adorable ones are somehow less effective–the good old fashioned pre-folds work better for my son that the fancy cute velcro & snap numbers. Check out the other diaper posts as maybe the hemp inserts made by gdiaper could work for you. It’s amazingly absorbent.

  4. AliO on May 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    WOW!!! Talk about all inclusive. You have provided me with some substantial reading. Thanks, here I go…

    • Novice Natural Mama on May 12, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Don’t forget to add your wisdom! I know you have lots of it!

  5. Shena Rossettie on May 13, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I too started with a lovely expensive system (Bum Genius, I think), but stopped because it took two washes by my 1950s washer to clean, and then (because the darn washer doesn’t spin well) two cycles in the dryer. Forget it! I also must admit that I wasn’t a big fan of seeing/smelling (however briefly) the same bunch of bodily excrements twice.

    I read once that the additional energy used by the washing and drying of cloth diapers cancels out their environmental benefits. That seems hard to believe, although perhaps true for my double wash and dry routine. Have you ever heard that?

    My saintly mother didn’t have a washer or dryer their house until after their 5th kid (in 8 years), so she washed them all by hand (first toilet, then bin) and dried them on the line. Oh, while homeschooling. Yes.

  6. […] ‘em as evidenced by our discussions of them in the world of cloth diapering and why to cloth diaper), and a place for baby to nap that’s quiet and away from […]

  7. […] of our kids, my elder two pictured above at various stages, we (have) or (do) use prefolds, as stated. However, we’ve purchased many other, newer, more exciting, more new-agey options that […]