The Top 20 Reasons We've Gone Cloth

(In no particular order...)

They are EASY.  No really, they are.  If you can push the button on your washing machine, you pretty much just figured out about how much extra work they are.

There are no crazy chemicals right next to your baby's important itty bitty parts.  Have you ever seen what happens when a disposable "explodes?"  There are those little gel who-knows-what balls that get in every tiny crevice of your baby's nether areas.  I don't know what those are but I know they shouldn't be there, especially if you have a girl.  Who knows WHAT sorts of issues we could be causing?

Want to save some serious money?  Yep, you do.  When we first started using cloth, this was our primary motivation.  Now it's probably our last.  But still an awesome benefit to cloth.  Depending on what kind of diapers you choose, you could spend about $150-$200 to diaper your child TOTAL.  (And if you factor in that many times they can be reused for another child...Shabam.)  You can definitely spend way more than that if you go with fancier types but if you go basic, really, you save a ton of money.

We are open to life and don't know how many children the Lord will bring to us.  Using cloth allows us to be more open to whatever He wants for us.  That's a good thing.

They're stinkin' cute.  Case study:

See?  Scientific proof right there.

Hey, you know those crazy up-the-back get-out-the-scissors explosion of poop everywhere blowouts that you get with newborns?  They don't happen with cloth.  I have no idea why,  but they don't.  The worst we get is some leg seepage.  This may be the best marketing strategy that cloth diaper manufacturers have yet to employ.

As a Catholic, I do my best to live out the teachings of the Faith in the fullest way I can.  Using cloth diapers for me in my current situation is an obvious and natural expression of CCC 339.  To me it seems a "disordered use of things" to toss a diaper into the trash every time my child has a bowel movement or wets.  And when I picture the landfill piles that would be created from just our family using disposables on a normal, every day basis, I would feel like I wasn't doing my best to live that teaching out.  Please don't go hearing things I'm not saying here.  I'm speaking for myself and I know there are situations where disposables are very warranted and they are certainly not inherently evil.  I can definitely think of situations where they would be ideal and it is not my place (thankfully) to decide for other people.  But that teaching of the Church is certainly one that factored into our decision for cloth.  
They're soft on your baby's sweet little bottom and must be so much more comfortable than the plasticy-paper alternative.  (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.)

Okay, want to hear something weird?  When I started using cloth diapers (we didn't with our first and I really regret it), I actually started to ENJOY diaper changes.  I know.  It sounds crazy, doesn't it?  But they looked cute and were soft and I knew I was taking a bit of extra time to do something better for my baby and it made it seem less of a chore and more of an act of love and it became fun.  I know, weird, right?

Once you have your stash you NEVER have to worry about running out of diapers or making late night trips to the drugstore or adding yet another thing to the grocery list.  If you're like me and would rather rip out all of your fingernails than go shopping or have another thing on the to-do list, then this is a VERY big advantage.  Plus, cloth diaper shopping is almost always done online...bonus for the agoraphobe.

You get to have the wonderful experience of people giving you incredulous wide-eyed looks whenever you happen to have to change your baby in public.  "People still use those?"  And they watch in awe.  It's kind of funny.

You could have scenes like this in your backyard:

For real.

There are so many different options now for whatever will work best for your lifestyle.  It's not just Gerber flats (please don't use those, they're glorified burp cloths), pins, and a vinyl cover.  You don't use pins and if the old-fashioned kind scare you, there are types that go on and are used just like a disposable.
The diapers can be used again for another baby.  If you don't have another baby, they can be resold or given away to help out another family.

There isn't a crazy amount of paper, plastic, chemicals, and energy used to produce them.

Less diaper rash.  Cloth diapers are known to prevent rashes for many babies.  We've never had an issue with rashes but from other parents I know, switching their rash-prone babies from disposables to cloth was the solution to a happy, pain-free baby. 

Cloth diapers often help a toddler learn to use the potty faster.  Because they can feel it when they are wet, it helps them understand their body cues earlier and are more motivated to learn the bathroom gig.  No promises, though, toddlers are not known for being extremely predictable in this whole area :).

You do have to change cloth diapers a bit more often because they don't hold as much liquid.  That sounds like a bad thing but really, it's kind of gross to play the whole 'what's the least amount of diapers I can use in a day?' game.  I know.  I used to play it (sorry, firstborn).

I'm boring simple and classic and love white diapers.  But if you are all about style and color and making your baby into a little fashionista, they are hundreds of colors and adorable prints in which to express that sense of style.

And last but not least:

I'm just sayin'.
  (Tongue in cheek, people...Actually, almost every picture I could find of the baby Jesus had him naked so maybe those Elimination Communication people are onto something...)

So there's my sales pitch.  Questions always welcome!


  1. This was timely for me. I'm seriously considering switching. I've got my eye on fuzzybunz. Not cheap, and I get my pampers pretty cheap on Amazon, so I haven't quite figured how much I would save. But they are so soft!

    1. They are soft! Some of those diapers look so comfy! We mainly used Bumgenius one-size with our middle two. When you get on the mailing list, they send out an email a few times a year when they have 'seconds' and that was how I bought all of ours for about $10-11 a piece. You have to be FAST, though, because they sell out quick! They're definitely showing their age now but I love the pockets for how easy they are to use and they hold a lot! I use them for naps and night for Luke now.

  2. I am really excited to have my own washer and dryer and a yard to dry our diapers in come August. Then we will actually be saving money using our cloth instead of just breaking even with the coin laundry. Also, I am totally sharing this on Facebook! :)

    1. I was actually thinking about you when I wrote part of this and how dedicated you are to have done cloth even while not having your own laundry! It's going to be a piece of cake for you when you have your very own laundry area! And thanks for sharing :)

  3. I'm actually thinking about switching to cloth (don't fall out of your seat Susanna), especially now that I'm pregnant again. Thanks for a great, funny post Mary!

  4. See Mary! I got you another reader as I bemoaned all your skillz to Shannon ;)

  5. I go back back and forth over this issue and I have for many many years. My oldest was cloth for a couple of weeks, someone gave us a service. Then we switched due to lack of laundry facilities. Then we had three in a row. When #4 was born I had a newborn, an 11 month old, a 26 month old and then a 6 year old (who was out of diapers by then.) I loved the cloth, I have always cherished the changing times. I learned right off the bat to make that special time or it would be lost time. Diapers don't matter it is still special time. My hubby hated cloth. When we wore out our second washing machine in a three year period my husband blamed the diapers (he was right - we were always washing them to keep up) and that was the end of that. So beware of the use of the washing machine!

  6. I LOVE this post! We just switched to cloth a week ago and, while we're still working out some of the kinks, I know this is the healthiest option for our babies, our planet, and our budget.
    Yesterday, however, I almost started regretting it. I felt like we were being so counter-cultural and becoming crunchy weirdos. But the thing is, cloth diapering is NOT counter-cultural; disposables are. Around the world for almost every generation save the last 40 or so years in first-world countries, EVERY baby has worn cloth diapers (or something similar). Anyway, we're sticking with cloth despite my momentary spaz, and reading all of your reasons (especially 2 and 7) was very reassuring! Thanks for posting!


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