Dapper In Diapers: The Evolving Cloth Diaper

By Nicole Germany

These days babies’ bottoms are getting an upgrade thanks to cloth diapers, and people are starting to take notice. With the increase in popularity, a debate has sparked comparing cloth diapers to disposable. The big question is, which is the better pick? For starters, always stick to what works best for you and your baby, but if you’re looking to take the plunge and try something new, cloth diapers could be your new best friends!

Experimenting with cloth diapers starts first with understanding the basics. Test out a few options before spending a fortune on something that doesn’t end up working. When it comes to cloth diapers, there are a few different kinds: prefold, pocket, fitted and all-in-one. Each is slightly different in terms of the benefits it offers.

Fitted – These diapers consist of multiple absorbent layers and fasten on with hook and loop closures.

Pocket – Made up of a waterproof cover, this option allows you to insert an absorbent pad or prefold into the pocket.

All-in-one – Consisting of a set of absorbent layers, the all-inone diaper makes quick changes more convenient and is great for overnight use.

Prefold – If you’re on a budget, these flat, rectangular cloth diapers just require you to fold, shape and add a cover over top.

Other factors to remember are how many diapers you’ll need to invest in and how often you’ll want to do laundry. Heather Montes, mother of three, suggested buying about a dozen diapers per size. “I do a few loads of laundry every day with Arm & Hammer Wash or Borax and air dry the covers and throw the inserts in the dryer with no fabric softener.” Also consider a mix of disposables and cloth when traveling, but make sure to always pack enough! Kathy Anderson took a week vacation and only packed cloth. “I brought enough to last the whole trip and did a wash before my return home. They aren’t easy to pack so using space saver bags in my luggage was a lifesaver! Companies also sell wet bags that hold dirty diapers between washes, which contain the stink.”

Anderson admitted it gets tricky, stinky and yucky at times, but it’s important to her to use cloth because her mother did it for all 11 of her children!

Washing process

Depending on your preference for storing dirty cloth diapers, some moms start with soaking the cloth in a wet pail before throwing it in the washer, however that is not always necessary. To start a load of diapers, follow these steps:

1. Remove inserts from pocket diapers

2. Start a cold rinse with no detergent

3. Run a load with a quarter cup of detergent

4. End with another cold rinse

Fast facts

• A typical family can spend between $2,000 and $3,000 per baby for two years on disposable diapers, while cloth diapers and accessories run about $800 to $1,000 if you wash them yourself.

• Each year, enough disposable diapers are thrown away to circle the globe 90 times.

• Families switch to cloth diapers for a variety of reasons including the desire to become more eco-friendly, the savings from switching and the overall comfort cloth diapers bring for some babies.

• Cotton Booty is a monthly cloth diaper mystery box subscription service that sends you a name brand cloth diaper each month.