- Economical: Using disposable diapers would have cost us about $50/month. Using cloth diapers is a bigger up-front investment, but for us it has paid off within the first year. We could potentially use the same cloth diapers for our next child, saving even more!
- Good Environmental Stewardship: Disposable diapers are the third largest consumer item in landfills. They also take more resources to make.
- Health: Disposable diapers contain toxic chemicals.
- Smell: Personally, I have found that my bumGenius diapers hold in smell better than disposables. I have not had a problem with smells lingering after washing.
- One size fits most: These diapers have fit the little man since he was about 1 month old. They have adjustable snaps so that the diaper can grow with your baby.
- Good customer service: There is a one-year warranty on the diapers. They will usually replace diapers if you have any trouble within the first year. My cousin raves about their quick and friendly customer service, as she has had several diapers replaced.
See here for more detailed information on the benefits of cloth diapering.
- Time: As a busy mom, I have sometimes found it hard to find the time to wash and stuff diapers. We usually wash diapers every-other day, and stuff the inserts whenever we have time. At times, I have switched to disposables just to cut down on my to-do list.
- Leakage: Laundry deterget residue can build up on diapers, causing the inserts to become less absorbent. bumGenius recommends "stripping" the diapers to solve this problem. Click here for directions (#12). Diapers can also leak when the elastic starts to wear out, or if the size needs to be adjusted.
- Velcro/Elastic wears out: The tabs that the velcro is supposed to attach to for washing purposes wore out after awhile. After that happened, the velcro became less sticky.
Some of our diapers are out of commission, because the velcro is now useless. I have also heard that the elastic that goes around the legs can wear out, causing diapers to not fit as well and leak. However, if you or someone you know sews, you can replace the elastic. See here for directions.
- Assume that you will use 6 diapers each day (you will use less as baby gets older), and wash diapers about every other day. We bought 24 diapers, which has been plenty. Ours came from http://www.cottonbabies.com/, but I recently discovered that Target sells them, too!
- Consider using cloth wipes. We have recently started using them, and they're great! That way, you don't have to have a separate place to store used wipes - you can just throw them in with the dirty diapers and wash them all together. I'm thinking they would be pretty easy to make, too. We use the bumGenius bottom cleaner with our cloth wipes; it works great and smells good too!
- We use a normal diaper pail for our cloth diapers. We have not been using a liner for the pail - just dump the whole thing into the laundry when it gets fully/stinky. :) Then we wash out the pail with bleach when needed. There are cloth diaper pail liners, which I plan to look into.
- For going out: either have a "wet bag" for used diapers, or use disposables. We have found it easiest to use disposables when we are out of the house, since they leak less and can just be thrown away.
- For smelly diapers, we use bumGenius Odor Remover. It definitely seems to help cut down on smell until we have time to wash the diapers.
- It's important to use a laundry detergent that does not contain chemicals and fragrance. We use Purex Free & Clear, and it works fairly well. We have not had issues with smell after washing, and rarely have stains. This detergent does cause residue buildup on the diapers, and they do lose their absorbancy after a couple of months and need to be stripped. I am also planning to try out soap nuts, which are supposed to work great on cloth diapers and do not cause residue buildup.
Whew! I think that's enough for now. Feel free to comment if you have other questions! :)