Cloth diapering is easier

Having just hung up a load of cloth nappies to dry, I can firmly say that cloth diapering is easier than using disposables if you have a washing machine at home.

* No trip to the store: harder than it looks if you have a newborn and are too tired to get presentable, a little nervous about trekking out with a baby who could cry at any moment, and stores that close early like they do here in Belgium

* No taking out the extra rubbish while juggling a baby: just put in a load of laundry.

* No need to store enormous bulk packages of discounted diapers: where do you put those waist-high yellow and blue packages? It’s much easier to put 3 dozen nappies in a wicker basket next to yuor changing table, and that’s all that’s necessary, even for a prolific pooper.

* Natural fibre nappies = less nappy rash: the plastic outer coating of dispoables causes diaper rash. If you use cotton, hemp or bamboo diapers you won’t need to stock up on diaper creme. It’s full of chemicals that may or may not be good for your baby to metabolize through the skin. PEDIATRICS: Baby Care Products: Possible Sources of Infant Phthalate Exposure Besides, that stuff has an oily residue that builds up on cloth and you’d have to strip out of your diapers eventually to ensure they still absorb optimally.

* No lingering ‘baby product’ smell on your baby or in your house: not using nappy creme as much or at all means you won’t whiff that chemical scent we’ve come to associate with babies. This never occured to me before my daughter came home from the crèche with a nappy rash (they use disposables) and lots of rash creme on her bum. A visitor said, ‘oooh, now she smells like a baby!’. No, she smelled like zinc oxide and fish oils.

* They’re cheaper to use and launder than to buy disposables

* You save even more with subsequent children using the same diapers

* Fewer leaks = less time changing baby clothes = need fewer baby clothes: reusable fitted nappies have good elastic in them made to withstand hundreds of washes and wears, whereas disposables are made to work for 4 hours maximum. This hit me when the crèche kept asking for more one piece tee shirts to keep on hand–why? As long as we use bibs for eating DD stays clean in her clothes all day, but when she’s in disposables at the crèche there are diaper leaks and stains. A prefold or flat nappy (fabric rectangle or square) has no elastic, but the leg and waist coverage is tailored to fit when you fasten the nappy or cover over it, they’re also better at containing leaks than disposables ever can be.

* No guilt over putting your baby in paper and plastic underwear: you don’t wear it, cloth is more comfortable. Same for a baby.

* No guilt over the environment: the manufacture of cloth and its laundering at home are better for the environment than creating a mountain of paper, plastic and chemicals.

* No need to economize on diaper changes: you could put on a disposable and within minutes the little one soils it–‘there goes fifteen cents, if only I had changed it ten minutes later…’ Not with cloth. You’re going to wash them every two or three days anyway, one more nappy or one less makes no difference in cost.

* Cloth diapered children tend to learn to use the potty earlier: who

I just Googled ‘cloth diapering is easier’ and got a result that looked like an advertisement, so I thought I’d put this out there for the general audience since I’m not selling anything 🙂

What are your ideas/questions?


2 thoughts on “Cloth diapering is easier

  1. Hi Katharine, what kind of disposables do they use at the creche? They sound totally nasty, but mostly it sounds like they don’t change them often enough. I use them with my girl and got 4leaks in 8 months and no diaper rash whatsoever. The diapers we use are fragrance free, but I was surprised to open a bag of canadian Pampers and smell heavy baby powder fragrance (was the first and last bag!)

  2. Hi! I hope you don’t mind that I followed the link to here from your response post at I am getting things ready to start my stash of prefold diapers, and reading your comment about the changes you made, I just wanted to ask how the prefolds with the pockets worked for you from how you described you made them? I have read that with a newborn, I really won’t need to add any inserts, but I figure if it will be necessary relatively soon I might as well learn to sew them that way at first since I am not very crafty anyway.

    If I could press my luck with questions, I’d like to ask one other….another website suggested making the newborn prefolds larger and said folding the extra cloth in the back down would allow room to grow. I’m curious if you agree that this would not pose a problem?

    Thanks for the help!


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