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Cloth Diapering Challenge: I Accept

NOTE: This post was originally posted on here

Cloth diapering community, consider yourselves heard. I have contemplated your (emphatic) comments on my Eye On Parenting diapering segment and on my own personal blog and I accept your challenge to give cloth diapering a try. 

I will try cloth diapers for a month and blog about it both here and on CBS News' Eye On Parenting blog. But I have terms. 

First off, you must help me! I considered cloth diapering before my son was born and to be honest, I was overwhelmed with the concept. I read Nathalee's experience of cloth diapering and watched the instructional video and thought, "One more thing to learn before baby comes!" Now that I have learned that I can do this mothering thing and can do it well, I think I can handle a new challenge. I thought about your comments all night last night and woke up thinking, "Well, why wouldn't I give it a try? I'm not so set in my ways and these people are passionate!" It definitely helps that so many of you are willing to suggest the products that will make this a success! Please suggest the tools that I should start with in the comments below. 

Second condition, you must not attack me personally if I am having a hard time with this. We must agree to be nice to one another! And for goodness sakes, leave my parenting ability out of this. Too far below the belt. We are all trying to do what is best for our babies and our families so lets just keep this about the poop, OK? 

Also, please do not attack Dr. Alanna Levine about her participation in the segment. We were trying to take a cursory look at the pros and cons of each diapering method and she spoke as a medical expert. We were not trying to promote one or the other method. Please respect her medical opinion for what it was -- based on the most current research in the medical community - not in the diapering community. 

Next, I reserve the right to let my husband and my nanny use the disposable diapers if they don't think that they can handle the cloth. I'll try to show them the ropes but this is my experiment, not theirs. 

And finally, I cannot promise that we will be able to shoot a follow-up video, but I will try. I don't have control of our production resources, but if we do follow up this video, we will feature my own experiences and some of the modern tools that you CDers (cloth diaperers) use. 

If we can all agree to play by those rules, I accept your challenge to try out CDing. Consider me a Crash Test Mommy. Your comments are welcomed below. 

Reader Comments (106)

I would suggest hyena cart first. Maybe try PLUMPs or Rumpsacks or other WAHM diapers. Find a group online for cloth diapering. You will learn more from other mommas who are currently doing it and know what they are talking about.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermanda

My husband originally said I had to do everything with the cloth diapers, but once he saw how easy it was he now helps out quite frequently.

Some tips that I wish someone had told me. Don't fret if all the poop doesn't fall off into the toilet. You can buy a diaper sprayer or scrape with a spatula, or even dunk and swish, but it is easiest to just toss it in your dry wet bag and wash it.

I always do a cold cycle no soap first so nothing stains and makes sure all the poo I couldn't get off easily comes off. I don't touch poop and never will.

Then I do a hot water wash with soap and an extra rinse and then dry. Very simple.

When my grandmother talks about her cloth diaper experience it is so much different and more of a challenge.

My husband of all of our diapers prefers the Rump-a-Rooz with a hemp insert. They are our fail safe diapers they never leak. You may even find they hold some poos that a disposable couldn't.

Good luck and have some fun with it. I was scared at first but our budget couldn't handle any more disposables, so I am glad I made the switch despite my fears.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKrista

I sympathize about having a small apt - we were right there with you. I think my biggest recommendation for a small place is invest in a poop sprayer. It cuts down on the smell a billion percent.

We have this diaper pail:
and like it really well for containing smells and for keeping inquisitive little people out.

I do recommend the Planet wise wet-bag for on the go cloth diapering.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrichenza

Can I make a suggestion? A month is a really short time to try cloth diapers. It can take just that long to finally find a brand you really like, that fits your child, etc. Then there's learning the wash and rinse routine, how to go out and about and be prepared, etc. I really struggled with cloth for the first 2 or 3 months, but once it clicked it was SO easy! Also, the only piece of equipment I wouldn't live without is a cloth diaper sprayer. It hooks to your toilet so you can just rinse the poop right off. Wouldn't CD without it. Thanks for attempting the challenge.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
I am brand new to cloth diapering also. I have a very small 4 month old. we only CD at home. But this is the one place that I have found the BEST advice and suggestions. Also Rockin Green Detergent is the GREATEST invention ever! We now use that for all laundry and not just cloth diapers.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTiffany Seale

Good for you for trying the cloth experiment!! I'm four months in and loving it.

At first, don't become overwhelmed by all the choices out there; that's where I got caught. And don't get upset if some diapers don't fit your little one. Cloth diapers are kind of like jeans - you have to keep trying them on to get the right fit. With that said, my son is long and chunky, so BumGenius 3.0 all-in-ones have worked well for me. They come in small, medium and large and you can get a great fit with the velcro. I also like FuzziBunz one size and Rumparooz one size. The last two are what you call a "pocket diaper", meaning that you take the inserts out of the "pocket" when you wash them and stuff them back in when they are clean. It doesn't take that long, really, about 20 minutes to stuff a whole load.

Do get a diaper sprayer. They are gold! As far as a diaper pail, we just use a regular old kitchen trash can with a lid and a pail liner from Planet Wise. When you wash your diapers, just throw the liner right in with them.

If you haven't already checked out Happy Baby Company's website, do ( They are great and can answer tons of questions. They are my go-to people!

Best of luck to you!!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMandi

Way to go!!! I was very hesitant to CD and even jumped into it VERY late in the game--when my son turned two!! There is definitely a bit of a learning curve to this, so don't be frustrated if things don't seem to go perfectly. People have mentioned a diaper sprayer--I didn't have one, but if we have another baby I would consider it. I plan to CD from the start if we have another and can see where the diaper sprayer would be invaluable. Will things still stink? Yes, but if you find your diapers stinking even after washing, you've probably used too much soap.

The amazing discovery I made was that my son PREFERRED the cloth. Since he was already quite verbal when we started, he would complain if I stuck him in a disposable (which I sometimes did for long car trips or for church nursery).

Give yourself time, be patient, and don't be surprised if you end up liking it!!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKellie

I'm really glad that you're being grown up about this and are going to give CDing a try. I really hope that you find it as fun and addicting as I have!
I have made a few youtube videos on cloth diapering if you want to check them out:
This one is about the different types of CDs:
This one is about how I do my diapers:
And these 3 are about washing and drying:

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElise

First off, I apologize that people were so passionate in their responses and obviously bashed you for your segment. I consider you uninformed and cloth diapering can be overwhelming if you don't know the recent changes in the industry.

I know everyone is pointing you towards websites, but I recommend finding someone who cloth diapers and talking with them. Go to a local CD store and touch, feel, see the products. There are so many out there! For ease, I'd use a pocket or all-in-one diaper. I prefer BumGenius.

Laundering can be monumental and I bet you're gonna be a little concerned with the first poop. Don't be. After a year of cloth diapering, I do not have one stain on my diapers. They look brand new. I use Rockin' Green soap and it's, well, Rockin'. Get a diaper service if you don't want to launder your own!

Take pictures of the adorable baby bum in the cute cloth! You will not regret it! Besides the cute factor, it's so much healthier. No chemicals. Putting all the environmental benefits aside, look at the fact that your baby is wearing cloth against their bum and not plasticy-treated chemicals. Do the research for your'll be surprised.

I while I use cloth most of the time, I still use disposables at night. You do what you gotta do. Don't feel like you have to be 100% in cloth. There are times when disposables are just so much more convenient.

Be open-minded and I think you'll at least see what all the great hype is about! Even if you don't convert to cloth, I think you'll be pleased that the industry has changed and it's a wonderful alternative to disposables!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen K.

I think this is a great idea Nat! I think you'll be surprised to find how manageable cloth diapering is. I also think this is a great way to give all the ins and outs of the process more "air time."

I'm a 100% advocate of a diaper service. Honestly, I don't think I would be up for laundering them myself. But if you do decide to go that route--there are a ton of options out there and it sounds like you are getting some good recommendations. I do agree that a month might not be enough time for you to really start "enjoying" cloth diapering, but its a start.

I'm glad that my post piqued your interest, but sorry that it put you in the center of a diapering maelstrom!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNathalee

I would highly reccoment checking out the group cuties with cloth booties. The women on the group have a WEALTH of knowledge when it comes to cloth diapering. they have been very helpful in my journey to cloth. Also i strongly agree with the previous comment that you should try WAHM diapers. When i first started using cloth i bought a ton of commercial diapers and i hated them. They did not work for us at all. I had someone in the cuties with cloth booties group reccomend i try WAHM diapers and actually sent me a free one she had that her baby could no longer use. now all i use are momma made diapers. Some of my favorites are PlUMP, Rumpasack, cooshie tooshies, dipes by dixon and Linah Soras (linah soras are not waterproof but super absorbent and work great with wool pants for nighttime). All of these women are on the cuties with cloth booties group. Also the group has a for sale or trade forum where you can get used diapers for cheap and figure out what you like before spending a ton of money, or you can sell or trade diapers that you don't like.

Also congrats on taking on the challenge! YOU ROCK!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermomof6

Oh, and I forgot to add:
If you're looking for good cheap cloth diapers has really great diapers at really good prices.
And if you want to order from you can save 15% off your first order with my code: LUNAMAE8

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElise

Also, someone in your general area is selling off their stash, complete with sprayer:

I advise buying used where possible - it's so much cheaper and the whole point of cloth diapers is that you can wash them and reuse.

I like 1/4 cup of biokleen bac-out in my cold rinse to kill germs/ eliminate odors.

I prefer snaps over velcro, for a better fit and less annoying laundry.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrichenza

I am glad you are willing to take try cloth! I feel like so many people put it down without even trying first. I would suggest two things...go to Green Mountian and read the new to cloth section it is very helpful and informative. Second there is a really helpful cloth diapering board on baby center and they also have a ton of info and are more than willing to answer your questions. Here is the link:
I really hope you are successful and can make a good report back to your audience. As other people said though you may want to consider giving it more time after 1 month because it can take that long to get the hang of it!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSara

Good for you, and good luck! We've been CD'ing for almost 4 months now, and love it! We use GroVia diapers which actually have a hybrid system where you can use washable soaker pads, or disposable biosoakers (should your husband, nanny, etc have problems with the reusable pads). The great thing about the disposable soakers with these diapers is that they are biodegradable (normal disposable diapers take 500+ years to decompose, and while they may not be the worst kind of waste, they are far, far from the best), they also contain only a fraction of the chemicals that make disposables so absorbent, so much better for your little one's skin. They also have an all-in-one diaper which are great for at night (they tend to hold more liquid without leaks) - you change the entire diaper just like you would a disposable. And all of their diapers are one-size fits all - you can adjust them to fit your child during the entire diapering period, so no need to buy new ones as your baby grows. Lots of other cloth diapers are like this as well. I have friends that like BumGenius and Fuzzibunz as well - we just picked one and stuck with it without debating over all the other available brands.

Just some random information that would have been good to have for your interview... If cloth diapers aren't changed regularly you can get diaper rashes, so change about every 3 hours (you can go longer with the disposable biosoakers I mentioned), but there are a lot of people who have more trouble with diaper rashes because of disposables and the chemicals that they contain. Did you know that disposable diapers actually contain synthetic fibers that have been banned from use in tampons because they are associated with toxic shock syndrome? If you do end up using some kind of rash cream for your little one, or some kind of barrier ointment it's important that you get one that won't affect your cloth diaper's absorption - most creams/ointments available in stores contain oils that will stay on your diapers and make them less absorbent, even after regular washings. We use GroVia Magic Stick - it smells great, works fast, and it's like a giant tube of chap stick, so you don't have to get it all over your hands to put it on.

We will definitely be investing in a diaper sprayer once our little one starts solids, but one great thing about exclusively breastfeeding when cloth diapering is that you don't have to worry about pre-rinsing diapers, they can just go directly in the wash as they were when you take them off of baby. If you formula feed at all, or your baby is eating solids than you must rinse out the solid waste before washing.

It took me a few days to get a good routine down with cloth, but once you find out what works best for you you don't even have to think about it.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDee

If you are interested, there is an entire community of moms on Youtube that cloth diaper and provide help and support. We have recently started a cloth diaper channel on youtube: Please check out our channel for cloth diaper advice ! This channel includes 7 moms that have tons of cloth diapering experience and we work to educate other moms about cloth diapers and answer any questions they may have. We would be more than willing to help you in any way possible.

Good luck and thank you so much for having an open mind !

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen InformationMommy

Awesome that you're giving them a try! I was scared of cloth for the first 6 months with my son, but decided to give them a try at 7 months and I haven't looked back. I have my second child in cloth right now (though I do use disposables at night with her-- I used cloth full time with my son until he potty trained), and it's been great. It's so nice feeling that I'm not throwing so much money away-- literally!

A diaper sprayer is a must for us, though if your son is still exclusively breastfed, it's not necessary yet. I also love our sprayer for cleaning out our little potty once we entered the world of potty training. A couple wetbags-- at least one for outings out, and a big one for diaper laundry at home. You'll find yourself using these for other uses-- I sometimes bring one on vacations when we're using disposables just because it's great for wet laundry (like if you're doing swimming).

Our stash is mostly goodmamas, which are fitteds, so they need a cover. I love them-- they're the most absorbent diaper that I've tried, and they're super cute. They are bulky, though, so they don't fit as well under pants (though my daughter is tiny so it's not a problem with us). I don't need to change them as quickly when we're out and about. You can pair them with cute diaper covers or even wool! (Blueberry one sized covers or thirsties are my favorite PUL covers.) The diapers that converted me to cloth, though, are bumGenius one sized pocket diapers. I still love these diapers, though I don't choose them when we're going out because they aren't as absorbent. When I was using cloth at night with my son, I would just double up on inserts and we hardly ever had leaks. (I've found that my daughter sleeps better in disposables which is why I hardly ever use cloth at night with her). BumGenius diapers are great transition diapers because 1) they're cute! and 2) they are shaped just like disposable diapers. I'm not a big fan of snaps, but they are now available in a snap option. (It's good when your child figures out how to unlatch velcro.) They also have one sized all in one diapers which are even more like disposables, though I've never had an issue stuffing pocket diapers (and when I do laundry, the inserts come out on their own).

I was a big advocate of planet laundry soap for diaper laundry but recently switched to Rockin' Green. There are lots of options out there and you may need to play a bit with how much soap to use and what works best for you (pinstripesandpolkadots has a good guide).

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Here's my 2 cents on CDing.

First, If you are breastfeeding, it sounds gross but breastfed babies' poop is totally water soluble and you don't need a diaper sprayer. If baby's on formula, yes, get a diaper sprayer...they are great.

Second, it's true that everyone has different preferences for diapers. We only have Bum Genius 3.0's, but I'd love to try a smaller diaper on future kiddos, maybe a g-diaper or a fuzzibunz or something. But my 9-month old fits into our BumGenius ones well now.

Third, here is something I stumbled across. It's a site where you can rent newborn diapers. So...if you don't want to buy a bunch since you're not sure if you'll continue, you can rent them for a couple of months. There are a few options, one option has like 8 different diapers. Take a look:

We CD all the time at home except use a disposable at night b/c too long in cloth gives our daughter diaper rash, and we use disposables when on-the-go because we live in a city of 18 million people and don't have a car to tote our stuff around in. My husband likes the cloth as well, he says that diapers are all nasty and at least this way we save some money!

Good luck...CDing is really not a big deal once you do it for awhile.

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

Way to go mama.
I will warn you, that starting cloth is Very overwhelming. I searched for just the 'right' diapers and how to use them til I was blue (literally) in the face. Luckily I had a great friend who had been using them (much more green then me) for 3 yrs and was my life saver.
I would say your best bet, call up Bumgenius and ask for help!! They have some great diapers. Unless you really want to try the 'old fashion' diapers I'd suggest going with the Pocket diapers. I hate micro fiber as i feel it holds smell longer so we use flats inside our pockets. If 'stuffing' a diaper seems overwhelming (and I think with your busy schedule it might) then look into their AIO or check out They have great organic diapers you just put on and take off. How much closer to a sposie can you get?
I do think you should give cloth a try, and I'm sorry to say that the segment did very much appear to come across that sposies were the only way to diaper baby. Good luck, look forward to seeing what you have to say. Maybe you could put a spot for all of us CD moms to post pics of our little ones. =)

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBambi

Way to go! I hope you enjoy your adventure!
Bum Genius Organic All-in-one diapers are very daddy and nanny friendly, so you might want to try those :)

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFreya

Oh yeah I have to add to the asseccories list.
we just use a Planet Wise Hanging wet bag and honestly it smells less then our trash can we have for the sposie diapers.
We don't have a diaper sprayer (if baby is breast fed) you can just throw the diapers right into the wash (i checked with a diaper service on this one). If not a sprayer is nice just to get the 'bulk' off and then I put the poopy diapers in the wash, rinse with cold water and some baking soda then add in the wet diapers, rinse on cold with baking soda and the wash in hot with Rockin Green or Tide.
You might want to get at least 2 wet bags one for upstairs and down (if you have both). I use regular throw away wipes, but I do have cloth ones just becasue it's easier then trying to take the others out of the diaper before i wash if i forget.
We're here to help, this can be fun. =)
Oh, and while they're totally adorable, in the words of my husband, 'Don't go spending your $$ on the over the top, cute diapers, he's only going to poop in them.' Thanks dear

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBambi

Try gDiapers! They're a hybrid diaper and GREAT for a mom who is wanting to dabble in cloth diapering! They offer two options - a cloth insert and a flushable (biodegradeable) insert. The flushable might be the better way to go while the baby is with the nanny or your husband. =)
Just know that if you use a diaper rash cream you need a cloth diaper safe one!
gDiapers has an AWESOME customer service team (aka diaper therapists) to help you out! You can also check out their facebook page for advice from other mammas!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan Floirendo

Awesome! I'm so glad you're going to give cloth diapers a try! :)
I have been CDing for 10 years, with 6 children. My oldest is 11, my youngest is 3 months. I can tell you there have been a lot of changes and innovations in CDs over the past 10 years! And to think, I didn't start with my oldest until she was 14 months old because I was overwhelmed with the choices even then, and I was afraid of the start up costs. CDs can certainly save a lot of money over disposies, especially when used for more than one child, but start up costs can be a burden (it's nice when you can pick up just a few things each month and spread the cost out). :) Once I started, though, it was great! We chose to go to CDs for a few reasons, but the main ones were to save money, and for comfort (pick the softest paper diaper you can find, and compare it to a cloth diaper...the cloth is sooooo much softer...which would you rather wear??) You can absolutely spend a fortune on cloth diapers...but you don't have to. :)
Looking at the options available now, from my perspective of 10 years in CDing, I would suggest that you start out with a one-size pocket or an all-in-one (AIO) style diaper...those would be the easiest and most similar to a disposable. CottonBabies' BumGenius one size pockets, or BumGenius AIOs would be good choices (I use the one-size pockets) or any other brand of pocket or AIO (I use BG in part because they are local to me, I can go in their store and see them in person, and also they are great diapers!) I've used some of the other CottonBabies products also...and the owner is very nice and helpful, and their customer service is wonderful. :)
Most of all, don't get overwhelmed, you are going to get as many suggestions as you get responses here, but the main thing is to just take the plunge. Outside my suggestion above, you may also want to try a sampler package, which many cloth diaper retailers offer, or can put together for you, giving you a sampling of a few different styles to try, and see what might appeal to you. (but I do like the pockets!) ;) And HAVE FUN with it...One thing cloth diapers definitely have over disposables...they're SUPER cute! :)

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRobynne

Oh, and you will need a CD safe detergent. Rockin' Green is the best in my opinion. We use it on all of our clothes. (especially my husbands military and pt uniform!)

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan Floirendo

There are so many wonderful CDing options out there. If money is no object (especially if you can get some free things to try), you might prefer a one-size pocket diaper like Bumgenius ( They are pricey and you have to put both the cover and the insert in the wash after each change, but they are super easy, comfy for baby, and don't take long to dry after washing. Plus you only ever have to buy one size.

For our budget's sake, we mostly use inserts--as a matter of fact, usually the same micro-terry ones that go in the Bumgenius pockets above--and Thirsties covers ( We love the Thirsties covers because there are only two sizes. They adjust and your baby can use the first one for a few months and the second one until pottytraining. When you change the diaper, as long as the cover is not really wet or soiled you can get a fresh insert and use the cover again. 3-4 covers would therefore be enough to have on hand as long as you wash once every day or so.

We also love our Fuzzibuns hanging diaper pail ( As long as you throw your dirty diapers (minus poop) into the bag with the inserts already pulled from the pocket diapers, you don't have to touch them ever again! Just unzip the bottom of the bag and throw it into your washer! We cold rinse first and then do a hot wash with a scoop of Charlie's Soap (hit Earth Fare for the best deal) and several drops of tea tree oil to deodorize.

It's so easy once you get used to it and it's been such a blessing to us since we could barely fit disposable diapers into our budget right now! I love knowing I'm a laundry load away from all the fresh diapers we need. We also do part-time elimination communication. Our 15-month-old uses her potty 3-4 times a day, which means fewer diapers used! Maybe that's a challenge you'd want to save for next month :-)

And by the way I did read the article and while I didn't comment, I have to say I was annoyed. Nothing personal against the doctor or you--I just thought a segment on cloth diapers might have included a few words from a cloth diapering expert or at least a mom who had tried it. Anyway, I think it's great you're doing taking this as a challenge and giving it a chance! I hope you like it and that another segment is done!

November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

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