Why We Use Cloth Diapers

why we use cloth diapers
why we use cloth diapers
why we use cloth diapers

I got Penelope’s size large cloth diapers this week and I thought I would take a moment to explain why we cloth diaper in the first place.Surprisingly, cloth diapering has actually been a very pleasant experience. I thought it was going to be much more work. It is more laundry, but other than that, its pretty convenient. I do a load of diapers about every two days. About once a month, I hang the stained diapers outside on a clothes line to dry and it magically gets all the stains out. I have about twenty diapers in my stash. I do a dry pail system where I just throw the dirty diaper into a trashcan with a pail liner. When its time to wash them, I put everything in the wash, liner included and do one rinse cycle on cold and then a wash cycle with detergent on hot. I have to do two cycles in the dryer to fully dry them.

We use a diaper called Dream Eze by the Natural Baby Company and they are a type of diaper that are called an All In One or an AIO. That means I don’t have to stuff any additional inserts to use the diaper. These types of diapers are most like disposables in that way, but they are also some of the more expensive cloth diapers on the market. I just put them on, snap her up and Penelope is ready to go. Even Peter is a pro at putting them on her. I used a Pocket diaper when she was a newborn, until she was about three months old. It was a diaper called Pocket Change by the same company, but they don’t make them anymore. I really liked those diapers, even though I had to spend extra time stuffing the inserts, because they were so trim.

But I have really grown to love the Dream Eze diapers, and even though they are a bit bulkier than the Pocket Change, it’s not that bad, the only thing that she has a hard time fitting into are jeans. The company has discontinued the Dream Eze style as well, but has come out with a similar style and it’s a one size fits all. That means you have snaps in the front and the diaper “grows” as your baby grows. The concept seems great, especially considering you save lots of money by buying only one size diaper. But I am glad I have three different sizes. I hate big bulky cloth diapers and the one size diapers seem like they would be pretty bulky, especially on a newborn, but I don’t speak from experience. I also use cloth wipes and make my own wipe spray, which is a piece of cake to make. I spray the solution on a cloth wipe and wipe her like normal. We bought all our diapers locally from a business called Ecological Babies. The owner, Jen, was super helpful and helped me picked out the diaper that was right for me. I never once felt overwhelmed.

Ok, so back to what I was originally wanting to write about: why we cloth diaper. My biggest reason is not because of the environment or to save money, I am most concerned about what touches my daughter’s skin. I have done no real research at all, but to me, the chemicals that a disposable diaper has in them to make them so absorbent just can’t be any good. Now, those chemicals may or may not give her cervical cancer or exzema, but they sure aren’t doing any good to her skin, so I want to avoid it. I like knowing that what is touching her skin all day and all night is organic cotton. Makes me sleep better. Well, not really, since Penelope gets up every hour but you know what I mean. And she has never had a diaper rash in her life and that is always great.

The next biggest reason we cloth diaper is for the environment. We are greatly reducing our carbon footprint by choosing to cloth diaper. Even when you calculate in the washing and drying of the diapers (this is not the case if you use a diaper service). I saw a great article the other day that said it takes nearly 3.5 billion gallons of oil to produce the 18 billion throwaway diapers that Americans toss each year. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the amount of crude we import annually from Kuwait. The article went on to say that it takes 2/3 cup of petroleum to make just one disposable diaper. Pretty nutty, huh? To that, I say NO Thank You, this is not OK and I will not participate in that much petroleum consumption.

The third reason we cloth diaper is to save money. Now, we have already spent almost a grand on about 64 diapers, two pail liners, 36 cloth wipes and a shower sprayer that connects to our toilet (this is for later when her poo is solid and I have to dump it in the toilet before putting it in the pail). So we are not seeing any savings this first year, as that is about the amount that we would have spent on disposables her first year, but next year we will see some ROI. And when we use all the same diapers again for baby number two, that’s when the savings will really add up!

I will use a disposable here and there, I am not a Nazi about it. If all my diapers are in the wash, on goes a disposable. If I am running a bunch of errands, then I will take one cloth diaper and a couple of disposables because the cloth diapers take up so much room in my diaper bag. I also never use cloth wipes when I am out, I don’t want to deal with the hassle of pre-soaking my wipes then forgetting about them and having a mold issue. The wipes and disposables that we do use in a pinch are from Seventh Generation have the least amount of chemicals possible.

Has anyone wanted to try cloth diapers but felt overwhelmed? The Natural Baby Company has recently come out with a really great product that has flushable liners that would be a great cloth diaper with training wheels that you can check them out here (but if you actually buy them be sure to do so locally from Ecological Babies!)

About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!


  1. Lia Dominique Andress says:

    I want to reconsider cloth and pair it with EC. We did not like gDiapers and they really ruined the first round experience for us. I will reference this post in a few months and I'll need your help… :0

  2. Stephanie says:

    @Lia… you are gonna EC?! Good for you, I'm impressed. Let me know how it goes, not sure if I could handle it. Get some of these diapers, I promise you, they work great.

  3. We also loved cloth diapering our first, and with expecting baby #2 this fall, we know we won't be spending a dime on diapering. What a great way to save money!

  4. Stephanie – we currently use cloth diapers and LOVE them, but I have not yet tried cloth wipes. Did you make your own wipes out of old blankets or buy some premade ones? What is in the wetting solution you use? I am interested in trying cloth wipes and want to know a little bit more about what all I would need to get started using them.

  5. Stephanie says:

    @Rachel…we bought our cloth wipes, we have some bamboo and fleece ones that we bought from EcologicalBabies.com. But I have heard of people cutting up receiving blankets and other things to use as wipes. Also, the baby wash cloths work great too.

    I will post the wipe solution soon, thanks for reminding me!

  6. Corri's Mom says:

    Hi Stephanie! Thanks for this great info! Do disposables really cause eczema? My daughter has it, and we've tried everything under the sun to get rid of it. I've been told that we can only manage it and pray that she grows out of it as a toddler.

    I looked into g-diapers, but they seemed to be a little too complicated. I've felt very guilty about the size of our carbon footprint, and am looking forward to reducing it. Your insight on this issue is most helpful. In fact, I've contacted Jen at Ecological Babies and we're going to make the switch next week! Thanks so much!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Hi Corri's Mom! To be honest, I do not know for sure about the eczema. Jen might be able to give you concrete answer. But just logically thinking, it may not cause it, but it probably makes it worse by exacerbating it when her skin comes in contact with different chemicals. The type of diaper cream or lotions could effect it as well. I would use only organic if I were you.

    So glad to hear you are going to make the switch! Good job, mama!

  8. I'm curious why using a diaper service doesn't count toward reducing carbon footprint.

  9. Stephanie says:

    @Sarah, It may still reduce your overall carbon footprint, in compersion to disposables, but washing them at home, will give you the greatest reduction. Actually, washing them at home and line drying them will give you the absolute greatest reduction.

    The energy used at the facility and the energy used in the pick up and delivery of the diapers is what I was talking about.

    But it is really hard to find accurate numbers…this is just my common sense thinking…if you find something that says otherwise, please let me know.

    -Steph :)

  10. Ashley Andersen says:

    In response to the carbon footprint topic, I have a book called "The Eco-nomical Baby Guide." It has a chapter on cloth diapering and I think it gives details on the cost differences and carbon footprint for different washing methods, etc. It's a nice resource.

  11. Stephanie says:

    I will have to check that out Ashley, thank you!

  12. I stumbled on your blog through pinterest and I'm so glad I did. My 4th son is 2 months old and he is my first to cloth diaper. I love it. They are so easy to use. I wish I had started with my first. My now two year old is potty learning and I have switched him to using cloth at his naps and bedtime, long car rides… any time I would have had him in a disposable diaper. Thanks for posting about cloth diapering. I hope it one day becomes the "norm" again. :)

  13. Stephanie says:

    @Kassy, So glad to hear that. I hope it becomes the norm again too.

  14. Thanks for sharing! I switched to cloth diapers when my 2nd Daughter, Lucy, was about 6 month. I cannot believe how easy they are. We thought about doing them with our first daughter but I was working and I just talked myself out of it, totally regret it!
    We use a mix of gdiapers and flip by bum genius along with a few bum genius AIO. I cannot believe how much money we have saved in just 10 months!
    We have been frowned upon by several family members “Gross, why would you do that?”, “oh for petes sake I’ll just buy you a box of pampers if its that big a deal”
    I think people just miss the whole point. Less trash, less money, safe for baby, easier potty training, and I never have to run to Target at 9:45 at night cos I’m outta diapers.
    I wish more moms would switch1

  15. First of all, let me say I have become OBSESSED with your blog! Tons of useful info! My question.for you is what type of detergent do you use on your cloth diapers? I have been using All Free and Clear but I’m finding that they have more and more buildup and we tend to leak through more. Help!

    • I used seventh generation for a long time, but the same thing, I was having build up. Then I switched to Rockin Green a detergent specifically for cloth diapers. I also added an additional rinse cycle to really make sure there was no residue. Good luck! And glad you like my blog!!


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