Disposable or Cloth {it doesn't have to be all or nothing}

Disposable or Cloth {it doesn't have to be all or nothing} 1I used all disposable diapers with my oldest daughter. They seemed easy, non-intimidating. I knew how to change them already and I knew how to throw them away (remove, toss in trash, done!).

The whole cloth diapering business seemed overwhelming. There were so many choices (and I'm not talkin' just colors!). All-in-Ones. Pre-folds. Pocket. Fitted. Even if I could decide on a "style," there were dozens of brands and sizes and accompanying products.

That is why I used disposables: Information Overload. I also worried that the initial cost investment would be wasted if cloth diapering didn't end up being my "thing."

That said, I've often thought about switching over...

Disposable or Cloth {it doesn't have to be all or nothing} 2My baby is currently 9 months old and I am happy to say that I am finally a proud owner of ONE cloth diaper, thanks to Thirsties cloth diapering.

Disposable or Cloth {it doesn't have to be all or nothing} 3Thirsties sent me their newest diaper - the duo diaper, a two-piece diapering system combining an absorbent insert and a waterproof sleeve-style shell.  The adjustable rise diaper comes in just two sizes..."to fit your baby without compromise from birth-to-potty!"

Here's my take:

  • The diaper is EASY-TO-USE. The duo is pretty much exactly like a disposable. I just add the insert, wrap around my baby, velcro-shut, and I'm done.
  • The diaper is EASY-TO-CLEAN. When I need to make a change, I take it off and throw it in a warm or hot wash in my washing machine. Note: My daughter hasn't yet had a #2 inside (Cloth diaper experts, what DO I do with #2?).
  • The diaper is LEAK-PROOF. So far, it seems quite leak-proof - comparable to disposables.
  • The diaper is BULKY. Judging from comments I've read from other bloggers, cloth diapers just add a little "extra"...and I definitely have found that to be true. Her bottom instantly expands to double it's normal size with the diaper on.
  • The diaper is CUTE. No brands. No characters. Just bright, happy colors.

Disposable or Cloth {it doesn't have to be all or nothing} 4My biggest take-away is that cloth diapering doesn't have to be all-or-nothing. I don't have to be a "purist" either way. If I want to, I can do both - unashamedly.

From the little research I have done, it does seem that cloth diapering puts less pressure on our landfills and is better for the environment. It's also a more affordable option because - once you have them, you can reuse and reuse.

I think every new mama should have a few cloth diapers in her home. When you're in a pinch and you run out of disposables, you can use them. And, who knows? You may find that you like them enough to use them all of the time...

YOUR TURN: Do you use cloth, disposable, or a combination? Why?

WIN IT! One winner will receive a duo diaper ($18.50) by Thirsties. To enter, leave any topic-related comment on this post prior to Tuesday, December 29th at 11:59 p.m. (Don’t forget to follow the rules…all generic comments like “Enter me!,” “Love it,” and “Cool stuff!” will be disqualified.).

* I received a product sample for review purposes.

*UPDATE* The winner is #15 Amber C. Congratulations!

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70 comments on “Disposable or Cloth {it doesn't have to be all or nothing}”

  1. hmmm.....i think this is the first cloth diaper brand that comes in only two sizes. that is definitely way less intimidating.

  2. I totally agree -- I love cloth! We use Fuzzi Bunz on our twins and love them. Cloth with twins, you may be thinking, that's CRAZY?! Actually, it's not bad at all and totally do-able. The key is finding a system that works for your family: diaper, storage, wash system, etc. Once that's figured out it's a breeze. I also agree that doing a combo works really well. We use cloth on most weekdays, disposable at night and on the weekends.

  3. I used disposable for our first child simply because I thought it would be easiest and I was had never changed a diaper in my life before I found out I was pregnant! I would like to try cloth diapers for our second child though, for the environmental and economical advantages.

  4. I bought a few cloth diapers before my daughter was born and intended to do them part-time, but I quickly fell in love with them! Now, my daughter is 3 months old and we've only used a few disposables here and there when we absolutely had too. Cloth diapers are amazing these days - not only are they better for your baby and your wallet, but they are easy to use. It's more cost upfront, but pays off in the end (in our case, only 9 months!) AND you can use them for multiple children. Imagine diapering a child basically for free!

  5. i never dared to cloth diaper back then they had the pins and i was afraid of pricking their sskin..now these are awesome and no worries to boot :)

  6. We currently use disposable diapers, but I would love to try these out. We have thought about going the more eco-friendly method of using cloth 80% of the time, and saving disposables for when we absolutely need the convenience they offer. Thanks for the chance :)

  7. I haven't started using cloth diapers yet but my daughter will be born in Feb. and I am currently working on getting enough cloth diapers purchased so I won't have to use disposable diapers. Thanks to Craigslist and great online sales we are almost there! I have decided to cloth diaper mainly for the amount of money I can save over using disposable diapers but I also like feeling that I'm helping the environment.

  8. i just got my thirsties duo in the mail the other day and it looks like these are going to end up being my favorite diaper! hope you enjoy them!!

  9. I will be using cloth. I realize there will probably be times where disposables will be necessary but it will be cloth overall.

  10. I have been too intimidated to try cloth diapers, but this one seems fairly user friendly. I would like to give it a try.

  11. I used disposables with my first born, but switched to cloth with second (until he hit pull-up age). I LOVE cloth diapering. I use flushable inserts that take care of #2 easily and I feel better knowing that I doing something good for the earth. I also believe that my second potty trained faster because of the cloth diapers and had less diaper rash issues. I am a big fan of the G diaper with the inert, but I am always wanting to try new ones out to see if I like them better. Good luck and welcome to the cloth world!

  12. This was an excellent post that I for one really benefited from reading! Thank you! I have been mulling over the idea of buying just a few cloth diapers and doing a no-stress hybrid method in my home (use cloth when they are are clean, and don't when they aren't). Winning this would get me started! :-)

  13. How embarassing that I never thought to try one without it being a 2-3 year commitment! I would love to try cloth diapers in addition to using disposables. It would have been great to have one last night as I was racing to find an open store ON CHRISTMAS because we ran out of disposables!

  14. i have never tried cloth diapers, but have always wondered about them. my cousin tried it but found it to hard with toddlers and babies. i like the diaper above is easy to clean.

  15. We have always used cloth. Although we also practice elimination communication, which is a way of learning your child's patterns and then taking them to pee or poop when they need to go. In the beginning, it's a lot more laundry, but after a while, it's a lot less. My 23 month old son pees in cloth training pants about 3 or 4 times a week right now, so laundry is minimal. I guess I went with cloth because I didn't want to add to the land fills. Plus, I have been using cloth menstrual pads for at least 5 years before my first child was born and cloth is so much more comfortable on my skin. I only imagined it being better for soft sensitive baby skin. And it's a lot cheaper. In the last 12 or so years, I have spent about $200 total on cloth menstrual pads.

  16. Good for you!

    We love cloth diapers. You don't need to be worried about #2 (probably that's already happened) - it's really not a big deal. If your baby hasn't started solids yet, you just throw the diaper in the wash. So for those who are thinking about starting cloth but aren't into solids yet, actually that's a pretty good time to start.

    In your case (because your daughter has started solids), it's a little more involved but not much. Some people rinse off any poop in the toilet. We found that to be a bit messy and Elizabeth already wants to puddle in the toilet without us modelling that for her, so we just take a couple of pieces of toilet paper and wipe off the poop into the toilet. Then we put the diaper into our dry bag.

    We started cloth diapering with exactly the same mindset - one at a time (although we had purchased a whole bunch at first). If you think that you are saving a disposable each time, it quickly becomes addictive :) Elizabeth seems to like the feeling best, which I understand when think about wearing feminine hygiene products all the time vs plain underwear.

  17. It's pretty much all cloth at our house, I even visited my mom several states away last month and brought all the cloth dipes with me! We're taking a road trip to see my husband's grandfather next week and I can't justify doing it again, so we'll be using disposables. It's great to have a choice!

  18. With baby number 1 I tried the cloth diapers a little bit and with baby number 2 I tried a lot harder. At some point with baby number 2 I stopped and I have not started again - why I don't know. I use to have some all in one diapers her size in the house but now I cannot find them.

    I need to start digging around to find those (unless I gave them away). I would love to try the Thirsties. I have seen their diapers but because they are on the more expensive side I did not use them.

  19. Oh, this post is right up my ally lately! I've been doing all the research into the overwhelming world of cloth diapers because I want to cloth diaper this little boy coming in February. I used disposables with Capri, and I always wanted to use cloth, and now I am making it happen! I would love to try Thirsties new diaper, it seems really great! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  20. I use disposable b/c all my family did. I don't know if I can clean #2 from cloth diapers, but I think the impact is definitely better for the environment.

  21. I love cloth diapers, but as Levi's gotten older I've begun to use both cloth and disposables....mostly due to the pooh. Breastfed pooh can go straight in the washer. It's water soluble. However, once they start really eating it can't. I am not a fan of toilet sprayers and swishing. For the most part I just use imse vimse flushable liners. They catch solid pooh and you just toss it in the toilet. Very easy. However, when Levi has a cold (even a mild one) his pooh gets runny and uncatchable by the liners, so I use disposables during those times.

    So glad you got to try out cloth!

  22. Right now I ue disposables but have purchased 2 cloth diapers. I really want to try cloth but they are expensive to start. I know over time you actually save, but most of those "try it kits" are anywhere from $39 for the smallest to $150. I don't have that up front being a SAHM. My second reason is I want to learn more, but don't no anyone personally that uses cloth and when I contact someone online I get different people like different ones and some work better for some babies than others. I have tons of questions. I guess for now, I will cloth and use disposable until I can figure it out or afford to dive in altogether.

  23. Yay! You tried it! You're on your way! And SOOOO true! You do not have to do all or nothing. We are definitely about a 70% cloth, 30% disposable family. Although because I'm SOOO behind on laundry, it's like 10% cloth and 90% disposable this week. More power to anyone that even does one cloth diaper a day, or a week, right? I'll have to try the Thirsties. Thanks!

  24. I have done both! I love cloth diapers when I did them!!!!! They were great! I think Fuzzi bunz were my favorite. Unfortanly I am back to disposable mainly because we are moving a couple of times in the next couple of months and it was too much!

  25. I always wanted to try them. If I'd had a #4, I probably would have. I think a bonus will be potty training. My guess is it will be easier with cloth b/c they feel wetter (the disposables wick moisture away and make them feel comfy, which I believe is to blame for the late potty training phenomenon we see in our modern culture.) I know you're a proponent of training early, and I'd be interested to know how you'd compare training from a cloth-diapered baby to a disposable.

    I still want to know the answer to your question - WHAT do you do with the poo?

  26. Good for you mama! I just stumbled upon your blog and I can't wait to dive in!!

    As far as cloth diapering goes, I became an addict almost as soon as I started, which I imagine happens to many parents if they start with decent diapers that they look forward to using. I know if I started with soley prefolds and covers I wouldn't have stuck with it but having a variety was a huge help. We do use sposies at night though since we're still trying to find the perfect nighttime diaper. We're close with the BG 3.0's though!

    I've been dying to try the Duo Diaper from Thirsties! I'm glad you liked it- I've heard only good things so far!

  27. I use both disposables and cloth. While I love cloth, there are sometime where disposables are
    more convenient, like when you can't find the time to get your cloth diapers washed.
    I love the site http://www.diaperpin.com for reviews and sale announcements. You can really find some great sales there.

  28. I use mainly cloth diapers for day to day. I use disposibles when I'm travelling, it's hard to wash cloth diapers when away from home. I also use disposables on an odd occasion when I'm at home, but it's mostly cloth. I like how you can resue cloth diapers, and they even have a possible resale value. Washing cloth diapers isn't hard, once you get the hang of it. There's less waste in the landfill and less chemicals against baby's skin.

    As for the poo situation, I have been told that you're supposed to flush poo down the toilet, regardless of whether or not you're using cloth or disposables. Breastfed poo can actually be washed right in the washing machine, solid poo needs to be flushed.

  29. I am due with baby #2 and have already registered for cloth diapers. I only used disposables with my first, but I really see a value in 1)saving money, 2)not filling landfills any more than necessary and 3)keeping chemicals away from baby's bottom. That being said, I too worry that I won't be able to handle the laundry and deal with the messes, so having one to test first would be great! I also love your take on having a mix...moderation is usually a good thing. :)

  30. I used disposables with my 3 children, and discovered cloth after it was too late (my youngest was potty trained). BUT I plan to use cloth with our next. I LOVE how adorable they are, and being more eco-friendly is a huge bonus!

  31. With a "#2" you just dump it in the toilet and rinse a little bit. The residue will come off in the wash later! :)
    I've used cloth diapers almost exclusively with my son from about 6 months on. Now they are starting to fall apart, but it has saved us money in the big picture and I really like that they aren't full of nasty chemicals and I'm not adding to landfill waste! They're definitely cuter too!

  32. Baby #1 we tried using cloth diapers for a while and we had major leak problems. So 99% disposable.

    Baby #2 we are exclusively using cloth diapers. It works so much better this time around. And with cloth wipes, we have much less waste. Not to mention NEVER having a diaper rash. Her bum is beautiful. :)

  33. I have used cloth for much of my son's life but I unashamedly switched to disposables after having my appendix out :) B/c of that, I need to get some small size dipes for this next baby b/c i only have infants and mediums. I have had great success with my diapers, but the biggest plus has been the fiancial savings. I don't love a poopy cloth diaper (who does?) but I LOVE LOVE LOVE not spending that money :)

  34. I am still thinking about trying cloth. I read somewhere that disposables has poisonous gel, which is not good for boys. Not sure if it is true...

  35. I use both. I use cloth diapers as much as possible during the day but use a disposable at night. Also use sposies if I run out of cloth or if he is on a pooping spree. =)

  36. I love cloth! And honestly, once you get the hang of it, it's not THAT much more work than disposables...a couple extra loads of laundry a week and you're golden!

  37. I'm with you. I have always wanted to try disposable, but have never had the where-with-all to make all the decisions necessary to go ahead. And after all, they are rather expensive if you just want the give them a test-drive. That'd be a great shower gift...one cloth dipaer or a couple different styles.

  38. i am so excited to start cloth diapering! i have started my stash for when my baby arrives in march and i would love to add a thirsties to the stash!!!

  39. I use both - cloth during the day when we're at home and disposable at night and when we're out and about.

    I love using the cloth because they're paid for and I'm done with it!!

    I love not having to buy disposables that often!

    And, my daughter doesn't break out when in cloth, but tends to from disposables...

  40. we use cloth only for so many reasons... mainly to keep from tossing a million diapers into the landfills but also to save money and because it's better for baby's skin and (we hope) earlier potty training!!

  41. cloth during the day and disposable at night- she's too heavy of a wetter and she would break out in a rash with cloth.

  42. I've often thought about getting into cloth diapers - but like you, have been totally blown away by choices.

    I would love to try it out - even if it was with just one diaper...

  43. I used disposables with my oldest two but when the youngest came I was a little older and had changed a lot of my thinking. We did cloth - just basic whites with plastic pants or diaper covers. I grew up with my younger sibs in cloth so the pins didn't intimidate me. I liked having them and my baby got rashes a lot less.

    Oh and a #2 is easy - dump in the toilet, flush and swish diaper in the toilet until stuck particles are gone then wash as normal!

  44. I've never tried cloth diapers with either of my children. My son is potty-trained now so that's out. But I'm so worried that my little lady will have a blowout and I'll be so disgusted that I'll end up throwing the cloth diaper away anyway. Haha! I might need some hand-holding if I'm going to do this...

  45. For a #2-get a cloth diaper sprayer that attaches to the toilet! It is my life saver! I love cloth, but I do like having the option of disposables too. I started at 7 months with my first daughter and did it almost exclusively until I had my second. Now my first is potty trained (or almost) and my second is in cloth almost all the time.

  46. I started cloth diapering my 2nd child when he was about 6 months, as I was completely fed up with poop "blow-outs", and had been hearing that cloth helped contain those much better. I did find that to be true, but even more surprising is that I discovered how much I *loved* washing diapers and coming out with a fresh, clean, soft bunch of them. I loved the bright, fun colors, too. The way I didn't have to run to the store when I ran out of disposables. I cloth diapered him until I thought he was close to potty training. My guess was off by about a year, but I didn't go back to cloth during that time.

    When baby #3 came along, I was excited about cloth diapering again. Even made some of my own with my sewing machine!! But with 3 young kids, I always felt completely overwhelmed with laundry and other daily life, and I couldn't convince myself to add the extra laundry to the routine. Then hubby lost his job, and I started with the cloth again to save some money. That worked well until we moved back to Colorado to be closer to laundry, and only had coin-op laundry or mother-in-law's laundry available. I tried washing at MIL's house, but being over there every other day to do laundry for several hours got overwhelming, too. So we're back to disposables again.

    Still, I don't think it will be the last time we cloth diaper. They're just too cute and soft to resist. ;)

  47. Information overload is exactly it! I researched cloth diapers for months and finally just decided to stick with the basics.

    We use Green Mountain Diapers brand prefolds with Thirsties brand covers when we're at home, and disposables at daycare and when we're traveling. I am very curious about wool covers and have been thinking about trying them, but wool seems very expensive to experiment with.

    To wash the diapers we run them through a cold cycle in the washer first to rinse, then a hot cycle with Charlie's soap to wash. When we get stains (rare, but it happens) we hang them in the sun and they look brand new.

    We're just starting solids so the poo has been pretty easy so far (BF poo is easily water soluble). Soon we'll probably want a diaper sprayer -- it attaches to the toilet and works like the sprayer on your sink. You use it to get the clumpy poo off the diaper into the toilet. I have a feeling that this next stage of cloth diapering may affect our resolve... I guess we'll see! :)

  48. We started with cloth diapers with my first and still use them with our third. We were gifted the first set of diapers and loved them. They were just simple prefolds.

    With that gift we were also introduced to the snappy diaper covers and that made a world of difference in my thoughts of using cloth. I dreaded the thought of having to pull the diaper covers and any messes down the legs.

    We have never bought disposables to put on any of the kids. We have traveled across the US via plane twice using cloth diapers. We have camped using them and taken many many road trips with only cloth diapers and have never had a problem.

    I love cloth diapering and would never dream of switching! (Even when I am up to my elbows in dirty diapers that need washing :))

  49. We are 99% cloth diapering Lily. That last 1% is for times like this past weekend where we were so busy dealing with her birthday party that I forgot to do laundry and ran out of cloths. I really like cloth diapers, I think they are just as easy to use as disposables and so much cuter and softer. I also like the bulky butt that they provide, my kiddo is so small that most of her pants would fall off without the cloth diaper.

    We have 12 Bum Genius 3.0 diapers and three Apple Cheeks and as long as I do diaper laundry every other day we are set.

  50. I like the idea you have about not having it be all or nothing. I use disposable diapers but they are environmentally friendly: Naturebabycare. Great diapers, small company. Love them.

  51. It is overwhelming to figure out cloth diapering but well worth it. It saves you money, saves your baby from diaper rash, saves the planet and gives parents peace of mind about what is touching their babies skin. Some people find it easier to start with cloth diapering at home and non-chemical disposables when out in public or at daycare. There are choices now like grobaby diapers, gdiapers, & tushies for healthy disposable or compostable diapers.

  52. We have used disposables because of convenience, but have been talking about switching to cloth at least part time. Just need to save up the money to get started!!

  53. With my first, I used a combination of disposable and cloth. It worked okay, but it took forever for the cloth diapers to dry; and it was a rather complicated system (popolino/popolini in Europe). When we got back to Europe, I boxed it all up, and sold it on Ebay (which was where I had bought it in the first place).

    With #2, I am only doing disposable diapers. Sometimes I wish that I could do a little bit of cloth diapering, too. I don't know that I'm totally convinced, though. I definitely don't have the room this time around to be air-drying diapers all the time. I barely have room to air-dry normal clothes (no dryer!).

  54. I have been using cloth diapers since my 4 year old was born. I used the old prefolds (the ones you can buy at a store, pins and rubber pants. Because well, that was the only thing I knew. I had changed disposable diapers on other babies. But they seemed to always leak and oh my goodness the blow outs! With the help of my Mother (a cloth diapering expert) I made it work. After about 6 months I got sick of it and soem research of my own. I found that using prefolds and diaper wraps worked much better. I didn't even need pins. And it was cheap to start out. Two kids later I am still using cloth diapers. I am still using prefolds and wraps. I have a couple AIO's, Fitted & Covers, AI2's and Pockets. I have also used a few disposables if and when I had to. I like that cloth diapering doesn't have to be all or nothing. I'm glad you like your Thirsties Dup Wrap. Maybe you could get a couple more and be a part time cloth diapering Mom.

  55. This is something that I'm wanting to try out with our new baby. We used nothing but disposables with our three year old. It's true that that the information out there can be overwhelming! Right now we're just using disposables, but our plan is to start trying cloth out in the next few months. I'm thinking that by then she will have filled out enough where she can fit into an AIO cloth diaper...and I will be ready to tackle the challenge as well!

  56. Yay!!! So, the question is... will you ever be the proud owner of 2? or 3? or more??? :) I am interested in trying the second size of these as my boy gets bigger and bigger.

  57. I'm so proud of you! They are intimidating until you try them. Cloth diapers today are nothing like the fold and pin style of the past. We made the big investment before our son was born so I was "committed" whether I liked it or not. Luckily, I found it just as easy as disposibles... instead of the garbage they go into the wash. Plus, we've only spent $300 on diapers in almost 2 years. I think the big cloth diaper bum is super cute!

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