Cloth Diapering Tips: A Sneak Peak into The Eco-nomical Baby Guide

All-in-one diapers? Pocket diapers? Chinese prefolds?  Even if  you desperately want to cloth diaper your child, the vocabulary challenges our earnest efforts.  How do all these “diapering systems” work?  Is it worth choosing just one?  How do you launder them and what about the smell?

cloth diaper babyFear not!  Our book, The Eco-nomical Baby Guide: Down-to-Earth Ways for Parents to Save Money and the Planet, features detailed, easy-to-read information on cloth diapering your child that even slackers like ourselves can manage.  We’ll highlight what you’ll find inside by sharing our favorite tips today:

1. Money saving tip: Don’t stock up on every size you think you’ll need before your baby arrives in this world.  Some extra chunky tots (like both of Joy’s nine pound newborns) never need the extra small sizes.  Others are preemies that stay in newborn sizes for months.  Get a few diapers and designate a family member or friend to run out and get more when baby arrives.   What else will you find in the book? Tips on buying secondhand cloth diapers for up to eighty percent less than new, tips on which diapers transition for babies between 7 and 35 pounds, and which diapers offer the best overall value.

2. Laundering tip: Though you may be tempted, do not use bleach!  People are shocked when we share this advice, but bleach will eat through your diaper fabric quickly, isn’t environmentally friendly, and can irritate baby’s skin.  Instead use baking soda, vinegar, non-chlorine bleach, or enzyme based stain fighters like Bac-out.  Other tips in the book include the all-time easiest method of diaper washing, tips for storing dirty diapers, ideas on how many loads per week you might have, and natural stain fighting tips that are free and eco-friendly.

3. Diapering tip: This may be obvious, but there are NO PINS REQUIRED!  It’s amazing how many people are still shocked when we share that fact.  We also found that neither of us needed Snappis or any other product to hold our chinese prefold diapers in their covers.  In our book you’ll find charts that help you understand what each type of diaper looks like, a cost comparison of different diapers, and options for eco-friendlier disposable diapers.

We remember how totally overwhelmed we felt entering the world of cloth diapers as new moms.  Now we have an outlet for our obsession in The Eco-nomical Baby Guide, where we ooh and ah over all the options!  Once you start cloth diapering, you may find that you fall in love with the whole adventure yourself.

Are you using cloth?  How did you find out what to use and how to diaper baby?  Do you have lots of support for your cloth diapering efforts in your local area?


  1. Before I started cloth-diapering my now 5 months old daughter, I was determined and read a lot and got discouraged. We live in an apartment complex where 30 tenants share 3 washing machines, and I was super concerned about residues of chemicals from other household. I almost gave up! My wise Japanese mother brought hand-made flat diapers from Japan that are super soft and suggested washing by hands. and I DO!! Flats are much much easier than pre-fold to hand wash and air dry. I (and my mother when she stayed with us for 2 months) used to wash about 11-13 diapers a day in the beginning. Now that my daughter in 5 months, I wash about 7-9 diapers a day. I iron them and fold them everyday. It is not that hard! It is indeed time consuming. After I put my baby to sleep, I am usually in our bathroom for about 30-40 minutes washing diapers but after a looong day (I work full time and my work place is 30 miles away!) it is quite therapeutic. and I love to feel fresh washed and ironed diapers for my baby!

  2. I just started cloth diaper my now 2 year old in January so I’m fairly new. I was scared away from it with her and my oldest by women my mothers age who hated using pins. Trying to figure it out on the internet almost scared me off. I basically went with the cheapest thing which was prefolds. I bought some off craigslist and then just bought some thirsties covers. We didn’t like the covers. Then I got a great deal on some g-diapers. I just fold the prefolds into thirds and put them in and they work great! I’ve even started making my own liners out of old fabric and they work well too. I’m going to start using kushies liners so poop cleanup becomes easier. I’m learning as I read more blogs and talk to people. And the laundry isn’t even an issue for me. I barely notice the extra couple of loads. I feel alot more prepared for my newborn coming in May. The cloth diaper movement is growing slowly here, but for the most part people look at me like I’m nuts. 🙂

  3. I’m pregnant now and we plan to use cloth diapers. But it’s so confusing, pockets, prefolds, snaps, laundering, liners, etc. I’m reading everything I can and I’m excited for the baby to get here so I can start trying out the different kinds.

  4. My mom clothdiapered me and my 2 siblings. I always knew disposables were not earth-friendly so I thought I was gonna use the biodegradable kind. Turns out those are super expensive and still not fully decompostable. So for now I am using flats my mom bought in Guatemala, some flip stay dry inserts with flip covers, but I am not a big fan because they fit too big in my 2 month old, and leave a huge gap in the crotch. I need more covers because the gdiapers leave redmarks. The thing is somehow it works but you find a way eventually. Since my stash is so small I am desperate to find a better washing alternative. That is why I plan to use the wonderwash.
    I also believe this manual washer is great for small aprtments and cloth diaper experimentation. It consumes less time and less water than handwashing. I feel they should sell it along with the cloth diapers.

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