Cloth diapers: your input needed

I posted this question over at the Frugal Hacks Forum, but I’m betting you all have diapered a lot of bottoms so I want your input.  You could answer here or at the forum.  I’m watching both.

Here’s the question:

OK.  After trying my sister’s Kushies on our baby, I’m ready to take the plunge.  Kushies are $38/5 at WalMart.com.  I’m willing to pay that much if necessary, but does anyone know a better source or brand?

Here’s what I liked about Kushies and hope to find in a cloth diaper:

  • All-in-one, i.e. no need for plastic pants over top of the diaper
  • Velcro closures.  I would consider other types, but they have to be kid-friendly.  No pins, please.
  • Easy cleaning.  These Kushies have a handy sewn-in flap that dangles into the toilet so I can swirl and flush the dirtiest part to my heart’s content without ever dipping my hand or the rest of the diaper.  I like that feature!
  • Plenty of absorbency.  We didn’t have to change her twice as often just because she was in cloth.

I don’t like that they come in two sizes, so I can’t use the same incredibly expensive diapers for 2 1/2 years on the same child.

Is there a better option?  Is there a less expensive option that provides comparable features?

Comments

  1. I am the mom of a 15 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. Iused cloth diapers and plastic pants[rubberpants] on her when she was a baby.I didnt mind washing them and felt i was doing my part to help the environment.I had to use disposables on the son to save time as i had my hands full with the daughter.My daughter started wetting the bed last may due too some problems and i told her that she was going to wear the cloth diapers and rubberpants just like she did when she was a baby.i bought her 3 dozen adult cloth diapers,diaper pins and 3 dozen pairs of adult rubberpants.at first she was hesitant about wearing them,but got used to them after a week or so.now every night a bedtime i go in to her room and put a diaper and the rubber pants on her.she puts her pajamas on and goes to bed.

  2. Hi, Kim. I didn’t cloth diaper until our fifth, and she was around 10 months when we started. I made my own fitteds (easy-peasy) with Velcro, even, and I can’t say enough good stuff about THIRSTIES covers! I am expecting our sixth in November, and I just got a couple dozen Cloth-eez prefolds for $35, and ordered some size small Thirsties covers. I reiterate what someone else said about prefolds – they’re great, economical and can easily be used without pins. Anyway, this baby will be diapered with the prefolds until he/she fits into the ones I made for the last baby.
    Synopsis: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com – Cloth-eez prefolds, http://www.nickisdiapers.com – Thirsties diaper covers.
    That’s my recommendations. On a side note, I did invest in a diaper sprayer ($35) which hooks discreetly to the side/back of the toilet, and it’s awesome! No more dunking! 🙂

  3. Angel Ginnett says:

    I didn’t start using cloth till #5 was 2yo and now I use them for #5 & #6. But I love them and wish I had started sooner. I always try to convince others to try them but they don’t believe me, how easy they are.
    I thought I had a system all worked out till after #6 was born and suddenly #5 refused to wear cloth, or any clothing for that matter. Finally got him back in cloth by getting some pocket diapers. He just hated prefolds, but loved the pockets. So just be prepared for some trial and error and some experimentation to start. A good reason to start with used until you find what you like.

  4. I used Green Mountain Diapers on my granddaughter, and LOVED them! They are not real cheap, but they are very good quality, and you get what you pay for.

  5. We use coolababy cloth diapers that we buy off ebay. They are par with Bum genious dipes at about half the price.

    My favorite feature is the “one size” You just adjust the snaps and it will fit from newborn( about 8lbs+) to toddler.

    Our 1 and 2 yr old wear the same dipes, when our 4th arrives in a few weeks so will he.

    We started out with 9 and have then since increased our stash.

  6. I used cloth off and on with three of my babies. I used Motherease and some made by a WAHM. The WAHMs didn’t last very long. I also made some myself. But LOVED the Motherease. They were one size and fit from the day the baby was born (at over 9lbs), til he was potty trained at 30lb. Really, they did. Also had snap in liners for extra absorbancy. They were not AIO, but I loved the covers they had as well. Actually preferred the snaps to velcro, especially when the child figured out how to use the velcro.

  7. We are still using cloth on our first-born 15-month-old, and we’re using them on our newborn as well. I’ve used Kushies (especially for the church nursery or grandparent’s house) and agree with many previous commenters that they are just not that durable. They also don’t hold the poop in (especially for a younger baby) as well as some of the more expensive brands do.

    If you don’t want to use prefolds and covers (what we use most of the time) I would strongly recommend pocket diapers. We like BumGenius 3.0 and Happy Heiny’s (both with velcro) or Fuzzi Bunz (with snaps). Both BG and HH have one-size diapers, so although they are very expensive, they will last you a long time. You can stuff the diapers as soon as they are dry, so the person diapering the baby has no extra work to do beyond what would normally be done with a disposable. The drying time with pockets is so much less than an AIO.

    As far as the toilet-swishing issue is concerned, I don’t think the flap on the Kushies makes that big of a difference in poop removal. The pocket diapers are all lined with fleece, and the poop rolls off of that so much more easily than it does from the cotton. The fleece also keeps the baby’s bottom much drier. We purchased a sprayer attachment for our toilet (ours is the BG brand). It was $40, so I was hesitant to spend the money. It is worth every penny. It makes rinsing the diapers a breeze.

    Good luck!

  8. Cloth nappies are fantastic. We just use the prefolds and covers. The covers are really the key.
    I looked at all the fitted/pocket/all-in-one types and they were just way too expensive. We have prefolds that are now on their fourth baby and still doing fine. For wet prefolds, I just drop them in a dry pail until wash day. For dirties, I tip the solids in the toilet and drop the nappies in a little bucket with some soaker. Line drying your nappies will make all the difference!
    Mel

  9. Not sure if the link’s working so:

    http://mayna.livejournal.com/198548.html

  10. Hi there. I have no experience diapering (yet) but I found this site a while back and have bookmarked it.

    I thought it might help you, so I’m going to share it.

    How to Sew a Fitted Diaper

  11. Wow! My first stumbling across your website, and you’re talking about one of my favourite topics! LOL!

    Personally? I hate Kushies. I found they leaked terribly, didn’t last very long, and were annoying. There are loads and loads of different kind of diapers out there… my favourite for longevity of fit are fattycakes. If you go to Hyenacart.com and search out fattycakes, you’ll find oodles and oodles of work at home moms that make high quality diapers.

    Personally, especially at night, I like to use fitteds with wool covers. Breathable, and bullet proof.

    I didn’t read all the comments, so I hope that I’m not just going over what other people have said! I have literally tried every kind of diaper. 😉 If you have any other questions, shoot me an email!

  12. Why not just buy a packet of unfolded cloth diapers? They are very cheap. Here in Australia, I think they are about $25 for a pack of 20 or something like that. Folding them is no big deal. You can teach the kids to do it.

  13. Hello!
    I have used Kushies in the past and was not impressed. The price was right but durability was not there IMHO. I have tried many things but love Motherease Sandys with the snap covers. I have used these diapers on and off on five children over 12 years time. I have not exclusively cloth-diapered, but can tell you these have had lots of use and lots of washings and they are still ready to go.

  14. I also use Kushies- but I have not been using them for very long…only since December 14th- that is when our washer and dryer were delivered and installed (I surely was not going to lug dirty diapers to my in-laws to wash!). My son is just under 3 months old- so we are going through many diapers each day.

    I will say that I use disposables at night- my son does not like to be wet (i change him frequently in the day- example: wake up, change, nurse, “play”, change again before he falls asleep) and I don’t want him waking up in the night *just* to be changed.

    I have liked the Kushies so far and have only had one big poopy leak when dh did not put the diaper on correctly 🙂 Otherwise I think they are great at holding in poop for my son. Though my son is very vocal about pooping and it is complete with all kinds of sound effects- you really can’t miss it, so I usually change him soon after he does his business.

    One thing I don’t like is that it seems like some of them are becoming stained with the poop even after washing- now maybe this is my fault for not rinsing very well (I had never thought to do the toilet thing you mentioned!), but I also think that the stains may come out if I dried the diapers out in the sun (I am not able to do that at the apartments we live at currently).

    Also, I wanted to say that I did purchase some of the diapers at walmart, but I also just googled “Kushies” and found some other websites that sell them adn was able to find some a little cheaper. One place I ordered from was Monkey Toe Diapers.

    I haven’t found any cheaper cloth diapers at full price.

    I hope this helps.

    Amy 🙂

  15. I am glad to hear of these success stories. I tried cloth with my first and second and got to discouraged so have used disposables shortly after with both of them and with my third and fourth. I have been feeling like I wanted to use cloth whenever I have a fifth, so I will put this info into use then, thanks ladies!

  16. I’ve used cloth with my last 2 children and highly, highly recommend them. The company I’d recommend using is Green Mountain Diapers http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/index.htm They are a Christian family, running this business from their home…wonderful, wonderful folks! Prefolds with a snappi or wrap style cover are economical and easy. Check out the website…there are wonderful explanations!

  17. This is a friend of mine. I hope you can glean some helpful tips from her!

    http://adventuresindiapering.blogspot.com/

    Nada

  18. we also used a small liner on the inside. It was really easy to take out and clean the soiled liner instead of the whole diaper.

  19. We have used cloth diapers for the last three babies and have 4 currently in cloth diapers at night.

    We made our own diapers using gerber tri fold cloth diapers, fabric, velcro and elastic. They work really nicely and then we used rubber pants over them.
    Since we made them ourselves they aren’t pricey, and didn’t take too much time to make.

    I actually thought about making cloth diapers to sell at one time… looks like it might be a good idea to do! 😛

    Hope you find the best way to cloth diaper your babies! 🙂
    Amanda

  20. OH I wanted to say that I do have some Bummis whisper wraps and they have held up excellent as well except for the velcro. I would be hesitant to buy anything velcro if you want it to last for a couple kids. UNLESS you want to replace the velcro yourself…I guess that could be done.

    Michele

  21. Hi Kim,
    Cloth diapers are great for so many reasons. I prefer the prefolds with those pins you do not want 🙂 I doubt you will be looking into the prefolds but if you do check out the Chinese and Egyptian they hold up so much better than any others. I have used the prefolds with all 6 of our children and they are still going strong. I use Bummis supersnap and Motherease covers. I have some Bummis from my 1st (who just turned 12) and they are still holding up. The Motherease were being used from my 3rd and look as if I have barely used them. I prefer the Motherease covers only because they work great for both chunky legs and thin legs. I like the snap covers because it is much less of a mess when they poo. There also is a spray system you can purchase to add to your toilot to spray the poo off. I works great. I never minded the dunking but hubby installed this sprayer a few months ago and that thing works. Just spray it and the poo falls into the toilot. EASY!

    I use Fuzzi Bunz at night and they work great. I have 6 diapers in each size and have had them since my 2nd child. They are expensive but worth it for us due to the rash that would develop only during night time wear with the prefolds. I do not think the Fuzzi Bunz would have held up to full time use with all 6 of my children. I personally would not purchase them for full time use even though they are convenient.

    We also have 4 Motherease diapers for daddy use. They would be perfect for your daughters to use for siblings. They also have all in one diapers to use all the time. I think the diaper and cover being separated makes the diapers last longer (in my humble opinion). I also line dry my diapers and covers all the time. If it is to cold we use a drying rack. I would get enough diapers that you are not forced to wash more than twice a week or it could become to much for you. Our Motherease are holding up great and we use them alot. I even find myself grabbing them if they are there. They are also great to take in the diaper bag. I also use Motherease wipes. I have used them for 8 years and they are holding up well. These are also the wipes we use as our toilet paper 🙂 See your not to far from it 🙂 LOL

    Michele

  22. Hi Kim,

    We cloth diapered our first three children with cloth diapers from Wal-Mart. Then used paper diapers for children 4-7, because the cheap diapers were smelly after a while and did not hold up well and leaked and….. With number 8 and 9 we went back to cloth diapers. Going back to cloth we went with nice quality pre-folds (about $2 each) and 100% wool covers. Love, love, love the wool covers. IMHO these end up being a fairly economical option because you need very few wool covers to diaper full time.

    The upkeep is simple because the wool covers do not need to be washed with each use. I end up washing mine about once every 2-3 weeks. Also, wool covers will last a really, really long time. You can make your own wool covers with thrifted 100% wool sweaters. You could also knit your own covers (or have your girls knit them). Anyhoo, we spent about $100 and have enough cloth to diaper a baby, a toddler, and some older nightime wetters. Included in that total I purchased a couple nice quality nighttime covers, now I know that I could have done without those, but they are nice to have.

    Feel free to email if you have questions about sources or brands. I did loads of research!

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

  23. I just had an idea to avoid the dunk ‘n’ swish. Maybe this is too easy and wouldn’t work, but why not just sew in a thin layer that only attached at the top of the diaper? Like the Kushies, you know: a loose flap. Then if the diaper is soiled, you just tip the flap into the toilet, and flush while you hold onto the diaper itself.
    It’s my favorite feature in the Kushies, so couldn’t I easily add it to any cheap diaper?

  24. Kim,
    I used cloth diapers for my first three kids, disposables for my 4th and 5th, and will probably switch back to cloth for my 6th (financial reasons). I would say, if you are cloth diapering for financial reasons, go with the prefold and a diaper wrap over the top. The all in one and shaped diapers are so very expensive, and don’t last nearly as long. You have to be so very careful with the waterproofing of the cover, and then you have to buy the different sizes, which is such a large output of money.

    I used chinese (bleached) prefolds and proraps. Neither of these is “environmentally correct” but I cloth diapered for financial reasons, not environmental ones. True, diehard cloth diaperers don’t like bleached cottons, and they don’t like the man made fabrics, like the prorap. My diapers have lasted through three kids, and I have saved them to use again. Some are ratty, but you can still use a tattered prefold inside a non-leaking wrap.

    I don’t think I’d ever go the all-in-one/fitted diaper route, just because it’s WAAAAY too expensive. I did have to dunk and swish, though. Get a pair of kitchen gloves–you’ll get used to it!

  25. I do not like Kushies. They do not last very long, esp if you wash them everyday. I’ve tried them twice (once I purchased, once given to me). Plus, they do not hold poop very well. I strongly recommend a prefold diaper with Bummis whisper wrap (no pins necessary) . These are great and very durable. You can use a disposable/flushable liner for easy poop removal.
    Whichever you choose, try Charlie Soap for detergent. It is great with diapers (and regular clothes as well).

  26. We’re weird and are using the *really* old fashioned flats with pins and a pull on cover. Generally I really like them, so I’m not much help. We’ve got fitted diapers that were given to us, of the Indisposables brand, plus a few other brands, but the baby is waaay too small to fit them, thus far. She’s only 9 1/2 lbs, and needs to be 10 to fit them. That’s one of the drawbacks to the one size diapers– you have to have a baby that is big enough. Anyway, basically, that means I have no idea how I like fitted diapers, but know that I like the flats. I know that I don’t really like the applix covers from motherease, because I feel like they really restrict movement for my child. That’s actually part of the reason I really like pull-on covers– freedom of movement 🙂

  27. i had problems with kushies. they shrunk!! so they didn’t last very long. i used plain ole’ trifolds before and they lasted thru 4 children so….. i like the dappi nylon covers. not plastic but nylon. i did use pins tho .

  28. I haven’t heard many good things about Kushies. You can check reviews of diapers on diaperpin.com. Here’s the Kushies review: http://diaperpin.com/diapers/ItemDetail.asp?ID=32

    We CDed our first and are now CDing our second baby. I really like pocket diapers for the ease of washing and drying. AIOs take FOREVER to dry, their only downfall.

    Some of my favorites are Fuzzi Bunz and for a one-size, Bum Genius. For AIOs, I have some swaddlebees that I like and Thirsties.

    You should check out the forum at diaperswappers.com to buy some used diapers to try out before investing too much money in some that you might not like.

  29. honestly, I’m partial to good ‘ol fashioned prefolds and a good cover. Prefolds with a fitted cover don’t need pins. I have some snappis, but rarely use them. I find that the cover holds the prefold in place nicely. Even overnight.
    I use Bumkins covers…a little spendy, but NICE. I also have some wonderwraps, also nice and am thinking of getting some thristies covers.
    Prefolds are next to nothing cost wise, so spending a bit extra on the covers rather evens it out IMHO.
    The bonus of prefolds is, you can bleach them if needed. (My 2yo has gotten impetigo on his butt twice…wierd…but bleaching the dipes was a needed.)

  30. I posted a comment, but I don’t think it made it through, as I got an error.

    Anyhoo, I’m a cloth diaperer. I use Bum Genuis, Fuzzi Bunz, Dry Bees, and prefolds with covers.

    It sounds like you like the Kushies. I would have tried them too, if my Wal-Mart sold them. I say – get the Kushies. They sound fabulous.

    Welcome to the world of cloth diapering.

  31. Hi Kim,
    I love the fact that you have decided to cloth diaper the baby. As a gift for my younger sister’s new baby I decided to help her out. She decided that she was going to cloth diaper her baby so she didnt have to spend on sposies. So I made a bunch of prefolds for her. It was really easy. I found a website that shows how to do a chinese prefold. I was able to make up about a dozen in about 2 days. (let me tell you I got them to her late and she ended up not using them) It was super easy tho. I have pictures of how they turned out if you want to see them They were really pretty. Also I looked for yard sales and craigslist ads that had them in my area. Another place to look for cloth diapers is freecycle. You never know what people are willing to give away.

  32. I haven’t used most brands of pocket diapers (like all-in-ones, but you can take out the inner absorbent part for quicker washing/drying), but I make my own. Diaperkit.com has kits you can buy that are reasonably priced (pre-cut waterproof fabric [PUL], pre-cut everything, elastic, etc). You can buy PUL by the yard (yahoo groups have co-ops that get this for much cheaper than retail), etc. Verybaby.com has a forum with a lot of tutorials, how-to’s, techniques, etc. for sewing them. I use prefolds as my inner absorbent part, and even microfiber towels(this is NOT something you want touching baby’s skin, however! Make sure it’s only used inside the diaper layers), cheapest in the automotive section at Costco (i hear sam’s club also carries similar). Email me or visit my blog if you want/need more details on the resources. 🙂

    It’s more work, but definitely scores high in the frugal department.

    And I really enjoy cloth-diapering!

  33. Oh yeah. I used Kushies on my son for over a year and they were perfect for him (but you must test some out first to see if they fit your particular baby).

    However: when our son was a year old, we moved to a place where using a clothesline is impossible. The dryer in our rental destroyed the Kushies *completely* within a few months. Its temperature cannot be changed from the “scorch” setting, so if you share this issue then I’d recommend prefolds with covers of your choice- covers that can dry anywhere and stand up to heat. I like the kinds of covers that have snaps up the front for use on a growing baby. Velcro/Aplix fasteners, like Kushies, do not like my dryer.

    If you live near a town where you can visit a diaper service, they often have a store where you can pick up used covers and diapers for cheap. I tried out many kinds of diapers this way to figure out what I liked before buying anything new. It also gives you some insight into which covers will stand up to the industrial washers & dryers that those places use.

    My last recommendation is that if you’re not into scraping poop into the toilet, get a few rolls of paper diaper liners- they look like dryer sheets and when they’re soiled, you can lift them off the diaper and toss the solids into the toilet to flush. I order mine from montana’s diaper store or amazon.

  34. We used a very poor quality cloth diaper for almost a year w/ our first… now, with our 5th 13 months & our 6th baby due in September, we are going back to cloth. Here is what I’m planning on buying: http://www.bumgenius.com/one-size.php

    These diapers are all-in-one, fit 7-35 lbs, come w/ two inserts each, cost $16 each, & have velcro. Not used them yet but they come HIGHLY recommended from my friend, who is the QUEEN of cloth diapering.

  35. Well, Kim, I have zero experience with that type of cloth diaper, but let me say, long and loud, babies should wear cloth diapers. It’s not that difficult. The comfort factor has to be giant. And the chemicals in the disposables are sooooo bad for babies and sooooo bad for the environment. I will force myself to shut up already, because I could go on and on. But I will add HOORAY for Bethany and her mama!

  36. Here’s a good website http://www.snap-ez.com/

  37. I’ve always used cloth diapers and I love them. I bought Motherease diapers from a friend after she was done with hers (2 boys). I have now used them on my daughter and they still have 2 or 3 kids left in them and they are still sparkling white.

    So, I definitely recommend used diapers from ebay or craigslist. I also like the website littleants.com

    good luck! Cloth diapers are the best!

  38. We are just now using clothe w/ baby # 5. Even stranger we started around 16 months. The ones we use are more $, but you can use from birth-35 lbs. We figure we can use for more babies…
    I like Bumgenius. They are velcro and like I said birth-35lbs. I got mine on black Friday deals online. I think for 4 on sale they were$50-$60. Fuzzi bunz are also good. These are both pocket diapers…

Don't just think it: say it!

%d bloggers like this: