Mom to Mom:  Switching to Cloth Diapers

Considering switching to cloth diapers?  Real moms share the tips, tricks and advice they wish they had been given before they started out.

image credit:  jomphong,

Are you thinking about switching to cloth diapers, but you don't know anyone else that uses them?  Making the change from cloth to disposables can seem a bit overwhelming, and even downright scary at times.

We don't all have the luxury of a sister or best friend who has been there, done that, and can walk us through it step by step.  So, we asked our friends on Facebook to think back on their cloth diapering experience, and share one thing they wish they had known before they started with cloth diapers.  Our readers responded with lots of wonderful encouragement we're happy to share with you!

On Getting Started

It's not as hard as it sounds or looks. -- Hannah

Don't let people make you think it's hard. It's not! -- Sara

Set a goal for trying them out before going all in buying a huge stash. I converted my husband to cloth diapers in the 3 months he committed to try it. -- Desiree

Talk to people who do it and get advice & opinions, then sort through them according to what you want. There are so many types and styles, it really is about what works for you.  -- Theresa

It’s not rocket surgery…err…brain science! Don’t overthink it. It will all be OK! -- Maria at Change-Diapers

You don't have to rush in full force. Keep some 'sposies on hand. When you feel that stress getting out of control give yourself a break - using cloth diapers half the time is better then not at all! -- Rebecca

Do your research! Be careful about taking advice. I was at a friend's baby shower, and someone gave her a big pack of Kawaii cloth diapers (yay!) and told her it was just easier and better to just lay the microfiber insert outside of the diaper against baby's skin! I of course told her later to never do that. It just goes to show that you can't trust all advice. Look it up yourself!  -- Kris

Switch to cloth wipes at the same time. -- Rebekah

On Choosing a Type

Don't purchase all one style or one brand, try a bunch & see what works.  -- Tamara

Skip the microfiber!  -- Loren

Try different kinds. Brands fit different and have different features you may love or hate. Just because a brand or style (AIO, pocket, AI2 etc) work for a friend or a family member doesn't mean it will work for you. -- Angela

Don't buy all one brand because your tastes might change and what you may like when they're infants may not be your favorite when they're toddlers.  -- Regan at The Anti-June Cleaver

One size diapers allow more flexibility once your baby is out of the newborn stage. The baby changes size and shape so fast, sized diapers can make life stressful and expensive. -- Leah

I wish I would have known pockets were not reuseable like AI2's
Pockets are a lot of extra energy I don't have time for.  -- Sheila

On Washing Cloth Diapers

If your going to cloth diaper you might as well use cloth wipes! They don't add much to wash day! -- Eryn

Use a dry pail not a wet one! -- Jenn

Your washing routine may need to change as your baby's nutrition changes. (EBF vs Toddler GAG!) -- Jessica at Thankful for Thorns

Don't stress about getting baby poop on your new expensive diapers by using liners etc.. all stains come out by line drying in the sun! -- Trina

I wish I would have not ever heard the phrase "cloth safe detergent"! Tide rescued me! -- Lana

Don't listen to that 1 tbsp of detergent bs. Use enough to clean your diapers! -- Regan at The Anti-June Cleaver

Natural fibers are so much easier to clean, hemp & bamboo is super absorbent & soft! -- Sarah

Fleece liners over the diaper/insert are lifesavers with poop and staining and they are softer than flushables on baby's bum. -- Amanda

On Saving Money

The accessories are crazy expensive!  If you sew, make your own accessories (wipes, wet bags, pail liners).  Elastic & any cotton works, it doesn't have to be PUL. -- Theresa

Don't buy the cheapies... -- Carolyn at According to Carolyn

Cloth diapering is very addicting & not everyone wants to hear about & see all those super cute diapers.  You can go the frugal/versatile route with flats or spend up to $45.00 on a custom handmade diaper! -- Sunshine

Cloth diapers can be REALLY REALLY ADDICTIVE.  -- Lindsay at Maman Loup's Den

I second the addiction!  -- Heather at The Parenting Patch

On Sticking With It

Try wool! I was skeptical about all of it's wonderful properties and now I am hooked, especially with a super heavy wetter. -- Melissa

Variety is the spice of life!  Feel free to switch up what you use as your baby grows. We started with fitteds for the first month or two then around ten pounds we switched to pockets, and now we are using AI2s.  -- Victoria

Overnight diapering is scary but keep trying its totally rewarding when your baby wakes up DRY!  -- Alyse

Trial and error will be the best way to decide what works best for you; this is especially true of night diapering. Best night solution I wish I would have known sooner - newborn will use a bamboo 2 or 3 ply flat in a pocket and as baby ages and that isn't absorbent enough, add the other (one 2&3 ply bamboo in the diaper) ... If that still isn't enough, add bamboo boosters. -- Amanda


There is a large and supportive cloth diaper community out there to help you when switching to cloth diapers!  Follow our Facebook page for more real mom-to-mom discussions and advice, and be sure to share your experiences to encourage other new moms who are switching to cloth diapers to try and stick with it!

Additional Reading

  • Modern Cloth Diapers: If I Could Cloth Diaper All over Again... Cloth diapers are constantly evolving. Readers ask me frequently, "if you could cloth diaper all over again, what would you do differently?" This article is my response to that question.
  • Getting Started: Your Cloth Diaper Questions Answered - Have you been thinking about using cloth diapers?  Well, there's no better time than now to get started!  Today's cloth diapers are affordable, cute, and yes, they're also effective!  And they're probably even easier to use than you imagine!  In this article, we answer common questions about switching to cloth diapers.

More in Our Cloth Diapers: Ages and Stages Series

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Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own, and your experience with the product may differ from mine. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This article contains affiliate links.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, see our Disclaimer and Copyright.

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