6 Reasons Why I Stopped Cloth Diapering

While I was pregnant, I researched and researched and researched all there was to know about cloth diapering. I was committed to finding the most efficient system and the most reliable diapers. I watched various YouTube-ing moms describe in great length their process from actually putting the diaper on their baby to washing and folding and all of these women had me convinced that this was something that was easy as pie. Well, let me tell you- they lied. And if they didn’t lie, I must just not have the capacity to understand where my shortcomings were with this- but it did not, in any way, work for me and my baby.

6 REASONS WHY

This is what I discovered when I actually set out to cloth diaper.

I like to call this,

The Realities of Cloth Diapering“.

1. Time

The amount of time I spent cleaning up after cloth diapering was time ill-spent. I could have been doing so many other more important things like catching up on sleep, cooking nutritious meals, watching my baby’s every move… Instead I was putting her 17th outfit of the day on her because every other outfit had been soaked through by an impractical cloth diaper. Or, I was stripping the bed or the carrier or the seat or the swing or the CARSEAT! because the diaper leaked. As a new mom, that was the last kind of aggravation anyone needed!

Then, when I needed to put the baby down for a moment, I wasn’t able to because all of the parts were in the wash.
This was just one more step for mom that could have been eliminated or simplified- this is especially important when hormones are wild and patience is thin.

2. Laundry, Laundry, Laundry

Every tip I read, suggested having about 30 diapers to begin so that you don’t have to do laundry every day for fear of running short on diapers. Excellent advice, except that no matter how you handled the soiled diapers, (wet-bag, right into the washer, rinse first, bucket with soapy water…) It never felt right leaving 10 soiled cloth diapers anywhere overnight.

And I did experiment with it and it all felt unsanitary. Either the water turned brown or the diapers smelled or they dried up and were dirty and stiff or I needed the washer for other laundry. So, I ended up washing those diapers whether there were 2 diapers or ten!

Many times I wouldn’t even want to wash them with other clothes, especially if there had been an especially messy few. That leads me back to reason 1. When there were messier diapers I would always feel the need to rinse them in the tub- even when I was using the liners, because it always leaked past the liner! More time wasted unnecessarily!

3. Staining

The stained inserts got to me after a few weeks. I didn’t want to use a harsh bleach that probably wouldn’t completely rinse out- especially given the high absorbency materials- and then put that against my daughter’s most sensitive skin.

I tried natural cleaners like Borax and white vinegar but the stains remained and I always felt like I was putting something unclean on her.

4. The Everywhere Mess

Back to all that I mentioned in reason 1- the everywhere mess. Wherever my daughter was when her diaper leaked through was where there was an extra mess that I would need to strip and wash and the domino effect was in place! It became our entire day.

I continued my search for the solution to why the diapers were leaking through because it was never mentioned by any of the moms I researched. I assumed the diapers were designed to prevent leakage! One YouTube video quickly mentioned that she had never had an issue with leakage, so long as the diaper was dressed correctly. I dressed my baby in that diaper in the very same way this woman did, but to no avail, it still leaked without fail!

5. Bulk

Both dry and wet, the diapers were bulky and it was difficult to put pants over them. That may be mostly aesthetics, but I also felt it didn’t let my daughter move as easily and naturally. Her legs were always parted more than usual because of the bulk of the diaper and once she began to roll and crawl, it really interfered with her balance and rubbed around her thighs.

I tried many varieties with various clasps and closures, to see if certain brands or styles had less bulk, but the results were always the same.

6. No Moisture Wicking

Modern technology has even allowed for serious advancements in diapers, with materials that absorb moisture and pull it away from the body. This is so crucial- not because anyone is trying to leave their baby in a wet diaper for prolonged periods of time but– because for busy moms, working moms, moms of more than 1, etc. you can’t always change your baby the minute they wet the diaper. You might be in the car or the shower or baby is napping and you don’t want the baby to be soaked in urine, even for the short time it will be until you can change them – at least that’s my feeling. I don’t want that moisture to bread bacteria and lead to a rash or even just the wet material chaffing against her skin while she moves.

This was especially true when my daughter would wet even just a small amount- that would require a full diaper change because it was directly on her skin with no where to go. Whereas with a disposable diaper, that would have been soaked up and wicked away, right away, making things much easier for mom to tend to baby’s other needs.

The Pros of Cloth Diapering

Yes, I did find some pros to using cloth diapers and I will tell you them here. It doesn’t mean that for me, they outweighed the cons, but it did lead to some interesting realizations.

      • I became acutely aware of my daughters bathroom schedule because the moisture wicking element was lacking.and this allowed me to understand her needs better. This turned out to be very helpful in cuing me to introduce the potty during her natural bathroom times. I began introducing the potty at 8 months very successfully. She began using it every morning and after every nap with ease.
      • I became acutely aware of my daughters bathroom schedule because the moisture wicking element was lacking.and this allowed me to understand her needs better. This turned out to be very helpful in cuing me to introduce the potty during her natural bathroom times. I began introducing the potty at 8 months very successfully. She began using it every morning and after every nap with ease.
      • After the newborn stage, when she was a little older, say around 6-8 months, keeping up with the mess and the laundry became a little easier. She wasn’t wetting as frequently so naturally clean-up wasn’t as frequent either. I still had the same issues with laundry and moisture wicking, but it wasn’t nearly as time-consuming as it first was during those first few precious months.

I promise you, no one wanted this to work more than I did. I read so many mommy articles that mapped out the financial relief cloth-diapering would offer, the thousands of pounds of waste that would be saved from our earth’s landfills, and I – nicknamed “Captain America” at my school for my committed recycling efforts and being a single mom, needed this to work– could just not make this happen in any way that would allow me to cloth diaper and save my sanity too. So, I bid farewell to cloth diapers and embraced the billion dollar market of Pampers Swaddlers.

Many moms and dads alike have blogged about their journeys with cloth diapering. Knowing that with baby #2 I will take with me wisdom imparted from this first experience, I might circumnavigate and give it another try.

What are your cloth-diapering experiences and tips for some of the issues that I faced?