Cloth Diapers can be Funny

Once we were at a family reunion and I heard this awful sound. I look over in horror to see Bryan carrying our new little baby and a mess of poop flying all over his shorts. I had been trying a new type of cloth diaper with a cover I had made, and he was the lucky victim when it failed! This was also the event where one of our other children stood at the top of the slide on the playground and started trying to pee down it. Good times!

Bryan took the poop mess well. And I vowed to improve my cloth diaper knowledge pronto. Bryan used to joke that every day he would come home from work and I would have some new way of diapering our kids. That was why he couldn’t change their diapers. He never knew the right way to fold them, or which cover I was trying out. That and because the sounds of him gagging while changing a poop diaper can be heard throughout our entire house! I used to hide in the other room and laugh until he yelled for me to come in and save him.

Maurice wearing a Bum Genius diaper. Almost 8 years later, I’ve used these diapers on all 4 of my kids!

I had decided to use cloth diapers to save money. And if I was going to pursue my dream of being a stay at home mom and stick with it, we had to be ok on one income. I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, and I tend to over complicate things, so each day was a mess of leaking diapers and finding out what did not work.

Gwendolyn in a prefold without a cover on a hot summer day.

I also tried to save money by making my own diapers and covers. Some things actually worked and some things were a huge disaster. I would spend an hour sewing with a little baby strapped to me in the wrap and imagine myself owning a cute little Etsy shop of diaper covers, but they would turn out hideous or way too small. Or leak as soon as the baby peed.

Two wool covers I made from old sweaters. The strawberry pair wasn’t too bad!


Some of the wool longies I sewed from old sweaters. The red pair ended up barely fitting a newborn and looked like Santa pants!

So I learned by trial and error, and so much messy laundry. Here are a few things I learned if you are someone interested in learning more about using cloth diapers.

  1. Not all cloth diapers have to be expensive, but they do have to be good quality, absorbent material. I learned that the burp cloths you get at your shower are not really meant for holding any amount of pee. If you use those, you will think cloth diapers are terrible and give up.
  2. Different types of diapers are useful for different situations. I get bored really fast with the same old thing, so I switch it up all the time between all-in-one diapers, like Bum Genius, and prefolds with a cover. I like the ease of using all-in-ones but I rely on my prefolds to get me through to laundry day or to make sure I can fit plenty of diapers in the diaper bag.
  3. Nighttime diapers are a whole other beast to try and perfect. I researched and tried so many different ways to make it through the night with my heavy wetting kids. After all that struggle, I used disposables for a very long time just for night. It saved my sanity when I had three kids under four. My fourth little baby seemed to sleep better in cloth. I found out one night when I had run out of disposables and had no choice but to try it again with cloth. My go-to diaper at nighttime now is two prefolds with a wool cover or a basic, old-style plastic cover. Super cheap and it never leaks for him!

    Fun times back in 2013!
  4. You will need a good laundry detergent. You can do the research and find many brands that are recommended. Since I started using Young Living, I was interested in trying the Thieves Laundry detergent, and it works great! Diapers are clean and smell great and I can get the detergent for free with my Rewards Points, so I’m happy!
  5. It is not always easy to use cloth. If you don’t love it, or don’t really need to save the money you would spend on diapers, don’t stress yourself out about it. I live by the advice given to me when I was in labor with my first child. I was trying to avoid an epidural, but was really struggling with pain management with pitocin. The nurse told me, “You are no less of a mother if you take an epidural.” So I did, and I don’t regret it for one minute. Just like there is no one way of being a mother that makes you more of a mom. We each have our own ways and that is amazingly beautiful.


Have a wonderful day!