My love/hate relationship with cloth diapers

I’m going to start this post with a proclamation: I love cloth diapers and have the utmost respect for any parent who cloth diapers their child.

I love that they are the green-er option, that they pay for themselves if you have more than one child, and that they come in those cute designs and colors, that I vainly admit, look good in pictures.

I love cloth. I love that they are part of the image in my head of the kind of parent I want to be with my children.

If you’ve been following my journey with cloth diapers, you know that we’ve been through our share of ups and downs. To make a long story short, when a bad wash routine gave my first daughter lots of rashes, I started using disposables.

We stuck with that until I had my second daughter and decided to reconnect with the lone cloth diapers in her dresser drawer, again.

We reconnected months ago. While things got off to a rocky start, with a new detergent and diaper balm and more diapers, we were doing great.

But then…my diapers started stinking again.

And when they stopped stinking, they started taking forever to dry.

And then the rashes came, which sent me on a hunt for finding an even better wash routine.

My routine, which involved me washing diapers every day and putting them through 3 hour cycles, was tedious, at best.

But, it was a good kind of tedious. It was the kind that reminds you of the Little House on the Prarie and washboards and how tedious it must have all been then and how lucky you are in comparison.

“I can do this!” I told myself, after a week of daily washings and drying cycles that took forever.

But then, my husband seeing the stress I was under, went out and bought some disposables. And, well, things haven’t been the same ever since.

I swear it was just supposed to be a small fling, a one night stand that no one but me and my daughter’s red butt would have to know about. But…after a week of it, after a week of not having to wash diapers or dry diapers or smell diapers or dunk diapers, I got hooked.

I’m still using disposables right now. And…I like it.

I still have my cloth diapers and hope to again get the stamina to use them again, but for now, I’m enjoying disposables.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with cloth? How do you make your cloth diapering routine feel less of a bear?


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Jessica lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area with her husband and two girls. Once upon a time, pre-motherhood, she did many things as a “serious-looking” woman who managed to successfully balance a reality TV addiction with a career and academic pursuits. She's now a serious-acting woman whose primary job is raising her children. She writes, reads, fantasizes about minivans, and takes midday naps. She enjoys (among many other things) dancing to 80s music, photography, laughing out loud (at, usually, inappropriate moments), and writing about writing, being a writer, and becoming fearless on her blog Jessica F. Hinton

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That’s supposed to say waste, not waster


I love cloth diapers! But I’ve only been using them for 2.5 months. And have not dealt with rashes or stink. I think somehow my children are immune to diaper rash (hope I didn’t jinx myself). I hope you get up the stamina to jump back into it. Just think about all the money you don’t have to spend and all the waster you don’t create when using cloth. Good luck!


Diaper liners. Catch the poop and make clean up a breeze.

lara jane

We have a routine similar to Laura’s, except we use RnG + cap of Calgon in the hot cycle, and we do at least one extra rinse (sometimes two) and the final rinse always gets a cap of ecover.

And we strip with good ol’ original blue Dawn.


I really only had a “love” relationship, but that is because my kid was almost magical in his ability to blow out a disposable. If you haven’t already tried this, we do: Poop sprayer (handheld bidet) for solids, cold wash with 1/4 c BioKleen Bac-Out, hot wash with 1/8 cup Charlies Soap. Every couple of months or so we strip with Oxiclean.

Technically, I should put this all in the past tense, because the kid announced he was potty trained three weeks ago and never looked back. 🙂

Jill Lewis

oh yes! I tried and tried to get a wash routine down when I started cloth with my second. It didn’t work. I switched. I love my disposables. I’m currently pregnant with my 3rd. I’ve been thinking about trying again with this one; but the thought of having to go through finding a new wash routine is really stressing me out already. : /

Yes, I too have a love hate relationship with cloth! I love how cute they are, I love that they leak less (I know not everyone has had that experience, but they work great for us!) and I love that they save me lots of money. I don’t love dealing with poop! I’ve got the diaper sprayer and all the fancy accessories, but it still doesn’t make washing poop very fun! I have found a good wash routine that works great for us. It starts with a cold rinse, then a hot wash on the bulky cycle with just a… Read more »