100% Cloth

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We have cloth diapered since the time Atticus was a week old. What we didn’t do was cloth diaper 100% of the time. Why is that you ask? When my husband and I first talked about cloth diapering he was adamantly opposed to “carrying around a poopy diaper” while we were out. So, we used cloth diapers at home and used disposables at night (once Atticus was sleeping in long stretches) and when we were out and about. Then in early July I looked for a disposable and saw that we would need a new pack soon. I started using cloth for quick trips to town and testing out ways for our nighttime diaper not to leak.

*I should note that the only leaks we have ever had in cloth diapers have been at night, because Atticus sleeps in 8-12 hour stretches and is a heavy wetter*

After four nights of waking up halfway through my sleep cycle to change Atticus’ soaked diapers, I was pretty defeated and back to sposies we went. I counted down as we went from 10 to 8 to 6 to 4… then I went to the store. We live in a small Michigan town during summer and our local grocer doesn’t carry 7th Generation, Earth’s Best or even Huggies Naturals. So 20 miles into town we went for some diapers. Target didn’t have size 4s. Martin’s didn’t have any “natural” brands. Harding’s only had overnight style diapers. So we went into Wal-Mart… those that know me know that I loathe Wal-Mart. Guess what? They don’t have any “natural” brands either and NO SIZE 4s (unless I wanted a giant box). Kevin said I should just order them online, but something was telling me that we could make this work and it was a sign.

I am happy to say that we are over a month into our 100% cloth diapering lifestyle and it is working out fab. I have only had to “carry around a poopy diaper” once and guess what? When Atticus was in sposies and pooped, it would always be a poopsplosion so instead of having to give him a wet wipe bath and carry around a poopy outfit, I now just carry a perfectly contained poop diaper. Not a big deal. I use an Alva wet bag which you can purchase from us in the shop.

Our nighttime solution is still a work in progress. For a while I was using a Bum Genius AIO double stuffed, but now that Atticus knows how to take off Velcro I can only use that option when he wears jammies. So we have been using an Alva one size diaper with 1 Flip insert and 1 bamboo insert and that lasts us about 8 hours so I tend to change him when I got to bed 4 hours into his sleep cycle.

If you are hoping to make the change to 100% cloth, what is standing in your way?

I should also note that Kevin has not once “carried around a poopy diaper,” because he doesn’t carry a diaper bag with him. I should have just gone with my gut from the beginning.

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About the author

Xza
Xza Louise Higgins is the founder of MommyCon, creator of The Mommy Dialogues, and punk rock mom to two year old Atticus in the great city of Chicago, IL. She is incredibly passionate about birth options, human rights, and promoting gentle parenting practices.

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  1. Meagan Ashley -  August 16, 2012 - 2:17 pm

    We too use spoises for longer trips out of the house. But at night, I use two Econobum prefolds and a bamboo(? I think it’s bamboo, it was a hand me down) insert all folded together in a Econobum shell. After almost 10 hours at night, we rarely ever have a leak issue unless Easton has been trying to remove his diaper lol.

  2. Amber -  August 16, 2012 - 3:29 pm

    We 100% clothed for a month. During this month my lo was also waking four or more times a night and I couldn’t figure out why. We also found one way that worked then a week late it wouldn’t and on and on. One days diapers didn’t dry in time for bed so I put her in a sposie and she slept 10 hrs! And since then we switched back just for her comfort. I was sad but relieved at the same time. We still cloth all day and on outings and cloth wipe so I’m still pretty happy.

  3. Rashelle -  August 16, 2012 - 9:28 pm

    I was the ‘we’ll use disposables when going out-it’ll be easier!’ before Sophia was born. Two weeks after she was born I said ‘not happening’ as I kept forgetting to change her into a disposable before we left and we’ve been mostly 100% cloth ever since (we use the odd disposable if the washer breaks or other odd reasons). I love it and would never go back! I think I would go crazy trying to do part time cloth again. haha. It seems like so much more work.

    For nighttime- have you tried fitteds? I could NOT find a solution but they last us 13 hours at LEAST. I have found the Goodmamas to be the best that I found but I have a few off name brands that work just as well also. I don’t use wool covers-just plain PUL ones.

    • Xza Louise -  August 17, 2012 - 8:44 am

      We are waiting our Sbsh to get here so we can try a fitted at night too. Thanks for the suggestions!

  4. Yami -  August 16, 2012 - 9:53 pm

    I was determined to cloth diaper my now ten month old baby boy. We used disposables until we were discharged from the hospital after his birth and went straight into cloth from there. However, we live in NYC and my family in Miami. I cannot figure out how to cloth while traveling. It’s too inconvenient for me, packing the diapers & detergent and my mom doesn’t have a washer (or a car) so walk or take the bus to the laundromat every two or three days? No thanks. We cloth diaper full time at home, but use 7th Gen diapers when we travel. You have to find what works for you!

  5. Abigail -  August 17, 2012 - 2:13 pm

    We just got a few glow bugs and kawaii GNHW and they are the first we can go 10-12 hours with NO LEAKS! Double stuffed of course… I’ve also heard a lot about bamboo/charcoal blends being super absorbent… Can’t wait to try them!

  6. Lexi -  August 17, 2012 - 3:39 pm

    We’re still working on finding a good nighttime diaper so we can cut out sposies too! I’ve heard wool covers are amazing for nighttime though, so maybe that’s worth a shot?

  7. Samantha -  August 17, 2012 - 9:09 pm

    I have been 100% cloth diapering now for 5 months! (we started when he was 3 months, I didn’t learn about them until then) and we love it!!! We use sunbaby, alva and Charlie banana. My guy is a heeeeeavy wetter for sure and the sunbaby and alvas would leak overnight (when he sleeps 12 hours) so we decided to use the Charlie bananas overnight, double stuffed and we neeeeever have a leak! And he takes a morning poop right when he wakes up! So there is 12 hours of pee and a poopy in there with no leakage! Cloth diapers are the best thing we ever did! I’m so happy!

    • April -  August 18, 2012 - 11:14 pm

      We have Bumgenius Flips, Alva, Babyland, and Charlie Banana and always use CB at night! We use the med/large insert plus the small insert and just like you have never ever had a leak. Our LO is a morning pooper most times too, and I am always amazed at what one of these diapers will hold. I highly recommend Charlie Banana for overnight! (Disclaimer: We also put dd on the potty just before putting her in that nighttime diaper, so that probably helps a lot)

  8. Amanda M S -  August 17, 2012 - 11:14 pm

    We do exactly what you did before you switched to 100%. We use disposables at night and on the go. I was sick of changing the sheets every day because he would pee through two inserts. I need my sleep too so I don’t want to set an alarm for 12am and 4am to change the cloth, because that is what it would take. Lol. I have never asked daycare to CD and I’m thinking about it. We use 7th Generation or Huggies Pure and Natural most of the timel. I LOVE those Huggies! I don’t think I’ll ever make the move to 100% cloth. We’re happy where we’re at 🙂

  9. Katherine -  August 18, 2012 - 4:30 pm

    I would LOVE to cloth diaper. There are two things standing in my way. First, I have no idea where to start. I feel completely lost when I look at all the different brands of covers and inserts, and all the different styles are overwhelming. Did you (or could you) do a post on how to start cloth diapering – like from square one. Which brand/style/inserts, etc. Second, I live in an apartment and don’t have an in-unit washer/dryer. Is it possible to allow a week’s worth of inserts pile up?

    • Michelle Ginther -  August 27, 2012 - 3:22 pm

      Katherine, There’s a ton of information out there and it can be overwhelming. Here’s a great place to start http://www.granolababies.com/blogs/granolababies/6360098-intro-to-cloth-diapers As for washing once a week. That’s doable. I would just rinse diapers out either throughout the day or at the end of a day when you have time that way they won’t have that awful ammonia smell. If you rinse as you go, you can also skip the pre-rinse once you do get to the laundry.

  10. Michelle Ginther -  August 27, 2012 - 3:29 pm

    Xza, if your Bum Genius works at night and it’s just a matter of baby pulling off velcro add a pull up fleece cover or wool cover over the top. Not only will it cover the velcro, but it’ll catch leaks too. I personally always put fleece covers over night diapers because I don’t feel like dealing with the extra wool care, but wool is a great option too.

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