Tuesday, December 17, 2013

7 reasons why every new mother should own some cloth diaper covers (even if she uses disposables)

I've cloth diapered both my girls since they were newborns because, well, I think it's awesome. I've tried many times to win other mothers over to the fluffy side. But I also get that it's not for everyone and I respect that too. People have their reasons for not wanting to do it- be it limited laundry access, squeamishness or any other reason. What you decide to catch your child's poop in isn't really any of my business.

But... as someone who has used cloth at home and disposables on vacation I have witnessed the pros and cons to both methods and figured out a way for you to get some of the benefits of cloth without having to commit to it fully. So keep using 'sposies' (as us fluff addicts like to call them), but keep a few cloth covers on hand anyway for these reasons.

1. Explosive poop

I've heard (and experienced) the horror of the 'blow out' or 'up the backer' or 'poopcano'. Exclusively breast fed babies poop sheer liquid with explosive force, volume and brilliant color. It ruins clothing, gets in their hair, requires bedding changes and baths and massive amounts of stain remover. I've spent many a vacation hunched over a hotel bath tub cursing and scrubbing shit out of pale pink clothing. But this rarely if never happens in a cloth diaper. Why?

Take a look:

On the left is the back elastic on a cloth cover. See how nice and thick it is? On the right is a disposable. You can barely even SEE the elastic it's so flimsy. Think about it, which would have a stronger elastic- something that's going to be worn once and thrown out, or something that needs to survive hundreds of wearings and washings??

I know some people say they don't want to use cloth diapers because they don't want 'poop in their washing machine'. But face it: you have kids- you're going to get poop in your washing machine (as well as pee, snot, vomit and much more). A cloth diaper cover is designed for poop and is much easier to get clean than the clothing, sheets, hair and skin it would have ended up on instead. Put a cloth cover on top of your disposable diaper (especially when you have a newborn or sick child with the runs). It will save you a world of trouble.

2. Poop masterpieces

Babies learn to pull the tabs on their diapers from a very young age. I've been regaled with many a terrifying tale of other people's toddlers painting hieroglyphics on their walls using their own feces. I've never had to deal with this. Cloth diapers and covers have strong, sturdy snaps and they are much much harder for kids to take off. My daughter was long out of diapers by the time she figured it out. If they are old enough to remove it and aren't wearing protective clothing (a sleeper or onesie), put a cover on it.

3. Swim diapers

The entire point of a swim diaper is to contain a sudden poop long enough for you to run away before anyone else in the pool notices. A cloth cover can double as a swim diaper, and works much better than those expensive disposable ones.

4. Outgrown diapers

I've heard it's a common problem for babies to outgrow their disposable size halfway through a giant box, rendering the rest a big useless waste of money. If that happens, they can can be laid inside a cloth diaper cover and used anyway, even if they are too small to fasten. The cover will hold it in place.

5. Cuteness

Face it, disposable diapers are UGLY! I think half the reason (probably more) that us fluffy mamas use cloth is because they are so freaking CUTE! On little girls they look adorable under a dress, in hot weather they can double as an entire outfit and they go PERFECTLY with baby leg warmers. If you want to join in the fun without the commitment of so much laundry, cover up that ugly bum with some cute covers. The possibilities are endless!

6. Emergency situations

When you have cloth diaper covers in your house or diaper bag you are never truly out of diapers- if you run out of disposables during an illness, snowstorm, car trouble, or because you're totally broke, you can use a cloth diaper cover and an old t shirt (without sewing anything) to fashion emergency diapers until you can get to the store or have the money to buy some.

Here is a video on how to fold a t shirt into a diaper.

7. For dolls/stuffed animals

Kids love putting diapers on their toys, but disposables get ripped up and wasted pretty easily. We had a stuffed Elmo walk around for a year or so wearing a green cloth diaper cover. My daughter loved that he was wearing 'deepers' too.

And if you're on the fence about actually using cloth? Give it a try- there are trial programs that let you test it out, diaper services, fluff addicted friends who would love to loan some out (and give themselves an excuse to buy more) or affordable types to buy outright to give you a start.

Laziness is my mantra and I still managed to cloth diaper both my kids (for a short while even both at the same time). Why? Because it's honestly not that hard. I actually find it easier to wash them than to keep track of diaper sales and keep buying them. And because we're short on money, and because it's better for the environment, and for their skin, and a good example to set for the older ones. And yes, because I'm addicted to how cute they are.


  1. Definitely agree with this post!! A cover can go a long way!!

  2. Cloth diapers are also super cute on little boys under a skirt.

  3. we used swim diapers long before we started using cloth diapers. That simple switch has saved us hundreds of dollars over the years

  4. Genius idea to use too small disposables in a cover, GENIUS!