How much work are Cloth Diapers?
Updated: Apr 8
In this blog post, I would like to show you how cloth diapers are used in my/our daughters daily life. What extra actions do I take and how much time it really takes.
For my baby girl, I use two types of cloth diapers. Fitted and pocket diapers.
The pocket diapers are used in the morning as she poops the most during the morning so the diaper has to be changed more often. Pocket diapers are just as easy to use as disposable diapers. When it has stool, the liners (hopefully) has it all so it can be thrown awayin a trashcan. Not in the toilet as it can cause clogging! The liners are not water soluble. When there is no stool, the diaper is put in a large wet bag to store them until laundry day.
The liners I use can be washed and used again. I keep washing them until they fall apart.
Fitted diapers I use during the rest of the day. These are more leak proof which is nice when I wear her in a carrier or wrap. Putting on a fitted diaper is similar to putting on 2 diapers. First the fitted diaper for the absorbency, then the waterproof cover. Putting on this diaper therefor takes longer compared to a pocket or disposable diaper.
If the diaper contains only urine when changing, the fitted diaper goes into a large wet bag, the cover is hung to dry to use next time. When there is stool in the diaper, the liner with the stool is thrown away and the fitted diaper with the cover is put in the large wet bag. Putting on a fitted diaper takes about a minute longer compared to pocket or disposable diapers. I use 5 to 6 of these each day which means 5 to 6 minutes per day. The extra time it takes to put on these diapers is about half an hour to 45 minutes per week.
When the wet bag is full, the diapers are ready for laundry. In my case, this is about every 2 to 3 days. I have to carry this huge wet bag full of diapers to our attic (which makes me feel like Santa). I put the wet bag in the washing machine and turn it inside out (in the Netherlands we only have front loaders, no top loaders) which is kind of a hassle but at least I don’t have to touch the diapers. Here you can read more about my washing routine. Putting the diapers in the washing machine takes about 4 to 5 minutes which means about 15 minutes per week.
After laundry, I hang the diapers to dry as I don’t have or want a dryer. The diapers are hunger two lines as this is better for the elastics and the diapers dry a little faster. Depending the weather this takes half a day to one and a half day to dry.
The ‘folding’ that comes next is the most time-consuming part. I don't fold the diapers the old fashioned way but I do prepare the diapers for use. For the fitted diapers, I fold the attached insert onto the diaper and I put a liner on top of it, I close it and it is ready to be used. For the pocket diapers, I don’t use them as pockets. I don’t like stuffing the pocket so I have sewn the inserts attached to the pockets. I fold these onto the diaper, put a liner onto it, close it and it is ready to be used. All this takes about half an hour each time.
The times mentioned above are maybe a little overestimated as it will get easier over time. The folding is the most time consuming but I don’t mind doing it as I usually do this while watching my tv series. Overall the cloth diapering takes me about 2 hours per week.
Remember that now that I use cloth diapers I won’t spend time emptying the trashcan daily, I am not looking for the best disposable diaper deals or buying diapers anymore.