The Most Common Cloth Diaper Questions Answered

If you’re a mom or dad curious about the world of cloth diapering, I’m here to answer some of the most common cloth diaper questions. This is such an exciting time, and probably a little daunting too. But don’t worry, because I bet any questions you have will be answered by the end of this post. Below are some of the most common Cloth Diaper FAQs you might be wondering about.

If you’re interested in cloth diapering but not quite sure if it’s for you, consider dipping your toes in slowly or doing it part time. Using cloth diapers doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Many cloth diaper families do so at home and switch to disposable diapers for outings, babysitting or for when their baby sleeps. Everyone’s journey is different and that’s okay!

The Most Common Cloth Diaper Questions Answered

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In this blogpost I’ll answer the following Cloth Diaper FAQs:

Q. IS CLOTH DIAPERING HARDER THAN USING DISPOSABLES?

A. The short answer is not really! But I truly think it depends on the person. Although cloth diapering includes a few more steps than grabbing a disposable to change your baby and toss it in the trash when it’s been used, if you are prepared and have a good routine it’s not a lot more work. Cloth diapers need to be washed, dried, and sometimes prepped before use depending on what type of cloth diapers you go with. You do have to handle soiled diapers and wash them regularly. But I was pleasantly surprised at how little extra time it took me after getting into a good routine.

Q. IS DEALING WITH THE POOP GROSS?

A. From my experience no! There are a number of things you can utilize to help make the poop side of things not as ‘ick’ if you’re the type of person to get grossed out easily. If your baby is exclusively breastfed the diapers can go straight into the wash because their poop is still water soluble. Once they start eating solids, you can utilize things like bamboo disposable liners to toss straight into the trash bin after they go number two or use a spray pal with a hose attached to your toilet to help get them clean before throwing a load into the wash.

Q. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CLOTH DIAPERS?

A. The main benefits of cloth diapers are the fact that they are earth friendly, help save money, gentle on baby’s skin, and so cute!

Many cloth diaper companies have chosen to make them with eco-friendly materials. This makes them a much better choice for parents who are conscious of the environment.

Parents spend roughly $1200-$1700 to diaper their child in disposables for the first year. My cloth diaper stash that will last me through toddlerhood costed roughly $300.

Disposable diapers often contain ingredients that may irritate some babies’ sensitive skin. This is a big reason many parents opt for cloth diapering.

Cloth diapers have come a long way! There are so many different types of cloth diapers on the market making it easier than ever to use them. That’s both wonderful because you can find what works best for you and your baby, but also overwhelming because you might not know where to start. If you are curious about the different types of cloth diapers available, start by asking a friend who cloth diapers or even Youtube! There is an endless amount of information available to help you decide what the best type is for your family.

Q. HOW MANY CLOTH DIAPERS DO I NEED?

A. This depends on the type of cloth diaper you choose, but for most styles 24-36 is a comfortable number to play around with for newborns and small infants. With this many you could change your baby roughly every two hours and launder the diapers every 2-3 days. If you are willing to be on a stricter wash schedule you can definitely make do with less. As time goes on and the older your child gets, the less diaper changes you will have to make. So if you are starting closer to 1 years old, a good number to invest in would be 14-24.

If you are using diaper covers with inserts you can change out when your baby wets or soils their diaper, you can even go with far less. This option allows you to reuse covers if they don’t get dirty and just swap out the insert. I’ve heard of some parents going with as little as 6 diaper covers, but most recommend 12.

What brand of diapers we personally use:

We built a beautiful stash of Nora’s Nursery diapers and absolutely love them. If you love muted tones, ease of use, and affordable cloth diapers we highly recommend this brand.

If you purchase items from this link, we may earn a small commission. But rest assured we only ever add brands & products we truly believe in!

Q. DO I NEED DIFFERENT SIZED CLOTH DIAPERS AS MY CHILD GROWS? 

A. It depends! The diapers I used are a one-size-fits all diaper, designed to grow with your baby from a weight of 10 pounds through toddlerhood. This is true for many brands and styles. You may need to buy a small stash of newborn size diapers if your baby doesn’t hit the starting weight limit when they are born or temporarily use a quality disposable brand of diapers short term.

Q. HOW OFTEN WILL I HAVE TO WASH MY CLOTH DIAPERS? 

A. Having a larger stash of diapers obviously means you can go longer periods of time between washing days, but it’s a good rule of thumb to not go longer than 3 days between washes. There are a number of challenges that can come up if you leave your dirty diapers sitting in the bin waiting to be washed. (ie. increased chance of mildew growth, diapers that deteriorate over time, or stubborn stains.)

Q. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO WASH CLOTH DIAPERS? 

A. It’s practically the same as washing a normal load of laundry with a few extra steps. I personally run two cycles: the first is a short cold rinse and second is a hot wash with some detergent. After that you can toss them in the dryer or hang them on the line and you’re done! You will have to fold and sort your diapers/inserts once clean, but that’s the fun part for me!

Q. HOW DO I KNOW MY CLOTH DIAPERS ARE CLEAN? 

A. Expert advice says to “smell them!” Cloth diapers when cleaned properly should be odorless.

If you are struggling with your wash routine and not sure where to start, Fluff Love University is a great resource to check out. They have a breakdown of wash directions for practically every washing machine. It’s good to remember that some staining is normal and does not mean the diaper is dirty or ruined. Laying them out in the sun can help get those tough stains out though!

Q. WHAT IS THE BEST CLOTH DIAPER WASH ROUTINE? 

  1. Remove solid waste.
  2. Cold Rinse.
  3. Wash.
  4. Extra Rinse as needed.
  5. Dry.

Washing cloth diapers doesn’t have to be complicated.

Q. HOW DO I WASH CLOTH DIAPERS IF I HAVE HARD WATER? 

A. If you’re not already a little confused and overwhelmed, this is where things can get even more so. Because hard water has a high mineral content it can significantly affect your laundry detergent and leave mineral build-up on your cloth diaper fabric. As time progresses, you may have problems with your diapers leaking or getting them clean. There are a number of things you can do to avoid these issues if you have hard water like adding water softener during the wash or look for a detergent that contains water softener. Again, Fluff Love University is a good resource if you’re looking to understand more about hard water issues. Read HERE.

The Most Common Cloth Diaper Questions Answered

Q. CAN I USE A DIAPER RASH CREAM WITH MY CLOTH DIAPERS? 

A. Yes, but not all! Some diaper creams will leave stains on your cloth diapers that are difficult to remove and will create absorbency issues down the road. Nora’s Nursery created a great resource for a list of safe diaper creams to use while cloth diaperingvisit Diaper Creams and Cloth Diapers

Q. CAN I WASH MY CLOTH DIAPERS WITH OTHER CLOTHING? 

A. Yes, you can! This is a great way to save time on loads of laundry. I haven’t personally done clothes but will often toss a load of towels in with my cloth diapers after I do the cold rinse. Just make sure you have removed as much solid waste as possible from your diapers prior to washing.

Q. WHAT IF MY BABY GOES TO DAYCARE? WILL THEY USE MY CLOTH DIAPERS? 

A. This will depend on your specific daycare and their policies. Opting for pocket or all-in one cloth diapers are often the best choice for situations like this due to their ease of use. Simply asking them to store soiled diapers in a supplied wet/dry bag and you taking care of removing solids and washing at home will hopefully help alleviate any concerns your daycare staff may have. 

Q. HOW DO I STORE MY DIRTY CLOTH DIAPERS? 

A. A great way to store your dirty cloth diapers is in a wet/dry bag. This helps contain any smells of the soiled diapers before wash time. Some brands like Nora’s Nursery include small wet/dry bags with their 7-pack cloth diaper purchases or you can purchase larger washable pail liners (LIKE THESE) to keep in your diaper pail. You can even opt for something as simple as a regular laundry bin to store in your laundry room though.

Q. HOW DO I INCREASE MY CLOTH DIAPER ABSORBENCY?

A. By doubling up on inserts! There are a variety of different inserts on the market and they are even easy to make if you are crunched for more money. Researching the kind of material that works for you and your baby is key. I’ve only ever used bamboo inserts with my pocket diapers and had a great experience, but have heard many doubling bamboo with hemp. There are fleece, microsuede, and charcoal bamboo, among many more! Two of my favorite inserts are these bamboo ones from Nora’s Nursery10 Pack Bamboo Inserts AND these 5-layer Charcoal Inserts

Q. CAN I TRAVEL WITH CLOTH DIAPERS? 

A. The short answer is yes! It’s good to consider how long you will be gone for, whether you have access to a washing machine, and a good way to store the soiled ones while away. Adding disposable cloth diaper liners to your routine might be a good idea to help cut down on the mess if you will not have easy access to a washing machine. These liners are the ones I have used and love themBamboo Cloth Diaper Liners


I never expected to love cloth diapering my baby as much as I do. I hope these questions and answers help you during your cloth diaper journey. If you didn’t find what you were looking for in the list of The Most Common Cloth Diaper Questions Answered, leave any questions in the comments!

You might also be interested in reading:

Raise Them Simple

Top 10 Baby Items for the Eco-friendly Sustainable Mama’s Baby Registry

10 Slow Living Tips for the Work From Home Mom

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