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Can Cloth Diapers Work for Your Family?

March 17, 2014 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Modern-day cloth diapers are available with velcro, snaps, or plastic clips and can be as easy to use as disposables. 


Many expectant and new parents wonder about using cloth diapers for their baby. Some parents chose to use a cloth diaper service, where clean diapers are dropped off at the home and soiled diapers are picked up. Other parents choose to purchase and wash their own cloth diapers.

There are a variety of types of cloth diapers on the market, such as:

  • Did you  know? The average child may take up to 30 months to learn to use the toilet. That could be over 7000 diaper changes.All-in-one diapers. These go on and off like a disposable diaper. 
  • Pocket diapers (with inserts that you "stuff" into the diaper for absorbency). Once stuffed these go on and off like a disposable diaper. 
  • 2-piece diapers (with a cotton, fleece, bamboo, or hemp inner diaper and a water proof cover). 
  • Swim diapers.

Cloth diapers either come in different sizes, or can be "one-size" and adjustable to fit your baby as he or she grows.

Benefits of cloth diapers:

  • Purchasing your own cloth diapers, will typically cost less than disposable diapers (diaper services are not as cost-effective as purchasing and washing the diapers yourself) 
  • You can save even more if you use the diapers for a second child. Cloth diapers have resale value as well
  • They can be used with a flushable liner, which makes dealing with poops quick and easy
  • Inserts or liners can be added to increase absorbency at night or for heavy wetters
  • Cloth diapers can be easier on your baby’s skin and diaper rash may decrease
  • Better diaper and washing machine technology can eliminate the use of a wet diaper pail and eliminates disposable diaper high-odor garbage
  • They come in many cute colours and prints

Tips for getting started with cloth diapering:

  • Did you know? Many retailers who sell cloth diapers offer workshops or assistance to get you started off on the right foot with cloth diapering.Try before you buy (or buy one before you buy a whole stash). Different brands of diapers fit differently, check the fit of the diaper for your baby to make sure it works! 
  • If you use a diaper cream, ensure that it is cloth-diaper friendly (or use a disposable liner). Some creams build up on diapers and cause them to leak 
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing and drying the diapers. Some laundry detergents should not be used with cloth diapers
  • Purchase a small, waterproof, zippered bag so you can bag cloth diapers when you are out and about.

Resources and Links:

Diaper cost calculator
HealthLink BC: Diaper Rash

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Topic

  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
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