Cloth Diapering Doesn’t Need to Be All or Nothing
From full-time washing services to short-term rentals of cloth diapers, you have options for incorporating cloth diapering on a full- or part-time basis.

Becoming a parent is full of decisions and pressure. Breastfeed or formula? Crib or bassinet? Infant seat or convertible car seat? Green decor or orange? Daycare or nanny? The list is endless. Fortunately, as you embark on parenting, you’re not committed to these decisions forever. As you learn more and get out from under the overwhelming cloud of baby products, you can change, adapt, and pursue choices that fit your baby and family’s lifestyle and values.

A question we hear a lot at Diaper Stork is how to even get started on cloth diapers. We know, you probably were given boxes of disposable diapers at a baby shower and you feel guilty for not using them. Or you’ve discovered your baby has constant blow-outs or rashes from their diapers no matter the brand or size you try.

It can get frustrating, but still seems so much easier than washing and prepping diapers, right? Wrong. Cloth diapering looks different for every family. Some families:

Cloth full time, wash at home. The most common way families choose to use cloth diapers is purchasing enough all-in-one diapers or prefolds with covers to diaper their child and take care of their own wash routine every 2–3 days. For cloth diapering dad of three, Casey, this made the most sense for his family. Casey shared, “It just made sense financially for my family to cloth diaper full time and handle the washing ourselves. The initial investment in a set of diapers wasn’t too bad, especially after I worked out the savings we would have over the years and after multiple kids.”

Cloth Diapering: It's Not All or Nothing
Washing your baby's diapers at home is the most economical option for cloth diapering.

Cloth full time, use a wash service. Here’s another very common way families use cloth diapers. A diaper service like Diaper Stork provides all the products and sizes needed for cloth diapering delivered to your home weekly. Your dirties are picked up and washed in a commercial laundry facility. This option is ideal for families with two working parents or families who don’t have in-home washing machines available.

Cloth part time, wash at home. As your child sleeps longer stretches at night, there may be a period needed to adjust the absorbency of the diaper at night to prevent a needed midnight change. Bre, a mother of two, chose this option for her family because, she says, “I wanted to keep our system very easy without needing to keep track of doublers or add to the flow we had with washing and stuffing diapers. We chose to use a disposable diaper at night and clothed our kids during the day.”

Cloth part time, use a wash service. This option is ideal for families who travel frequently or want to decrease their environmental footprint without a full commitment to cloth diapers. Using diapers when at home and having a wash service to clean them helps families still reduce their landfill waste.
So, what if you feel stuck using disposables part time and want to have reusable diapers 24/7? It’s never too late to make the transition! Whether you decide to up the amount of diapers you’re renting, or increase the number of diapers you own, the investment for your child’s health and financial benefits make the move less risky. There’s nothing wrong with slowly working your way to full time to figure out what works best for your family.Cute Baby in Cute Cloth Diapers
  1. Wait. There have been many families who didn’t start their cloth diaper use until their baby was out of newborn sizes. Doing so allowed the family to invest in one-size diaper options that generally start to fit babies at 8 pounds. For Casey, our full-time cloth diapering dad, this was the approach his family took with two of their three kids. “As first-time parents, we weren’t sure what to expect for the amount of diaper changes, sleep habits, and just keeping up with life after adding a baby. Our daughter was 2 weeks old and 9 pounds before we started cloth diapering her. It took the pressure off of just one area as we transitioned into parenthood.”
  2. Slow and Steady. Other families working with a tighter budget might start with just 6–7 diapers—one day’s worth—and wash those diapers every other day while using disposables on wash day. This gives them time to stay within their budget, and add a diaper or two to their stash over time. What about those unused disposable diapers you have left? Donate them! Women and children shelters, pregnancy help centers, and foster care closets all welcome unused disposable diaper donations.
  3. Rent. When families rent from a cloth diaper service like Diaper Stork, it gives them the chance to try different diaper styles to see if they prefer prefold, pocket or all-in-one styles the best. Diaper Stork also offers bundles of diapers and accessories to help families get started at different budget levels. This option takes the question out of what other things may be needed to cloth successfully or get started whether you have a newborn or a young toddler at home.
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Regardless of where you are in your cloth diapering adventure, take rest in knowing that you’re making the decisions that best fit your family’s health and financial situation while leaving the Earth a little greener in the process.