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Ginn Cloth-Diapering 101: The Myths

June 25, 2009

(This is the last time I’ll post the disclaimer and series overview.)

***Disclaimer: This is our diaper story, our diaper method, our diaper ideas. It might not be the same as your diaper story or your diaper method, and that’s okay. We all get to make the choice. Even the biggest cloth diaper advocates need a couple weeks’ (or months’) worth of disposables every now and then. So no judgement here. Just a diaper story and some tips.

What This Series is All About

  • Everyone has their own story and their own way of cloth diapering. I wanted to go in-depth with our experience. 
  • As I started writing, I realized I had a lot to say (those closest to me will not be surprised by this fact). Rather than create one ginormous post, I decided to create a series. 
  • This is Part 2, covering The Myths
  • In future posts, I’ll talk about products you can skip, stuff you’ll want, the specifics of the Ginn cloth diapering method, and more.


The Myths

Myth #1: I have to use pins

Even if you choose diapers that do not include a fastening agent (like snaps or velcro), you do not have to use pins. Check out Snappi Diaper Fasteners. Aren’t they cute?


Myth #2: I have to keep pails of smelly poop water around the house
There are two common methods of dirty diaper care: Wet and Dry. If you choose the dry pail method, you just toss the diaper into a dry bag and trash can (more on both items when I discuss products). I would also recommend rinsing out the poop in the toilet first.

Myth #3: I have to use smelly plastic covers
Smelly, unbreathable, sticky plastic or vinyl covers are a thing of the past! Yep, you can still find them at Target and Babies R Us, but don’t use them. There are a dozens of better (and more colorful) options, including diapers that combine the diaper and cover in one fantastic diaper solution. Cute cover, huh?


Myth #4: I have to stick my hands in poop

  • First of all, you’re a parent now. Get used to the idea of having your hands in poop. 
  • Secondly, even if you use disposables, you’re supposed to flush the poop in the toilet before you toss the diaper. Read the fine print on the package. Poopy hands are not limited to cloth diapering. 
  • Finally, if you have a serious problem with rinsing a diaper in the toilet, there are a few options:
  1. There are flushable liners you can insert into each clean diaper before putting it on your baby. When there is a #2, just flip the dirty liner into the toilet and flush. 
  2. There are devices for holding the diaper while you dunk it.
  3. They even have equipment for spraying the diaper.

Myth #5: I have to spend a lot of money

  • According to Consumer Reports, parents spend up to $2,000 on disposables per baby. This site has a cost-comparison chart of all kinds of cloth vs. disposables. I disagree with some of their estimates (I think they are a little high), but it gives you an idea at least. (For more, you can visit this site. You know, if you want to.)
  • Cloth diapers are an investment. You can crunch the numbers yourself to see if it’s a worthwhile one for your family. There are so many cloth diaper options out there, you’re sure to find one that fits your budget! (Here’s a short Star Tribune article on the topic.) 
  • Many happy returns. Yes, you may spend $500 (for example) all at once for a year’s worth of diapers and covers. Gulp.But remember, you won’t run out of diapers. You won’t have to pick up a box every time you go out. And when Kiddo #2 comes along, you may have to spend only a few dollars to freshen up your supply (should you need anything, which you may not).
  • It’s a wash. With either disposables or cloth, there are “secondary costs.” For example, you have the secondary cost of washing/drying the cloth diapers. With disposables, you have the secondary costs of gas, garbage bags, and trash fees. I would guess that all the secondary costs even out in the end.
  • Register for diapers! Chances are you have friends/family/church members/co-workers/neighbors who want to throw a shower for you. Make it known that you’re planning to use cloth diapers and then find a way to register for them. 
  • There are a lot ways to save money. I’ll share more cost-saving ideas in future posts.

I’m not sure what the next post will be about (maybe products?). For now, I’m off to put a load of diapers in the wash and then out on the line to dry!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Molly permalink
    June 25, 2009 6:50 pm

    First of all, I’ve been a mom for 4 years now and I have yet to stick my hands in my children’s poop :).

    Well, I’m not sold on fact that cloth diapers are cheaper yet. I guess I’ll continue to give the credit to Sam’s Club (a store which I am quite fond of for saving money anyways). I have carefully calculated the cost of diapering 1 child and I can’t come up with an estimate above $800, even with lots of room for error, for the entire diapering process of that child.

    I can also say that I have never made a run to the store just for diapers, since we only buy them every 2 months and we constantly go to Sam’s anyways. Garbage bags and trash fees made me laugh a bit, because in one week, we usually throw out 2 Target bags (which we recycle) worth of diapers (so not filling much of our huge outdoor dumpster at all). So, as far as secondary costs, I think it would be honest of me to say that we’ve had none at our house.

    Sharing diapers with more than one baby seems a bit like sharing underwear to me, but I guess I’m not the one to ask on that one :). I just know that I never had to share my sister’s hand-me-down underwear, thankfully.

    Alright, well I may not be sold on the price issue, but I do look forward to hearing more about the other benefits.

  2. June 26, 2009 3:42 pm

    I’m curious if you find that you can’t dress your baby girl in certain outfits because the cloth diapers are too bulky. I have a friend who won’t dress her daughter in much other than one-piece/dress/overall type clothing because the diaper is too big. I also have an acquaintance who “appears” to be cramming her baby girl into cute little jeans, but there are red lines ALL OVER her daughter’s legs/bum when you take the diaper off…it just seems like she probably should have the one-piece/dress/overall outfits.

    Also, as a cloth diapering mom, do you find that you’re frequently discussing/promoting the benefits of cloth diapers because disposable diapering moms are scoffing/looking down at you/trying to convince you to switch to disposable? Is it for environmental reasons?

    In my experience it seems like (as a disposable diapering mom myself) every time I turn around, cloth diapering moms are telling me (or not telling me to switch, but “sharing” minute details of the cloth diapering process) that I need to switch to cloth for a myriad of reasons, all of which when looked at in comparison to disposable pretty much balance out to be the same…coming down then to personal preference…and then why is it such a hotly discussed topic? I mean, you just don’t see disposable diapering moms putting stories on their blog about why they’re using disposable and I don’t think its because they’re unhappy with the decision. Does that make sense?

    Lastly, for all the same reasons that cloth diapering moms promote cloth diapers, you’d think they’d be promoting cloth menstral care products. Though I have yet to meet a cloth diapering mom who uses such feminine care products. (Here’s a link to prove they’re available if you don’t believe me…some moms haven’t… Why is this?

    Now, I’m not saying that I’m against cloth…or disposable…just curious to ask some questions since you appear open to discussion of the topic by posting on your blog about it. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I look forward to hearing the other parts!

    Thanks Amanda!

    • June 29, 2009 9:12 am

      I hope to reply to your comments soon. I’m not sure when, but I will try to do so in the coming days.
      Thanks for the comments!

    • June 30, 2009 10:59 am

      Here are my answers. I’m keeping them short bc I don’t have much time right now.

      1. I’ve never had a problem with Ainsley’s clothes. We have had to go up a size probably a little early, but that’s also bc she’s very tall. I prefer dresses to jeans on her and she’s doesn’t really have jeans, anyway. She never gets lines from her clothes being too tight.

      2. I like to talk about cloth diapers bc I like them. No one talked to me about them before we started using them, and I wish someone had. That might be part of why I want to get the info out there. No one has ever tried to convince me to switch to disposable, so this isn’t about battling disposable mom’s in any way, shape, or form. Our choice was financial first, baby second, eco third. I wasn’t an eco nut before cloth — that came long after our cloth decision.

      3. Like I said, no one talked to me about cloth before Ainsley was born. I had to hunt down the info myself, and it was a lot of work and very confusing. I don’t know why disposable mom’s don’t talk about their choice. I would guess that the disposable discussion was more popular 15-20-25 years ago as more parents were making the switch to disposable. Cloth is making a comeback, and I guess that might be why it feels like it’s a “hot” topic. But I didn’t know that until recently as I started reading more blogs. I think people are trying to give cloth a better image since there have been so many advances in the last 10 years.

      4. Many of the cloth-mommy bloggers I follow do talk about cloth menstrual pads and reusable menstrual cups. I guess it all just depends on who you talk to and what blogs you read. Here’s my take: It’s WAY more personal to discuss menstrual products than diapers. That’s why I haven’t discussed it here. But I will. When I muster up enough courage.

      Does that help at all? I am happy to keep discussing your questions. Feel free to email me. I would also be happy to put together a FAQ post toward the end of the diaper series.


  3. June 27, 2009 10:22 am

    Hey Lisa,

    I use cloth diapers on my kids and cloth menstral stuff too . . . but I don’t usually talk to much about either of them to other people. But there is at least one of us.

    Amanda’s friend Shana

  4. June 27, 2009 10:23 am

    um, the cloth menstral stuff is for me, not my kids . . . in case you were confused . . . but I hope you weren’t . . . ’cause that’s just gross!

    • June 28, 2009 4:57 pm

      🙂 Nope…no confusion here. Thanks for replying…any insights on the other questions?


  5. Friend permalink
    July 22, 2009 9:48 am

    I cloth diaper, talk to my friends about it all the time, and use cloth menstrual pads. I’m even thinking of going with family cloth for pee.

    I personally would like to know how often Molly changes a diaper and when she potty trains her kids. I would also like to know if her kiddos have diaper rash. I have a hard time believing the 800 dollar thing! But, I don’t expect to ever find out the answers to those questions.

    I’ll just enjoy your blog! 🙂

    • Molly permalink
      October 12, 2009 10:49 am

      “Friend” (it would be helpful if you had included your name),

      I just noticed that you had questioned my response to this post. I rarely read this blog anymore, so I just noticed today. Sorry about that. I’ll keep my response brief, since I don’t imagine that you’ll ever go back to read this now.

      I just wanted to respond to your comment.

      Good for you if you have chosen to use cloth products at your house. If that’s what your family likes, then that is what you should do. I have never said that I have any problems with cloth diapering folks.
      I just don’t agree that it is cheaper–that’s it!

      To answer your questions:

      1 pack of diapers = $30 for 180 diapers (in size 4, smaller sizes have more in a pack-this is at Sam’s).
      1 pack of diapers lasts about 6 weeks at our house. We change our chid’s diaper when it is dirty. We usually go through 4-5 diapers in a day, depending on the day.
      Even if we were using more, like 6 a day, then we’d be going through a pack a month.

      1 pack of diapers a month = $360 a year, or $720 for two years.
      But like I said, we don’t buy diapers every month–there’s no need to at our house.

      The estimate I gave of $800 is pretty accurate for our family. I estimated for about 2 1/2 years, even though my son wasn’t trained quite that early. We really decreased our need for diapers at this age, using mostly homemade training pants that my mom sews.

      If you don’t believe me about the acutal diaper costs, feel free to go to Sam’s club and look for yourself. I just bought a pack last week, so I can promise these prices are real and accurate.

      As far as diaper rash–no. My oldest son NEVER had diaper rash–ever! My younger son had diaper rash twice, when he was less than 6 months old, due to being sick with bad diarrhea. I in way would blame my disposable diaper for this rash, or say that a cloth diaper could have prevented it.

      The only additional expense we have is wipes, which is buy for $12 for a pack of 720 wipes, about 3 times a year. That’s it! No other expenses are involved in our diapering process. We did spend about $10 on a diaper garage can 4 years ago, but I think that hardly counts.

      If you love cloth products so much, then I guess I don’t understand why you even care how much I spend on my diapers. But since you asked, I decided to share.

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