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Meet Nisha: She Switched to Cloth Diapers

This is a Q & A post with Nisha Riggs, one of Eco-novice's regular readers, and a recent convert to cloth diapers.  I hope reading about her experience with cloth diapers will help you figure out if cloth diapers are for you!   

Nisha Riggs with her 2 kids, who now wear cloth diapers.
Tell us about yourself.
Hi!  I'm Nisha Riggs, a mom to Sophie (just turned 4) and Landon (16 1/2 months).  I am the Director of a non-profit, the Rose Education Foundation and have a few entrepreneurial projects I enjoy working on - Healthy Mom's Kitchen and Wellness Nurses. No one can use the excuse that they are "too busy" for what may seem like extra work with cloth diapers!

How long have you been using cloth diapers?  
I just started using cloth diapers about 6 months ago.

What were your biggest reservations/fears about using cloth diapers?
I didn't really have fears or reservations.  The biggest challenge initially was just getting over the learning curve and figuring out what diapers worked best for my kids.  I felt like it was a lot of trial and error for the first few months. (Note from Betsy: I think Nisha may have also had some reservations about dealing with poop -- check some of her comments on previous diapering posts/ potty training posts.  But, obviously, it's no big deal for her now since she doesn't even mention it in this post.)

Why did you decide to switch to cloth diapers?  
My husband had lost his job at the end of February, so once we found out that was happening, we stocked up on diapers and wipes from Costco.  When we were down to the last diapers, I DREADED spending more money on diapers - an endless cycle.  I had been following Betsy's blog posts about cloth diapering and also had a couple other friends who used cloth and LOVED it, so I decided to go green with diapering.

How old was your child when you switched from disposables to cloth? 

Landon was just turning 1 and Sophie was 3 1/2 and potty trained but pees ALL night long.  She's a very deep sleeper.

bumGenius Reusable Diaper 2 pack - Boy (Snap Closure)Thirsties Duo Wrap Snap, Meadow, Size One (6-18 lbs)

What diapers do you use during the day?  At night?  
During the day, I use both bumGenius Pocket Diapers and Thirsties covers with prefolds.  I prefer the bumGenius.  At night, I use a Thirsties cover with 2 hemp inserts for my daughter and a disposable diaper for Landon.

How do you cloth diaper on-the-go?  What do you use during vacations?
I am not normally gone more than 4 hours at a time since Landon still naps, so I just pack a few cloth diaps with me and bring a wet bag.  We haven't gone on vacation since switching, but I don't plan to do anything differently.  We always vacation where there are a washer and dryer.

Did you have any trouble getting other caretakers on board? 
My husband was hesitant, but hasn't minded the switch.  He actually doesn't do much diaper changing, but if I have the pocket diapers all put together, he'll use them.  I do sometimes point out the disposable diapers to babysitters if they are nervous about cloth.

What has been the best thing about using cloth?  The worst thing? 
The best thing about using cloth is the emotional reward that comes from knowing you are saving money and doing your little part to save the planet.  I'm disgusted at the thought of how many diaps are sitting in landfills.  The only bad thing about switching to cloth is again, just that time and effort spent in figuring out what works best for us.

How do cloth diapers compare to disposables?  Pros and cons?  
Well, the biggest pro for using them with Landon is that since he's so skinny, his pants stay up with a big cloth diaper on (lol).  Seriously though, the kid would run around without pants if it weren't for cloth diaps.  For me, cloth diaps are LESS of a hassle. I limit shopping trips as much as possible, so I'm glad I don't have to make shopping trips based on diapering needs.  Another big pro is the size adjusting.  My kids can wear the same size diaper.

The biggest con is that cloth diapers (in my experience) don't protect my baby's skin for longer durations like disposable diapers do.  Landon sleeps 12-14 hours at night and I had to switch to disposables at night for him because he was getting awful diaper rash (almost like burns) from wearing cloth all night.  Sophie on the other hand (who also sleeps 12 hours at night) does fine with the cloth at night, so I'm sure it has something to do with the kids and their sensitivity.  Figuring out what I needed to do differently with Landon was a big hassle, but we have it all figured out now!  The best long-term pro for going cloth is that I can use these diapers for future kids too!  I know we'll be even more grateful for the switch when we have more kids!!!

Thanks for your insights on cloth diapering, Nisha!  FYI, Joy over at Green Baby Guide has also had some troubles with cloth diapering at night.  You can read about it here, here and here -- the comments are full of suggestions from readers.  Here is my nighttime cloth diapering solution for babies who nurse and pee all night long.  I personally never had any problems with nighttime rashes, even though my kiddos have very sensitive skin.

Thinking about using cloth diapers?  What are your reservations?  Check out my quiz Are Cloth Diapers for You? as well as my other posts on cloth diapers to help you decide if you want to use cloth diapers.

Already using cloth diapers?  What do you think are the best and worst things about using cloth diapers?

This post is part of
Homemaker Monday