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Thread: why re-useables?

  1. #1

    Default why re-useables?

    i've noticed quite a few people opting to try trad' diapers, lately, and i was wondering what things were inspiring them to try the old traditional ways?
    and i'm also wondering how the 'converts' or dabblers have dealt with the culture-shock of the experience?
    i know that sounds like strong terminology for it but, i can remember that i did experience a culture-shock when i started using dispies (disposables) and that at first i felt a bit iffy at applying something to my body that i considered to be no more than cheap paper; i certainly didn't regard dispies as clothes and, to an extent, i still don't. my first wearings of dispies were a matter of getting used to the different sensations of tactility, sights and sounds and, given the state of the early dispies, it was easy to hold them in contempt.
    because of that, i mainly stuck to trads, but the convenience issue kept me looking back at dispie developments and wanting to try whichever 'better' one came along. if i remember correctly, it was a marketing promotion by Depends that kicked me into serious investigations of buying AIO dispoable diapers; prior to that promotion, there seemed to be very little available and then, the whole market seemed to explode with dispies of every kind.
    so, basically, the use 'em and lose 'em philosophy of the dispie is what directed me into using them on a regular basis and confining my trad stuff to 'special occasions' and on the way, i learned to love them; but more than a trad? i don't know.

    so, how's it going to work for a generation born and bred on the dispie? why would you/they make much of a return journey to the trad? would it be green concerns, or the aesthetics of the trad?

  2. #2


    I don't think I'm part of your ideal respondent being of an age to have been raised with cloth, but my primary attraction has always been to disposables. Eventually, I decided to give cloth a try just to see if I was missing anything and as it turns out, I was, but not too much overall. There are some things I find superior about cloth, but they're not generally big concerns for me. Really, the best part about them is the variety available in plastic pants.

    The bulk can be superior with cloth but that's not a huge deal for me. When I first tried sleeping in diapers, I found cloth far superior in terms of comfort, but that difference has pretty much evaporated over time. I find them better for wetting while lying down, but once again that's not a big thing for me. What benefits exist lie in the practical and I don't wear diapers for practical reasons. I still keep them for occasional use and there are times when that's really what I want, but the only thing that would convert me would be a widespread shift to clothlike covers on disposables. Plastic pants are preferable to those and I expect I'd go to 90% cloth usage in that event.

  3. #3


    As a baby I was raised in both cloth and disposables. I believe it was something like cloth at home and disposables everywhere else (not totally sure how it worked). So I also may not be a good candidate for your question, as I feel somewhat familiar with both kinds. I'd really love to give cloth a try, but there's too many issues that I would have with them currently. I want to try cloth because it's what was used on me part time.

    I think I'd give them a try just for the new experience as well, I love to try out new things. It would be more of the aesthetics of the traditional ones I suppose, rather than environmental issues, seeing as I kind of like retro-feeling things.

  4. #4


    I like both cloth and disposables for different reasons. I actually have more (fond) memories of cloth, simply because I was older when I got into them.

    I was raised mostly in disposables. I think, at least... my mom has some photos of me as a baby laying on my stomach looking like I'm imitating an airplane and wearing what looks to be a white Pampers disposable, 80's style. But I don't have any distinct memories of the diapers themselves when I was that little. I do have a memory of being changed when I was older (2-3), but that's it...

    When I started making makeshift diapers, I used terry towels and a plastic garbage bag. When I learned how to sew, I made some velcro contour terry, flannel, and gauze diapers and even some waterproof pants, one out of vinyl and a couple out of nylon. During this time, I had the chance to try some disposables (Depends) and decided that they felt like a cheap, leaky plastic bag taped to my butt. They were not comfortable or functional (they were also a size too big, which didn't help matters), so I decided I liked cloth better.

    Several years later, I was able to try Abenas and Bambinos, and my attitude towards disposables changed. They're actually pretty comfy, and have the benefit of being more absorbent than cloth (when comparing them to a cloth diaper of the same thickness). This makes them more discreet under clothes, but still highly absorbent. They're more practical for going out in public for long periods of time, because they can just be tossed, instead of carried around in a waterproof (and hopefully smell-proof) bag. And there's no laundry.

    Unfortunately, high-quality disposables are expensive and end up in a landfill. So, for environmental and economical reasons, I'm switching to some 'old-school' prefolds for night time use (they're also softer than the disposables I've tried). I have some plastic pants right now, but I'm hoping to get some velcro diaper covers soon. Oh, and one more thing: I trust cloth more than any disposable for nighttime use. It comes down to the flooding issue--more than once I have had a disposable leak well before its capacity was reached, simply because it couldn't absorb fast enough. I learned my lesson about flooding during the day, but at night is a different issue (I don't bed wet per se, but when I'm half asleep and peeing, maintaining a slow flow is hard)... double >.< when this happens lying down in bed, and your shirt and sheets end up soaked 'cuz it leaked out the back or front waistband. Cloth doesn't really have this problem.

  5. #5


    I was raised in cloth diapers too and wore them until I turned 9 for wetting my bed. I also have a fondness for disposables too my it is not as strong as it is for cloth diapers and plastic pants. And speaking of plastic pants I just love them too.

  6. #6


    To me, cotton diapers inside vinyl panties are more comfortable than disposable diapers. However, disposables are more discreet.

    So, whenever I am unconcerned about the bulk of cotton diapers, I prefer them. Almost always I prefer cotton diapers in bed and around the house.

    Disposables are fine in bed on trips and when I am feeling sick.

    Different diapers for different situations.

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