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Thread: To Cloth or Not to Cloth

  1. #1

    Default To Cloth or Not to Cloth

    Been loving my bambinos!! I'm a huge fan of the teddy and bianco bambinos. I'm considering trying cloth.

    What are your thoughts on cloth vs. disposables? Anyone prefer a disposable that they like more than the bambino? Or is cloth just THE way to go?

  2. #2


    This is an age-old debate with adherents to either philosophy. Personally, I am a fan of cloth.

    The thing is that while cloth accomplishes the same thing as a disposable (or rather, a disposable accomplishes the same thing as cloth, since cloth came first), it does it differently than a disposable. Instead of chemical trickery with SAP, cloth does its business simply with layers of cloth. You want more absorbency with cloth, add more layers-it's really just that easy with cloth. With disposables, one either has to buy specially-made soaker inserts or defeat the waterproofing of another diaper that's worn under the primary diaper. Adding more absorption with disposables is messy and cumbersome. You want thickness? Again, cloth wins out. It takes about 1/4 again the thickness of a premium diaper to achieve the same capacity with cloth in my experience. While that might not seem like much, remember that one can just keep adding cloth, unlike with disposables. The only limiting factors, then, becomes your willingness to waddle, the sizing of your plastic pants, and how much you want to limit that diaper wad from interfering with sitting and sleeping. You want to remain in your diaper for a long time? Again, cloth-just keep adding and you could be in a cloth diaper for a weekend if you were willing to chance getting a rash.

    And the actual feel is different, too. A disposable never really feels wet. The moisture sits there a minute or so and eventually just kind of goes away, and the diaper gets a bit heavier and clingier. Personally, I struggle with disposables because I can never tell if I'm going to leak until I've already done so. Cloth, on the other hand, is pretty much instant absorption that spreads pretty rapidly. Cloth will still feel damp after you've used it, and it will get heavy and very very saggy (enough that a onesie is almost required if you're wearing thick cloth for a longer time). I generally have a good idea of where I am with a cloth diaper.

    Of course, there's sleeping, too. I pretty much cannot wear a disposable to bed, because I will leak. It doesn't matter what capacity it has, whether it's been augmented with stuffers, or even whether I'm wearing plastic pants over it. If it's disposable, I will leak. Those gaps in the material and shell on the sides doom me to leaking. With cloth, I don't leak in bed unless I was already soaked when I went to bed.

    Personally, I love the designs on plastic pants, as well. Most disposables feel very boring to me. I tend towards vibrant colors, whether it be in a vintage tiled bathroom or in the covering of a diaper. There are all kinds of plastic pants that are really cute and colorful and delightful. There are only a few disposable prints, and even those don't generally cover much of the diaper.

    To be fair, though, there are some areas where disposables excel. That disposability of disposables is really nice for cleaning up sometimes. Cloth diapers do require laundering. Disposables are convenient for times like traveling or at work when lugging around used cloth diapers is not the most desirable option. I have done cloth at work at a previous job, and it wasn't much more difficult for me. That said, I can see where someone might not care for that idea.

    As for disposables, I've always had trouble with Bambino sizing. I'm too big for the mediums, but not big enough for the larges. I am thinking of ordering a sample of the Bellisimos now that they're back in production, as it's been awhile and perhaps I've changed size enough to land on one size now. In the meantime, I'm a fan of Dry 24/7s. They're boring looking, but they hold well. I also like the Euro Tenas, and I don't think there's a disposable out there that feels as nice as those (although the old old Bambinos came close).

    Anyways, those are my thoughts. Also, at the risk of doing a shameless plug, check out the All About Cloth Diapers article if you haven't already. It might have some insights for you.

  3. #3


    Wow! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I have four layered ZORB on the way to try out cloth. It looks pretty thick but I am excited to try it!

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by Marty080 View Post
    Wow! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I have four layered ZORB on the way to try out cloth. It looks pretty thick but I am excited to try it!
    Make sure you wash it first (a good practice for any new garment or wearable). Washing helps pull some of the oils from manufacturing from the fabric and helps increase absorbency. Enjoy!

  5. #5

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Marty080 View Post
    Ahhh nice tip. I didn't think of that. Will do!
    Wash it multiple times before you wear it. It will get softer and more absorbent and the capacity will increase.

    There are some other things you should know before that though, never use bleach or fabric softener, Never!

  7. #7


    There also will be a smell factor with cloth. After a couple of hours with a wet diaper, the pee begins to turn to ammonia and the smell can be very present. I wear a large Goodnite under my cloth diaper at night and there's no smell in the morning. It seems that even if there is some leakage from the Goodnite, the Goodnite keeps the pee from smelling unless there is a lot of leakage. Even then, the smell is very small. This pleases my wife. Otherwise, I enjoy the wet feeling that a cloth diaper gives me, probably because it's what I experienced when I was a toddler.

  8. #8


    I've always wanted to try cloth diapers again, but whenever I spoke to my dad about it he said I *hated* wet cloth diapers before I was potty trained. Plus, for a while I wasn't throwing my disposables out as I should so at the time and still possibly maybe I'm just not ready to take proper care of cloth diapers. Also, it just feels wrong to toss something you constantly pee into nto the washing machine even though it's fine.

    Plus the cost of a decent one with decent plastic pants both with prints, ugh. It's like 1/3rd or more as the same for a 48 count case of bambinos.

    also as Dogboy noted, cloth's have nothing to prevent the smell. Disposables sometimes if not often will help delay any serious odors.

  9. #9


    Cost is kind of a shocker at first, but when you figure over the long term, it works pretty well. I have some flat cloth diapers that I bought a year ago and am still using them. With age, and hundreds of washing, they start to lose thickness, so I just double them up.
    Plastic pants typically come in two thicknesses: 4 and 7 mil. I find the 4 mil lasts about 45 nights, and the 7 mil far longer. Really did not establish an end because none have worn out. The rayon-backed pants can last a very long time. I never wore out one of those.
    Being an older baby, cloth is familiar to me, and so makes me feel child-like.

  10. #10


    Where do you get 7 mil plastic pants? It seems like most pants do not even list thickness. I want some 7 with designs.

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