The Cloth Diaper Extravaganza!

For most guys, changing a soggy soiled disposable diaper (or nappy if you’re from Oz) is already in itself a gruesome affair. Now imagine adding into the mix having to take the diaper off and comprehending that it was going to indeed be re-used and therefore needed to be washed in the washing machine which is the same washing machine as your business shirts are washed in… that’s just freakin disgusting!

Admittedly, this is how I felt the first time I changed a diaper and it is also how I felt the first time my wife mentioned that she was interested in investing in a dozen or so cloth diapers.

Justifications such as, “It’s cheaper in the long run” and “It’s better for the environment” and “It’s better for Jayden’s skin as nappy rash isn’t as big of a problem” were all fired at me one after the other like a barrage of cannon fire from the Spanish Armada.

My defences were up and I countered with, “We’ll have to do a lot more washing” and ” It’s not as convenient when we’re going out” and “It’s an expensive outlay if we don’t end up using it long term to realise the return on investment (that’s my work language coming into effect to hopefully bamboozle her)“.

The friendly banter carried on for a few days and after a few more exchanges we declared a ceasefire. So long story short, she ordered the cloth diapers 😛

From this point though, there was a plethora of other decisions to be made as there are almost as many different types of cloth diapers as there are different types of golf clubs!

After a lot of deliberation, we decided on the GroVia® All-In-Ones – so as per their website: GroVia® Cloth All-In-Ones have a super absorbent, organic cotton inner with a soft layer of water resistant TPU outer. No stuffing, no doublers. Sounds good to me. Except for the washing part I guess.

To wash, we decided to separate diapers from clothing (even though there are people who just mix it all together) and wash it on a warm water cycle and then tumble dry. I should also note that before you can use the cloth diapers you are instructed to pre-wash them half a dozen times and line dry them in the sub to help increase the absorbency.

Debut Dad TIP: We also ended up getting some GroVia® Bioliners though which really made the cleanup process easier. Instead of having to scrape any excess poop bits into the toilet and then having to worry about additional staining on the cloth diapers, the liners mean we can simply lift it along with the solid poop bits and flush it all down the toilet as they are 100% biodegradable.

What does Jayden think though?
Well if he could speak, I think he’d be telling us how comfortable the organic cotton feels against his bum and his little soldier 😛 However, because he can’t speak yet though, I’ll let the photos do the talking 🙂

Jayden GroVia

Jayden sporting the Owl Print design... what a hoot!

Jayden Tummy Time

Tummy time in cloth diapers - no leakages in this position *touch wood*

Owl Print

Up close you can see the buttons (better than Velcro which degrades over time)

GroVia & Jayden

The GroVia AIO with the bioliners and Jayden wearing the aeroplane design

Jayden GroVia Diaper

Enjoying the feeling of organic cotton... aahhhh

So there you have it… Jayden wasn’t crying… he was content… no different to disposables really in the end. The difference is noticeable to only us, the parents. Our back pockets take the hit but in return we get to feel good about what we’re doing for the environment I guess, unless you think about how much more water and electricity your household will be using in addition to normal with you doing the extra loads of washing for the cloth diapers… ah well, you can’t win em all! At least they look nicer than disposables 😛

Hang on, did I just complete my first product review? Surely not… I didn’t give it a score or anything. *shrug* Bah, doesn’t matter.

Hope this post inspires some of you to consider cloth diapers… and the environment… think about the whales and the baby seals!
debut dad


60 thoughts on “The Cloth Diaper Extravaganza!

  1. Some great info Branden, be sure to come back to this topic and keep it updated as Jayden will be in diapers for a while… Let future parents know your struggles and trade offs with traveling etc… How well this works once he is on solid food and if they hold up as well as they say!

    Great post! We considered it too and opted for the convenience of disposables.

  2. He looks adorable and content! My hubby was kind of the same way about cloth diapers but he seems to be on board now and I am looking forward to trying out cloth. They really are so much cuter than disposable and I love that we are not filling a landfill up with poop covered plastic!

    • Hopefully he stay’s adorable and content 😛
      Your hubby sounds very open-minded then… like me! haha.
      Good luck with the diapers and be sure to let me know how it all goes via your own little cloth diaper update

  3. Adorable! He seems to like them. I wish we were able to do cloth diapers as well (to save the fishes of coarse) but because we’re both working and he’s in daycare we chose disposables for convenience. Glad you guys are able to tho!

    • Yep, the world needs fishies!
      I’ll have to see how it goes and update you all once he is old enough for daycare… he’s still only 8 weeks and ever so tiny.
      Hopefully I’ll have more good news… if not that, at least intriguing news 😛

  4. We had such a time of it with 7 kids – you can imagine how by the end of diapers I had changed 36,000 of them! I tried all kinds to save money – Cloth with plastic outer pants, and the expensive ones that incorporated both, and in the end used disposables too – when I had to go out or at night if the others leaked. What an ordeal. I think the ones you picked are better than all the ones we had available 20-30 years ago! I’m putting a link on my website to this page to make sure others get the good ones you found, if they want them. Thanks, Brendan! You’re the BEST!
    PS – If you want to see some of the fun and shenan-i-gans, here’s a cute little video my son made from some old super 8mm home movies back when my daughter, #5 was born (You can see the old plastic/cloth diapers on her at 3:37!)

    • Well I originally had this image of a fat diaper around a tiny little body… You know, like the traditional Terry Towels from when our parents and our parents parents used cloth with a safety pin to secure it.
      Surprisingly though these were only a very slight bit larger than a disposable. So his clothes fit right over the top without any problem 🙂 it also just depends on the brand of cloth diaper you choose

  5. Yay!I’m always a fan of cloth diapering posts.I’ve cloth diapered 6 kids over the span of the past 22 years. I prefer them for so many reasons. And hello…how cute is that owl dipe? Adorable…(as is Jayden)

    • Thanks JujuBee! Glad you’re a fan, hopefully I can update again soon with how it all progresses! Fingers crossed Jayden remains happy with being cloth diapered 🙂

  6. Yay for cloth diapers! We love our cloth. We also started with just GroVia AIO’s and now we have all sorts of diapers. We use different diapers for different reasons, daytime, naps, night time ect. We started to find the GroVia just wasn’t cutting it at night and had to get some pockets to hold all the liquid. Just don’t give up… we almost did when we ran into an ammonia build up issue but now that we have a great wash routine down we are loving our cloth diapers. GroVia is wonderful with answering any questions as are all the other cloth diaper companies as well. Enjoy the fluff 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Julie G. Sounds like you have all bases covered! I might have to fire a few questions at GroVia when I run into some issues down the track. It’s good to know they can assist 🙂

  7. Wonderful to read your perspective! We have twins and the costs of disposables were really adding up. Slowly started trying out cloth and began with Grovia’s AI2 shell/snap-in insert system. Got my hands on one of their AIOs and was sold for good. Hubby jumped right in at that point. They are so soft and trim and easy (his words!). Wonderful!

    • Soft and trim and easy… your husband is a smart man 🙂 I couldn’t have put it better myself!
      Thanks for commenting Sara, hopefully my perspective remains entertaining.

  8. Great post, and kudos to you for doing cloth. When I had Chloe, I couldn’t wrap my head around this, and I felt and still kinda feel guilty about not doing it at least while I was on maternity leave. I was very overwhelmed… plus I had bad postpartum. Regardless… if we do have a number 2 (ha ha, get it, #2) I would totally consider cloth for at least the couple months I am home with baby. Great pics of your little guy!

    • haha yeh nice pun and thanks for the kudos 😛 Give it a go for sure… it’s not for everyone but maybe it’s for you 🙂 I know some people who turn to cloth simply because of bad nappy rash from disposables… others go to it because of the cost savings involved in the long run.

      • Both are considerations… thankfully we’re at the “tail” end (ha ha) of diapers for Chloe. She’s had a few bad diaper rashes over the last two years. I never thought about using cloth to alleviate diaper rash. Maybe we could use cloth as a sort of “training pants” option… hmmmmm. Ya got me thinking Debut Dad!

  9. nice to see a Dad blogging about this topic! My husband and I made the switch to cloth last summer. I still have the last box of Pampers I bought last June — we just never went back. Cloth has been great. Grovia’s are my husband’s favorites, too. We moved on from cloth to bamboo & wool at night which offers better leak protection. (yeay Sloomb!)

    • Glad to hear it’s working well for you Emily. I’m hoping we can be rid of the disposables soon too.
      Bamboo Fitteds? oooo I must research this some more!

  10. I have some cloth diapers but knowing that it will not be enough for me to go fully cloth diaper, i am keeping it for use later.. probably as a training pants!

  11. We’re all cloth here and love it! Jayden looks so cute in his GroVias – they look very trim for cloth. We just might have to try some! I tend to do the extra washing overnight to take advantage of the off-peak electricity rates so it really doesn’t cost very much extra.

  12. Loved the post! I love Gro-Via AIOs, they are really nice and trim. If I may offer one piece of advice: when putting on the diaper, always fold the insert up to the tummy first, then the sidewings and then the front of the diaper, otherwise, if flaps go first they absorb nothing and your baby might have leaks around his tummy. I couldn’t tell from the pictures how you do it exactly, but some people have bad experience with GV AIOs because of this, and I found that this method works perfectly in such cases. Look forward to reading more from you, great to get a dad’s perspective 🙂

    • Thanks Sweet Trix. Yeh I’ve noticed they are trimmer than most other cloth diapers so that’s a big plus.
      Thanks for the advice. Good for others to know. I am already doing this though 🙂 There will be more to come I’m sure… please follow me if you haven’t already!

  13. These are so, so cute! I had that exact same conversation with my husband when we were pregnant with our first son. However, we are both working parents and our daycare at the time wouldn’t deal with cloth diapers. We are at a home daycare now and I have been meaning to ask if she will do cloth. I mean how much worse is it than potty training and cleaning up accidents right? Great review. There is such a HUGE learning curve with cloth diapers…so many choices!

    • Hehe, I think a lot of mums have that conversation Mindi 😛
      It’s a little better than potty training I reckon… it’s more controlled, less chance of it happening anywhere 😛 There are a lot of choices, you’re right, if you’re keen on reading about some of the other options, check out this blog for experiences with a plethora of different cloth diapers:
      All the best with the learning curve 🙂

    • Mindi, I had The Conversation with our daycare just this week, and the way I did it, I didn’t ask straight if they would cloth diaper 🙂 Because if they say no that is too final and hard to argue your case and change oppinions after that. Instead I took our pockets assembled, with velcro, to the daycare, along with our wetbag. I said I would like to discuss diapering. I took out a diaper, and said, well this exactly like a disposable, all I am asking is that you throw it in the wetbag instead of the bin, and I will deal with everything at home. They were curious and they liked the new kind of fancy AIO-s so they said they would give it a try. In any case, I suggest you ask for a two-week trial run, and discuss the matter further afterwards. I think they are more open to cloth diapering at daycare if we give them the diapers that are the most like sposies, and after doing the testrun, most of them are on board with it. Good luck to you!

  14. Haha my husband and I had the exact same conversation except he was the one convincing me! We’re 11 months in now and still using modern cloth 80% of the time.

    They really weren’t as much work as I thought they would be, and I find the chemical smell of disposables really offputting now that I’m not used to it. And my favourite part is the cool prints can be an outfit all on its own in the hot aussie weather 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment Jesscar. Wow, he was convincing you? What a great hubby 🙂
      The prints are very cute aren’t they? Oh and the hot Aussie sun does help to rid of any stains that may have left over from the wash. So that’s a plus!

  15. Great post! Did you guys start on cloth diapering as soon as Jayden was born or did you wait a few weeks? We are expecting our first any day now and I have been going back and forth whether we will start immediately with cloth or wait just a few weeks because I have heard the first few weeks can be very nasty and very, very frequent! Do you mind if I post on my Facebook page as well for cloth diapers and healthy options for baby?

  16. Thank you Jenna. We decided on cloth diapering before Jayden was born. We actually used Huggies disposable newborn diapers till he was about 6 weeks because we thought he had to be of a certain weight/size before the cloth diaper was going to be optimal. In hindsight, we could have started a little earlier as the adjustable snaps on the GroVia AIOs allowed for a snugger fit if need be.
    You’re right though, when they’re really young, the poop is a lot runnier and more frequent, so maybe we waited till just the right time to make the switch? (yeh I’ll go with that… it was all part of the plan 😛 hehe)
    Please share this on your Facebook page… I’d love that, the more the merrier 🙂

  17. Hi Brendan

    Great post! I hope you don’t mind if I share it on Mumma Loves Bubba’s facebook page 🙂

    Just wanted to comment to let you and others know that the savings calculated when using cloth vs disposables also takes into consideration the cost of water and electricity to wash the cloth nappies so you are saving tons already!

    It’s fantastic to hear a dad’s perspective on using cloth nappies too and Jayden looks ADORABLE!


  18. Pingback: Mom’s shopping spree « debut dad

  19. Brendan this is just fantastic!! My hubby thinks you have saved him from writing about his version of nappy changing in our house!! We are onto our 3rd boy in cloth and we think they are fab! I would also love to share this on my Munchkin Bunz FB page if that is ok…My fans will love this plus we can’t resist a gorgeous bubba in their MCN’s and Jayden looks super cute in his :)!! Always great hearing dad’s perspective!

    Hope all continues to go well with your journey along the cloth nappy road and the joys of parenthood 🙂

  20. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

    • Thank you. It is a free theme and I like it because it’s simple. It’s good to keep things basic 🙂
      Unfortunately, my time is so limited now with the two full-time jobs… the little tiger is getting older now and is always on the move, so I can’t even turn my head or he’ll be off exploring something new. Plus there’s my other full-time job which is crazy to say the least.

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