Wednesday, July 23, 2014


If you’re like me, you started cloth diapering because you hated the thought of your hard-earned dollars literally being tossed in the trash and flushed down the toilet. There are added perks, such as leaving a smaller carbon footprint, putting natural fibers next your precious babe’s bum, and being able to amass a cloth diaper stash that can be used for multiple children (more savings, smaller carbon footprint, etc.).

We’re in the midst of potty training my son, who will turn two next month, and we have no baby on the horizon; these two things have made me think about alternate uses for our cloth diaper accoutrements, as I’ve spent almost three years amassing a comfortable cloth diaper stash and accessories. Many of these alternate uses can be concurrent with cloth diapering, but the point is to show you how your cloth diapering materials can continue to be used after your little one has ditched the diapers.


My favorite style of diapers (particularly during the newborn stage), flats and prefolds are likely the most useful of the cloth diaper styles available out there; in fact, many non-cloth diapering families use prefolds as burp cloths. If cloth diapering has caused you to be more aware of the waste your family produces, prefolds and flats make amazing unpaper towels for your household. I actually prefer using flour sack towels in my kitchen (which many people use as flat diapers), and you already know how absorbent prefolds are, so why wouldn't you put them to even more use in cleaning up spills and wiping down surfaces?


My cloth wipes have possibly been the handiest of all of my cloth diapering accessories (apart from the wet bag), as I have had many occasions to use them on places other than my son’s bum. I've used dry cloth wipes as a tissue in a pinch (for both my son and myself), and love using them to clean my little guy up when we’re eating out. I will likely continue to bring my mini wetbag with damp cloth wipes out with us, long after my son has potty trained. Lastly, for my hard-core unpaper sect, cloth wipes can be re-purposed (technically, it’s serving the same purpose) as family cloth. This option’s not for us, but more and more families are going paperless in their homes.


Probably the most widely used cloth diapering item, in both cloth diapering circles and non, wet bags are also one of the more versatile cloth diapering accessories. If you’re looking to get continued use out of your pail liner after potty training, you can use it for kitchen cloths and dish towels as we do. Once my son started eating solids, I found myself going through our two dozen IKEA washcloths like water, and needed a place to store them before washing; I snagged one of my son’s pail liners and used an old wastebasket to convert it into our kitchen laundry basket (we use cloth napkins, so we produce a lot of kitchen linen laundry weekly). Your wet bags are the cloth diapering items that you’re going to want to hold onto, long after you’re done with diapers. There are SO many great uses for wet bags, apart from holding dirty diapers:

• accidents happen and wet bags are perfect for storing dirty clothing on-the-go
• great for storing wet towels and bathing suits after pool or beach time
• protect your electronics & valuables by placing in a wet bag
• keep damp cloth wipes in a small wet bag for messes out-and-about
• reuse your small wet bags for organizing items in your purse or holding snacks
• the list is endless – get creative!


Before you’re in the clear, you must pass through the potty training stage. Nighttime can be especially accident-prone while your little one is getting the hang of things, so don’t toss out those soakers! Many training pants have an envelope for you to adjust absorption by adding soakers, so your cloth diaper inserts will fit in them rather nicely. This may be a reach for some, but if you’re a mama cloth user, your child’s cloth diaper inserts will work well for postpartum bleeding.These are just a few of the ways you can repurpose your cloth diapering items. I’d love to hear your ideas for even more alternate uses – please share in the comments below!

Lauren is a former publishing rep-turned-WAHM to a rambunctious toddler. When she's not playing Susie Homemaker, you can find Lauren blogging about all things natural parenting/living at, sewing or knitting woolen goodies, or scheming for companies as a freelance copywriter, blogger & marketing consultant.

Monday, July 7, 2014

5 Surprising Reasons to Love Cloth Diapers

We all know the primary reasons that most decide to use cloth diapers- they're better for baby and the planet and they save you a ton of money. Those are pretty obvious. Chances are if you're using cloth, it's based on one of those factors or a combination of them at least! And all are fantastic reasons to love cloth. For us, all were contributing factors, but the number one was certainly the cost! Still, after beginning cloth I found that there were many other reasons to love cloth that you don't hear about as often. Here's a look at five surprising reasons I love cloth.

5. Fluffy bums are adorable. Okay, that's pretty obvious, right? And let's be honest that IS a primary reason for some. For us, it wasn't the deciding factor but it certainly is a great benefit. Vibrant colors and cute just don't get that with a disposable!!

4.The community. In my experience the cloth diapering community is a pretty great one. Oh sure, there are some bad apples and the occasional drama but overall, I've had fantastic experiences. I've 'met' some wonderful like minded bloggers, fellow moms and even the ladies at my local cloth diapering shop. They are a great group of supportive ladies who I'm glad to have gotten the chance to know more about!

3. They're the gateway to all things green. For many moms (particularly those who chose to cloth to save money), cloth diapering soon leads to going green in other areas of their lives- they start switching to mama cloth or washing their clothes with soap nuts...or greening their cleaning and otherwise eliminating chemicals from their homes. For me, I was fairly eco-conscious before cloth came along...BUT it was through cloth that I learned of some green alternatives I was unaware of before- like wool dryer balls which I now LOVE! It was also through cloth diapering that I learned about all the amazing properties of coconut oil for all areas of life. I also learned more about essential oils where body care was concerned!

2. They save money...on PANTS! Yes, once again we all know that they save money over disposables, but what everyone fails to mention is that they can reduce/eliminate the need for pants. Pair them with a coordinating tee with or without legwarmers and you're set! Can you do that with disposable? Maybe, but they don't look NEARLY as adorable! (See reason 5)

1. To be honest, I'm lazy! Wait, what? How can cloth diapering be good for a 'lazy mom'? Simple, I'm too lazy to make a run to the store when I run out of diapers! Don't get me wrong, I love shopping...but diapers never run out when it's convenient and that means getting everyone dressed and loaded into the car...then into the store...and like I said, I'm just too lazy for that! When it seems like I'm getting low on diapers, I just toss them in the wash! So easy...and I don't even have to change out of my yoga pants!

Have you found any surprising reasons to love cloth diapers? Any friends you've made through them? Lessons learned? What do YOU love about using cloth?