Getting over the Cloth Diaper Blues


You aren’t human if you consistently go through life without ever getting a little lazy, or feeling “done” with any part of your life.  Heck, there are some days when I am “done” with just about everything except sleep and coffee ice cream.  This can happen with your commitment to your reusable paper towels, your compost pile, your garden, and yes- your cloth diapers.  There are some days when a modicum of convenience and an extra day off from laundry can feel way more inviting.  Is that ok?  I think so.


In the beginning everything is exciting and new.  Fluffy mail days are the VERY BEST DAYS and prepping the new diapers is even better.  Expecting moms get to gaze at baskets full of perfectly folded cloth diapers in the basket and go to the baby’s nursery the next day to do it again.  The miraculous part of that last sentence is that when you go back in the diapers are still there!  No baby to use them! Then the baby arrives and reality sets in.  Babies are hard, man.  They cry, they poop, they eat, they sleep, they poop, they cry, they poop, they sleep.  Shuffle and repeat.  Whether you are a first time, second time, or fifth time mom newborns are hard.  Those once perfect diaper baskets are more often than not- empty.  Instead, your laundry baskets are full to the brim with diapers needing to be stuffed or sorted and put away. Even if you are in the later stages of babyhood or toddlerdom this is often the scene.  A few of you are reading this and saying to yourself “my diapers are always folded nicely and put away fresh off the line, right after I take out my soufflé from the oven.”  Good… good for you.  This blog post isn’t for you then!  I was able to do that kind of thing too (minus the soufflé), on occasion.  Consistency was never my strong suit and for a lot of moms, having a day to catch up is the norm.  Being done every day is just not an option nor is it realistic. firstworldclothdiaperproblems So how do you get over the hump, and fall back in love with your cloth diapers?  A break.   *ducks* If it becomes more of a dreaded activity and you find that you’re up half the night just to catch up on your diaper laundry then maybe dip into that emergency hybrid insert stash (or disposable stash if you have it.)  Take a day off, maybe three.  A little distance, time to catch up on other things, these all make coming back to cloth diapers so much easier.  I will admit to taking a mini-break just to get over the “I’m always washing diapers and never even have time to put them away” blues.

I took a break both times I was pregnant with another baby. I just couldn’t deal with spraying poo with my nausea. That and my energy being zapped meant practically all my laundry was on hold as well- Katherine Loichinger

Then there are the times you want to quit because things are just not working out.  Leaks, rashes, smell… sometimes it happens and it is beyond frustrating if you can’t pinpoint why!  If the diapers aren’t even working, it could be time for a little break to re-group.  By using hybrids or disposables you can have all of your diapers clean at once.  Take a breather, ask for advice from a trusted friend or from the place you bought your diapers from, and try again in a few days.

I quit cloth for about a month because I couldn’t figure out why they were all leaking. Finally after trying to wash on super hot water the leaks were gone and we’ve been back on cloth ever since and happy.  -Angie Hayter

As a cloth diaper advocate coming out and saying that is kind of risky.  I’m not saying cloth diapers suck… overall I enjoyed my diapering days and I miss them.  I also recognize that we are all humans, and busy humans that have other mini-humans who rely on us for virtually every need.  Our days are long, our downtime is valuable, and a rest and reset period can make the difference between giving it ALL up forever and picking up right where you left off.  My ultimate goal is to help parents cloth diaper, and to do it successfully.  If and when the blues set it, it is better to distance yourself from the problem for perspective than to trudge through and eventually give them up completely. A small break may even make you appreciate the oft forgotten benefits of cloth diapers, like their blow-out holding ability or their fall catching padding that keeps butts bruise free.

I took a few mini breaks with E. We were in a new house, J. was potty training and I just stopped for a day or two. Then the blowouts would get to me and it was easier to wash diapers than poopy clothes. I did it a few times. -Leigh Peters-Fransen

Have you ever taken a break from cloth diapers and started back?  Why did you stop and how was it when you started back up?

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  • Amy Michelle Zigler

    Took a break when I first started, the Rumparooz I had originally purchased (made the horrible mistake of buying all of one brand) left horrible scars on my sweet babies legs. I was turned off to cloth from that moment until my LO blew out of literally every single
    disposable we put her in. That’s when I rediscovered prefolds and covers and GroVia hybrids. We haven’t looked back since!

  • Monica

    Yes I have been cloth diapering 3 babies for 3 years now. I have taken many breaks. Reasons: travelling, stripping & most recent break was because of morning sickness. My breaks usually last 3-4 days. And I am so excited and ‘love’ my diapers again everytime I start back up!!

  • Jenna Barraclough

    I have taken one break so far for a two day trip driving 8 hours there and back. We used disposables and it really wasn’t a break at all. 🙁 Leaks, the smell was 10x worse, and at the end he had chemical burn. It was bright red and if you touched it the skin would turn white. Next time we took that trip I refused the sposies and used my cloth. Way easier! Also I keep tons of receiving blankets (my version of flats), snappi’s, and a cover for days when I’m tired of washing and stuffing pockets.

  • David Sarah Thompson

    taking a break right now cause hubby bought some ‘natural sposies’, i was gonna take them back, but then little man got sick- very sick, it has been 2 weeks since he has been anything but held. so those sposies went on bum instead of back to the store.huge laundry pile with a family of 8 and useing the laundry mat! hubby tookit and washed on his day off, but foldding isn’t happening unless each does their own! little man is starting to improve now and i am looking forward to going back to cloth just as soon as i get laundry back under control and the baby back on his feet!! can’t wait!!! 🙂

  • BoiseFamily

    Thank you for continuing to share CDing doesn’t have to be an all or nothing choice. I think that concept is a key one to getting people to try cloth diapers.

  • Brooke B.

    So glad to read this today! This post arrived at the perfect time for me. I’ve been on a “break” for about a month now. DD got a yeast rash and I’ve been a little paranoid (and really unsure which method is best) to wash her diapers to rid them of the yeast. We’ve been using a more environmentally friendly disposable product but my husband has asked me a couple of times when we’re going to start with cloth again. I needed the extra “push” this week to get going again.

  • Jessica Bayles

    I use disposables EVERY Sunday. Sometimes I miss my cloth so much that I use them anyway. But we drive an hour to church and back, and spend the day at my in-laws. If I bring cloth, I have to pack three bags (diapers, non-church clothes, and the church bag. That works good for us.

  • bookworm81

    I switch to the disposable inserts in my grovia shells every time we have more than a minor rash. A few days of disposables in the landfill is worth not having to deal with getting yeast out of diapers (plus with the copious amounts of hot water that requires I think it’s about the same from an environmental standpoint).

  • Idigia

    I took a break on our first trip. Christmas, hotel, 70 family members to catch up with and very limited baggage allowance. Of course I ended up hand washing baby clothes due to severe leaks, but I used previously purchased diapers and did not have any extra money for a diaper service. Every time I want to take a break and use a sposie, the smell drives me insane and I go back to cloth immediately.

  • Meghan

    This is definitely great advice. I feel like once you join the CD community, you think you never want to go back to disposables and we can all list a bazillion reasons why. And then, if we find we need to for some reason, we feel guilty and try to push through anyway. My first time using CDs was with twins. The CD laundry was endless because I had a small stash and with two at a time, the dirty diaper bag filled up quickly. My diapers were almost never nice folded and stuffed and put away. They were in a heap in a laundry basket. And then came the smell issues. There was a short time when I used disposables to try to figure out the stink issue. Them I used my cloth again. Then we moved and the washer in our apartment was so rough, it delaminated all of my diapers. Maybe that was coming anyway, since they got so much use. But my twins were 2 years old. I figured potty training wasn’t far down the road (guess again!), and I decided not to invest the money in building a whole new stash. Especially since I was afraid they would get ruined in the wash like the rest. So I went to disposables. I don’t regret it. Two years of diapering 2 kids in cloth kept a lot of diapers our of landfills, saved us a food chunk of dough, and their bums looked cute!

  • kelsey_tish

    Thank you for this… Sometimes it feels like tha laundry is never ending, that the second I put on a new diaper he poops, that his clothes are wet after every nap b/c dude he saves up a days worth of pee for nap time and bed time! But I love my cloth even if I do use a disposable at night. It’s okay to do what works for you!

  • Rachael m

    Thank you for this! I am cding baby number 2 right now and take an occasional break to strip or just catch a breath and I always feel guilty when I do. But it’s also helped me introduce cding to other mama’s and show that you can use both CD and disposables our switch when you need a convenience break!

  • Alx87

    Thank you for reminding me it’s okay to take a step back; with a new baby nursing every two hours and a wild two year old it all gets a little overwhelming.