Jan 11, 2012  •  In Baby, Personal, Shopping

Why We Don’t Cloth Diaper or Buy Used Clothes

Let me preface this post by saying that I do not look down on anyone who cloth diapers or purchases used clothes. I do not think that I’m any better than those who choose to, nor do I believe that our way is the best and the ultimate. Once again, this is a personal decision that we have made for our own family based on our unique preferences and circumstances.

There was a period in time as I neared the end of my pregnancy with Claire when I seriously considered cloth diapering. It is more green. They say it’s more economical in the long-run. I have also read that today’s cloth diapers are superior to those in the past, and that they can actually be better on babies’ sensitive skin. Plus, look at all the cute designs!

(image source)

When I relayed my thoughts to my mother, she was vehemently against it.

“No, you will not be cloth-diapering your kids. And that is that.”

I know what you must be thinking: they are my children, and I have the right to raise them how I see fit. My mother should trust that I can make these decisions on my own, and she should respect them, right?

But my mother had her reasons. You see, she and my father have been in the clothes-cleaning business (dry cleaning and laundromat) for over twenty years now. And her main reason for being against cloth diapers is that soiled cloths can never really be clean again, no matter what cleaning method you use. And the stuff that gets on these diapers is some of the worst that can stain your clothes — at least in my mother’s eyes.

I finally understood when she pointed out that I wouldn’t just wash, and re-wear my clothes if they had been soaked in urine or had been smeared with stool; I would discard them. (And this is true — it is a personal quirk of mine.) So why would I expose my children’s sensitive skin to cloths that get exposed to urine and stool over and over again, especially since it sits against their skin for such prolonged periods of time?

“Besides,” she added. “I cloth-diapered both you and your sister, but only because we didn’t have disposable diapers back then. Why would you purposely add more work to your life when being a mother is already so much work?”

It made sense.

Yes, I am aware that there are chemicals in disposable diapers that may irritate babies’ skin. Yes, I know disposables are more expensive. But in my experience, they are easier, cleaner, and both my girls’ bottoms have remained free of diaper rash since birth.

My mother uses the same logic for buying used clothes. But in her mind, there is an added strike against used clothes because you don’t know who wore those clothes before you. In other words, you don’t know what type of lifestyle they led, if they were clean people, and so forth.

“I have run dry-cleaners for over twenty years. I have seen the horrible stuff that people do to their clothes — it makes no difference if they’re rich or poor, or if their clothes are expensive or not,” she tells me.

She understands that most of the clothes that are sold in second hand stores are in good condition. But she says that after some of the things she has been exposed to in her line of work, she can never place her trust in strangers to have taken good care of the clothes that she will wear, even if they have been carefully cleaned.

I have been exposed to a sliver of her business too. And I too, refuse to purchase second-hand clothes for my family for the same reason. Hand-me-downs from trusted friends and family members? Yes. But used clothes from strangers? No. 

ETA, 8/12/13:

It seems that this post was linked to from a pro-cloth-diapering Facebook group, as well as GBCN. If this is your first time visiting this blog, then welcome. 🙂 I wanted to write this addendum because I keep having to repeat myself in the comments…

  1. Please note that this was written more than 1.5 years ago. My first is out of diapers, and my second will be getting potty-trained soon, so there really isn’t any point in trying to switch to cloth at this point. 🙂
  2. We live in an apartment in a city. So although we are lucky enough to have our own washer and dryer, we are still very limited on space and our W&D unit is pretty small. Additionally, we get very little direct sunlight (with small windows, to boot) which I know is one of the most recommended methods of disinfecting CD’s.
  3. How about blowouts? Do I throw out every piece of clothing that gets soiled? To me, there is a difference between having a few blowouts and getting them cleaned, versus using a cloth diaper which is continually getting soiled and cleaned over a period of 1-2+ years. (Luckily my girls had VERY few blowouts, and whenever they did I immediately scrubbed and soaked their clothes…something I can’t do with cloth diapers with my limited time and space.)
  4. I am not OCD about keeping everything clean. I do not keep my kids in a bubble. If anything, some people criticize me for not keeping their toys spic and span all the time, not regularly using hand sanitizer, etc. Just because I have this quirk (that others may find unreasonable) doesn’t mean it carries to all other aspects of my, and my kids’ lives.
  5. We try our best to “make up” for disposables by recycling, reusing, and saving as much as we can.
  6. We welcome hand-me-downs from trusted friends and family, just not from strangers. And we hand down all our girls’ used clothes (with the exception of badly stained/damaged ones) to friends with younger children.
  7. We may never buy secondhand clothes, but at the same time, my husband and I hardly ever buy new clothes for ourselves. Besides, I consider my refusal to buy secondhand clothes from strangers similar to CD’ing families who won’t buy used CD’s, especially stained ones.
  8. To those questioning my parents’ business and work ethics, my mother has confidence in her dry-cleaning business and the ability to get her customers’ clothes clean. But being in the business that they are, and having seen so much grime on clothes (much more so than the average person), it’s hard not to think about that stuff when wearing strangers’ clothes. Their own clothes? Fine. But to them, it’s a matter of the unknown. This is different from not believing in the quality of their work, IMO.

This is actually an old post that has rarely gotten attention since it was first written, so I don’t think I have any influence over other moms in this regard. (If other parents stumble upon this obscure post in a web search, I trust that they’re smart enough to do their own research and make their own decisions regarding diapers.)

If you feel that strongly against what I have written and feel the need to gather the troops in order to correct a complete stranger on the internet, you should know that linking to, and continuing to comment on this post, will only give me more credibility in the eyes of search engines — which may possibly lead to…gasp…this post convincing others NOT to use cloth diapers! (Also, I have ads on this site, so thanks for the extra traffic!)

In all seriousness though, this post was not meant to spread propaganda, nor was it written to stir up controversy. My intention was NOT to sway others from cloth diapers. This is a PERSONAL blog and I was just sharing with my readers an aspect of our lives. To me, CD’ing was just not worth the extra time, effort, and space. I know others must have made it work with less resources…kudos to them! It was just not for us.

(via xkcd)

The ignorant, unreasonable, first-world-problem-ridden OCD blogger who lives an entitled, middle-class lifestyle

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115 Responses to “Why We Don’t Cloth Diaper or Buy Used Clothes”

  1. mary says:

    Sounds like first world problems to me. We as a society have become wimpy germophobes who can’t bear the thought of doing and extra work or having any inconveniences. Oh, just buy disposable everything and throw it all out. It won’t affect my life. How utterly selfish and ridiculous!

    • Monica Victor Colling says:

      Exactly! I think disposables are disgusting, and I think it’s a waste of money to buy new baby clothes. Save the money for when they are teenagers and want that name brand!

  2. Wow, 5 new comments that have popped up almost right after the other on an old post? This must have made its way to a cloth-diaper-friendly forum or group somewhere!

    Please note what I said at the top of the post: this is what my family does based on our own situation, experiences, and preferences. I am NOT looking down on CD’ing families, nor do I believe myself to be better than them (and I’m sorry if the post makes it seem that way). I am not trying to spread propaganda. I was just sharing with my readers an aspect of our lives, and just as the case with practically everything baby-related, there are people who agree and disagree…and CD’ing just happens to be a hot-button topic.

    This is a PERSONAL blog. This was not meant to stir up controversy. We recycle and reuse and save in other ways. We have tried to donate stained/torn clothes in the past and the center refused to take them. My husband and I hardly ever buy new clothes for ourselves, and all the clothes my girls wear (except the badly stained/torn ones) get handed down to friends with younger children.

    I can go on and on, but if you still choose to judge a stranger based on one internet post, please feel free to do so. 🙂

    The first-world-problem-ridden blogger who lives an entitled, middle-class lifestyle

  3. Stephanie says:

    Haha, yup made its way to a cloth dipe page post via Fb. I’m totally on board with live life how you want. We cloth diaper and use disposables. We wanted cloth because it was cheaper in the long run, but we flip flop back and forth. However, after reading your mom’s rationale, it does make me ponder what we’re doing! 😉 And I will say I NEVER EVER EVER buy used clothing. It skeeves me out. You don’t know what someone else has done in them or stained them or whatever. Blah! I don’t even really like hand me downs in clothes from my nephew for my boys. We’d have to be in a really rough spot for me to ever buy used clothing for our family!

    Hugs momma! Love reading how other people do things to fit their family 🙂

    • Thank you for taking the time to write this comment! I really appreciate it!

    • Dana C says:

      I simply don’t like a lot of used clothes because people don’t know how to wash their clothes. Things say machine wash cold and air dry and you can TELL they hot washed and machine dried those b*tches. I’m very, very anal about washing my clothes *correctly* that I just don’t trust how people have done theirs. It has to be in very, very good condition.

  4. Lis says:

    Glad you seem to have such unlimited funds to do this. This post does look down on those of us who cloth diaper. Nice try though…

    • I’m sorry what I wrote makes it seem like I look down on CD’ing families — it truly was not my intention. Can you tell me why you feel that I am? Like I wrote in a comment further up, I don’t look at a baby wearing a cloth diaper and think, “Eww.” If anything, I’ll think something like, “Cute diaper cover!” or something along those lines. I just know that CD’ing is not for my family, just as some moms who CD won’t buy stained used diapers.

      As for our funds, you seem to have made a gross assumption. We save and cut back on other things, just as millions of other families do.

  5. Rachel says:

    Yet you aren’t bothered by the dirty diapers are leaving for your children and their future generations?

    • Like I said above, we try our best to recycle, reuse, and save in other ways. We live in small apartment in a city, and while we do have our own washer and dryer the extra work and space involved in CD’ing are also not worth it to me — I’d rather spend that time with my kids. (We also don’t get much direct sunlight, which I know CD’ing supporters say is a great way to clean CD’s.) I guess that makes me selfish in this regard.

  6. Amy says:

    Quirk in one hand and OCD in the other and see which weighs more. 🙂

    So long as you understand you are contributing greatly to our throw-away culture and teaching your kids not to respect the earth. I’m actually not judging but you need to understand this is not reasonable and you shouldn’t pretend it is. I have phobias, too, but I don’t pretend they are reasonable. If I had this phobia I would teach my kids “this is my unreasonable fear; try not to be like me.” That may mitigate their OCD on the subject.

  7. Leslie G says:

    Thank you for your honesty. You are ore courageous than I am. I feel much like you but I do realize it is one of my OCD issues that I need to work on. I do cloth diaper but that is germs from my kids and for some reason I never worry about their germs just everyone else. Thank you for a thoughtful post full of honesty. Not judging just your honest thoughts.

  8. Jill S says:

    It’s hard to say that in your experience disposable diapering is cleaner and easier when you haven’t used cloth? I think that’s where you’re annoying people. To claim to have never used cloth— yet how ‘dirty’ cloth diapering is –when you’ve never done it, just seems what hypocritical? ridiculous? ….. I’ve used both. In my experience CLOTH is easier AND cleaner. Did you throw away every onesie that got a blowout on it? Because with cloth diapering you might be re-using CLEAN diapers (because hello, you wash them, they are CLEAN!) but then you’re not throwing out millions of onesies, either. Disposables leak way more often than cloth.

    It doesn’t say a whole lot for owning a cleaning company that doesn’t believe they can ever get clothing clean, either. That’s kind of like owing a car company and saying that you don’t believe in the cars you sell? <—– I hope that makes sense, I'm not trying to be offensive, it's just such a weird attitude to have.

    • Katie says:

      My thought exactly…most people sell a service that they believe in.

    • I did not say that disposables are cleaner and easier…I said that they are easier for US. We live in an apartment in a city, and everything I read about the processes that go into maintaining CD’s — yes, from CD supporters — would require more work, time, and space which I would rather use for other beneficial things for my girls. And whenever I got blowouts (thankfully we’ve only had a few with both girls), I cleaned and soaked right away, which is something I wouldn’t be able to do with CD’s based on our living situation.

      As for my parents’ business, I guess I should clarify that yes, they do believe in their services, but because of what my mother has seen in her customers’ clothes (blood, semen, vomit, etc), she would not wear those for herself and feels uncomfortable wearing stranger’s used clothes. (She also prefers to bring her own sheets when she sleeps in a hotel.) Like I said in a comment above, it’s more psychological (based on all the gross stuff she’s had to deal with over the years) than evidence-based. Does that make sense?

  9. Ami says:

    Very interesting post. Having several friends who have what I’d classify as mild OCD and a whole lot of those tendencies myself, I can’t cast aspersions. One of those ‘whatever works for you’ things.
    Thanks for writing this, I think it’s courageous to put yourself out there and leave your life and choices open for criticism from others. Not that I’m here to criticize, however. 🙂

  10. Katie says:

    I agree with used cloth diapers…it does have a ick feeling to me, too. I also wouldn’t use used underwear. But, I use my own underwear. But, clothes are different. I believe that my washing machine and the detergent I use is capable of making my things sanitary.

    I understand this is just a quirk for you and your family…but doesn’t your family believe in their business? Do they not think that they can clean things well enough for people to use again? Do they think that cleaning things doesn’t make them suitable to wear again? Why are they in that business, if they don’t actually think that what they do actually works? Are they not capable of making used clothes sanitary? Most people who sell a service actually stand behind what they do.

    • I replied to Jill S above:

      As for my parents’ business, I guess I should clarify that yes, they do believe in their services, but because of what my mother has seen in her customers’ clothes (blood, semen, vomit, etc), she would not wear those for herself and feels uncomfortable wearing stranger’s used clothes. (She also prefers to bring her own sheets when she sleeps in a hotel.) Like I said in a comment above, it’s more psychological (based on all the gross stuff she’s had to deal with over the years) than evidence-based. Does that make sense?

      • Katie says:

        FWIW, I think your reasoning for not cloth diapering is the same as most people in the world, and I’m not sure why you’re getting grief for that aspect of it. I don’t cloth diaper for the same reason…as well do most people. Shame on people for trying to put you down for it.

        Same for the used clothes, but I wouldn’t state that people who own a dry cleaning business don’t think things can ever be clean. Your decisions are yours, but I wouldn’t be contradictory about it.

        • Can you clarify your last paragraph? I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying.

        • Katie says:

          It’s as if your family thinks that your washing machines or their business isn’t good enough to get the grime out of people’s clothes. I would wash used clothes before I wore them, and I would think that would make them suitable, if they didn’t have any stains. It just doesn’t sound like they think any amount of washing would get stranger “germs” out of gently used clothes.

          • Like I said, it’s probably more psychological than evidence-based. Being in the business that they are, and having seen so much grime (much more so than the average person), it’s hard not to think about that stuff when wearing strangers’ clothes. Their own clothes? Fine. But to them, it’s a matter of the unknown. This is different from not believing in the quality of their work, IMO.

  11. Kevin says:

    If your really that concerned with wearing “soiled” clothes I hope you never grow old. As a CNA I guarantee you will reuse your soiled clothing in your last years or days. If you live in a nursing or assisted living community it will happen just about everyday after you lose control. Even if your lucky enough to have family take care of you, it is just a fact of incontinence.

    • Well I always said I wanted to die before I’m 50, so I guess I won’t need to worry.

      In all seriousness though, there are a few things that come to mind when I consider your comment:

      1. Incontinence supplies
      2. In my mind, there is a difference between wearing my own clothes/underwear that have been soiled and cleaned a few times than wearing the same cloth diapers (even if cleaned) over and over again for 1-2+ years, or even wearing strangers’ secondhand clothes (as stated in the post, used clothes from people I trust are okay)
      3. The women in my family have all been very lucky in this regard, even as they reach their 70s and 80s, and I hope that I’ll follow in their footsteps. If not, I’ll just have to deal with it.

  12. Aracely Vazquez says:

    I am very OCD about things being clean but it helped me to think about how wasteful I am being. Stains caused from your own bodily fluids are your own how harmful or gross are they truly? Also, my mom was very OCD and never allowed us to buildup our immune system. Just some things to think about… From another momma who had to learn to deal with similar issues.

    • Thanks for your comment. Please note that although I may have this stance on diapers, I’m a supporter of letting kids develop their immumity through exposure to germs and am not anal about dirt in the house, using hand sanitizers, etc…just not via cloth diapers. 🙂

  13. Regina says:

    So every time your baby has a poop blowout in those “wonderful” disposable diapers, your going to throw out the whole outfit because poop touched it? Crazy and extremely wasteful if that is true and if it is not true and you (gasp) wash them and re-use those clothes, then your logic goes right out the window.

    • Hi Regina,

      As I told several people in the comments above, to me, there is a difference between having a few blowouts and then getting them cleaned, versus using a cloth diaper which is continually getting soiled and cleaned. (Luckily my girls had VERY few blowouts, and whenever they did I immediately scrubbed and soaked their clothes…something I can’t do with cloth diapers with my limited time space.)

  14. joanne says:

    How can you be sure that the clothes you buy brand new are that clean to begin with? You have no idea where or how the cloth and then the clothes are made.

  15. Rachael says:

    I think there’s a disconnect when we talk about definitions of cleanliness. In my mind, chemicals as a method of sterilization (whether it’s a cleaning product or the ingredients in a disposable diaper) does not scream clean. Sterile does not equal good, in fact overly sterile environments aren’t good for us. However, a lot of people find comfort in the idea of sterile environments. I get that. I also get how people can be freaked out by reusing diapers. I love CDing, washing my floors with vinegar, etc. typical crunchy stuff, but realize it’s not for everyone. I do hope more people see the value in CDing. I know you are beyond this time in your parenting, but it can be done in small spaces!

    • I really do believe that CD’ing can be awesome! But just like many other aspects of parenting (medicated birth vs unmedicated, breastfeeding vs formula feeding, etc), I see the benefits of one side but choose another route for my family based on our situation and preferences. I actually have more friends who CD than use disposables, so I’m the odd one out among my mommy friends. 🙂 Thank you for your honest comment.

  16. Johnboy says:

    Using your mom’s theory on the cleanliness of cloth diapers (and also used clothing) as my comparison, do you also:

    -Throw your underwear out after you wear it?
    -Throw your washcloths and hand/bath/beach towels out after 1 use?
    -Throw an article of clothing out (shirt/pants/shorts) after said article gets dirt/grass/etc. on it?
    -Replace your carpeting at least once a year?

    I guess my point is: where do you draw the line? Your underwear rubs in your private areas all day and carries the same bacteria, etc. on them that a cloth diaper would. Your washcloths and towels are also readily exposed to the same types of bacteria. Shirts and pants actually get exposed to outside elements (from other people, animals, etc.) which opens a whole new bag of issues, yet all of the above are easily washed in your washer and dried in the dryer (or line dried) over and over, yet this doesn’t seem to be an issue for you?

    Thinking about the carpets in your home, if you’re like my family, you have kids that are constantly throwing up, spilling food, peeing/pooping (when potty training especially), and smearing all sorts of things in your carpet. Have a dog or cat? You likely have dirt, poop/pee/litter all throughout the house… There is a reason why they make spot cleaners and carpet cleaners, otherwise Lowe’s and Home Depot would be making billions on home flooring in a month.

    I guess my points are useless for you now that you no longer have the decision to make, and I don’t want to come down on you for your past decisions. I think maybe as good as your mom and your intentions may have been, it’s just a little impractical when you relate it do other things in your daily life.

    • To answer your questions:

      1. Underwear: while small amounts of bodily excretions like discharge or even a bit of pee is okay, cloth diapers are different in that they’re repeatedly covered in urine and feces over a period of 1-2+ years. If my, or my family’s underwear gets soiled, I immediately scrub and soak, something I can’t do with cloth diapers. And yes, we replace them regularly.

      2. We don’t use washcloths, and please see #1 above for towels.

      3. Again, our clothes are not repeatedly and regularly soiled like CD’s, and when they get spots I immediately scrub and soak. And yes, I do discard badly stained clothes. (We’ve tried donating stained/damaged clothes in the past and the center won’t accept them)

      4. We don’t have carpeting; I’ve always preferred hardwood/tiled floors. We don’t have pets (and when we did, our dog only had a couple of accidents in the house which we immediately cleaned and disinfected).

      So to answer your question, I guess I draw the line at something getting repeatedly getting covered in urine and feces.

      As for secondhand clothes, as I’ve told commenters above, it’s more of a matter of the unknown. Secondhand clothes from people we trust are fine, but not from strangers. (And yes, this is probably more psychological than evidence-based, but you can compare this to how some CD’ing families don’t buy used cloth diapers.)

        • I’ve seen this, and other articles like it, and that is why we always wash before wearing new clothes. Again, to me there’s a difference between items that were once soiled vs things like CD’s where they are continually and regularly getting soiled over a long period of time.

          …and at the same time, I fully realize that this is a matter of comfort levels. Like I told Johnboy above, this is where I just happen to draw the line.

      • Johnboy says:

        Your responses were expected, however patently unfounded and false. The amount of urine/bowel/other fluids on the cloth makes little difference, you will still expose the diaper and underwear to the same bacteria.

        If washing the clothes didn’t actually “clean” them as your mom would have you believe, then the “small” amount of bacteria on your underwear would not only remain after washing, but it would spread and get more and more bacteria as you wear them every day.

        I’m not trying to attack you when I say this, but your family theories on washing cloths is untrue and as a result, you’ve become hypocritical in respect to underwear vs. CD as a result. It’s almost as if you are selectively OCD, which is somewhat mind boggling… one would think if you thought CD’s were “icky” then the same would be said for underwear. It’s a bit mind-numbing to me quite honestly.

        BTW, we’ve never had a cloth diaper blowout. The times we had to use disposables, we’ve had blowouts… not saying it’s overwhelming amount, but enough to know that CD’s were the better choice for a multitude of reasons.

        • Well, different strokes for different folks. Your family is happy with cloth, we’re happy with disposables, and you have every right to feel “mind-numbing” about my choices. We can agree to disagree. 🙂

  17. Karin says:

    I cloth diaper, but there was a time I would 100% agreed with you. I have just gotten a little more chill about it in my old age. We all have our little things that gross us out. I have a friend who won’t wash her underwear with her other laundry. I am personally grossed out by the remote control in hotel rooms. It goes straight into a Ziplock bag before I use it. There have been some pretty nasty studies about what is on them. Thanks for running hotel sheets and towels for me 😉

    There are ALOT of comments and I didn’t read through all of them but as a cloth diaperer, I’d like to apologize if anyone was judgemental or rude. It’s such a silly thing to attack someone for. there are much more serious issues in this world. I love that you took the time to answer so many people and I love your update to the post. I hope you get a nice bump in readership do to all the buzz on your site.

    • Thanks, Karin! I too, have gotten a lot more lax over the years and I imagine the trend will continue as I get older. You’re completely correct that there are so many worse things in the world, and I imagine that most people who agree with you just do not even bother commenting for this same reason. However, I can certainly understand how some people are passionate about certain subjects and feel the need to preach and shout from the rooftops whenever they can. Once again, thank you!

  18. Jodi says:

    Ok, I have read you state several times in the comments section that you have 2 main issues:1) a psychological “ick” response and 2) a repulsion for repeated urine and feces on diapers. As for the psychological “ick” factor, it would be far more accurate for you to state that you find it gross. The fabric is clean when washed properly. There are no germs left on the garment. You could state that you find it repulsive and gross, and that would be a matter of opinion, but to claim that they are dirty and will never be as clean, is actually just not true. Even though it’s your blog and you can write whatever you want, and I as a reader have the right to read it or not, I would caution you to pick your words more carefully. You claim over and over again that this is just your opinion and that you aren’t judging, but with that rhetoric, the tone is judgmental.
    Second, for diapers, it’s the same, really. It’s true that CDs get build up, but that’s more often than not, caused by detergent build up or hard water, and it’s not the waste as all that’s clogging the fabric.
    You do what you need to do on this matter, but I find your word choice invites controversy, and your addendum unnecessarily antagonistic. I won’t be revisiting your blog for those reasons, not because you don’t buy used.

    • Hmm wouldn’t “finding it gross” fall under a psychological “ick” factor? I would classify it as such, and sorry if you don’t think so.

      As for your claim about my saying they are dirty and will never be as clean, once again I must clarify that it is dirty in my mind. And yes, you have the right to read it or not, and yes you have the right to interpret it however you want. But isn’t it funny how some people find my words judgmental and antagonistic while others find it fair and straightforward?

      If you choose not to revisit my blog, that is your prerogative. I figure that the vast majority of readers who have read this in the past few days are coming from the same few places that have linked to this post, and will most likely never visit again so I’m not surprised or bothered. Again, it was never my intention to try to sway people from CD’s, nor was I trying to convince people why CD’s are bad. I’m sorry that you, and others like you, have taken so much offense at this post. Thanks for commenting.

  19. Diana Talevich says:

    Is it still considered second hand if it was worn by an older sibling? Hand me downs i doubt any one would remember every thing that was spilt on every pieces of clothing.

    • Yes, it would be secondhand. Both my girls wear hand-me-downs from trusted friends and family, and my younger’s wardrobe is almost all hand-me-downs from her sister. We also pass down our clothes to friends with younger children.

  20. melissa says:

    I just wanted to say that you have done a fantastic job replying in a polite and respectful way in response to remarks that did not do the same.

    • Thank you, Melissa! Like I just responded to Jodi above, it’s funny how some people interpret everything I’m saying as judgmental and antagonistic while others find it fair. It seems that with such a hot-button issue, it’s difficult not to start reading without any preconceived notions.

  21. Jenny says:

    People need to calm down. Live your life as you see fit. There is no need to work yourself up over diapers. You’ve done a wonderful job replying to everyone; even the not so nice comments. I have been reading your blog for over a year now and it has helped me get through some rough patches after i had my baby, especially during the newborn stage. Thank you! And your girls are adorable!

  22. […] stress of cloth diapering was too much and that she needed to use disposables to survive. Here is another article in which a mother decides not to use cloth diapers because of a “personal quirk” that […]

  23. Ellie says:

    Oh dear, There is so much mania about every single aspect of having kids and caring for them…

    Of course it is better to be environmentally aware and do your best to reduce waste etc. But you must look at the big picture. I have a friend who is totally against disposables but chooses to drive to work every day (with a massive car too) instead of using public transport like some (me :)).

    Now when it comes to nappy business, we do a bit of both. What shocked me when I started with the cloth nappies is that it is not just washing them. heck, you need to wash them up to 5 times even before using them! And when it comes time to actually wash them you might have to rinse and use extra water and then wash and then rinse again and so on… It really makes me wonder how good this really is for nature. Some you can not wash in hot water so if you can not dry them in the sun to “sterilize” I would not be happy about using them.

  24. mom2twins says:

    Yep, I am one of those who just stumbled on this old post of yours. I did want to mention, however – that you are completely 100% incorrect and so are your parents. I am a detergent manufacturer. So I know and understand the science behind washing and the science behind the chemicals in detergent. Just because your mother ran some type of cleaning business does not mean that she manufactured detergent and is aware how to properly clean and sanitize clothing and diapers. The reason you have offended people is because you did zero research and your statements are just plain false. So don’t use cloth diapers, does not matter to me. But you should not knock those who use cloth diapers or wear other people’s clothing. Some families have no choice and for you to make the suggestion that they cannot possibly get clean is irresponsible.

  25. Manon says:

    If we can’t wash anything, how come we can sanitize medical instruments or our hands? Perhaps your parents did a lousy job… I can wash and sanitize practicaly every spot on my clothes using just ordinary drugstore products.

    • Katie says:

      Wow! Thats so rude. By the way a washing machine doesn’t get hot enough to sterilize clothing. The only way to sterilize medical equipment is to put it in an autoclave. Oh and there’s a difference between sanitize and sterilize. Sterile= No germs. Sanitized= Some germs still left.

      • Manon says:

        No shit, Sherlock?! Well, my general conclusion is you os just uninformed and lazy when it comes to cloth diapers and washing…

  26. Katie says:

    I know this is a really delayed comment, but I just wanted to tell you how much respect I have for you. I am not a mom…yet, but hope to be in the future. I was also a nanny for a few years. Cloth diapering is not for everyone. We all have our “quirks” and there is nothing wrong in admitting them. I, personally, don’t understand why someone would cloth diaper if they felt it was stressful, took to much time or just really didn’t want to. As for second hand clothes…I totally understand your reasoning for that too. I have only bought one or two things from second hand stores, but washed them before I wore them. Just wanted to say good for you for making the right choices for your family.

  27. Isna Suninto says:

    In my opinion, this is a padoxical parenting happened to you in the influence of your parents. New technologies and practicity has spoiled the new generation today because they were told that their parents were having a very hardtime in raising their children (including in diapering) and want to fix it for the next generation.
    Like you’ve already mentioned that your parent did use cloth diaper but because the situation pushed them to, and they felt terrible for it, and now they encourage you to do an easier way for raising your kids…and thats all are pretty normal. It happens to me too (in most of the ways I raise my children).
    You should sometime visit a beautiful spot on earth (like Indonesia, where I live) then reconsider the use of any disposibles…(because our beautiful country starts to have its bad impacts :’-(
    Regards from Lombok

  28. Daiga says:

    The disposable paper liners in cloth diapers solve all mentioned problems!!:))

  29. Calise says:

    Hey 🙂 I found this post, interestingly, by Googling “geeky cloth diapers” lol. And O_O woah did you get some hate for this. I never understand why people who disagree with someone can’t just let stuff go, and have to tirade. Like you said, this is your personal blog, if someone doesn’t like your opinion, they should roll their eyes and move on, or just leave a “hey this is my opinion” nice comment. People are super crazy sometimes 😛 and I’m sorry you got hounded.

    Like, I don’t happen to feel the same way about cloth diapers or used clothing, but I think you should do what works for you and your family, and I hate it when people shame other people for their parenting choices. Totally unacceptable.

    We’re planning on using cloth most the time because it’s waaay cheaper and because I know with my experience with cloth pads vs. disposables that it can make a huge difference with sensitive skin. When I do wear disposable pads now, they’re stupidly uncomfortable to me. But that’s just me and I don’t expect my friends to use old gym socks on their periods just because I do. Lol, that would be weird 😛 (though I’m self-conscious that would sound insanely gross to someone who doesn’t like used clothing).

    I’m also a huge thrift-store nut. Most my wardrobe is second-hand because I can find unique pieces and because I have an unusual style that begs quirky finds. Aaand, I’m also on a really low budget and can’t stand to pay full price for anything. 😉

    To me personally, I’ve never had or met anyone who has gotten any sort of health condition from used fabrics and so it’s really not worth the worry to me. Honestly, the idea of hotel sheets and the experiences they’ve seen skeeves me out soooo much more than the idea of what people have done to their clothing. I don’t really like to think about it lol. Though I still do go to hotels.

    IMO, hot water and chemicals kills a crap-ton of disease and, if we’re healthy, our immune systems really can handle a lot. I think we’re usually in a lot more danger of disease shaking hands with strangers or riding a crowded subway than we are wearing clothing that someone else has worn that has been washed.

    That being said, I *don’t* buy used underwear 😛 The idea of that grosses me out too. Used cloth diapers however, doesn’t really. I think adult bodily fluids are a lot nastier than kiddie ones 😉 lol

    Hope I’m not bringing up a post that you really just didn’t want to deal with again! 😛 Ugh, I know how it can be to get a post popular in a bad way and feel like “Not that one again!” every time it gets a comment. So I hope I didn’t make you feel that way. 🙂

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