A Fond Farewell

Dear Friends, Advocates, Members, and GCDC Hosts,

Since 2004, the Real Diaper Association has advocated for a cultural shift that would lead more families to choose cloth diapers for their babies. Throughout the years, we have remained committed to our mission of supporting families by providing information on the benefits and use of cloth diapers.

We have been inspired by the tireless enthusiasm and dedication of our Circle Leaders who have brought like-minded parents together in their local communities through regular, face-to-face circle meetings. We have celebrated cloth diaper communities worldwide through our annual events, the Great Cloth Diaper Change and School of Cloth.

Working with industry leaders, we ensured that our cloth diapering information was evidence based and accessible for families. Simple, reusable, and renewable, diapering choices were always our focus. We have strived to meet each family where they were in the moment, using clear, respectful, and inclusive dialogue. We are proud of the work we have accomplished together with you, our wonderful community of advocates and supporters.

It is this pride in our accomplishments that helps ease the sadness we feel as we make the announcement that after 13 years of active community engagement, it is time for the Real Diaper Association to close. To thrive, every organization must meet a clear need for a group of stakeholders and have the people and funds to meet that need. Over time, the need for cloth diaper support and education has changed, and the resources and available volunteers have dwindled. Change happens and brings with it necessary endings. Our organization is closing, but we know that our supporters and other like-minded groups will continue to advocate for sustainable cloth diapers and holistic parenting practices.

As we say farewell to our community, we will work together with our Circle Leaders, Advocates, and GCDC Hosts to ensure that the numerous resources we have compiled over the years will remain available to those who need them. We are currently searching for groups that are interested in continuing the work of the Great Cloth Diaper Change, as we know that many of our GCDC Hosts would like to see this wonderful event continue.

We encourage our supporters to connect with Holistic Moms and Attachment Parenting International groups, as they both support cloth diapering as one small part of holistic parenting in general.

Remember, now and anytime, you have the power to change the world one baby at a time. You don’t need an organization to do that. Talk to other parents face to face and share your experience of reusable cloth diapers.


​Michelle Dominguez, Executive Director

Angela Torres, Chair
Lori Taylor, Vice-Chair & Faithkeeper
Emily Kuhn, Secretary
Sara Moore
Janice Roodsari
Elizabeth Pilgrim
Marie DiCocco, Emeritis



Gerber: Creating a way for a brighter Earth for tomorrow.

2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change - Global Sponsor

As we celebrate Earth Day and The Great Cloth Diaper Change, we look forward to changes in the future that will reflect our wants and desires; a cleaner Earth and a better tomorrow for our children. A company that has started to move in this direction is Gerber. That’s right. The big baby company Gerber is stepping back in to the cloth diapering world with a revamped all-in-one cloth diaper. Gerber Childrenswear LLC is soon launching this diaper to be available in many of your local stores. 

This diaper combines many of the features parents enjoy about cloth diapers: a bright waterproof outer layer, an absorbent cotton sewn-in liner, and snaps for a good fit around the waist.  It’s adjustable, allowing parents to use it for most of their child’s diapering days. The diaper has been awarded the Parent-Tested Parent-Approved (PTPA) Winner’s Seal of Approval. Gerber has listened to what parents are saying and providing a means to meet cloth diapering demand.

Gerber Childrenswear plans to roll out even more cloth diaper related support in the near future.

When companies with a long history, like Gerber, are choosing to make simple, reusable part of their business practices, everyone wins. 

Real Diaper Association thanks Gerber Childrenswear for their support of RDA and The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Join thousands of families around the world for the 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Find a location near you at

#GCDC2017 #EarthDay2017 #ChangeStartsHere #realdiapers


Bambino MIO: Inspiration found far from home

2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change - Global Change Sponsor: Bloom and Grow

One of the most important and rewarding things we get to do at Real Diaper Association is discover and share stories. This is largely in part because one of our RDA founders, Lori Taylor, of Fuzbaby is a historian.

Great Cloth Diaper Change, Global Change Sponsor, Bloom and Grow is the distributor for Bambino MIO in Asia. Today we learn a little more about Bambino MIO, founded by Guy and Jo Schanscieff. Guy explains the story that sparked their journey into the cloth diapering world. “Jo and I were travelling through India when we met an American at the Taj Mahal who told us about their own cloth diaper laundry service in New York City. We were convinced cloth diapering was the way forward and set up our own business once back in England.” Talk about receiving inspiration at one of the most famous places in the world!   

Guy shares the same feelings many of us do about cloth diapers, “I can’t pick just one! But we always focus on three ideas at Bambino MIO – cloth is better for baby, better for parents and better for the environment. Cloth diapers use absorbent fabrics rather than chemical gels which can be found in disposable diapers; parents can save significant money when they choose to use cloth (even part-time); and the reduction in waste is so powerful it speaks for itself.”

Guy and Jo have gone through many of their own cloth diapering experiences, from starting out as a diaper cleaning service to creating their own cloth diapering business. They have plenty of tips for parents who are perhaps new to cloth diapering or love ideas on how to make cloth diapering easier. “It’s important to find the routine that’s right for your family. Once you figure out the best wash routine, how many diapers you need, etc. it’s so easy to use cloth diapers.”

Bambino MIO also works to create positive social media conversations about reusable cloth diapers and answer questions from their followers.

What keeps Bambino MIO going and striving for a better cloth diaper world tomorrow? Guy said, “It always puts a huge smile on our faces when we receive a thank you message from a family that uses our diapers. We know parents are busy, so it really means a lot when they take a few minutes out of their day to tell us how their baby finally slept through the night with our diapers or how they are the only cloth diapers dads will use.


Real Diaper Association thanks Bloom and Grow for their support of RDA and The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Join thousands of families around the world for the 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Find a location near you at

#GCDC2017 #EarthDay2017 #ChangeStartsHere #realdiapers


Motherlove Herbal Company: helping parents battle diaper rash.

2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change - Global Change Sponsor

Motherlove Herbal Company, Great Cloth Diaper Change Global Change Sponsor



Motherlove Herbal Company, helping parents battle diaper rash.

Diaper rash. Something every parent will have to battle at least once in their child’s diaper stage. And as parents choose to use real diapers, they will also have to choose a diaper rash treatment that is safe for their baby, and their diapers. One such rash weapon is Motherlove’s Diaper Balm, from the Motherlove Herbal Company.

Founded in 1987 by Kathryn Higgins, Motherlove is the first herbal products company focused on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and baby care. It was conceived of and grew around Kathryn’s kitchen table, where her passion for plants inspired her to create herbal products for her own pregnancy. Motherlove Herbal Company has grown from Kathryn’s kitchen to a large and modern USDA-certified organic manufacturing facility that also encompasses a 120-acre organic farm on Colorado’s Front Range.

Kathryn’s daughters now carry on her traditions and dedication by crafting only the finest, purest products, and using certified organic ingredients designed to nurture and soothe women on their all-important journey of nurturing life.

Motherlove Diaper Balm is all-natural herbal salve is perfect for persistent, inflamed diaper rash and may also be used on mother's nursing nipples. It does not need to be washed off the nipple prior to nursing. The balm is diaper safe and compatible with all diapers including cloth. Many traditional diaper rash creams (barrier creams) contain ingredients (zinc oxide) that clog the fibers of cloth diapers causing them to repel (or not absorb) any liquid. Motherlove Diaper Balm will rinse out of fibers under normal washing conditions.

We know that each diaper change counts, and when our littles ones experience diaper rash, we now have the weapons necessary to battle diaper rash while still using real diapers, helping the environment and using the best ingredients for our children. 

Please visit for more information on the products offered by Motherlove Herbal Company.

Real Diaper Association thanks Motherlove Herbal Company for their continued support of RDA and The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Join thousands of families around the world for the 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Find a location near you at

#GCDC2017 #EarthDay2017 #ChangeStartsHere #realdiapers


Biokleen: On a Mission to 'Clean for Good'

2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change - Be the Change  Sponsor

Biokleen - 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change Be the Change Sponsor

Biokleen, a product safe for families and the environment, shares tips for cloth diapering.

Back in 1989, Jim Rimer was a commercial cleaning products salesperson and saw firsthand the health issues of those cleaning on the frontlines - janitors, housekeeping staff and carpet cleaners. It was common to see them with cracked skin, respiratory issues and, in some cases, cancer. Jim had, what was a "crazy" idea that plant- and mineral-based cleaning products can clean as well, if not better than those made with hazardous chemicals. And, that's when he set off to start Biokleen.

Starting in his garage, he mixed ingredients with an oar and drum. And slowly word started to spread about Biokleen and its products that were safe for families and the environment. Naturally, new parents don't want to expose their children to unnecessary toxins, and Biokleen offers the perfect solution - cleaning products that work and are safe for the home and planet. “All these years later, we are still a family-run business on a mission to ‘clean for good’."

Want to learn how this family feels about cloth diapers, checkout out the unique Q & A below.

What is your favorite tip to share with parents that are new to using cloth diapers? 

First, cloth diapering isn't as intimidating or time-consuming as it may seem. Here's how our family took care of the messiest diapers. 1) Keep a butter knife near the toilet to scrape most of the material from the diaper. 2) Spray Bac-Out Stain & Odor Remover on the dirty diaper and store in a bucket. 3) Come laundry time, wash with our Free & Clear Laundry Liquid (just in case your little one has sensitive skin) and Oxygen Bleach Plus. This was the perfect 1-2-3 punch to keep our daughter's diapers clean.

What do you feel is the most compelling reason to choose cloth diapers? 

For our family, it took one week of using disposable diapers to understand the impact they have on landfills. Even choosing a more environmentally-friendly disposable, the 30-pound bag of waste made us question our effect on the world and the world our daughter would be inheriting. Plus, after learning how easy it was to use real diapers, the cost savings and environmental good helped sustain our growing household.

How important a task is cloth diaper education to your business? 

Very important! Our plant-based cleaning products make doing good - diaper cleaning - easy and safe for families. And, we support cloth diapering because we consider the cumulative effect our own business has on the environment. For example, 100% of the water and energy our manufacturing facility uses is offset through wind power credits and water restoration activities in the Pacific Northwest. Furthermore, we've recently launched a reforestation initiative with the goal of planting 60,000/year in 2020.


To learn more about Biokleen and how this product can help keep your cloth diapers clean and free of trouble causing ingredients, head over to



Real Diaper Association thanks Biokleen for their continud support of RDA and The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Join thousands of families around the world for the 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Find a location near you at

#GCDC2017 #EarthDay2017 #ChangeStartsHere #realdiapers


Green Mountain Diapers: Making “Every Diaper Count” so much easier.

2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change - Be The Change Sponsor

Green Mountain Diapers - 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change Be the Change Sponsor

Couple Karen and Doug Amidon had a similar experience to what most parents face when deciding to use cloth diapers. They started out with second diapers to see if real diapers where for them, and discovered what we all come to learn in our cloth diaper experience: You can’t be successful using cloth diapers if you don’t own good cloth diapering supplies. Karen said, “We've come a long way since then, and tried just about every diaper out there. We've made the switch from full time disposable diapering to part-time disposable, part-time cloth, and then to full-time cloth. We didn't go full-time cloth until we actually bit the bullet and spent some money on good cloth diapers and covers. Now I can't believe we ever used disposable diapers! Cloth is sooooo much better and nicer. Put a cloth diaper up to your face. Feel the softness. Breath in. It smells clean and fresh. Now try that with a disposable diaper - no don't - really, that's just too, um, just don't do it.”

And like all of us, it takes talking with friends, family, and sometimes even strangers who are diaper enthusiasts to show us what cloth diapers are out there. Then we finally find the cloth diaper that is perfect for us, and our little one. Karen tells this story, “At some point well into the diapering years, a mom I met at a La Leche League meeting showed me how to pin a prefold diaper. I tried it. It was so much easier than I expected! And it gave such a nice fit, too. This was 1998 and pre-YouTube videos. Before long I wondered why I had struggled for over a year with those contour diapers trying to avoid pinning when pinning was so easy and so effective. Always get a pack of good pins, even if you have no intention of pinning. It's worth it just to try it. Diapering your baby can actually be a pleasure with cloth diapers. It's a special time to play with and talk to your baby, while you do something basic, but very caring and important for your child's health. You can be proud of your child's rash-free, chemical-free, cotton covered, super-cute bottom.”

From their experience using cloth, the couple founded Green Mountain Diapers, which was born in early 1998. “Our mission is to communicate information about cloth diapering and provide the very best of today's wonderful cloth diapering products focusing on natural fibers. We've grown in the recent years to be one of the leading natural fiber cloth diaper retailers nationwide, and have blossomed into Green Mountain Diapers Corporation. We moved the business out of our house to the nearby Cotton Mill in 2009 and we now have 6 employees, plus Karen and Doug. Now GMD is a team of 8 people serving your cloth diapering needs. We are still a very small business dedicated to quality service and natural fiber diapering. You can buy with confidence from us.”  

To read more about Karen and Doug’s cloth diapering experience, and to see the abundant resources for learning more about cloth diapers and getting all your real diaper supplies, go to to discover more. 

Real Diaper Association sends deepest appreciation to Green Mountain Diapers for their continued support of RDA and The Great Cloth Diaper Change. Join thousands of families around the world for the 2017 Great Cloth Diaper Change on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. local time. Find a location near you at
#GCDC2017 #EarthDay2017 #ChangeStartsHere #realdiapers

School of Cloth 2016 - Traveling with Cloth

Travelling with Cloth Diapers

Really? Why would you want to do that?

By: Amy Fong

I used to think I could not do it (and hence we travelled with disposable diapers for our first child while using cloth diapers the rest of the time), but after having our second kid we decided to give travelling with cloth a go!  In fact, now that we have experienced travelling with disposables and cloth, we actually prefer travelling with cloth diapers. We saved ourselves from having to deal with the runny blow-outs that we often got while using disposable diapers. We missed out on the stench that emanated from the used disposable diapers in our receptacle bin until housecleaning came to take out the trash. We loved that we were making an effort to avoid generating trash in the places in which we were travelling, and we enjoyed sticking to the same system that our baby was comfortable and familiar with using at home.

We’ve travelled to many different places, all while exclusively using cloth diapers--whether we are on multi-day road trips, tent camping, on a cruise ship, staying in remote alpine lodges, visiting Disneyland, or on a 17 hour flight.  Here are some tips to help make cloth diapering easier, no matter your travel situation:

  1. Research your laundry options before you go.  Call your accommodation and ask if they have laundry facilities. If not, then find out if there is a laundromat nearby or consider whether there is an option to visit a laundromat during your trip. Laundry is often accessible in situations that you might not expect. I was surprised to learn that our cruise ship had a guest laundry room, and that a private resort not far from our campground had a coin-operated laundry machine which they were happy to let campers use. Since making the most of your time is important while on vacation, try to fit in doing laundry when it makes the most sense for your itinerary. For example, you could consider doing laundry during dinnertime so that your family can enjoy a meal at a nearby restaurant while your load is running at the laundromat.


  1. Pack just enough diapers, but not too many. We were generally able to cram about 3 days worth of cloth diapers into our standard size diaper bag. If you run out of diapers before you are able to get to a laundry machine, which happened to us when we had longer stretches in places without laundry access, you can hand wash a few diapers to stretch out your supply. You can also repurpose flannel receiving blankets, t-shirts and other absorbent materials to use as diapers.

  1. Consider drying time when choosing which diapers to pack. Prefolds, flats, flannel receiving blankets and cotton tea towels are ideal for travel since they can be stuffed into pocket diapers or laid inside reusable covers, and are fairly easy to hand wash and take relatively little time to dry.

  1. Bring absorbent boosters. We found that we generally had to go longer between changes when we were on the move.  To ensure that we had enough absorbency to last between changes, we added an extra cotton, bamboo, or hemp booster to each diaper.

  1. Remember your wet bags. A few small portable wet bags will help contain your dirty diapers and seal in their smell until you are able to wash them.

  1. Bring liners. Liners save the messes from contacting the diaper, and make it easier to toss the poop into the nearest toilet.

  1. Don’t rule out using full-service laundromats. We vacationed for a couple weeks in Hong Kong, where guest laundry facilities and self-service laundromats are scarce. However, full-service laundromats were everywhere – there were no less than four on the block where we were staying. We did a quick rinse of the wet diapers in our sink before dropping them off along with our regular laundry at a full-service laundromat in the morning. Everything was clean, dry and neatly folded by the end of the day, and the service was fairly inexpensive (not much more than using a self-service laundromat). It couldn’t have been easier.

  1. Pack some laundry detergent. While laundromats often have laundry detergent available for purchase, the options are generally limited. If you would prefer to use the detergent that you normally use at home, pack a small amount in your travel bag. It will also come in handy for handwashing your diapers in a sink or tub.

I had every intention to take pictures of our cloth diapers on our vacations so that I could document what we did in different travel situations for a blog article. However, cloth diapering while travelling was so inconsequential that taking these pictures slipped my mind – there were, of course, more significant and exciting things to shoot pictures of while travelling.  Hopefully these tips will help you succeed in making cloth diapering a part of your travels too!

Amy Fong is circle leader of the Real Diaper Circle for Metro Vancouver, mom of 2 kids, and a full-time practising lawyer. In her volunteer time she enjoys helping to share the benefits of cloth diapering by teaching cloth diapering workshops and organizing cloth diapering loan packages for families in need.

School of Cloth 2016 - Laundry Troubleshooting

There are still a few diapers in our home that are not for teaching and demonstration despite the fact that our youngest just turned 7. Late last year I was going through the diapers to decide which to donate, sell and which to put away for some time a million years from now when my babies have their own babies.

If only I had known just how hard the water was in our previous home. If only I had known just how important it was to know this information!

As I was going through the diapers I found several with 6 year old newborn stains. Now I know that a few simple changes to my wash routine would have avoided these stains. Needless to say, I’m more than a little embarrassed that I put these diapers away in this condition. You can avoid my dilemma by checking out RDA Laundry Science and evidence based tips based on this laundry science on the RDA Wash page

Nevertheless: Challenge Accepted.

The detergent and additives are what my family currently uses for our normal laundry routine. 


This is a bamboo fitted with 6 year old breastmilk poo stains. 


The diaper was soaked in a tub of warm water with a teaspoon of BioKleen Oxygen Bleach Plus and left it for a couple days. This gave time for that old, very set stain to release from the fibers of the diaper.


Almost all of the stain has already disappeared!


Next the diaper goes into a rinse & spin with momma cloth, towels and a teaspoon of Rockin Green Femme Rock.

Finally a warm pre-rinse, long, hot wash cycle with Biokleen Laundry Liquid and a tablespoon of Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus and a cool rinse cycle (this is the only rinse cycle available for this cycle on my washer).

There is just a bit of stain left in the folds of the elastic casing. Pretty darn good outcome for a 6 year old stain, one soak, one rinse and one wash cycle.

We receive lots of questions about stains and whether it is even possible to remove them. The answer is yes. It can take a little time, but it is both possible and worth it. Whether the stains are a few days old or a few years old, with a little tlc your diapers will look better than ever!

Need some help with staining or other laundry challenges? RDA's Laundry Science page has tons of great information. Check to see if there is an RDA Circle in your area for one on one support in your community! If that is not available, contact us by email or message us on Facebook!

Angela Torres
Chair, Real Diaper Association
Circle Leader, Real Diaper Circle of Northern Virginia

School of Cloth Week 3: How to Advocate for Cloth Diapers

Do you love cloth diapers and want to help spread the word about them, but don't know how to get the word out? Here's some ideas!

The first, and one of the best ways, is to either start or join a Real Diaper Circle in your area! Either be a Leader through the great training with the RDA, or help out the local chapter. Real Diaper Circles offer hands-on, local support networks, for advice in all aspects. It does take time to build your circle, and dedication to the cause, but you get to meet so many wonderful families, learn from them and help them in their journey.  It is time well spent! Education is the best way to produce success.

Of course, your use of cloth is one of the best ways you can advocate for cloth diapering. Every time you do a public diaper change, show your friends the cute new diaper print you have, or take photos showing off your baby in nothing but that cute diaper cover, you're helping spread the word that cloth is awesome. Expand your reach into social media and use hashtags to  find others who share your cloth diaper love.

Be a cloth diaper mythbuster! Do your friends or family have misconceptions about cloth diapering? Do they wonder about how much laundry it entails, or see the upfront costs as too much, etc?  Tell them it just is not so! Use your personal experience to guide them to the truth behind the myths. And if you found you struggled, but you got help to guide you through, explain where you got the help, and how awesome it is now that you're on the other side. Explain the benefits, to the pocketbook, to the environment, to the health of your baby. and the incredible convenience of knowing you’ll never really run out of diapers!  If you know they plan to have more babies in the future, remind them that cloth diapers can be reused on future babies. Suggest ways around difficulties like diaper services for busy families, local sales groups or DIY possibilities for those on tight budgets, or OS diapers for those with 2 or more babies and toddler using diapers.

Start lending diapers! Do you have a friend who wants to try cloth but is hesitant? Let them borrow some diapers to give it a try, or buy them some to get them started! Show them how to use the diapers, explain how to wash them, and get your friend interested in some prints they may find appealing.

And there is always the biggest event of the year, The Great Cloth Diaper Change! Media coverage, community involvement, and a world record attempt always get people talking, and get people interested! Bring friends to it, if you're attending one, even if it's your first time and you don't know what to expect! No event close to you? Host an event yourself! We've got a great support network for newcomers! Everyone is welcome to host GCDC events, and other cloth diaper advocacy events in their communities!


I think the most important thing is be respectful of other's choices. If you have friends who do things a little differently, but it works for them, respect that. If you have friends who choose to only use cloth diapers part of the time, or not at all, be an open book when they ask for help or advice and politely remind them you love cloth diapers because of all the reasons listed, and then some... but don't make them feel like they've done something wrong by choosing another way. Parenting is hard work! No two children are the same and no two situations are alike. While there is always a way to make it work, it doesn't mean everyone is willing or able to do so. With new parents who may be overwhelmed, be gentle.  Someone who has no idea what they're getting into may be unable to see past the struggle, so offer assistance, but don't force it. They may come back to you later to try again if they see you're successful.

Adout the Advocate Author:
Tracey Valade is a mother of 5, Real Diaper Circle Leader in Ontario, Canada, Great Cloth Diaper Change committee member, works at home and out of the house, owner/operator of Darolotty's Natural Parenting Online Store, and blogs about parenting. Tracey is a busy woman with a passion for cloth!

School of Cloth 2016 - Cloth Diapering from Birth


When Tamaira Kaster, Circle Leader for Real Diaper Circle for Ventura County, informed her labor and delivery nurses that she would be cloth diapering her daughter from birth they told her, “Yeah, yeah, we hear that all the time. People say they’re going to do it but…” Tamaira was firm and committed though and was quickly able to get the hospital staff on board, even in the face of an emergency C section situation.  

I have cloth diapered 3 newborns now. With my first, we waited about two weeks after we were home from the hospital, and had used up the baby shower gifts and “free” hospital diapers before switching to cloth diapers full time.  With DS2 and DS3, we brought cloth to the hospital.  Like Tamaira, I found that using cloth from birth was pretty easy once I busted some myths and faced my fears. (PS: Did you know this little guy graces the pages of the RDA coloring book? Get your copy here!)

Unfamiliarity with cloth diapers is often one of the biggest hurdles to using them.  You may find that you must educate your partner, friends, family and healthcare providers about cloth diapers, before your birth.

We had a great time discussing strategies for using cloth diapers from birth during a recent RDA webinar, which you can listen to here. The biggest takeaway from our discussion is that with a bit of advance preparation, parents can certainly cloth diaper from birth,  even if cloth diapers are new for your partner, birth team, hospital, birth center, and even if your birth does not go according to plan.

Reflecting on all of the different personal stories we have heard from RDA Advocates and Circle Leaders, here are our tips for successfully cloth diapering from birth:

Tips for Success

1. Over-prepare!

Take a class. Get your partner on board. Write your choice to cloth diaper your newborn into your birth plan. Tell your health care team. Enlist your support team to back you up. Pack the diapers and supplies in your bag ahead of time.  Set yourself up for success!

Check to see if you have an RDA Circle Leader in your area for classes and face to face cloth diaper support. If not, many retailers offer regular CD 101 classes and local diaper services are always willing to meet with new parents and demonstrate how cloth diapers work before a baby arrives.  The more you make your wishes known to those around you, the more confident you will become, and the more prepared everyone will be. In those first heady moments after birth, you’ll be glad your plan was already in place.


2. Talk to other parents.

Parents who cloth diaper love to talk about cloth diapers. It’s true!  We have all gushed about our favorite cute little print, or the adorable wholesome look of a newborn in cloth, or the strange but undeniable joy that a freshly laundered pile of cloth diapers brings us.  If you want to know what cloth diapering is like, ask someone who uses them. They will tell you! Our RDA Circles are an excellent place to find parents who can support you face to face in your community.  If you prefer online support, try:

3. Build your support network.

Enlist your partner to advocate for your wishes in case you are unable to during and after your birth. If you have family and/or friends helping you in the days after your birth, delegate those first few loads of diapers to your helpers, so that you can focus on your babymoon. Teach them how to launder before the baby comes, and provide them with an RDA Laundry Tip Sheet.  Post it by your washing machine and you’ll always be able to refer to it when needed.

4. Build a Stash.

You’ve heard it before, cloth diapering can be a huge money saver for families. Of course, it can also become a serious financial investment if you decide to collect the latest fancy prints and designs, but all the frills and artistry fall into the category of form, not function.  Decide what you think you will need first, then choose how to build your stash. You can build a cloth diaper stash on a budget. You can hire a diaper service. Some retailers offer rental programs.  If you are having a baby shower, consider telling guests that you will be cloth diapering, and ask for reusable diapers instead of disposables.

5. Jump In!

All of the diapering missteps that occur during the newborn stage are universal. Tiny legs can be hard to fit in both disposables and cloth diapers. However, if you use prefolds, or fitteds, you may find that you can more easily achieve a snug fit on a tiny baby due to the inherent adjustability of cloth. Simply fold down the fabric at the umbilical cord site to allow that area to heal, just as you would with a paper diaper. Meconium is sticky and can stain, but there are many solutions. You can use a liner for the first few diaper changes, or even a scrap of cloth laid over your diapers can catch the first poop and make it significantly easier to clean. Remember, all diapers, both reusable cloth and single use disposables consist of the same basic components, an absorbent layer, and a waterproof layer.

6.  Bring what you need, not what you want.

We all know that cloth diapers come in a wide array of adorable prints, styles, systems, and sizes. Indeed, that is part of the fun! By all means, enjoy the ride but consider that in those first moments after birth, a simple no frills system may be easiest for your birth workers, family and friends to use. Prefolds, fitteds and covers will offer you the most flexibility in sizing and laundering simplicity. AIO’s with newborn sizing can also work great but can be a challenge to fit on very tiny babies.

As your baby grows and as your life together develops, you may want to expand your cloth diapering stash and try different diaper styles or brands.  Go for it! That’s part of the fun. Once baby starts sleeping longer, or goes through longer stretches between soiling their diaper, don’t be afraid to try new fabrics like hemp or wool.

Above all, remember, all diapers, whether they are made of disposable paper and plastic, or soft natural fibers like cotton and wool that you can launder and reuse, exist to catch pee and poop. They are made up of an absorbent layer, and a waterproof layer. Reusable cloth diapers have the added benefit of being safer for babies, cheaper in the long run, and way more adorable!

Emily Kuhn, Real Diaper Association Board of Directors and Real Diaper Circle, Butler County Circle Leader

Michelle Dominguez, Real Diaper Association Executive Director