Misconceptions about Cloth Diapering

You have made the announcement, perhaps proudly, perhaps shyly. Then it starts…. the questions, the probing. The nay-sayers are onto you, ready to beat you down. Sometimes their concerns are well-founded, sometimes they’re just a bit mad that you’ve showing them up by deciding to cloth diaper.

Or perhaps you haven’t made up your mind yet.  Sitting on the fence of convenience vs… inconvenience? Wondering about the smell. The poop. The laundry, never-ending piles of icky laundry. The waste of water, time, energy. The start-up cost? Who has that kind of money?

Here at Lil Helper, we’ve heard it all and then some.

So for those of you who’ve started your journey, we thought a few answers to the most popular questions (or challenges) you’ll hear may help you out.

And for those not yet sure, we’re hoping this will bring you over to the fluffy side.

Cloth Diapers? Gross!

Solid “stuff”? Hey! Doesn’t that mean “poop”?

Ok, even I went through that stage. Poop. We all know that pee, unless your baby has an infection of sorts, is sterile. But poop? Gross! You’ve gotta clean that (rather than drop them—ultimately—. You have to take them off, handle them and scrape them. Dump them into your nice sparkling washing machine and give a few whirls. There’s poop in your washing machine, not to put too fine a point on it.

Relax. Take a breath. You will be changing your baby for at least 18 months (give or take). Dealing with disposables? Well, you still need to remove that diaper. See, wasn’t so hard? Lil Helper doesn’t make pocket diapers so you do not have to extricate an insert from a pocket. You’re pulling a few snaps and voila, scrap or rinse as necessary, drop into the bucket, bucket into the machine.

I’ve spent a cumulative 8 years of my life cloth diapering and rarely have I ever touched poop. That includes the bad ol’ days of just pre-folds, pins, and plastic pants.

Hard to Use

See my note above, obviously this is where I plug the ease of using Lil Helpers. Sure, the snaps may have a learning curve. But after years of doing pre-folds, I was ready for the snap-challenge.

We’ve made a handy video which illustrates the snapping and unsnapping
And our timeless creation: adjusting the snaps for different sizes


We love to have fun here at Lil Helper and making videos is one of our favourite things.


Well I won’t lie, the start-up cost isn’t cheap. A good working set of diapers (let’s say 18, plus 12 inserts) can set you back some $600. But that’s it. The end. You’re done.
Ask your friends using disposables how much their diapers cost over the course of at least two years and I promise you it will be approximately $2,000 minimum. If they use disposable wipes as well, there’s another possible $250-$500 dollars. I’ve outlined these numbers here.

And that’s just for ONE child.

They Cause Skin Issues

Would you like a tissue for your issue? How about a cloth diaper? With cloth you can wipe away those tears. You get way less skin issues. More breathable, and no chemicals. It ends up becoming more of a what are you washing them in issue.

If your child has sensitivity to detergents, it’s going to be trial and error for a while. That issue will also be for their clothes so embrace your inner hippie and let that babe run around au natural for the first few years of their life. It’s the only time in their life when they will get away with it.

Or you can just use a detergent that is free from additives, change the diapers often, and rule out certain allergies—such as latex—with your doctor. Using a natural material such as cotton, hemp or bamboo is also better with for skin sensitivities.

They Leak

All babies leak. They seem to leak from every orifice. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, should not. Now having said that I should tell you: if the diaper is left on your baby for an extended period of time, it will leak. No matter how snug you adjust the legs or tummy, the diapers WILL leak if you leave them on too long. So yes and no, cloth leaks but then, so can disposables.

Most disposable diaper companies claim to offer 12 hours of protection. No baby should sit in any diaper for that length of time. Change often, put them on snug, and bulk up with an extra insert at night. Try using a nice stay-dry insert such as Lil Helper’s Overnight Insert.

If you still get a leaking issue it may be an improper washing routine which is easily fixed.

They are Ugly

retro-bikesThey can make a diapered bum so poofy! That Gerber baby wore them back in 1927 and look what it did for her, probably nothing. With those bright colors and limited edition prints…

Oh, who am I kidding? They are so fun and make changing your baby’s diaper that lil bit more enjoyable. I would much rather change a blue cloth diaper covered in bicycles than a paper and plastic one with a yellowed pee patch on the front. When cloth is so cute these days, who really needs pants!?

They Smell Bad

This is actually quite an amazing thing. Cloth diapers actually don’t smell when baby is wearing them. They could be holding a mega landslide in there and sometimes you don’t even notice. I don’t really know the scientific evidence behind it (you rocket scientists, feel free to add 2 cents in the comments below!) but there just isn’t that weird urine mixed with baby powder scent.

If you do have a weird smell coming from your diapers it might be a washing issue.

Speaking of smell, ever smelled a disposable before, and after a baby’s worn it? We can’t quite say what that odor is, largely because we don’t know what’s in that diaper to begin with.

They Aren’t Actually Environmentally Friendly

Oh how I love this comment. No matter what, cloth is more environmentally friendly. Even compared to those eco-disposables. They are still thrown out each use, and need factories to make them. 6,000 disposables compared to about 18 cloth diapers. It takes a disposable 500 years to break down in landfill. It takes about 6 months for a Lil helper cloth diaper to decompose. You may also have to drive to the store to buy your diapers.

Here’s some down-low on the environmental issue.

They Don’t Give Back to the Community

Oh no no no! You ARE doing a good deed by buying (our) cloth diapers. Lil Helper customers actually donate 1 diaper for every three they buy. Did you know that by using Lil Helpers, you’re helping a family in need? Don’t take our word for it. Cast your eyes a-yonder:


and here:


Need more “why I’m choosing to cloth diaper my baby” ammo?

Read our blog post “Why I Should Choose Lil Helper Cloth Diapers Over Disposables“.  Or email us (delight  @ lilhelper . ca) and we’ll think up a few more reasons why!

Have some more to add? Please leave them in the comments below!


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