Those who are used to using disposables may be intimidated to give cloth diapers a try because they think it will be very different than what they're used to. I can tell you from my own personal experience, that they really are not! I haven't always used cloth diapers. It wasn't until I had my fourth child that I learned that they were an option. I used disposables on my first three kids, and want to share. step-by-step, the differences between changing a disposable diaper and a cloth diaper.  

cloth diaper and wipe

Step 1: Remove the Diaper

Disposable Diaper: I laid my baby down on a safe, soft surface and removed his or her diaper.

Cloth Diaper: Same.  


Step 2: The First Wipe

Disposable Diaper: If baby had gone #2, I used the front of the diaper as the first wipe, wiping down and tucking it unearth baby’s bottom, so that the clean outside part was in contact with his or her skin.

Cloth Diaper: Ditto.


Step 3: Clean Baby's Bottom

Disposable Diaper: I used a wet wipe to clean baby’s skin. When I was done, I rolled the wipe up with the dirty diaper and set it aside.

Cloth Diaper: Pretty much the same, with one small difference. Instead of using disposable wipes, I use cloth wipes. Just like when using disposable wipes, I leave the cloth wipe in the diaper because they are washed together. No need to separate!   


Step 4: Put Clean Diaper on Baby

Disposable Diaper: I put a clean diaper underneath and fasten it on my baby.

Cloth Diaper: No different.


Step 5: Store Dirty Diaper

Disposable Diaper: I took the dirty diaper and stored it in the diaper pail.

Cloth: Pretty much the same, except I use a hanging wet bag. Keeps smells inside where they belong. You can also use a diaper pail with a reusable pail liner. While my baby was exclusively breastfed, I just tossed pee and poo diapers in the diaper pail. Now that he eats solid foods, I just spray the poo off into the toilet with my diaper sprayer before putting it into the pail.


Step 6: Empty the Diaper Pail

Disposable: When the pail was full, I took all the diapers and threw them in the dumpster. I prayed that no dogs or other animals would knock them over and get into it until trash day!

Cloth: When it gets full, I take the wet bag, unzip it, and pour all the diapers into the washer. Then toss the wet bag in to be washed with them. When it’s done, I throw the inserts in the dryer and hang the covers up to dry. 


Step 7: Get More Clean Diapers

Disposable: When I would run out of diapers, I would have to haul all the kids to the grocery store, regardless of whether or not I needed groceries. Since we were already there we usually spent more money than we needed to.

Cloth: When we run out of clean diapers, I just toss a load into the washer. So much more convenient!

There are many different options of cloth diapers to choose from. If you go with all-in-ones, you may not have to do anything to get the diaper ready for use. Most all-in-ones are ready to go. If you choose pockets, you just stuff cloth inserts into the shell before use. When using fitteds, prefolds, and flats, just remove the wet diaper and reuse the cover. Click here to learn more about all the different styles of cloth diapers.   

And that's it! Changing a cloth diaper is not really that much different than changing a disposable diaper. The main difference is, instead of throwing them in the trash and buying more, you just throw them in the washer and reuse them! It has saved my family a lot of money, and I find it to be much more convenient having everything we need to diaper our child at home. Just wash and reuse!

*Although I am compensated for my time writing, all opinions are 100% my own.



Stephanie Beck is a busy mama of four. She enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Stephanie started her blog, Apron Strings Attached, because she wanted to share her experiences with raising kids, breastfeeding struggles and success, and cloth diapering. She now enjoys blogging about life in cloth diapers for TGN.

Leave a comment below!!

Do you find using cloth diapers much different than using disposables?