A Low-Risk Way to Try Cloth Diapers Before Committing

All right, so this is for all you cloth diaper skeptics out there. I’m feeling ya, I promise. I was a skeptic for 4 months. I thought cloth diapering was so disgusting I wouldn’t get near it with a ten foot pole. I finally got to the point where I realized that dealing with poop is inevitable, as my disposable diapers led to some pretty gnarly up the back poop explosions. Lovely.

But I got really sick of seeing at least $20/week get thrown away, so cloth kind of peaked my interest. At that time, I had NO IDEA that there was a way to try cloth diapers, risk free, and spending just about as much as I would on disposables.

The secret? Try Before You Buy

Cloth Diaper Trial Programs

Trial Programs

One thing you can do to try cloth diapers at little extra cost is to do a cloth diaper trial program. Basically you can try the diapers out for 1-2 months (depending on the store’s policy) and you return them if they don’t work.  Generally you end up just having to pay shipping back to the company, or some companies have you pay a small percentage (but there are some, like Diaper Junction (affiliate), that give you a full refund with their trial program).

So given that disposables cost roughly $20/week (basing that on how much it had cost me), then for the cost of 30 days of disposables, you can be trying out a few cloth diapers (there are even 2 month programs out there, so you would get really close to breaking even). Brands that I recommend include: Softbums, Flip Diapers, Best Bottom Diapers, bumGenius, and Kawaii (Kawaii diapers are REALLY inexpensive – $8/each). These all have done very well statistically (go here to compare diaper statistics). You can also see products that Carolyn and I pick as our favorites by going HERE.

You can see who has trial programs by going to the Cloth Diaper Retailer Database and typing in “Trial” in the search bar above the table.

NOTE: If you purchase from a retailer with a *** next to it, then a small percentage supports this website, so thanks in advance.

I highly recommend giving it a try. If you don’t want to do a trial program, but want to buy a few to try out, you could do the Kawaii diapers, which are roughly $8 each, or you could get a Best Bottom Shell and 3 inserts for around $29, that’s just a little over the cost of ONE BOX of diapers. And, if you like it, you can buy a few more. I also use Swagbucks to get diapers for free on Amazon. I get about $20/month, which covers the cost of at least one diaper.

Given that it will save you roughly over $1,000, it’s probably something worth trying out. You can use my calculator here to see the savings.

But what do you do with the poop?

Let me give you the short answer that calmed me down a bit:

* You can do two things to make it less gross: (1) liners and (2) a diaper sprayer. The liner looks like a dryer sheet and lays into a diaper and collects the poop and you just flush it. The diaper sprayer attaches to the toilet and you spray out poop.

* The best way to store the diapers is in what is called a wet bag, which is a bag that zippers shut (to trap in stink) and is lined with waterproof fabric inside. You just unzip it and empty it into your machine and wash.

* Everything gets lots of rinses so no worries about stuff lingering in your machine.

* No, the cost of washing does not make the cost of disposable diapering versus cloth diapering comparable.

* Cloth diapers don’t have the pins and all that stuff from the old days (although you CAN use those). They look pretty modern. Here is one:

And here is the inside of one:

I am pretty much a diva when it comes to things that are remotely poop-related (GROSS), so if I don’t find it that gross (or at least not any more gross than disposable diapering), chances are you won’t either. I firmly believe that far more people would be cloth diapering if they tried it.

Here are some of our other Introduction to Cloth Diapering Articles:

Basic info on cloth diapering  intro to cloth  Cloth Diaper Illustrated Dictionary

Overview of Cloth Diaper TypesIck Eek and Eew of cloth diapering

I hope this helps ease any concerns you have, but you can feel free to ask Carolyn or I any other questions. You can comment here or ask on our Facebook page. The nice thing about using my Facebook page is generally others chime in too.

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.


  1. mthousewife says

    I love that so many companies offer trials. I think it increases the likelyhood that people will use cloth. I wish I has known about them when I started!

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