The #1 Reason Disposable Diapers Suck



Yes, disposable diapers contain disgusting gel crystals.

Yes, disposable diapers are horrible for the environment.

Yes, disposable diapers are a waste of your hard-earned money.

But, honestly blowouts are THE most annoying aspect of disposable diapers.


We just returned from a week long vacation at the beach – hence the long break in blog posts.  I opted to take disposable diapers to the beach because I was led to believe there was no washer and dryer.

I purchased the most natural disposable diapers I could find and prayed my son would not suffer terribly from this decision.

After one day of sitting at the beach and being completely covered in sand, I was glad for the convenience of disposables…until he pooped.

Baby poop is runny.  In cloth diapers containment is handled through gussets, elastic and absorbent fabric.  In a disposable the flimsy leg elastic and non-existent waist elastic pretty much ensures that the runny poop is going to go all over you.

We all love a mental picture right? Picture me sitting at the table, watching the ocean waves roll in when all of the sudden I hear *pop*.  I had felt Sterling using the restroom and assumed I was hearing a gas bubble.

No.  Unfortunately, it was the sound of the runny poop popping out of the disposable diaper onto my skirt, leg and ground.  Lovely.

I really despise disposable diapers. Suck is a horrible word, but one that adequately describes these horrible convenience items.

Needless to say, I was very very anxious to get home and put a cloth diaper on Sterling.  The first one I grabbed was my favorite- a bumgenius organic all-in-one (moonbeam to be exact ;) ).

I love an occassional break but when convenience comes at a messy cost it’s just not worth it.


About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

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41 Responses to “The #1 Reason Disposable Diapers Suck”

  1. Heather Johnson Says:

    I had tons of leak and blowout problems with disposables. When I switched to cloth when my daughter was three months old, both leaks and blowouts decreased SIGNIFICANTLY!


  2. Naomi Moore Says:

    Has anyone seen the latest LUV’s commercial–disgusting and revolting. Honestly, how do you young mothers afford disposable diapers–they are expensive. Limiting changes is not good for the baby’s skin. Good luck to you all!


  3. Jessie Says:

    This give me a little hope. I’ve been using disposables and have lately had major blowout issues. Everybody just tells me to move up a size. Yes, that helps, but only because now the diaper she’s wearing is so huge on her that it covers half her body. The poop still goes as far as it used to. I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that if you have to cover every inch of your baby in diaper, there’s some flaw in the diaper design. Anyway, I’ve decided to try cloth and see how it goes. Everybody I tell gives me the “aren’t cloths soooo much messier??” I don’t know, but I’m willing to give them a shot!


  4. Grumpy Pops Says:

    Just wrap it with ductapes … solves almost all of my problems …


  5. Fire Dancer Says:

    and i thought i was the only one complaining about the smell of disposables. one little drop of urine, and the diaper has to come off because it makes me feel sick. not only that, but how can mothers wrap their kids in synthetic, chemical laiden hot and sweaty paper and plastic? if parents tested out disposables on themselves, i am sure that they would not want their kids wearing those excuses for diapers. i use the motherease one size diapers now and my son loves them, which is more than i can say about the disposables which he would kick away and roll away from. oh yes, and absolutely no blowouts in these either!


    • janice Says:

      switching from disposable menstral pads was a real I opener I am not willing to go back and that is on an adult less than one one week a month. what bugs me is I can smell a peed in diaper and it doesn’t smell like pee it smells perfumey when that gel gets wet it gives of a “pleseant” sent I know as a woman I am not supouse to but perfume down there for me but for some reason people don’t think about how sensitive a babies but is diaper rash is just a horrible fact of life. no its a clue there is something wrong


  6. Sierra Says:

    Someone gave a link to Nature Babycare diapers. I just wanted to mention that the company has been in trouble recently for implying that they are 100% compostable/biodegradable. They are something like 70% compostable/biodegradable, better for sure and what I’d like to use as backup (along with gDiapers). I’ve heard they work well (though some have problems with the tabs ripping) but they can run a little small.

    The article I found all insulting and one sided, you’d think a more natural diaper company wouldn’t bash cloth so much, it just shows ignorance, essentially claiming that no water goes into the making of there disposables (by claiming the water and energy for washing cloth is not eco).

    Also remember that all non breastfed poo is suppose to go into the toilet not the trash, so you are still “dealing” with poo even in a disposable. And I’m sure they still have blow out potential over cloth (more poo dealing). :)


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      I appreciate your comments, Sierra. I guess the moral of the story is there are no “good” disposable diapers ;) and convenience is in the eye of the beholder.


  7. E. Monique Johnson Says:

    Hello Autumn. I love your site and tried to purchase your ultimate diaper guide, but the link isn't working. I want to check it out before I do exactly what you advised against–ordered hundreds of dollars worth of cloth diapers! We've already done that with “biodegradable/eco-friendly disposables. We've tried gDiapers, and while they work well, they are not “simple” enough for daycare/sitter use, so I ended falling back on Seventh Generation (after trying tushies, Earth's Best and Huggies Pure and Natural). Anyway, I think I may like AIOs like bumGenius, but I want to read your guide before really deciding what to try next.


  8. Julie Holland Says:

    Moms tell me this all the time. Cloth contains messes better than disposables. Of course, when I did a recent test of disposable diapers (see my review of Huggies “organic” diapers on it was the SMELL that made me go running back to cloth. I have no idea why they stink so bad, but as soon as my kid peed, the smell of the disposables made me feel like I was having morning sickness all over again!


  9. Molly Says:

    Thanks for this post! The fact that cloth works better than disposables is one of the main reasons I use cloth. But I never see that mentioned on cloth diapering websites. I think that a lot of disposable users assume that cloth can’t work as well (including me before I started).

    I use cloth exclusevly at home and disposables while on overnight trips, but that is about to change. On our Memorial Day weekend trip we had lots of leaks with disposables and my husband gave me a hard time. He said “I thought we decided to use cloth on our trips after what happened last time!” So, I am working on making some “traveling” wet bags and next time we will use cloth!


  10. babysfans Says:

    How about the biodegradable disposable baby diaper ? I don’t have much time to do laundry.


  11. Charndra at Part Time Diaper Free Says:

    I hate the SMELL of disposable diapers. What must it be like on a baby’s frog-like skin? (meaning newborn skin must be so sensitive)



  12. Anastasia Says:

    oh kushies, I will NOT be trying their new ones, all the other “versions” of their stuff just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth (pardon the pun)


  13. Anastasia Says:

    Flying with cloth, 2 things even a lap baby is entitled to 1 suitcase & carry-on bag. Check with your airlines, really! As for bulky cloth in a suit case the 2nd tip, hop on down to walmart & grab a travel type space bag! Clean stuff just gets squashed down to almost nothing! Beats running out to a store to grab diapers and hauling them with you on a longer trip because they won’t fit when you get back!


  14. Sarah Davis Says:

    A suggestion from someone else….G diaper in the Thirsties. I have an 18 month old that is really great about telling me when she needs to pee and poop….so I cannot say how they are for BF poop. But it worked well for vacation purposes. The G diaper insert slid around a bit, so we added our thirsties microfiber insert in as well. Great combo!!!


  15. Airyannasky Says:

    I just read your story to my husband and he got a kick out of it! LOL, only because we just recently went to visit my mothers, and I absolutely refuse to wash DD2’s dipes in her water (she has well water and has salt added into to soften it…not to mention it smells funny) and we decided to just use sposies while out there. Well needless to say, I missed her cloth bum the whole time and told my husband that I felt like she was naked in her sposies….I didn’t like it at all and I didn’t like it even more when she got diaper rash….we don’t have that issue with CD. Then to top it all off, when I was BF her, she decided to poo and when I got up to change her, I noticed that she had had a huge blowout. All over her cute NEW outfit, and all over my pants :( Sooo gross.


  16. whiterabbit11 Says:

    Thanks for this wonderful blog Autumn! I only started CDing 2 months ago on my 20 month old. Here in Australia they aren’t popular or readily available so I had no idea. Like Janese, I feel so ignorant! My DD isn’t a big pooper but she wets like crazy, and she always had a persistant redness on her bits, a bit of rash which I could never get rid of despite frequent changes, expensive creams, expensive nappies, every combination I could find! I’ve spent a fortune on all that stuff. Once I switched to cloth (variety of microfibre AIOs), within A DAY her redness was gone, and her bum is peachy perfection without any creams or fuss. I HATE disposables for taking over the market here in Aus, making new mums think there’s no other option, and not even doing a good job!
    Have you guys tried soapnuts? I use them for washing nappies and they work beautifully – I haven’t had to strip the nappies yet, and they are so soft with no stinkies.


  17. Liz Says:

    Autumn- what about long car rides? I am driving 1000 miles at the end of the week with my 3 kiddos and I was going to use sposies just because I wont be changing LO every 2 hours…I am bringing my CD for the 5 weeks of our trip (diaper sprayer included!)

    I love the idea of the prefold in the carseat…I am definately doing that :)


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Liz, if you use a disposable in the car I would go w/ another reader’s suggestion to use a cover over the diaper. That way messes will be contained if they occur.


  18. Nancy Says:

    Thanks so much Autumn! I will look into the Thirsties adn start buying a couple at a time. Hopefully I’ll have enough to get them through the day at Mother’s Day Out come September without breaking the bank. And if an Osocozy co-op happens before then I’ll stock up on those too.

    Oh, and Kushies came out with a new AIO called the Ultra Lite I think. There’s a thread about it on diaperswappers and it’s pretty favorable so far. I’m just not fond of the $15 price hike from infant sized to toddler. :(



  19. Tina Says:

    I’m looking forward to hopefully getting pregnant with #2 soon and using cloth with a newborn….I didn’t start using cloth until my daughter was 8 mos. so for me, blow-outs was a part of life when she was really little…


  20. Janese Says:

    Cloth Newbie here. Actually I never had any sort of blowout the entire time I had my daughter in disposables (I only used Pampers to be exact). Ah- please do not throw things at me! I guess we were just lucky. She is potty trained now and I am expecting again in August and decided to jump onto the cloth wagon. After reading so many bad things that are present in disposables (I had no idea, and feel so ignorant!)I have to try them. I have such guilt for ever putting my 3 yr old in disposables, I was really gullible back then. Perhaps after using cloth I will also realize how much disposables suck! (as I already think they do for what they have in them!) Oh and thank you for having this wonderful site, I have learned so much (and from your PDF guide as well!) and look forward to getting my first shipment in the mail from Leslie’s, hopefully soon!


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      There’s always an exception, Janese! Don’t feel guilty about what you didn’t know then. Just move forward with the truth.


  21. Jennifer Says:

    Autumn, I’m still new the the CD scene and building my stash, but I still seem to get leaky poops with the ones I’ve tried so far. I will say nowhere near as much as with disposables, but I’m still washing clothes and bouncy covers all the time. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or if it’s the kind of diaper or what. This morning my little angel leaked out of her kushies AIO. I’m not really a big fan of those, they have no elastic in the back or front, only some in the leg (and they’re pretty stiff). I feel like I have to wrap them too tight in order to keep them from gapping. I also have been using prefolds with a cover (bummis and thirsties) which tend to do a pretty good job, but occasionally leak poop out the leg too. I’ve got a bum genius OS AIO and a regular bum genius small size. She’s just 3 months and she does tend to have alot of poo when she goes, which seems totally random – sometimes 4 a day, sometimes every other day. I just recently got a rumparoos after reading one of your posts, and I don’t think she’s had a chance to poop in it yet. But anyway, my little one is kinda chunky, and I’m not sure why I keep getting poop leaks out the legs. I wish someone who was good at this could come over and show me the ropes! Any suggestions?


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Jennifer, from all I’ve heard Kushies AIOs are not a good choice :( (sorry, Kushies) Our son is 3 months as well and the best diapers at containing poo are Rumparooz and Grobaby. Both are one-size which is awesome for cost!


  22. Heather H. Says:

    ooh, DH wants me to use sposies on our week long trip to the beach. We’ll be staying with his family and in a rented beach house, and he doesn’t want to do cloth. I need to show him your blog! When I tell my friends about the lack of “blowouts” with cloth they just don’t believe it. Blowouts are just a way of life with infants – for them! I love no blow outs. We haven’t ruined a single piece of clothing with my second and third child like we did with my first (he wasn’t in cloth until age 2 when #2 was born).


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Heather, GO WITH CLOTH! When we arrived at the beach house and saw the washer I was frustrated. I did more laundry in 5 days than I do in 2 wks at home!


  23. Lisa Says:

    I hear you! This past weekend we were away for the day visiting family and I used sposies. Baby had a blow out. Ugh! I should have just brought cloth with me. What a mess. All the blowout messes I have had have been a rare time using sposies. UGH! The cloth and covers have always contained it, no matter how bad.


  24. Susan Says:

    I know what you all are saying. After my week long vacation to Cape Cod a couple of weeks ago I despise them too! I used them for my first two children and after using cloth for #3 wished I had thought of using cloth with them. I can’t change the past but I can enjoy using cloth now!

    Just a little tip…I used sposies at the Cape and every poop seemed to blow out! I knew this would happen so I lined my car seat with a cloth diaper and this time I put a Thirsties cover over the sposie while on the car ride. This worked great! If you absolutly have to use sposies like I did put a back up diaper cover on! You can always wash it out by hand and hang to dry if needed! Next time I will just make sure to bring two or three covers as a back up defense against blow outs!

    I hope this helps someone in the future!



  25. Josee Says:

    Ugh! I had the same experience last week on vacation. We had access to a washer and dryer but I figured that a break would be nice. I wound up washing my sling at least three times! I could have just been washing diapers there at the condo. Never again.


  26. Vicky Says:

    I share your pain! I went to visit my parents a few weeks ago with my youngest son (3.5 months) and opted to bring disposables as I was flying and had limted space in my luggage. What a mistake!! Everytime my ds had a poop it went all over his clothes. I ended needing to do laundry anyways at my Mom’s even though I was there for only 3 days. Next time I will definitely bring my cloth diapers! I even went and bought a pack of Huggies supreme that feature a blow out pocket in the back to prevent blowouts – it does not work!!! I hate disposables with a passion!! Whoever thinks it is easier to do disposables have not tried cloth yet!


  27. Eva Says:

    I didn’t even have to read it, when I saw the subject, my brain instantly said LEAKS!!


  28. Heidi Says:

    Its soooo true! People who complain about the amount of laundry cloth diapers create never take that into account. Blowouts created far more laundry for me than dirty diapers!!


  29. Anastasia Says:

    Yep have done that twice with baby number 3, once as a newborn to prove a point and she had more trash then the 3 cats did, in fact more than double the litter box waste. The 2nd I just plain forgot cuz I was not supposed to be out long (down to the corner store & back) and that trip lasted HOURS! oops, since it was not a pooping day (not all babies poop everyday & it’s OK!) the natural sposies worked fine. but only on poop free days. at least those got composted, lol! Used cloth for both of my transatlantic flights, no problems, her being sick was a bigger issue but that’s another story!


  30. Adrienne Says:

    AMEN Sistah. I’d much rather clean dipes than scrub and pretreat hereafter stained onesies.


  31. Sharon K. Says:

    When we go away, I just gather all my prefolds, a couple snappis and as many covers as I think I’ll need. By choosing prefolds, I have my trusty cloth but of course if I have to use someone else’s laundry machine, or a machine at a laundromat, I know that it won’t really hurt my p/f’s to get a couple washes in a less than ideal environment. They wash up and rinse so well, and dry quickly. Keeping the stash simple makes the vaca. easier too. I hear ya, I feel so spoiled to be able to have such confidence with breastmilk poopies being contained in cloth! Though I have to admit I’ve never been anywhere without access to laundry facilities…I don’t know what I’d do then- probably go through what you did, I guess LOL


  32. Kate Says:

    Autumn, I totally agree with you. I took a break because my Mom got me a pack of ‘sposies and I was doing a Mom2Mom sale, so I thought it would be more convenient to use them. Sure, it was, until about noon; when he pooed, and it went up his back, through the side “gussets” (and the side gussets on a ‘sposie put the word to shame), and all over me (luckily I had the foresight when he began to pull him away from my shirt…), my wrap carrier, etc.

    We got cleaned up well enough, but I was so glad I’d packed a few of my cloth diapers (fitteds) that day as well. And really, they aren’t any less convenient than ‘sposies. Not really. So I have to pack them up and take them home, big deal! Not having a blowout all over myself and my son at the most inopportune moment is worth it, let alone all the other problems with disposeable diapers.


  33. Nancy Says:

    Hey Autumn! Can you tell me which you prefer between BG AIO 3.0’s and Thirsties AIO’s version 2.0? I’m looking for some diapers for the boys Mother’s Day Out program that starts in September and I need to get started on ordering a few at a time. I was very tempted to get ATD AIO’s (or the new Osocozy’s), or even get Kushies new AIO’s. I dunno. I hate decision making! ;) HELP ME CHOOSE!

    They both can wear the same size diapers in Bum Genius and Thirsties covers and they’ll be at the Program from 9am until 2pm (so I’m figuring 6 diapers each?).



    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Nancy, b/w the bg and Thirsties I prefer Thirsties. I have heard many good things about the ATD AIOs. However, I really like the Sposoeasys also.


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