What is Your Biggest Problem With Cloth Diapers

April 26, 2012

Troubleshooting

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If only there was a parenting choice…or any choice…that didn’t have problems.

Alas, everything we do involves some sort of troubleshooting at one point or another.

Recently, I’ve shared with you the sore Camden had. All of your dozens and dozens and dozens of suggestions meant a lot to me.  Praise God, he did not have a bacterial infection or yeast.  I have learned to change his diaper more frequently and put pants on him.

Just an FYI, if you let your baby go outside and play in just a diaper they will get mulch, dirt and rocks in their diaper which will cause uncomfortable irritations.  Or maybe that’s just my kid ;)

I am very glad to say that repetitive application of coconut oil (I’m partial to Nutiva) over 4 days completely cleared up the sore.  Yeah!

And the added bonus is an extra soft, yummy smelling bottom.

Over the last 4 1/2 years I’ve been very forthright with my struggles with everything from ammonia, dead animal stink, eczema that was really yeast, cloth diaper fit, hard water, stripping, disinfecting naturally…you name the problem and I’ve worked through it.

Surprisingly, I get to re-experience some of those same problems over and over. Great.

All of that to say, I want to serve you the best I can and to do that I need to know what problems you are having.  I’ve designed a very simple, 7 question survey that I would love for you to take a minute to fill out.  It shouldn’t take long, maybe 8 minutes or so.

Your specific answers will tell me where you are at on your cloth diaper journey and how I can serve you there.

Click here to take survey Survey is closed! Thank you for your participation.  Results are being compiled and sorted.  You guys are amazing!  500 responses in 24 hours!


I very much appreciate your comments but make sure to fill out the survey first! When you get done come back and tell me you did and there just might be a tiny little giveaway for a super fabulous Hoot print Thirsties Duo AIO!

I’ll close the survey at 500 answers and choose a winner at that point. Congrats, Diane C.!!

Thanks!!!


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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. Autumn enjoys writing but would choose camping with her family any day!

View all posts by Autumn Beck

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277 Responses to “What is Your Biggest Problem With Cloth Diapers”

  1. Karen Says:

    I did the survey. :)

    Reply

  2. Erin Hall Says:

    I just finished the survey. Glad to hear Camden is all better!

    Reply

  3. Beth Says:

    Took the survey. #1 problem is diaper stink. Have an HE front loader and can’t seem to get enough water thru the diapers.

    Reply

  4. Stephanie Says:

    I took the survey. Thanks for all of your hard work for us new cloth diaperers!

    Reply

  5. valerie Says:

    Survey done. Thanks a bunch for everything!

    Reply

  6. alisha Says:

    Took the survey! Thank you for your awesomeness!!!! <3 u!

    Reply

  7. Chantelle Says:

    I took the survey!

    Reply

  8. Mary P Says:

    Just took the survey. Just this morning my husband took off the nighttime diaper and said WHEW! that stinks! Something about fitteds absorbing a lot of pee. Or all our nighttime diapers doing so. Hey, I’d rather have that than wet pajamas…

    Reply

  9. Luann Wells Says:

    Thank you for wanting to help us out if we need you. You have a kind heart. I have taken the survey and hope I win the hoot print. It looks neat!

    Reply

  10. Kate Says:

    I took the survey and I love this site! This has been my favorite place to get info since I started cloth diapering 5 years ago :-)

    Reply

  11. DeannaM Says:

    Survey done! We CD’d our son (now 3 yo) for a few months when he was around 2, but he’s a big kid and grew out of the OS AIO & pockets we were using. We didn’t want to invest in more dipes at the time b/c we thought he was ready for potty learning… he wasn’t and now I wish we would have found some toddler sized CD’s, as we have been using disposables with him for another year. Baby #2 should make an appearance in a week or two (or three…) and we will CD from birth. I’m really excited about all the new things I have learned and (think) I am ready for the challenges that will come up! P.S. I have always had a Thirsties Duo AIO on my list, but have haven’t gotten one to try yet. ;)

    Reply

  12. Heather S Says:

    Took the survey :)
    Biggest problem is rashes and what to use on them! My son had 2 sores and come to find out it was staph :( Thank goodness Camden’s didn’t get as bad as my sons. I’m gonna invest in some coconut oil, for sure now!

    Reply

  13. Lori Says:

    I took the survey! :)

    Reply

  14. Lupe Says:

    I took the survey! That’s for all your info :)

    Reply

  15. Tara A. Says:

    I’m so glad to hear Camden’s rash/sore has healed!! I haven’t had a chance to try the Thirsties AIO yet, but I would love to! :)

    Reply

  16. Christen Says:

    I took the survey. Thanks.

    Reply

  17. Megan Says:

    Took the survey! Thanks for sharing which coconut oil you used, I’ve been wondering which is best

    Reply

  18. Erin Says:

    Took the survey. I feel like there are plenty of people willing to give advice but EVERYONE’S advice is different, so with one question you get a hundred different answers and I don’t have time to try them all : ) Ack!

    Reply

  19. Brandy Says:

    I just completed the survey. I’m glad your little one’s sores are better!

    Reply

  20. Sathya Says:

    I took the survey. Glad to hear that the sore has healed.btw do you use a liner when you apply coconut oil to the bottom?

    Reply

  21. Amy Westerfield Says:

    I took your survey. I”m so glad that your baby is getting better :)

    Reply

  22. Rachel Says:

    Took the survey! I love cloth diapering, but yes- the bulk at bedtime and the not so fresh smelling microfiber inserts -even after a double wash/rinse is sometimes annoying. Love your blog tho!

    Reply

  23. Crystal Says:

    Took survey. Thanks for opportunity. Glad sore is all better.

    Reply

  24. Kristen Says:

    I took the survey. Washing (stink) issue is biggest. I have already had some improvement by using Tide (I can’t believe all the money I spent trying different cloth diapering detergents)

    Reply

  25. Kristina Uptegrove Says:

    I took the survey! Great idea!

    Reply

  26. Kristin Says:

    I took the survey. I have been reading your blog since I was pregnant with my daughter. You have made CD easy for me. I have had issues with stink but I had read about things to try before that happened. I know now that if I use Bacc-out my diapers don’t stink!

    Reply

  27. Jen Says:

    I took the survey and echo many people when i say biggest problem is stink/wash routine. Hate HE..

    Reply

  28. Tanya Says:

    I completed the survey. Our number one problem is ammonia. I think I need to make some adjustments to our wash routine.

    Reply

  29. Sarah Says:

    Survey completed–excellent idea!!!

    Reply

  30. Camille L Says:

    I filled out the survey and my biggest issue has definitely been ammonia issues

    Reply

  31. Rahel Moore Says:

    Took the survey. Number 1 issue is a night time solution that doesn’t cause my son to tell me it hurts! Got a leakproof solution, but his night time diaper is saturated in the morning and he tells me it hurts sometimes too! :(

    Reply

  32. Deanne Sanchez Says:

    My biggest issue is the washing routine. I have hard water and a new water efficient washer. Organic cotton prefolds will burn my baby if I’m not specific in the way I wash and the soap I use.

    Reply

  33. Amanda Says:

    Took the survey! But forgot that our problem is overnight solution. With our stash of prefolds and covers.

    Reply

  34. Brandi Says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever taken or commented on your site but it’s the reason I started trying cloth diapers. Oh and I took the survey lol have a nice day

    Reply

  35. Kelly Says:

    I took the survey–my biggest issue is deciding between all the CD choices. So many brands! So many options! It’s a good problem (there’s a CD for every shape/size baby), but it’s hard to choose! So my stash just keeps getting bigger, which is why I totally need the owl-print AIO!

    Reply

  36. Rachel Says:

    Survey done. Trying to find the best wash routine for my water…

    Reply

  37. Debbie Says:

    Took the survey!
    Would love to see a cloth diaper (urban) dictionary or slang de-coder for is newbies…but everyone has been super supportive and nice about helping us learn the ropes!
    *crosses fingers* heres hoping I win!

    Reply

  38. Christa Mattatall Says:

    I took the survey. I have t issues that im battling. First is my son is getting red marks from his diapers tha i hate to see when i change him. they just cant be comfortable. second is the anmonia. i do pretty good at getting rid of it with a 1/2 cup of vinager in my 1st cold rinse which i dont put my pockets or covers in :) then i was with allens natural ( only a teeny amount) on hot and then i cold rinse again. only twice now ive had to wash in hot and rinse again. id really love to find a way to cut that second waash out for good! thanks for the opportunity. would love to try an aio we dont have any :)

    Reply

  39. Yardley Says:

    Took the survey. Stink is number1 issue. Love your site!

    Reply

  40. Yardley Says:

    Took the survey. Stink is number 1 issue! Love the site

    Reply

  41. Shelly Says:

    Took the survey. I use your site All.The.Time. Currently our issues are mf stink, stains/sunning and figuring out a newborn solution.

    Reply

  42. Courtney Roybal Says:

    I took the survey! We love referring to your site, it was one of the reasons that have me the extra nudge to go ahead and try cloth diapering with my first child. Even though you run into issues you have it a light that made me excited even more so than I already was while I was still nervous and waking with others skepticism. Our biggest issues is microfiber stink, we just moved our 2 month old into our bumgenius 4.0 stash from my daughter most f which she only wore for a few months before she was potty trained. I never realized the stink until I pulled them out and after sitting for months waiting to be used they were super stinky! I can’t seem to get it out, I suppose I’m not being to aggressive about the issue either. Can’t I just get the cure all?!

    Reply

  43. Rachel S. Says:

    overnight leaks!

    Reply

  44. Liz F Says:

    Took the survey! Looking forward to reading about the results.

    Reply

  45. Lauren Says:

    I took the survey! My biggest problem is stink, fit and frequent diaper rash. I have a healthy, pudgy baby, but with my pockets with the snaps it can be hard to find the right fit that allows movement without too much belly hanging out the side haha. Overall I’m very pleased with them though.

    Reply

  46. Tara Forster Says:

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to voice our concerns and also ask what we would like to see more of through your survey. Your blog has been a huge help through my cloth diapering experiences! Thank you!!!

    Reply

  47. Traci Says:

    I took the survey!! :)

    Reply

  48. GL Says:

    Took the survey!

    Reply

  49. Brooke C Says:

    Took the survey. I love our thirsties AIO, and so does my husband! I don’t have any owl print diapers so it’s time I jumped on this trend bandwagon!

    Reply

  50. Tamara Sz Says:

    Took the survey! My biggest issue has been ammonia stink. Thankfully, by rinsing out my diapers and using calgon along with my detergent, we have gotten rid of it for the most part!

    Reply

  51. Margaret Harmon Says:

    I took the survey!

    Reply

  52. Christine Says:

    I don’t know how to subscribe to the comments :(

    Reply

  53. Amanda Says:

    I took your survey! Love your website! It is my go to place for troubleshooting! Thanks for all the info :)

    Reply

  54. Christine Says:

    I took the survey!
    My biggest issue is rash/yeast. We had an ammonia issue in the beginning but never had rash issues till we moved and the new house has a front loader. I believe she has had yeast now off and on for almost 6 months (when we moved to the new house) and we also had an ammonia burn situation once. But now at the first sight of rash we switch to disposables and I wash wash wash rinse rinse rinse treat treat treat sun sun sun but it seems as soon as input her back in cloth it comes back! I’m at my wits end and am feeling pressured (mainly from myself) to give up! I just don’t know what to do. There’s loads of info on the Internet but they all contradict each other so it’s hard to figure out what’s right and wrong!

    Reply

    • Mary P Says:

      I had the yeast thing keep coming back. Tried sunning, hot water, tea tree oil, etc. I posted on diaperswappers and everyone said, just do the bleach. We did it once with a ton of rinses and yeast hasn’t come back!!

      Reply

    • Jamie Says:

      I agree, there is a lot of conflicting info out there. What has worked best for me is contacting the manufacturer for ideas first. Then if their suggestions don’t work, I either follow advice I’ve read on here or in the little booklet that GMD gives out. The priorities of Autumn and GMD (Karen) match up the best with what I am trying to do ~ put CLEAN diapers on my daughter. You can also email GMD for more personalized suggestions. Good luck!!

      Reply

  55. Kimberli Maultsby Says:

    Took the survey. Just wanted you to know that I love your blog and it and your book have been super helpful to me. Thank you so much!

    Reply

  56. Patty Comparan Says:

    Took the survey!! I love your site for information!!

    Reply

  57. Katie Santiago Says:

    I took the survey. I have to say that your blog has been a great source of information on both the issues I have had and how to avoid issues that I think I would run into.

    Reply

  58. Amber Says:

    I took the survey. I hate mf stink! My problem is too much info. I’m overwhelming myself and trying too many things!

    Reply

  59. Erin H Says:

    I filled out the survey and would fill out more in the future for you as well. I totally agree with what has already been said about using your website to tackle issues. What a great resource you are to the cd community. My biggest issue at the moment is having two kids that don’t fit in OS and having a stash that is 95% OS! I know my 6wk old will be in them soon but my son who is 26 months and 36lbs is not even close to trainers and I can’t shell out more cash for a full time lg stash :(

    Reply

  60. Mary Ann Says:

    Finished the survey! I realize my big problem (mf stink) has to do with how they’re washed, but it seems like I should have it figured out by now. :-/

    Reply

  61. mary Says:

    I took the survey. It was hard narrowing down… but even with all the problems, its still great to CD!

    Reply

  62. Megan Says:

    We are new to Cloth (about 3 weeks) but we’re going strong and loving every minute of it. I took the survey although I’m sure as my experience grows my answers will too. I did the biggest ‘no,no’ I bought a bunch of pocket diapers and have spent the last few weeks making my own inserts since both y girls 22 months and 3 months seems to wet or mess right through them. I’m using 2 layers of microfiber terry for the outside and two layers of super absorbent towel terry for the inside and they have been fantastic. i did notice that although I used bac-out right from the start the diapers didn’t smell clean so know I’m using no enzyme and rinsing with vinegar then washing with dawn. If there is another easy way to get that really clean smell every time I’m all ears! thanks in advance for any info.

    Reply

  63. Krista Says:

    I took the survey. I don’t have any AIOs and would love to try one out!

    Reply

  64. Danielle Says:

    Took the survey. Stink was #1. Top load he washers are the worst. Bulk and stains are tied for second.

    Reply

  65. Twylia Says:

    I took the survey :) I hope it helps you! I hate that I have to use sposies at night, but right now don’t feel like I have an option. The only diapers I have that work overnight only work for 1-2 nights without causing problems and that’s only the first 1-2 days after I strip them. :(

    Reply

  66. Amber Says:

    nice simple and to the point survey.

    Reply

  67. Jacquie Says:

    I took the survey. My biggest problem is leaking around my baby’s legs.

    Reply

  68. Angela Norman Says:

    I took the survey!

    Reply

  69. Melissa Says:

    Took the survey! Thank you for all of the help. Love reading your blog!

    Reply

  70. Michelle Says:

    I did the survey. Just couldn’t decide if my #1 problem was microfiber stink, nighttime prefold morning aroma, or wing droop and bulk. Maybe all are equal to me. We are still trying to stick it out though and figure it out as we go. I love getting your emails and reading all the info you post. Thanks!

    Reply

  71. Alicia Says:

    I did the survey….straight from northern Canada! Love your blog and refer to it often. My biggest problem is, by far, night-time diapering and the ammonia stink of night-time diapers.

    Reply

  72. Rachel Says:

    I took the survey! I gotta say that I totally understand
    when you mention the stuff (mulch, rocks, dirt, etc.)
    that gets in the diapers unless they’ve got pants on.
    One of my gripes (beyond the wash routine & good ole
    HE machine hating) is splinters in my pocket diapers.
    My boys slide on their butts all over my deck and gather all
    kinds of splinters in their diapers, which I later try to coax out.
    I guess that’s more of a deck gripe than a cloth diaper
    gripe, though. :)

    Reply

  73. Sarah Says:

    I took the survey! My main issue with cloth concerns laundering. I am terrified that I will screw something up while laundering! I read so much about mamas having stink issues, having to try 37 different detergents before something worked for them, etc. Also, there are so many conflicting opinions out there and so many different individual situations that you can’t just have one way to do it. I feel blessed to have not had any problems at all so far & to have only used 1 detergent. Tiny bubbles was the first I ever tried, it worked and I stuck with it. I just ran out and, due to finances, had to put off ordering more. I’ve had to do 2 washes so far in my homemade detergent and I am on pins & needles and just waiting for issues to pop up! LOL thankfully, my tiny bubbles should be here next week, so I don’t need to do too many more washes without it!

    Reply

  74. Melanie Says:

    Our biggest problem has got to be bedtime diapers. The bulk and the smell! We can’t get a handle on the amonia and so we have her in disposables at night due to the horrible rashes that ensue.

    Reply

  75. Kelli Darter Says:

    I took the survey!

    Reply

  76. Kay Says:

    Survey completed:) lit would have been interesting if you asked and published what everyone’s “go-to” diaper is!

    Reply

  77. Shauna Says:

    Thank you, Autumn, for your enthusiasm, your dedication, your experience and your passion for sharing all that with the rest of us! Your blog has been indispensable for me and learning about cloth diapering. My baby is 4 months old and my husband and I love using CD’s and that is in large part due to the fact that every time we have had a problem I have found an answer somewhere on your website. I don’t know if we would still be doing it if it weren’t for you! I don’t know how many times I have referred to your “Recommendations” page. Anyway, if you want a survey filled out, I’m there(and I did), if you want me to jump, I’ll ask how high. :) All that to say, Thank you!!!

    Reply

  78. Tamara Says:

    I love this site :) I have been very bless that every time I have an issue, you end up writing about it that week. I so would love a diaper I didn’t have to make.

    Reply

  79. Heidi T Says:

    I took the survey!

    Reply

  80. Jen Says:

    I filled out the survey. My biggest problem has been ammonia smell. I finally bleached them and rinsed them 7 times and that helped. I find your site very helpful.

    Reply

  81. P. Fabela Says:

    I took the survey. The last one was difficult. I do prefer to buy American made but can’t always afford it. My stash is about 40/60 USA/overseas.

    Reply

  82. christine s Says:

    Took the survey. So far I’m loving cloth diapering and haven’t had any difficult problems but I’m sure they’ll come. Of course there are wonderful blogs like this one out there to help with all my questions.

    Reply

  83. Brooke Says:

    I took the survey. My biggest problem is a rash on my baby’s bum caused by the prefolds. Second biggest (and maybe related???) is stink issues. She’s currently in disposables until I figure out how to strip the cloth and actually get around to doing it. :(

    Reply

    • Tamara Says:

      My girl was gettin a burn from the prefolds untill I stripped them with dawn. I think the technique is in the archives.

      Reply

      • Jamie Says:

        I use GMD prefolds and started to notice a redness beginning on my DD’s bum, along with a smell to the diapers. I emailed GMD and Karen said they’re not clean enough. I washed them in hot with about 1/3 cup of chlorine bleach, no detergent. Then I did 2 full cycles of hot wash, no detergent, to rinse them well. (I have an ancient top loader that has almost no options.) I use Borax with every wash to soften my water and disinfect and I use more detergent than I used to.
        I won’t use Dawn in my machine because of the possibility of breaking the pump with all the suds. I have, in the past, boiled gcloths on the stove with a little Dawn. I no longer use gdipes, but all experiences are good for future info!

        Reply

  84. Gina Says:

    Wow that was a quick survey!!! and i get frustrated all the time lately about my cd “issues”….sometimes i find “taking a break” from cding really helps me…and with that i have prob managed to tick off a lot of ppl!!! sorry :(

    Reply

    • Gina Says:

      oh! i forgot! my biggest probs is leaking..ugh it drives me nuts some days and stinky butt…my little ones pees once and i can smell it from a the other end of the house…i have yet to find a REAL solution….just temporary fixes…grrrr

      Reply

  85. Laura Says:

    Took the survey. My biggest problem is night time diapering.

    Reply

  86. rebecca Says:

    I took the survey =)
    And my biggest problem is microfiber stink. As soon as I get rid of it, it is back. So annoying!

    Reply

  87. Laura Says:

    Took the survey! Hard to pick the top problem as there are 2 or 3 things that seem to keep coming around and kicking me!

    Reply

  88. Jessica Says:

    Completed the survey!

    Reply

  89. Amy N-B Says:

    I took the survey – I’m trying to add to my AIO stash because my baby will be heading to daycare in the Fall and they won’t use my beloved Grovia AI2s (or will as single use diapers only and I don’t know if I want them getting that worn out). I only own 6 AIOs which is clearly not enough.

    Reply

  90. Patti B Says:

    The survey is not working for me. I cannot fill in any of the bubbles, and my security is not on so I am not sure why

    Reply

  91. Anastasia Says:

    My biggest problem is other people. I guess the easiest way to explain this is to bring it up in another sense. I have a friend who wonders why I fight with my children to wash the dishes. Why use reusable dishes if it causes so much strife. Because The reasons bother me, Why teach my children that they have NO responsibility for what they do, everything has a chain reaction, EVERYTHING! There is no “magic solution” that will make all the mess go away. You have to put out what you put into things. My parents HATED my cloth diapering use, til they had to take care of my family, not having to pay for diapers (or bottles for formula use, etc) suddenly made life so much easier for THEM, but only after THEY had to be bothered by the alternative. They weren’t always so supportive, until it hit THEIR pockets…….I get a lot of flack from other people. Same nonsense,……I ignore it…..no paper or plastic please, just let me have a real pot and plate & we’ll get along just fine, thanks!

    Reply

  92. Ashley Says:

    I filled it out!

    Reply

  93. Erin Gilliam (The Babywearing Blog) Says:

    I took the survey!

    Even with pants on my little guy I will find random things inside his diaper (usually cheerios and the like)

    Glad you figured out the cause of the rash and got it cleared up!

    Reply

  94. Morgan Says:

    Man, I love surveys. If you decide to put more of them on here, I’ll probably do those, too!

    Reply

  95. Maggie Oh. Says:

    I completed the survey. :)

    Reply

  96. Courtney Wilson Says:

    Just took the survey! Thank you for your website!! It has helped me so much on my cloth journey :)

    Reply

  97. Ceci Says:

    I took the survey! I hope I win! I’ve never used an AIO. I use an AI2 system right now. Thanks!

    Reply

  98. elana Says:

    i took the survey and hope it helps you.

    Reply

  99. EBarrett Says:

    I took the survey :) I’d love to try an AIO!

    Reply

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