Why We Love Part Time Cloth Diapering

Have you heard of part time cloth diapering? Learn why we love it, what we use, and what we keep in our diaper bag.

discover why we love part time cloth diapers

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When we found out I was pregnant, we discussed raising our children in sync with eco-conscious values. Cloth diapering came up frequently.

I don’t want this post to be another rundown of why cloth diapers are amazing, but I’ll quickly touch on why we made the choice to use them:

Cloth diapers are manufactured with natural fibers (not chemicals). Less allergenic materials will cause less diaper rash. They also yield less environmental waste – one disposable diaper takes 500 years to decompose in a landfill.

Lastly, did you know that the average cloth family spends around $500 on diapers, while the average family using disposables will spend around $2000 during the child’s time in diapers? Obviously, they save a ton of money. Money I’d rather have in my wine fund.

If I’m being honest, though, the commitment initially scared me. Would it be too messy? How much laundry will I really be doing? Is a disposable just easier? Can we travel with them?

Our compromise was to become a part time cloth diapering family! And we haven’t looked back. In fact, I’d say we actually cloth diaper more than part-time now that I’m a stay at home mom!

what is part time cloth diapering, what does it entail, and is it a solution for you?

What is Part Time Cloth Diapering

Part time cloth diapering is exactly what it sounds like: flexible cloth diapering without a full, 100 percent commitment. You can use cloth diapers AND disposables.

It’s an ideal solution for anyone interested in cloth diapering but concerned with traveling, daycare, or overnight diapers.

I still save money on disposable diapers – one small pack typically lasts at least a week, usually two. But this middle of the road solution also cuts down on cloth diaper laundry and extra cloth diaper products, too. Think extra absorbency pads, overnight stashes, and just the sheer amount of cloth diapers. It’s kind of the best of both worlds.

Let the mommy police come after me, but I also think it’s a guilt-free way of doing both. If you want to do your best but know you’re not perfect, part time cloth diapering might be the right solution for you!

Why We Chose Part Time Cloth Diapering

We chose to commit to cloth diapering, to the best of our abilities, for the financial and environmental benefits mentioned above.

Initially, with my older son, we went the part time cloth diapering route because of child care. Daycares typically don’t love cloth diapers, as it takes a bit of time to get the right fit.

When we had a babysitter, she adored using our cloth stash. My mom, however, preferred disposables as she was used to them. I wasn’t going to argue with my free child care provider.

we love flexible, part time cloth diapering

I also never used cloth overnight…and I still don’t. Cloth diapers, on their own, are not as absorbent as disposables. If you’re part time cloth diapering during the day, and using disposables for overnight and naps, you likely won’t need many absorbency add-ons or a large variety of cloth diaper styles.

Even home with my younger son, I still use disposables overnight, for his single three hour nap, and sometimes while we’re traveling. Admittedly, sometimes it’s just easier to have something that holds more.

What Cloth Diapers and Accessories Do We Use?

There are quite a few popular cloth diapering systems:

  • Prefolds: similar to the old fashioned cloth diapers, an absorbent layer – the prefold – will be un-folded to fit baby, secured with a snappi (modern version of diaper pins), and covered with a waterproof layer.
  • Pockets: utilizing a pocket sewn into the diaper shell, an absorbency layer will be stuffed inside. The moisture wicking outer layer of the pocket helps keep baby dry.
  • All in Ones: as it sounds, all in ones are one piece diapers that don’t require folding, stuffing, snapping, etc.
  • Hybrids (All in Twos): the most versatile style, hybrids function with a waterproof “shell” and various levels and styles of absorbency layers such as snap in soakers, prefolds, and disposable inserts.

I personally think a hybrid system is ideal for part time cloth diapering families because they’re versatile and super easy to fit. We use the GroVia Hybrids which consist of two parts: a waterproof shell and an organic or no-prep soaker pad.

Change the soaker pad each diaper change, and the shell as needed. For part time cloth diapering, we have about ten shells and twenty six soaker pads. Traditionally with cloth diapers, the less you have, the more they need washing, and the quicker the absorbency wears out.

hybrid diapers are ideal for part time cloth diapering because they're versatile and easy to fit
part time cloth diapering is easy with hybrid diapers

Additionally, we use disposable bio-liners. Liners sit on top of the cotton pad and separate solids, making for easy clean up.

The liners are thrown out, while the pads and shells go into a wet-bag until laundry day. I do diaper laundry about every two to three days. If you’re considering cloth diapering in any capacity, make sure to read up on proper laundering procedures.

Sometimes, I will also use disposable biosoakers which basically convert a cloth diaper into a disposable one, but are still more eco-friendly.

one of my favorite part time cloth diapering hacks is to use the hybrid shell with a biodegradable but disposable inner layer

I use the biosoaker pads if we’ll be out and about for a while, or if my little guy will be seated for a while (like at a restaurant), compressing his diaper. These are thrown away after use, while the shell is reused or washed.

On The Go: What’s in My Part Time Cloth Diapering Diaper Bag

Part time cloth diapering is a perfect solution if you’re going to be out of the house for a while. In my diaper bag I typically pack the following:

what's in my part time cloth diapering bag?

If we’re going to be out for a while, and I’m unsure of the changing room situation, I’ll use a disposable bio soaker or disposable diaper. For playdates and kid friendly outing where changes are no problem, we use our cloth stash.

When I return home, the small wet bag is dumped into the large one and its contents washed along with our other cloth diapers. The only real difference is bringing home dirty diapers instead of throwing them out.

Our diaper bag is linked here (we use the TWELVElittle Peek-a-Boo Diaper backpack)


Do you cloth diaper your kids? Have you heard of part time cloth diapering?

What are your favorite cloth diaper styles or brands? Do you have any cloth diapering tricks you’d like to share? Let us know if you have any questions, too!

Save Out Part Time Cloth Diapering Guide to Pinterest:

how to cloth diaper when traveling with part time cloth diapering

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6 Comments

  1. May 16, 2017 / 7:26 am

    I’m 37 weeks pregnant. I’m going to cloth diaper and can’t wait to see my boy’s little bum in those adorable prints!

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:34 am

      Congrats!! I should’ve added that they’re also way cuter than disposables. We seriously love the grovia hybrids if you’re still shopping around 🙂

  2. Lin J
    May 16, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    J had a diaper rash, yeast infection for her first 6 months. We switched to cloth and in one night her rash completely disappeared. Great choice for baby and the environment!

    • May 16, 2017 / 10:25 pm

      Wow that’s incredible!! Fingers crossed, we’ve had no rashes so far!!

  3. Lucky Mom
    March 17, 2020 / 8:09 am

    A refreshing perspective. I like to think of cloth diapering like using real plates and silverware – you do it when you can, because it’s less wasteful and just generally nicer. But when you need to, paper plates and plastic forks are really convenient, even though their use should be limited, for the sake of the environment.
    I’m about to start cloth diapering my third baby, and we’ve been through various levels of part-time vs full-time CD’ing. Anytime a disposable doesn’t go into the landfill is a win.
    BTW, even though we mostly CD full time, I’m still a “normal” mom too, as are the majority of CD parents ?

    • Tori
      Author
      April 6, 2020 / 11:43 pm

      That’s a great analogy!

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