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Cloth Diapers: The Gateway Drug of Green Living


Cloth Pill

I don’t know if anyone’s ever warned you, but cloth diapering is often the gateway drug of green living. You start cloth diapering thinking, “Oh, look HOW CUTE! I love this color! Ooo! Look at that print! Look at me! I’m saving the earth!” What you don’t realize is that once you’ve started making an impact, it’s a rabbit hole into stranger and even less mainstream ideas than washing poop catchers in your washing machine.


One of the more intense forms of green living is changing up your monthly routine for Aunt Flo. When my cousin started cloth diapering, she almost immediately dove into the world of cloth pads too. All I could think was, “GROSS. Wouldn’t that feel like sitting in blood soaked underwear all day? EW. Who would want to do that?! Who is that craz…” and then I had a baby and started cloth diapering. All things bodily fluid became a day to day “whatever” to me. I finally understood the power of my washing machine. I realized that cloth is more comfortable and breathable and absorbent and healthier for my baby…so I started to wonder about myself.


I’d joked more than once when referring to my son’s diapers that, “I wish MY underwear were made out of materials as butter-soft as these!” Then, I realized that they could if I tried cloth pads. So I figured, what the heck, might as well try it. You know what? It’s awesome. It’s comfortable. It’s not at all gross or ew or crazy to want to feel clean and fresh and comfortable when you’re braving waves of cramps, nausea, bloating, migraines (if you’re like me), and a face full of acne that looks straight out of your ninth grade yearbook. I mean, c’mon. What even sounds more comfortable: paper and plastic or cotton velour? It was like the difference between wearing jeans and yoga pants. Get real.

Stay dry, cotton velour, minky, they all sound and feel (and look) better than crinkly, wrinkly, plastic and who-knows-what inside.
Stay dry, cotton velour, minky, they all sound and feel (and look) better than crinkly, wrinkly, plastic and who-knows-what inside.

Then things got a little more crazy…because crunchy mamas don’t stop there when it comes to taking care of the earth AND taking care of themselves. I discovered reusable menstrual cups. WHAT?! GROSS!? IT GOES WHERE?! HOW IS THAT GOING TO FIT?! CAN I LEAVE MY HOUSE?! WILL IT OVERFLOW?! NO WAY IS THAT GOING TO WORK. EWWWWWW!


But I was wrong. It’s not gross. It goes in your vagina (DUH). It fits just fine, and there is more than one size available because every body is built differently. You can leave your house. It won’t overflow, and the best part is? You can leave the cup in for up to 12 hours at a time. When I was a teacher, that would have been AWESOME to know about. You know what’s super embarrassing? Trying to carry a tampon or a pad down the hall concealed in your hand in front of your high school students, and carrying a bag to the bathroom is just as obvious.

Soft, flexible silicone that is comfortable, clean, and easy to wash. There are non-silicone options too for those who have an allergy to silicone.
Soft, flexible silicone that is comfortable, clean, and easy to wash. There are non-silicone options too for those who have an allergy to silicone.
Diameter is about the width (if not smaller) than an expanded tampon.
Diameter is about the width (if not smaller) than an expanded tampon.


So whether or not you’ve already drank the Kool-Aid by embarking with cloth diapers, I encourage you to make the switch. Once you have committed to it and gotten the hang of it, you will know because you will meet the criteria of…

Someone Who Has OFFICIALLY Made The Switch:

Cloth and silicone? Or paper and plastic?
Cloth and silicone? Or paper and plastic?

1. You no longer have a purse/backpack/diaper bag/glove compartment full of squashed and crinkly pads and magically unwrapped tampons.

How does that happen?! I can’t tell you how many I’ve thrown away over the years because they’ve come unwrapped and ended up covered in purse lint and crushed up M&Ms…

2. You no longer have that Eau De Vagine perfume once a month hanging out in your underwear or leggings.

Oh, yes. I said it. You know it’s true. (God forbid it’s a hot day; am I right, ladies?)

3. You no longer have an inflated sense of how much…er…fluid you lose each month.

I don’t care if you think you’re Edward Cullen’s dream girl once a month; once you’ve made the switch, you see just how little you actually produce. If you’re into facts and science and all that jazz (A NERD) like me, you’ll find it kind of fascinating really. (The average woman loses only 1 oz total each month.)

4. You no longer have an excuse to leave your desk/hide from the kids six times a day for a week to go to the bathroom to change your pad/tampon.

This one is kind of a bummer, but really, you could still do this. Maybe just sit there and read a book for a minute? Scroll through Instagram? Whatever you need, momma. No one needs to know what’s in your vagina except you. Right?

5. You have that freeing feeling of NOT having to go down the pink and purple aisle at the grocery store.

Even better? Your HUSBAND is freed from that responsibility too! Plus, you’re saving money! Wahoo!


So, how about it? Give it a try. Dream Diapers has everything you need to get started.




You may surprise yourself and become a #vagangelist like Kim Rosas of the Dirty Diaper Laundry Blog, Amanda of The Eco-Friendly Family, and myself and all the other women who have learned to just #putacupinit .



Graphic Credit: Eco-Friendly Family Blog & Dirty Diaper Laundry

Here’s to happier periods!




8 thoughts on “Cloth Diapers: The Gateway Drug of Green Living

  1. Kristen- you are RIGHT on sister! Cloth diapers are the entry drug to all things natural i think…. first cloth, then momma cloth, next, natural body products, cleaning products, etc.. know better, do better! Thanks for your wonderful words!


  2. Excellent post, thank you! I am actually coming at it from the opposite direction; I’ve been using cloth pads and the Diva Cup for YEARS, and now that I’m having my first little one, I’m REALLY getting into the cloth diaper thing (like, I’m now the crazy cloth diaper lady, creating a blog and the whole deal).
    I totally agree with you, I’d never go back to tampons and disposable pads… the few times I have out of necessity(Southern vacations, etc) I feel uncomfortable and I’m always worried about leaks because their just not as reliable.
    After you start something like this and see all the savings and how much better it is for you, I don’t really think you can go back to using disposables and dealing with all of the waste and hassle of running to the store, and so on. Why did they change things in the first place? Granny knew best!


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