May 15, 2014



Cloth Diapering with Charlie Banana

When I was pregnant with Evita, I never considered cloth diapering. Or maybe I did but I made up my mind very quickly. My thought process probably went something like: “Nope. Not for me. Gross.” It wasn’t until I found out I’d be moving to Tanzania that I reconsidered it. I didn’t know what kind (if any) diapers would be available there, and if they were, how much they would cost or what the quality would be like. So my friend Gina sent me two used cloth diapers all the way from Japan so that I could try them out. They ended up being way easier than I ever expected them to be. I was sold. Gina recommended that I try Charlie Banana. The ones she sent me were a different brand, but Charlie Banana was her favorite. So later that day I ordered a six pack of CB diapers from Target or Amazon or somewhere and the rest is history. From the age of six months to eighteen months (when she was potty trained), Eva was in Charlie Bananas:

So, other than obviously looking way cuter under clothing (or without clothing) than disposable diapers, what else made me fall for cloth diapers?
1. They save money. I went on Amazon and saw exactly how much disposable diapers cost a piece. Even when I bought them in bulk (which I rarely did) I was spending about 20-25¢ a diaper (I was spending more when I bought them at my local grocery store). That was like throwing a quarter out my window with every diaper change. It is estimated that you can save around $1000 in the long run (including washing machine costs) with cloth diapers. I often washed my cloth diapers with my regular loads of laundry so I’m pretty sure I saved even more.


2. They’re better for the environment. The average kid will use 6,000 diapers by the age of two, which equals about a ton of trash. Disposable diapers take 500 years to decompose, and may not ever fully disintegrate. I also thought about the process of making disposable diapers- the packaging, distribution, and sales… That’s a whole lot of energy and waste for each tiny diaper. (No pun intended!) Even though I had to wash cloth diapers, I’m pretty sure I used less energy and created less waste than with disposables.


3. Less harmful chemicals = less diaper rash. Eva never had diaper rash when using cloth diapers. Not even once. Disposable diapers often contain chlorine, perfumes, and dioxins that trigger rashes.


4. They seem more comfy for the baby. Besides not having to deal with a rash, I’m pretty sure I’d be more comfortable wearing cotton underwear than plastic underwear.


5. They’re not all that more “gross.” Even with disposables, I had to wipe a dirty bum and roll up a dirty poo diaper. The only extra step with cloth was occasionally having to dump dirty solids in the toilet. (I’ll even admit I didn’t do this every time, and I never had problems with stains.) Really, not that big of a deal. I’d much rather do that than change my cat’s kitty litter or pick up my dog’s poo on a walk. When I was on the go, I’d throw the diaper in a wet bag and that was that.
So… now that I have another wee one, I’m starting out with Charlie Bananas straight away. Well, not exactly straight away. I’ve been using disposables for the first few weeks until my newborn’s digestive system becomes a little more regular and I’m a little more comfortable with all my other responsibilities.  (All of our laundry has been put on the back burner for the past two weeks.) But I’ve already started using them here and there and soon I’ll be ditching the disposables for good.

Charlie Banana recently sent me this three pack of their “Americano” cloth diapers to try out… just in time for Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

Here’s what I love about Charlie Banana in particular:

1. They are one size fits all. I used the same exact diapers on Eva from the age of six months to eighteen months. Now, I’ll be using the one-size diaper on Damian starting now. (Charlie Banana also has a newborn diaper if you don’t like the initial bulkiness of the one-size option, which I’ll mention later.)

2. Pocket-style Diaper- I prefer this style of cloth diapering to the first brand of cloth diapers I tried out. This is an individual preference, but I like how the insert has something to fit into. In my experience this prevented leaks better than the other styles (though I haven’t tried the all-in-ones).

3. Adjustable leg holes. This goes with the “one-size” feature, but CB didn’t originally have this feature and they worked out for me anyway. Now they have an option to adjust the tightness of the leg holes from XS-L.

4. Cute logo. I love how the logo looks classy. It reminds me of Tory Burch.

5. Snaps instead of velcro. Some cloth diapers have velcro. I think snaps hold up much better in the long run. I still have Eva’s diapers that I’ll be using for Damian (but only around the house since they’re mostly pink… hah!).

Like I mentioned earlier, if you don’t like the bulkiness of the one-size on a newborn, Charlie Banana also makes an extra-small diaper for this stage:

Super cute!

If you’re on the fence about cloth diapering, Charlie Banana sells single packs of cloth diapers so you can try them before making a big purchase!

If you want to read more of what I’ve written about cloth diapering, check out my “Cloth Diapering Essentials” post. 🙂

  1. We cloth diaper in our house (our first is 4 months) and I got an assortment of diapers for our stash to try out; I didn’t want to commit to just one brand when I didn’t know how they would fit on my baby. But I’ve found Charlie Bananas are my favorite! I’m buying more of those to supplement our stash because it’s always the diaper I reach for first.

  2. Chelsea G says:

    I didn’t cloth my first, who is now 3.5 and my 2nd is now 9 months. He’s getting such bad diaper rash I hate it! Do you think switching to cloth diapers now would be a waste or totally doable? We have our aunt that watches them at home 3 days a week and then they are in daycare two days a week. Our daycare does do cloth diapers (some don’t). I don’t mind the washing I just didn’t so much research into it but have been lately and wondering if it’s totally silly to change now that he’s 9 months old?!

    • TOI says:

      Hello Chelsea G, I think it’s doable to start cloth diapering your second child now. Pocket cloth diapers are like disposable diapers, they are easy to use.

  3. TOI says:

    I do cloth diapering and I love how cute they look. These one are so sweet, will check Charlie Banana out 🙂

  4. How funny, I somehow had the same experience as you. Back in Belgium, for my oldest daughter, I never really considered cloth diapers but now that we moved to Tanzania (and I didn’t know what quality the diapers would be and what costs) I bought Charlie Banana for my youngest and she’s so cute with them!

  5. When I had my daughter I literally knew nothing about cloth diapering. I hadn’t had a blog yet or even read any parenting ones at least. Now that I am actively reading blogs it upsets me so much that I didn’t cloth diaper. It’s so great that you’re doing it again.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Hi.. do you know where to buy cloth diapers in Dubai?