By John Lauritsen, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — One of the most exciting days for a parent is the day they no longer need to buy diapers. But for those who aren’t quite there yet, an old idea is new again.

Have you heard of the pre-fold? How about degree of saturation? New daddy WCCO reporter John Lauritsen went back to school to learn why cloth diapers are making a comeback.

Harlow Grace Lauritsen is my 5-month-old squirmy and smiley baby daughter. For the first time in her life she’s about to make a bit of a fashion change.

“Do you think these are easier to change than disposable diapers?” I asked.

“I don’t think they’re easier or harder,” said Hennepin County Medical Center’s child birth educator, Veronica Jacobsen.

Jacobsen is introducing Harlow to the world of cloth diapers beginning with the “pre-fold.”

“One of the simplest cloth diapers you can get,” she said.

It’s also one of the most popular. Throw a cover on the pre-fold and you are good to go. There’s also the contour that comes with a safety pin substitute.

“This is a fastener called the snappy,” said Jacobsen.

Another option, the pocket diaper, is pretty much how it sounds.

“You do have to stuff it,” said Jacobsen.

For those of you who thought cloth diapers had gone the way of the dinosaur, this is proof they haven’t. In fact, their popularity is on the up-swing.

“I would say probably in the last 5 to 10 years the number of kinds has exploded,” said Jacobson.

Brittney Cubrinsky is a parent who’s a believer in cloth diapers. She uses them on her 11-month-old daughter Amelia because, she said, they can be recycled and are better for the environment than disposables. She also believes they help with Amelia’s potty training.

“With disposables, it sucks the moisture away from their skin so they can’t feel when they’re wet. So with cloth diapers, they can immediately feel when they are wet and she doesn’t like it,” said Cubrinsky.

Another reason this alternative is becoming more appealing is because parents don’t have to wash these diapers anymore.

Peter Allen left corporate America a few years ago to start “Do Good Diapers.” For $20 a week, parents can get about 60 diapers delivered to their home.

Do Good picks up their dirty ones to be washed back at their facility. Thousands go through the washer each week, but before that happens they are sorted based on their “degree of saturation.”

“Who gets that job?” I asked.

“We have a couple of great employees,” said Allen.

His reason for starting this also has to do with environment.

“Later on this year we will be hitting our one-millionth diaper. We track all the diapers that come in, we count them and that’s what we return to our customers. So we have a running tally of how many diapers we are keeping out of landfills,” said Allen.

Above all, it may be cost that’s got parents going old school.

If a child wears diapers for 3 years, it’s estimated that cloth diaper users can save as much $2,000 more than disposable users.

Not bad, when college tuition is just 17 short years away.

Allen, who started Do Good Diapers, said his business has increased every year since he opened in 2008. His cloth diaper service is one of two in the Twin Cities.

Hennepin County Medical Center also offers a class to parents on how to use cloth diapers.

Comments (17)
  1. gtV says:

    As a parent who used cloth diapers on the kids, it looks like modern day parents are rediscovering the joys of cloth diapers. Or, new parents are rediscovering the proverbial wheel again.

    Whether you have a diaper service or do your own cloth diapers diapers at home, you will find you will save scores of dollars over disposable diapers. Also, besides being environmentally green cloth diaper diapers are very uniquely recyclable in many ways.

    If baby is going on a trip around town with mom or a long trip with the family then by all means use disposable diapers for obvious sanitary reasons. Glad to see cloth diapers making a comeback.

  2. Julie says:

    we use cloth and LOVE it! A trip around town? No big deal. Weekend away? no big deal. We are not “crunchy” or “hippie” (not that there’s anything wrong with that), just working professionals who think disposables aren’t the best way.
    I’ve been THRILLED to see that every daycare center we’ve visited has some children using cloth, in fact some centers only use cloth. We’ve never had a ‘blowout’ or diaper rash- another huge plus. Never a last minute trip to the store for diapers. If you felt how soft a little newborn cloth diaper is, you’d never want to put them in a disposable again. The above article does not mention All In One diapers (AIO). AIOs are just what they say- everything all together. No need to stuff or use covers. They are just like a disposable except made from re-usuable materials and have velcro or snaps instead of sticky tabs. .Diaperpin com is a good resource.

  3. M. says:

    My sister owns a cloth diaper company. I didn’t think they were getting that big again until she showed me all her contacts and theirs as well.

    She does custom work too!

  4. hmm says:

    Cloth diapers used to be used to save money. I have heard the startup costs to get into it can be extremely high to the point that you should use money savings as the reason to cloth diaper.

  5. Common Sense up North says:

    Cloth diapers are the best. Disposible’s were invented for the parents. Convenience? You still have to change them. Bring a bread bag with you to put the soiled one in.
    At keast now you don’t have to learn to fold.

  6. MelissaMommyof3 says:

    I wish John would have reported on the “best of both worlds” solution: G diapers. They have a disposable insert (which is biodegradable) but reusable covers, etc. No spendy “diaper service” needed, no constant diaper washing at home, no opposition from daycares or babysitters. The inserts are FLUSHABLE 🙂 (so no stinky dipes going in the garbage either).

    They really are awesome!!

  7. B Peterson says:

    My wife and I, who have five adult children just watched your noon story on cloth diapers and had to laugh when Angela noted that there was a class for parents to show parents how to use cloth diapers. If they need to attend a class for this, they maybe shouldn’t be having children or talk to their folks about it…………lol

    1. Paula says:

      I really hate it when people say others shouldn’t be having kids. They are there trying to learn, right? What’s better than that?

  8. Jenny Mikolichek says:

    I’ve used cloth diapers with all my children now 11,9 and 2. They have changed alot in the last 11 years and became very easy and convenient. I used to use disposables for long trips or vacations with my first two, and pinned their diapers on, but with my two year old, I’ve never used a disposable and even took a two week vacation using cloth.

    Covers can get expensive depending on how picky you are. I purchased all used covers that are adjustable for all ages so I’ve used the same 10 covers since she was 5 months old and most of them would fit her until she was three, if I were to need them that long.

  9. Connie says:

    There are some great local sellers in Minneapolis if you look on Craigslist and just type in cloth diapers. There are some brand new pocket diapers for just $11!

  10. Amber Mehrkens says:

    Thanks for doing this story, I am a young mom with 4 kids and we use cloth diapers, it is the best decision we ever made! I love using cloth and have never looked back. I also started my own diaper making business, where I make one size pockets diapers, to help show other mom just how easy it can be! I think a lot of new parents are still in the dark about cloth diapering and the only way to keep disposables out of the landfills is to keep spreading the word on cloth!

  11. Stephan Gorny says:

    Reusable diapers are a great idea, as are reusable nursing pads. Our specially designed nursing pads work BETTER than the disposable type, wicking moisture away and keep nursing Moms dry and comfortable. We also have a line of hot packs that are reusable and can be discretely tucked inside a bra for instant comfort. All of our products are eco- friendly.

    You can see them at

    It is a family business that created a product out of need and it took off.

  12. Tiffany says:

    We have been using cloth since 2008….we have AIO, Pockets, AI2, prefolds and covers, and fittededs! We love them Bum Genius, Blueberry, and Swaddlebees are our favorites! We do like fuzzibunz for our pockets though. I think teaching someone how to use these is the best thing possible I also think that WIC clinics should be promoting breastfeeding and cloth diapering and hand out 5-10 cloth diapers to new babies. It really does save money and we spent 150 on to get started and slowly have built our stash from there. My son just outgrew 15 of them and I sold them for 210.00 in which I could buy him some bigger sizes! All said and done when he is potty trained which I should mention My boys have been fully potty trained at 22 months, 24 months, and I have a 6 month old now that I anticipate being trained at 2 as well!

  13. Sarah in Outstate MN says:

    I used cloth diapers for all 3 of my boys. I used Snappys too. I love the snappys.

  14. MJN in Maplewood. says:

    Business reports in the news often over expose the products and company to angry customers or worse.

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