Cloth Diapers types
One size cloth diapers are made to fit most babies from birth to potty training, they usually have snaps that allow you to adjust the size of the diaper as baby grows. They can be more expensive than some of the other options but they save you money in the long run because they will become the only diapers you will need to purchase for the whole diapering period. Many one size diapers are all-in-one pocket diapers, they have a waterproof shell, a pocket and often come with one or two inserts. One of the most popular one size diapers is BumGenius 4.0 One Size Diaper. Happy Heiny's One Size Diapers are also a great option popular with celebrities :) Don't want to deal with inserts? BumGenius Organic One Size Cloth Diaper or Kissaluvs Marvels One Size AIO can be your diapers. Contour diapers also come in one size variety, they require a cover but cost significantly less - Kissaluvs Hybrid One Size Contour Diapers or Organic One Size Flannelette Contour Diapers or BabyKicks Hemp and Bamboo One Size Fitted Diapers. One size diapers are becoming a popular option and understandably so. The one downside to think about is that one size diapers may not fit smaller newborns. For this very purpose some manufacturers have created a smaller version of a one size diaper, this "mini" one size is tiny enough to fit even a preemie and will expand and last for some time before you have to buy a bigger diaper. Great examples of this type of "mini" one size diapers are Happy Heiny's Mini; Thirsties Duo Diapers; Bummis Tiny Fit
All in one diapers
All in one cloth diapers are
easy to use and go on and off like disposables. They have a
waterproof outer layer and an absorbent inner. While they work great during the day, you may need
doublers to increase absorbency during night time or when you can't change your baby often, for example during a long car ride. All in ones are very convenient and easy to use, this is a great diapering option for day care or babysitters, they come in sizes from XS to XL to fit your baby just right at every age, never the less, they do have some ability to adjust to baby's grows, they have either snaps or velcro closures. Some all in one diapers are also one size, they expand with baby's grows - bumGenius Organic One Size Diaper, Kissaluvs Marvels One Size. Many in one diapers are less expensive than one size diapers and some brands have them at real bargains, see Kushies All in One Diapers. You will most likely have to purchase two or more sizes of all in one diapers throughout the diapering period. One of our favorite All In One Diapers is Drybees Hybrid All In One Diaper, this diaper has a built in absorbent soaker and a pocket to add insert when you need one. It has a true stay dry fabric next to baby's skin and it never leaked for us and continued to fit for a very long time even though it is not a one size. Not sure what it is about this diaper but it worked perfectly for our daughter!
Pocket Diapers are
made from a waterproof outer layer and a micro-fleece layer next the
the skin with an opening for an absorbent insert. The
micro-fleece next to the skin helps the baby feel dry. When a
baby wets the moisture passes through the micro-fleece layer and gets
absorbed by an insert or prefold that is placed in the pocket of the
diaper. Poket diapers let you use as many inserts as you need for every situation, so a pocket diaper can be trim and light during the day and super absorbent for night time. We like to use hemp inserts or prefolds with pocket diapers when you need extra absorbency. Babykicks Hemp Inserts and Thirsties Hemp Inserts are excellent when you need extra absorbency. Many pocket cloth diapers are made to be one-size, for example Fuzzi Bunz One Size Diaper, BumGenius 4.0 Diaper and Happy Heiny's One Size Diaper all come with two inserts; other come in sizes from XS to XL, they are generally a little less expensive and are popular with many parents who are looking for a perfect fit like Fuzzi Bunz Perfect Size Cloth Diaper or Drybees Pocket Diaper. A great option is an all in one cloth diaper that also has a pocket to add an insert when you need it, we highly suggest Kissaluvs Marvels and Bum Genius All In One Diaper.
Fitted cloth diapers require
a cover. They are form fitted and go on and off like disposables
attaching with snaps or velcro. Young babies and lighter wetters
can wear some fitted diapers without a cover. Kushies Classic diapers come
with a waterproof inner layer with flannel sewn around it. These
diapers can be used without a cover for a short period of time. Fitted diapers are relatively inexpensive to use, you will need to change diaper cover every 3-5 diaper changes. Some fitted diapers are one size diapers - they adjust as baby grows and will last up to potty training, for example Kissaluvs Marvels One Size Fitted Diapers. Most fitted diapers come in sizes from XS to XL. Some great examples of fitted diapers are Kissaluvs Fitted Diapers and Babykicks Hemp or Babykicks Bamboo Fitted Diapers.
There are two basic types of diaper covers - diaper wraps and pull on covers.
Pull on covers are used over fitted
diapers, pinned prefolds, or snappied prefolds. Wraps can be used
with many fitted diapers, prefolds folded in thirds, pinned prefolds,
or snappied prefolds. Dou Wrap from Thirsties comes in two adjustable sizes, they grow with your baby. Usually covers are sized from XS to XL. You will need 6-8 diaper covers per day for an infant. Wool diaper covers are naturally water resistant and are a great option for parents looking for an all natural diapering option for their babies. Combine wool cover with either cotton or hemp contour or fitted diaper and you have a great all natural diaper.
Contour cloth diapers are shaped diapers that require a cover. They are basically like
fitted diapers without any fastener. That means you will need to
use a snappi, diaper pins, or a snug fitting diaper cover with this
diaper. They are a more economical choice over fitted
diapers and are very popular with newborns because they are small investment for a short period of time when some babies are to small to fit into one size diapers. If you like using contours, they do come in all sizes and some are even one size contours like Imse Vimse Organic One Size Flannelet Contour Diapers.
Prefold diapers are the most economical choice. They have a rectangle shape and can be
folded in thirds and placed in a diaper wrap, pinned, or snappied. Prefolds are made of cotton or hemp, they have multiple layers of fabric for optimal absorbency. Prefold diapers are often used as inserts in pocket diapers, hemp is a wonderful fabric for its absorbency and antibacterial qualities, hemp prefolds make the best inserts. Also a popular choice for newborns because moms have the ability to wrap them around the baby for a perfect snug fit or trifold them in a cover. These are the cheapest cloth diapers and do require a little skill to put them on but very quickly you'll be used to them and it will take just a few seconds. We used prefolds for our newborn and thought it was the best option because of the fit and the fact that you can change a prefold and keep a diaper cover for 3-5 changes (you do have to make a lot of diaper changes with a newborn :) Makes a difference in the laundry too.
Cloth Diaper Inserts
Cloth Diaper Inserts come in many different fabrics: microfiber, cotton, hemp, bamboo.
All of them are soft and pleasant to the touch and can be placed
against baby's skin, their main function, of course, is to absorb. Microfiber inserts are especially good to be used
with diapers that do not have pockets with micro-fleece material that
keeps moisture away from the skin, microfiber inserts will help you baby's bottom
stay dry. Bamboo and hemp are known for their absorbency without adding
bulk. Cotton is absorbent, soft and fast drying.What do I need to get started?
You will need 6-16 diapers per day for your baby. Toddlers
will need 6-10 diapers per day. Newborns and young babies will
need 12-16 diapers per day. If you want to wash every day then
add 2 diapers to these numbers to allow for washing time. You
will need at least 4-6 covers in each size. A newborn or a young
baby may need more than 6 covers. Newborns do not general require extra inserts, unless you have an early heavy wetter, but as babies get bigger, you may need to invest into some good quality inserts or use prefolds as inserts in your diapers. You will also need something to collect used diapers until you are ready to wash, you can use a diaper pail bag that can be found in cloth diaper accessories.
What about the smell?
Actually I have found that disposable diapers smell much more than
cloth diapers do. The chemicals in disposables cause an odor that
you will not find with cloth diapers. Washing at least every
other day will help keep odors at bay. If you do notice some odor you can try Citrus Circles.
Do I need to dunk cloth diapers?
Dunking your diapers in the toilet is not necessary. Some
people prefer to do that however. This is what has worked for
me: Shaking whatever poop I can into the toilet then throwing the
diaper into a dry diaper pail and letting the washer get the rest
off. I found fleece liners to
be excellent to prevent the need for dunking. The poop easily
comes off the fleece and prevents stains on the diaper. You can
also use flushable liners in your diapers and just toss the liner into the toilet they can be found on the Cloth Diapers Accessories page. bumGenius Diaper Sprayer is an excellent product to wash away stubborn mess from your diapers.
How do I wash cloth diapers?
Basically you need to follow the washing instructions for the
diapers you purchase. However, most diapers can be washed in the
- Place the dirty cloth diapers in the washer and run a rinse cycle
- Wash the diapers on hot with 1/2 the amount of recommended detergent. Do not use bleach.
- Follow up with an extra rinse cycle with a small amount of
baking soda or vinegar. Diapers washed with too much detergent or
diapers that have any remaining detergent may smell.
- Dry in dryer on hot. Many covers may need to be dried
on low or hung to dry. If you hang dry all of your diapers you
may want to put them in the dryer for a short period of time to soften
What kind of diapers are for me?Hopefully you now have a better idea about all the cloth diapering options out there and are not as overwhelmed and scared as I was in the beginning. When people ask me what type of cloth diaper is better or is pocket diaper better than all in one diaper, I always advise to compose your stash with a couple different types of diapers. Some cloth diapers are great for day time use when you can diaper change frequently but would not do a good job during night time, but if you are able to change often during the day, you can save money here and invest into more expensive pocket diapers and good inserts for night time or when you are out with the baby. Less expensive prefolds are easy on the pocket, many moms use them successfully with their babies from birth to toddler hood. One size diapers is an attractive option and definitely worth the money for their long lasting ability. After you purchase your first diapers and use them on your baby, you will have a better idea of pros and cons and will be able to add on to your stash based on your needs and experience. Cloth diapering gets addictive, they are so cute and soft and it feels great to be able to make a choice to put something good on your baby.
What about diaper pails?
Thanks Mama offers a hanging diaper pail that will attach to a doorknob. The hanging diaper pail is
an open diaper pail. Ironically, open diaper pails don't smell
like closed ones do. As long as you don't let the diaper sit for
more than 1-2 days the open pail shouldn't smell. The hanging
diaper pail also has a fabric swatch inside for you to place a few
drops of your favorite essential oil. You can also get a
pail/storage container at a local store. Make sure you get one
that you baby won't be able to open easily. You can tape a citrus circle on the inside of the lid to keep things smelling fresh.
Are you using disposables and want to switch to cloth, but don't have the money to do it?
You can start out with a dozen prefolds and a couple cover/wraps for
$40-50. You will need to wash every day with only a dozen cloth
diapers. Then you can use the money you save from not purchasing
disposables to buy more diapers until you have all you need to wash
every 2-3 days.
What about barrier creams with cloth diapers?
Barrier creams do not work well with stay dry fleece diaper systems
such as Fuzzi Bunz. I have found that I don't need them on my two
boys at all. I just change every 2-3 hours during the day.
I use a Fuzzi Bunz at night so my sons skin isn't wet all.
Want more information about cloth diapering? Check out www.clothdiapertalk.com