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Your Cloth Diaper Guide
August 25, 2016 11:01 pm | by

So you’re considering using cloth diapers. Congratulations! Many natural-minded parents like you have come to the realization that cloth diapers boast so many advantages over disposables. Cloth has officially made a comeback! With so many to choose from, we know you may need some help. This is your cloth diaper guide.

To begin, here are just a few of the reason why people are choosing cloth diapers over disposables.

Cloth Diapering Benefits


Parents choose cloth diapers over disposables for many reasons; one of which is significant cost-savings. By cloth-diapering exclusively, you can save approximately $1,200 or more over the 2-3 years your baby is in diapers. Additionally, those same cloth diapers can be saved for future children, passed on to a friend, or donated to someone in need for even greater cost-savings. In many cases, good-quality used cloth diapers can be resold, which is even more money back into your pocket! And don’t overlook the savings that comes with using cloth wipes instead of disposable wipes.


Another reason parents choose cloth diapers is because they are better for the environment. Parents can choose cloth diapers in good conscience because they prevent literally thousands of disposable diapers (per child!) from entering our landfills. Cloth diapers can be reused and repurposed after they are no longer used as diapers. Many eco-conscious parents eventually use flats and prefolds as rags, and pocket diapers with worn-out PUL can be re-used as swim diapers. Not to mention, you can cloth-diaper your child from birth to potty-training with as few as 20-24 one-size cloth diapers, compared to the thousands of disposable diapers you will purchase per child.


Cloth diapers are convenient! It is a myth that disposable diapers are the more convenient choice. Yes, you will have to wash cloth diapers every few days, but most parents find it is no less convenient than having to run to the store every couple of weeks to buy a new pack of disposable diapers and wipes. With cloth diapers, you only have to buy them once! Many childcare providers and daycare centers now accept cloth diapers, thanks to their rise in popularity and ease of use. Leaks occur less frequently with cloth diapers, which saves you from having to change Baby’s entire outfit because of a massive blowout.

Healthy for Baby

Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that cloth-diapered kiddos suffer fewer skin rashes due to natural fabrics against their skin, compared to the chemicals and fragrances that leak from disposables. And many parents happily report that their little ones potty-train sooner in cloth diapers.


And finally, cloth diapers are CUTE! Today’s cloth diapers come in every color of the rainbow with an endless variety of patterns and limited-edition prints to coordinate with Baby’s outfits.

With the rise in popularity of cloth diapering, many modern styles are now available. Most cloth diapers on the market tend to fall within one of these four categories:

Types of Cloth Diapers

Prefolds, Flats, and Fitted Diapers

This is a classic, low-cost diapering system that consists of an inner fabric secured to Baby and covered with a waterproof cover to keep Baby’s clothes dry. When you think of traditional cloth diapering, this system probably comes to mind, However, these waterproof covers have evolved past the nylon pants of yesterday, and are often made with polyurethane laminate (PUL).

Cloth Diaper GuidePUL diaper covers feel like fabric on the outside with a soft, thin layer of waterproofing on the inside. The prefold, flat, or fitted diaper fits securely into the cover which is then fastened onto Baby via snaps or a hook-and-loop (Velcro) closure. You can also fasten the prefold, flat, or fitted diaper directly onto baby with diaper pins or a Snappi, then put on the cover. (Here is a handy resource for the different ways you can fold the prefold or flat for optimal placement on your baby.)


Popular Prefold Brands:

Popular Flats Brands:

Popular Fitted Brand:

Best-selling Diaper Covers:

Wool covers, like Woolly Bottoms and Sloomb Wool Longies, are another style of diaper cover you can use with prefolds, flats, and fitteds. Wool is a great option, as it is naturally antibacterial and wicks moisture into the inner fibers, leaving Baby’s skin and clothing dry.

Prefolds, Flats, and Fitted cloth diapers are the ideal system to use if you are on a tight budget.

Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers are a two-part system consisting of a waterproof outer cover with a pocket sewn on the inside. This pocket holds a thick, absorbent pad, called an insert, which is usually made of microfiber, hemp, bamboo, or cotton. The inner lining of the cover is usually made of a soft, stay-dry material like micro-fleece, which wicks moisture away and keeps Baby feeling dry.

To use, you simply stuff the insert into the pocket cover and fasten onto Baby via snaps or hook-and-loop closure. Pocket diapers allow you to increase absorbency by adding thicker inserts, if needed.

Popular Pocket Diaper Brands: Cloth Diaper Guide


To customize absorbency, parents can choose inserts which come in a variety of styles and materials. Popular inserts include bumGenius One-Size Microfiber Inserts, Hemp Babies, BabyKicks Hemparoos, and Applecheeks bamboo inserts.

Pocket diapers are ideal for heavy-wetters and/or overnight use because of their customizable absorbency.

All-In-One Diapers

Cloth Diaper GuideThe All-In-One (AIO) is a one-piece diaper that requires no inserts, stuffing, or prep. Its design allows you to cloth-diaper in one easy step! They feature a waterproof cover with a super absorbent insert built right in. All-in-Ones provide a trim fit, similar to a conventional disposable diaper. You simply fasten onto baby via snaps or hook-and-loop closure.

Popular All-In-One Diapers:

All-In-Ones are ideal for parents or caregivers who are hesitant to try cloth diapers.

Hybrid Diapers

Cloth Diaper GuideHybrids maximize convenience by providing options for the busy, on-the-go parent. Hybrids consist of a two-part diapering system consisting of a waterproof cover, like the Flip One-Size Diaper Cover, and multiple options for the insert, such as the Flip Organic Day Time Insert, the Flip Organic Night Time Insert, Flip Stay-Dry One-Size Insert, and Flip Disposable Insert, which is ideal for travel. Hybrid cloth diapers offer maximum flexibility and are truly the best of both worlds!

Hybrid cloth diapers are ideal for parents or caregivers who want options to fit their changing needs!

Cloth Diaper Sizing

Cloth Diaper GuideCloth diapers come in a variety of sizing options. Many brands are sized according to Baby’s weight, although some brands, like bumGenius, Swaddlebees Blueberry, Fuzzibunz, and Thirsties, offer a one-size option for infants and babies up to 35+lbs.

For preemies and smaller newborns, Cotton Babies carries bumGenius Littles Newborn Cloth Diapers, the Swaddlebees Blueberry Newborn Simplex Cloth Diaper, the Bummis Newborn Pack, and the Econobum Newborn Kit.

Potty Training

And don’t forget about potty training! There are many great products available to help support your toddler through the learning process, like the Flip Potty Training Kit, Bummis Potty Pants, Swaddlebees Blueberry Trainers, Imse Vimse Organic Training Pants, and Super Undies Pull-On Training Pants.

Which One is Right for You?

To choose which cloth-diapering system is right for you, consider your lifestyle, budget, and which features you find most important in a cloth diaper. Use this guide to help you decide which cloth-diapering system will work best! You can also contact Cotton Babies Customer Support at 314-892-1855 for more information about the cloth diaper products we carry, and to place an order by phone.


About the Author

Francesca Abernathy is a mother of three children and loves to cook, bake, and jog. She works outside of the home but dreams of the day she can sit on her couch, watch Dr. Oz, and eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from 8:00-5:00. She lives with her saint of a husband in St. Louis, Mo.


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