Full disclosure: I’m no expert on Cloth Diapering! Three kids and years of trial and error have led me to the point where I feel slightly comfortable doling out advice on diapering. The best tip though, is to do what feels right for your family. No one else cares what you decide to do. Want diapers from BJs? Go for it. Have an Honest subscription? That’s wonderful! Using cloth AIOs? Congrats! Let’s explore what the options are and hopefully you gain some clarity and confidence!
When it comes to Cloth Diapering there are 9 categories. If you’re already checked out- I get it. Though I implore you to stick around and see if one of the 9 catches your eye!
1. All In One (AIO): The All in One cloth diaper is a complete system, most similar to a disposable diaper. The entire content of the diaper is cloth and is used like a traditional diaper! Babe wears it,
uses it, you wash it, you use it again. It’s probably the simplest option for sitters, childcare providers, or grandparents, as there’s little learning curve.
2. All in Two: This system includes a shell (the outside of the diaper that you see when you look at the baby wearing it, and an insert, the inside of the diaper that is touching them. In this Two in One system, the insert snaps into the shell, connecting them.
3. Pocket Diaper: The Pocket Diaper had an apt name! This fleece lined diaper has a pocket that is
stuffed with an absorbent insert. Inserts are typically cotton, bamboo, hemp, or microfiber (which cannot be directly on baby’s skin). Urine goes through the diaper lining and then the insert, leaving baby’s skin feeling dry! This is another “user friendly” option for sitters or grandparents!
4. Sleeve Diaper: This diaper is almost identical to the pocket diaper however it has 2 openings for the insert- one on each end. Due to the design, you can leave the insert in when you wash the diaper and the momentum from the wash will pull the insert out through the “sleeve”.
5. Hybrid: Hybrids are a crossover between cloth and disposables. The shell of the diaper is reusable/washable and the insert is a biodegradable and disposable. You can also put in a cloth insert if you choose! Gdiapers is a well known brand of Hybrids if you’re interested in learning more.
6. Flats: This is the original! Flats are large pieces of cotton that you fold into different shapes as the liner and then cover with a shell. Definitely recommend watching a tutorial to learn the folds!
7. Prefolds: These are rectangular pieces of cloth folded into 3 sections, leaving the middle layer as the most absorbent. Prefolds can be either folded around the baby and closed with a pin, or used to line a diaper shell, as an insert. These are great for newborns and a simple process to learn.
8. Fitted: These cloth diapers are usually cotton, bamboo, hemp, or fleece and are super absorbent. The upside is that you don’t need to fold them yourself like a flat or prefold. They are already shaped
to wear! They snap or Velcro closed and then you put a diaper shell over them.
9. Contours: This diaper is a crossover between Prefolds and Fitteds! They’re already shaped to wear like a fitted, though they need a pin or closure, like a prefold. Like many of the options, you’ll need a diaper shell over the contour.
Is your brain mush yet? Did any Cloth Diaper option stand out to you? It may be a good idea to reach out to the parent community where you live and ask if anyone has the specific type of cloth diaper you’re interested in, before you buy a whole collection! Cloth Diapering can feel like an expensive decision at first because it is, at first. Making sure you have the cloth diapers you want is one expensive as, then getting all of the accessories! Wet bags to hold the soiled cloth diapers, garbage size wet bags for home, a sprayer attachment for your bathroom to clean off soiled diapers, biodegradable, disposable inserts for long car rides (or anytime) if you choose, etc etc etc.
We like to advise people to register for Cloth Diapers and to look for second hand collections. Cloth Diapers tend to have great resale value too, so you can always try to resell them when you’re done.
There’s a whole bunch of trial and error and troubleshooting when it comes to Cloth Diapering. We’re only scratched the surface here!! If you have specific questions, email us! Otherwise, keep an eye out for a follow up blog! Good luck out there!