I have really enjoyed using cloth diapers with Dylan, and I want to pass that love onto you. This page gives you an overview of information about cloth diapering and points you towards a lot of other great resources so you can dive in and learn as much as you want. Let me know if there’s more information you’re looking for that I can include here!
Reasons to Use Cloth Diapers
Money: Disposables can run you $2000 or more, while you can cloth diaper for a few hundred or less. The same diapers can be used on subsequent kids, magnifying your savings, plus they have resale value. See here for a closer look at the cost comparison.
Flats: These are the seriously old-fashioned kind. It’s a single layer piece of cloth that’s folded and pinned (or Snappi’d).
Prefolds: Still old-fashioned. Cloth that’s already been folded for extra layers in the middle. Mostly all you have to do is pin. Read more about the benefits of using prefolds.
Contours: Contour diapers have a little bit of tailoring such as elastic around the legs and wings that fold over. It’s a slight step up from prefolds. No pinning needed.
Fitteds: Fitteds are fully tailored diapers – elastic for the legs and waist, snaps or Velcro to close it. These go on your baby like a disposable, although they still need a cover to be waterproof.
Covers: Flats, prefolds, contours, and fitteds all need a cover to make them waterproof. The cover has no absorbency itself, it’s just a waterproof barrier. But if you remember the rubber pants of yore, don’t worry. Covers these days are as cute as the diapers and come in many easy-to-use styles.
All-In-Ones (AIOs): AIOs have absorbency and waterproof-ness in one piece. You put them on and they fit just like a disposable.
Pockets: Pockets are like a cover (and can be used as a cover for other diaper types) in that they are trim and waterproof, but they have a lining that wicks moisture away from baby’s skin and a pocket for stuffing inserts into. The inserts are the absorbent part.
All-in-Twos: (AI2s): AI2s are like AIOs except the extra absorbent middle part snaps in and out, making them easier to launder.
One-size (OS): Fitteds, AIOs, pockets, and AI2s come in different sizes, or you can find OS diapers that are adjustable to fit your child as ou grows.
As they occur, put the dirty diapers in a diaper pail or bag. If your baby is eating food, dump solid waste into the toilet first. For babies exclusively breastfeeding, you can wash everything. How long you wait between washings depends on your schedule and how many diapers you have.
Dump the contents of the pail or bag into your washing machine. Run a cold water rinse cycle to rinse away waste.
Wash diapers on hot using detergent. Run an extra rinse if you like.
Don’t use chlorine bleach, fabric softener, or pure soaps.
Dry on low or line dry. Don’t use dryer sheets.
If you have stains you want to remove, lay the diapers out in the sun. Stains magically disappear!