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Cloth Diaper 101

Benefits of Cloth Diapering:

  • Cheaper than using disposable diapers.Most cloth diapering families will save between $1,000 and $2,000 in the 2 to 3 years of use. Sell them or donate them when you’re finished or save for your next child for even bigger savings.
  • Less trash going in the landfills.A disposable diaper can take 500 years to decompose. 
  • Less harsh chemicals against baby’s skin. With cloth diapers, you are in control of the chemicals you’re putting on your baby’s skin from the detergent you use to the wipes you use!
  • Way cuter and softer than disposables!!!!

Cloth diapering is easy to do!  The hardest part is choosing your diapers because there are so many options, but we’re here to help.  Below we’ve described the different types of diapers as well as the accessories that you will need.  If you have any questions, our staff will be happy to help.  Email with any questions big or small!

How many diapers do you need? 

We recommend 24-36 diapers.  A diaper stash of this size will need to be washed every 2 to 3 days. 

Different Styles of Cloth Diapers:

  • All-in-One diapers:
  1. Waterproof and absorbent components are all one piece.
  2. Most similar to disposables – no folding, stuffing, assembling, etc.
  3. Often considered the easiest cloth diaper to use.
  4. The whole diaper gets washed after each use.
  5. Popular brands: Grovia, Thirsties, Applecheeks
  • Pocket Diapers:
  1. Absorbent insert (typically microfiber) gets stuffed into the pocket diaper with each use.
  2. Like an All-in-One, the whole diaper gets washed after each use.
  3. Nearly all pockets are made with a fleece liner that creates a “stay-dry” feeling for baby.
  4. Easy to change the absorbency. Add an extra insert or natural fiber insert for more absorbency during naptime or nighttime.
  5. Popular brands: Applecheeks,Thirsties
  • All-in-Two or Hybrid Diapers
  1. The diaper is 2 pieces: a cover + an insert that typically snaps in.
  2. The cover can be re-used with a clean insert up to 3 times as long as it doesn’t get pooped on!
  3. A full stash would be 24 inserts and 6-8 covers.
  4. Popular brand: Grovia
  • Fitteds (with a cover)
  1. Super absorbent!
  2. Great night time diaper option for a heavy wetter.
  3. Needs a cover.
  4. Popular brands: Sustainablebabyish, Thirsties
  • Prefolds and flats (with a cover)
  1. Requires folding around baby to form a diaper and then fastening with a pin or Boingo.
  2. Needs a cover.
  3. Can be used for many things once baby grows out of them – doublers for extra absorbency, burp cloths, cleaning rags, etc.
  4. Popular brands: Grovia


Cloth Diaper Accessories:

  • Diaper Pail with a Pail liner or a Hanging Wet Bag: You need a place to store your dirty diapers prior to washing.  Either a lidded trash can with a pail liner or a large hanging wet bag will do the job.  The pail liner/wet bag will get washed with the diapers each time.  We recommend having 2 so you have one to use while one is in the wash.
  • Wet Bags: A wet bag is a waterproof bag that you will use to hold dirty diapers when you are out of the house.  Most wet bags will hold 3-7 diapers.
  • Cloth Wipes: Simply wet cloth wipes under the sink and spray a solution on baby’s bum, then wipe clean.  Dirty cloth wipes get tossed in the pail with the dirty diapers.  Cloth wipes are easy to use, will save you money, and are more gentle on baby’s skin than disposable wipes!  Anywhere from 24 to 48 cloth wipes are recommended for a full stash.  Tip: Use a wipes pouch to take your cloth wipes with you on the go!
  • Boosters/Doublers: Inserts that can be added for extra absorbency.  Especially useful at naptime, bedtime and for long car rides.
  • Diaper Sprayer: Hooks to the back of the toilet.  Use it to spray poop off of the diapers once baby starts solids.
  • Diaper Liners: Line diapers with disposable or reusable fleece liners as a “poop catcher” or to protect diapers from a non-cloth diaper safe cream.
  • Diaper Cream: Be sure to use a cloth diaper safe cream!  Steer clear of zinc, petroleum, fish oils, and paraffin wax as these ingredients may lead to repelling and/or staining. Popular brands: Sweetbottoms Naturals, CJ’s Butter, Lusa Organics, coconut oil. 

Washing Cloth Diapers:

  • Start with a warm or cold rinse/short wash with no detergent to rinse the diapers clean of pee and poop.
  • Then run a hot wash with detergent. It’s fine to use whatever detergent you use on your clothes
  • Do an extra cold rinse at the end with no detergent to ensure the detergent gets rinsed out. Detergent build-up is the main culprit for many cloth diapering issues (repelling, stink, and even rashes!)
  • Tumble dry or hang dry. Tip for cutting down drying time and keeping your diapers soft – use dryer balls!  Place 3 to 5 dryer balls in the dryer and potentially cut drying time by a third!
  • What about the poop? If solid foods have not been introduced, and baby is solely breastfed, the poop is completely water-soluble and will rinse out in the first rinse.  Once solids are introduced, poop needs to go in the toilet.  This is where a diaper sprayer and/or disposable liners can come in handy!
  • What about stains? Breastfed poop is notorious for staining diapers.  The most effective stain remover is the sun!  Placing wet diapers in the sun to dry will often make those stains disappear!  Other great stain fighting products include Grovia Mighty Bubbles and Buncha Farmers Stain Stick.