When I hear the words ‘cloth diapers’ I think back to my grandmother’s horror stories about how she used to handwash her kids’ cloth diapers. Fast-forward about 50 years and the cloth diapers available to us now are much more convenient and we do not have to hand wash them (thanks washing machine).
I originally started using cloth diapers because of other moms raving about them and because of pressure from others about saving the planet by not using disposable diapers. But after using them for a few months I was convinced, and I am now an advocate for them because I know just how good they are.
Cloth diapers are better for the environment, cheaper, more absorbent and of course reusable but there are still so many different options available that it can be tricky to pick the right one. I have listed some of the best cloth diapers that I have used and found to suit my children.
Advantages of Cloth Diapers
Rather than the harsh material in disposable diapers, washable and reusable diapers are made from cotton material. The cotton fabric is very breathable for your baby while they’re wearing it, essentially making the diapers more comfortable to wear than disposables.
Rather than spending loads of money on disposable diapers for years on end, cloth diapers can be reused over and over again. This essentially requires that you pay a a lot less on diapers than if you were to use disposables. Once you buy a few packs of cloth diapers, you may not even have to purchase diapers ever again for any of your children. The number of diapers that you will need will depend largely on the needs of your children.
Washable diapers can be reused multiple times on end, essentially producing less waste. This is great for the environment because you’re not throwing away those diapers and creating more waste in landfills. Be aware that washing more frequently is also not good for the environment as it uses energy and water. You can be environmentally conscious by washing bigger loads of diapers rather than a few at a time. Although this means that you may need a bigger stash of cloth diapers to keep you going for a few days.
Rather than always having to worry about running to the store to get diapers, scrummaging the money for diapers or having to desperately cry for some because the store is closed, you will always have diapers handy when you use cloth diapers. Since they can be washed, you can simply grab some dirty diapers and wash them in order to use them again without even leaving the house.
If you’re still thinking about the pros and cons of using cloth, washable diapers, then check out the video below.
Different Types of Cloth Diapers
There are a lot of different types of cloth diapers and choosing the right ones is essential to your satisfaction around using them. Here are the main types of diapers.
Flats- Flats the most basic form of cloth diapering. They are a single layer of cloth that you can fold in many ways. They’re the cheapest, but you need to know how to fold the cloth to fit your child.
Fitteds- These are made from cotton, bamboo or some other types of absorbent material. They’re made ready to fit your baby, but they are only waterproof when you use a waterproof cover. However, when using a waterproof cover, they are not as breathable.
Prefolds- Prefolds are essentially a rectangular cloth that can be folded into three different parts. Like flats, they require that you know how to fold the cloth around your baby, but the middle flap is more absorbent than on flats. Like fitteds, you need to use a waterproof cover to make them waterproof.
Contours- Contours are essentially a mixture of Prefolds and fitted diapers. They come pre-shaped to fit your baby, and they’re absorbent and require a cover to be waterproof. But they require that you have a pin in order to keep the fabric closed.
Pocket Diapers- Pockets are typically the most popular type of washable fabric diapers. They are labeled as the modern cloth diapers, and they’re extremely user-friendly. They feature a snap closure and they come pre-fitted so that you don’t have to worry about folding the fabric to fit your baby. All you need to do is put an inner in and you’re ready to go.
All-in-ones- Also knows as AIO’s, are intended to be washed each time your baby wears one, similar to disposable diapers. Absorbent layers are sewn into a waterproof cover making it very convenient. It isn’t the most environmentally friendly option because of the need to wash them after each wear.
Hybrids or All-in-twos- These have inserts that can be snapped in and out which means that your baby could wear the cover for longer than one change. You could choose to use reusable or disposable inserts depending on your needs.
Cloth Diaper Accessories
Once you have decided what type of cloth diaper you are going to use, there is a range of accessories that come with different diapers.
Diaper covers- for flats, prefolds and contours, using a cover can convert them to waterproof diapers.
Inserts- there are lots of organic inserts that you can choose from, bamboo, cotton, hemp or microfibre. These absorb the mess and come in many different forms depending on which diaper you use.
Diaper pins- Flats, prefolds, and contours will require a pin or fastener to hold the diaper in place.
Diaper pail- To store your dirty diapers in until you are ready to wash them.
Wet Bag- to store your dirty diapers in when you are out and about.
Offering great customizability and comfort for your baby, these cloth diapers from Babygoal are not only offered in a universal size, but they’re also waterproof and leak-proof for your convenience. The universal one-size diapers from Babygoal are suitable for babies ranging from seven pounds to 33 pounds.
For adjustability, there are snaps located around the diapers to help you latch them snug around your child’s waist and thighs. For breathability and leak-proof qualities, these diapers feature a polyester outer layer that keeps the waste inside of the diaper’s construction.
As for safety, I really like these diapers because they don’t contain any chemicals, dioxins or others. Not only that, but they’re also BPA-free, and they don’t have lead, phthalate or latex materials.
- Doesn’t contain any chemicals
- Made with absorbent suede interior material
- Comes with 6 microfiber inserts
- Only available in one universal size
Offering the most affordable price, these diapers from OsoCozy are produced with all-natural materials. The fabric in these diapers is unbleached and offers soft, durable and absorbent properties. They’re available in various different sizes, which I found great for choosing the size to best fit each of my children. You have the ability to choose from infant sizes to size two.
These cloth diapers from OsoCozy contain Indian cotton and lint-free weave that can help to ensure all of the substance stays inside of the diapers and gets absorbed within the fabric. Lastly, these diapers will only shrink down at most 15% when they’re washed, so you don’t have to worry about them shrinking in the drier.
- Available in sizes ranging from seven pounds to 30 pounds
- You’ll have to wash them at least 3 times before you use them to remove oils and increase absorbency
If you’re most worried about your baby leaking through their diapers, then these cloth diapers are highly recommended for you. They’re specially designed so that they have anti-leak properties. More specifically, these Simple Being diapers feature double inner leg gussets that help to absorb practically all of your baby’s waste and liquids.
Not only that, but they can also provide your baby with comfort, even when their diapers are full. There are snug leg openings that help to ensure your baby has airflow, while still preventing any leakage from occurring. There are multiple snaps throughout these diapers, helping to prevent the wing droop from occurring and any waste from seeping out.
These diapers are extremely adjustable, allowing you to have the right fitting diaper for your baby. Not only do they have multiple snaps in different places to help keep the diapers on tightly, but they’re also available in various different sizes. You can choose between small, medium or large cloth diapers for your baby, which I love because I can confidently choose the right size for each of my babies.
- Prevents rashes
- Adjustable with multiple snaps
- More expensive than some of the other diapers on the market
The Mama Koala cloth diapers are especially beneficial for larger children or for babies that you have trouble finding the right size for. They’re available in a universal one-size fit that’s capable of fitting a range of children. They’re produced with an ultra-absorbent and durable material, and they even have three layers of inserts that can help to prevent any leaks from occurring.
You’d think that these diapers would be heavy and uncomfortable for your child to wear since they have multiple layers of inserts in them. But they’re actually lightweight and offer breathable features for your child’s comfort.
- Contains 3 layers of inserts
- Available in various different designs
- Universal size fits children ranging from 8 lbs to 35 lbs
- Only available in one size, so it may seem difficult to fit the diaper on really small or really large children
For those of you looking for diapers specifically for newborns, then these ALVABABY diapers are highly suggested for you. With this purchase, you get six different diapers as well as 12 additional inserts for the diapers. Regardless of whether you have a larger newborn or a tiny one, these diapers are available in small, medium or large sizes, giving you the ability to choose the size that fits your baby in particular.
These diapers feature a comfortable fabric that can help your baby remain comfortable for long periods of time. It’s formulated with a polyester outer layer that’s not only breathable but also has waterproof properties. The inner later is absorbent, suede fabric material that can keep the moisture contained within the interior of the diapers.
- Hip snaps and crossover snaps to prevent “wing droop”
- Breathable and waterproof
- Three kinds of inserts, they are 3-layers of Bamboo Viscose Inserts,4-layers Bamboo Viscose Inserts and 5-Layer Charcoal Bamboo Inserts
- Only suitable for infants less than 12 lbs
To Sum It Up
These days, cloth diapers have many different features that make them more convenient and customizable to suit the needs of your child. Cloth diapers are not only convenient for you and easier on your wallet, but they’re also better for the environment and your baby. My personal choice is the Babygoal Baby Washable Pocket Nappy Diapers. They are durable, soft, easy to use, don’t leak, wash extremely well and they come at a great price. They come in beautiful designs so they look extra cute on your baby. They last for years and look as good as the day I bought them, even after many washes and time in the dryer.
Whether you choose to use cloth diapers with your newborn baby or are looking to switch over, it is never too late to start. They are so much more convenient to use these days so there really is no excuse to keep using disposable diapers.