A Beginning Guide to Cloth Diapers

The following post is from Emily of Live Renewed:

cloth diaper baby

source: Live Renewed

Almost four years ago, one of the very first changes I made on my green journey was to start cloth diapering my daughter a few weeks after she was born.  I had no idea the “slippery slope” that decision would take me down, to lead me to where I am today!

Modern cloth diapering is much different then the cloth diapers that we might think of our mothers or grandmothers using.  The are so many great brands and styles out there, that make it easy to find a system of reusable diapers that really can work for you and your family.

When you first start to look into cloth diapering, all the choices can also be somewhat overwhelming.  So today, if you’re interested in cloth diapering, but unsure where to start, I want to offer you a beginning guide to cloth diapering your little one.

Determine Your Needs

First, you need to determine what you need in a cloth diapering system.  Do you need it to be as easy as disposables so that your hubby, day care, or mother-in-law can use the diapers too?

Or do you really need to save money, so you’re looking for the most economical diapering solution?

Will you be cloth diapering a newborn, or a toddler who is almost ready to potty train?

Once you’ve determined what you’re looking for, it will be much easier to narrow down your choices.

cloth diaper baby 2

source: Live Renewed

As Easy As Disposables

There are several brands of cloth diapers available that basically mimic a disposable diaper.  They are all one piece, or two simple pieces that are easily combined, and have velcro, or maybe snap closures, and go on a baby exactly like a disposable. Some great brands to consider are BumGenius, Fuzzi Bunz, Happy Heinys and Kawaii.

We use, and love, Bum Genius pocket diapers.  They are easy to use, easy to clean, and except for needing to have the velcro replaced recently (which I did myself on our sewing machine), they have held up for almost 4 straight years of cloth diapering, and will probably last for another child as well.

Investing in this type of diapering system and using it for more than one child can easily save you thousands of dollars, and diapers, over using disposables!

The Most Economical

While the diapers that are easy as disposables are great, they can be a little pricey, so if you are looking for the most economical way to diaper your baby, then you probably want to look into simple fitteds or prefolds with covers. 

Prefolds are the most affordable option, but they are the most similar to the diapers our mothers probably used – a fluffy rectangle of cotton that you fold onto your baby and fasten with pins or a snappi (which is a great modern alternative to pins, no more worrying about poking your baby), and then cover with a waterproof diaper cover.

You can also use simple fitted diapers, which cost more than prefolds, but are still very affordable. They go on easily with velcro or snap closures, and they also need to be covered with a waterproof diaper cover.

My favorite prefolds are from Green Mountain Diapers, and some great brands of fitted diapers are Thirsties and Mother-ease.  And we like covers from Thirsties and the Flip cover from Cotton Babies.

one size cloth diaper

source: Live Renewed

One-Size Diapers

Another type of diaper to consider is the one-sized diaper, which can be snapped down to a smaller size for young babies and then unsnapped to become a larger sized diaper as the baby grows.

This is also a great way to save money on diapers because you don’t have to buy new diapers every time your baby moves up in size.  You buy one set of diapers and can use them from when your baby is very young until they are ready to potty train.

In the picture above, my kids are wearing the exact same diaper – my son was just over a year, and my daughter was 32 months, so you can see that they fit a wide range of sizes.

Using cloth diapers may seem overwhelming at first, but once you make the switch, I bet you’ll find that they are much easier than you expected, not to mention that babies wearing cloth diapers are just so darn cute! Switching to cloth diapering is a great way to save the planet, while saving you lots of money at the same time.

Looking for more information about cloth diapering? Check out these posts as well:

Have you considered using cloth diapers on your little ones?  What questions can I answer for you about making the switch to cloth diapers?

Emily McClements is passionate about living with compassion and caring for creation in a way that will impact the world. She is a blessed wife and mama to three young children, and blogs about her family’s journey toward natural and simple living at Live Renewed.