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A Beginning Guide to Cloth Diapers

The following post is from Emily of Live Renewed: A Beginning Guide to Cloth Diapers

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 than the cloth diapers that we might think of our mothers or grandmothers using.  There are many great brands and styles out there that make it easy to find a system of reusable diapers that 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 for 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, daycare, or mother-in-law can use the diapers too?

Or do you really need to save money to look 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

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

We use and love Bum Genius pocket diapers.  They are easy to use and 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 diapering system and using it for more than one child can save you thousands of dollars, diapers, and overusing 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 fitted 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 simply fitted diapers, which cost more than prefolds, but are still very affordable. They go on easily with velcro or snap closures and 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 same diaper – my son was just over a year, and my daughter was 32 months, so you can see 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:

  • The Basics of Using Cloth Diapers
  • Using Cloth Diapers Day to Day
  • Using Cloth Wipes as a Part of Your Cloth Diapering Routine
  • How to wash cloth diapers

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.