Home Diapers & Clothing Everything You Need To Know About Cloth Diapering

Everything You Need To Know About Cloth Diapering

baby wearing an all-in-one cloth diaper

Why Choosing For Cloth Diapers?

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There are different reasons why people chose cloth diapers over single-use diapers. One of those reasons is to reduce their carbon footprint. Do you have any idea how many diapers your newborn will use in his first year only? Let’s assume you change diapers on average 5-7 times a day (the first month it’s more likely to be 10 times a day though) and you’ll find that you’re going to need about 2,500 diapers, in the first year only! That’s quite a carbon footprint, so if that’s your concern, cloth diapering is for you!

Another reason to turn to cloth diapering is to save money. Depending on the diaper brand you pick, you can expect to spend anything between $400 – $750 on cloth diapers, versus $1,500 – $2,000 on disposables during your baby’s diaper-wearing years. And, when you’re planning on having more than one child, you can, of course, use the cloth nappies again for your next babies.

And then there’s our reason for trying out cloth diapers. Disposable nappies didn’t last the night, hence we turned to cloth diapers with booster, hoping that these worked better overnight. And guess what? They did!

What Are Different Kinds Of Cloth Diapers?

When you’ve decided to give cloth diapering a go, you’ve got another choice to make; which types of cloth diapers are you going to use? There are four different types to choose from, which we highlight below.

1 – Flats and Prefolds

Flats and prefolds are the least expensive cloth diapers. However, they require a fair bit of diaper-origami skills as they’re the most complicated to use. Generally, flats are a single piece of cotton cloth whereas prefolds are already pre-sewn with a middle section that is the most absorbent. This is kind of diapering like our grandparents did. Just fold and pin the cloths and you’re ready to go.

One thing to keep in mind though is that you’re not quite ready to go. You’ll need a waterproof cover to avoid leaking. It’s also important to realize that even though this is the cheapest option of cloth diapering, you require to add cloth diaper accessories to your list.

2 – Fitted Cloth Diapers

As the name suggests, these diapers are pre-sewn and usually come with velcro or snap closures. These nappies also have elastic bands for leg holes, which means fewer leaks. They’re a lot easier to use than the flats or prefolds, but you still need to add a waterproof cover. However, fitted cloth diapers are quite bulky, which is something to consider when travelling or during hot summer months.

3 – Pocket Diapers

Pocket diapers consist of two separate parts. You’ll have the diaper with a soft inner layer and a waterproof outer layer, and you have the pocket insert, which is an absorbent piece of cloth. Once you’ve stuffed the absorbent piece into the pocket, you can put on the diaper like a disposable; no special skills needed. A huge benefit of this type of cloth diapers is that you can adjust the inserts: use a thin one during the day and choose one with a higher absorbency level for the night. One thing to consider with pocket diapers is that you need a bigger inventory as you’ll have to wash the entire diaper after every use.

4 – All-In-One Diapers

And here we are, at our choice of cloth diapers; the all-in-one cloth diaper. With a soft inner layer, absorbent cloth, and a waterproof outer layer all sewn together, the all-in-ones are as easy to use as disposable nappies. We like the comfort of putting them on and the elastic leg holes prevent from leaking. Also, we added a booster for extra absorption during the night. You won’t be surprised to hear that of all four types of cloth diapers, these are the most expensive ones. But they’re definitely worth it!

Four Types of Cloth Diapers Compared

So, how do these four types of cloth diapers compare? We’ve put together the pros and cons in the table below and we’ve also added a price range and the number of diapers you’ll need. Based on this table you can decide what’s the best cloth diaper for you.

Flats / PrefoldsFittedPocketAll-In-Ones
ProsCheapEasier to useAdjust absorbency and super easy to useAs simple as a disposable diaper
ConsNeed additional accessories like pins and a waterproof coverCan be quite bulky and still need a waterproof coverWash the entire diaper after every useMost expensive options
PriceStarting from less than $1,50 / pieceStarting from $40 / 6 piecesStarting from $40 / 6 piecesStarting from $20 / piece
Quantity24 – 30 pieces
+ 4 – 6 covers
24 – 30 pieces
+ 4 – 6 covers
24 – 30 pieces24 – 40 pieces
Four types of cloth diapers compared

How Do You Wash Cloth Diapers

We had a diaper pail filled with cold water standby under our changing station. After every change, we disposed the dirty cloth diaper into this pail. As we only used the cloth diaper for the nights, we washed the two dirty diapers every other day (together with a load of towels). However, we suggest washing the dirty diapers daily if you use them throughout the day (remember you’ll be changing your newborn more than 7 times a day). Make sure to use a baby-friendly detergent. We never machine dried our nappies, but always hang them out to dry.

Aren’t Cloth Diapers Dirty?

Well, this was one of our main questions and yes, to be honest, disposable diapers are more convenient in a way that you don’t have to get your hands dirty. However, cloth diapers aren’t as dirty as we expected them to be. The trick is to use diaper liners, which retain solids to help reduce soiling of the nappies. They also repel liquids to keep the bum of your little one dry and comfortable. When changing diapers, you dispose of the diaper liner (including the faeces) and throw the diaper in your diaper pail. We actually had a laundry bag in our diaper pail so that we could simply take out the laundry bag and put it straight into the washing machine.

Are You Ready for Cloth Diapers?

So, now you know a little bit about cloth diapers you can make your own comparison and decide what type of nappies are right for you. If cloth diapers are the right choice for you, make sure to get enough stock, as well as all required accessories for cloth diapering well before your baby, arrives, so that can you practice your diaper techniques and

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