Selecting the Right Cloth Diaper

May 5, 2009 by Angie Stewart  
Published in Motherhood

Just like anything, cloth diapers come in all shapes, sizes, and features. This information can help you make the right choice for you and your baby.

The diaper you select will mainly be determined by how much money you want to spend, how often you plan to use cloth, daycare regulations, and/or your personal preference.

I recommend experimenting with a variety of diapers to discover which diaper works for you.

Definition of Cloth Diapers

Flat Birds Eye Diapers:  Very equivalent to the cloth diapers your mother and grandmother may have used. 

  • 100 % cotton
  • One size fits all advantage
  • Requires the use of fastening, folding, and a diaper cover.
  • Cotton Prefolds:  The most affordable and popular diaper. 
  • Provides a three layers for absorption system
  • Requires some fastening, folding, and diaper covers
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to fit your needs

Fitted Cloth Diapers: Designed just like a disposable diaper, these diapers are very easy to use and convenient. 

  • No folding or fastening
  • Elastic around legs to prevent leaks
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Trim fit
  • Requires a diaper cover

All in One (AIO):  The name says it all!  These diapers are very comparable to disposable diapers.

  • Created with a protective outer shell – no diaper cover required!
  • No folding or fastening
  • Elastic around legs to prevent leaks
  • Comes in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Trim fit with Velcro or snaps

Pocket Diapers

  • Made from two layers, an inner shell and an outer absorbent shell. 
  • Small pocket in designed to insert an absorbent pad – thus increasing absorbency and preventing leaks.
  • No folding or fastening
  •  Elastic around legs to prevent leaks
  •  Comes in a variety of sizes and colors
  • Trim fit with Velcro or snaps

Diaper Cover/ Diaper Wrap:  Designed waterproofing shell, these act to mainly prevent any leaking. 

  • Prevent leaking
  • Remove the need for pins and fasteners
  • More comfortable than the “plastic pants”

Diaper Insert / Diaper Doublers / Fleece Liner:  These absorbent pads are used to increase absorbency and prevent leaks.

  • Can be used in any diaper
  • Pocket diapers have a special pocket to insert these pads

How Many Diapers Do I Need?

How many diapers you wish to purchase really depends upon how often you wish to do laundry, how often you plan to use cloth diapers, and the age of your child.

Average Daily Diaper Use:

  • Newborn – 6 months: 10 – 12 diapers
  • 6 – 12 months: 8 – 10 diapers
  • 12-24 months:  6 – 8 diapers
  • Potty Training: 2 – 4 diapers
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