Choosing the Right Cloth Diapers for You

When you start looking into cloth diapers, the amount of different styles can seem overwhelming. Each style of cloth diaper has its pros and cons, so you just need to weigh your reasons for cloth diapering against each style in order to get a good starting point. Some factors to consider are: start-up cost, durability, ease of use and convenience.

Pre-folds and Flats: If cost savings is your most important reason for cloth diapering, then you will want to start with a stash of prefolds or flats. These are the most basic type of cloth diaper and are by far the most affordable way to start. You will need waterproof covers or wool covers to go over the prefolds or flats, but generally you can get an entire stash for between $100-$300.These are also the most durable of the cloth diaper options and should last you for multiple children. Many people like to just trifold a prefold into a cover, but you

can also buy a Snappi or other fastener and learn a few diaper folds, too.


Fitteds: If you like the idea of a prefold and cover system, but don’t want to learn diaper folds, then fitteds might be for you. The entirety of a fitted diaper is absorbent, so they are one of the most absorbent options out there. They typically have snap or velcro closures and are fairly intuitive to use, though you will need a water proof cover over them.


All In Ones: On the opposite end of the cloth diaper cost spectrum are All In One diapers. While you will still save money over using disposables, an AIO stash will be a much bigger up front cost than a prefold and cover stash. AIOs are the most like a disposable and are fantastic for daycare providers, babysitters, and grandparents to use. They are also convenient to wash and put away because there are no loose inserts to re-stuff or match up. One con of an AIO is the durability factor, however. Because this type of diaper is all one piece, they do get more wash wear quicker than other types of diaper. With a lot of care they can last through multiple children, but in a mixed stash you will most likely see wear on your AIOs first.


All In Twos or Hybrids: If you like the idea of an All In One, but want a little bit more of the durability of aprefold/cover system then All In Twos might be the diaper for you. All In Twos give you the option of just changing out a snap in or lay in insert so that you can reuse the covers for a few changes. This results in less wear and tear on your covers and can make your diapers last longer. Because of the way they are designed, they function very similarly to an AIO and are also very grandparent and babysitter friendly. Cost-wise they tend to be about halfway in between prefolds and AIOs.


Pockets: Pocket diapers are another option to consider. With a middle of the road price point, they appeal to a

lot of cloth diaper families. While you do have to stuff an insert into the pocket, once that is done they function very much like an All In One and are very easy to use. They tend to be more durable than an All In One also, because you can hang dry the pocket separate from the insert and get less wash wear on your diapers.

Many cloth diaper mamas like to have an eclectic mix of styles, and there is no wrong way to build a cloth diaper stash. Hopefully this guide will give a good starting point from which to build your cloth diaper stash.

Becca Schwartz is a cloth diapering, baby wearing, semi-crunchy mama to a toddler and one on the way. She and her husband have a small mini-farm with a flock of chickens and a few goats, and have dreams of someday soon moving out west to start a homesteading adventure together!

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