cloth diapers

Cloth Diapering 101-Begin Cloth Diapering Today

I’ll be honest. Years ago when my oldest was born, the thought of cloth diapering was repugnant. Wrapping my baby in a towel and have them leak all over the place did not seem to do anybody any good and yet the cloth diapering community still continued to grow. I thought it would be extra work, extra mess and an extra grade A pain in the neck. I.Was.Wrong.

Throughout the years, cloth diapering has come a long way from simply safety pinning a piece of cloth around your baby. I never knew that they came with inserts and waterproof shells as well as many colors and styles. But don’t let that intimidate you. Cloth diapering can actually be very simple and no more of mess than traditional diapers if you just do a little research beforehand. So to begin cloth diapering today, here are some quick cloth diapering 101 basics I have prepared to help ease your hesitations.

Cloth Diapering 101

Types of Cloth Diapers

There are different types of cloth diapers, although for the sake of overwhelming you, really you only need to know about 5 of them. Some of these are just sub categories and can be used as more than one “type”. Here’s what I mean;

  1. All in One’s (AIO’s) are a one step system with no additional insert. They most resemble traditional disposables because the insert (area that touches baby’s skin and catches the waste) is sewn into the waterproof shell. It All In One Cloth Diapermakes clean up a breeze and you throw the whole thing in the wash or your diaper pail/wet bag. Although I’ve found that waiting for AIOs to dry takes a bit longer and could become a problem if you don’t have a significant stock of diapers waiting for you. (We all know that babies and toddlers go through plenty of diapers a day). They also are a bit higher in cost compared to other types but that’s simply because you don’t have to buy the shell AND the insert although some parents suggest adding a diaper booster for overnight. Of course this tip could help but may not be mandatory for all types/brands.
  2. Flat/Prefold diapers are generally what I myself associated cloth diapers to be before doing my research. Except now, they have their own waterproof cover (usually sold separately) that you can attach around the cloth. They are rectangular single layered “rags” if you will, that you can fold in different ways to fit your baby and then use a diaper fastener (they usually look like big safety pins) to keep it attached vs AIOs/AI2s that stay on baby via buttons or Velcro which are adjustable as your baby grows. Flats usually are made of cotton and although they may seem intimidating, they are actually the cheapest option. Prefolds are basically Flats but are already folded for ease of use into 3 sections with the middle layer being the most absorbent layer. I have never used flats/prefolds but apparently they are the best to use with newborns.
  3. All in Two’s (AI2) cover most types of reusable diapers. They consist of a removable insert, usually made of wool, fleece or polyurethane laminate (PUL). You can also use cotton or bamboo and even take your money saving a step further and make your own inserts! The removable insert can either be washable or flushable and lays inside the waterproof shell that then snaps into the outer shell (available in thousands of colors and All In 2 Cloth Diaperprints). Examples of AI2s are:
  • Pocket which has a hole between the waterproof shell and place where baby’s skin touches. Simply put your insert into this hole rather than laying insert directly against baby.
  • Hybrids are nice because they offer reusable as well as biodegradable inserts that can either be washed or flushed such as Gdiapers. When flushing, however, it is usually recommended to swish the insert a bit to help prevent plumbing issues. After all, you can’t really friendly flush with these lol.

All in all, cloth diapers really can save you money once you’ve gathered enough in your supply. Given that most cloth diapers have the waterproof liner and outer shell, changing your baby is super easy! All you have to do is switch out the insert for a fresh one, button em up and you’re ready to go! Which type of cloth diaper do you use for your baby? Let me know in the comments below! Also, any personal experience with the different types are gladly appreciated.



23 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering 101-Begin Cloth Diapering Today

  1. Hi there,

    Very Interesting article. I am a mommy myself, and I am in the process of potty training my kids, so you can imagine what I am going through right now. Very helpful information and tips.


  2. Every cloth diapering mommy has a horror story but I believe cloth against my babies bottoms is much better than the recyclables inside a diaper!!

    1. Very true! And the best part is you know exactly what the material is against baby depending on your preference of insert.

  3. I did not know there were so many different cloth diapers. I like the All in Twos….seems like maybe less washing? Am I correct, that the insert is what would get washed? Also, do you have links for purchasing these cloth diapers? Thanks!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! That’s why I made this site to begin with, to teach others there are alternatives when it comes to diapering. πŸ™‚

  4. Ash, that is great information that you have in your post about cloth diapers. I can see where it would help parents and babies. Although cloth diapers may be better, parents have to ensure that the cloth diapers are washed promptly and properly for hygiene reasons. That would mean that the washing machine could be busy a lot of the time. And that parents are tied to laundry duty every day.

    1. It may seem so David but usually parents rinse them first and stow them in a seperate container known as a wet bag or even diaper pails until ready to wash. That is also a good reason to have a significant stock of them at the ready so you arent constantly at the washer over just a handful of diapers. hope that helps!

  5. I used cloth diapers with my first child a long time ago it was just the way you did it then, now it’s commonplace to use disposable diapers but the impact on the environment is huge so going back to cloth diapers is a good idea.

  6. Interesting. I had heard about these cloth diapers ,but had never looked into them until now. I am definitely interested in the All in one diapers. My mom has a newborn and I should definitely tell her to look into this.
    I might look into the flat or prefold ones too, though I still think the all in ones would be better.


  7. I have my first 3 months newborn, and the amount of the disposable nappies is huge! At my age my mum used clothes to wrap around. But this is such a great product! I should give them a try. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, try them out for sure! And if you wind up finding that cloth diapering just isnt for you, there are plenty of parents who would buy gently used cloth diapers if the store you buy from wont let you return them!

  8. it’s a very good product to promote and educate people about! save the world by small actions! let’s cut the waste!

  9. I don’t have kids but when I do have I’ll definitely be considering cloth diapers especially since the price of everything is increasing

  10. Hi and thank you for the informative post on cloth diapers, so glad to see them making a come back for so many reasons. I am really glad that you are bring more awareness on them. Keep up the good work.

    It is also good to see the many designs now, which make them more user friendly.

  11. Wow! Didn’t know there were so many kinds of cloth diapers. Most people I know use the plastic disposable Huggies, etc. But I think there is a movement toward the more natural these days, which is good. Thanks for providing the information. I would never have known.

  12. I didn’t know there were different types of these. I just thought it was all white with the pins like you said. This is actually very interesting. Glad i learned something new today.

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