Cloth Diapering 101 - The Basics

What is a Cloth Diaper?

A cloth diaper is a washable, reusable diaper made of any one (or several) types of fabric. A cloth diaper may require a waterproof cloth diaper cover.
Two things are essential in a cloth diaper:

  1. Absorbency - Something to soak up and hold the wetness.
  2. Waterproofing - This keeps the wetness IN the diaper.

Why Cloth Diaper?

Common Cloth Diaper Questions from New Parents.

  • COST SAVINGS
    $150-$800 for a cloth diapering setup 
    [Assumes cloth investment of 24 diapers.]
    $1500-$2500 for disposables [Assumes potty training at 2.5 years.]
  • ENVIRONMENT
    The average baby will use aprox 7,000 disposable diapers during their first 2.5+ years.That’s more than 20 Billion disposables per year just in the United States. It is estimated that it will take 500 years for each to decompose in a landfill.
  • HEALTH & SAFETY
    Many eco-friendly disposables omit chlorine bleach and fragrances, but contain most of the same ingredients as standard disposable diapers.What’s in a regular disposable? Petroleum. Plastic. Bleaches. Dioxins. Artificial Fragrances. Trees.
  • FASHION & THE FUN FACTOR
    A 2012 survey of 3,000 cloth diaper users shows that 5% of buyers cite fun/fashion as the most important factor in their choice to use cloth diapers.We’ll admit that we are just talking about poo catchers, but cloth can make a dirty job a lot more fun!

Types of Cloth Diapers?

Check out this post on how to choose the right type of diapers for your stash!

  • PREFOLD OR FLAT + COVER
    The ‘original’ cloth diaper that our mothers & grandmothers used! A flat is a single layer of absorbent material, usually cotton. It is folded to create more absorbency where you want it and fastened on baby or you can just lay it in the diaper using the cover for closure. Pre- fold diapers are rectangular shaped diapers that must be folded into the shape of a diaper. They are similar to flats, but have multiple layers with more layering in the middle.They often have 2-4 layers of absorbent material on either side and 6-8 layers in the middle. Covers are available in sized or one-size with hook & loop or snap closure, some have flaps to hold your flat/prefold in place.
  • ALL IN TWO [aka] HYBRID [aka] AI2
    A water proof cover is used in combination with inserts specially sewn and tailored to contain messes and give a trim fit. Some inserts snap in place, some inserts are one-size while others you purchase larger sizes as baby grows. Covers are typically one-size with Velcro or hook & loop closure.
  • ALL IN ONE [aka] AIO
    A waterproof cover and an absorbent inner liner all in one piece fastened with hook & loop or snap closure. Frequently used by parents who need a convenient diaper for a day care, for quick and easy changes on the go, and by parents who just want the convenience of a one-piece diaper along with the ecological advantages of cloth.
  • POCKET DIAPER

    An outer layer of a waterproof material and an inner layer of a moisture wicking “stay dry” material form a pocket opening.Your choice of absorbent material is stuffed in the pocket during use and then removed for laundering. Available in sized or one-size with hook & loop or snap closure.