May 16, 2013

Cloth Diapers: Going Simple

photo credit Diaper Junction

If you are interested in cloth diapers because you want to save money above all other reasons, then think prefolds. Prefolds are pretty much the least expensive way to cloth diaper ($1-2 per diaper + a few covers that start around $11 each). Though you will need a couple of sizes to cover your baby from birth to potty training, you can still get everything you need to diaper your child for 3+ years for less than a couple of packages of disposables. If you are only cloth diapering part time, this is still a great option to save $$, too.

So what do you need?

1. Prefold Diapers - before I started cloth diapering, I knew these as burp cloths, but really they are the 'old school' diapers you see on baby posters. Some good options are Thirsties Cloth Diapers -hemp prefolds, or the very inexpensive but effective Indian Prefolds.  For full time diapering you probably need 20-30 of these, depending on how often your baby 'goes' and how often you want to do laundry.

photo credit Diaper Junction
2. Diaper Covers - Thirsties Diapers makes two great options - either a sized cover, or the Duo Wrap, where two sizes will cover your baby's diapering lifetime. There are lots of cute patterns and options out there to choose from, so check out Blueberry and can be very inexpensive, like Econobum,  For full time diapering at home you probably need 3-5 of these in each size, depending on how often you do laundry, or how often baby poops. Covers can be reused several times between pee diapers, but need to be washed after poop gets on them.

3. Snappi (optional) - the snappi replaces the need for pins in this 'old fashioned' way of diapering. It works like the gripper on an Ace bandage to hold together your folded diaper. I say this is optional, because I often forgo the snappi and fold the diaper Angel Wing style and just lay or tuck it into the cover. You probably only need one or two of these for full time diapering.

THAT'S IT. That is really all you need.
... Of course it is easy to go crazy with a collection of covers, and maybe you will get a few accessories (like a wetbag for storing dirty diapers, detergent specific for cloth diapers, cloth diaper safe diaper cream, to name a few)

I admit that I don't send these to daycare (I am so grateful that our teachers are willing to cloth diaper, that I want to minimize any potential intimidation), but I frequently turn to these myself at home. They take up very little space when packing the diaper back for a whole day out - and we seem to always have some handy. That big stack of burp cloths? Those can double as a diaper in a pinch, too (after all, that's what they really are...).



  1. What do you send to daycare?

    1. I send all-in-ones or all-in-twos(and pockets occasionally, but they are my least favorite type of cloth diaper - I find them bulky- so I tend not to use them in general - except at night).

      I have a variety of AIO's including Ragababe, BumGenius freetimes and Elementals, GroVia, and Thirsties.

      ... and AI2's (my favorite type of cloth diaper - both GroVia and SoftBums Echo)

      Thanks for your question - I should add this info to my cloth-at-daycare post ->

  2. Hi Jill, I want to start with my son but need a link to your beginners post. I heard G diapers are good but better with disposable liners and prefolds. I am still learning the terminology. I want to be goo d to the Earth and Need to ease into this new process. So i need no leaks but i also don't want to scrape poop. $aving money is important but i am not ready to go basic like your post above. Any advice?

    1. You know, I am not sure that I have a beginner's post out there! I will write one - thanks!

      I am totally with your about no leaks and not wanting to scrape poop - but just a disclaimer, even disposable occasionally leak and cause you to touch poop... right?

      That said, I have found this to be much less likely using cloth.

      To get you going, before I write the post - I will say:
      1) I wouldn't say gDiapers would be my top recommendation. I only own one cover (the Graceful Rose - because it is soooo cute!) but I couldn't see myself using this as a full time system as a working mom needing to send them to daycare, and having a husband who isn't a crazy cloth diaper advocate.
      2) If I were buying one system only, it would probably SoftBums Echos or Grovia AI2/hybrids. But also I might do a cloth diaper trial (where you basically rent several kinds of diapers for about a month) to see which really worked best for me.
      3) Once your baby's poop is no longer water soluable (ie. when/if they are no longer exclusively breastfed) use cloth diaper liners so that the poop easily goes in the potty. And then wash and not worry too much about anything that stays behind.

      More tips on cloth diapers for a working mom -

      and cleaning them: