When I was pregnant, I was one of those mom-to-be’s who had to research everything. Perhaps it’s due to my background in academia. It was through my zealous research that I came across cloth diapering.
I loved everything about the concept of cloth diapering – it was eco-friendly, it would save us money in the long term, and it gave me an excuse to buy a bunch of baby things in cute colors and designs. But when I walked into a crunchy baby store looking to buy my first cloth diaper, it was overwhelming. What were all these little accessories that came with them? Why are there so many kinds of cloth diapers? Are newborn diapers really necessary?
Seven months and thousands of diaper changes later, I am quite the competent cloth diaperer. If you’re interested in cloth diapers but as clueless as I was many months ago, this guide is all you need to get started! Read on to learn how to cloth diaper your little one.
Types of Cloth Diapers
- Pocket diapers. This is the kind of cloth diaper we use. As the name suggests, pocket diapers contain pockets for removable inserts. The pocket is a multitasking superhero – you can adjust the absorbency of the entire diaper by changing the amount and type of inserts you use. They are also made with a fleece that repels moisture, keeping it off your baby’s skin and in the insert. Pocket diapers are typically closed with snaps or Velcro – no folding required.
- Prefolds. Most people think of these when they hear “cloth diaper” – think of the babies in old-fashioned cartoons fastened up with safety pins. Prefolds require a bit of prep work, as the flat cloths need to be folded and pinned or clipped onto your baby. You’ll also want to put a waterproof cover over the diaper. However, they are the most affordable cloth diaper option, and you can modernize the look of the diaper with the variety of cute and colorful covers on the market.
- All-in-Ones. These are the most convenient option. Like disposable diapers, you simply snap them on – no prep work needed. This makes them a great option to leave with caregivers who are unfamiliar with cloth diapering. However, they take longer to dry than other kinds of cloth diapers.
Types of Inserts
If you use pocket diapers, there are several types of inserts you can use depending on your needs.
- Microfiber. Most pocket diapers, like the ones we use, include microfiber inserts in the same package. This synthetic blend is the most affordable type of insert. You can layer microfiber inserts to increase the absorbency.
- Hemp. These are the most absorbent inserts, and are anti-microbial and anti-fungal. This makes them ideal for overnight use.
- Bamboo. Another super-absorbent material, though not as much as hemp. Bamboo is also anti-microbial and biodegradable.
Ready to shop for some cute cloth diaper supplies?
Go to Cloth Diapers 102 for a handy list of everything you’ll need to start.
If you have all your cloth diapering supplies already, skip to Cloth Diapers 103 for a step-by-step guide!