You asked for a cloth diapering guide and we have put one together. We will undoubtedly add more to this guide as we learn new things. Feel free to visit us in the forum for more information and any questions you may have.
Let’s start with the basics.
What a prefold is– Prefolds are rectangular diapers that have more layers in the middle and fewer layers on the sides. Typically the sides consist of 4 layers on each side and either 6 or 8 layers in the center. They also come bleached (the gerber ones you see in most chain stores) or unbleached (my preference). Prefolds do require diaper pins or snappis to close them around baby. This is usually the most economical way to cloth diaper.
What a cover is– Diaper covers come in a number of different styles- the most popular being the wrap- style cover in which you can just lay a prefold and velcro or snap the cover over the diaper. They also come in pull-on pant styles. The majority of modern cloth diaper covers use the following three fibers: Wool, Fleece or PUL.
Price range– For a DSQ (Diaper Service Quality) diaper it costs on average $2 a diaper. This can of course vary by brand, size, quality and quantity you chose. Covers also run the gamete in pricing. I have purchased some on sale for less than $3 and some that were $13. I would say on average they are about $11
Sizes– Prefolds come in preemie (up to 8 lbs.), infant (7-15 lbs.) and premium (15-30 lbs). Covers come in sizes 1 and 2 or some brands do carry a one size that is usually 8-32 lbs.
How many do you need per day– Newborns will go through 12-16 a day for the first 2 weeks or so. 8-12 the first six months and than closer to 6-8 thereafter. I recommend purchasing 36 for an infant and 24 for babies 6 months or older. This should last you 2-3 days depending on your baby’s potty habits.
How many covers do you need- A cover lasts as long as it is not super wet or soiled. Usually 2 a day is good. 6 is a good number to have.
Anything else you need– Snappis or pins are necessary. I recommend snappis because they are easier and safer. I would get at least 3. A wet bag (or two) and a diaper pail with a liner (or two). A sprayer is not needed but once your baby starts eating solids it will be very helpful. A CD friendly detergent is also a must.
What is a Fitted?
A fitted diaper requires a cover and is usually enclosed by snaps or velcro. They are classified by the elastic gussets around the legs and the classic diaper shape.
Fitteds range in price from very inexpensive to all the way up to $50 a pop
Fitteds come in all sizes…both sized and one size
How many do you need per day:
Like with any cloth diaper you will need a minimum of 24 diapers
How many covers do you need:
I would suggest having between 6 and 8 covers
Where to buy:
What is a pocket diaper: A pocket diaper is a cloth diaper with an outer waterproof (PUL) layer and an inner layer of some fabric that wicks moisture, like fleece, with an opening on one end, which creates a pocket. The pocket needs to be “stuffed” with some sort of insert. Most diapers come with an insert, but you can stuff pocket diapers with microfiber inserts, minky inserts (my personal favorite), bamboo inserts, hemp inserts, prefold diapers, flannel receiving bankets, or flour sack towels just to name a few. For overnights or nap times, diapers can be double stuffed or stuffed with two different inserts (i.e., microfiber and bamboo). Pocket diapers have either velcro or snap closures.
Price range: New diapers with inserts can cost from $5 to $25 depending on the brand. Used pocket diapers can be very affordable (check out your local Craigslist or eBay).
Sizes: These diapers can be “sized” (S, M, L) or one-size, depending on brand. Sized diapers are generally less bulky, but one-size are more economical.
How many do you need per day: 12
Where to buy some of our favorite brands…
The All In One
What is an All in One(AIO): An All In One is exactly what the name emplies. The diaper features everything built into one diaper. You snap or Velcro the diaper on and you are good to go, no inserts required. A lot of All In One’s also have a pocket underneath the padding so you can add an insert for added absorbency.
Price Range: They range between $13-$30 per diaper.
Sizes: Available in one size and sized. Sized diapers will have a trimmer fit.
How many do you need per day: 12 diapers per day
The All In Two
What is an All in Two (AI2): An All In Two is a hybrid style diaper that embodies everything the AIO does, but has the additional convenience of transforming into a disposable. Usually with stick on disposable inserts, you can make this diaper work from home and on the go without lugging around dirty diapers.
Price Range: Hybrids run between $15-$30 per diaper and inserts can be bought in packs of 50 for $19.99.
Sizes: Available in one size and sized.
How many do you need per day: 12 diapers per day, if you use this system exclusively you can get away with having a minimum of 3 covers (per day) and 12 inserts. I would recommend having at least 4 though.
Accessories and Others
Diaper Sprayer:A miniature shower hose that gets placed on the side of a toilet for spraying off dirty diapers. This is incredibly handy if you want to minimize the amount of waste going in your washer, cutting down smell and removing solids.
Diaper Liners: an ultra thin liner that gets placed between the child and the diaper. These allow for an easy, mess free cleanup. I personally like GroVia BioLiners Diaper Liners
The Snappi: a Snappi Cloth Diaper Fasteners is the modern version of the diaper pin. The Snappi gets stretched across the diaper for a secure fit. Use it with prefolds and some fitteds.
Wet Bags: A Wet Bag is a bag you can carry around in your diaper bag for wet diapers, soiled clothes and any pukey misshaps that happen along the way. Some people use a wetbag as their diaper laundry bag in the home as well. They come in a variety of sizes.
Pail liner: Kissa’s Antibacterial Pail Liner is a pail liner to go inside your diaper pail to lock in smells and to stop the mess.
Diaper Pail/Trash can: You can use any type of trash can with a lid for your diapers. We personally like to use trash cans with foot pedal lids.