Want to cloth diaper, but have no idea where to begin? Check out this guide for the best cloth diapers for babies of any age and size.
So you’ve decided on cloth diapers—hooray! Now the big question is which ones do you get?! There is a big learning curve, so if you need help choosing the best ones for your baby, you’re not alone. But cloth diapering has so many benefits: It’s better for baby and better for the environment. And that’s why we’re here for you, mama! This guide will demystify all different types, plus lead you towards the best cloth diapers for your baby.
The Best Cloth Diapers
Best flat cloth diaper
“Flats” refer to a system in which a flat cloth is folded around the baby and then covered. You simply change the pads when they are wet and use the outside cover through multiple diaper changes (unless, of course, it gets dirty or wet).
These OsoCozy Organic Birdseye Cotton Flats are made from 100 percent cotton, are affordable, and—the best of all—work for newborns as well as toddlers. Just note: You’ll also need Snappis to make the folding easier and a diaper cover to keep your little one dry.
Flat Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
Best prefold cloth diaper
A prefold is very similar to the flat diaper—in fact, you might not notice much of a difference at first glance. But the flat is a square piece of cloth, while the prefold has an extra layer of thick fabric in the center. Most mamas prefer prefolds over flats when comparing these two options, because of the extra absorbency.
The OsoCozy 100 percent cotton prefolds are used as part of a three-part system: the prefold, the diaper cover, and an optional fastener, such as a safety diaper pin or a Snappi. When babies are older, you can simply fold the prefold into thirds and lay it flat in the cover, which omits the need for the fastener.
Best newborn cloth diaper
Though you can start cloth diapering from day one, cloth diapers can be a bit fluffy for a smaller newborn. For this reason, many mamas purchase newborn-sized diapers for the first few weeks and then upgrade to the regular cloth diapers after a few months. The Cloth-eez Workhorse fitted diapers are perfect for those little bottoms.
Newborn Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
Best fitted cloth diaper
A fitted diaper takes the concept of a prefold (soaker and cover) and then eliminates the need for folding, pinning, and securing the soaker. These diapers are form-fitting with elastic around waist and legs to help prevent blowouts. But, unless your diaper has a PUL liner, you do need a cover. A fitted diaper also uses Velcro or snaps to stay closed, and these diapers are form-fitting with elastic around the waist and legs.
This Thirsties Natural One Sized Fitted is made from cotton and works with most diaper covers. With over 11 layers (including the snap-in insert), your baby will stay nice and dry when paired with the cover.
Fitted Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
Best contour cloth diaper
A contour is similar to a prefold or flat diaper (i.e. it requires a diaper cover). The big difference? The cloth isn’t straight—it’s contoured for a more streamlined fit that will catch more of your baby’s poop.
The Bumkins Reusable Soaker can be placed into the diaper cover of choice.
Contour Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
Best pocket cloth diaper
A pocket diaper involves a simple setup—just insert a soaker pad into the pocket in the diaper. The bumGenius Original Pocket 5.0 is made in the United States and features a soft interior that’s gentle on baby’s sensitive skin.
Pocket Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
The all-in-two is similar to the pocket diaper—there’s no folding required. However, the difference is that the all-in-two soaker snaps into the diaper and lays against your baby—not in the pocket—which allows you to change only the inserts during diaper changes. You only need to change the cover if it becomes wet or soiled. Because the insert snaps in and out, it also speeds up drying time.
The Happy Ending AI2 (all-in-two) is a popular choice among new and veteran cloth diapering mamas. Plus, how cute is the yoga fox?
All-in-Two Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
Best hybrid cloth diaper
As the name suggests, hybrids are a cross between fully cloth and fully disposable. The GroVia Hybrid system uses reusable diaper covers with biodegradable inserts. Your inserts can be tossed, flushed, or even composted.
Hybrid Cloth Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
Best Swim Diaper
Best Swim Diaper Pros and Cons Chart
A word about Velcro: We don’t recommend this type of closure, because it can snag other clothes, inserts, or diapers in the washing machine. They also tend to lose their “stickiness” with age. But, if you are absolutely set on a velcro closure, try this one.
Which One is Right for YOUR Baby?
Some mamas choose to try a few styles at first, rather than committing to one style. Purchase one or two of each style, then when you know which ones are your favorite, stock up.
But don’t toss your least favorites: You might find that you prefer certain styles during certain ages. For example, many mamas like the flats and prefolds during infancy (since you change diapers so often), but switch to all-in-ones once babies starts eating solids.
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So you’ve got your diaper stash—now what? Take a peek at this post on cloth diapering to help you get started.