You've heard the benefits of cloth diapering. It's a more economical, environmentally friendly choice, can be great for babies with sensitive skin and so on. But if you decide to use cloth diapers, the choices can be overwhelming. There are prefolds and snaps and disposable liners — literally dozens of styles! How is a parent supposed to know which type of cloth diaper to choose?
That's why we created this list. We focused on the main kinds of diapers available from newborn to pocket and swim. While not all-encompassing, it'll get you started. Good luck and happy diapering!
As if cloth diapers weren't cute enough, newborn varieties cause even the most hardened diaperer to squeal in delight. They're meant to get you through until your child weighs closer to 10 pounds and can wear one-size diapers.
This adjustable pocket diaper works from day one up until about 24 pounds. The adjustable settings mean you'll be able to find the perfect fit for plump, cubby babies and their long, lanky friends.
The Lil Joey is the newborn version of Rumparooz's popular pocket diaper. Double-gusset technology holds in leaks and a snap down the front allows for sensitive cord care in the first few weeks after birth. This diaper's all-in-one feature means no inserts to stuff; the internal soaker is made of four layers of thirsty microfiber. The Lil Joey has a waterproof outer core and fits from 4 to 12 pounds.
Thirsties makes a delightful newborn diaper which is also an all-in-one. The trim-fitting style features an umbilical cord snap and adjustable rise, which means you'll be able to get a custom fit for babies weighing between 5 and 14 pounds. The built-in three-layer microfiber terry soaker absorbs more than seven times its weight in liquid. This is the fastest drying diaper they've ever created, claims Thirsties — a huge bonus since newborns can go through 10 to 12 diapers a day.
Daily Diapers: Pocket, all-in-one and all-in-two
Your baby is no longer a newborn so now what? This next batch is considered daily diapers, a.k.a. the workhorses of cloth diapering. There are two types: Pocket diapers come with an insert to stuff into the diaper shell while all-in-ones have inserts already sewn into the shell (all-in-twos are the same but have a snap-in or lay-in insert).
These diapers are probably the most popular style of pocket diapers. They fit babies from 10 to 40 pounds and feature adjustable settings in the waist, rear and rise. The highly absorbent organic cotton/hemp inserts keep babies dry while the elastic settings mean no leaks. As a bonus, these diapers are super easy to clean.
Another popular pocket diaper brand is the Rumparooz One Size Cloth Pocket Diaper. It features patented leak protection technology with dual inner gussets and fits babies from six to 35 pounds (typical weight around potty training).
While best known for their hybrid diaper option, GroVia also has a delightful all-in-one cloth diaper that features a snap-in channeled soaker. It fits kids from 8 to 35 pounds and can be adjusted to a variety of sizes thanks to its hook-and-loop closure and snaps.
These come with an absorbent sewn-in liner that makes cloth diapering a breeze. These diapers don't need to be unstuffed or unsnapped to be washed; just toss them in the washing machine. Fits babies from 8 to 40 pounds.
The HappyEndings All-in-Two features an absorbent snap-in insert along with an extra pocket for heavy wetters. The trim design fits babies from 8 to 35 pounds. The insert snaps into the top of the diaper for quick removal and easy reuse of the waterproof shell.
Prefolds may look like what your own mother used back in the day but this old-fashioned style has had a bit of an upgrade.
Cloth-diapering purists tend to love the flexibility of prefolds and wraps as they afford a wide range of uses to fit almost any baby. The addition of snappies has meant less accidental finger stabs from safety pins. Fitted diapers are a great economical choice when paired with a waterproof wrap that come without the work of folding a prefold.
Thirsties makes a bright, waterproof Duo Wrap that in a pinch can double as a swim diaper. Paired with flat cloth diapers from Green Mountain Diapers and SNAPPIs to close the prefolds, you have an economical cloth diapering solution.
There are times when cloth diapering can be hard to keep up: long trips away from home, overnights with the grandparents, daycare. With their disposable inserts for a cloth diaper shell, hybrid diapers are fantastic for these occasions.
For this diaper, caregivers can select a shell and insert based on desired absorbency. The outside shell is waterproof, works alone as a swim diaper and can be used multiple times between washings. The GroVia Hybrid Diaper also features soft leg gussets to keep in leaks. It comes with both hook-and-loop and snap closures.