Skip to Content

Cloth Diapers for Beginners

It’s no secret that cloth diapers are better for the environment than their disposable counterparts. They’re also more economical, and they come in cute patterns! Have you ever considered switching to cloth? Follow this Cloth Diapers for Beginners guide to learn more!

Cloth Diapers for Beginners

Cloth diapering is a sustainable and natural way to diaper your baby. It’s also more affordable in the long run, which is perfect for parents on a budget! But before you get started with cloth diapers, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into. This article will cover everything from choosing the right cloth diapers to washing them properly so they don’t smell like ammonia. Read on if you want to learn all about cloth diapering!

The basics of diapering is simple – you need something to absorb liquid paired with a material that acts as a barrier for the soiled absorbing layer.

Cloth diapers come in a variety of styles and textiles, all having their own unique list of pros and cons.

cloth diapers for beginners

All in One Cloth Diapers

One of the easiest cloth diapers is the all-in-one diaper. These diapers are easy to use because they don’t require you to insert an absorbent material. You put them on like a disposable diaper and after your baby’s done, you simply take the whole thing off and toss it in the laundry basket!

All-in-ones aren’t perfect though – the ones with the liner sewn in have a longer drying time & you’ll go through them rather quickly throughout the day. If you plan to use the A-I-O style cloth diaper, you’ll need a fairly large stash to save yourself from doing laundry all day.

Pocket Cloth Diapers

These types of cloth diapers are one step up from the AIO style. They still have a pocket opening where you can stuff an absorbent material inside, but they also require more work at changing times than AIOs do.  Either way, these offer great diaper cover options and some people like to use them as their nighttime diapers.

With this style of diaper, the insert and the cover are not attached. Instead, the absorbing layer is placed into the diaper via an opening at one or either end of the diaper. The “pocket” that the insert is put into is created by the water-resistant cover and a moisture-wicking lining. This lining helps to keep your baby feeling dry because it pulls excess moisture away from the skin.

This style of diaper is very popular because it gives you the option to customize your absorbency.  Most parents start with a pocket that only includes the absorbing layer and then over time, they add another insert or increase their initial absorber for overnight diapering.

Old School Pre-fold & Flat Diapers

Old school prefolds are made from a single layer of fabric that is folded into thirds and then fastened with diaper pins. A flat diaper only requires two folds in the middle to make it ready for diapering baby.

My personal favorites are the prefolded Gerber cloth diapers that my mom used for me & my siblings. They fit nicely and can be secured with a snappi or with old-fashioned diaper pins and finished off with a diaper cover. Although they’re a little more work, they are very inexpensive in comparison to the AIO & Pocket Diapers.

Fitted Diapers

Fitted diapers are the same as prefolds except that they have a layer of interfacing sewn to them and snap or Velcro closures. They’re a bit bulky, take a long time to dry, can get expensive, and they will also need a cover.

How many cloth diapers should I buy?

A newborn can easily go through ten to twelve cloth diapers in one day so we recommend purchasing 12-18 cloth diapers in the newborn or small sizes. An older baby doesn’t need quite as many diapers, but you should still plan for 8 diaper changes and an overnight solution.

Getting rid of the ammonia smell

The chief culprit for an ammonia smell is diapers that aren’t clean and detergent residue. Make sure that you are using a detergent that does not contain any perfumes or fabric softeners. Make sure that you are using enough of a good quality detergent. Follow the directions on the bottle for a heavily soiled load. Diapers need to be washed twice using a full amount of detergent. Occasionally using 1/4 cup of bleach may be occasionally necessary to deal with stubborn stink issues that are unresolved by a correct washing routine.

I hope you found this post helpful. If so, please share in the comments below and help other parents in your community learn about cloth diapering! What kind of cloth did you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

Looking for an all-natural diaper rash cream? Take a look at this post, too.