When we first tried cloth diapering over eight years ago with our first daughter, my husband and I were just beginning our crunchy-ish journey. We had not really considered cloth diapers until our birthing class instructor told us how wonderful and EASY it is. I remember being hesitant, and having absolutely no idea what to expect. I want to share what we tried, and how we simplified cloth diapers for our babies over the years!
The first time around, we didn’t know anyone (besides our instructor) who cloth diapered. Of course, we bought the diapers that we thought looked the most like disposables, which at the time were Bumgenius 2.0’s with velcro (because the snaps looked too complicated, lol). We also bought a diaper sprayer, so we could spray that mess right into the toilet! Below are all-in-ones just like the BumGenius 2.0’s, and the amazing diaper sprayer.
I was constantly annoyed with the diapers. In case you haven’t seen them, all-in-one style diapers are one piece, and no insert is required. This was convenient for changing (and super-easy to explain to anyone else changing our baby), but they took FOREVER to dry, like, two to three days on the drying rack, or two cycles in the dryer!
Because the all-in-ones were so thick, they didn’t seem like they really got clean, and after a few washings, they would smell a little bit until I stripped them (ugh, more work).
When my second daughter was born, we tried the BumGenius 4.0 pocket diapers, which have a separate insert that slides into the pocket inside the diaper. These washed and dried a little better. However, we had to get rid of them completely, because our daughter always had a rash. We eventually switched to disposables with her, after trying several different detergents with no luck (I didn’t realize it until later that it was probably the microsuede in the BumGenius diapers that made her break out).
The third time around, with our THIRD daughter, we have actually “downgraded” our diapers to a much cheaper and simpler option, and I couldn’t be happier!
On a side note: cloth diapers actually hold their value really well, and I was able to sell all the all-in-ones and other pocket diapers we had from before. The money we got from those was enough to purchase new simple cotton pre-folds and covers!
Our Simplified Cloth Diapers: what we chose!
I had heard a lot of people say they liked pre-folds and covers, but I thought it meant we would have to use pins or “Snappis.” We actually tried pre-folds with Snappis for a bit with our first daughter in the newborn phase, and quickly decided was too complicated (They are really not that complicated – we are just all about EASY around here). The photo below shows a fitted diaper held on by a Snappi. This kind of diaper would need a cover over it, just like a prefold. You can see more Snappis here.
This time around, we are using simple unbleached cotton prefolds and covers, but we found an easier way!
We came across “Better Fit” prefolds, which are shorter, so you can literally just fold them and lay them in the cover, and they fit perfectly. We purchased the unbleached cotton version, and they have been wonderful, because they don’t irritate baby’s skin at all (like some micro suede and other synthetic materials can), they are super easy to get clean, and dry quickly.
See OsoCozy Better Fit Prefolds here:
Our Cloth Diaper Covers
We also found covers that we liked better than the last time around. The Rumparooz covers we bought are softer than the Thirsties we tried when our first was born. We have also had no problems with leaks. They dry quickly, and hold up really well (they come in super-cute colors and patterns, too).
Rumparooz Covers (click then link, then the drop-down for more colors and patterns):
*The small size covers are not necessary if your baby weighs at least six pounds, and could be skipped if you’re on a tight budget. We bought a few smalls, because one-size covers tend to be a little bulky on a newborn. In case you’ve never seen one-size covers in action, the size is completely adjustable, based on how you snap them. They can fit smaller infants all the way through toddlers.
We bought 24 prefolds in the small size, 6 small covers, and 8 regular covers to start out. The covers can be used more than one time, as long as they don’t get any number two on them. Just the pre-fold inside needs to be changed. If the cover is wet, it can be quickly wiped with a wipe or hand-washed in the sink and hung to dry, then used again. (More info here).
I also bought some organic cotton “doublers” to use in addition to the pre-folds for overnight. We haven’t needed them so far, but I know some people do, depending on how wet their baby gets.
When it’s time to wash diapers, I throw everything in the washing machine together, dry the prefolds in the dryer, and hang the covers on the drying rack to dry. The covers are dry in about four hours, which is amazingly fast, and the prefolds are dry in one regular dryer cycle!
If You Need More Info
There is a lot of information on the Diaper Junction website and on greenmountaindiapers.com if you are new to cloth diapering. You can find everything from how many diapers and covers to buy, how to use them, and how to wash them. Here is a link to get you started:
This is a good link from Green Mountain Diapers, and especially pay attention to their info at the bottom of this page on avoiding pocket diapers and stay-dry all-in-ones:
In all, we found the Better Fit Pre-folds and Rumparooz covers to be the best and simplest option we tried, and I’m so happy we switched.! I hope this has given you some good information about trying out cloth diapers, or possibly simplifying your cloth diapers if you already use them.
If you cloth diaper, have you found ways to simplify or make it more manageable? If you are new to cloth diapering or considering it, what questions do you have?
Please leave a comment below, or feel free to email me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org