Whole Parenting Family

Cloth Diaper Options in a World of Cloth

altbaby153j SW diaper

Photo credits: Emily Rumsey Photography

The world of cloth diapering is overwhelming! So many options and brands. Diapers are kinda like jeans–what fits you perfectly might not fit your sister. For all three of our kids, my elder two pictured above at various stages, we (have) or (do) use prefolds, as stated. However, we’ve purchased many other, newer, more exciting, more new-agey options that I’ll discuss here. They’ve worked on different occasions, and to varying degrees of satisfaction.

1) Prefolds.

all those dips

Got a good look? That’s not your grandma’s diaper pin. It’s a Snappi. Love ’em.

a) Pros: easy to wash, fits any shape/size/thigh/bum, and inexpensive.

b) Cons: takes 8-10 seconds to put on, unlike a fitted. Not many cons in my mind.

2) Covers.

babee greens diaper covers

We use Babeegreens wool covers. They’re easy, and the wool is waterproof when lanolized, which I re-do about every few weeks. Poopy on there? Rinse it and let it dry! The company is a small family owned outfit in North Carolina and they’re wonderful! Just what you need to cover up your prefold or fitted.

Another popular product are the plastic Thirsties numbers. They are wipeable, non-leakable, plastic covers. A drawback to them is they can puddle a little and make your new clean diaper damp.

3) Fitted.

fitted diapers

Amazing lovely? Yes! Waterproof? No! These suckers do need a cover, which is their big drawback. Also, you need many many of them to get through two days of diapers. Let’s say, about 15 or 20. And that adds up price-wise quickly.

a) Pros: easily shapes to your little one’s body, delicious material, fun patterns, and day-care provider friendly.

b) Cons: price, quantity necessary to sustain even two days without laundry, and overwhelming diversity of brand options.

4) All-in-Ones.

Better idea than fitted because the construction is such that the cover is built in. Fantastic news! You skip a step and the need for an extra product. However, you run into the same cons as fitted: quantity and cost.

5) Pockets.

AIO diapers

Pocket diapers are great because the crotch material wicks away the moisture of urine, thus leaving you to remove the insert and not have to wash the whole thing (think my night diaper). However, once again, the cost and quantity necessary to function with a child whose bladder and bowels work normally is prohibitive to many. (We’re talking $15-$20 per diaper here.)


  1. jencliffdominic on June 25, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I don’t remember if I left a post someplace else on this site about diapers but I will on this one too! I did lots of research about cloth diapers and found that in the end the best way to try out what style works for you is buy used from numerous sites online. We found our best fit in a pocket diaper. I never thought I would be a momma who would be cloth diapering and here I am now a total advocate for it! We use justsimplybaby.com diapers because they were the kind of diaper we wanted to deal with, longevity, easy for both mom and dad, supported a work at home momma, and last but not least, a great deal!! Of course, its nice when they have cute prints but in the end that part is covered up with clothes. Each baby is different so trial and error is really the best way to go! 🙂

    • Novice Natural Mama on June 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      These really sound fantastic and I’ve referred a few friends to them. Way to go on doing the research for the rest of us!

  2. Anna on June 30, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Thanks for sharing. I actually found this great site that does a diaper trial for $10 (plus $10 shipping) – you get to try out a bunch of different styles of cloth diapers for 21 days – if you like them, you can buy them but there is no obligation at all. I emailed the company and they said that I can do more than one trial at once (since I am having twins and my big concern is care of the diapers with twins — double the laundry, not sure I am going to be able to handle it). It sounds like a good idea, especially for me. http://www.jilliansdrawers.com/products/clothdiapers/tryclothfor10/tryclothfor10

    They have both a newborn trial pack and an older baby trial pack.

    • Novice Natural Mama on June 30, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      This is fabulous! And so helpful to our readers. Thanks for sharing and check back in and let us know what you think of them!

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  4. Caitrie on October 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I want to start using the simple prefolds on Jack. What kind of prefolds have been your fav?

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