The Super Simple Cloth Diaper System

Cloth diapering doesn’t simplify my life.

There. I said it.

It doesn’t simplify my life but I like it. 

For the cost savings and reduced environmental impact. Plus I think cloth diapers look really cute.

For those reasons I don’t mind that I run an extra load of laundry every other day and that one cloth diaper is the size of three disposables when I’m putting a bag together for a day out.

Cloth diapering can be confusing. There are many choices for modern cloth diapers. Many ways to care for the diapers. Which one is the right one for your family?

I’ve tried every type of cloth diaper.

My personal ‘stash’ is made up of prefolds, fitteds, sized and one-size covers, wool covers, sized and one sized pocket diapers and a few odds and ends from there. I streamlined my cloth diaper stash three years ago and kept a mix of supplies. It works for me, an experienced cloth diaperer, and I do all most of the diaper changing at my house.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the cloth diapering choices, and you want a simple system, one that will work almost from birth and is easy to maintain, I’m going to give you my vote for the simplest cloth diapering system.

The Simplest Cloth Diaper System

  • Invest in 24 one-size pocket diapers. I’d suggest Bum Genius or Fuzzi Bunz. They are readily available and you can buy them new or source them second hand on sites like eBay or Diaper Swappers.
  • Snaps instead of velcro. Velcro might seem like an easier fastening system but in my experience it wears out quickly and tends to damage the diapers during the laundry process.
  • One bucket with liner or two large wet bags. These will hold your used diapers for laundry day.
  • Use disposables until the baby fits into the pocket diapers. Babies will usually fit into a one-size diaper by 10 to 12 pounds. For my kids that meant by four weeks we could use cloth diapers.
  • Line dry the covers. They dry quickly and it will give them a much longer life. If you have time, line dry the microfibre inserts. They can dry in less than 12 hours so put them up overnight and they should be ready the next day.
  • Use 1-2 extra inserts for overnights. Stuff your pocket diapers with extra inserts for overnights. You can either borrow them from within your stash or buy 4-6 extra inserts.
  • Find a detergent that works for your water/baby/washing machine. This is a handy guide to store and online brands. I’ve used everything from Rock’n Green Detergent (made specifically for cloth diapers) to Ecos brand detergent bought at Costco. I’d suggest starting with a cloth diaper specific detergent and then once you’re into your routine experiment with some less expensive brands listed in the guide.
  • Get up close and personal with your washing machine. The general rule for cloth diapers is you want to do three things when washing them: rinse the diapers with no detergent, wash the diapers with detergent, rinse the diapers again and make sure all the detergent is out. I have an HE washer and do all of my loads on cold. I run a rinse cycle that lasts five minutes 2-4 times after and before a wash cycle with detergent. I rinse them until I can’t see any detergent suds coming off the diapers.
  • {edited to add} You don’t have to cloth diaper 24/7. Using disposables for trips, night times or just when life gets really busy and you need to cut out three loads of laundry a week, is fine. The cloth diaper police will not come knocking on your door. I promise. And see the comments on this post for other parents that agree.
  • There is lots of help online if you run into trouble. I like this FAQ at the Diaper Pin.

There are many, many other methods and diaper models out there.

But in my experience, the one-size pocket is the easiest for anyone to use. That means grandmas, daycare providers and dads.

I’ve found one of the intimidating factors for cloth diapers is that people think they are complicated to use and put on a baby. A pocket diaper with snaps is very close in ease to using a disposable diaper. And when you’re investing in something that is going to take your time, money and space, you want to make sure you use it.

P.S. If you try out cloth diapering and find it’s not for your family know that gently used one-size pocket diapers are some of the easiest diapers to resell.

Any other cloth diaper families out there? Would you agree that it complicates your life a bit? Another win for our family is that it greatly reduces the amount of garbage we have and thus the amount of garbage hauling we do.

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Comments

  1. Morgan says

    I don’t cloth diaper, but I do use cloth feminine pads. It’s basically what you said above, but I love the fact that I’m not throwing waste away that will just sit in landfills. When I read that disposable diapers and pads can sit in landfills for 500+ years, and then you think of the amount that’s used by familier every day, it’s shocking. Plus it’s comfier! I usedto buy my cloth pads from LunaPads (LunaPads.com) and they’re very good, but I recently found a new website that uses all organic fabric and they’re my favorite so far! That’s at http://www.simpleandeco.com – they also have a lot of baby products.

  2. Morgan says

    Actually, now that I think about it, I found SimpleAndEco.com through your website! There was a photo on the sidebar for a while. :)

      • Morgan says

        Haven’t tried the diva cup yet, but I always hear such good things! The idea is a little intimidating. But I will work up the courage to try it one day. I definitely recommend the cloth liners and pads! You hardly realize they’re there because the cloth is soft instead of rough and sticky.

      • Cindy says

        I invested in a Diva cup after reading your post and wish I’d known about it 20 years earlier. I also bought a few liners and pads, but I NEVER use them…. Just the Diva cup. Can’t speaking highly enough about it!

  3. Amy says

    We cloth diaper and we LOVE grovia brand and have found some great deals on used goodmamas (which double as trainers at our home). Sunbaby is another one-sized pocket diaper that is VERY inexpensive and a great way to start a stash.
    Some how doing a load of diapers and hanging them up is the best part of my laundry duties… not sure why? Maybe that feeling of saving money mixed with a little nostalgia. :)

  4. Amanda L says

    Um yes. I couldn’t agree more. I did disposable diapers with my first two children and switched to cloth with my third. I definitely feel that the inconveniences and effort are worth it but make no mistake-they are not simpler than disposable.

  5. Andrea McMillan says

    I love my cloth diapers! Now that I have two in cloth it is getting a bit crazy but hopefully my 2.5 yo will potty train soon. My newborn has been in cloth since he was
    Born. I use prefolds & flats at the beginning then pockets.

  6. Pam says

    My kids are potty trained now, but we used mostly one-size pockets with them, and really liked them. One other piece of advice for those considering the switch – it doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” thing. My daughter was in cloth almost all the time (and yes, it was sometimes an inconvenience), but with my son, I used cloth at home during the day, and disposables for at night time and when we were out. It worked better for us. Find what works for you and go with it.

  7. Laura says

    I love my cloth diapers. We use tots bots easy fit (the older bamboo ones) applecheeks and smartipants. Its not always smiplier but at least I have never run out of diapers!

    • theminimalistmom says

      We have one older tots bots easy fit with velcro. It is the only velcro I have seen that keeps its shape and really works for laundry tabs. Mine is still in great shape and it’s almost four years old.
      True: you never run out of diapers. That is a perk :)

  8. Danielle says

    I disagree for this simplicity method. I’ve tried all cloth diapers, too. By far, prefolds and covers are simplest. Simply stick in a prefold and snap. That is by far the easiest you’re going to get with cloth, otherwise, you’re always stuffing, unstuffing, looking for stuffing. Prefolds and covers with snaps will never let you down. Need extra coverage? Grab another prefold. Done.

    • Stefani says

      I totally agree! (In fact, that’s what I was going to write.) I love that using 100% cotton prefolds and a separate cover means NEVER STRIPPING DIAPERS! Snappis are a prefold’s best friend and the folds are easy after a short learning curve (even Daddy agreed). 1-layer covers meant I could easily wipe them out and toss them in with a towel load, then hang dry. Plus, washing the pieces separately means they last A LOT longer. :)

    • Megan says

      Also really simple–All-In-Ones.

      Perks: Just one thing to stick on the baby. No stuffing, unstuffing, or complicated folding. If your child is in daycare, this may be the only type of cloth diaper they will use.

      Minuses: Since everything is all in one piece, these can take a lot longer to dry. And the perks of being able to separate the cover from the absorbent part to take all the guesswork out of your laundry routine obviously don’t apply when everything is sewn together. Some models are considerably pricier.

      But seriously, this is the most brainless cloth diapering technique out there. I love the BumGenius Freetime. Dries quickly, especially for this style of diaper, and at $20 a pop for a new, one-size diaper, I feel like this is a pretty great deal.

  9. Danielle says

    And sometimes, stuffing is like trying to put on a duvet cover. Hard. Sure I like snappis, but really, I don’t need one.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Love how inexpensive and versatile cover + prefolds are. Often I just put in what we have on hand, like a bamboo insert or flat with a fleece liner over it.
      I know families that find prefolds and covers easy and others that find them challenging – takes a bit of skill to use the same cover after a poop blow out in a prefold + cover.
      Thanks for chiming in.

      • Katherine says

        We love our One Size diapers and separate covers EXCEPT for when the sitter is here or the grandparents have the kids. Our regular sitter has been happy to learn how to navigate the two-part diaper, but the grandparents have not. Also- the church nursery is not a fan.

        We have one Bumgenuis that we keep in the diaper bag for church nursery and gym days, since it goes on so easily.

        Overall it’s still been a good fit for us. We are diapering baby number three in the same diapers that have been in constant use for over five years now!

  10. Mélanie says

    Thank you for being honest about the fact that there is extra work involved. I love cloth but it IS more work and I think it does disservice to the cause when people stubbornly insist that it’s easy.

  11. Rebecca Halpern says

    I used cloth nappies quite a lot with my first baby, some of the time for my second and unfortunately hardly ever for my third. We used terry nappies with nice covers to go over them. I used disposables for days out. Even though I didn’t use them as much as intended, I must have saved a good deal of money and prevented many disposables ending up in landfill.

  12. Danielle says

    I’ve had so many blowouts in disposables, but rarely in my super fluffy prefold/cover system. I had the best covers and I tried a bazillion different kinds. I think Thirsties were my go-to brand. Loved em”! I had blowouts more frequently in our pockets, especially out the sides by the legs. I used bumgenius mostly, I think. I flipped-flopped on my most used methods between babies but decided that prefolds/snap covers really made it easiest for lazy me. I also need to really sing the praises of my snappis fasteners because they are so simple and easy to use. I didn’t use them all the time, but really felt they kept everything “together”. I am a minimalist cloth diaperer and am very, very lazy and just really wanted to tell people that it is truly not much work. I have four kids and had I needed to stuff my diapers (I really find stuffing necessary because I would almost always blowout if I didn’t at least stuff) for multiple babies, say a toddler and infant, I’d be spending a great deal of extra time doing it.

  13. Antonia says

    Definitely agree on all accounts! I thought of using cloth then we moved to Luxembourg and saw the cost of disposables. My daughter was premature and still potty trained the first which I believe was due to cloth. With minimalism I am now stopping myself buying any more. I am lending some to a friend, borrowed from another friend and plan to sell them when my next child potty trains.

    Do you use cloth on holiday? That’s the only time we don’t…

  14. wilma says

    I used mainly prefolds as well, which are awesome because you don’t have to worry about laundry detergent–they’re just cotton, so there are no “wicking” issues that can develop w/ microfibre/other synthetic fibres.

    My advice–don’t buy a whole stash of one kind when you’re starting out, as you could find you don’t like them. With our first, we bought a large number of one size, snapped fuzzibunz, and didn’t love them–we prefer prefolds.

    And whomever said that it’s not all or nothing, I agree. NOTHING kept our son dry through the night–prefolds, cotton, bamboo, wool covers, extra inserts–you name it, we tried it. Finally, we went with disposables for at night.

    And lastly, if you have an extra long baby, the “one size” prefolds may not last your child through to potty training–we kept using our one size fuzzibunz, and he grew out of them by 18 months–though he was about 100% for height.

    Every baby is different–this is one area where I feel that you really just have to try it out and develop a system that works for you!

    Good luck to all cloth diapering parents–it’s a great ride!

  15. Kristen says

    I have a 2 year old daughter that has been in cloth since birth and I love it! I will be having our second daughter in about a month. Any advice for cloth diapering two at the same time? I have a large stash of Bumgenius one size (about 35) do you think this will be enough to dedicate to two children so that I do not have to keep changing the sizes from small to large each time I run out? Thanks!

  16. Shannon says

    Rachel, you’re right! Technically, cloth diapering is not “simpler” because it involves quite a lot of washing. But, like you, I’ve also found it to be definitely worth it (due to health factors, cost, and environmental impact, in that order). I played around with several kinds of diapers at first, but I now have a streamlined system that’s easy to use — really, once you get used to it, washing diapers becomes so routine that it’s really not much hassle!

    I currently use flat-fold diapers (half of my stash are $1 flour sack towels from Wal-Mart, the other half are OsoCozy flat birdseye diapers), which I fold into a rectangle and lay in the diaper cover. I’ve found that I need two flat-folds per diaper after a few months, so I hold two diapers together and fold them as one to reduce bulk. Also, I formerly used Thirsties Duo Covers and Econobum covers, but find that the covers from Assuntastore.com are actually better quality and only about $5 a piece (so I can afford to buy more covers and not have to rinse/reuse the covers). They do come in two sizes, but that’s no different than Thirsties (which they’re virtually identical to in style). Plus, the proceeds support their ministry to Chinese orphans, so I’m happy to support them! This is the cheapest method I’ve come up, and I love that it’s simple and easy to adjust — much less complicated than my former assortment of homemade fitted, liners, pockets, etc. Also, flat-folds are the easiest to launder; they’re essentially one layer of fabric, so they’re not as sensitive to creams (and they don’t smell!). I usually machine dry them, but they dry quickly on the line, too.

    I’ll admit, I often use disposables if I know we’re going to be out for a long time, and I always use them for babysitters. But on the rare occasions I have to buy a package, I’m so grateful that I don’t have to spend that money regularly!

    I definitely agree about not buying newborn cloth diapers — in my experience, the ease of disposables is quite welcome in the early days, when you’re just getting to know your baby and don’t need extra loads of laundry during recovery. Oh, and definitely second your advice on Velcro — I bought my Thirsties with velcro, but after eight months it was so worn out that I removed it and installed snaps.

    Thank you for a well-rounded and simple look at cloth diapering!

    Blessings,
    Shannon

  17. Jessica says

    I LOVE cloth diapers!! I didn’t use them for my first baby, but my daughter has been in them since a few weeks old. I discovered what the gel in diapers really is and just couldn’t put that on my newborn!! I use earth’s best diapers if I need disposable and they work great with no gel or crap! I’ve used Thirsties Duo Snap (fit longer with adjustable crotch snaps) covers and prefolds the whole time, I find it really easy! We had to change to folding them tri-fold and using a fleece liner every single time to help my babies sensitive eczema skin stay smooth and happy! I hate the extra laundry (just because I hate laundry in any fashion) BUT I love that I’m saving our family money, that I’m helping my babies skin and that I conquered a goal to try and cloth diaper! For a long time I was using washcloths as wipes with a spray of water/baby soap/baby oil and that was also working great. I bought a bunch of wipes on sale a bit ago though but as soon as they are gone I’ll be back at cloth! I also really recommend snaps over velcro! Velcro gets stuck to everything even if its closed and it just doesn’t stay on my chubby baby as well.

    • Amie says

      Just wanted to make a little correction here for anyone reading…Earths Best do have gel. They are free of other perfumes, dyes, and chlorine and are a great diaper – but they do have the absorbent gel crystals just like any other disposable. The only disposables without gel are the Tushies brand which are really hard to come by, very expensive, and not very absorbent for obvious reasons.

  18. JeanBean says

    I wish this article was available when I first started cloth diapering. I use soap nuts to wash the diapers. I also use disposables when we are out or when I don’t catch up on diaper laundry. The thought that I don’t HAVE to do cloth diapering ALL THE TIME, makes it so much more doable and ENJOYABLE.

  19. Frugal Babe says

    We’ve used cloth diapers almost exclusively with both of our boys (the only exception was a box of disposables for each of them during the first week after they were born, and a box of disposables during a week-long trip with our older son). We’ve been on weekend trips and short camping vacations using cloth, and have gotten so used to them that they are one of the easiest things we do. Our two-year-old is just about toilet trained now, so we only use diapers if we’re going somewhere, and overnight. But even when we were using them all the time, they were always one of the easier parts of full-time parenting (because let’s face it, there’s plenty of hard stuff involved with that job!) I have an HE washing machine, and I do the first cycle with cold water and some soap nuts liquid detergent (I make it by boiling dry soap nuts). Then for the second cycle, I use hot water, soap nuts detergent and OxiClean that’s free of dyes and perfumes. I hang them to dry, either on our clothesline or on a rack inside (we don’t have a dryer), and that’s all there is to it. We use a trash can to hold the dirty diapers, and I just rinse it out after I dump them in the washing machine. I do rinse out poopy diapers before putting them in the trash can, and we never have issues with odor. We use one-size pocket diapers that I got on Craigslist. Some have velcro, some have snaps. I agree with you on the snaps – definitely better. The velcro is starting to wear out, but the snaps are still great.

  20. eva says

    I used Motherease brand with both of my kids. We used basic flat newborn diapers folded into a one-size Motherease cover for the first couple of months, then switched to Motherease one-size diapers in their covers. As they grew older, we added some Motherease snap-in inserts for extra absorbency. It was a great system for us, grandparents included, and after using them with both kids I sold them for about 1/3 of what I paid for them. The extra laundry just became part of our routine, the diapers and snaps were super durable, and I’m another who really enjoyed seeing the diapers hanging on the line to dry. Looking back I have fond memories of my kids “helping” with diaper laundry, having a picnic under the drying diapers, and knowing that it was the right choice for us.
    I also used cloth menstrual pads and the Diva Cup (which totally rocks!).

  21. Meryl says

    This is perfect advice! I love that you’re telling people it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We’ve fallen into such a nice hybrid system–cloth at home and daycare and sposies when we travel.

  22. Quinn says

    I seriously love this. It’s true, they don’t simplify day to day chores. But I love the money saving, and I feel much better about our trash output without disposable. Plus, in the summer time I hardly have to dress my kid at all! He just runs about in his diaper!
    We use a disposable at night in the summer time because he gets heat rash very easily. It did cut down on my laundry! I can get a whole other day out of my stash! And we used disposable on our last road trip (usually up to 12 hours), and I will never go back. It was so nice to not have the car smell like, well you know ;-)
    I feel the same way about breastfeeding too. It’s not easy for us, but I still do it anyway. The cost of formula alone is enough to deter me, but I also dearly love not having a sick baby. And bottles. I kind of hate washing bottles… =)
    I will be using clothe diapers for my newborn due in December. I have skinny babies, and #1 was three to four months old before the clothe ones really worked for him. Do you have a preference on newborn brands? Bumgenious is my favorite of the ones I have.

  23. Emily says

    LOVE our cloth diapers! We use prefolds and Thirsties covers. The Velcro works best for us, because we do Elimination Communication, and it just makes the dipes that much easier to get off. My daughter started pooping on the potty very consistently at 6 months, so our cloth diapering experience has been a breeze. And it has been nice to get a break from them; our second baby is due any day, and yes, I am dreading all that extra laundry and keeping up with it, etc. We dry our cloth diapers out on the clothesline, so coordinating the fact that I can’t dry all the diapers plus a load of sheets is a little frustrating, but worth it. We will probably end up using the dryer for our clothes more than I would prefer for a while. But we aren’t going to start with the cloth diapers until I have breastfeeding all under control and settled; once we are good with that, then we will ditch the sposies. :-)

    I agree that cloth diapers do not make things simpler. But then again, using only disposable plates, silverware, napkins might make life “simpler” and technically, you would OWN less “stuff” but that certainly doesn’t make it better!

  24. Jessica in Canada says

    I do exactly what you do! (What a relief! If you had done something else I would have had to try your suggestions! HA ha!) The only difference is I only have 8 pocket diapers. Since you have to wash them every 48 hrs anyway, this is all I go through in 48 hrs and I use disposables at night.

    I also HATE Bum Genius. The material in the cover really holds the smell. My favourite is Fuzzi Bunz and my husband’s favourite is Happy Heinys. My current favourite eco-friendly disposables are Seventh Generation.

  25. Susie says

    I cloth diapered my youngest from birth to potty and tried almost everything out there. Flip organic is the system I keep coming back to. My son still wears these at night and nap.

  26. Kelli says

    I think it depends on what you mean by simple. I hate shopping and spending money. With cloth I didn’t have to go buy diapers or worry about running out. Simple. I used the same cloth diaper set for both of my girls so the second time around I didn’t have to order or buy a thing! THE BEST cloth diaper around in my opinion is the Motherease one size diaper. No buying small, med, large. Just the one size. They have snaps, they dry fast. Simple. No blowouts. Awesome. Selling them after using them with two kids. AMAZING. My washing routine was way more simple than yours. Just put in pail after use. Load in washer. Wash. Do prewashing or extra rinsing. Just wash em. Then dry em. I love my cloth diapers. Can’t recommend that brand enough. I got caught up in the “stash” stuff too at first but ultimately these dipes were so awesome I used them exclusively. No regrets.

  27. Mary says

    My eldest wore bumgenius almost exclusively, and we loved them! By the time my youngest came along, those bumgenius had two years in them, and we had trouble replacing the allegedly easy-to-replace Velcro tabs. My youngest wore them for about a year, but she was such a giant baby and the Velcro had grown so weak that the diapers wouldn’t stay on her. I passed on the bumgenius to a friend and meant to replace them with other cloth one sizes, but haven’t gotten around to it.

  28. bogart says

    Well, I cloth diapered much more simply than you. We used FuzziBunz + (mostly) Nurtured family double inserts, but first off, we didn’t insert the inserts (except in the few intervals when we were having rash issues, then having the inserts inside the very soft inner of the FuzziBunz outer seemed worth the trouble). So it was just lay the Fuzzibunz down, lay the insert on top, lay the baby on top of that, fasten. I usually found I could just change out the insert the first go round so we got 1 change per insert but 2 per outer.

    Then, and this was really key to keeping it simple, I just threw the diapers in with the rest of our household laundry. We wash everything on cold or, occasionally, warm, in a top loader with cheap detergent (XTra, if you’re wondering). And line dry. This worked fine for us. Obviously if diapers were poopy we rinsed them first but otherwise they just all went in together. I found a regular cycle, no pre-rinse, no nothing, got the pee out just fine. Our household of 2 adults and one kid involved two or three laundry cycles per week.

    It undoubtedly helped that my son was pretty much a once-a-day pooper. I’ve had friends whose babies seem to poop constantly and can imagine that circumstance would make cloth diapering get old fast.

    We did use disposables at night once he was sleeping through the night.

    I think we owned at most 16 diapers, certainly not 24.

      • bogart says

        Haha, thanks! I think I have to thank my brother or SIL for coming up with that one, pretty sure it wasn’t my original idea. I may not even have realized how AIOs were supposed to work; I have to admit that I didn’t treat cloth diapering as something meriting attention, so I just grabbed what I was given and used it. Turns out there were lots of steps I was supposed to follow (separate wash, special detergent) that I didn’t, but here we are with elementary school approaching and none the worse for wear!

  29. AA says

    I used mostly cloth with #2 for a little over 4 years and #2 for a little over 2 years. When we had to go out of town for funerals or visiting sick elderly relatives we did disposables because I couldn’t deal with cloth on the road during those times. I switched to disposable diapers 4 months ago because I just couldn’t keep up with the laundry anymore. We live in an apartment without washer/dryer hook ups so we were washing our laundry in a washing machine that attaches to the kitchen sink that does about 1/3 of the normal size load that our previous washer did. We don’t have a dryer and aren’t allowed to hang our laundry outside. Drying diapers inside on the portable umbrella or rack was taking 24 hours or more. I decided it was time to move on and donated all my pocket diapers to a friend and then all of my prefolds/covers to one of my sisters assistant. They both recently had babies so they’ll get lots of use out of them. I am looking to get some sort of cloth pull ups for night time accidents for the littles. On the 7th we’re going to start working on potty training. Several days of staying home, nakedness, bathroom trips every 15 to 20 minutes and lots of stickers!

  30. Rose says

    I just love seeing cloth nappies hanging in the sunshine. Seeing them all lined up in my garden just makes my heart melt for little baby bottoms and all the work that mothers do :D.

  31. Shunta says

    I am a cloth diaperer and it actually DOES simplify my life. I love when we’re out that I can toss her diaper and cloth wipes in her wet bag and go. no plastic bag for disposable diapers and wipes and then having to find the trash can to dispose when we’re out. They’re super cute and the money saving is clearly a bonus! We use Bum Genius one size snaps with the inserts. Love them! And we use cloth wipes as well which I LOVE one millions times more than regular pre-soaked wipes. For detergent we use Charlie’s Soap (which we use for all laundry) and it works great! So excited to hear that there are more cloth diaperers out there!

  32. Pamela R says

    We cloth diapered with our first two and we had a super easy system (one size diapers–like Motherease–covered by simple Velcro covers–Bummis). Easy. Really. However, I have to make a plug for diaper-free babies! Our third, we practiced what is sometimes called “elimination communication.” I thought it would be hard, but I would do it again in a moment. Those first days are chaotic anyway and it was great to have a happy baby (whenever she would fuss, we went potty, and almost always, voila) and one that didn’t require any sort of diapering! It’s probably not of interest to everyone, but it might be worth a try for some.

  33. Green Money Stream says

    I used cloth diapers with my son and I would recommend it to anyone. One thing I would add though, is that pre-folds with a cover (like Thirsties) work so great for newborns! No need to use disposable on a newborn. In fact, that is the best time to use cloth because the “mess” cleans up so well! Great post!

  34. Kristen says

    I’m on my third cloth diapered child and my stash is large and extensive. My current favorite is Sbish OBFs or GMD workhorses with wool covers. However, if I was recommending cloth to someone who was new, I would suggest Swaddlebees AIO onesized. They snap. They don’t need to be stuffed-yet it is super easy to put more absorbancy in if needed. And, most important in my book, they extend larger than bumGenius. BumGenius only lasts on my big kids until about 2 years old. Swaddlebees takes them right to three and fully potty-trained.

  35. Lisa says

    I haven’t cloth diapered yet but we plan to with our first. The washing instructions are daunting though — we live in an apartment with shared coin-op laundry down the hallway, so the whole rinse-before rinse-after plan isn’t possible (at least, not by machine). bogart’s comment gave me some hope though!

    • theminimalistmom says

      I’ve hear of some coin-op laundry families doing a light rinse in the bath tub before their wash. Also, if it is a top loading machine they usually do a better job washing diapers than a front loading machine. You may be able to get away with a quick rinse in the bath tub and then one wash. Good luck!!

  36. Heather says

    Pockets were an absolute disaster for us. They always had buildup and were repelling liquid. With my first we used a variety of fitteds and covers. With my second we simplified big time. 3 or 4 pair of wool longies, 6 co-ordinating t-shirts and 16 motherease sandys, that was the entire sum of clothing he had for the first 2.5 years of his life. It made laundry simple as he had so few clothes and the longies only needed to be washed every 4-6 weeks (I’d put a different pair on after changing to let the previous pair air out. I learned how to knit to make my own longies and then knit them with extra length and cuffed them so that he would get extra wear out of them. He literally had the same three pair of longies from 4 months to potty training at 2.5 (and a few pair of shorties for summer). For the newborn stage I borrowed diapers from a friend and had made a few pair of tiny longies, which I later unravelled for the yarn and reknit into the shorties!

  37. Rebecca says

    Thanks for the reminder to keep it simple! I’ve used cloth in the past but I’m starting all over for my baby due this winter. There are SO many options out there and it is massively overwhelming. I absolutely agree with your advice and it was just what I needed to convince me to stick to my plan of just ordering 24 Bumgenius diapers. We had good luck with those in the past and cloth diapering has always worked best for us when we just stick to one kind.

    • theminimalistmom says

      I love my BG one size diapers. I have a mix but I go back to those a lot. The other nice thing about them is that they are a trim fit unlike a lot of other cloth diapers. With most of my other diapers I have to size up 3-6 months in bottoms because of the wonderful big booty they create – so cute! – but the BGs are close to a disposable diaper in size/fit. If we have a third child I’ll be buying a few more of the BGs.

    • theminimalistmom says

      It’s definitely not too late. I’d consider either buying second hand or investing in a stash that you can resell or use on another baby (if that is in your plans). Lightly used diapers can often sell for 50% of their retail price. Good luck!

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