Beginners Guide To Cloth Diapers

Baby in cloth diaper

Choosing whether or not to use cloth diapers for your baby is a big decision, and getting started can seem overwhelming. Knowing how to cloth diapers correctly can make many parents choose the easier disposable diaper route. However, using cloth diapers isn’t only easy, but it’s fun as well. There is a fantastic cloth diaper community of parents who love all things fluff! Cloth diapering truly isn’t just about diapers; it’s a community of women and men who support each other and have so much fun together. If you’re interested in cloth diapering your little one, here is a beginner’s guide that will help you get started. 

Why Choose Cloth Diapers

When I switched to cloth diapers with my son, the number one question I got was, “why?” In the modern age, convenience reigns supreme, and people view cloth diapers as outdated and overly complicated. They couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many reasons why I chose to cloth a diaper.

Save Money

On average, a child who potty trains at three years of age uses 8,000 disposable diapers, totaling about $2,000 you throw away on diapers. Now compare that to cloth diapers which cost around $400 for the same time frame, and the cost difference is clear! 

Reduce Waste

Those 8,000 diapers per child quickly add up to a ton of waste added into landfills every year. Imagine the difference if more people chose to use sustainable and reusable cloth diapers instead. One high-quality cloth diaper can last for years and be used for multiple children. Imagine how much waste and money you can save if you choose cloth diapers and reuse them for subsequent children.

Tight-Knit Community

As I mentioned before, the cloth diapering community is tight-knit and supports each other like no other group I’ve known. There are Facebook groups and meetups for parents who cloth diapers, and it’s always so much fun to get together and compare the adorable fluff we each use.

Promotes Potty Training

Cloth diapering helps promote potty training. Your child can feel the wetness against their skin which encourages them to use the bathroom faster than typical disposable diapers. 

What Type Of Cloth Diaper Should I Choose?

There are six types of cloth diapers you can choose from, and each has a benefit all its own.

All In One

The all-in-one diaper is the easiest for new cloth diaper users. It is essentially the same as its disposable counterpart, as the entire diaper is in one piece, and all you do is throw it into the wash at each change. All in ones are the most expensive option and may not offer as many absorbency options as other diapers. They’re great for traveling and for those who are starting their cloth diaper journey.

All In Two

Like the all-in-one diaper, the all-in-two contains the outer waterproof or PUL layer and an inner absorbency layer. At each change, you separate the two and can reuse the outer layer if it is clean. These diapers offer more customizable absorbency and a slightly lower cost than the all-in-one and can easily travel with you. 


The pocket diaper features an outer layer with a stay-dry fabric and an inner pocket where you can place absorbent inserts. These diapers offer great absorbancy flexibility and are more cost-effective than the previous two options. Pocket diapers are also good for overnight and travel.


Fitted diapers do not have a waterproof outer layer and require a cover for leak protection. They are cost-effective and ideal for maximum absorbency and are wearable without the cover for ultimate breathability. 


Prefold diapers are a version of a flat diaper and can fold to fit as an insert or worn alone. A cover is needed to make them waterproof, but they are cost-efficient.


Considered the traditional cloth diaper, flat diapers are a flat fabric that can fold to fit any shape or be worn alone. They are the most cost-efficient but carry the steepest learning curve. 

Washing Cloth Diapers

Washing cloth diapers isn’t complicated, but it is essential to follow the correct wash care instructions. Sites like Fluff Love University can provide an in-depth guide on what detergents to use and how to wash your diapers to avoid stink and chemical buildup. 

How Many Diapers Do I Need?

If you plan on cloth diapering full-time, you will need around 24-26 diapers for your stash. Depending on your baby’s age, you will need to wash every other to every third day; younger babies require changing more often, so you may wash every day until they are older. 

Cloth diapering is fun and addictive once you get connected with the community. There are so many cute patterns and designs; you will want to buy them all. Although getting started can seem overwhelming, there is a strong community that will help guide you. Chances are, once you start, you’ll never want to go back to disposable diapers again!