Cloth Diapers Rock: Which Ones to Use?

What do you think of when I tell you we use cloth diapers? Big pins with plastic covers? Smelly soaking buckets in the bathroom? If you haven’t experienced cloth diapers in the last decade, you may be missing out on what it has evolved into! Even if you don’t have kids in diapers, read on… and help save our ground water from decaying poop leaking out of thousands of chemical filled diapers!

First we are going to tackle the various types of diapers available on the market today:

Snappi used to fasten cloth diaper

Flats look like a huge cloth napkin. You can fold them in various ways to fit your child and are very versatile. Prefolds are exactly that, prefolded flats, and sewn in seams so you do not need to fold the entire diaper each time. These are your cheapest option on the market, and they tend to last a really long time! You can fasten the prefold or flat diaper with a large safety pin (like your mom may have used), or use a Snappi. We have Snappis at our home and they fasten much like an Ace Bandage with small “teeth” on each end and the three ends together hold the left, right, and center sides of the diaper together. Prefolds and flats need a cover to protect clothing and people from moisture from the diaper. The old fashioned plastic covers are still around and are very useful, but now you have so many more options! Covers come in wool and softer cloth (though the inside still needs a bit of PUL, or a breathable plastic to keep moisture at bay). 

So many cute diapers!

Fitteds: Fitted diapers come in various sizes for your growing baby, though you can get away with only getting about 3-4 different sizes because they grow with your baby better than disposable diapers! They are very easy to use, especially for babysitters who may not be used to cloth diapers! They usually fasten at the waist just like a disposable diaper with either velcro or snaps, but some brands still require a Snappi or pin. The plus size is there is no folding involved in comparison to flats/prefolds. Fitteds also need a cover to prevent moisture from seeping through clothing. You have the same choices in covers for fitted diapers as you do for prefolds/flats.

All-in-Ones (AIO)/All-in-Twos (AI2): The name basically describes these diapers. AIOs are your diaper and your cover in one item. These make for easy use with babysitters, there are no Snappis or pins, and are the closest to using disposables when it comes to changing the diaper. Many moms refer to AIOs as “dad friendly”.

AI2s are what we use the majority of the time, specifically we love our Grovia diapers! An AI2 has an insert that fits right into the cover of that same brand diaper (though you can switch some inserts, but they don’t fit just right), and the Grovia diapers actually snap into the cover, or as they call them, shells. Again with the Grovia, you can also get a disposable insert instead of the cloth, and when you flush the interior soiled part of the insert, you can compost the rest! We chose AI2 because it seems easy to use, and you can rinse out the cover by hand and use it if it wasn’t actually soiled, then put the insert into the wash. When we started using cloth, we had to use coin laundry, so this helped reduce the size of the laundry load, especially in comparison to AIOs.

Pockets: Last, but definitely not least are pocket diapers. This looks much like an AI2, but the cover has the soft cloth interior and you put the insert into a pocket of the cover. These are easy to use by simply stuffing the diapers after you do laundry, and then when it comes time to change, it is as easy as an AIO. There are some really great brands of pockets, and the interior is amazingly soft because it doesn’t need to be the absorbant part. If your baby has very sensitive skin, pockets may be a good fit.

Whew! That’s a lot of information, but inshaAllah it helps you wrap your mind around all the various options out there! Next time we’ll cover where you can buy diapers, and where you can find the best deal! You can save a LOT of money using cloth diapers vs. disposables, and you can save even more if you shop smart!

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6 Responses to Cloth Diapers Rock: Which Ones to Use?

  1. Keith Wadley says:

    We use a mix of cloth and paper diapers. Most of our friends do one or the other, but we enjoy the convenience of paper when out and about and while they are newborns going potty every five seconds. The two brands we prefer in cloth are Kushies and Blue-berries (according to my wife). I just know what they look like. I think they fall into one of your last two categories.

    Great informational post. I will pass it along to my wife for her to see.


    • middlewaymom says:

      Thanks for stopping by! We use disposables sometimes also. Mainly at night since I don’t have covers that really cover a night diaper very well, and sometimes if we are going to be out and about quite a bit. I haven’t heard of those brands before; I should check them out! Almost every family has a different favorite since they fit slightly differently. 🙂

      Come back next week for some more info! See you then!

  2. Willow says:

    I have always used prefolds in Bummi wrap covers without any sort of pin or snappi. Works well, cheap, and easy to wash! And more flexible with sizes than the fitted ones.

    • middlewaymom says:

      That’s great! I’ll have to try that with the upcoming baby. I’ve always worried about them wiggling around enough that they would pee out the sides. How old is your little one? Walking and crawling age?

  3. Gina Hodges says:

    This was very helpful thank you! I am 100% new to cloth diapering and have no idea what to look into buying. GroVia seems intriguing because of the hybrid option I think my husband would like this. But then the pocket diapers seem easy too! I am so lost!! I have a HE machine and I do not think it cleans things as well as it should do you have any tips for this? Also did you make that post on where to buy? This is my first time to your site 🙂

    • middlewaymom says:

      I’ve heard pocket diapers are harder to clean mainly because many of them have microfiber, though I haven’t had any trouble with mine as of yet. I only have three pocket diapers, which I only picked up because of a screaming good deal, so I can’t say I am an expert there. As far as ease, pockets, AIO, or AI2 are really the easiest options, and all great choices. You could always start out with two of each and see what you grab for first! 🙂

      We got an HE machine not long ago (thanks MIL and FIL!) and you just have to know how the machine works and its settings. Since you aren’t drowning your diapers anymore, just work with what options are available on the machine. 🙂 I do a cycle on Soak, which lasts two hours, and then a cycle on hot wash with an extra rinse. It works for us with our hard water. You’ll find a groove in due time. 🙂

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