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fitted cloth diaper Considering cloth diapers for your baby?  It's a trend that is hard to argue against; cloth diapers are much cheaper than disposables, easier on the environment, and healthier for babies.  Properly cared for, they can be used for multiple children.  They don't clutter landfills, and new organic options are gentle on the environment right from the start.  They are more breathable than disposables, and they don't contain gels and plastics that can irritate the skin, so babies in cloth have less diaper rash.  They can also encourage potty training at an earlier age.

Cloth is becoming more and more popular as parents have new and easier products from which to choose.  Options range from the old-fashioned prefold to "all-in-one" diapers that are as easy to use as disposables.  In fact, the many options available today can be overwhelming!

Types of Cloth Diapers

  • Flats — These are the diapers your grandma probably used:  just one large sheet of fabric you fold in any number of origami shapes.  While a bit tricky to master, care for this type of diaper is very easy, as the thin fabric washes clean quite easily.  You will need to use a waterproof cover over flats.
  • Prefolds — Similar to flats, only these are, as the name suggests, prefolded.  These can be fastened on a baby with pins or a Snappi, a nifty three-armed fastener that hooks into the fabric of both sides and the front without pins.  Alternatively, a prefold can be folded into thirds and laid into a wrap-style cover – nearly as easy as a disposable diaper.  Prefolds also require a cover.
  • Fitteds — This option has built-in elastic and Velcro or snaps to fit a baby, similar to a disposable diaper.  Fitted diapers require a cover.
  • All-In-Ones (AIOs) — AIOs are very popular with dads and daycare centers.  As the name suggests, they incorporate a waterproof layer and inner absorbent layers in one piece.  Many AIOs have a moisture-wicking inner layer to keep baby's bottom dry.
  • Pocket Diapers — Pocket diapers are the newest option on the market.  A waterproof outer layer and moisture-wicking inner layer form a "pocket" for the absorbent soaker material.  Pockets are appealing because they can be adjusted for different uses — e.g., a more-absorbent soaker for nighttime or naps, or a trimmer soaker for going out.
  • Covers — Prefolds, flats, and fitteds require a waterproof cover.  There are two basic styles of covers:  pull-on and wrap.  The pull-on style goes on like underwear, while the wrap style fastens on the front or sides with Velcro or snaps, similar to a disposable diaper.
diaper covers

Visit these cloth diaper websites and this diaper vendor directory for more information about, and suppliers of, a wide range of diaper products and accessories:

  • offers parent reviews of diaper products as well as online diaper stores.  A great source of diaper information when trying to decide what diapers to purchase.
  • is one of the favorite brands for AIOs and pockets; these cloth diapers are quite similar to disposables.
  • is the creator of the pocket-style diaper.
  • features tried-and-true fitted diapers and diaper covers.
  • is an online store offering a wide range of diapers and accessories.
  • is an online store focused on cotton prefolds and fitteds, as well as PUL and wool covers and diaper accessories.  Their website has lots of pictures and information to aid in selecting appropriate diaper products.
training pants with snaps

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