If you’re preparing a nursery for your first child, it’s likely that you’ve come across the debate: cloth diapers or disposable diapers?
If you’ve decided that you’re firmly in the cloth diaper camp, whether for environmental reasons, economic reasons or any of the other excellent reasons why you might choose to go with cloth diapers, that initial decision was the easiest part. Because now you have to actually choose a cloth diaper company to shop with for your cloth diapers and learn all the ins and outs of cloth diapering.
To make your journey into the world of cloth diapers a little bit easier, we’ve put together a long list of the best cloth diaper companies to consider for your needs, as well as an essential guide to cloth diapering, with everything you’ll need to know about this parenting decision and how to make it best work for your family.
First of All, Remember Why You’re Doing This
Listen. No one said cloth diapering was easy. It’s not. With a disposable diaper, you can just wrap that sucker up and toss it into a bin… out of sight, out of mind. With cloth diapers, though, the experience is a little bit different. Things can get messy, time-intensive and a little stinky (or, rather, quite a bit stinky).
So when you hit those moments when you’re wondering why you chose to go with cloth diapers, especially when it seems like you’re using an endless mountain of diapers per day, remind yourself why you made this parenting decision.
If you made the decision to use cloth diapers because cloth diapers are more affordable, remind yourself that using cloth diapers can save you more than $2,000 per year.
If you decided to use cloth diapers because you’re worried about the environmental ramifications of disposable diapers, remember that nearly 100% of all disposable diapers end up in the landfill.
And if you decide to use cloth diapers because you only want the safest options for your baby, keep in mind that many diapers contain potential carcinogens.
Choosing a Type of Cloth Diaper
Before you can choose a cloth diaper brand or company, you’ll want to consider what type of cloth diaper you want to use for your baby. There are several different types of cloth diapers to consider.
All-in-One Cloth Diapers
All-in-one cloth diapers are easy to use and a good pick for parents who have zero experience with diapering of any kind, as well as those who plan on enrolling their child in daycare.
Unlike some cloth diapers that require extra hardware (pins! cloth diaper covers! stuffing! cloth wipes!), an all-in-one cloth diaper has all of the bits and bobs already built-in. It’s a little more like using a disposable diaper, only you’re able to throw it into the washer and reuse it over and over again.
Fitted Cloth Diapers
A fitted diaper is very similar to an all-in-one cloth diaper in that it already has the clasps and closures on the sides, so they’re easier to slide on and off. But, you do need to still buy a cover for the outside of the diaper, which is something you won’t necessarily need with an all-in-one cloth diaper. Additionally, you’ll still have to do a bit of folding and adjusting to actually get the diaper on your baby.
Still, if you’re okay with that, you may find the fitted cloth diapers to be just what you need, as they’re a bit more affordable than the all-in-ones.
The only downside is that fitted cloth diapers are usually sold with a size in mind, so you won’t be able to use the same diapers over your baby’s infancy.
All-in-Two Cloth Diapers
An all-in-two cloth diaper is like a hybrid mix of an all-in-one cloth diaper and a fitted cloth diaper. It has all of the benefits of an all-in-one cloth diaper, except that it does require you to buy one extra thing: the cover. So, rather than diapering your baby with one step, this cloth diaper needs two.
Pocket Cloth Diapers
Pocket diapers are also similar to all-in-one cloth diapers in that they’re built with convenience in mind. Rather than just being a square of fabric that you have to customize to fit your needs, a pocket cloth diaper is constructed to include a reusable, washable insert that’s intended to catch and absorb everything going on down there.
Prefold Cloth Diapers
Prefold cloth diapers are a little more affordable than all-in-one cloth diapers, but they require a little extra work. That’s because, while the prefold cloth diapers do already have the absorbent padding built into the diaper, they also require you to purchase separate clips to use on the diaper’s sides to keep the diaper on the baby.
Flat Cloth Diapers
Flat cloth diapers are even more straightforward, as they’re just a square of fabric. You have to do all of the folding, clipping, etc. But, some parents prefer these diapers because they’re incredibly versatile. You can just use the square of fabric in any other situation where you might need a square of cloth with your baby (burping! cleaning up spills!).
Flat cloth diapers also come with the benefit of being the cheapest cloth diaper option on the market. In fact, some moms even report using random household items as a cloth diaper when in a pinch (just don’t use that dish towel for other things later).
Hybrid Cloth Diapers
If you want something that’s a little bit of a mix between a disposable diaper and a cloth diaper — maybe you’re not ready to take the plunge just yet — you may want to try hybrid cloth diapers. Hybrid cloth diapers feature a cloth exterior and a disposable interior, which cuts down on mess and work. However, keep in mind that this method is a little pricier and not as environmentally friendly.
Cloth Diaper Companies to Check Out
Ready to start shopping? It’s generally recommended that you purchase at least 20 cloth diapers to start — at least. On average, newborns go through up to 12 diaper changes per day, which puts you on a schedule of washing diapers every other day. If you don’t like the sound of that, you’ll want to buy more diapers.
Whatever style of cloth diaper you choose, however many cloth diapers you buy, here are a few cloth diaper companies to check out.
You can find the Thirsties brand at your favorite online and local retailers, like Amazon and Target. The brand offers various cloth diapers, from organic cotton flat diapers to fitted and all-in-ones. Some of the brand’s exclusive features include signature leg gussets that move with your baby (while keeping leaks locked in) and a snug yet breathable fit.
If you’re deciding to go with cloth diapering due to environmental concerns, you’ll love the brand’s commitment to USA manufacturing and that 90% of the fabrics and materials used in the diapers are USA-sourced. Plus, the brand recycles 100% of the scrap fabric that results from the manufacturing process.
The Bumgenius selection might seem small, but what the brand lacks in quantity makes up for in quality. You have three cloth diaper options to choose from: the brand’s original diaper, the Bumgenius Freetime diaper and the Elemental diaper. We recommend checking out this bumGenius All-in-One Newborn Cloth Diaper.
The original diaper is the bare basic option, fitting babies from 8 to 35 pounds, with stretchy and elastic fits, plastic fasteners and a waterproof cover. The Freetime diaper takes things a step further, as an all-in-one diaper that features no stuffing whatsoever. And then the Elemental diaper takes things even further, adding a 100% organic cotton material.
Whichever you pick, all dry quickly without sacrificing absorbency, meaning less time waiting around for a clean diaper.
GroVia specializes in all-in-one and hybrid diapers. Both options from the brand are significant in terms of function, but GroVia also offers something other brands do not — a super-cute look. You’ll find diapers with velour exteriors for an ultra-luxe look and diapers with fun patterns, from airplanes to Smokey the Bear.
If you’re looking for a brand that offers hybrid cloth diapers, GroVia is a smart choice.
OsoCozy is a favorite cloth diaper brand mainly due to cost. We recommend the Osocozy Unbleached Birdseye Flat Diapers.
While, yes, cloth diapers are much more affordable than disposable diapers throughout your baby’s infancy, the upfront cost for cloth diapers can be less than ideal, especially when you consider you’ll need to buy a minimum of 20 diapers at once.
OsoCozy offers fitted, prefold and flat cloth diapers, along with diaper covers and accessories.
You already know the Gerber name, so why not go with the brand that you trust for your baby’s food, for your baby’s cloth diapers?
While Gerber’s cloth diapers aren’t exactly anything exciting (they’re all white and nothing fancy), the brand does offer an excellent selection. You can find flat diapers, organic diapers, prefold diapers, diaper pads and even those all-in-one diapers if that’s the option you want to try. The brand’s all-in-one It’s a Snap! Diapers are the star of their selection, as they’re effortless to use, adjustable from 8 to 30 pounds and machine washable.
Charlie Banana takes the eco-friendliness factor of cloth diapers to the next level, as all of the brand’s products are Climate Neutral Certified, meaning the entire carbon footprint of every single Charlie Banana product is entirely offset. Plus, the brand donates 1% of its profits to environmental causes.
Charlie Banana’s reusable, one-size fleece and cotton diapers come in fun patterns, from birds and cacti to ballerinas and soccer balls. You can choose to use the diapers with either a reusable absorbent insert or a disposable insert, so they could technically be used either as a hybrid diaper or as a pocket cloth diaper.
The brand even offers items for mom, too, with a line of reusable feminine products.
Smart Bottoms only offers all-in-one cloth diapers. The Smart Bottoms Smart ONE 3.1 Organic All-in-one Cloth Diapers are made from organic cotton and hemp, plus the brand claims that its latest line of diapers will absorb 30% more liquid.
Yes, the Bambino Mio brand is based in the United Kingdom, but there’s a reason why these diapers are award-winning — they’re just that great and parent-approved.
The high-quality, cute Bambino Mio Miosolo Cloth Diapers come in both all-in-one and all-in-two variants, so you can choose whether you want something super convenient or if you’d rather switch out your water-resistant outer cover. Whichever option you go with, though, you’ll be happy to know that all of the brand’s diapers are adjustable, meaning they’ll last you from the newborn stage all the way up into toddlerhood and potty training.
While many cloth diapers feature snap closures to fasten the diaper, the Bambino Mio diapers fasten via velcro.
Before You Jump In…
But before you jump straight into the world of cloth diapering, remember — while cloth diapering comes with a wide variety of benefits, including being eco-friendly and affordable, cloth diapering also comes with a few drawbacks. Cloth diapering is time-consuming and not very convenient if you’re frequently on the go. As such, it might not necessarily fit into every family’s lifestyle.
Before you firmly decide to go with cloth diapers, consider talking to fellow moms who’ve cloth diapered in the past and ask them for their advice and recommendations.
You also might be interested in: 74 Baby Must-Haves To Add To Your Shopping Cart [Full Guide]
8 Cloth Diaper Companies To Check Out:
Holly Riddleview post
Holly Riddle is a travel, food and lifestyle writer, and a full-time freelance content creator after several years on editorial staffs for a multitude of publications ranging in topic and audience demographic. She currently acts as the editor at large for Global Traveler magazine and is a regular contributor at Trazee Travel, WhereverFamily, TravelMag, CruiseHive and more. Ghostwritten work for travel clients has appeared on Forbes, Bloomberg, Inc. and other top publications. She also manages blogs for tour providers, hotels and tourism boards.view post