Cloth Diapering 101 by


Have you thought about switching to cloth diapers but have some questions? Let us help you with the process. The article below will help you find some of the answers you are searching for. Also email us for a FREE CLOTH DIAPER INFO PACK - Send us your name and address when requesting it!  Send email to Kay @ and put in SUBJECT=ClothDiaperInfoPack


First decide your commitment level to cloth diapering. Do you want to try out a few things while maintaining a backup supply of disposables, or do you want to cloth diaper full-time?

Trial Run Cloth Diapering

2 covers and 6 inserts will let you replace 6 disposables a day. This will save you $1.50 each day and pay for itself in 30-45 days depending which inserts you choose. Then you would wash a load of diapers each night. This package can cost you as little as $35-50 and give you a great trial run.

Part-time cloth diapering

12 or so diapers (or diapering systems) are a good beginning if you are experimenting with cloth diapering. It allows you to diaper for a full day or two and have a moderate load of diapers to wash, but you will need to supplement with disposables at this level. Feel free to try different kinds to get a feel for what works best for your day-to-day diapering needs and what seems to fit your child best. If you decide to switch to full-time cloth diapering, you’ll need a larger stash.

Full-time cloth diapering

Minimum of 24 diapers, 6-8 covers, one (two is best) pail liners and a wet/dry bag for the diaper bag. More diapers give more leeway before laundering. Less diapers makes it likely that you won’t continue with cloth.

Kay’s Suggested Starter Pack: 6 covers, 12 pre-folds or inserts and/or 12 pockets, 2 pail liner, 2 wet bag, diaper sprayer


Flats - these look like old fashioned kitchen towels and must be folded down in various ways to use on your child. They can be pinned, placed in a cover, or added as doublers to other diapering systems. These are easy to find, but not many people actually use them.

Pre-folds (also called Chinese pre-folds) - this is probably what you think of when you think cloth diapers. These are thick, fluffy cotton that has been folded and sewn so all you have to do is fold them in thirds to use them. They can be pinned or just folded and placed inside covers. This is the most economical way to cloth diaper. 24 pre-folds and 8 covers is a good low-budget workhorse diapering system.

Fitted diapers - these are also cotton except they have elastic at the legs and look like disposables only in cloth. They are more expensive than pre-folds, go on like a disposable, and require a cover. The elastic at the legs, coupled with gussets in the cover, will keep almost all poop in. This is especially exciting if you have a newborn that is blowing out of pre-folds on a regular basis.

Pocket diapers / AI2 - these are a diaper with a cover built on. The diaper has an opening where you can slip an insert which provides your absorbency. When changing the diaper, both the insert and diaper are thrown in the wash. When assembled beforehand, these make diapering very easy—one step rather than a diaper and cover. The pocket also allows for adding more inserts for overnight or other heavy wetting times. These are often handy for babysitters or fathers who may not be as enthusiastic as you are about diapering!

AIO’s (All-In-Ones) – as the name implies, this is a diaper and cover built together, though unlike a pocket, you don’t have to stuff the insert yourself. The most like disposable diapers and also frequently the most expensive diapering system.

Thank you to Dena Heath for this great information! I appreciate her cloth diapering knowledge!

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CLOTH DIAPERS - We are your full service cloth diaper retailer. We carry more brands than most other retailers. We can help you decide what you want in your stash. We are happy to give you one-on-one consultation by phone or in person at our Hillsboro, Oregon location. We are the largest Cloth Diaper & Baby Products Store in Oregon.

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