Cloth Diapering 101 – Which Cloth Diaper is Right for Us?

This series is intended for the first time cloth diaper user or the family who is considering using cloth diapers.  Please feel free to ask questions (just leave a comment below) and I’ll be happy to help you along your journey.

Cloth Diapering 101 – Which Cloth Diaper is Right for Us?

Any guesses on how many cloth diaper brands there are to choose from?  Me neither, but I do know there are over 219 diapers featured in Kim Rosas’ Cloth Diaper Finder and I do know that Kelly’s Closet sells over 30 popular brands.  How can you tell which diaper is right for you and your baby?  What if you pick one and totally hate it?  These are all common questions that we all had when we started our journey into cloth diapering.

First, let’s start with a vocabulary lesson. If you’re looking for definitions to terms like pockets, AIO, SIO, and hybrids you can visit Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Terms & Definitions page or the new blog Cloth Diaper Terminology page.

Next, you need to determine why you are choosing cloth diapers. If you are choosing cloth diapers to save money you may not want to purchase the new eco-posh line that starts at $35 per diaper.  However, if you are choosing cloth diapers to save the environment you may opt for the recycled content and natural materials found in the eco-posh line of diapers.  Why are you choosing cloth diapers?

Other questions you’ll want to consider when choosing a cloth diaper include:

  • How old is your baby or toddler?
  • How much does your baby weigh?
  • Is your spouse/partner on board the cloth diaper train too?
  • Do you have laundry facilities on-site or nearby?
  • Do you work or will you be staying home with your baby?
  • Will your baby be in the care of a nanny, babysitter, or day care provider during the day?
  • How much can you afford to spend?
  • Do you prefer natural fibers next to your child’s skin?
  • Do you travel frequently with your child?

Want to know a little secret? There is no perfect diaper that will work for every family and every baby.  Oh crud, I bet you were hoping for an easy answer, huh?  What I can tell you is this, surveyed 500 cloth diapering parents (mostly mom’s) and found out that:

  • bumGenius was the most popular brand of cloth diapers (26% preferred bumGenius over any other brand)
  • 50% of those surveyed have more than 4 brands of cloth diapers in their stash
  • 50% of those surveyed prefer pocket style diapers
  • 74% of those surveyed prefer snap closures over Velcro

My experience has taught me that parents usually start with bumGenius pocket style diapers with a Velcro closure.  You can read more about my theory on why bumGenius diapers are a gateway drug to your cloth diaper addiction.  But according to the statistics above the majority of cloth diaper users don’t stop there – they keep adding to their stash!  Why?  Is it to find a perfect cloth diaper?  Or is it a hobby or an addiction?

Whatever the case here are my recommendations for buying cloth diapers:

  • Set yourself a limit or a budget on what you can spend
  • Try a few different brands and styles
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new
  • Ask a friend or find a cloth diaper forum/group online
  • Look for sales and coupons regularly
  • Visit the Cloth Diaper Finder or watch video reviews on the Dirty Diaper Laundry blog
  • Order a copy of Kelly Wels new book; Changing Diapers, a Hip Mom’s Guide to Modern Cloth Diapers (Use coupon code ECOCHIC and get your copy for only $8.97)
  • Pre-order the Willow Store’s new cloth diapering video; Diapering Today
  • Visit The Eco Chic regularly for new tips to help you along your journey into the world of cloth diapering!  Enjoy the ride!

My personal recommendations and favorites?

  • bumGenius 4.0 in snaps
  • Rumparooz one-sized diapers
  • itti bitti one-sized tutto or sized d’lish diapers
  • Charlie Banana sized diapers
  • BabyKicks organic one-sized diapers
  • Oh Katy one-sized diapers
  • Flats – any brand
  • Flip hybrids

Of course I’ve tried over 30 brands and I do several other favorites but these are the ones I go to most often.  And if you end up hating a diaper you can always resell it or trade with a friend.

Do you have a question about a specific diaper or diaper style?  Feel free to ask it in the comments section!

Disclosure: Affiliate links were used in this post. Making purchases using these links will help keep the lights on around this blog – so my personal thank you for your support!



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    • says

      Personally I like pockets because they are more flexible and dry quicker. AIOs are easy though…just put them on. No stuffing or unstuffing. However with that comes an increased price too.

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