Kudos to you, Mama. Not only have you brought new life into this world, you’re ready to take the step of cloth diapering that adorable little bum!
But some of those diapers don’t look very… user friendly.
Oh, sure, the other moms who use them CLAIM it’s as easy as pie, but then they walk you through a 10 step process just to get the diaper on your wiggly little baby!
You’re looking for something that’s a little easier to put on and take off – a style of diaper that even Grandma and Dad will use without complaining that they need an instructional manual.
If you’re using a daycare, you really need a diaper style that is completely intuitive so you can “sell” the idea of using cloth to the care center director.
She/he will frequently argue against cloth diapers in their facility UNLESS they’re super easy to use (and you provide enough for a full day, a wet bag to store them in, and take them home daily).
Or at the very least, you need a diaper that won’t confuse YOU!
So here’s a round up of 5 of some of the easiest-to-use diapers, plus one that will be a little more versatile for your own use.
All of these five recommended are all-in-one diapers, or AIOs.
They’re the simplest to use by a country mile, since they’re designed to be as much like a disposable as you can get while still being washable.
They are made with a waterproof outer layer and several absorbent inner layers, they have either Aplix (Velcro) or snaps to fasten them, and elastic around the legs and waist.
They don’t need to be stuffed, there’s no lay in or snap in inserts – these are super simple.
All of the ones I’ve listed here are also one-size, which means they’re adjustable to fit a range of sizes.
A word of warning, however – they are not cheap.
They’re cheaper (in the long run) than disposables by about $1000 over the entire diapering lifespan, but as the saying goes – Cheap, Easy, Effective – pick any two.
You’re paying for the ease of use here.
You should also know that in order to ensure a good life span for these diapers, you’ll need a stash of at least 24 per child.
Any fewer and you have to wash them so frequently that they’ll wear out faster than they should.
This can be a little scary when shelling out that amount of money, so most people start off by buying one each of several styles to see what works best for their baby.
Some cuts and styles fit better on skinny babies, others work better on chubby babies – it’s worth trying a few styles to see which you prefer.
And of course, this list should not be considered the only options – this is just a few to get you started.
There are many wonderful brands out there… and more than a few lemons as well.
All the ones I have listed are well reviewed and high quality products – watch out if you are offered an unbelievable deal on a dozen brand new all-in-ones, as they may not perform well after a few washes.
1. BumGenius Freetime or Elemental
These are a one-size, all-in-one diaper.
That means it should fit babies from 8 – 35 lbs, and it’s constructed to have the absorbent inner and the waterproof outer all sewn into one unit.
The major difference is that the Freetime uses stay-dry fabrics against baby’s skin, while the Elemental is all organic cotton inside.
There’s no stuffing these diapers, no unstuffing, no fuss.
Just snap on the baby, snap off, dump any solids in the toilet, and toss into the diaper pail until laundry day.
These are sold directly through Cotton Babies (the maker of the BumGenius, Flip, and Econobum diaper lines), or from several diaper retailers on the web.
The retail price is $19.95 each for the Freetime, with a price break if you order 6 or more.
The Elemental is currently only available for purchase in packs of 6 or more, and the price for 6 is $142.22.
2. GroVia AIO
This is very much like the BumGenius design, in that it’s a no-stuff, no-fuss, adjustable, all-in-one diaper.
It differs in the fact that it has a side snap design, where the front wraps around to the sides rather than having the sides wrap around to the front.
(It sounds more complex than it is.)
Some parents love how side snaps fit, others prefer the other style – it’s all about how your baby is shaped.
The Grovia also has snap in booster inserts – very helpful as your baby gets older or is a heavy wetter.
The stretchy sides also make these diapers helpful when first starting to potty train, since they can be pulled up and down fairly easily.
GroVia AIO’s are available for $23.95 each, and once again you can get a price break if you buy 6 or more.
3. Blueberry One Size Simplex AIO
This is an AIO that almost acts like a pocket diaper.
All the absorbent parts are attached, but you can choose to have either the cotton layers or a stay-dry microfleece layer against your baby’s skin.
These diapers are unusual in that they use birdseye cotton for the absorbent layers – this is the same weave of cotton that was traditionally used for flats and prefolds, because the weave makes a thin fabric more three dimensional, and thus both more absorbent without sacrificing a quick dry time.
Blueberry diapers have a reputation for being cut a bit more full size than other brands, so if you have a larger baby these tend to fit better and for longer, even though it only says 10 – 35 lbs.
These are also available in some of the CUTEST prints! (I know, there are cute prints in all of these, but I’m a sucker for the Blueberry prints)
Available in both Aplix (Velcro) and snaps, these are $28.95 each, while the organic version (that has cotton twill and no stay-dry layer) is priced at $34.95.
No package deals on this that I could find. Not cheap, but high quality.
4. Thirsties One Size AIO And Thirsties Natural AIO
The first AIO is constructed with microterry topped with microfleece against the skin, and is supposed to fit from 8lbs all the way up to 40lbs!
The Natural is made from 11 layers of organic cotton and hemp.
Both are also available in both Aplix (Velcro) and snaps.
If you’re buying a stash of these and you’re tempted to make them all Aplix, I’d suggest doing half and half with snaps instead – the snaps tend to last a lot longer, but the Aplix is easy to use and sitter/day care friendly.
Thirsties claims that the ordinary diaper will absorb 7 times its weight in liquid, making it a great choice for heavy wetters!
The Natural is also highly absorbent with the hemp content.
Once again, you can get a better deal buying in lots of 6 or 12.
5. Bummis AIO
This is a newer offering from Bummis – the company has been around and making excellent cloth diaper covers since 1988, but they’re now starting to branch out into newer styles.
This is a nifty design where you can choose to have either stay dry fabric or dimpled organic cotton against the skin, based on which way you fold the flap.
The snaps are a size larger than most other diaper brands, which is nice when you’re feeling a little fumble fingered in the wee hours, and it has a pocket you can use to tuck in an extra soaker layer, should you need it. It should fit 8 – 35 lbs, and it’s priced at $27.95 each.
They only have a limited number of colors and prints, but Bummis has a reputation for making very durable diaper products, so they should last a good while.
And the bonus – the Flip system! – Not all systems are for everyone.
Sometimes you want an AIO, but sometimes you need something that you can use as either a semi-disposable or a reusable shell with insert.
The Flip fills the bill nicely – it’s a one size cover that can be used with lay-in washable inserts (or prefolds or flats, if you’re feeling frisky) OR if you’re traveling a lot and want the convenience of disposables with less waste and the leak resistance, you can use the dye-free, fragrance-free disposable inserts.
If the cover is only damp, you can just change out the inserts and re-use the shell – you only really need to change the shell if it’s very wet or soiled.
The disposable inserts are very helpful if you’re traveling with limited space, since you can put a bunch more inserts in a diaper bag than you can cloth inserts or even complete disposable diapers.
I hope these brands and ideas give you a nice jumping off point for you to start using cloth diapers on your little one!
With any of these 5 diapers above, the only thing that makes them different from disposables is that you put them in the wash, rather than in the trash.
And with the Flip system, you have the option of doing either!
With these systems, there’s no need to spend your money on literal garbage every week, and your baby can have the comfort and assurance of cloth against the skin, rather than chemical soup.