Diaper Covers

If you're cloth-diapering with prefolds or fitteds, you need a cover. However, you don't need as many covers as you need diapers, because covers that are only wet (not soiled) can be reused several times. For most families, 6-10 covers is enough. How to decide? If you want simple and cute, go with covers from Bummis or Thirsties, shown below:

Thirsties Covers $11.00 
See all Thirsties colors here

Bummis Superbrite Covers $12.25

Need something even more economical? Try a Bummis Original in white for $9.00:

I also carry high-quality organic wool covers ($30.99-32.99) and a vegan fleece ($16.99) made from soda bottles. Wool is an ideal material for cloth diapering and a completely natural option. 

Cloth Diapers 101

If you're new to cloth diapering ("CD" for short), you're probably overwhelmed by all the styles, fabrics, brands, covers, and systems to choose from. There are four main types of cloth diapers:

1. Prefold and cover: This is the most basic and economical CD system. It consists of a rectangular diaper that is folded onto baby and then wrapped with a cover. Prefolds are usually made of cotton, and organic cotton is quite affordable. To get started, you need 18-24 prefold plus about 6 covers. Covers that are wet only can be used several times before washing. Pr
ices range from $14.00 to $25.00 per dozen depending on size. All of my prefolds except for the toddler size are organic cotton. With prefolds and covers you can diaper your baby from birth to potty training in organic cotton for about $350!

2. Fitted and cover: This system provides a bit more convenience than a prefold and cover. It consists of a diaper with elastic around the legs and waist, thus providing a better fit than a prefold. It is secured with snaps or velcro, and then
wrapped with a cover (you can use the same covers used with a prefold). Many fitteds come in a "one-size" option, meaning that they can be adjusted to fit baby from birth to potty training! Prices range from $13.99 to $15.99 for organic cotton. With fitteds and covers you can diaper your baby from birth to potty training in organic cotton for about $500.

3. Pockets: Pockets are an extremely convenient CD option. A pocket diaper is one diap
er that has sewn-in waterproofing on the outside, with no need for an extra cover. The diaper is "hollow" on the inside, allowing for absorbent material to be inserted. After use, you simply pull out the cloth insert, and wash both the pocket diaper and the absorbent insert. Prices range from $17.95 to $19.95. With pocket diapers by FuzziBunz you can cloth diaper your baby from birth to potty training for as little as $400. I also carry the two-size Duo-Diaper from Thirsties ($17.95) and the two-size Easy Fit from Tot-Bots ($18.95/$23.95).

Washing Cloth Diapers 101

Washing cloth diapers yourself is much easier than you'd think. In short, you simply run your diapers through 3 cycles in your washing machine:

1. a short cold rinse (no detergent)
2. a long hot wash (with detergent)
3. a medium cold rinse (no detergent)

As for what to do with the diapers between washes, you can put them in any kind of trash can with a liner. I recommend a diaper pail liner specially made for cloth diapering, like these from Wahmies. I sell them for $17.95. For a baby that is exclusively breastfed, you do not need to rinse, scrape, or do anything at all to your diapers before washing, whether wet or soiled. It's hard to believe, but it's absolutely true! For babies who are eating solid food, you need to dump most of the solid matter into the toilet before putting it in your diaper pail. The washing machine will take care of small amounts, like smears. 

When washing day comes, remove the entire pail liner from the diaper pail and carry it to the washing machine. Holding the bag over the machine, turn it inside out so that all of the diapers fall into the machine. Then drop the pail liner itself into the machine, still turned inside out. It's that simple!

Many moms want to know how often to wash their diapers, and I recommend every 2-3 days. Some diaper services that do the washing for you pick up only once a week. I've used this kind of service before, and once a week is not often enough. I also get questions about the smell, and to be totally honest, a cloth diaper pail does not smell any worse than one filled with disposable diapers.

For more tips on washing, including a list of which kinds of detergents are safe to use with cloth diapers, see the Bummis website.