Cloth Diapers at a Glance: Everything you Want to Know in Under 5 Min.

Written by: Krystal Keller



Time to read 3 min

Are you curious about cloth diapers but not sure where to start? You're in the right place! In this quick guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about cloth diapers—from the benefits to the basics of getting started. By the end, you'll have a solid understanding of why cloth diapers are a fantastic choice for your little one.

Reusable diapers have come a long way in recent years, offering modern parents more convenience, comfort, and eco-friendly options than ever before. Whether you're a seasoned parent or brand new to the diapering game, this intro will give you the confidence to dive into the world of cloth diapers. So let's get started!

newborn baby wearing Kinder Cloth Diaper Co. One size pocket diapers

Choosing a Style of Reusable Diapers

All in One and Pocket Style

  • Most like disposable diapers
  • Easy for caregivers that are not accustomed to using cloth diapers
  • Complete diapering system

Fitted Diapers

  • Most absorbent
  • Excellent for overnights, 360 degrees of absorbency
  • Requires the use of a waterproof cover
  • Higher cost

Diaper Covers

  • Most customizable
  • Pairs with flats, pre-folds, fitteds and inserts
  • Can use fasteners like pins and Snappis
  • Most budget friendly option

How Many Cloth Diapers Do I Need?

Newborns: Most newborns will soil 10-16 diapers a day. We typically recommend that families planning to time cloth diaper full time with pocket style diapers have at least 30 diapers for newborn babies.

Toddlers: Toddlers will soil 5-7 diapers a day. We typically recommend that families planning to cloth diaper full time with pocket style diapers have at least 15 diapers for older toddlers.

Looking for more customized results? Take our quick survey here » 

Preparing New Cloth Diapers:

New cloth diapers should be washed at least once before wearing them on your baby. Some sources will recommend multiple wash cycles to rinse the natural oils from the fibers of the absorbency, but this is not required and is often excessive.

Used cloth diapers will need to be sanitized with bleach before wearing them on your baby. You can learn more about how to properly sanitize pre-loved or used cloth diapers here » 

Soiled Reusable Diapers:

Before storing cloth diapers, scrape, shake or spray all solid waste into the toilet. Poop from formula fed babies should also be removed before washing.

Breastfed poop is water soluble and may be washed without rinsing, however some families prefer to spray breastfed poop too in order to minimize staining.

Soiled cloth diapers can be stored in an open pail with or without a liner or a sealed wet bag. We advise against storing soiled cloth diapers in water before washing.

Washing Cloth Diapers:

Choose a mainstream laundry detergent that contains both surfactants and enzymes.

  • Surfactants break up stains and disperse dirt that otherwise wouldn't dissolve in water.

  • Enzymes are important as they break down and remove specific types of stains, such as grass, chocolate pudding, and blood. Enzymes are naturally occurring and biodegradable, and are sensitive skin-friendly. We recommend Tide powder as a great starting point.

Looking for a scent free option? Try All Free and Clear

Looking for a more eco conscious alternative? Try Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

For more help with choosing a wash routine, check out this page »

mom and child doing laundry washing cloth diapers at home


Odor, rashes and leaks when cloth diapering can be an indication of a problem. But don’t worry, we can help!

  • Odor: Ammonia or barnyard (poop) odor means that there is something about your wash routine that’s not working effectively. Learn more about decoding odor and how to  fix weird smells here »

  • Rashes: Rashes are also often an indication that there is something off about your wash routine. Too much detergent and not enough washing can both cause leaks in cloth diapers. Don’t worry, we can help! Message our website chat and we can help troubleshoot the cause of your rash.

What Causes Leaks:

There are three most common causes of leaks in cloth diapers.

  • Poor fit: the most common cause of leg leaks in newborn babies is poor fit. Gaps around the legs can cause urine and newborn poops to leak. Adjusting the fit to be snug around the legs can resolve leaks.
  • Inadequate absorbency: Sometimes leaks can also be caused by not enough absorbency or the wrong style of absorbency. Inserts that contain microfiber layers are very prone to compression leaks.
  • Damage diapers: rips and tears to the waterproof layer of diaper covers can also lead to leaks. This is most likely when leaks are experienced all over rather than at the belly or legs.

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