The Ultimate Guide To Diapering With Cloth Diapers

Many parents are choosing cloth diapers over disposables these days. Whether for cost, comfort, style, or eco-friendly reasons, most moms are deciding to choose cloth diapers instead of disposables. Although even the best diapers in India require more work than throwing disposables away, they make more sense than you think.

Baby in cloth diaper

Ever wish you’d find a “Cloth Diapers 101” guide to make the best choice for your baby? Read on to find out the pros of using cloth diapers, what type you should use, how to use and wash them, and how many you need.

The huge benefits of using cloth diapers vs disposables:

The benefits and drawbacks of diapering come down to their impact on your lifestyle, your baby’s health, the environment, and your finances. It’s clear why cloth diapers are making a strong comeback. 

The rising concern of harmful chemical exposure in babies and increased awareness of the environment make the best diapers in India a smart and sustainable option. Even the most eco-friendly and green disposable diapers still comprise chemicals.

The Real Diaper Association shows that disposables typically include sodium poly-acrylate, Dioxin, and Tributyl Tin (TBT). Sodium poly-acrylate is linked to toxic shock syndrome and severe diaper rashes. Dioxin is a carcinogenic substance associated with miscarriages, cancer, and genetic harm. And TBT causes hormonal problems in both humans and animals.

Globally, parents throw away millions of diapers daily, which are buried in landfills and sealed without natural elements to help decomposition. The RDA shows that it takes a disposable diaper up to 500 years to decompose. The environmental impact of cloth diapers is minimal and depends on how you wash them.

The best diapers for newborn India are cheaper than disposables. Although if you’re using a specialized laundering company for diapers, there won’t be much cost difference. But your expenses will still be lower. Most children use around 12 diapers/ day, according to HealthLine. You must wash them every 3 days, at the most.

Types of cloth diapers:

In the past, using cloth diapers meant wrapping a rectangular piece of cotton fabric around the baby’s bottom and secure it with large safety pins. But cloth diapers have come a long way. From the more traditional pre-fold and flat squares of material to hybrid diapers with a washable outer layer including disposable inserts, you’ll find a wide range of cloth diapers on the market.

1. Flats

Flats are basic, lightweight, and the most affordable cloth diapers. They’re large and square pieces of Birdseye cotton fabric, bamboo, hemp, or terrycloth. To use flat cloth diapers, you must fold them and secure by tucking them in or using safety pins. Use a waterproof cover to contain any wetness.

2. Pre-folds

Prefolds comprise extra material in the centre. You’ll find prefolds made of hemp, cotton, or bamboo. Waterproof covers made of polyester hold the prefolds in place. The covers are breathable, reusable, and adjustable.

They fold around your baby’s bottom like a diaper and include snaps or crossover and hip Velcro. When you change the dirty prefold, you can use the same cover. Consider using two prefolds during the night.

3. Hybrid

Hybrids blend features of reusable and disposable diapers. They include a waterproof exterior layer and two absorbent inner layers. You can use a cloth insert such as a thick washcloth or a disposable insert such as a flushable pad.

Cloth inserts come in hemp, microfiber or cotton fabrics. Disposable inserts don’t contain chemicals and they’re compost-friendly. To replace the diaper, change the dirty insert and insert a new one in.

4. Pocket diapers

Pocket diapers are complete systems with an interior pocket for the absorbent insert and a waterproof exterior. The inserts of pocket diapers are reusable, washable, and they’re available in hemp, cotton, and microfibre fabrics. You don’t need an extra cover.

To change the diaper, take it off your baby and replace the insert and cover. Pocket diapers are flexible, adjustable, and you can secure them with snaps or Velcro.

5. All-in-one and all-in-two

All-in-one diapers include an absorbent pad, which is attached to the waterproof cover. The diaper closes at the hip with snaps, hooks and loops, or Velcro. You don’t need extra inserts. Remove the all-in-one (AIO) diaper and replace it with a fresh diaper. AIOs are easy to wash and to use.

All-in-two diapers have a waterproof exterior cover and an absorbent, detachable inner layer, which tucks or snaps into place. You can reuse the cover and replace the dirty layer. Use thicker interior inserts for overnight use or with a heavy wetter. You can wash the inserts.

All-in-two diapers are thinner than AIOs. Moms prefer all-in-two diapers. They’re easier and more convenient than AIOs because you can wash the insert separately from the cover. Moms also appreciate the flexibility and long lifespan of all-in-two diapers.

How to use:

With some cloth diapers, you need to pre-assemble the parts to have them ready to change. Some diapers include Velcro or snaps to help you adjust them to fit your baby. Close the tabs before you put the diaper in the pail, so it doesn’t stick to other diapers before washing. Use any top snaps to adjust the waistline.

Cloth diapers feel stiff or hang down when they need replacing. Change cloth diapers at least every 2 hours to avoid diaper rash.

Check the manufacturer’s recommended washing guidelines before you wash the cloth diaper. General steps to washing the cloth diaper include removing solid waste from the cloth diaper, putting the cleaned diaper in a pail or bag with other diapers until you wash them, and washing the diaper daily to avoid staining.

Select a cold wash cycle first with no detergent. After the cold cycle, add detergent and select a hot cycle. Line dry the cloth diapers for the best results.

How many cloth diapers you need?

According to Parenthood Guide, newborns use between 12 and 18 cloth diapers per day. Babies over one-month-old need between 8 and 12 diapers per day. Because daily washing isn’t realistic, stock up on more diapers than you’ll use in a day. Really cover your basics with at least 24 diapers, to begin with.

To wrap things up

Cloth fabrics are making a strong comeback. Modern cloth diapers have completely changed since the “good old days.” Today, you’ll find a wide range of cloth diapers including flats, pre-folds, pocket diapers, hybrids, all-in-ones, and all-in-twos. They’re easy to use and to wash, and there are also organic options to choose from.

With all the snaps, fits, fabrics, Velcro, and extra adjustable options, the best diapers for newborn India can last for years. You can use them for multiple babies. The upfront costs may sound steep, but the overall price makes sense compared to the expenses you’d incur with disposable diapers. Use a local diaper laundering company if you don’t want to wash diapers. 

At the end of the day, every baby is different. There’s no one-fits-all solution. Regardless of others’ opinions, do what’s best for you and your baby.

Author Bio: Shobita Ravichandran, Editor in Chief Buy Baby Buy. Shobita is a mum of two beautiful girls. Initially, when her first little bundle of joy arrived, she was far from prepared. She didn’t know the first thing about caring for a newborn. Over time, and with the help of a massive support system of family and friends (and the occasional unsolicited advice), she learned lessons on what to do, what to avoid, and what she would do differently the next time.

As a young mum living in a big city and with a love for travel, she has been extensively researching the best baby products for her children. Now, she would like to share this knowledge and wisdom with you, to take at least a little bit of parenting stress away.


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