How to Use Cloth Diapers 101 Guide

(Last Updated On: July 16, 2019)

A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of using cloth diapers because they seem like a lot of work, and would rather opt for the seemingly more ‘convenient’ disposable diaper option. If only these moms knew how simple using cloth diapers can be, they’d be totally into them.

Not only that, there are so many benefits to using cloth diapers. Including the fact that they’re great for the environment and your baby’s skin health.

Cloth diapering can be tricky. If you’re not sure how to use cloth diapers, or are looking for inspiration to convince to nudge you into making the purchase, you’ve come to the right place.

Types of Cloth Diapers

Unlike the olden days, women now have more options to choose from when it comes to cloth diapers or cloth diapering namely;

Fitted: At first glance, you might think that these are actually disposable diapers, but despite their similarities, fitted diapers require a waterproof cover to protect from leaks happening. Otherwise, they fit tight and comfortably, and usually have a Velcro or snap strap to fasten them.

Also Read: These are the top diaper pails for cloth diapers

Pre-fold: These are probably the oldest and most popular types of cloth diapers there are. They come in rectangular form, and require that you fold them up into triangles before putting them on with a safety pin. Pre-fold diapers are made from natural materials like cotton, bamboo and hemp so they’re soft and comfortable. You do have to protect them with a waterproof cover though, to prevent leaks as you would with the fitted variety.

All-in-one: As the name suggests, all-in-one cloth diapers come with an internal liner to absorb moisture so that there’s no need for a waterproof cover.

Pocket diapers: The main component of these cloth diapers is an external waterproof shell, which is then insulated by an ultra-absorbent middle layer pad and a pocket opening. This opening is for you to use when inserting the soaker.

These days, there are even colored cloth diapers!

baby cloth diaper tip

How Many Cloth Diapers Do You Need

When buying cloth diapers for a newborn, it’s important to stock up a reasonable amount as they’ll probably need to get changed quite often. Also keep in mind to buy enough cloth diapers so that you won’t have to wash them everyday, and can skip 2 to 3 days in between a wash. A good rule of thumb is to prepare for the worst and have about 8 to 12 fresh diapers for each day. Yep, that much.

Obviously, as your little grows up, they’ll need less frequent diaper changes. But you’ll still need about 6 to 8 at that point.

So your best bet would be to buy about 24 to 30 cloth diapers for your newborn and you’ll be good to go.

Don’t Forget the Covers

Cloth diaper covers can be real lifesavers, as they prevent diaper leaks to protect your and baby’s clothes from damage that might ensue. So you should definitely consider getting some covers on hand. Just in case you have a problem with some of the nappies, or buy ones that require them, or even if it’s to use them when going on outings with baby.

How to use cloth diaper covers?

There are pull on ones and velcro cloth diaper covers. It’s down to your personal preference. I like the velcro ones!

The velcro cloth diaper covers actually look just like a typical disposable. Put it on your little one and position your baby properly before securing it. These kind of diaper covers have 2 wings. They go around your little one’s hips to hold the entire cloth diaper and diaper cover firmly in position.

Wash Before Use

Washing your baby’s just-bought cloth diapers s a good idea. Mainly because it’ll help to bring them into their proper size, making them fit more appropriately and comfortably for your baby. Not only that, but washing new diapers will just give you that peace of mind knowing that they’re nice and clean just for your baby.

Washing new diapers need not be like washing used ones. So pour just a little bit of mild detergent on a hot cycle in the washing machine and run it through a few times, and Bob’s your uncle!

If you want to know more about bleaching cloth diapers, read my post!

Change Them Frequently

To prevent unnecessary leaks and irritation, change cloth diapers every time it’s full or once every two hours hours. However, don’t disturb your baby’s nap if they’re sleeping.

Rather wait for them to wake up and then change the diaper, and they’ll probably let you know about it before you check anyway.

Folding the Diapers

There are different diaper folds which you can try out until you find a way that works for you and your baby. Plus, there are plenty of online resources that can help you with the process through step-by-step tutorials for each type.

Storage for Used Diapers

So what do I do with them when they get dirty? How do you dispose diapers? You ask. Well, a lot of moms have found that it helps to keep a ‘diaper pail’ in the bathroom, where they can just throw the dirty diaper in after a change and deal with them later. Diaper pails are specially designed to store and wash dirty cloth diapers and come in two different varieties; Wet diaper pails and Dry diaper pails.

Wet diaper pails:

A wet diaper pail is a normal pail filled with about ½ of water so that the diapers can become soaked the moment you pop them inside. This apparently makes it easier to to wash them later.

Dry diaper pail:

With a diaper pail, you’d have to first pre-rinse the diaper by running it through some warm water before storing it in the pae. That way, it’ll still be easier to wash, but won’t have to fester in poop water the whole time, which might not smell the best when you get back to it later.

The more daring opt for a wet diaper bag, which is also convenient but does nothing to cover the smell. So it’s really all up to your preferences and what’s best for you and your family here.

Read about best pull up diapers

Washing the Diapers

This is a fairly easy process. All you have to do is:

  • Pop them into the wash
  • Set the water level on high
  • Rinse them out with cold water only first
  • Then wash them with about ¼ cup of detergent on a warm wash cycle
  • Give them a final cold rinse just to be sure that all the detergent is off
  • Hang them out to dry in the sun or wind


As you can see, using cloth diapers is a completely hassle-free and worry-free process. They’ve been developed for convenience, with minimum to no leaks.

They’re easy to maintain and using them helps to save the environment.

Plus, there are loads of options to choose from. They’re even colored cloth diapers and styles to match your baby’s outfits if you’re a stylish mommy. Point is, if you were unsure about how to put on cloth diapers or how to use cloth diapers, then you should be 100% certain by now. Cloth diapers are the best

Written By
More from Sherry

Clarks Women’s Dunbar Racer Pregnancy Shoes Review

All women have encountered the dilemma choosing between style and comfort when...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *