CLoth Diapering 101

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Why Cloth?

If it's your first venture into cloth diapering, it can all seam a little overwhelming. There are many options and variations but with a little help, it becomes clear what will work for you, your family and your child.

After 16 years of carrying cloth diapers at Bosom Babies, these are our opinions from our experience, on why you should consider cloth diapering. (For more numbers and facts please check out the Real Diaper Association):

  1. Less expensive than disposables in the end
    • The right reusable diaper can take your baby all the way to potty training!
    • A  set (12 covers and 24 inserts) of reusable diapers can cost between $300-$600 at Bosom Babies, depending on the brand and system you choose. 
    • We have had diapers donated to us for Cloth for a Cause that have been through multiple children and still look perfect!
  2. More gentle on babies' sensitive skin
    • Cloth diapers are free of many of the chemicals and irritants they use in the manufacturing of disposable diapers
    • We carry diapers and liners that are natural materials or even organic for the most sensitive of skin
  3. Better for the environment
    • There is no doubt reusable diapers leave less waste in landfills. Given the proper care, you will be able to use your cloth diapers for multiple children, donate, or re-sell them when you're done with them!
    • With a good diaper pail and reusable wet diaper bag, you shouldn't need to be washing diapers more than 2-3 times a week. Less time, work and money than it would be to run out and buy disposables!

What do I need to cloth diaper?

  1. Diaper Covers
    • Waterproof covers to go over prefolds, flat diapers, inserts or fitted cloth diapers
    • Have either snap or hook & loop closures
    • Can be one size fits all or sized 
    • Could be all-in-one or require liners/inserts/boosters to provide absorbency
  2. Prefolds/Liners/Inserts/Fitted Diapers
    • These are the absorbent layers that go into covers (not needed for all-in-ones)
  3. Boosters
    • These often start off as newborn inserts
    • Used to boost the absorbency level of the diaper
  4. Diaper Pail & Wet Bag/Pail Liners
    • Diaper pails give you somewhere to store used diapers before washing them. Good quality diaper pails will trap odor and can blend into your decor easily!
    • Wet bags/Pail liners are used on their own or in a diaper pail to store used diapers
    • Small wet or wet/dry diaper bags are great to put in your diaper bag for on the go changes 
  5. Laundry Detergent
    • Using a specialized detergent just for your cloth diapers will save you a lot of heartache in the end
    • A LOT of detergents are not gentle enough for babies, even if they say they are, and can cause mineral and residue buildup on cloth diapers/liners. This means smelly, less absorbent and dingy looking diapers


  1. Inserts
    • One size fits all pieces of cotton, hemp, bamboo, microterry, biodegradable material which create and absorbent layer in a cloth diaper
  2. Liners
    • Thin pieces of disposiable or washable material that are placed over the absorbent layers of cloth diapers to make diaper cleanups a little easier
  3. Boosters
    • These often start off as newborn inserts
    • One size fits all pieces of Hemp, Cotton, Bamboo or Microterry used to boost the absorbency level of the diaper
  4. Fitted Diapers
    • Part of an All-in-Two system
    • Look like a regular diaper, but best used with a waterproof cover over top
  5. Flat Diapers
    • The original cloth diaper!
    • Need to be folded
    • Used with a waterproof cover over top and Snappi closures
    • Very economical
  6. Prefolds
    • Similar to a flat diaper, but rectangular in length, with extra layers in the middle section for added absorbency
    • Used with a waterproof cover over top and Snappi closures
    • Very economical


What styles of Reusable diapers are there?

  1. Pocket Style
    • These covers have an outer waterproof layer and an inside layer (often made of moisture wicking material) with a space in between to stuff in inserts/boosters
    • You will need Inserts/liners/boosters for absorbency
    • Allows you to customize your liner/booster absorbency level, while keeping them put in the pocket
  2. All-in-One Style
    • These covers have liners attached to them, no stuffing required
    • The closest thing you'll get to disposable diapers in terms of convenience 
    • You can always throw a booster on top if needed
  3. All-in-Two/Hybrid Style
    • Similar to the pocket style, minus the pocket :)
    • You will need Inserts/liners/boosters/fitted diapers for absorbency
    • Often, only the insert/booster needs to be changed throughout the day as the cover isn't absorbing anything