Cloth Diaper Buying Guide

Rumparooz Diaper Cover (newborn size) over a Green Mountain Diaper half flat

I’ve talked a lot about cloth diapers here on the blog. And I get quite a few questions still about cloth diapers. One thing I’m asked over and over is “if I want X… what do I buy”? So, I figured I’d answer that question for you! I’ve also broken it down into newborn and then older baby, because some people choose to use paper diapers during the newborn phase and then move into cloth diapers (since newborns use SO many diapers). I personally use newborn cloth diapers. I’ve rounded up on costs. And this is simply what I would choose given my 14 years of cloth diapering experience. There are infinitely more options available, which is likely why I get this question so often. I’ve also found that cloth diapers tend to last through 3 kids with newborn diapers lasting even longer. (My newborn diapers just finished diapering their 7th baby, and they’re still going strong.)

If I want all-in-ones, what do I buy?

All-in-one cloth diapers are by far the most expensive option. However, they’re also the least intimidating. They sometimes take quite a long time to dry (depending on the diaper) and as baby gets older, you sometimes need to add more absorbency anyway, making the all-in-one model kind of obsolete. I don’t really recommend all-in-ones because they’re so expensive. However, if this is the route you’re wanting to go, here is what to buy:

For the baby phase:

Three sets of Thirsties Snap Natural All in One Collection Diapers ($402)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Wipes ($33)

Two Thirsties Pail Liners ($40)

Two sets of Large Cloth-eez Doublers ($50)

Total: $525

For the newborn phase: (in addition to the above)

Four sets of Thirsties Snap Natural Newborn Collection Diapers ($375)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Washcloths ($36)

Total: $411

Grand total you’d spend on diapers: $936 (which works out to about $26/month for diapering one baby for 3 years)

I want all-in-twos, what should I buy?

I’m also not a fan of all-in-twos. They sell themselves as a simple solution with a reusable cover. However, I find that the cover gets dirty almost every single diaper change, so it is essentially the same as a pocket, only with weird snaps. They do tend to dry faster than all-in-ones, but are not as cheap as pockets.

For the baby phase:

Two Basics Packs of Buttons Diapers with large hemp/cotton inserts ($466)

Two packs of Cotton Flannel Wipes ($14)

Two Diaper Pail Liners ($30)

Total: $510

For the newborn phase: (in addition to the above)

Four packs of small hemp/cotton inserts ($92)

One Basic Pack of Buttons Diapers with small hemp/cotton inserts ($227)

Two packs of Velour Wipes ($14)

Total: $333

Grand total you’d spend on diapers: $843 (which works out to about $24/month for diapering one baby for 3 years)

I want pocket diapers, what should I buy?

Pocket diapers are a usual choice for cloth diapering. They’re easy. Just stuff and go. And they wash and dry pretty quickly. This is what I started out with. While those super cheap sets on Amazon may seem tempting, you’ll spend as much upgrading the inserts as you would buying better diapers in the first place. So, just start off decently. Also, newborn pocket diapers aren’t really a thing. However, the Rumparooz diapers suggested fit from newborn to toddler.

For the baby phase:

12 Rumparooz One-Size Pocket Diapers ($288)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Wipes ($33)

Two Planet Wise Pail Liners ($36)

Total: $501

For the newborn phase: (in addition to the above)

6 Rumparooz One-Size Pocket Diapers ($168)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Washcloths ($36)

Total: $204

Grand total you’d spend on diapers: $705 (which works out to about $20/month for diapering one baby for 3 years)

I want fitted diapers, what should I buy?

I love fitted diapers for the newborn phase. They hold all the explosions inside the diaper. You do have to use a cover with a fitted diaper, so it isn’t an all-in-one experience. However, it is a good diaper system. It is more expensive, but you really cannot beat the blow-out protection fitted diapers offer. Fitted diapers are, well, fitted. So they aren’t a one size fits all diaper system. However, you can buy each size as needed and spread the costs out a bit.

For the baby phase:

Two Give It A Try Kits size Small Unbleached($208)

Two Give It A Try Kits size Medium Unbleached ($219)

Two Give It A Try Kits size Large Unbleached ($224)

Two Thirsties Pail Liners ($40)

Total: $691

For the newborn phase:

Three Give It A Try Kits Newborn Unbleached ($294)

Grand Total You’d Spend on Diapers: $985 (which works out to about $28/month for diapering one baby for 3 years)

I want prefold diapers, what should I buy?

Prefolds are one of my personal favorite diaper systems. They do have a learning curve, but they are easy enough to figure out. They’re also much more cost effective than other options. While you do have to buy more sizes of the prefolds, you can do so as you need them to spread the cost a bit. You can also buy more sizes or less sizes as needed. I’ve made medium prefolds work for one kid from moving out of newborn diapers to potty training. So you may not need ALL the sizes.

For the baby phase:

Two Dozen Small Cloth-eez Prefolds Organic Unbleached ($71)

Six Thirsties Duo-Wrap Snap Covers Size One ($83)

Two Dozen Medium Cloth-eez Prefolds Organic Unbleached ($82)

Six Thirsties Due-Wrap Snap Covers Size Two ($83)

Two Dozen Large Cloth-eez Prefolds Organic Unbleached ($92)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Wipes ($33)

Two Thirsties Pail Liners ($40)

One pack Snappi Diaper Fasteners ($10)

Total: $494

For the newborn phase: (in addition to the above)

Two Dozen Newborn Cloth-eez Prefolds Organic Unbleached ($60)

Three Thirsties Duo-Wrap Snap Covers Size One ($42)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Washcloths ($36)

Total: $138

Grand Total You’d Spend on Diapers: $550 (which works out to about $16/month for diapering one baby for 3 years)

I want to use flats, what should I buy?

Flats are my absolute favorite cloth diapers solution. They are amazingly awesome. They’re also the cheapest cloth diapers you’ll ever buy (even buying the upscale ones I’m recommending). Seriously, they wash and dry so fast. They’re excellent. They do take some learning to learn to fold. But there are so many different ways to fold them, which means you’ll always have a custom fit. They’re the most intimidating diaper option. But if you take the time to figure them out, you’ll love them. If your baby is already over 12 pounds, you don’t need the size one diaper covers. And the newborn sized flats in the baby phase are for doublers.

For the baby phase:

Three Packs of Cloth-eez Organic Musline One-Size Flats ($66)

One pack of Newborn Cloth-eez Muslin Flat Diapers ($17)

Six Thirsties Duo-Wrap Snap Covers Size One ($83)

Six Thirsties Due-Wrap Snap Covers Size Two ($83)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Wipes ($33)

Two Thirsties Pail Liners ($40)

One pack Snappi Diaper Fasteners ($10)

Total: $332

For the newborn phase: (in addition to the above)

Three packs of Newborn Cloth-eez Muslin Flat Diapers ($50)

Three Thirsties Duo-Wrap Snap Covers Size One ($42)

Three sets of Cloth-eez Baby Washcloths ($36)

Total: $128

Grand Total You’d Spend on Diapers: $460 (which works out to about $13/month for diapering one baby for 3 years)

Additional Items You Might Want

You may want some extras with any of these systems. On the go wet bags are nice, but you can also recycle plastic grocery bags for this use. Swim diapers will keep you from ruining diaper covers with chlorine. Wipe cubes makes a scented cleaning solution for your cloth wipes. A wipe warmer can keep cloth wipes wet, warm, and ready for you to use. (You can keep wet cloth wipes in a plastic tub, as well.) These are extras. You can also buy extra diapers or covers as you need or want. I really just wanted to give a general idea and a straightforward list to simplify the cloth diaper process a little.

Thirsties Wet Bag ($17)

Thirsties Swim Diaper ($16)

Wee Essentials Cloth Wipe Bit Solution Cube Sampler ($19)

Wipe Warmer ($26)

Baby Emery over a decade ago in a pocket diaper.

If you want more info on cloth diapers, check out the “Off the Bum” category for more.

**This post contains one affiliate link. Most of the links are just to help you out. I don’t get anything from those links. I do make a very small commission on the affiliate link.**

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