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Deciding to use cloth diapers instead of disposable can be a big decision on its own, but then you have to choose which type of diapers and what brands you like best. This decision can be pretty overwhelming considering the sheer number of options available to you!
I’ve been cloth diapering my two boys for a little more than two years at the time of writing this, so I’ve learned quite a bit through trial and error. I’ve discovered some diapers I love and some I don’t. There are still tons of options that I haven’t tried, though, so you may find something else entirely that you like better and that’s totally okay!
As you begin to build your stash, my number one recommendation is to try out lots of types and brands before investing a lot of money. This means you may start out with a pretty small stash in baby’s early days, but soon you’ll have all the diapers you’ll need and maybe some extras!
How many diapers do you need?
You may be wondering how many diapers you actually need. The answer will vary a little depending on your situation and preferences. Usually, a good number to start with is 24 diapers. This will be enough to allow you to wash about every other day in the beginning when your baby is going through about 8-10 diapers a day. As
What’s in our stash
Our stash currently has a total of 4 all-in-ones, 33 pocket diapers, 16 covers, 47 pre-folds and flats, and 2 bamboo
- 4 Charlie Banana Size XS
- 6 Charlie Banana Size Small
- 6 Charlie Banana Size Medium
- 6 Charlie Banana Size Large
- 7 Charlie Banana Hybrid One-Size
- 4 Charlie Banana Organic Hybrid One-Size
- 12 Elemental Joy cotton flats
- 1 Hemp Babies hemp flat
- 4 Room Essentials flour sack towels (from Target)
I’ve tried several different diapers and my favorites for every day use are definitely pocket diapers. Pocket diapers include a water proof outer shell and a soft inner layer sewn to the shell with an opening at one or both ends, allowing you to stuff inserts inside to suit your child’s absorbency needs.
My second favorite option is a cover and a pad-folded cotton flat for my toddler. He’s closer to potty training so this option is a good transition for him because it allows him to start to feel more of the wetness and recognize when he is wet.
Pros & Cons
Charlie Banana diapers are one of my favorite brands and they make up a majority of my stash at the moment. You can currently get both sized and one-size diapers from Charlie Banana and they come in a variety of designs and colors
- Has a super soft inner layer
- Comes in a variety of designs
- Can currently be purchased in sized or one-size
- Has snap closures
- Cotton and Organic Cotton shells available
- Inserts come in microfiber, microfiber/fleece combo, or a fleece/hemp combo
- Each diaper comes with two inserts
- They are pocket diapers so they can be used with a variety of different inserts
- The snap closures can be used to roll up and close dirty diapers to be stored in a wet bag if you can’t rinse them right away.
- One-Size diapers can be difficult to adjust
- Sized diapers are being phased out and only come in very limited solid colors
- Charlie Banana is a foreign company so it can take a while to get an online order delivered to you and their diapers aren’t available in many U.S. stores.
- Even though they have one-size diapers, they are often too big for newborns even on the smallest setting
Most of my covers (which I primarily use with pad-folded flats) are Flip (made by the same company as Bumgenius). I also have used the Bumgenius pocket diapers, which were nice too. I bought the pockets used, though, so they have now been re-purposed for the kids to play with for their baby dolls and stuffed animals.
- These one-size diapers are very easy to adjust to fit your baby
- The snap closures are easy to use
- They come in a variety of designs and colors
- Many of their diapers have fantastic
- You can get pocket diapers or just covers (which are less expensive than pockets) in the same colors and designs
- They are a U.S. based company and have stores in many locations. Online orders usually are shipped quickly.
- They have a great exchange/return policy and warranty
- The elastics and buttons are pretty simple to replace
- Their pocket diapers can be stuffed with a variety of different inserts
- The elastics and buttons can wear out fairly quickly
- Some designs are limited edition and sell quickly which can make them harder to come by (but also increases their value, even for
- Even though the diapers are one-size, they are often too big for newborns even on the smallest rise
Other diapers I’ve tried
- Bumgenius original (pocket diaper) – I bought these used and enjoyed them very much. They lasted through 2-3 kids before I bought them and also my 2 boys. Now the boys use them for play (they still work, but I just wanted some newer diapers 😜).
- Econobum – These were ok for a budget buy, but were not my favorite.
- gDiapers – I tried the NB and size small. I wanted to love them but I didn’t. I found the design just didn’t quite fit my babies very well. Charlie Banana XS diapers worked much better for us in the early days.
- Disana wool cover – This worked great for our older infant for overnights combined with a bamboo fitted and cotton
prefold. However, the cover did shrink significantly even after hand washing as gently as I could. I would still highly recommend wool, though. Just make sure you properly care for it!
Cloth diapering can save you a ton of money and is kind of fun once you get started! Plus, it can be better for the environment. If you’re still not sure if cloth diapers are right for you and your babe, check out this post to help you decide.
Of course there are all kinds of options available from pins and flats to the fanciest all-in-ones which are as easy to use as disposables. Ultimately it’s your decision which option(s) work best for you and your family!