There are many reasons a family chooses to cloth diapering: environmental, health, economic, social and more. For every reason given, there’s a dozen or more ways to cloth diaper. This makes the entire process around cloth diapering extremely overwhelming.
If you’ve done a quick google or Pinterest about cloth diapering, you know there’s a million different how to get started posts. Or quick and easy guides to get started with cloth diapering. These often offer a lot of very valuable information to get you going, but they also offer a ton of very conflicting information based on how information continues to thrive on the internet.
But, today, I want to bring to you some solid 2019 advice on cloth diapering. As a cloth diaper blogger and advocate, I have been immersed in the cloth diaper life for a few years now and feel I can give you some well-founded modern day advice. Some of this is going to totally conflict with pre-existing advice on the internet, and that’s okay.
Ditch the Microfiber
Microfiber inserts are standard with a lot of pocket cloth diapers and as the main absorbency in some all in one diapers. For the past decade, microfiber has been the standard in the cloth diaper industry, but it’s a terrible standard.
While many families find microfiber to work for them, even more families struggle with leaks, poor fit, and stink. Microfiber is very fluffy and is prone to compression. You can easily loose 2-3 ounces of liquid with just a gentle press of the hand. It also likes to hold onto things which is why we like to clean with it, but that means it’s hard to clean and thus prone to stinky diapers.
Microfiber also shed. With time, small microfiber fibers release in the wash polluting our water waysand making your microfiber less effective. With a lifespan of only 2-3 years, microfiber is one of the least environmentally conscious and cost responsible ways to cloth diaper.
Embrace Your Grandma’s Cloth Diapers, but with a Modern Twist.
Most of the cloth diapering parents I interview for the cloth diaper podcast have a similar story of switching to flats or prefolds. This switch from microfiber or whatever system they were using changed their world.
Our grandparents knew what was up. Lucky for us we now have modern washing machines. Plastic fasteners known as Snappi’s or Boingo’s, and beautifully functional cloth diaper covers now made out more breathable PUL or TPU instead of rubber.
Flat diapers are single sheets of natural fiber textiles that you fold onto baby or into the shape of a pad. These are then put inside a pocket diaper or underneath a cover. The beauty about Flat Diapers is you can customize your absorbency, fit, and size of the product for your child and lifestyle. These also wash up and dry up incredibly easy. There are a ton of options on the market from organic cotton to hemp blends, each with their own perk.
If flats are overwhelming, many families choose to look at prefold diapers or preflats. Which are multi-layer rectangles. I prefer the 2 ply Nuggles Bamboo Insertbecause of its absorbency, size and that it’s was manufactured with eco-conscious top of mind, but you might find another product that works for you.
Find a Cloth Diaper Retailer
2019 is all about Amazon and free shipping. Amazon, however, can’t offer you 1:1 cloth diaper support and a growing community. Or the same selection of products that cloth diaper retailers offer.
You can also shop from brands directly. There are many growing cloth diaper brands from Nerdy Momma’sto Bebeboo Cloth Diapersthat offer their products direct and provide amazing support and information. This is another great option. Many of these brands are not available at retailers or Amazon because they are just trying to get going. Cloth Diapering is a small business world.
These small business people is where I refer anyone for wash routine advice and support. In 2019, brands are on board with offering wash routine advice that cleans diapers. I know we had a rough patch there at the beginning of the decade, but we know more than ever before. These are people invested in your success and invested in ensuring you don’t void the warranty on your cloth diapers.
Build a Diverse Stash
I know you’re excited to get going, but do not buy an entire stash of 24 cloth diapers in one style. This is a bad idea.
Yes, you buy bulk packs of 6-8 diapers in one style. But don’t buy 24 of them. What will you do if you hate pocket diapers and you have 24 of them? Sure, sell them, but truth be told the resale market on cloth diapers is miserable right now.
Spruce up your stash with a few different options from pocket cloth diapers to all in one cloth diapers and even covers and flats like I mentioned before. This helps you find a style you love, and gives you options for when life changes because baby is constantly changing shapes and attitudes.
I always suggest you pick out something based on a print you love. Every cloth diaper has a fan group, and depending on whose voice is the loudest shifts you towards a brand, but they are all out there for their own unique reason. Find a print or solid or brand story you love and start there.
Don’t forget about your rights as a Consumer
The baby industry is very cut throat, and what we don’t know as consumers is that some people play by the rules, and others don’t. In the United States, cloth diapers need to be CPSIA certified for lead. Lead typically shows up in uncertified snaps from cheap wholesalers and co-op purchases.
Additionally, you also have the right to verify that a product is certified organic, and to ask questions about its manufacturing process. There are many products made in the United States and Canada, as well as abroad that practice Fair Trade employment. There are also still cases of cloth diapers being manufactured in sweat shop like conditions. This is part of the ugly side of cloth diapering.
You have the right to ask, inquire, and if you aren’t comfortable with the answers you’re getting then keep looking.
Keep it Simple & Start Today
Cloth Diapering should be simple and if you think it’s over complicated and messy, then maybe you’re doing something wrong and we can help simplify the whole thing for you.
If you came to this post to learn about the best cloth diapering, I’m sorry. I don’t have an answer for you. Right now my favorite cloth diaper and the bulk of my stash is a Canadian based brand called Nuggles Designs Canada. I love the Simplee Pocket Cloth Diaperand the fitted diaper with overnight insert is incredible.
There are a ton of communities, blogs, and videos out there and cloth diapering. Take me advice with a grain of salt, but I hope you come find me online wherever you listen to podcasts at the Cloth Diaper Podcast as we explore all the topics and controversies of modern day cloth diapering. I also create other cloth diaper content on YouTubefor helpful videos and reviews, online for written content,and Instagram for day-to-day cloth diapering inspiration.
About the Author
Bailey Bouwman is cloth diaper addict. She shares a deep passion for learn and growing as a person and consumer. Her cloth diapering days started in 2015 where she quickly start living and breathing everything cloth diaper. Today, she lives with her husband and two kids in Northern British Columbia where she continues to feed her cloth diaper passion on YouTube, Instagram, and wherever you listen to Podcasts as The Cloth Diaper Podcast.