The basics of cloth diapering and the choices we made

Many of you have written to me asking about cloth diapering: how to get started, what I do, where you should buy them, etc. I am excited to share our method of cloth diapering but it is important for you to know that there are so many different ways to approach it. I have written out the decisions we made below and added some of my favorite resources that helped me while I was learning about the process.

Newborn stash 1


A lot of people skip cloth diapering during the newborn stage. And rightly so. Newborn cloth diapers require unique diapers and covers - both in size and style. Newborn diapers have a snap that holds the cloth diaper away from the umbilical cord area. In addition, they are the cutest little teeny tiny diapers you have ever seen (meaning they are SMALL). And if you decide to cloth diaper those first few weeks - you will have to buy these unique diapers and a lot of them (at least 24 diapers + 6 covers). Newborns need their cloth diapers changed about every hour or so! For these reasons, a lot of people make the decision to use disposable diapers until their babies grow into the next size up.

Our choices: I just couldn't keep myself away from these itty bitty adorable diapers! Plus, I knew I was going to have more than one baby so I chalked it up to an investment. In retrospect, I am glad we made this decision because Sunday fit into her newborn diapers for five months (about 12lbs)!

To be honest, during those first few weeks I really doubted that we were saving any money. What with the cost of the diapers themselves and then having to wash them SO frequently in the newborn stage (almost every day)... but after watching her fit into them for five months, I am grateful for the decision we made.

If you are hesitant to build a newborn stash yourself, perhaps you could add newborn disposable diapers to your gift registry. Then you will save a ton of money! :)

newborn stash 2

Here is what our newborn stash consisted of:


This is where things get a little confusing for the new-to-cloth-diapering-folks. There are SO many styles of diapers (prefolds, fitteds, all-in-ones, all-in-twos) and covers (velcro, snaps, one-size) out there. As much as I tried to make all the right choices - it really did become a trial and error situation for us. The good thing was that cloth diapers hold their value very well, so I knew if something wasn't working for us that I could easily sell the diapers and buy replacements.


Our choices: I decided to go the fitted, one-size route with velcro covers. What this meant was that I was going to buy fitted diapers (they look like a cloth version of disposable diapers) that grew with the baby. If I was going to cloth diaper to save money, I wanted to do my best to save money. Buying diapers that grew with the baby only made sense.

We DID have some trial and error (read: diaper rash!) with Sunday when she was around 4-6 months old (as we transitioned from newborn to one sized diapers). In the end I discovered that one type of diaper we were using was not nearly as absorbent as the other and it was leaving her skin irritated. I ended up selling that brand and replacing it with more of the brand that was working for us.

I also chose velcro covers mostly because I wanted a quick way to put a cover on as snug as possible. Over time I have picked up a few snap covers from yard sales and friends to have on hand when Sunday learns how to use velcro herself. :) Tommy really likes the snaps, too, so I am glad to have them for him.


Here are other essentials for cloth diapering:

  • Cloth diaper safe detergent (we started with Country Save now use Rockin' Green)
  • Cloth diaper safe rash cream (after trial and error with a number of products, we now use Coconut Oil)

My favorite resources I discovered during my cloth diapering escapade:

Stay tuned, I will be writing more about how our cloth diapering journey has evolved since Sunday was born.

In the meantime, I really want to know from those of you who made the decision either TO cloth diaper or NOT to, and why? I love to hear other points of views!

Liz Cook

Liz Cook is a wedding, birth, and motherhood photographer based in Central Virginia. Her intuition and creative perspective allow her to connect both professionally and personally with her subjects, and thus, her portfolio is saturated with authentic emotion. Whether she's sharing her story with fellow entrepreneurs or enjoying quality time with her husband and two daughters, Liz is both present and passionate about capturing and celebrating life. Her work has been featured by O "Oprah" Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Glitter Guide, Essence Magazine, domino, Rue Magazine, among others.