Choosing Diaper Covers For Cloth Diapers

There are a lot of questions that arise when choosing diaper covers for cloth diapers: What is the best material? What kind of fasteners should I use? How many should I have? How do I wash them?  This article will tackle some of these questions.

What Type Of Material?

Most commonly, these days, you will use diaper covers for fitted or prefold diapers.  You have some different options for fabrics.    Waterproof covers are made of synthetic materials.  They could be PUL (polyurethane laminated fabric), or perhaps nylon.  The key is that the material is impermeable to moisture, so your baby’s diapers don’t leak.  PUL is the plastic backing on the cover that makes the cover waterproof.  PUL is the same plastic sealer used for reusable swim diapers for baby.

Whether diapers or swim diapers, waterproof covers are the best protection against leaks.  Bummies, Thirsties, Bumkins, and Dappi are some good examples of waterproof diaper covers.

For nighttime diapering, you definitely want to use waterproof covers.    I also suggest using an extra absorbent layer–called a doubler–at night.  This adds extra protection against leaks.

While not completely waterproof, wool is a fantastic natural fabric for diaper covers.  This is because wool is naturally anti-microbial, so it keeps odors from forming.  It is also moisture resistant.  Imse Vimse and Little Beetles both make great wool covers.    You won’t have to wash wool covers very often.  You can use them until they start to get heavy with moisture, or they start to smell.  You can even get away with just rinsing them and hanging them to dry.    They will dry, smell fine and be ready to use again.

What Kind Of Covers?

What kind of diaper covers should you use?  I recommend getting one of each kind when starting out, and see what works best for you.

Keep in mind that wool is more expensive.  But they are the best natural option.    If you want to save on wool covers, I suggest a “one size”.  The one size can theoretically be used from newborn to potty trained, so you won’t have to buy a whole bunch of new covers as your baby grows.   You can also try Fuzzibunz diapers or BumGenius, which are pocket diapers.  They are basically a cover and absorbent insert in one.  They are really easy to use, and can come in a “one size” option.  They may be a bit bulky for your newborn.  But after a few months they will grow into them more.

How Many Should I Get

Ideally, if you are using prefolds, or even fitteds, you should have 6-10 covers.  You can usually reuse  a cover once the prefold gets wet.  Only after a couple of pees will you have to swap it out.  I recommend getting 3 or 4 wool covers, and 4 or 5 synthetic, waterproof covers.