Cloth Diaper Guide

bumkins diaperIntroduction to Cloth Diapering

We’ve had the pleasure of helping thousands of families get started with cloth diapering. There are a number of reasons to consider cloth over disposable when diapering your child, including cost, environmental concerns and the obvious and most important reason, the health and comfort of your baby.

Cloth diapering today differs greatly from previous generations.  Functional and practical fabrics, innovative well-designed diaper covers, all in one (Snap-In-One) and pocket (Stuff-it) diapers, plus modern washers and dryers all make cloth diapering just as easy as disposable diapers.  

At most, cloth diapering adds a few extra loads of laundry to your weekly household chores.

Click here for information on preparing and laundering your diapers.


Cloth Diapers Defined

There are so many choices in cloth diapering, it can be hard to find what is right for you.  Each of our diaper systems offer different advantages - and most parents find they mix and match.  


Two Piece Diaper Systems: 

Two piece diaper systems refer to two main components that make up a complete diaper:
1) an absorbent diaper - either Prefold, Contour or Fitted Diapers 
2) a waterproof cover.  

The diaper cover can be re-used several times, but the diaper portion gets replaced each change.

We recommend 24-36 diapers for 4-6 covers.

Prefold Diapers

  • Prefolds are rectangle shaped with several layers of cotton sewn together
  • The center of a prefold has more of layers for added absorbency where needed
  • Bumkins prefolds are "diaper service quality" (DSQ) unbleached cotton twill - much more durable than prefold diapers found at most retailers.  
  • Super economical and durable
  • Prefolds wash and dry very quickly
  • Fold into 3rds to fit into cover, or fit around baby and fasten with Snappi for better leak protection
  • Size Preemie, Infant, Premium (Toddler) 
  • Diaper Cover required
  • Snappis recommended

*Please note, Bumkins no longer offers Prefold diapers or Snappi fasteners. Aug2015.

Fitted Diapers

  • Fitted diapers feature a contoured shape with elasticized leg openings and waist
  • Snap adjustments to make the diaper smaller in the rise and around the waist 
  • Fitted diapers provide extra leak protection under a diaper cover  
  • A great nighttime solution for heavy wetters
  • Cotton velour outside, layers of cotton flannel sewn inside center area
  • Newborn (Size 0) and Baby size (Size 1) and Toddler (Size 2)
  • Diaper Cover Required

Contour Diapers

  • As the name implies, these are contoured shape with elasticized leg, but no closures
  • Contour diapers fit into covers easily; just lay on top and tuck into cover if desired. 
  • Contours are super absorbent, featuring 2 thick layers 100% cotton terry velour with a polyester microfiber soaker pad sewn within.
  • Contours feature a pocket opening to double stuff if needed
  • Newborn and One Size (10 -32lbs)
  • Economical solution yet easy to use, easy to wash and dry.
  • Fits all brands of covers
  • Diaper Cover Required

Diaper Covers

  • Diapers covers are a separate waterproof layer shaped to fit with elastic in waist and leg areas
  • Older versions of Bumkins covers were fabricated from a woven polyester, new versions are made using a silky knit polyester PUL (polyurethane laminate.)
  • Adjustable Newborn size and One-Size (fits 7 lbs to 32 lbs) 
  • Snap or Velcro Closures 
  • Requires prefold, contour or fitted diaper inside 


Integrated Diaper Systems

Integrated diapers systems such as our Snap-In-Ones and Stuff-it (pocket) diapers are the easiest to understand and most resemble a disposable diaper.  The diaper and lining are combined and it goes on the baby as one piece. The whole item requires laundering after each use.

The main difference between an Snap-In-One and a Stuff-it is that the absorbent portion, or insert, is attached on a Snap-In-One and removable in a Stuff-it.  A removable insert means it is quicker to launder, although requires "stuffing" before use.

 The interior fabrics are also different with the Stuff-It being all synthetic (polyester fleece, microfiber, and PUL) whereas the Snap-In-One is lined with premium, cozy 100% cotton terry.  

We recommend 24 - 36 diapers depending on age of child and frequency of laundering.

All-In-Ones (we call ours Snap-In-One Diapers)

  • Integrated contoured shape combining waterproof outer layer, absorbent layers and closures
  • 100% cotton terry velour interior, the most comfortable fabric against babies skin AND rinses easily
  • Microfiber "minky" soft and absorbent insert snapped inside - put on top for "stay-dry" effect or stuff inside to keep cotton next to baby.
  • Absorbent insert should pulled out during laundering (but does not need to be unsnapped) for complete cleaning and faster drying 
  • Adjustable One-Size fits 7 lbs to 26 lbs with snap adjustments on front of diaper
  • Unique design features pocket for stuffing extra inserts if needed 

Pocket Diapers (we call ours Stuff-it Diapers)

  • Integrated contoured shape combining waterproof outer layer, stay-dry inside layer and closures
  • Features pocket opening at back to stuff in absorbent microfiber Insert 
  • Extra inserts can be added if necessary for night or long naps
  • Completely remove insert for laundering - will wash and dry very quickly 
  • Adjustable One-Size fits  7 lbs to 28 lbs with snap adjustments on front of diaper
  • After laundering, stuff before use 

See cloth diaper tips and tricks