Diaper Days: Our Cloth Stash

Article and Photos © 2009 Danelle Frisbie 

Today's cloth diaper options are not your momma's old fold-and-pins! At least, they don't have to be. Parents today have oodles of options from which to pick from when it comes to cloth diapering. And the fabulous selections make cloth all the more fun! Many moms will admit to an almost addictive love of their cloth stash, and when you get into the money saved, the environment protected, the happy bums in comfy cloth...it is no wonder!

Because there are so many options, it is sometimes bewildering to even start into cloth diapering - which ones will be best for you? How many do you need? How much should you spend? What if you don't buy the right ones the first time around... Ah, so many questions. I'd encourage you to read more of what others have to say about cloth as well if you are just starting out or contemplating going cloth. What is best for us -- our favorites -- may not be what your favorites are.

However, because I was once in your shoes - muddling around in mountains of diaper choices and asking all the moms I knew what their favorites were, how they did cloth, I will share with you what we have found to be best for us.

These are the diapers used in our home - our absolute favorites!! :)

Our stash is made up of 3 different types of diapers -- Wonderoos, Blueberry Minky, and Dilley Dally. The first two brands are fully adjustable pocket diapers. These are our first choice for many reasons:

1) They are fully adjustable with snaps so you do not have to purchase different sizes. The same diapers can be used for the entire time a baby is in diapers -- and re-used for the next baby! The diapers you see in this article have been used for 17 months and are as good as new. Cloth diapers also have a high resale value, so after you use them for your kiddos, someone out there will buy them from you! Now that is something you can't do with your used disposables! ;)

2) Adjustable pocket diapers go on with snaps (our preferred) or velcro just like a disposable would. They fit nicely and are ultra easy to use. My husband has never had a problem, and we've had babysitters comment on how they never knew that cloth diapers could be so EASY.

3) Pocket diapers wick away moisture from a baby's bum and 'store' it in the insert that goes into the 'pocket'. This prevents diaper rash from baby being wet. How often they need to be changed depends on how much your little one 'goes', and because we did a combo of EC (diaper freedom) and cloth, the number that we go through may not be exactly the same as another...but when our son was younger we tended to change every 3 hours during the day without ever a leak or problem.

4) Not only do you not need to buy any different sizes with fully adjustable pocket diapers, you do not need to buy any covers! Everything you need is right there. Get a set of pocket diapers and you are good to go - nothing else required.

5) Pocket diapers can double as swim diapers! Just leave the insert out, and you are ready for a dip in the pool. Because we've always lived next to water (with a water-loving baby) this pocket diaper truth has been tested time and again at our house.

6) Pocket diapers clean really easily. For urine diapers, just take the insert out, and drop into the wash machine (I will write a future post on how we clean cloth at our house for those interested). For poo diapers, just shake out the excess into the toilet, and then take the insert out, drop into the wash. Easy peasy.

7) Pocket diapers dry REALLY fast. After a wash, just hang the diapers on a rack above the washer (or anyplace else you have a shelf/line/bar/rack) and they will be dry in a matter of hours. No dryer required for the diaper itself. You can throw the inserts into the dryer with the rest of your clothes. Again - easy! And we like things that are simple and fast at our house.

8) You can get fun colors, textures (like the soft Minky diapers) and designs to enjoy. Is there anything cuter than a little babe running around in the summertime sun in a diape and tshirt?!

We have a total of 26 diapers in our stash (almost twice as many as we really need for 1 baby in diapers). We have 18 Wonderoos (they are the least expensive of the 3 and work very well on a regular basis). We have 6 Blueberry Minkys (the soft patterns are amazing but they cost a bit more). And we currently have 2 Dilley Dallys (our favorite non-pocket diaper). The Dilley Dally is also a fully adjustable diaper, but it needs a cover for regular use (so as not to soak through).

A closer look:

Wonderoos Fully Adjustable Pocket Diapers
(total in our stash = 18)

The colors are great and they stand up well in the wash. The snaps and adjustments make them easy to use. These are the least expensive of the pocket diapers that still work exceptionally well. They are less bulky than the Blueberry Minky diapers, so may fit a tiny baby better (our son was born at 10lbs, 3.2oz so he was never very 'tiny').

Oh - and yes, we do have some PINK diapers for our male child... The pink diapes were on super sale at $13/each and our son doesn't mind this shade one bit.

The diapers you see here have been used daily for 17 months and are still in perfect condition. They were a great investment, purchased online for about $19/diaper. Wonderoos are the 'original' pocket diaper. They are made in the UK and unfortunately the U.S. distributor stopped business in 2009. Therefore, you may have to look around online a bit more to find them, or order from a UK store (link on the Wonderoos homepage) to get a set of these diapers - but they are WELL worth every penny. If we need more with future children, we will certainly be adding more Wonderoos to our stash.

Each Wonderoo diaper comes with 2 microterry inserts. At our house we have ever only used 1 insert at a time, but if you have a heavy-peeing baby, you can always use both inserts if you like.

snapped into the larger setting

The snaps on the Wonderoo are strong, sturdy and effective. They are much better than the velcro you find on some other diapers because there is no fraying or 'sticking' in the wash. In addition, older toddlers cannot undo the snaps as easily as they can take off the velcro diapers.

The Wonderoo in Action:

The Blueberry Minky diapers are utterly delightful. They are soft to the touch and come in all sorts of wonderful patterns and colors. They work the same as the Wonderoos - fully adjustable with either snaps (which we would recommend) or velcro. They are a bit more bulky than the Wonderoos, so seem to have more fabric between baby's legs and waste. When you are cloth diapering you have to get bigger sizes of pants for your baby because today's baby clothing is NOT sized for cloth diaper considerations.

This set has also been used for the past 17 months (although not quite as often as the Wonderoos) and they, too, are still in perfect condition. The downside to Blueberry Minky Pocket Diapers? The cost. They run about $33/diaper. However, they will stand up well in the wash and with repeated use, and in the long haul, they are still much more valuable than disposables. [Update Aug 2010: Blueberry has now changed their Minky Pocket Diapers so they now come with terry inserts like Wonderoos and now cost $25/diaper instead of $33.] With the Blueberry One Size Pockets you do not have to buy different sizes, and you do not need covers or anything else to go with them. All the cuteness is here in 1 easy to use diaper.

Each Blueberry pocket diaper comes with a microfiber/hemp insert that goes into the pocket. However, we found the Wonderoos inserts to be less bulky and to 'cover' more of the front area where a boy baby pees, so those are the ones we typically use in all our pocket diapers.

snapped into the smallest form

The Blueberry Minky in Action:

Dilley Dally Fully Adjustable Diapers
(total in our stash = 2)

The Dilley Dally diaper is a fully adjustable diaper with snaps that works the same way as the Wonderoos or the Blueberry diapers except that there is no pocket insert and you will need a leak-proof diaper cover to go over these diapers in order to wear them regularly. They are handmade by Merrilee Dilley and are absolutely amazing! I was not introduced to Dilley Dally diapers until our son was already 1 year old - and it is probably a good thing or I would have been tempted to spend my entire paycheck on Dilley's collection. Most Dilley Dally diapers cost about $25/diaper and are well worth the investment.

The two diapers here were custom orders (the International Breastfeeding Symbol and the International Symbol of Genital Integrity). They are too perfect to cover up, so our son regularly sports them without a cover and we just change them when they get wet. Or he wears them to the swimming pool.

The insides of the Dilley Dally is just as soft and luxurious as the outside. They feel AMAZING to the touch and if I had to wear a diaper - I think this is what I would want on my bum.

There are soaker liners inside the diaper (to absorb) but they will not wick away the same as pocket diapers, so you may need to change a little more frequently to avoid diaper rash. One thing that my husband was especially impressed by is Dilley's attention to detail -- every snap, every button, is covered with soft fabric. There is nothing that could irritate a baby's gentle skin and our son seems to love these diapers.

Dilley Dally diapers snapped to on a medium size

The Dilley Dally in Action:

Diaper Days Extras:

You really do not need anything fancy for cloth diaper changing. We have some old cotton diapers (the type our mothers used in the 70s) that we use as changing 'sheets' when our son has a poopy diaper. Diapers are changed on the bed or the couch or on the floor - wherever we happen to be. We saw a changing table as a waste of money and a waste of space so one was never purchased (or used) during our diaper days.

Because our son goes to bed (sharing sleep near us) and is not up for another 10-11 hours, we occasionally used one disposable diaper overnight during heavy wetting periods of his early development. This eliminated the possibility of night time leaks (discomfort and diaper rash) or the need for a diaper change when so many hours went by.

There are several reasons I am grateful to have a pediatrician as a mother, but one is because of her introduction of Calmoseptine to us early on. This is thee only diaper 'cream' you will ever need. And it is not just for use in the diaper area. Calmoseptine is good on any scratch/burn/blister/bite/rash. (Between Calmoseptine and mother's milk, you don't need any other medicinal tools in your cabinet!) But on the diaper area, Calmoseptine is especially good because it will not interfere with baby's natural oils - something that is important to good skin health. Calmoseptine will not irritate baby's tender genitals, and you do not have to worry about it getting in/around any of the creases and crevices of little baby parts. This ointment does not disrupt the healthy flora of your baby's sensitive organs.

We rarely use anything on our son's bum because (as I mentioned before) he does a combo of EC and cloth - so he has lots of diaper free time which keeps him nice and dry. Rarely is there a sore spot. However, if he has a bit of redness appearing, or seems to have a slight irritation from his diapers, we don't hesitate to reach for the Calmoseptine and slather it on. And yes, it does wash out just fine from the cloth diapers.

You can order Calmoseptine (without a prescription) at your local pharmacy if they do not have it in stock. It is about $7/tube. Or you can ask your doctor for a prescription for Calmoseptine and your insurance will cover the cost (depending on the type of insurance you have).

I guess that's it for our diaper stash.

Hope this lends some insight into how one family does diapering and provides some ideas into how easy and doable (and fun!) cloth really is.

For more cloth diaper reading see:

The ABCs of Going Cloth

The Joy of Cloth

Dumping Disposables

Getting Started with Cloth



  1. Just ordered a sample of the Calmoseptine from the number on their website! I am a new reader of your website, but I am loving it! Thank you!

  2. Great info, and OMGADORABLEBABY!

  3. Have you ever tried the G-diaper for your one night time disposable? It is basically the inside of the diaper which can be used with a regular cover. We used them when we traveled overseas and they work great. Flushable, compostable and totally biodegradable.

  4. Adding on to the previous poster, hemp also works great for nighttime. Crickett's makes a 100% hemp blend fitted that is awesome. I've never had a leak out of that thing. Throw a piece of fleece in as a liner for the stay-dry feeling, and you could use one of your pockets sans insert as a cover.

  5. Great article, but one question...Does Calmoseptine compromise cloth diaper absorbency? Will diapers need to be stripped after a bout of rash & calmoseptine treatment? Thanks!

  6. We've used Calmoseptine and the same cloth diapers since Day One - 20 months later we've never needed to 'strip' them.

    We do, however, always double-rinse at the end of a wash cycle to make sure all residue is removed from the diapers.

    And we used 1 disposable each night to eliminate leak potential during the long-hour stretch.

  7. I wish more people knew how easy, economical and cute modern day cloth diapers are! We use a variety of diapers but our favorites are fuzzi bunz, blueberries and bum genius pockets and goodmama fitteds for night time.

  8. I absolutely LOVE pockets!! Now if only I could strip them well enough, it'd be even better! (been having ammonia smell issues this last week)

  9. I want those DillyDally custom covers SOOO badly! Will they take additional requests?

  10. Ami - have you tried RLR? I get packets of it for $1.99 on www.diaperjunction.com. I usually buy a box of 12 at a time and use it about once a month. The other thing: Bac-Out. Haven't had smell issues since I started with those things.

  11. the pocket diapers with the trifold insert are the bomb. It is like using disposables for their longevity (home of the all day diaper!). And 3 years in we are on the same set. Amazing.

  12. Just started using pockets this week from Green Kids (Australia).

  13. Dilley Dally diapers are awesome...

  14. Rocky Mountain diapers are great one-size adjustable pocket diapers. I used them for a newborn and two-year-old at the same time.

  15. i use and love the tiny tush elite pocket diapers from tinytush.com they are inexpensive and i bought 22 of these they are adjustable from birth until potty trained...and i have used them for 4 months..still look awesome- i got them as "seconds" but, still havent figured out why they were classified as that.. love ..love ...love them! If you look in the clearance section you can usually find them in a set of 3 for 39.00 . Each comes with a microfiber insert and doubler (which is a longer insert)

  16. How many would I need for a 3mo. and a 19mo.?

  17. @Amanda- I'd say at least two dozen.

  18. We love cloth diapes!! They've saved us so much money and more importantly saved my little one the exposure to yucky chemicals and are oh so soft next to baby's skin. Oh and of course you can't deny how cute they are!! Lol! We love cloth so much I started an online business selling them! :-)

  19. I ♥ cloth diapers!
    Check out Clothdiapernation.com for great tips and ideas for cloth diapering. It's a great forum to belong to! And even if you don't cloth diaper or don't want to, it's still a great site to join.

  20. I love pockets too - love Rumparooz especially. Though I'm amazed by how many people have! I only have 20 pockets and three night nappies and only have to wash every second day!

  21. We love our cloth too. Mostly Fuzzi Bunz pockets, with Rocky Mountains, Rumparooz, goodmamas, and a few Drybees.

    We also love Calmoseptine, but never knew it could be used on cloth without a liner of some sort. Doesn't it have zinc oxide in it? That is one ingredient that builds up on cloth.

    Oh - and Rockin' Green is great for washing your cloth with. No build up and it will strip your old detergent residue off with a soak or two.

  22. We just started & LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!!

  23. We are so grateful for this post and about to register for cloth. With my first child I used wraps and the Natural baby rainbow diapers in '96. Fuzzi Bunz seem to be what I am leaning towards. Darling little redhead!

  24. Amanda - we used about 5 pocket diapers per day (1 disposable for night time) when our son was 3 months, and now at 19 months use about 3 pocket diapers per day (1 disposable at night). He 'goes' less and uses the potty on occasion. Pocket diapers are great at wicking away and not having a wet bum. We've never needed more than 2 dozen for 1 infant/toddler - and I am fairly certain we could have gotten away with only 1 dozen if we wanted to wash more frequently.

  25. We also love Pockets! We use a combo of Fuzzi Bunz and Bum Genius (though I'm not loving the velcro after nearly 2 years!) For nighttime, however, we use a thick nighttime insert from the BG...or you could double them up or use hemp. Then we wrap it in a cotton prefold. We insert this monstrosity into the Fuzzi Bunz and voila! No nighttime leakage for my 27 month old!! Try it and don't waste your money on those disposables!

  26. I love cloth diapers! With a good wool cover (we use disana) and two prefolds we have NO LEAKS at night and no rash. No need to do sposies at night either!

  27. I loved our cloth diapers but now wish I had known about elimination communication A LOT sooner. http://www.drmomma.org/2010/03/diaper-free-video.html

  28. i bought medium AIO the first time i ever tried cloth. 12 for my first stash. hated them! hated the velcro. posted on craigslist to sell or trade. found a lady who said she had one size snap pockets that she hates and she has 15 of them. we met up at the mall, she took a look at the diapers and fell inlove. i looked at hers and fell inlove. we traded my 12 for her 15. her 15 were wonderoos. i LOVE them but they are just not bulky enough for my heavy wetter. i still talk to the lady and she uses the 12 i gave to her all the time. and me? i now have 30 snap one size pockets lol

  29. Cloth diapered both of mine and it was so easy. We used FuzziBunz with success, but really loved our LolliDoo diapers. They're soft, absorbent, dry quickly, have great colors, they're adjustable to a huge range of sizes ...

  30. We just use cheap cloth prefolds. I know people don't like them, but they work well for us! Our daughter has never once worn a disposable. Also, that is such a cute and CHUBBY baby. Adorable.

  31. Thank you for this post. With my older kids, I used the old pins and prefolds. I'm just learning about all these great options, but sadly, that means spending money on trial and error to find ones ya like. It's nice to have someone explain a few brands. And WOW your baby boy is the most adorable guy!! I wanna squeeze his chunky monkey legs :D He models his nappies like a pro!

  32. Our stash is almost completely flats and covers. We have had several different brands of pockets, AIO's, hybrids, prefolds, fitteds... you name it, we've tried it. We finally found our perfect cloth stash, and it is basic flats, lol. They are a natural fiber, one layer, so they wash and dry quickly and easily, they are very versatile, economical, absorbent, trim, and completely one size! I always avoided flats because I thought they were too complicated, but they don't have to be. Most of the time we simply "padfold" and lay them in covers. The ones from Green Mountain Diapers are my favorite.

  33. i love the snaps on my pocket diapers. the velcro i used with my first son always irritated his chubby legs. i was looking for an alternative and i came across this web site: torontoclothdiapers.com. they sell snap pocket diapers for about 7 $ canadian each and they work great. some times i need an extra insert but i find even an old prefold will work.
    does anyone have tip on washing newborn poo? or stains?

  34. I have found covers with prefolds to be the easiest. For the past 7 months all we've used is two BG Flip covers, 6 "stay dry" inserts and a dozen prefolds. I also have a cow print Blueberry cover, but I don't love it, I only use it when the Flips are in the wash. I like being able to reuse the cover.

    Lydia, I use Bac-out for stains and I rinse any poopy diapers immediately in my sink with hot water. If it's breastmilk poo, I think it can go right in the wash. We practice EC, so my son poops in the toilet for the most part.

  35. Love this I love cloth diapering and I wish SOOO many more would do it!!

  36. Great post! I'm always amazed by how little information there is in the mainstream media about cloth diapering and all the myths that surround cloth diapers - eg they stink (um no!) and they leak (again - no!).

    I've never had to size up in pants to accommodate my little girl's cloth diapered bum though - I think it just depends on the child's build.



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