Cloth Diapering Basics – All About Covers

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Cloth Diaper Series

Posts in this series:
Getting Started
All About Diapers
All About Covers
Other Diapering Methods

We’re back with a little advice about choosing covers for your diapers.

Which diapers need a cover? 

Coleen:  You will need a separate cover with prefolds, fitteds and two part diaper systems.

How do I choose a cover?

Coleen:  You need to decide whether you would like snap or Velcro covers and if you want a sized or one size system.  Some diaper covers also have gussets to help prevent leaks.

Amy:  When I started cloth diapering, I bought several different kinds of covers and then sold off what I didn’t like.  I like covers that will cover any diaper I own.  My favorite cover for coverage is the Bummis Super Whisper Wrap.  I used to only use them on my newborns, but recently started using it for my older babies too.

What are covers made out of?

Coleen:  Most covers are made from a waterproof yet breathable fabric called polyurethane laminate or PUL.  Some PUL covers, like Imse Vimse are extra soft and pliable. Rumaprooz uses a bonding process called TPU, which uses heat instead of chemicals to produce their waterproof fabric.  Covers can also be made from wool.

How do I choose the right cover for my baby? 

Coleen:  You will need to know your baby€™s weight to be sure you are getting the right size.

Amy:  Also consider is your baby a heavy wetter?  You’ll probably want gussets.  Is your baby wiggly?  You’ll probably want Velcro.  I’ve also found that the medium size seems to be what baby is in for the longest.  If you simply cannot afford anything else, invest in this size.

Best cover for overnight?

ColeenWool covers are a wonderful natural option for overnight because it is highly breathable, yet extremely absorbent without feeling wet on the outside.  A durable cover such as Thirsties or Bummis will also work well overnight.  (Amy:  Definitely planning on getting some wool soon!)

How many covers do I need?

Coleen:  You will need one cover for every 3-4 diapers or inserts in rotation.

Amy:  I like to have 6-8 covers in each size.  If the cover is not soiled and just wet, I air it between diaper changes and can often get many wearings out of that one cover, especially on an older baby who doesn’t have as many poopy diapers in a day.  (To air the cover, I simply hang it over the changing table wet side up.  The PUL covers are made to dry quickly so they are always ready to go for the next diaper change!)

I hope you are finding helpful information in this Basics series!  Don’t forget to check out Coleen’s store:

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18 Comments on Cloth Diapering Basics – All About Covers

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18 thoughts on “Cloth Diapering Basics – All About Covers

  1. We love using cloth diapers! We used gDiapers with our first (they are a more expensive option..nice but not for us) and then prefolds and covers with our second. We used the Kawaii brand, they are relatively inexpensive. For our little one on the way I am slowly changing our prefolds into fitted and using something like a snappi to keep it in place. Thanks for doing this class…I wish more people used cloth!

  2. I have a question. I love cloth diapering and have been since my 5 month old was born. I sewed my own pocket diapers which are working out well for me :). I feel like I am the only person at my church doing cloth diapers, though. I pre-stuff them so when I bring my son to the nursery, I feel like they are very similar to what the nursery workers would do with disposables, but is there anything else I can do to make it easier for the people caring for my son when I’m in the service? I don’t want to seem like a burden to them because of my choice to use cloth…

    • The first thing I would ask is do you have a good wet bag? Other than that, change baby right before you leave and more than likely, they will only need to change 1 diaper (or none!) while you are away. Also, tell them just to roll the disposable wipes up in the diaper like they would a disposable diaper and throw it in the wet bag instead of the trash – you can deal w/ it at home.

  3. We are planning on CDing #2 which is due in July. I can’t wait! I wish we had done it with our first (he is now 2 and we are ordering some CD trainers for him next month). Thank you for such a gre4at giveaway!

  4. I love cloth diapers because they are cost effective mostly. I also love them because they are cute and they prevent those nasty blow outs. In the beginning I was turned off by the bulk but now there is little cuter than those fluffy little tushies!

  5. Amy – just thought I’d let you know that we’re cloth diapering all thanks to you! :) While I’ve been using CD’s for my toddler for a while now, I probably wouldn’t have tried it with my newborn if it weren’t for your video showing how to use prefolds with a snappi. So helpful to see something done! I think of you often when diapering, and am thankful for your inspiration/advice.

    • Oh wonderful! I remember talking diapers with you, but had no idea you had watched the video. Give that new little one loves from us! :)

  6. I love cloth diapering! It saved so much when we wouldnt have been able to afford to run out for a pack of diapers! Thanks for the info!

  7. I love how it is better for my daughter’s skin! I am slowly making the switch, and so far it is making a huge difference. I wish I would have done this with my four year old son.

  8. Have either of you used the flips covers? I am brand new to this and that is what I ordered. I really just took a guess and bought those. Yesterday was my first day and so far I like them but my baby is almost 1 years old, is there a downside to flips?

  9. We started using prefolds when #4 was about 4 months old. We have been using them again with #5 and with #6 on the way I am looking for some new fun diapers to use. Your cloth diapering posts have been so helpful and I’m still learning so much! :)

  10. I’ve been cloth diapering for over 3 years. I do have some pockets but prefolds and covers seem to work best for us. It is a nice simple diapering system without the time of stuffing pocket diapers. I do like fitted diapers as well with a nice cover. My current stash is made up of econobum & bummis organic prefolds and econobum covers, kawaii covers, kawaii pockets, dream-eze all in ones and fitteds (they no longer make these), engel organic tie nappies (these I love for newborns), engel wool cover, aristocrats wool cover, nikiky wool wrap, little beetle wool pants. I really like the wool for nighttime use but use them during the day as well. They are very easy to care for.

    I love cloth diapering because it is fun. I love the feel of the soft fabrics on cloth diapers verses disposable diapers. My only trouble is using cloth while running errands. I haven’t mastered that and hate to admit that I still buy disposables for the diaper bag *embarrassed face*.

    I’m really enjoying your cloth diapering posts Amy and would love to know any tips your have for cloth diapering while traveling and running errands!


  11. I am sooo glad you are doing this! A pregnant friend started asking me questions…I stared back blankly. She asked “didn’t you cloth diaper your 5?” uh yeah. ” WELL! tell me how!” I just stared at her. SOOO glad you are doing these tutorials! I will email them to her 😉

  12. For some reason, only snap or velcro covers were mentioned and not pull-ons. I’ve cloth diapered for 9 years and have always used pull-ons with six different children. The first few years those were Gerber vinyl covers which don’t hold up as well. But, for the last 5 years, I’ve used Dappi’s pull-on nylon pants.

    The nylon is extremely durable. These covers will last me through a couple children, longer in some of the sizes that they don’t stay in as long, like newborn. They are very inexpensive, only $3.99 for a 2-pack. I have not had staining problems even without special stain treating.. Problems with leakage are extremely rare, no more often than what I hear of with other covers.