What I’ve Learned about Buying Cloth Diapers

I love cloth diapers.  I have a minor cloth diaper addiction.  Buying cloth diapers is just plain fun.  But now, I’m at the point where it’s time to start destashing a bit.  There’s no reason in the world for me to have over 80 cloth diapers.  Right now, I can have a load of cloth diapers in the wash, another basket already washed that’s waiting to be folded, and still have enough cloth diapers to hold me over for a couple of days.  Of course, with my addiction (and thanks, Kerri at Cozy Bums, for enabling me!) comes a lot of experience with buying cloth diapers.

As soon as you start looking at cloth diapers, you realize that there are millions upon millions of options.  Okay, maybe not literally millions, but there are certainly more brands, types, and patterns of cloth diapers than one can ever reasonably use.  So, here are the conclusions that I’ve come to:

What I've Learned About Buying Cloth DiapersDon’t cheap out.  If you like pocket diapers or all in ones, don’t just buy the eBay cheapies or some of the dirt cheap, never before heard of brands that come up on sites like Baby Half Off.  I bought two diapers from Baby Half Off (the Duca Duca and a BumCheeks), and I hated them.  Sure, the BumCheeks was cute, but it leaked like a sieve.  Same thing for the Duca Duca.  If those had been my first experience with using cloth diapers, I never would have bothered.  I did sell them to someone else with the warning of they didn’t work for us at all.  Hopefully she has better luck than I did.  If you’ve got a huge stash and you want to experiment, sure.  I’d never, ever recommend someone starting their whole stash up with eBay cheapies, Kushies and various off brands.  If the person is new to cloth, it can be enough to ruin the experience forever and cause mom to give up and go to disposables.

You really can start out cheap if you need to.  You’d think that “don’t cheap out” would be completely opposite of this, but if you must get into buying cloth diapers on a budget, there are a few ways to go.  If you want to buy new, then look into prefolds.  I thought using prefold cloth diapers would be scarier than all get out, and I didn’t even try them until Eudora was born.  Surprise!  They’re actually really super easy to use.  Fold it into thirds, slap a cover on, and it’s done.  But if you absolutely are terrified of prefold cloth diapers and don’t even want to go there, you can always…

Check out used cloth diapers.  Depending on where you are, you can often buy used cloth diapers at half the price that they were when they are new.  Just remember to ask questions about the diaper, do your independent research, and examine the diapers before you buy them.  Check for things like how they were washed before, smells, and to see if the laminate on the inside of the diaper (if you’re looking at pocket diapers) is pulling away.  And don’t feel obligated to buy them if they aren’t up to what you’re looking for.

Skip the fancy prints.  Prints always get me.  I see some absolutely adorable prints out there, and I just salivate over them.  But here’s the thing: I’m neurotic.  I buy cloth diapers to match outfits and outfits to match cloth diapers.  I look at things and wonder if I have something to go with it before I purchase, whether it’s a diaper or an outfit.  But with patterns, I just think PRETTY!  Want, want, want!  And then I find that the pattern doesn’t go with anything and it becomes a diaper that I grab as a last resort, or only if it’s guaranteed to be hidden.  And those things are so darned cute, why on earth would I want to hide them?  Even though I know this about myself, though, I’m still lusting after the Blueberry diaper in Butterfly.  And I like it enough that I’d buy clothes just to match it.

Get to know your local cloth diaper retailer.  I love my local retailer.  Yeah, I grumble about Cozy Bums enabling me whenever they get new stock, and I have to talk myself out of buying new and adorable things.  Still, the benefits far outweigh the temptation.  When I was having issues with Norton and heavy wetting, the owner of Cozy Bums was full of ideas to help.  In fact, she threw in a hemp doubler when I was trying to find a solution free of charge because she knew that it was frustrating me.   A great cloth diaper retailer will be more interested in helping you make your cloth diapers work than just getting more money out of you.  Really, you’ll probably develop your own addiction and the diapers will sell themselves, anyway.

What have you discovered about buying cloth diapers?  (Or what questions do you have about them?)

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. Great tips! We have the Blueberry butterfly for nighttime. It is a great diaper for overnight use 🙂

  2. I’ve learned that “microfiber” inserts on ebay may not really be microfiber inserts. Unless it’s a name brand, I would advise caution in buying a “microfiber” lot. 🙂

  3. Nice post and Great information:-)


  1. […] mommy blogger, Enyo, over at Motherhood Looms recently posted about all that she has learned about buying cloth diapers. After reading her post, I decided to share my own experience as a first time cloth diapering mama. […]

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