Cloth Diapers Lingo, FAQs and Local Resources

An increasing number of families are looking at cloth diaper services as an environmentally-friendly and functional way to have a green nursery. We decipher the lingo, review frequently asked questions and provide local resources to help parents navigate through the world of cloth diapers.



Why Cloth Diapers?

  • It’s good for the environment. The average baby goes through approximately 5,000 diapers before being potty trained, and most disposable diapers wind up in landfills.
  • It’s good for baby. Most cloth diapers are made from natural products (hemp, bamboo, cotton) and are less likely to irritate baby’s sensitive skin.
  • It’s comparatively inexpensive. One cloth-diapering mom reported that she spent approximately $500 over the course of three years (and two children). Even the savviest disposable diaper shopper will spend significantly more.
  • It works well. The families that spoke with us agreed that cloth diapers worked as well or better than disposables.
  • Washing is just as easy as any load of laundry. Throw them in the machine. Use Rinse Cycle, Hot Wash, Extra Rinse and into the dryer they go!

What Should Interested Families Know?
Cloth diapers come in several different varieties.

  • All-In-One – These diapers have multiple layers of absorbent fabric on the inside and a waterproof material on the outside. Many all-in-one diapers also come with a built-in pad for additional absorbency or have a pocket to add extra inserts for night time.
  • One Size - Many all in one diapers are one size, and they will adjust to the baby’s growth.
  • Pocket Diaper – Some cloth diapers have a pocket where parents put inserts in and they are absorbent like microfiber hemp bamboo or cotton. Pockets are usually waterproof on their own and don’t require a cover.
  • Prefold – A prefold is a piece of fabric that parents fold up and place over baby (like the old-school diapers), and it requires a water proof cover. Parents can use pins or a Snappi to hold the prefold in place.
  • Fitted – A fitted is a prefold-type diaper, but it has elastic in it. It’s cut for fitting around the baby’s legs and waist. It can have snaps, Velcro or may require a Snappi to close it, too.
  • Cover – These are typically available in fun colors or patterns and are designed to be worn over some types of cloth diapers.

How Can Interested Families Get Started?

  • Trial - Start with a trial program (if available) or purchase a few different styles/brands to see what works best.
  • Find Others – Find other families using cloth diapers for a first-hand account and demonstration on usage.
  • Prep Cloth Diapers - Once parents have purchased cloth diapers, they need to be “prepped.” Prepped refers to washing new diapers several times in order to make the material more absorbent (the instructions and/or salesperson should be able to provide specific instructions on the number of washes required for a particular item). Many materials need to be washed and dried a few times before it reaches maximum absorbency. Wash the “all natural” materials, like unbleached cotton, hemp, or bamboo, by themselves for best results.

Where to Buy Cloth Diapers

We asked local families where they get their cloth diapers. Here were their favorites:

Nature’s Premiere Diaper Service
Proprietor Brooke Nichols runs the only cloth diapers laundry service on Long Island. The site also sells various brands of cloth diapers, cloth wipes and a lot more for the environmentally conscious mother.
Read Long Island Mamas Full Review of Nature’s Premier Diaper Service

Long Island Cloth Diaper Moms (and Dads, too) on Facebook:

Natural Mothering on Long Island MeetUp Group:

Online Cloth Diaper Group:

Tips on the Best Detergents for Cloth Diapers:


By Rachel Minkowsky

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