Basic Information on Cloth Diapering

This post contains some basic information about cloth diapering and how Padded Tush Stats works. We will continue to update it regularly, so feel free to ask some questions that we can answer on here.

Basic info on cloth diapering

First off, if you are looking into cloth diapering, I highly recommend that you check out this brief introductory video about cloth diapering:

How many cloth diapers do I need?

People generally say 18-24 cloth diapers. Obviously a newborn will go through closer to the 20-24 range. I recommend getting a variety. Many people will use newborn diapers for babies under 10 pounds, then once their babies hit the 10 pound mark, they can be in One Size diapers from then on out (or you can buy sized diapers, it is just a little more expensive since you have to keep buying the next size up). In a Padded Tush Stats survey, we found that a whopping 37% use prefolds to cloth diaper their newborn. These are very inexpensive (roughly $17 for a dozen). If you are just starting with cloth, I recommend you get a dozen of those and then a few one size diapers and some all in one diapers. Although prefolds are relatively easy, I am a firm believer that no Mom new to cloth diapering should get anywhere near a Snappi in the middle of the night.

How often do I wash the diapers?

You wash every 2-3 days. Check out the video above to see how easy it is. It’s not as scary as you probably think.

What else would I need?

* Wipes (around 30)

* Wet bag or diaper pail with pail liner

* Cloth diaper safe detergent (although many people use Tide, even if that does void the diaper’s warranty)

* Diaper sprayer (optional, but awesome) or diaper liners

* Smaller wet bag to go in the diaper bag

* A few “doublers” (which are like mini diaper inserts) to increase absorbency

You can see some of our favorite cloth diapering products by going HERE.

What is the price comparison between cloth diapering and disposable diapering?

When I was couponing and using disposables, I paid roughly .11-.17 per diaper. Now that is if you are looking for a really good deal, other than that, it is close to around .20 – .35 per diaper. If you look at the cost of cloth diapers, as well as detergent, energy to wash them, and water cost, it is roughly .06 per diaper ( and that is not considering the fact that you can take those diapers and use them on the next baby. I am a huge proponent of Swagbucks, which is a program where you earn points by searching the internet using their search engine and you can cash in the points for Amazon gift cards. I buy many of my diapers using that (see this article for some of our tips for using Swagbucks). So you can get a large portion of your stash for free. You can also get diapers used on Diaper Swappers, Craigslist, and many other places (even many cloth diaper retailers carry used diapers as well as new ones). In this post, we break down the hidden costs of disposable diapering and cloth diapering.

I hear a lot of people talk about their complicated washing routine, it is that bad?

I heard a great quote one time: “A complicated washing routine is just a simple washing routine not yet figured out.” I completely agree with that. I recommend you start with the basics: wash your diapers with the recommended detergent amount (that is on the package of your detergent–we recommend Tide Original Powder). Start with a rinse, then a heavy duty wash, and then follow it with a rinse (some machines may have an extra rinse built into the wash cycle). We have a suggested washing routine HERE. If you come across any lingering stink issues, you can use our handy troubleshooting chart HERE. Also, if you are having issues, please feel free to contact us. We can help you figure out what you may do to tweak things based on your machine type and water type.

What about when I am out and about, what do I do?

You don’t really need to do much different. Just have a small wet bag in your diaper bag. I recommend using disposable liners when you are out and about, so you can flush the poopy part out of the diaper rather than lug it around all day, wafting off bad fumes ;) Some people like to use hybrid diapers, which are cloth diapers lined with disposable inserts. What is the point of that? Well, these have much less harsh chemicals than disposables, plus cloth diapers are notorious for preventing those up the back explosions you get from disposables, so you get that added benefit.

What is with all of the confusing terms?

The cloth diapering world contains many odd words. Snappy? Boingo? Liner? Insert? We help sort it out for you. Bookmark our Cloth Diapering Dictionary. If ever you hear a term that you don’t know, just head on over there and get a definition (and sometimes we often have a picture to go with the explanation).

How can the stats at this website help me?

We basically eliminate a lot of work for you here. When I started cloth diapering, I bought a lot of diapers that just didn’t work well for my heavy wetter. Over time, I found out that listening to just one review on a diaper isn’t enough, since that diaper performance is being evaluated based on how it works with one particular baby. That is why here people fill out surveys on diapers they have tried on their babies and the results are sorted by baby characteristics (such as a heavy wetter, rash prone baby, chunky baby, etc). It is also sorted by things like fit, absorbency, trimness, etc. So you just come here looking for what is important to you in a diaper, and you can then compare statistics on how different diapers work in that category. We have detailed reviews that tell you all about the diaper and include tips from survey respondents on how to maximize a diaper’s power. We also have a Retailer Database that allows you to search for retailers based on the kinds of diapers they sell, location, and shipping costs. You are also welcome to ask us any questions that you may have.

You can find a list of informative articles to get you started here.

We answer a little more detailed questions HERE.

Let us know if you have any other questions, we would be happy to help! Comment here or even email us at or

Tara Porter

Tara Porter began using cloth diapers in 2011 when she felt that using disposable diapers was costing too much money. The problem was, a lot of the highly recommended diapers weren’t working for her baby. What she finally discovered was that her baby was skinny and a heavy wetter, and that diapers worked differently for those baby types. Because of her professional work with survey design and statistics, she designed Padded Tush Stats as a way to determine how different cloth diapers worked on different babies.

Tara moved on to other career endeavors in 2014 but can still be found online blogging about health and fitness at Fit Baby Steps.