Frequently we will have new parents come to the store and ask us “What’s the best diaper?” The thing is, I can’t answer that question, because it’s not the same for everyone. But after getting to know the parents a little bit, learning about their lifestyle (stay at home parent or daycare? Washer and dryer in home or laundromat?), preferences (Need the easiest solution? Want only natural and organic fabrics?) and budget, we can help our customers find the perfect diaper for their baby. Here’s a list of some of the “bests” for certain situations.
The least expensive diaper will be a prefold or a flat diaper with a cover. Used is even cheaper (we have quite a few gently used prefolds in stock right now). We will teach you how to fold them and put them on with a snappi fastener (no need to use pins!) or you can fold them in thirds and lay them inside the cover. The least expensive cover is the Econobum, a one-size cover for $8.95, however it will not usually fit a newborn. The least expensive to fit a newborn will be the Thirsties XS cover at $11.25, or for $1.50 more you can get a size 1 Thirsties Duo Wrap which will fit up to 18 lbs. You can also make your own wool covers from upcycled sweaters from the thrift store – super cheap!
A flat diaper is the quickest drying since it unfolds to only a single layer of fabric. Pocket diapers with microfiber inserts also dry pretty quickly. A quick rule of thumb is that man-made fibers dry quicker than natural fibers like cotton, bamboo, and hemp. All-in-one’s generally take the longest to dry, except for the Mommys Touch all-in-one, which due to its unique design and being made of microfiber, will dry faster than even a prefold.
In my experience there are two things that contribute to a trim diaper: cut and fabric. A diaper that has absorbent material only down the center of the diaper and none wrapping around the baby’s hips will be trimmer than one that wraps thick absorbent material around the baby like a prefold does. As for fabric, microfiber tends to be “fluffy” while tightly knit cotton, bamboo, and hemp can be denser and therefore trimmer. Finally, a diaper that is sized as opposed to one-size (or at least that has the inserts sized) will be trimmer on a smaller baby because you will have less material on the smaller size. Some of the trimmest diapers that we carry are the BumGenius Elemental (all-in-one) and the Best Bottom Diaper (all-in-two). The hemp/cotton insert is trimmer than the microfiber insert in the Best Bottoms.
Best for Two Kids in Diapers
The nice thing about one-size diapers is that when you have two different-size babies both in diapers, you can still use the same diapers on both kids. So, one-size diapers are a given, but which ones? For easier switching between sizes, steer clear of diapers that change size by adjusting the elastic (like Fuzzibunz, Charlie Banana, Rocky Mountain Diapers, and SoftBums) and pick one that changes size by snapping down in front. The external snaps just pop open or snap down quickly so you can easily change the diaper’s size to fit whatever kid you happened to grab!
Best Overnight Diaper
Although some parents have success using pocket diapers overnight, for those that don’t, we recomend a double-layered prefold or heavy-duty fitted diaper such as the Tiny Tush Trim with an extra doubler or a Happy Hempy stuffable fitted stuffed with a hemp prefold. Usually PUL covers work fine, but for a super-soaker baby you can try a wool cover like the Tiny Tush organic wool soaker.
What about you? What special situation makes you seek out YOUR perfect diaper?