Guide to Buying and Using Cloth Diapers for the First Time Cloth Diapering Mama

Before giving birth to my daughter back in December, my husband and I had talked about possibly using cloth diapers. Fellow 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. I started using cloth diapers right after my daughter turned three months old. The only thing that I regret about switching from disposables to cloth is that I did not start sooner. Hopefully my experience will help another mama-to-be who is interested in cloth diapering but is not quite sure where to start.

Daytime Cloth Diapers

Best Bottom Diapers Shell with InsertIf you are looking for a great cloth diaper that is easy to use but is not too expensive, then I thoroughly recommend the Best Bottom brand. Best Bottoms consist of an outer diaper shell make from PUL fabric and separate inserts that snap into the shell. To begin our endeavor into the world of cloth diaper, my husband and I bought three Best Bottom shells and twelve medium-sized inserts for our daughter. The shells that we bought cost $16.95 each and the inserts cost $3.95 each. We ended up spending $98.25 on our initial daytime cloth diapering system. When our daughter gets bigger, we will have to buy the larger sized inserts. However, the three shells and twelve medium inserts is more than enough to last us during the daytime for now if I wash our cloth diapers every day.

If you were going to use the Best Bottom diaper system from birth through potty training, I would recommend buying a few more of the small size (for those watery, explosive newborn poops) and a few less of the large size. And, as long as you do your diaper laundry at least once a day, you can get away with the bare minimum amount of diapers. Thus, the starting cost for buying Best Bottoms as your daytime cloth diaper system is as follows:

  • 3 diapers shells at $16.95 each for $50.85
  • 16 small inserts at $3.95 each for $63.20
  • 12 medium inserts at $3.95 each for $47.40
  • 10 large inserts at $3.95 each for $39.50

The total price for the bare minimum of Best Bottom cloth diapers is $200.95. You get two to three years worth of cloth diapers for the price of four value-sized boxes of disposables that would last you maybe a few months if that long.

Nighttime Cloth Diapers


Best Bottom Cloth Diapers can work during the night too if you plan on changing your baby’s diaper every few hours. However, because my daughter sleeps for about twelve hours without needing a diaper change, we needed a more absorbent solution for overnight use. We ended up buying a Blueberry pocket diaper with some ultra-absorbent bamboo inserts. The cost for our nighttime cloth diaper system is as follows:

  • 1 Blueberry pocket diaper at $23.95
  • 1 Blueberry bamboo insert upgrade at $13.00
  • 1 BumGenius diaper doubler at $1.75

The total price for our nighttime diaper is $38.70. For the price of a package of disposables, you can put a super absorbent diaper on your baby from birth through potty training.

Other Diaper Options


Alva Baby Cloth Diaper and InsertsIn addition to my Best Bottoms, I also occasionally use Alva Baby pocket diapers during the day. Alva Baby is an online cloth diaper retailer that provides cloth diapers and cloth diaper accessories at reasonable prices. Through Alva Baby, a basic pocket diaper with one insert costs a minimum of $5.59. Pocket diapers with double leg gussets and one insert cost $6.99 each. My personal favorite, the bamboo diapers with a bamboo and microfiber insert, cost either $8.00 or $9.99 depending on the print. Because I wanted to try a few other pocket diapers, I have purchased a few different pocket diapers from Alva Baby. The only caveat is that, because the company is located in Asia, you have to wait two to four weeks for your order to arrive. However, because shipping is free worldwide, the extra time is totally worth the wait.

Have you switched to cloth diapers? What tips do you have for a first time cloth diapering mama?

To purchase cloth diapers, please use my affiliate link to Nicki’s Diapers.

Image Credits

Best Bottom Diapers Shell with Insert © 2012 Heather Johnson
Stuffed Blueberry Diaper © 2012 Heather Johnson
Alva Baby Cloth Diaper and Inserts © 2012 Heather Johnson

Written by Heather Johnson

Heather is a writer, librarian, linguist, wife, and mother who loves her husband, children, dogs, and cats. She has a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in creative writing and master's degrees in library and information science and English studies with a concentration in linguistics.

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