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Everything about cloth diapers

Here, Anja shares her varied experiences with cloth diapers, provides clarity and clears up some prejudices.
Reading Everything about cloth diapers 7 minutes Next Basic clothing for your newborn baby

What you always wanted to know about cloth diapers

Anja von Hummelhintern is a cloth diaper consultant and enthusiastic cloth diaper user. We are delighted that she is sharing her diverse experiences with us, providing clarity and clearing up some prejudices. We have long been convinced by the sustainable, healthy and natural concept and it is no coincidence that our pants, suits and bodysuits can be combined so well with cloth diapers. All our knickerbockers are cut extra wide at the crotch and therefore offer plenty of room for cloth diapers. Our loop bodysuit is also soft and stretchy and therefore very stretchy. The loop eliminates the need for accessories such as body extensions with buttons and makes changing with cloth diapers quick and easy. Thank you for sharing, dear Anja. We hope everyone else enjoys reading.

Advantages of cloth diapers in a nutshell

Cloth diapers are becoming increasingly popular. Prejudices are heard again and again - they stink, they are expensive, they interfere with motor development, they leak and are totally complicated. None of this is true when used correctly.

On the contrary: the biggest advantages of cloth diapers in a nutshell

  • Resource-saving, ecological and sustainable
  • Healthy, gentle and kind to the skin
  • Support babies & toddlers in their natural development of cleanliness
  • Support baby's hip development through wide swaddling
  • No heat build-up during fever or in summer
  • Cost saving


In a 3-year diapering period, a child accumulates approx. 1.5 tons of diaper waste and disposable diapers make up 10% of the residual waste of German households, and the trend is rising. Disposable diapers take about 450 years to decompose. In the meantime, microplastics are released and spread everywhere. In addition, all the resources that we put into the production of a disposable diaper are irretrievably lost. When the diapers are incinerated after disposal, 3-4% toxic residue (slag) remains, some of which is cast in concrete and used in road construction, but the majority is disposed of in salt mines, like nuclear waste. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, only generate a small amount of waste and only when they are defective. With good care, this can be after several years/children. The items are then disposed of with the residual waste, but their natural materials burn without leaving any residue. The production of cloth diapers also consumes resources, but their durability, natural materials and an efficient washing machine make their production and use extremely gentle and sustainable.

Skin compatibility

Cloth diapers are free of residues from excretions or detergents if stored and washed correctly. They are well tolerated and do not dry out the skin with chemicals (such as lotions and perfumes in disposable diapers). The choice of materials means that everyone can decide for themselves what goes on their baby's skin: Natural materials such as cotton and wool or synthetic fibers such as viscose and PUL (polyurethane laminate). All materials have their own advantages and disadvantages. What they all have in common is that they are much more breathable than disposable diapers and therefore transport heat away from the body. This is a great advantage, especially on warm summer days.

Developmental support

Children who are used to disposable diapers often wear them for much longer than children who have grown up with cloth diapers.There are various reasons for this and in some cases it causes a great deal of distress for parents and children. One reason is the absorbent core, which does not give babies/children any feedback that urine has just been excreted. In addition, children often have no connection to their excretions, either when they leave the body or when they are disposed of. And there is no connection to the excretory organs because the diaper is often only removed for changing, but the children are otherwise very rarely completely naked. Yet babies communicate more or less clearly from birth when they need to. More information on this can be found here.

Cost savings

3 years of diapering with disposable diapers costs an average of €1500 per child. This does not include wet wipes, disposable changing mats, garbage bags and waste disposal. With premium or eco diapers and a changing time of 4 or 5 years, the total sum increases by several hundred euros. The initial investment is of course higher for cloth diapers. But if you opt for a simple diapering system, e.g. gauze diapers with overpants for the day and panty diapers with a wool slip for the night, you can get by with around €600. Then there are only the costs for washing. So if you start with cloth diapers right from the 1st child, you will save a lot of money from the 2nd child at the latest. But even from the 1st child onwards, the financial advantage still clearly outweighs the costs, as you can sell on the cloth diapers that you no longer need.

Proven practice

With cloth diapers, there are usually no poop explosions, i.e. those moments when your newborn's stool runs up to the hairline and everything the baby was wearing and lying on has to be washed. This is due to the structure of a cloth diaper. If I also use the right material in the diaper, the stool is slowed down in the diaper and cannot spread as much.

The different systems and sizes at a glance

All cloth diapers consist of a wetness protection (PUL or wool) and the absorbent material (usually cotton, hemp, bamboo, polyester or blended fabric). These components can be combined in different ways:

  • One-piece system (All-In-One/AIO and pocket diapers): Wetness protection and absorbent material are sewn together or the absorbent material is placed in a pocket.
  • Two-piece system (All-In-Two/AI2 and Snap-In-One/SIO): Wetness protection and absorbent material are not sewn together, absorbent material is either wrapped around the child or placed in the wetness protection.
  • Three-part system (All-In-Three/AI3): the wetness protection is buttoned into an outer diaper, the absorbent material is placed/buttoned into the wetness protection.
  • NB (Newborn): usually fits from birth (approx. 2900g) up to approx. 5kg.
  • OS (One Size): fits up to approx. 15-18 kg.

Cloth diaper advice

If you want to find out more, I wholeheartedly recommend a consultation or workshop with a cloth diaper consultant based on my own experience. Here you will learn all the important basics and facts about cloth diapering in 2 to 3 hours and can contact the consultant afterwards if anything is unclear. Many consultants also offer rental packages for the newborn period and test packages in OS and also for larger diapers. A combination of advice and test packs saves an enormous amount of time and prevents bad purchases.

You can also find more information about Anja and her work on her Instagram channel Hummelhintern.