Diaper Cover Tips
Diaper covers are great! If you use them over fitted diapers, you have double whammy leak protection thanks to double elastics at both the legs and back. If you’re using prefolds or flats, they provide leak protection where the diaper doesn’t, making it possible for you to choose a very inexpensive yet effective way to cloth diaper. The best part about diaper covers is that they can be used for multiple diaper changes. Besides, they come in the cutest colors and prints, making them not only functional but decorative as well.
The following are a couple of tips to keep in mind when using PUL or TPU diaper covers (in other words, diaper covers made of waterproof, laminated fabric rather than of wool or fleece):
1. The cover won’t be effective unless all parts of the cloth diaper beneath are tucked inside the cover and all articles of clothing stay outside. Just one bit of wet diaper peaking through at the leg or back is enough to necessitate an outfit change.
2. Size adjustments may be necessary when switching from one diaper type to another. Your prefolds fit your baby one way and your fitteds another. Make sure that you adjust the size of your cover accordingly so that it isn’t gapping or pinching. For one size covers, this means adjusting the snaps in the rise and at the waist. For sized covers, it may mean going a size up or down and having both sizes available.
3. Speaking of gaps, it’s important that the elastics of the cover fit snugly at the legs and waist. There shouldn’t be any gaps. But don’t close the cover too tightly either or you may still create some gaps and wrinkles (especially at the waist) and also leave irritating red marks on your baby’s skin.
4. Line drying will greatly prolong the life iof your diaper covers. Don’t worry, they line dry very quickly. Throwing them in the dryer every once in awhile is fine too. It won’t do any damage. Some people say the latter is actually necessary to seal the PUL every once in awhile. I’m not sure that’s the case since the PUL is meant to be able to withstand dryer heat. However, do not use a sanitize cycle, ever.
5. If your cover is old, you should periodically check the PUL, elastics, and Aplix closures for wear and tear. Eventually, the cover will wear out, so be aware.
6. Find a cover that fits your baby well. After having two kids, each with different body types, I know that not all diapers and covers fit all babies well. Something that works well for one baby may not for another. Make sure you pick a brand that suits your baby’s skinny/chubby legs and back and long/short torso.
7. Leg gussets are great but not necessary. I love that Thirsties covers have leg gussets. I feel like this gives the diaper so much extra space and wiggle room for night diapering and bulkier prefolds. However, my Flip cover has no gussets and it works just as well.
8. Extra flaps of PUL at the back and/or front of the diaper are nice but not a must. These flaps are usually added for tucking a pad folded flat or prefold into the inside of the diaper. Flip covers, for instance, have these flaps at both the front and the back of the diaper. Thirsties have them at the front. You can actually use a pad fold/trifold just fine without having this extra flap.
Do you use diaper covers? If so, what kind is your favorite? Do you have any tips for maximizing their usefulness?