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Cloth Diaper Tip: How to use diaper covers with success!

Posted by Julie on 12/31/2013 to Cloth Diaper How-To

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):

diaper covers 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.

prefolds,cloth diapers,diaper covers 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.

diaper covers 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?



Melissa McCarty
Date: 12/31/2013
we just started using diaper rite covers. they have pockets inside so you can put an insert in there or a trifolded prefold. i like them, but i dont like how the elastic leaves marks on my LO. we're going to try thirsties duo next.
Indiana Hilton
Date: 12/31/2013
Thirsties sized covers are my favorite. I own at least three in every size. Because of the leg gussets they never leak. I would recommend them to everyone.
Rachel A.
Date: 12/31/2013
I love my Thirsties sized covers with prefolds, but I also like my best bottoms foxtrot print cover; so cute!
Kim H
Date: 1/2/2014
My favorite cover is the Thirsties Duo, but we also use sized Thirsties & sized Bummis Super Brite. I love the economical savings & simplicity of caring for prefolds & covers!
Date: 1/2/2014
I love our Thirsties, Rumparooz covers, and Softbums shells! Softbums are quickly becoming my favorite.
Christel Elliott
Date: 1/2/2014
Thanks for the tips! I love using covers and prefolds. My fav!
Kari Aytch
Date: 1/3/2014
I'm not due with my first until April, but I'm looking forward to using Thirsties! I hope they work as well as the reviews say they do!
Date: 1/3/2014
Our first is due in just 3 Weeks and I'm excited to use cloth. At first I was leaning towards pockets but I think we're going to start out with covers and prefolds for economical reasons!
Catherine BW
Date: 1/3/2014
We love diaper covers! We use them with prefolds, don't own any fitteds. Currently traveling internationally with our prefolds and covers!
Karen roya
Date: 1/3/2014
We have used many different covers with prefolds, fitteds, and flats. Our favorite is the diaper rite flats with thirsties duo covers. We've been using them since he was first born and he is now 4 months, that is still our favorite system.
jilliann m
Date: 1/4/2014
just starting my cloth diaper adventure with a baby due in march, so this is helpful! i've got a few different covers so far to try out.
Bekah Kuczenski
Date: 1/6/2014
This is a very helpful article! And the baby model is adorable!! I am bad because I always dry my covers in the dryer, but I really need to start line drying them :/
Erin Rothfus
Date: 1/12/2014
I love flip and econobum covers! Also planning to stock up on some Thirsties for next baby. I'm excited to try out the "new, improved" Thirsties aplix.
Caitlin Gramley
Date: 1/13/2014
I use covers in my stash. I like the econobum!
Erica Bostrom
Date: 1/17/2014
I have Thirsties, Flips, and a variety of WAHM covers, and I've found that the Flips work best for my boy over his fitteds. He's got chunky legs and the elastic on the Thirsties is a bit too snug over bulkier diapers.
Catherine BW
Date: 1/20/2014
We love diaper covers, currently using Flips a lot but also Bummis and Thirsties are great. My husband actually prefers covers and prefolds.
Charity B
Date: 1/20/2014
I love Rumparooz covers. They have leg gussets and come in the cutest prints!
Laurie P
Date: 1/26/2014
We've recently switched over to prefolds, but I need to find a better fitting cover for my LO's super chunky thighs. I hear Flip covers are roomy....
Rachel S
Date: 2/5/2014
I LOVE diaper covers. We have Thirsties and Bummis and every once in awhile, I wish we had only made our stash out of these...however, our LO is only 5.5 months, so I'll see how they do as she grows!
Date: 2/22/2014
I love my thirties duo. I also have some econbum cover that came in a package, and I really like them.
Laurie P
Date: 4/4/2014
Covers are my favorite, but we need XL (I'm talking super meaty thighs over here!!) and are limited with who makes them. And if I'm lucky to find them, they are boring white. It is what it is, and our two faves are Bummis and Mother-ease.
Michele Lisbon
Date: 6/20/2014
This is so helpful!!

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