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One Size Diapers, How long can you really expect them to last?

Posted by Julie on 11/13/2013 to Cloth vs. Disposables
The cost savings between using cloth diapers and disposables is a big selling point when people consider switching. The invent of one size diapers helped to further boost the cloth diaper appeal.

cloth diapers,one size,truth Now not only could you save by investing in cloth diapers, you can invest in less cloth diapers because when you use one size diapers they will last from birth through potty training, right? Well this may not always be the case.

Consider clothing. If we only owned enough clothes for one or two days and had to wash and re-wear the same clothes over and over, how long do you suspect they'd last? I personally have some clothes and shoes that I have owned and worn for years, had I needed to wear and wash them daily I am sure they'd be long gone, or rags at the very least, by now.

The same is true for cloth diaper use. Sure you can cloth diaper with the exact amount of cloth diapers you need in order to get you through a day, and YES you can also use one stash of one size cloth diapers on more than one children at the same time. But will these one size cloth diapers really last birth through potty training and beyond?


Cloth diapers will wear out. The less you own the more often they get used and obviously washed. If you're investing in cloth diapers for the long haul, hoping to be able to save and reuse them on future children, you will need more than the bare minimum and you may want to consider more than just one size cloth diapers.

So, now that you know you need more than 'just enough' let's go back to the fact that one size diapers convinced you that you didn't need to invest in sized diapers.

If you had sized diapers you'd use them for a certain period of time, pack them away for future babies and move on to the next size/stage.

Sized diapers provide a better, less bulky fit, and now you're realizing there are more benefits than those alone. If you used sized diapers they MAY actually last because they aren't expected to be used for three years straight!

The BOTTOM line

One size diapers are great, they come in handy for many families and fit lots of different ages and stages. Custom fit and sized diapers also have their benefits and advantages.

If you're cloth diapering to save money and hoping that your "investment" in cloth diapers will allow you to cloth diaper through potty-training, be used on future children or retain enough value so that when you're through you can re-sell them, then you should consider all your options and keep in mind that less cloth diapers = more wear and tear, more cloth diapers = increased longevity and return on investment.

For help deciding which cloth diapers to invest in or for cloth diaper support, please visit DiaperJunction.com or contact us on Facebook! We'd love to hear from you.


Date 11/14/2013
Kim H
We actually prefer the sized diapers & wraps because they seem to fit skinny legs better without leaking, especially when they are really young and they don't have all the extra bulk. I also get excited when we move up a size because there are different patterns & colors to enjoy!
Date 11/14/2013
Kristal Dull
We started out with the bare minimum and have slowly built up our stash. Our little one may be an only child so if they survive through her, great. If they don't then that's okay too.
Date 11/14/2013
Samantha Yoder
I have all OS diapers, pretty much just enough to wash every 2-3 days. It's only been a few weeks since we stopped using our newborn diapers and I was already starting to worry about them getting worn out from all the washing. I will definitely be adding more diapers soon.
Date 11/15/2013
Sarah Wilkey
So far I've only bought OS, but I started late and it might be easier to get some fitteds next.
Date 11/16/2013
Lyss Tayler
I never even thought of this! I think I might try some sized diapers with my child (DD is 20 months and showing signs of potty readiness). I just hope I can find some cute sized American made diapers for my next kiddo. I wish Bumgenius had sized or that other companies had some more cute prints not just solid colors! I also might try some fitteds with my next child
Date 11/17/2013
Elizabeth P.
This is really interesting! I've always wanted to cloth diaper and I've been trying to take in all of the information out there before LO arrives... this isn't information I've come across yet. Thank you so much for posting this and potentially saving me from a "one-size only" stash!
Date 11/18/2013
Melissa S
This post makes a good point about longevity based on wear and tear. My stash is small, so diapers are used frequently! That said, I do have some sized diapers, such as Thirsties and Best Bottom inserts, which helps. I love my Thirsties and plan to get more. I've also fallen in love with prefolds and am using them much more frequently now - they can take so much more wear and tear and washing covers by hand helps save them. :)
Date 11/20/2013
Elizabeth Tomoso
True! I found too that the type of fibers used matters as well. All my cotton knit OS diapers wore out really easily. All my microfiber/fleece one lasted great! These could be used again, definitely! Along my cloth journey I did find that I really like prefolds and covers more than I thought. The prefolds so seen to take more wear and tear too!
Date 11/20/2013
After 2 years, my OS pockets are starting to die. One delaminated and the elastic on the legs of the others are shot. If I could do it all again, I would do fitteds with covers and avoid pockets.
Date 11/20/2013
My os diapers have lasted through two kids and still have plenty of life left. I did change the elastics and hook & loop once, but they will definitely last through one to two more kids for me. That being said, I have line dryed them from the beginning and I really think that helped.
Date 11/23/2013
Mary S
This is definitely true! I hope my diapers last at least through two kids!
Date 11/25/2013
Tannis W
I have some OS and some fitteds. I guess we'll have to figure out what works best for us. Good tips though!
Date 11/26/2013
Thanks! This is so helpful!
Date 11/30/2013
I hope I can get all the use out of them with multiple kids
Date 12/1/2013
Kayla Morris
This is very helpful! I am new to CD's.
Date 12/8/2013
Caitlin Gramley
We are just now finding this out. we have the bare min. and have been using our one size for over a year. Several of the diaper's elastic in the legs have worn out and we recently had to buy some more. But I bought one size again only because it was the cheaper option.
Date 12/9/2013
I am so excited to start using cloth diapers once my son is born. I hope to make them last. Thank you for the info!
Date 12/19/2013
We have 18 one size FuzziBunz. We have been using them since little one was 4 months. Now little one is 18 months. It was cheaper for us to buy the one size and replace them as needed. The other thing we liked about FuzziBunz is that all of the elastic is easily replaceable and adjustable for a custom fit. We also don't have the space to store 18-20 small , medium, large, and extra large sized diapers. We do not expect them to last all the way through multiple babies, just longer than a sized diaper.
Date 1/2/2014
Danielle D
This was a great read, and I had honestly not thought about the longevity of the sized diapers like this before!
Date 1/6/2014
I've been really worried lately about my favorite diapers wearing out. I want them to last as long as possible, but I want my son to wear them (since that's what they're for!). Oh well, I just need to get better at sewing so when the time comes to repair them I do a good job!
Date 1/13/2014
Carissa Joslyn
I'm constantly arguing with my friends (also, other cloth diaperers) they always say i have to many cloth diapers ( i really don't even have that much..) but i told them the more i have, the better. they never believe me. soill be sharing this as proof!
Date 1/17/2014
I've been worrying about wear and tear on my cloth diapers so my solution: buy more diapers! So the ones I love don't wear as quickly!
Date 1/24/2014
Amber Renee
OS have worked for us since birth and still going strong at five months! :]
Date 2/26/2014
Kassi Peerman
Sized diapers seemed really intimidating to me. I have registered for all one-size diapers. Maybe I will have to look in to the sized diapers... it just seems hard to know how many to get of each.
Date 3/27/2014
jennifer laur
my son was cloth diapered from 7 months-2.5 years (when he potty learned). his stash was mostly aplix bumgenius 4.0's. when he potty learned, his diapers still had a lot of life in them, but i wasn't totally sure they would last from birth-potty learning of a second babe, so i made the decision to sell them off (since we had no clue when we would have a second babe). now that i am building a stash for our second babe, i'm definitely choosing more snaps, over aplix.
Date 5/3/2014
Jennifer Edwards
Great info! Thanks for the article!
Date 5/15/2014
Cassandra deNevers
Good to know. I was just thinking of getting the one size diapers, but maybe some sized ones would be good too.
Date 5/30/2014
Sara Walden
This is good to know! i know when i first started cloth diapering i had 6 diapers an i used them for 2 wks an decided to buy more. you can tell a big difference in the old ones that were used 2 wks straight.
Date 5/31/2014
Santina Goodman
Never really thought of this for after the newborn stage! Our LO isn't here yet and I already have a pretty sizable OS stash, but this just hints that some sized diapers and fitteds/prefolds and covers may need to be added to the mix.
Date 5/31/2014
Sierra Santiago
Love all the information. Most my friends think im crazy for wanting to cloth but its sooo amazing.
Date 6/4/2014
heather chen
This is really good to know I am new to cloth diapering I Dont know much so thank you for writing this article :)
Date 7/14/2014
Eliza Beth Wells
Super interesting! I'll have to keep this info in the nursery so I can be aware of changes.
Date 3/3/2015
Lisa Weeks
Were only planning on this one so I only have OS and I tumble dry them sometimes.. Eek.
Date 4/15/2015
You've made some interesting points, but for cash- and space-strapped families like mine, one size diapers seem to be the best choice. They're still better for the environment and more affordable than disposables!
Date 4/19/2015
Sarah Elyce
I have purchased all OS diapers because I started when she was 5 months old. If we have another baby, I would start sooner so I would have to purchase smaller sizes then perhaps. I don't have any problems when it comes to stash size because I went a little crazy.
Date 6/27/2015
Jessica S.
This is great information. I've been using our OS diapers for 2 years now and they're about to get an extra work-out with baby #2 on the way in a couple weeks. The OS diapers I have only have minimal wear, so I bet we have many more year left in these diapers.
Date 7/18/2015
Mary Schuh
We have two in cloth and a TON of diapers. They're on their second go-through so we're really feeling good about our investment. We love our cloth diapers!
Date 8/13/2015
Sarah Elyce
One size diapers have worked wonderfully for us so far!

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