The Pros and Cons of Sized Cloth Diapers vs. Onesize Cloth Diapers

by shethinksmedia

When I first started cloth diapering three years ago I did minimal research (shh…a definite no-no in my book now so if you’re new don’t follow suit) and because of my minimal research I chose a diaper system that was one size. Yes, one size, as in one size fits all. Now does a one size system really fit a baby from newborn to potty training? Perhaps. It depends on how big or small your cute little newborn is. Can a one size last a child up until potty training? Yes. At least this was true for us with my son. He potty trained last September and I believe he was about 33 lbs or so.

What about a sized diaper? If a one size is a more economical choice why would anyone consider a sized diapering system? I’ve wondered the same thing. I have a few sized diapers and I have to tell you that I like them because they are trim. Yes, that’s right; trim. Now this might not be a big deal but since it’s summer and my adorable daughter is wearing sun dresses that come with the cute diaper cover-up it has been somewhat annoying. I’ve noticed what an eye-sore it is looking at this stretched out, okay let’s be honest, baby panty, over her big fluffy butt. I mean at that rate I might as well just take the stupid thing off and show off her fluff (which I end up doing).

Even if you don’t have a girl who may need a trimmer diaper for her cute dresses there are pros and cons to sized cloth diapers and one size cloth diapers.

One-Size Pros

Economical. ‘Nough said.

It’s a great way to cloth diaper a toddler and baby at the same time. You will need to purchase more diapers for your rotation though.

Convenient. One set of diapers, that’s it. There isn’t a need to buy more when you need a new size.

One-Size Cons

It can be difficult to get the right fit for your baby. No cloth diaper is going to be 100% perfect and babies go through growth spurts that can be odd. For example, my daughter has chubby thighs but a really skinny waist. A few of her (ah hem cheap!) one size diapers just do not have a good in-between setting for her.

A lot of wear and tear on one stash. When my husband and I set out to buy our first set of diapers for our son our plan was to use them this next time with our daughter. Well, after almost three years of use, washes, drying, stripping, and the list goes on, we had to purchase a new set for our daughter. Think about it, if you were to sleep in the same sheets day after day washing them every other week or so, I highly doubt they’d last three years much less six.

Boring! Only one set from birth through potty training.

Sized Pros

Easier to find a good fit. I like to think of sized diapers the way a disposable is sized; we don’t put our babies in one-size fits all ‘sposies after all. Because a sized diaper is meant to fit a baby during a specific point in their development it can accommodate the chubbiness before movement phase, you know?

You get to purchase more cloth diapers! Yay for more fun diapers to buy! Honestly, I don’t know what it is about cloth diapers that makes them so addictive. I find myself acting like I’m eight years old again when I was in a fuzzy hair clown collection phase.

Chances are you’ll be able to use that first set of sized diapers with more than one child. Again, less wear and tear equals longer (time) lasting wear.

Sized Cons

A little spendy at first. I think you have to look at using a sized diaper system as a long term investment. If you’re on your last child and are just starting your cloth diaper journey this may not be financially beneficial for you.

Not as convenient. You have to purchase more diapers as your baby grows. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious about cloth diapering this may totally turn you off.


Guest Post Contributed by Bert:

Elizabeth (aka Bert) is a stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for She Thinks Media. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, Ben, her son Buggie, and daughter Lady Bug.  When she’s not trying to convince Buggie to expand his interests beyond Thomas the Train or put his pants back on she’s writing about her experiences as a mom on her blog, First Time Mom (FTM). After all, Bert maintains there’s a first time for everything, even if you  have more than one child! 

3 Responses to “The Pros and Cons of Sized Cloth Diapers vs. Onesize Cloth Diapers”

  1. 1
    Raquel Beaty says:

    I have mostly one size diapers in my stash, but if I could do it all again I think I would go with a two-size system with a couple one size and sized diapers just for good measure.

    I have a 3 year old that is day time potty-trained and only needs a diaper at night, he is over 40 lbs. though, so there isn’t a one size that I have found that fits him. Thirsties Duo Wrap Sz 2 still fits him though, but I may have to buy some larger sized diapers for him in the future. Size 1 Thirsties fit my daughter as a newborn (she was 8 lbs. 14 oz.). It is pointless for me to get “newborn” diapers that don’t fit until 16 lbs. or more since my babies tend to gain 1 lb. a week for the first month! I think there are definite advantages to sized diapers, but I think there would be certain sized diapers that a baby would wear longer and would be a better investment because they could wear them for longer. At the end of the day a two-size system seems to work well for me and my family, so when/if my current stash wears out, it’s 2 sizes for us! :-)

  2. 2
    Susan says:

    I go back and forth between the sized pockets and the one-size. We have both in our stash. I really think that if I had the money to do it, I would go more with the sized pockets than the one size….

  3. 3
    Amy Sparrow says:

    I really honestly prefer sized diapers. I don’t like the bulk when one-size diapers are on their smallest settings. I feel like I can get a much better fit with a sized diaper. There is more shopping and buying involved, but if you sell your outgrown diapers, it doesn’t come out to be that much more in the long run.

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