All About Budget Cloth: Prefolds, Flats & Fitteds

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These are my favorite affordable options for cloth diapering.

1. Prefolds

  • You’re going to want to buy the premium size for more absorbency and is a size you can use on most babies.

  • Cotton Babies – Indian Cotton Prefolds. They have free shipping to the U.S. which I love.

  • Green Mountain Diaper Prefolds – They make sized options based on age/weight of your baby. I don’t prefer this as I prefer a one size option for trying to keep it as cost effective as possible but some people love these for a better fit!

  • Most all other cloth diaper retailers will sell some type of prefold as well. This is just what I have tried.

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Millie is wearing a premium indian cotton prefold from Cotton Babies.

2. Flats

  • These don’t always come in sizes but check dimensions because some are smaller than others! I prefer the ones that range 31ishx31ish before shrinking. This allows you to do more folds and will fit larger babies. You can always fold it smaller for a smaller baby.

  • You can always use receiving blankets as flats. They are similar size and are usually cotton so will absorb great. This is an affordable way to cloth diaper or a way to have back ups on wash day or other emergencies.

  • Green Mountain Diaper Flats – They have affordable unbleached option that come in 6 packs. They offer flat rate shipping of $6.95 no matter the size of your order so try to order everything you need at once. (I prefer unbleached or organic whenever possible as they are softer) You will want the LARGE in these diapers.

  • You can easily fold up a flat into a doubler for extra absorbency for outings or night time. (Doublers are inserts used to add absorbency usually around 11-14in x 3-5in) Here are some examples of using a doubler with the origami fold. I used a colorful receiving blanket so you could see where I am using it as a doubler.


Millie is wearing an unbleached Swaddlebees flat folded using the Origami fold (our favorite)

Dirty Diaper Laundry has TONS of great information for all cloth diapers but I used it most for flats and prefolds. This is a great flats intro video. Check her youtube channel for other types of folds: Dirty Diaper Laundry – Intro to Flats

These videos are great for learning prefolds: Dirty Diaper Laundry – Prefold Cloth Diaper Tutorial

3. Fitted Diapers

  • There are tons of these so I won’t get into them all. Feel free to venture into the world of fitteds so many fun options!

  • My favorites are Green Mountain Diaper Workhorse Fitteds.

    • multiple sizes with the size used the longest (in my opinion) being medium/red edge. I recommend getting red if you have a baby in the 12-14LB range.

    • These are my favorite for both functionality and affordability.

    • Only come in organic cotton now which I love. If buying used there was a bleached option at one time which I find get stiffer and have less stretch but it is a preference thing so if you want organic be sure to ask when buying used.

    • No closure option allows for the best fit and can be easily used with a snappi in my opinion. These also last longer, snap version seems to have holes wear through in between snaps which has not happened on my snapless.

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This is a size medium(red) GMD workhorse. The weight range is 15-24 pounds. She started wearing them at 13lbs(2months) and is now 21lbs(8months).

4. Diaper Covers.

  • You can use sized or one size covers that adjust to grow with your baby. I prefer one size for my baby as she is a large baby and it is more economical. If you have a smaller baby I would recommend using a sizednor two sizensystem until they are closer to 15lbs.

  • ECONOBUM -one size made by cotton babies. I have never used but I LOVE COTTON Babies and they are only $8.95  which is super economical!

  • FLIP COVER – one size made by cotton babies. They come in more colors and prints than econobum. $14.95 but you can often find killer deals (I

  • THIRSTIES DUO WRAP – This comes in two sizes so you can get a better fit on small babies. Size 1 IS 6-18LBS AND Size 2 is 18-40LBS. I have used both sizes. $12.25-$13.75 depending on color/pattern.

The above can all be purchased at either Cotton Babies or Green Mountain Diapers

  • BLUEBERRY COVERALLS – This is also a one size cover made by Blueberry Diapers. $16.95 Great prints, no latex and I think the rise seems higher which is nice sometimes. (also can be purchased at green mountain diapers  and I believe all the retailers I have listed below)

  • GROVIA HYBRID SHELLS – one size made by Grovia. These are a super trim option that can be used with their hybrid system but I use them as covers when I need a trim fit.

  • You can reuse these by rinsing or wiping clean between changes (except grovia). I recommend six if washing every other day. If tri or padfolding (SEE VIDEOS) I would advise you to get more as poo is more likely to get on the cover.

  • Other brands you can try: Bummis, Kissaluvs, Applecheeks, Planetwise, Best Bottom, Rumparooz


  • SNAPPI: 2


I used one for quite some time but its nice to have a second to use while the first is being washed. I have one with a drawstring I simply place in a kitchen trash can and cinch to fit with a lid on top. (I use the Grovia pail liner but any will do. I haven’t tried others so can’t make a recommendation.)


Again I used one for a long time but two is nice in case one is in the wash. I prefer zippers to drawstrings so I don’t have to worry about stink or dirty diaper spills. (I use the grovia and kissas which is my favorite)

  • LAUNDRY DETERGENT – I use tide because when you’re using natural fibers which we are with this set up it is a low maintenance wash routine with no special detergent required.

Where to buy/sales

Thanks Mama – Kissas travel wet bag –  My favorite because it zips so you don’t have to worry while out. This is a great deal!!! It’s nice to have two in case one is in wash and you have to go out but one will be fine. I had just one for a long time. On SALE for $4.95!!

Cotton Babies –  Economy Shipping is always free in the U.S.

Nicki’s Diapers –  Free shipping on diaper covers right now! I only buy here when they have free shipping because their shipping is outrageous.

Green Mountain Diaper Green Mountain Diapers will send out a great cloth diaper guide if you add it to your cart and it is free! This gets into the specifics of laundry. Currently have a sale on Blueberry Swaddlebees Capri cover for 15% off and doublers for just $1.10 (includes organic!) This ends July 17, 2013

Kelly’s Closet – They often have promos running for free goodies with purchase. Right Now if you spend $39+ you get a free one size diaper.

Kissed By the Moon –  Sign up for their newsletter for 5% discounts and other sales/coupon codes.

You can also find a lot of more popular brands on Amazon if you have gift cards or something to use.

If you bought all my recommendations including laundry detergent and 24 diapers.

Prefold package – APPROX $150

Flats package – APPROX $160

Fitted package – APPROX $350 FOR CURRENT SIZE

**STOP! Before you go out and buy everything you need. Try a couple of what you think you will like. Practice with a receiving blanket for flats. Make sure you like what you are using before you invest in it all. I thought I was going to be using all-in-ones or prefolds. The first all-in-ones I tried I hated and I hated prefolds at first as well. Now, I love certain AIOs and am much better with prefolds but my favorites are still GMD workhorse fitteds and flats. If I had invested in all AIOs I would have had no money left in my budget and hated my diapers. I want you to be successful in your cloth diaper journey so try a couple first! Okay, now you can GO! **

Feel free to contact me with questions! Come back for the next post on Grovia hybrid diaper system!



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