Cloth Diapering A Toddler: Ultimate How-To Guide

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Best Cloth Diapers For Toddlers | Top Picks

  • Cloth-eez Birdseye Flats
  • Lalabye Baby Lala Lu Fitted
  • Blueberry One-Size Capri Cover
  • Imagine 2.0 Bamboo All-In-One
  • Fuzzibuns One-Size Pocket Diaper

It is never too late to begin cloth diapering. Whatever the circumstances are that have brought you to the decision to start using cloth on your toddler, you can do it successfully. This post will help you get started.

In order to cloth diaper a toddler you will need to choose a very absorbent diaper. Common types of cloth diapers to choose from are flats, prefolds, All-In-Ones, All-In-Twos, and fitteds. We’ll cover the best choices for toddlers in detail below.

Cloth Considerations For Toddlers


The most important consideration when cloth diapering a toddler is absorbency. Toddlers can potty a large amount very quickly. Sometimes this results in “flooding” which happens if the cloth cannot absorb the liquid fast enough resulting in leaking out of the legs or waist.

In order to prevent flooding and other leaking issues, you’ll want to use very absorbent diapers and make sure to change the child often enough. I’ll cover how often to change a toddler’s diaper down below.

A great way to boost absorbency in any diapering system is to simply add a doubler or booster. Check out my post on the most absorbent inserts here. Throw one of these inserts into your toddler’s diaper for extra protection during nighttime and naps.


Sizing is another issue some people run into when using cloth diapers on their bigger toddlers. If you have a larger than average child, sometimes it can be a challenge to find a big enough diaper to fit well on your tot. There are many “one-size” diapers on the market that claim to fit from birth to potty training, but the reality for chunky babes is that many simply do not size up large enough to give a proper fit. There are a few good options though!

Best Cloth Diaper For Heavy Wetters
Best Cloth Diaper For Heavy Wetters

If you notice red marks or indentations on the skin of your child when you take their diaper off (especially around the legs and waist) this is an indication that the diaper is too small.

Another reason for sizing up is to increase the amount of room inside of the diaper, which will allow for more absorbency to be added in, such as doublers/boosters/inserts. If you try to add extra boosters into a diaper that is not large enough you will have issues with gapping. Gapping happens when the elastics around the legs and waist do not fit snug against the child’s skin, causing holes or gaps where potty can leak out.

Recommended Cloth Diapers For Toddlers

Here are my recommendations for some great cloth diapers that will work best for toddlers. I’ve included many different types of cloth diapering systems so you can choose which type you like best.

  • Green Mountain Diapers Cloth-eez Birdseye Flats: These flats are wonderful for toddlers because they are so customizable. There are tons of different ways to fold flats which allows you to get the most absorbency exactly where you need it. You can also lay 2 flats together before you fold it up for double the absorbency. I have done this and it shocked me how trim the diaper still was, check it out below. Another bonus: These flats are super affordable!
  • Lalabye Baby Lala Lu Fitted: This fitted diaper is SUPER absorbent and fits well on small & big toddlers even though it is a one-size diaper. I used it on my 9-month-old and my 2-year-old. I did a review of this fitted and was very impressed with the quality and absorbency, I’ll include it below. Their Lalabye Diaper Cover is also fantastic and I love the multicolor snaps.
  • Blueberry One-Size Capri Cover: If you plan to use flats, fitteds, or prefolds on your toddler you will need a good roomy cover. Blueberry was my favorite cover to use on my first baby who was nice and chunky. The Capri fits nicely around chubby legs and can actually fit a child up to 40 Ibs. Another option is the Thirsties Size Two Duo Wrap.
  • Imagine 2.0 Bamboo All-In-One: If you are a fan of All-In-Ones this is a perfect option for your toddler. I recommend the hook & loop closure for chunky kiddos. I have tried this on my 3-year-old and it still fits really well. Sometimes you can find these diapers on sale if the print has been retired. I’ve bought these diapers for 50% off. Check Nicki’s Diapers for sales.
  • Fuzzibuns One-Size Pocket Diaper: Here is a pocket diaper that fits great on big babes and has a unique adjustable elastic sizing system for an ultimate custom fit. JessIsBlessed from YouTube loves this pocket diaper for her big babies and even triple stuffs this diaper for a ton of absorbency.

How Often To Change A Toddlers Diaper

Because toddlers do not poop as frequently as newborn babies do, you won’t have to change them as often. It’s best to change a toddler every 2 to 3 hours unless they have pooped, which will necessitate an immediate change.

If a child is left in a poopy diaper it will result in an uncomfortable rash. This is why newborns have to be changed so often. According to Medical News Today, a newborn baby can have 5 or more bowel movements a day, some even poop after every feeding.1 We can be thankful our toddlers don’t do this!

How Many Cloth Diapers Does A Toddler Need?

As stated above, a toddler won’t need as many cloth diapers as a newborn. A toddler will need a minimum of 12 cloth diapers if you plan to wash every other day, however, 18 diapers is a more common recommendation by many cloth diaper retailers.

If your toddler is beginning to potty train, you may be able to get by with even less. Thirsties brand recommends 4 to 8 diapers during potty learning.

Cloth Diapering A Toddler During Potty Training

Perhaps your toddler is now entering the potty training stage and you are wondering if there is a more convenient way to use cloth during this time. Most people who use disposables will switch to pull-ups for training, so what’s a cloth diapering momma to do?

Thankfully there are some options out there for cloth potty trainers. Here’s a quick run-down of some good quality products. In addition to the products listed below, another great place to check is Etsy. Just do a search for potty training pants and there are tons of listings.

  • KangaCare EcoPosh OBV Training Pants
  • Thirsties Potty Training Pant
  • Flip Diapers Potty Training Shell With Side Panel: Used with Flip cotton potty training pads


Q: How many cloth diapers do I need for a 1 year old?

A 1 year old will need between 12-16 cloth diapers if you plan to wash every other day. If you wash every 3 days you’ll need at least 20.

Q: How do you put a diaper on a toddler?

You put a diaper on a toddler the same way you would put one on a newborn baby. The only difference will be the sizing of the diaper, and the added difficulty of dealing with a much larger wiggle worm.

Q: How long can a baby wear a cloth diaper?

A baby can wear a cloth diaper for several hours, though it is best to change every 2-3 hours and immediately after a bowel movement. Babies can wear cloth diapers overnight without changing if given enough absorbency.



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