The debate between parents who use cloth diapers and those who prefer disposable has been going on for years. Since the 1980s, it seemed as if disposable diapers were, by and large, the preferred in today’s more environmentally-conscious world, however, cloth diapers are beginning to make a huge comeback.
Cloth diapers are not only more environmentally friendly but also do not contain the myriad of chemical and irritants often present in mass-produced diapers.
Of course, knowing which cloth diapers are best for car travel can be a confusing topic for some parents. In this article, we’ll try to identify the best cloth diapers for car seats.
Best Cloth Diapers
The days of cloth diapers consisting of literal pieces of cloth are long gone. Modern cloth diapers are comfortable, convenient, and feature numerous innovative features to keep both kids and parents happy.
1. BumGenius Freetime Cloth Diapers :
BumGenius has quickly become one of the premier providers of cloth diapers in the country. Stylish, comfortable, affordable, and easy to use, these diapers are changing thousands of parents’ minds every day by providing a reliable, reasonably-priced alternative to disposable diapers that don’t require too much extra work.
Unlike traditional cloth diapers, which often need to be “stuffed,” these diapers ensure a tight fit with patented snapping closures. The goal, according to the manufacturer, is to make cloth diapers as easy to use as disposable ones, giving parents the ability to save money, but not at the expense of more time or frustration.
- Patent-pending leak-proof outer cover.
- Stretchy sides and one-size-fits-all snap closures.
- Utilizes simple inserts to prevent staining and increase absorbency.
- Fits babies from 7 to 35 pounds.
- Gentle, comfortable fabric.
The Freetime All-In-One diapers are easily one of BumGenius’ best-selling models. Though constructed entirely of washable and reusable cloth, they mimic disposable diapers in many ways, including their “one size fits all” design and their leak-proof system, which utilizes Stay-Dry inserts to absorb moisture and protect babies’ skin.
According to most users, the Freetime diapers are reliable and long-lasting, with some even indicating that they’ve lasted through multiple children. This fact can easily account for thousands of dollars saved per year. The most important feature, however, is their ability to nearly eliminate leaks, especially with the Stay-Dry inserts in place.
- Snap closure allows the diaper to grow with the child.
- Durable enough to last for years.
- “Leak-proof” system helps minimize cleanup.
- High initial “per diaper” cost.
- Parents of larger children question the “one size fits all” claim.
2. OsoCozy Cloth Diapers :
The OsoCozy brand is less concerned with features and innovation, and more concerned with providing as natural an experience as possible for both the child and the parents.
Their cloth diapers feature unbleached, all-natural fibers and are designed to be both extremely durable and absorbent, minimizing skin irritation while maximizing performance.
OsoCozy uses a combination of cotton and bamboo-organic cotton blend to minimize any skin irritation, even after the diapers are soiled. Though the diapers are pre-folded, the patented sizing system utilized by the company helps parents maintain a good fit and prevent the diapers from “sagging” or leaking.
- Bamboo-organic cotton blend.
- Comes in a variety of sizes to adjust to growing babies.
- Extremely absorbent and durable.
- “Diaper Service” quality.
- Low weight, pre-folded, unbleached cloth.
Most users find these pre-folded cotton diapers to be surprisingly simple to use and remarkably long-lasting and durable. The material is easy to wash, dry, and care for, and allows parents to keep their child comfortable and clean no matter their budget. Best of all, it’s easy to purchase and use disposable inserts to make clean-up even more straightforward.
When a diapered child is in a car seat, especially for long trips, it’s essential to consider their comfort. These all-natural diapers help minimize skin irritation while also ensuring “clean-up duty” isn’t an everyday occurrence.
- Six diaper packs available for less than some single cloth diapers cost.
- Durable and absorbent enough to handle most accidents.
- All-natural fibers are soft on the baby’s skin.
- Not designed for permanent use. Will need frequent replacing.
- Stiffness of the material may not make for a great fit.
3. ALVABABY Swim Diapers :
Swimming and other aquatic activities are usually an excellent opportunity for parents to have fun with their babies. However, a child that’s still in diapers can pose a unique set of challenges for parents who want a little fun in the sun but don’t want to resort to buying big disposable diaper brands. Luckily, ALVABABY has the solution.
ALVABABY’s cloth swim diapers boast a tight, fully-adjustable fit around the baby’s legs and waist, which is designed to hold solids. To avoid making the baby too buoyant, the 100% polyester material is not intended to hold liquids, which applies to both the baby’s urine and the water in the pool or ocean.
- Machine washable and dryable swimming diapers.
- Not designed for urine – will only hold solids.
- Available in multiple sizes, but easily adjusts to fit most babies.
- One-year guarantee.
- Brightly-colored and stylish.
According to most users, the ALVABABY swim diapers offer a snug, reliable fit, keeping solid waste in and keeping pool time from turning into an embarrassing situation for both parent and baby. Many parents also appreciate the built-in adjustability of the ALVABABY design and the fact that they’re so easy to wash and reuse.
The reliable, tight seal created by these cloth swim diapers also makes them a perfect fit for when the child is en route to the pool, beach, or lake, protecting car seats from #2, though #1 can still pose a problem outside the water.
- Less bulky and more attractive than other swim diapers.
- Very durable. Sure to last a long time.
- One-year guarantee provides purchase protection.
- Will only hold solids, so leaks will still happen on land.
- Getting a proper fit may be difficult for some babies.
4. Bambino Mio Cloth Diapers :
The Bambino Mio cloth diapers seem determined to corner the market on reusables that grow along with your baby. With many parents choosing cloth diapers almost solely due to the obvious financial benefits over disposables, the fact that Bambino Mio cloth diapers are so durable and so adjustable makes them a very trendy buy for new parents.
The Bambino Mio diapers utilize a snap and “hook and loop” fastenings to help the diapers conform to your child’s size and shape. Though the core of the diaper is exceptionally absorbent, most parents also opt for stay-dry liners in the front, back, or both, to reduce how much pre-cleaning is necessary before the washing the diapers.
- “Hook and loop” fasteners.
- Printed with cute, kid-friendly patterns.
- Grows with your baby until potty training.
- Soft, long-lasting fabric.
- Absorbent core and optional stay-dry liner inserts.
According to most users, these are the first and last cloth diapers that they’ve ever needed. In many cases, parents report that it’s super easy to get their kids into them because they are so comfortable and soft, even after years of use. Though the various snaps and Velcro fasteners won’t be for everyone, these are still a big plus for most parents.
If you’re looking for a natural, cloth option that will help keep car seats dry and babies’ bottoms happy, the Bambino Mio cloth diapers are a great choice.
- Very absorbent, even without the stay-dry liners.
- Designed to fit the baby from birth until potty training.
- Competitively priced with excellent performance.
- Velcro on the waistline can cause irritation.
- Babies “in between” adjusted sizes can experience leaks.
5. BumGenius One-Size Reusable Diapers :
One of BumGenius’ most essential products, these One-Size Reusable Diapers aim to make it as easy as possible for parents to embrace cloth diapers, even if they’ve only ever used disposables in the past. This ease of use, combined with the fact that the user only needs to purchase extra inserts, help make them an attractive option for many parents.
Like their Freetime design, the BumGenius One-Size diapers utilize a simple “butterfly” snapping system to make changes quick and easy. The covering lining opening also keeps baby bottoms away from the trapped moisture, which translates into fewer rashes and less money spent treating itchy irritated thighs.
- Soft, comfortable fabric.
- Wide variety of colorful patterns.
- “Super Stretch” design to avoid pinches.
- Fits babies from seven to 35 pounds.
- Leak-proof outer cover
Most parents agree that the BumGenius One-Size Cloth Diapers really deliver on their promise, providing plenty of value to justify their cost and saving them thousands on disposable diapers. Most praise the adjustable snaps for providing an easy experience that helps the diapers grow right along with the baby.
If dry car seats are the goal, BumGenius has the tools to make it happen. Their patented leak-proof technology has been proven effective time and time again, and many parents are happy to stand by their performance.
- A less expensive, but still reliable BumGenius option.
- Grows with the baby throughout their childhood.
- Easy-to-use snap system and optional absorbent liners.
- Diapers must be line dried.
- Waterproofing can wear off and cause leaks over time.
Best Detergent for Cloth Diapers
Though the baby’s expensive car seat may be safe from leaks, the cloth diapers themselves will still need to be washed multiple times a week. If you’ve chosen to “go natural” with cloth diapers, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to clean those natural diapers in a detergent introduces your baby to more harmful, irritating chemicals.
Luckily, specially formulated, natural detergents are growing in popularity, and are made to work with most cloth diapers. Here, we’ll discuss some of the best.
1. Rockin’ Green Natural Laundry Detergent Powder :
All-natural laundry soaps and other cleaning products are making big waves among environmentally-conscious families, and natural laundry detergents like Rockin’ Green are becoming extremely popular.
This trend is not just because they’re better for the environment, however, but because they are much less harsh on people’s skin, especially babies.
- Plant-based detergent.
- Kid-friendly. Good for sensitive skin and allergies.
- Highly-concentrated formula.
- Free of unnecessary chemicals.
- No animal testing.
- Offers a great clean for all fabric types
The Rockin’ Green Natural Laundry Detergent Powder claims to offer “gentle but powerful” plant-based cleaning. Its lack of any dyes, perfumes, or additives makes it a perfect choice for parents who want to protect their child’s soft skin while also ensuring that they don’t trigger any allergic reactions, rashes, or irritations.
Like many popular detergent brands, Rockin’ Green is highly-concentrated, and offers 90 washes per package, providing great value for the users’ money. Most users have reported excellent results with this brand, especially when it comes to diapers. Because the detergent is free from any unnecessary chemicals, it helps keep cloth diapers soft even after years of use and frequent washes.
- Resists fading even after dozens of washes.
- Completely natural ingredients. It’s even vegan and gluten-free.
- A little detergent goes a long way.
- Cloth diapers that require hot water may develop odor issues.
- Some complain that clothes don’t “seem clean” after washing.
2. Charlie’s Soap – Fragrance-Free Powdered Laundry Detergent :
Charlie’s brand soaps have become a prominent staple in green households across the country. Effective, hypoallergenic, all-natural, and leaving behind no residue or film, Charlie’s laundry powder is considered one of the most potent brands on the market.
Furthermore, it’s highly-concentrated formula claims to allow parents to wash loads of laundry for “pennies on the dollar.”
- One pack offers 100 loads.
- Effective for all fabrics and fabric types.
- Rinses clean with no residue.
- Hypoallergenic and irritant free.
- Biodegradable ingredients.
Most users find that Charlie’s Laundry Detergent performs well on natural and synthetic fibers alike, while also helping to remove entrapped stains, odors, and even residues from old detergents. Because the detergent uses 100 percent non-toxic ingredients, users who are on septic tanks are happy that they don’t have to worry about their microorganisms.
Parents also love having a residue-free option considering the number of washes required of cloth diapers. This fact, combined with the soap’s ability to remove both stain and odors from fabrics naturally without harming baby’s skin, has helped make it a very popular option.
- Clean, fresh-smelling clothes with no residue.
- Removes residues from past detergents.
- Extremely cost-effective thanks to the concentrated formula.
- Residual detergent can build up in pipes and cause clogs.
- Some users claim it leaves bacteria on diapers.
3. Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent, Unscented :
The all-natural soap market is becoming so large that international name brands can no longer ignore it. This growing competition has brought us high-quality options like Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent.
An unscented option made of hypoallergenic detergents; this is a perfect option for parents who want to protect their babies’ skin while preserving their cloth diapers through hundreds of washes.
- Free of dyes and perfumes.
- #1 recommended by washing machine manufacturers.
- Deep cleaning.
- Highly-concentrated formula.
- Available in bulk sizes.
Tide is a popular and long-trusted brand of detergent, so many users have flocked to the company’s new “Free & Gentle” product line. Parents love that it removes dirt, food, and stains from fabrics without leaving a residue and that its cleaning action is powerful enough for cloth diapers.
The product also comes in an ultra-concentrated form and is also one of the few natural detergents that parents can find in a bulk size. For those with a lot of kids – or who merely go through a lot of cloth diapers – this can add up to a mountain of savings.
- Offers a deeper, more complete clean that competitors.
- Safe and effective on cloth diapers.
- A brand that people know and trust.
- Quite expensive compared to other similar products
- Some claim smells can remain after washing.
Benefits of Cloth Diapers
Diapers are a necessity that every parent has to embrace in one way or another. However, as people become more conscious of the environment and more aware of the actual day-to-day cost of using disposable diapers, more are switching back to the cloth diapers of yesteryear.
For those who remain on the fence, it’s helpful to reiterate some of the many benefits of cloth diapers.
1. Big Savings :
Almost no conversation about cloth diapers ignores the elephant in the room: the vast amount of money that can be saved by doing away with disposable diapers. Still, few parents actually sit down to calculate the savings themselves. Consider the current price of disposables, and you end up with an estimate of between $500 and $750 per year spent on something that you use one time.
With cloth diapers, you can greatly reduce this cost. Though the cloth models cost more up front, a good pair can last years. Even better, most are “one size fits all,” meaning they’ll grow along with the child to prevent the parents from having to purchase more.
2. Much Less Waste :
The United States estimates that over 27 billion diapers are sent to the country’s landfills every single year. Cloth diapers, on the other hand, are reusable, recyclable, and often are made of natural fibers that break down when discarded Wear, wash, dry, repeat – this is the mantra that will end up having a significant impact on our environment.
3. Fewer Harmful Chemicals :
Unbeknownst to many parents, most disposable diaper brands use a slew of chemicals to maintain their competitive levels of absorbency.
These include various dyes and odor-masking chemicals, chlorine, oils, phthalates, and polymer crystals that are designed to soak up urine and prevent leaking. Cloth diapers usually use only natural components, keeping chemicals far from baby’s skin.
4. Potty Training is a Snap :
Though cloth diapers are absorbent enough to keep the babies dry, it’s usually clear to both parent and baby when an accident has occurred.
This self-awareness often translates into babies developing an incentive to try using the potty much earlier, saving parents even more money and getting them out of the “diaper phase” faster altogether.
5. Reduce Rashes and Irritation :
Diaper rash is a frequent problem caused by too much moisture pooling at the seams of the diaper. The chemicals present in disposable diapers can often compound this problem, and lead to parents spending hundreds of dollars on products to reduce the rash.
With cloth diapers, parents can identify accidents more quickly and ensure that children don’t sit in wet diapers for hours at a time.
6. Long-Lasting :
Treat cloth diapers right, and they will undoubtedly do the same to you. Despite their relatively high upfront cost, some cloth diaper brands are specifically designed to be passed down from child to child, reducing the cost of diapering babies by thousands of dollars.
Because they are natural, easy to clean, and don’t break down quickly, some parents never have to buy diapers a second time.
In this article, we’ve outlined some of the best cloth diapers for car seats available today. These five brands will help ensure that your child – and their car seat – remains as dry as possible during your next commute. Though accidents are just a part of parenting, using cloth diapers shouldn’t require any more cleanup than disposable brands.
Speaking of cleanup, we’ve also gone over some of the best detergents for cloth diapers to ensure that you can keep your baby’s comfortable and your diapers soft even after years of washing. Almost all of these brands are all-natural, hypoallergenic, and are free from any perfumes and dyes that might irritate your baby’s skin.
Until next time, happy parenting.